Antarctic Sea Ice Extent sets new record, pierces 20 million square kilometer barrier

Sunshinehours reports that the Antarctic Sea Ice Extent for September 19th, 2014 is 20.11297 million square kilometers,

which is 1,535,000 sq km above the 1981-2010 climatological mean.

Another 58,000 sq km. was added since yesterday, making it the 7th All-Time Record in 7 Days.

This new record is 610,000 sq km higher than the previous daily record. The red line represents 2014 data.

antarctic_sea_ice_extent_zoomed_2014_day_261_1981-2010[1] Data for Day 261. Data source:

NSIDC concurs:

S_stddev_timeseries[1]A look at the data presented by NSIDC as it would be from space if there were no clouds:

Antarctics-NSIDC-sept19-2014-maph/t to Thomas Wysmuller

More data on the WUWT Sea Ice page

UPDATE: Andres Valencia reports in comments:

The University of Bremen (The new satellite “Shizuku”, AMSR2 sensor) will have to rescale their plots:



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September 19, 2014 6:27 pm

Perfect timing for Ban Ki Moons little party in New York ….. Although, lets face it, this government control wealth re-distribution effort has absolutely F-all to do with science or reality.

Reply to  ImranCan
September 19, 2014 8:13 pm

Good timing for Anthony also as he prepares to attend the Mann-Cook circus at Bristol UK.

john robertson
September 19, 2014 6:31 pm

I can’t resist.
We are doomed doomed…
The 9 levels of hell are closing their icy grip upon us.
The Ice Age is coming.
Just like fashion cycles seem to accelerate as I age, the fashions of Doom Sayers are also circling at an ever accelerating rate.
Depending upon your position upon this globe the fools are circling the Bowl in a clockwise or not rotation.

Reply to  Ian Schumacher
September 20, 2014 6:39 am

Not sure? Then I have done my job well!

Ian Schumacher
Reply to  tommoriarty
September 19, 2014 10:58 pm
Kelvin Vaughan
Reply to  tommoriarty
September 20, 2014 1:02 am

Maybe one day people will be looking for a southern passage.

Reply to  tommoriarty
September 20, 2014 3:14 pm

You’re right. I see a distinct hockey stick in that last graph.

Reply to  john robertson
September 21, 2014 9:12 am

The IPCC had projected an Antarctic sea ice extent decrease due to global warming, yet some scientists insist otherwise because they don’t want to look foolish. Move the goalposts!

Grist – 19 September 2014
Antarctic sea ice hits a record max, and that’s not good
For the third year in a row, the sea ice ringing Antarctica has set a new record. Its extent is the farthest now since observations began in the late ’70s, and scientists say the growth is largely the result of climate change………..
But before anybody celebrates the death of global warming, note that the expanding ice is not necessarily a great thing. In fact, it might be a symptom of the world heating up.

I thought the missing heat went into the deep. No surface global warming for 17+ years.

September 19, 2014 6:31 pm

Is that an island to the west?

Reply to  mountainape5
September 19, 2014 6:43 pm

Yes, South-Georgia is its name, belonging to the U.K.
In the east there’s Kerguelen Island, belonging to France.

Reply to  Daniël
September 19, 2014 7:16 pm

Can’t be UK. It’s not pink.

Evan Jones
Reply to  Daniël
September 20, 2014 12:30 am

It was occupied (temporarily) by the Argenitinians during the Falkland War. There was a weather station there.

The Ghost Of Big Jim Cooley
Reply to  Daniël
September 20, 2014 12:51 am

The Argentinians surrendered to three sea lions who were looking at them in a mean way.

September 19, 2014 6:34 pm

It’s coming to get us in Australia. We are very doomed indeed.

September 19, 2014 6:39 pm

But maybe the Russians can save us.

Reply to  RoHa
September 19, 2014 8:11 pm

I saw that today as well. Great strides in nuclear energy efficiency and safety are being done in .. The Republic of Russia!!! Da Comrad, ve vill cell it to you zoon!!! 🙂
Nice to see someone working on cutting edge nuclear tech. Go Russia (except when we play hockey against you).

Reply to  TRM
September 19, 2014 9:02 pm

That’s not all they’re up to.
“… then they came for our crappy beers…”

Anything is possible
September 19, 2014 6:40 pm

So how much more does the world have to warm before the entire Southern oceans become covered with ice?

Reply to  Anything is possible
September 19, 2014 7:10 pm

The entire Southern Ocean is now almost covered with sea ice. Sea Ice extent = 20.11297 million sq. km.
Southern Ocean area = 20.327 million sq. km.

Gary Pearse
Reply to  Anything is possible
September 20, 2014 9:14 am

I trust you aren’t endorsing global warming as the cause, though.

Reply to  Anything is possible
September 20, 2014 10:30 am

The “answer” linked to above is an interview by the Aussie ABC with some polar researchers who claim that the apparent paradox of Antarctic ice increasing in extent in the presence of warming is explained by increased wind strength due to warming (emphasis mine):

The sea ice zone is so extensive, it swells Antarctica to around four times the size of Australia in winter. But critically, it comes into contact with the wild westerly winds that circle Antarctica. At Melbourne University, Professor Ian Simmonds has been keeping a close eye on those winds.
Professor Ian Simmonds
The work that we’ve been doing is showing there’s significant changes in the atmospheric circulation right in the middle of the sea ice zone. The westerlies are getting stronger, and the storm tracks are moving much further south.
As the winds strengthen and tighten their grip on Antarctica, they are pushing more ice northward.
Professor Ian Simmonds
In the southern hemisphere, there’s a so-called Ekman drift which actually pushes the ice to the left of the wind.
As the sea ice moves north, the gaps left behind freeze over.

But these learned professors seem to have overlooked the fact that the Coriolis effect, which causes the Ekman drift, cannot cause an object at rest to start moving. It only affects objects currently in motion. Ekman drift can cause icebergs drifting in fast sea currents to move in directions perpendicular to the wind gradient force. I’m guessing that continental ice shelves aren’t moving very fast (correct me if I’m wrong), so I’m very skeptical that Ekman drift could account for the massive extension observed.
Also, looking at the current weather charts around Queen Maud Land coast (0 to 45E , where new ice extent is large), you can see the prevailing westerlies off-shore in the ACC, but the surface winds on the ice itself appear to be easterly, which would have a southward Ekman drift, if such drift actually occurs on the ice shelf. [hmm, some mislabeled ‘L’s and ‘H’s on this chart and I’m not sure what the trends are for ice surface winds, anyone know what the dominating surface wind vectors are?]
Finally, the narrator explains why you don’t see any ‘gaps’ caused by the Ekman drift, which is so powerful that it apparently can rip off huge pieces of ice off the shelf and propel them northward. The “gaps left behind freeze over”, the narrator explains. Obviously this happens instantly because there are no visible signs of this happening.
And if it’s so cold at the gap that it can freeze water, then why doesn’t the water freeze in that spot before the Ekman drift occurs?
My BS meter is pegging on this one.

September 19, 2014 6:44 pm

How long before it hits South America.
I did hear only a few years at the current rate of expansion, but have no idea if this is correct.

Reply to  PaulC
September 19, 2014 7:15 pm

It’s a valid question: Let me make a few assumptions so we’re all looking at the same page, you tell me the ground rules of the game, then I’ll assign you the task of telling me what “Antarctic sea ice “rate of increase” you want to project into the future.
A few basics:
Sea ice (both Arctic and Antarctic can use either “area” (essentially 100% covered, as measured by the different satellites and agencies competing for research tax dollars and jobs and publicity) or Sea Ice Extents (at least 15% of the water covered by sea ice and icebergs and continuous ice). Obviously, sea ice extents is larger than “area” so let’s use it.
Equally obviously, no prudent ship master and owner is going to take his 200 million dollar investment into solid sea ice, nor is he going to drive the ship right next to the ice in the open ocean, nor right next to the cliffs and shallow waters off of Tierra de Fuego (Cape Horn) chancing storms, winds, waves, ice bergs, and grounding or collision. So the ships WILL stop rounding Cape Horn well before the sea ice forms a complete land bridge from Cape Horn down to Antarctica.
Further, it takes several weeks to get that far south! No captain or owner or shipper is going to RISK his cargo and ship and crew heading south to round the Cape without being SURE that he can actually get clear (stormy of course!) but ice-free water when they get to that point.
We don’t know whether sea ice will start growing south from the islands that form the Strait of Magellan, or whether all of the sea ice will only freeze from the ocean water “northbound” away from Antarctica. In fact, I have not heard of ice forming IN the Straits of Magellan, but that’s not something people write about, so it may be already happening, but we don’t know about it.
Your homework: The Straits of Magellan and Cape Horn (its southern tip) end at latitude 56 south. You tell me what latitude the sea ice extents needs to reach to “block Cape Horn from shipping” … And tell me whether we should “add” a few extra kilometers margin from Cape Horn’s actual southern-most tip. (I will assume that the Straits of Magellan – which lead between the islands NORTH Cape Horn itself – will be blocked by South American coastal ice if Antarctic sea ice continues to freeze the salt water south of Cape Horn. ) Hint: 1.0 degree latitude is 111 kilometers.
The 3.5 million sq kilometers of “permanent Antarctic shelf ice” is NOT included in the NSIDC’s sea ice calculations or graphs. This 3.5 Mkm^2 of shelf ice surrounds Antarctica’s 14.0 Mkm^2 of land ice. The result is a neat “circular beanie cap” centered on the south pole.
The Antarctic sea ice surrounds this cap, varying in side between 2.5 Mkm^2 (20 years ago) and today’s 3.5 to 4.0 minimum sea ice. Yes, even the minimums are increasing, even as the maximums are setting new records!
SO, the maximum Antarctic sea ice extents is actually the area 3.5 + 14.0 + 20 Mkm^2. Plus whatever additional sea ice is added between today and the usual Antarctic sea ice maximum about 10 days from now. (I expect new maximum records will continue to be set this year.)
Your second homework assignment:
From WUWT Sea Ice page, tell me what rate of increase in sea ice area you want to extrapolate with: The 5 most recent years show an extremely rapid increase, the longer period of 1992 to 2014 still show a continuous long-term increase, but not at the extreme rate of the past 5 years.

    So, tell me the rate of expansion you want to use (which we will assume is the same for area as for extents), and we will give you a date that Antarctic Sea Ice will close Cape Horn.
Paul Drahn
Reply to  RACookPE1978
September 19, 2014 7:27 pm

Ice can collect on all exposed parts of a ship. If it was my $200 million dollar investment, I would be more worried about ice on my ship than the sea freezing over.

Reply to  RACookPE1978
September 19, 2014 8:00 pm

Sounds like a most excellent question for XKCD’s “What If?” feature.

Reply to  RACookPE1978
September 19, 2014 8:55 pm

So the China/Russia/Nicaragua canal through central america should negate any need to ship around south america. Now about expanding that Suez canal so we don’t have to go around South Africa. They have lots of resources that need to be shipped out of South Africa so we may need serious rail and port a bit farther north.

Dodgy Geezer
Reply to  RACookPE1978
September 20, 2014 1:59 am

September 19, 2014 at 7:15 pm
Sea ice (both Arctic and Antarctic can use either “area” (essentially 100% covered, as measured by the different satellites and agencies competing for research tax dollars and jobs and publicity) or Sea Ice Extents (at least 15% of the water covered by sea ice and icebergs and continuous ice). Obviously, sea ice extents is larger than “area” so let’s use it…
Actually, using Climate Science techniques, we should use ‘Area’ initially (modified downwards with ‘corrections’), and then shift over to ‘Extent’ about half-way through the process. This will give a much ‘improved’ rate of change, and hence more grant money. Possibly even a Hockey stick….

Reply to  RACookPE1978
September 20, 2014 8:59 am

RACookPE, you seem to be thinking of the ocean as having a calm level surface. As the open water gap shrinks, the current through it may speed up, keeping it clear of ice. Supposedly it is stronger winds that are pushing the ice around, expanding its extent and opening more water for freezing, so I think it really will depend on winds and ocean currents, not just extrapolation of the “beanie cap” growth.

Reply to  RACookPE1978
September 20, 2014 9:52 am

TRM September 19, 2014 at 8:55 pm
Now how about expanding that Suez canal so we don’t have to go around South Africa.
A project to enlarge the canal is being devised as we speak. And they have coined a really flashy new title for the project, to tempt international investors. Its called …. wait for it …. the ‘New Suez Canal’.
But since Egypt refused to pay for the first canal, and only coughed up compensation after UN intervention, I’m not sure who in their right mind would invest in such a project.

Richard Barraclough
Reply to  RACookPE1978
September 22, 2014 7:02 am

If you look at the plot which shows the current ice compared with the median position, you’ll see that due south of Cape Horn there is less ice than usual.
Also, I seem to notice one or two northern hemispere commenters confusing South America with South Africa……..

September 19, 2014 6:46 pm

It would be interesting to estimate the depth of North Pole Ice AND South Pole (floating) ice and to get a handle on the “stored cold energy”. (I.e., balance between melting and putting that energy in the atmosphere…actually a “moderating effect” and to find out HOW LARGE IT IS compared with yearly solar input.)

September 19, 2014 7:01 pm

A quick look at the sea-ice and that the excess ice seems to be at the 58th latitude or so would mean that the changing albedo over a 1.5 million square kilometers icecap above average would increase the reflection in the earth’s energy balance by 0.15 W/m2. This is about a quarter of the reported energy imbalance. Is that taken into effect? Cold begets cold.

Reply to  lenbilen
September 19, 2014 9:01 pm

No. It is much more than 0.15 watts/m^2.

Reply to  RACookPE1978
September 19, 2014 9:08 pm

I was referring to the global effect on the excess sea ice.

Reply to  lenbilen
September 20, 2014 11:37 am

I think you will hear the word “albedo” mentioned very little in the near future. It may even become politically incorrect to use the word.
It sure was important back in 2007. It was a vital ingredient to the theory of warming getting out of hand.
I wonder to what degree “albedo” is incorporated into the climate models. Adding a million square kilometers of white ice at 60 degrees latitude on the first day of the southern spring ought cause a model to flinch a bit, wouldn’t you think?
[That was yesterday: Today, 1.5 million square kilometers of fresh Antarctic sea ice is reflecting the sunlight. .mod]

Jimmy Haigh
September 19, 2014 7:06 pm

Add this to a possible Icelandic volcanic event and we could see some real fun…

Reply to  Jimmy Haigh
September 19, 2014 7:30 pm

Absolutely. Squashed as we are between these two unpredicted, unmodeled events it is fascinating. Meanwhile, glacier retreat in NZ (Fox Glacier) is attributed to the usual climate change mantra.

john robertson
September 19, 2014 7:06 pm

Using a fine calculus, a carpenters pencil, I estimate this years excess ice as 1 pencil thickness.
Using Team IPCC ™ logic, therefore the ice will block off Cape Horn in just 8 years and ram into Patagonia in just 4.
Unless we nuke the Panacean and Sues Canals to enlarge them immediately, world trade will be down to starvation rates in just 5 years…
Mann, the nonsense one can extrapolate from short term data..
All these years of observing Climatology ™ has destroyed my reasoning faculties.. Can I now sue the UN and the Canadian Government for causing… whatever victimization label we can invent?
What is the best name for mental disorder caused by CAGW propaganda?
Aghast of that Magic Gas?
Hostile taxpayer Syndrome?
The comedy of those who incite the mob, is they are usually the second or 3rd group to be consumed in the flames they fanned.

September 19, 2014 7:11 pm

I wonder if glaciers in South Georgia island have advanced faster.

September 19, 2014 7:13 pm

The University of Bremen (The new satellite “Shizuku”, AMSR2 sensor) will have to rescale their plots:
[ 8<) .mod]

Gunga Din
Reply to  Andres Valencia
September 20, 2014 7:42 am

Climate Plot Disruption!

Ed Barbar
September 19, 2014 7:14 pm

So what? This is one of many facts without an understanding, other than to point out “They don’t know everything.” OK, they don’t, and probably many of them are starting to think so. Let’s get beyond it, and start to figure out how to understand what’s going on.
I suspect, Anthony, that you agree CO2 is a greenhouse gas, that adds energy to the earth climate system, all else being equal. It’s not panning out for the CAGWers the way they thought. Yet, the fact remains CO2 is a forcing function. What are the next steps? I would prefer to see more thought in that area, vs. here is another reason they are wrong.
My view has always been that climate is more complex than simple CO2 knobs, and think it is time to think beyond that.

Reply to  Ed Barbar
September 19, 2014 8:50 pm

I wish I could upvote this comment.

Ian Schumacher
Reply to  Ed Barbar
September 19, 2014 11:15 pm

Data by itself is useful. It doesn’t NEED a “so what” to justify posting it. Any ‘so what?’ right now would likely just be pure speculation.This is the data. If you think you have a ‘so what’ to explain the data – then by all means feel free to do so.

Ed Barbar
Reply to  Ian Schumacher
September 20, 2014 11:52 am

Personally I think it is on the same level as the arctic is melting, therefore CAGW. Or, the 1980s and 1990s had a huge uptick in surface temps therefore CAGW.
Just because the antarctic is growing in sea ice does not mean CAGW isn’t a reality, anymore than the arctic melting means there is.
I think the point climate is much more complex than previously thought has been demonstrated, and its time to move on to bigger discussions. For instance, it’s pretty clear something is wrong with the models, so how do we figure out better understand what CO2 will do. Where are the gaps in our knowledge.

Ian Schumacher
Reply to  Ian Schumacher
September 20, 2014 1:22 pm

Ed Barbar,
“Personally I think it is on the same level as the arctic is melting, therefore CAGW. Or, the 1980s and 1990s had a huge uptick in surface temps therefore CAGW.”
I disagree. There is a theory. For practical purposes the models represent the ‘theory’. The models predict certain things:
– Hotspot
– Arctic and Antarctica melting
– Increased Hurricanes
– Temperature increase of 3 degrees a century.
According to ‘science’ and the actual data, the theory has been proven wrong. You don’t get to be right 1 out of 5 times (Arctic melting) and say – “Hey our models are pretty good!”. In fact, you don’t even get to be wrong once.
I think you essentially agree based on your next paragraph:
“I think the point climate is much more complex than previously thought has been demonstrated, and its time to move on to bigger discussions. For instance, it’s pretty clear something is wrong with the models, so how do we figure out better understand what CO2 will do. Where are the gaps in our knowledge.”
Right. Except that this isn’t ‘just’ about science. It’s about policy and public opinion. According to ‘Cook’ (and President Obama himself), only 3% of scientists think the way you and I think (that the theory has been shown to be invalid). So … until opinion changes, until policy changes – we need to keep shoving data/model contradictions in their face.

Ed Barbar
Reply to  Ian Schumacher
September 20, 2014 9:02 pm

Ian, I’m with you. The proof of the “C” in CAGW is lacking. The true believers are always going to be true believers until the end of their lives, and its time to start thinking about the broader set of people in the US, who are often put off by tit for tat kinds of things.
What I’m suggesting is it’s time to get to a leadership position on this subject, instead of defensive, “you were wrong here, and here, and here.” All things equal, CO2 forces temperatures. Yet, it isn’t working out as this control knob, as others have noted. So, time to develop a story and theory as to why that might be, that can be explained to normal folks, and get away from yet another partisan divide approach.

Old England
Reply to  Ed Barbar
September 20, 2014 1:02 am

It is rather depressing that climate scientists have focused on trying to create or invent some novel process theory whereby a ‘warming’ world can magically increase ice in the Antarctic rather than focussing on the climate mechanisms which have led to no warming in 17-20 years and the cooling of Antarctica along with exceptional growth in Antarctic ice.
The reason why they haven’t is equally depressing; the funding is strictly limited to those who are prepared to meet the political desire to ‘prove’ CO2 is going to destroy the world.

Reply to  Old England
September 20, 2014 6:05 am

The interesting question is why the Southern Ocean has been gaining sea ice at the same time as global warming has been accelerating, and Antarctica itself has been warming and shedding ice by the billions of tons per year.

Reply to  Old England
September 20, 2014 10:24 am

@icarus62 says:
“The interesting question is why the Southern Ocean has been gaining sea ice at the same time as global warming has been accelerating,”
Can you provide some reference data that makes you conclude that warming is accelerating? A link? Anything? I can’t. All I can find is records of no warming. Here is a satellite record from 1980 that shows no warming at all:comment image
Everyone who makes this site a regular stop knows how the global temperature record is homogenized in such a way that conveniently subtracts heat from the past and adds it to the present. The scientific method will eventually fix that, but look, here is a homogenized record and even that doesn’t show any warming:comment image
So the real question is why you keep saying the things you do in the face of the facts?

Reply to  Old England
September 20, 2014 1:06 pm

Woops i reversed my graphs.

Reply to  Old England
September 20, 2014 4:27 pm

AR5 shows that global warming has been accelerating –
Antarctica is warming but at a slower rate than the Arctic, as predicted by scientists –

Reply to  Old England
September 20, 2014 5:01 pm

Michael D
Reply to  Old England
September 21, 2014 1:54 pm

Hey Johnny Crash please give us the links for those graphs.
Icarus, I could not find those graphs on Sodahead. Can you trace them back to a scientific site, please?

Reply to  Ed Barbar
September 20, 2014 2:21 am

CO2 alone is a very SMALL forcing function.
And that is the point, all alarmism depends on its effect being multiplied by unknown factors. Rather than being drivers in their own rights.
What the Pause shows, is that these other ‘drivers’ are at least twice as powerful as CO2. And what detailed analysis shows is that there is no positive feedback in the climate system. At least not in the way the AGW model has them.
Furthermore, analysis of the actuality of climatic heat transfer – a complex turbulent model of convection and radiation, that cannot be accurately modelled, shows that the system is probably complex enough to require no external drivers at all to account for holocene climate variations.
Which means the real result of the trillions poured into ‘climate research’ has only two conclusions to offer decision makers:
1/. Be prepared…
2/. …For almost any variation in climate….
An answer that could have been got for sixpence if anyone had thought to ask it of anyone who had studied the holocene.

Steve Lohr
Reply to  Leo Smith
September 20, 2014 1:56 pm

Yes, there you have it. It was just that knowledge that brought me to WUWT. The diminished significance of carbon dioxide gas in a world dominated by water in all it’s forms should be obvious. Add the orbital variations and sun dynamism and you have quite a kettle of fish. The true state of nature remains to be discovered.

Cold in Wisconsin
Reply to  Ed Barbar
September 20, 2014 3:19 pm

Yes, “all else being equal” but that’s the rub. You can’t measure it all, and assuming all else is equal is probably wrong, otherwise the warming would not have stalled.
And they don’t usually include the “all else being equal” caveat.

Mac the Knife
September 19, 2014 7:14 pm

And in the main stream media reports for this ……(….crickets….).
“Nothin’ to see here. Move along now.”

Reply to  Mac the Knife
September 19, 2014 7:40 pm

Not quite correct. This morning Saturday’s Australian newspaper has reported the record indicating it is ” sending mixed messages” to scientists. It also talks about the excuses being trotted out to explain it.

Reply to  FrankKarr
September 19, 2014 9:08 pm

How about the New York Times? Any news of this there? I don’t subscribe. It is the “paper of record” here in the USA.

Reply to  FrankKarr
September 19, 2014 9:27 pm

Which is why its about the only newspaper I will read… the rest can p*&S off with their left-wing biased propaganda.

Ian Schumacher
Reply to  Mac the Knife
September 19, 2014 11:54 pm

The response I’ve seen is this is:
– This is totally expected because wind creates ice [wind probably does help create ice and GW may increase wind, but totally expected? That is total bullshit. They predicted melting and now we are being fed revisionist science history]
– Sure the ice extent is bigger, the ice on the continent is melting like crazy [based on data of dubious quality and corrections from GRACE gravity satellites or like 8 years or so. What is the mechanism for this ‘massive’ melting at -20C on a warm day?]
– Sure the Antarctica ice extent is at a record, but the Arctic is still melting like crazy! [except that it’s not, and that the keep pretending it is … so frustrating].
It’s like playing wack-a-mole. Show one area of “the theory” being directly contradicted and they pop up somewhere else. Temperatures could drop 2C, we could head into an ice-age and they’d still be going on about how this was because of CO2 …

David A
Reply to  Ian Schumacher
September 20, 2014 4:25 am

Frustrating isn’t it!

Ian Schumacher
Reply to  Ian Schumacher
September 20, 2014 1:23 pm

David A,
Enough to drive a sane man crazy. 😉

September 19, 2014 7:19 pm
September 19, 2014 7:29 pm

September 19, 2014 at 7:01 pm
A quick look at the sea-ice and that the excess ice seems to be at the 58th latitude or so would mean that the changing albedo over a 1.5 million square kilometers icecap above average would increase the reflection in the earth’s energy balance by 0.15 W/m2. This is about a quarter of the reported energy imbalance. Is that taken into effect? Cold begets cold.

No, its even worse than that.
yes, the Antarctic sea ice edge is now extending north from the entire Antarctic Continent to cover a total area from the south pole to latitude 58 – 59 latitude.
But, on today’s date of Arctic Sea Ice minimum (about 5.0 Mkm^2 extents) and today’s almost-maximum Antarctic sea ice record extents of 20.6 Mkm^2, that small bit of Arctic sea ice all lies between the north pole and latitude 79-80 north! At this latitude, the sun – EVEN AT NOON – is no higher than 8 – 10 degrees above the horizon. Half of the day, it is below the horizon. The rest of the day, it is ALWAYS lower than a hand’s width above the horizon. (This elevation angle is about what the sun looks like 15 minutes to 30 minutes before sunset in the mid-latitudes.) At those low angles all day, almost all of the sun’s little remaining energy is reflected from BOTH the water and ice. The open water albedo of ocean water at low angles has been measured several time, by 10 degrees elevation angle, it is already greater than 0.32, and is rapidly increasing.
But it is even worse than that!
Judith Curry measured the actual Arctic sea ice albedo through the summer months: Its lowest albedo was measured at 0.36, but the averaged albedo in mid-July was about 0.42. By mid-September, the Arctic ice albedo
has increased somewhat, but is still significantly below the “nominal” advertised 0.80 to 0.90 albedo for ice that is often mis-used. So the Arctic sea ice through the arctic sea ice in summer is actually absorbing a LOT of solar energy, not simply reflecting “during a 24-hour day” as we have been told so often.
But it is even worse that that!
But little radiation actually makes through the 8 – 15 atmosphere thicknesses between the surface and the top-of-atmosphere radiation at this time of year And, at today’s date, those top-of-atmosphere radiation levels are significantly BELOW what they are when the Antarctic ice is exposed to 24 hours of continuous sun.
But, that same top-of-atmosphere radiation is going through MUCH LESS atmosphere at the 58-59 degree latitude where the edge of the Antarctic sea ice is freezing.
Net result? About 4.5 to 5.0 TIMES as much solar energy hits – and is reflected back into space – by every million “excess” square kilometers of today’s newly-frozen, brightly white, record high Antarctic sea ice than hits the still-dirty, still meltwater-covered, ever-smaller Arctic sea ice at 80 north latitude.

Reply to  RACookPE1978
September 20, 2014 3:48 am

And any open water in the Arctic also is radiating directly to space, unlike the energy received at low angles. This allows far more energy to escape to space than if the water is covered by ice. Ice acts as a huge limiter to power transfer, and also blocks evaporation which is another strong cooling mechanism. Open water cooling will radiate at 307W/m^2, less any downwelling radiation (140W/m^2?), netting about 167W/m^2. To get the same power level through even 0.1m of ice would require the air to be 16°C colder than the water (which is -1.9°C at the melting point of sea ice).

Reply to  Michael D Smith
September 20, 2014 9:24 am

However, you’re forgetting sublimation of the ice, which takes even more energy than evaporation. The net effect, though, is that the sublimation rate is going to be lower than the uncovered water’s evaporation rate and we can’t be sure if the net cooling from evaporation will always be more than the net cooling from sublimation. We need to go measure it.

Jenn Oates
September 19, 2014 7:31 pm

Boy, am I glad that’s down there in the Southern Hemisphere and not up here where it can bother us!
Or something.

September 19, 2014 7:37 pm

If the Antarctic sea ice does happen to reach Cape Horn, and form a barrier, this would affect the thermohaline circulation, and this could not be a good thing because such an effect would be felt worldwide.

Reply to  JimS
September 19, 2014 8:56 pm

The thermohaline is a few hundred meters below sea level. A bit of ice on top won’t hurt.

Rud Istvan
Reply to  Steve B
September 20, 2014 8:19 am

Steve B, that is not quite right. Formation of sea ice ‘exudes’ the salt. The immediately adjacent water becomes briny, denser, and sinks. Happens in both hemispheres. The Antarctic ‘bathtub ring just produces distributed cold bottom water. The Arctic, on other hand, is mostly pushed through the Framm straitt region, where the ocean bottom configuration starts the global thermohaline circulation. You can google up on at at several good oceanography sites.

September 19, 2014 7:38 pm

This is somewhat scary. I’m much more scared of cooling than of warming.

September 19, 2014 8:04 pm

Such sudden changes are usually tied to some other anomaly – refer to e.g. 2012 Arctic sea ice minimum after great polar storm. So I wonder if it was an exceptionally quiet and stormless winter on the southern hemisphere or if there was something else unusual tied with it. I’m sure warmists will find an excuse soon but I’m more interested in rational arguments.

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  Kasuha
September 19, 2014 8:31 pm

Rational argument: There is no “missing heat.” The Earth’s climate system is cooling, ice forms on polar seas. Winters get harsher, summers get milder. The radiative budget at the TOA is being balanced by increasing albedo from clouds, + natural coupled ocean-air pressure cycles entering negative phases, + reduced solar input.

Philip Bradley
Reply to  Kasuha
September 20, 2014 12:27 am

While the data only goes to 2008 in the link below, there has been a trend towards fewer but deeper (lower central pressure) Southern Ocean cyclonic systems – more intense storms.
That would indicate greater temperature differentials by latitude.
Were warming mid-latitudes the cause we should have seen decreasing sea ice. If a cooling Antarctic is the cause then increased intensity storms and increased sea ice are consistent.
BTW, I don’t have confidence in the Antarctic land temperature measurements, which are taken at mini urban heat islands.
You may be correct that fewer cyclones are resulting in decreased heat transport across latitudes. No one really knows why cyclone numbers are decreasing.

William Astley
Reply to  Kasuha
September 20, 2014 8:48 am

The warmists are ignoring the implications of the sudden increase in Antarctic sea for all months of the year. The paleo record shows there is cyclic ‘natural’ warming and cooling of the Antarctic peninsula that matches the periodicity of the warming and cooling cycle in the Northern hemisphere (High latitude regions warmed and cooled in the past, same as observed in the last 50 years. AGW warming was predicted (models) to be greatest in the equatorial region as the most amount of long wave radiation is emitted to space in the equatorial region, that is not observed). The cyclic warming and cooling in the past correlated with solar magnetic cycle changes.
The past cyclic warming phases were all followed by a cooling phase. The past cooling phases correlate with Maunder like solar magnetic cycle minimums. The solar magnetic cycle has abruptly slowed down and there is now record high cosmic ray flux (Cosmic ray flux CRF, also called galaxy cosmic rays GCR, is the historic name for the high speed particles, mostly high protons that are accelerated by processes in the Milky Galaxy’s disc. The CRF/GCR strike the earth’s atmosphere and create cloud forming ions. The solar magnetic cycle creates a massive cloud of tenuous gas and pieces of magnetic field, which is called the solar heliosphere. The solar heliosphere, which extends well past the orbit of Pluto, partially blocks the CRF/GCR) . The past solar magnetic cycle minimums have lasted from 100 to 150 years.

Davis and Taylor: “Does the current global warming signal reflect a natural cycle”
…We found 342 natural warming events (NWEs) corresponding to this definition, distributed over the past 250,000 years …. …. The 342 NWEs contained in the Vostok ice core record are divided into low-rate warming events (LRWEs; < 0.74oC/century) and high rate warming events (HRWEs; ≥ 0.74oC /century) (Figure). … ….The current global warming signal is therefore the slowest and among the smallest in comparison with all HRWEs in the Vostok record, although the current warming signal could in the coming decades yet reach the level of past HRWEs for some parameters. The figure shows the most recent 16 HRWEs in the Vostok ice core data during the Holocene, interspersed with a number of LRWEs. …. ….We were delighted to see the paper published in Nature magazine online (August 22, 2012 issue) reporting past climate warming events in the Antarctic similar in amplitude and warming rate to the present global warming signal. The paper, entitled "Recent Antarctic Peninsula warming relative to Holocene climate and ice – shelf history" and authored by Robert Mulvaney and colleagues of the British Antarctic Survey ( Nature, 2012,doi:10.1038/nature11391), reports two recent natural warming cycles, one around 1500 AD and another around 400 AD, measured from isotope (deuterium) concentrations in ice cores bored adjacent to recent breaks in the ice shelf in northeast Antarctica. ….

If Shaviv’s analysis is correct we could see planetary cooling of roughly 0.5C due to the solar cycle 24 abrupt magnetic cycle slowdown.

“On climate response to changes in the cosmic ray flux and radiative budget”by Nir J. Shaviv
Subject to the above caveats and those described in the text, the CRF/climate link therefore implies that the increased solar luminosity and reduced CRF over the previous century should have contributed a warming of 0.47 ± 0.19C, while the rest should be mainly attributed to anthropogenic causes. Without any effect of cosmic rays, the increase in solar luminosity would correspond to an increased temperature of 0.16 ± 0.04C.

Russ in TX
Reply to  William Astley
September 22, 2014 8:12 am

Okay. Do we care?
((not intended to be snippy, but if I’m not upset over .5C on the up side — heck, I’m not upset over 3C on the upside, and I live in Texas!), what’s the argument for being concerned over .5C down?)

September 19, 2014 8:06 pm

How many standard deviations above the mean is this?

Reply to  Fred
September 19, 2014 8:56 pm

The Antarctic sea ice has been more than 2 std deviations above the mean for about 1-1/2 years now, been steadily increasing at a rapid rate for 4+ years now, and has been increasing (though within 2 std deviations) since the early 19902.
Now? About 2.5 std deviations. But! What is the “new average” – and how long do you wait before re-calculating a new average?

Reply to  RACookPE1978
September 20, 2014 9:54 am
John F. Hultquist
September 19, 2014 8:06 pm

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner
Samuel Taylor Coleridge (originally published in Lyrical Ballads, 1798)
. . .
And now there came both mist and snow,
And it grew wondrous cold:
And ice, mast-high, came floating by,
As green as emerald.
The land of ice, and of fearful sounds
where no living thing was to be seen.
And through the drifts the snowy clifts
Did send a dismal sheen:
Nor shapes of men nor beasts we ken–
The ice was all between.
The ice was here, the ice was there,
The ice was all around:
It cracked and growled, and roared and howled,
Like noises in a swound
. . .

Reply to  John F. Hultquist
September 20, 2014 2:30 am

It is an ancient Mann,
And he stoppeth one of three.
‘By thy short ginger beard and glittering eye,
Now wherefore stopp’st thou me?
‘The end is nigh, the Pause will end
And Hades hot t’will be’
To hell with Pause, Its friggin cold,
So take your paws off me’

September 19, 2014 8:18 pm

So when the ice touches Tierra del Fuego or blocks shipping around South Africa do we get a refund from the CAGW bunch? Do they admit that they are wrong about CO2 controlling the climate then? Probably not.
I hate to say it but I think we are in for some cold decades. I’m old enough to remember the 60s & 70s (the last time the PDO was negative) and it wasn’t pleasant. That is the best we can hope for according to Dr Easterbrook.
Hope for the best but prepare for much worse.

Richard Barraclough
Reply to  TRM
September 22, 2014 7:46 am

The distance from Tierra del Fuego to the southern tip of South Africa is almost 7000 kms, and there is a latitude difference of over 20 degrees. That’s roughly like saying that ice round Baffin Island will disrupt shipping off the coast of Greece

Joel O'Bryan
September 19, 2014 8:25 pm

This new maximum ice extent, most of it 1,000+ km from Antarctic continent, is being added because of all the fresh water being added to ocean by all those melting continental ice shelves and glaciers, even though its southern winter. Because as “any real scientist” knows fresh water freezes at higher temp than salty ocean water. Thus global warming causes more ice, except when it doesn’t. Also global warming causes higher wind speeds in the Southern Ocean which removes heat faster from the warm, fresh water ocean, except when it doesn’t.
Geez, don’t skeptics know anything???? Global warming can do anything. It’s “settled science.” I heard those very words from the Messiah-in-Chief himself.

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
September 20, 2014 10:01 am

You got any photos of the 1,000 km long rivers of ice water flowing off the late winter ice sheets over top the sea ice all the way to the sea?
Pulitzer Prize material.

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
September 20, 2014 2:19 pm

I’ve been trying to learn more details of the “more fresh water” excuse. The fresh water really can’t be water pouring off Antarctica, because Antarctica is too cold. Therefore the fresh water has to be from the underside of the sea-ice, melted by up-welling. The only problem with that is the sea-ice doesn’t exist at the start of the southern winter. Sea-ice forms from scratch, it doesn’t flow outwards 1000 km from the coast like ice from a speedy glacier. Therefore, since it is getting thicker and not thinner, where can the fresh water come from?
If anyone knows of a serious paper explaining the more-fresh-water theory, I’d like to study it. As it is, all I can do is poke fun at an idea that floats around the web like a ghost with no body.

Philip Bradley
September 19, 2014 8:25 pm

We are just over 3 months away from the SH summer solstice when when everywhere south of -70 degrees gets more daily sunlight than anywhere else on earth, at any time of the year.
The albedo cooling of all that extra ice around the solstice will be very large.
And as sea ice increases we get a positive (cooling) feedback annually. I’d say it’s a safe bet sea ice will be higher still next year.
The supply problems caused by sea ice at Australia’s Antarctic bases the last couple of years look to get worse next year. At some point one or more will have to be abandoned. Despite the embarassment to the AGW crowd.

Reply to  Philip Bradley
September 19, 2014 9:00 pm

It’s worse that that!
The MAXIMUM solar top-of-atmosphere radiation occurs the first week in January (about 45 watts/m^2 MORE than the yearly average) and about 90 watts/m^2 MORE than when the Arctic sun is highest in late July.
true! Part of the Antarctic ice is hidden from the (southern summer) sun at its maximum, and part of the Antarctic summer maximum has already melted (the Antarctic sea ice is NOT at its maximum when the sun’s TOA radiation is at its maximum. BUT! Much of it is still exposed.

Reply to  Philip Bradley
September 19, 2014 9:02 pm

And as sea ice increases we get a positive (cooling) feedback annually. I’d say it’s a safe bet sea ice will be higher still next year.

That was basically the reasoning followed by defenders of the spiral of death for the arctic, the albedo feedback. We know it didn’t turn out to be exactly correct, as there are many factors in play, not only the albedo. So if you accept bets, I’m willing to bet against your prediction.

Philip Bradley
Reply to  Nylo
September 19, 2014 10:00 pm

The reasoning for the ‘Arctic Ice Death Spiral’ was that it was caused by warming temperatures.
I don’t believe that to be true, and think it was caused by embedded black causing decreased ice albedo combined with increased solar insolation from decreased aerosols. And the subsequent replacement by sea ice with much lower levels of BC (after Russian shutdown most of its heavily polluting Arctic industries)
Some time ago, here at WUWT, I said the melt out of older ice with high levels of BC was almost complete (3+ year ice is 90% gone with large increases in 2 and 3 year ice) and this year would see a significant increase in Arctic sea ice minimum. My explanation for the Arctic sea melt also predicts increasing Arctic sea ice from here as the albedo (cooling) effect increases.
I do take bets, and would take one on SH sea ice increasing next year. While by no means certain, because as you say, other factors are at work, I’d say the odds are well in its favour.

Reply to  Nylo
September 19, 2014 11:26 pm

Hello Philip,
Let’s bet then. How about 50 US dollars? I’m not willing to publicly give my email address here for fear of spammers and other ill-minded people that may see it, however if you use the contact form in this non-climate-related web page (in spanish, but it’s just a form, not difficult to use), whatever you write will end up reaching me and I will be able to respond to the email address that you provide and we can discuss further privately:

September 19, 2014 8:33 pm

Wow, the polynyas have been growing fast – presumably there will now be a rapid decline in Antarctic sea ice. Perhaps a multi-million square kilometre ice berg my soon be heading into the Atlantic.

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  Wayne Delbeke
September 19, 2014 8:45 pm

Must be thin sheets though as newly made ocean ice. Still, it will provide a growing surface for algae on the water-side as the sun gets higher in the coming months and shines through the thin ice. Plankton feeds on the algae. Krill feeds on the plankton. Ocean mammals and pelagic life feed on all of it. Man feeds on the fish, and the Japanese feed on the whales (for research of course).

Reply to  Wayne Delbeke
September 20, 2014 5:34 pm

The thing about the polynyas is that they are made by winds screaming down from the highlands, and pushing the sea-ice away from shore. People who have been to antarctic often comment about how uncomfortable these winds are, even during the summertime. During the winter they become extreme, for they are fed by the fact cold air sinks. When air is down to minus 120 it is very dense, and flows down to sea level and out to sea at speeds that can exceed 100 mph. Even though the air warms as it sinks, it is still around minus 50 when it gets to sea-level. Just imagine the wind chill of minus fifty and 100 mph winds! Yet there is open water? Yes there is. Bizarre but true.
It is counter-intuitive, but it is the cold air that makes the open water. If it actually was warmer over Antarctica, the winds would be less, and the polynyas would be smaller.
When all the ice is pushed away from land so is the surface water. This leads to slightly warmer sub-surface water up-welling up close to land.
That creates another counter-intuitive situation. IE: the colder it is the more slightly warmer sub-surface water upwells at the coast.
There are some Alarmists who haven’t done their homework. They simply see slightly warmer, open water on the coast, and clap their hands in childish glee, exclaiming, “Oh! Look! We have proof it is warmer!”

F. Ross
September 19, 2014 8:38 pm

Why all the fuss? It’s just weather.
Need I add the /(you know)?

September 19, 2014 8:49 pm

Damn, didn’t you learn from the alarmists?
More ice is a sure sign of global warming!

David Ball
September 19, 2014 9:26 pm

I am so glad no one has used the term “unprecedented”.

Philip Bradley
September 19, 2014 9:28 pm

In the 19th century ships reported icebergs far north of where they are found today.
On January 2, 1868 the 1326 ton clipper “Mermaid” arrived in Lyttelton after an 89 day passage from GB and it was reported that, ” When in the vicinity of Cape Leeuwin, Captain Rose and his officers had an anxious time avoiding 30 huge icebergs.”
Cape Leeuwin is 34 degrees south. The furthest north Southern Ocean iceberg from the 20th century was recorded at 56 degrees south. About 2,400 kilometers difference.
Perhaps we are reverting to 19th century Southern Ocean climate.

Billy Liar
Reply to  Philip Bradley
September 20, 2014 1:00 pm

The 1868 bergs were probably tabular bergs from the ongoing break-up of the East/West Antarctic (your choice) ice shelves that we’re constantly being warned about. The break-ups are, of course, not cyclical.

Philip Bradley
Reply to  Billy Liar
September 20, 2014 8:43 pm

I’m thinking the end of the LIA caused large scale breakup of Antarctic icesheets. And note January 2nd is mid-summer when temperatures are normally well over 30C in that area.

September 19, 2014 9:39 pm

In the Cold War days this would be reported “internally” as a ‘break-out.’
A ‘break-out’ could entail the ‘wide-area’ authorization of nuclear weapons by Strategic Forces given an “event” provocation. In those days SSBN US Nuclear Submarine Captains sailed under orders to ‘launch on warning’ should an ‘event’ occur regardless of regional force deployments and postures.
Today, SSBN Capitans do not have such … “latitude.”

September 19, 2014 9:54 pm

Doesn’t just beat the modern record, also beats 1964’s value of 19.7M km^2:
IIRC, just a few years after that, another Nimbus satellite observed a value for Antarctica that was lower than any other annual maximum in the microwave-satellite record. Looking it up, it appears the 1966 had a maximum near 15.7M km^2, which is so low that it’d be off the bottom of the chart showing 16-20+M km^2 on this page!
If the expansion is due to global warming, why was 1964’s value higher than all of the microwave record until this year?

September 19, 2014 10:20 pm

Well folks, the record breaking ice cover around Antarctica is caused by global warming according to scientists down under.

September 19, 2014 11:02 pm

This is in fact a Hollywood plot to build up to the launch of the 2016 film “Ice” about Ernest Shackleton’s Antarctic expedition.

Greg Goodman
September 19, 2014 11:24 pm

How many time to run the same thing?
Wait until it hits the max then report. Oddly WUWT seems to have missed the Artic turning point on the 11th.
This is rather early in the year, Arctic recovery is far more important in that it breaks all the notions on “run away” melting and positive feedbacks.

Mr Green Genes
Reply to  Greg Goodman
September 20, 2014 1:50 am

Greg – It depends on which numbers you look at. I agree that the Cryosphere minimum appears to have been reached on 11 September, although that is only 1 day before the average since 1979.
However, the JAXA minimum for the daily figure (so far) was only reached on 17 September and the 5-day figure is showing its minimum on 16 September which is the latest day for which figures are available. These are both slightly later than their respective averages since 1979.
Turning to the NOAA figures, they seem to have turned on 16 September also, and that, too, is slightly later than the average there.
So this year has been really uneventful in the Arctic. Yes, the figures are considerably below average since 1979 but they are displaying steady if unspectacular improvement.

Arctic recovery is far more important in that it breaks all the notions on “run away” melting and positive feedbacks.

Spot on.

Reply to  Greg Goodman
September 20, 2014 2:31 am

It has indeed now turned, as I mentioned at the open thread yesterday. AW has been in Bristol UK for a climate meeting or two. Maybe someone could contribute a post about the minimum.

Mr Green Genes
Reply to  Greg Goodman
September 20, 2014 3:16 am

Hmm. It looks as though my reply has been killed off. Hey ho.

September 20, 2014 12:08 am

Strangely, this remains unreported by the Guardian, the BBC or The Independent who are psychotically obsessed with their “Last Chance To Save The World” so-called “Climate Summit.”

Bertram Felden
September 20, 2014 1:36 am

Is the GRACE data reliable, or is the earlier ICECAP data valid? Is the ice mass on Antartica decreasing as glaciers melt (if so, more likely IMHO from volcanic activity than small surface temperature changes) or not?
Why can’t everyone involved in the climate game just ‘fess up and admit they haven’t got the first idea what’s happening and even less of an idea why or how?

Reply to  Bertram Felden
September 20, 2014 2:40 am

Grace is total bollocks.

Billy Liar
Reply to  phlogiston
September 20, 2014 1:04 pm


Reply to  Bertram Felden
September 20, 2014 2:51 am

Antarctic temperatures don’t get warm enough to melt glaciers, and the alleged loss of ice mass didn’t make the ocean levels rise.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * *
But in 2010, sea levels mysteriously began to drop by 7mm, and stayed lower than expected for 18 months.”
This water notoriously hit Queensland first in December 2010 and three quarters of the Australian state was declared a disaster zone. But then the water got caught up in what the authors called “Australia’s expansive arheic and endorheic basins”. This is another way of saying the water stayed on land, trapped in salt lakes, to evaporate slowly.
Meanwhile, with all that water soaked up in the arid landscape, the sea levels actually began to fall, unexpectedly, and to stay low before once more resuming their ominous and potentially destructive rise. Australia is now hit by drought [fiction], and ocean levels now seem to be rising even faster, at 10mm a year [fantasy].
The scientists pieced together the chain of events by studying data from satellites called Grace…
* * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Is the GRACE data reliable?

Rud Istvan
Reply to  Bertram Felden
September 20, 2014 8:28 am

Grace was originally intended to map gravitational anomalies and large scale terrestrial water retention (e.g. Australia). It lacks sufficient precision to map ice changes reliably, which is why results from it for say, the Himalyan glaciers vary wildly. Also, Grace is deteriorating. NASA already reversed the lead/lag satellites, which maneuver has further degraded precision.

Robin Hewitt
September 20, 2014 2:17 am

Is this record because some ice shelf calved an enormous floe which has drifted away somewhat as an unlikely protrusion? The trouble with having a freak high is that it raises expectation and will be used to make future, normal ice cover look like a problem. The graph looks more and more like a bell curve every year, why can’t it simply be a bell curve?

Reply to  Robin Hewitt
September 20, 2014 2:38 am

The top figure is indeed quite striking.
Antarctic ice will of course continue to be normal, until it’s not.

Philip Bradley
Reply to  Robin Hewitt
September 20, 2014 2:59 am

Southern Ocean sea ice has been in an increasing trend going back 20 years. The trend has accelerated over the last 5 years. This is not a ‘freak result’. Just the continuation of the trend.
It’s not a bell curve. Bell curve refers to a statistical distribution.

Robin Hewitt
Reply to  Philip Bradley
September 20, 2014 4:33 am

To see the bell curve you simply pick a date and ask yourself if the data tend toward a curve in the fashion of a bell curve. OTOH I just had a TIA so it is possible I am arguing with a fried brain.

Reply to  Robin Hewitt
September 20, 2014 4:56 am

Robin, I´m not a climatologist, but I worked on an Arctic (not Antarctic) project starting about 24 years ago, so I´m teensy bit familiar with ice. Yesterday I spent a few hours skimming papers and literature which discussed the Antarctic ice surface area, and I didn´t find a convincing explanation for the current increase.
What I have found is that Antarctica is large and the climate changes on a regional basis. This means what goes on with ice formation can vary from side to side. My (amateur) estimate is that an enormous floe wouldn´t have the ability to influence ice formation all around the continent.
I took a peek at the water temperature and salinity data taken by Argo buoys just outside the ice boundary in the last couple of months, The water seems to have had a top layer about 100 meters to 200 meters thick, temperature about minus 1 to minus 1.5 degrees C, salinity a little less than 34. The layer underneath is about 0 degrees C, salinity about 34.7. The salinity seems to be a teensy bit lower than “normal”. However, the buoys are drifting hundreds of kilometers away from the coast.
Purely guessing, I think the increased ice extent is mostly caused by wind patterns (cyclones appear to be possible candidates). This means the increased ice extent itself may lead to further changes, which in turn could make ice extent go either way. One thing I learned when studying physical phenomena in other fields is that nature (in the longer term) tends to balance things out.

King of Cool
September 20, 2014 2:41 am

Don’t worry folks. It’s all understood. It IS changed wind patterns that are causing this damned increase in sea ice, isn’t it? Well the ozone hole is the culprit. Sorry, is most likely the culprit.
The WMO reports that reports that ozone depletion in the Antarctic stratosphere (10-50 km above the Earth’s surface) is very likely the dominant cause of a southward shift of summertime weather patterns in the Southern Hemisphere.
Australian Antarctic Division atmospheric scientist, Dr Simon Alexander, who co-authored a chapter of the Assessment, said cooling in the Antarctic lower stratosphere, as a result of ozone depletion, had very likely shifted the region of mid-latitude strong westerly winds and associated rainfall southward.
“Antarctic ozone depletion has also likely contributed to a southward expansion of the tropical circulation in summer and it may have increased subtropical rainfall,” he said.
Dr Alexander said the Antarctic ozone hole would continue to form each spring, and its recovery is not expected until the middle of the century, due to the long lifetime of ozone depleting substances, such as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), in the stratosphere.

More here:
Despite the disappearing ozone, it is interesting that the Australian Antarctic Division do not appear to have changed their shipping resupply schedules in 2014-15 to that of last season when they encountered considerable delays because of increased sea ice. It will be fascinating to follow their progress next November.
But if you want to do your bit to detect increases or decreases in penguin numbers as a result of environmental changes in the Antarctic you can volunteer your services here:
Not quite sure what environmental changes they are talking about but I am sure that the penguins will most likely tell us by the middle of he century.

Reply to  King of Cool
September 20, 2014 7:01 am

King of Cool
You need a different source. The ozone holes are seasonal and temporary, forming each September and then diminishing until they have disappeared by November. Chlorinated hydrocarbons are naturally formed and will never disappear from the atmosphere. The ozone depletion over Antarctica is a natural, not a manmade phenomenum and has nothing to do with climate or ice or penguins..
It has a lot to do with the wet bottoms of the alarmists, however.

David Harrington
September 20, 2014 3:09 am

Wow, looking forward to the spinning of this one

September 20, 2014 3:19 am

That’s basically a 34 million square kilometre ice cap. The continent of North America, including the Arctic Archipelago and Greenland, is about 24 million km^2. That’s an extra Canada of ice.

Joe Public
September 20, 2014 3:54 am

Can someone please explain the discrepancy:
Cryosphere Today indicates (only) 16.58945 million sq km at Day259 for Southern Hemisphere Sea Ice Area.
[The 16.6 million sq kilometers is the “area” of sea ice, 20.5 million sq kilometers is the “extent” of all ocean water covered by at least 15% sea ice and floating icebergs. It’s OK – BOTH are record high sea ice levels in their own category. .mod]

Joe Public
Reply to  Joe Public
September 20, 2014 4:33 am

Thanks Mod. Your very swift response is appreciated.

Farmer Gez
September 20, 2014 4:00 am

How to spin this? Easy. When the vast area of thin ice at the edge melts in the Southern Summer, it will be a record ice melt for Antarctica. Please folks, get with the program!

Bill H.
September 20, 2014 4:57 am

Rate of gain of antarctic sea ice: 30 billion tonnes per year (Holland et al.);
Rate of loss of antarctic land ice: 160 billion tonnes per year (yes from WUWT!!)
Conclusion: the antarctic is losing ice. The endless focus in WUWT on sea ice gain is looking less like cherry picking and more like straining out gnats while swallowing camels (ref: Gospels)

Reply to  Bill H.
September 20, 2014 5:05 am

Bill H. says, September 20, 2014 at 4:57 am:
“Rate of loss of antarctic land ice: 160 billion tonnes per year”
The jury is still out on that one, I’m afraid. GRACE claims loss, IceSAT claims gain. And the loss/gain rates vary A LOT from region to region.

Rud Istvan
Reply to  Kristian
September 20, 2014 8:38 am

True. NASA says loss, NOAA says net gain. Neither instrument is precise enough to settle the score. But the most likely area for net ice mass loss are in WAIS. There on ground sampling shows Ronne is gaining mass, Ross is more or less stable, and the Amundsen Embayment is losing. The most recent estimate (the Rignot stuff misreported by MSM) is maybe 300km^3 year. That is possibly an outlier, because the previous ground survey has about half that rate. Most of this is the PIG (Pine Island Glacier) which may have an active volcano underneath that would explain the discrepancy. The volcano is there. The question is whether it has become active.

Bill H.
Reply to  Kristian
September 22, 2014 4:21 am

Kristian, It would help if you could provide references for your claims. IceSAT uses radar altimetry as does the more hi-tech Cryosat. Cryosat provides higher resolution and more complete coverage, especially in the key coastal regions where ice loss due to calving is occurring. Cryosat shows antarctic ice loss of around 160+/- 50 billion tonnes per year, in agreement with GRACE.
Have a look at Anthony’s article which I’ve already referenced in this thread, or look at the actual paper on which he reports:
Still if you will insist on cherry picking old IceSAT data and ignoring CryoSAT…..

Reply to  Bill H.
September 20, 2014 7:55 am

No one has yet explained how Antarctica is getting colder and yet losing ice. Do you say CO2? Well that has not warmed the rest of the globe. Here are the facts: the figures for Antarctic ice loss are untrue and that part of the globe is not warming just As the rest of the planet is not warming.

Reply to  Bill H.
September 20, 2014 8:37 am

Antarctica loses a heap of ice in just one peninsula known to be extremely volcanically active. More ice everywhere else.
Hmmmmm, let me think…yep, gotta be CO2s to blame.

Old England
Reply to  Andrew
September 20, 2014 10:09 am

But don’t volcanoes emit some CO2 ….. And there we have it, CO2 is to blame, the heat from the volcano is an irrelevance to climate science.

Reply to  Bill H.
September 20, 2014 8:22 pm

Antarctic mass is irrelevant and academic. It may be unrelated to climate.
Antarctic sea ice matters. As it extends equatorwards albedo soars. It has real potential to disrupt climate and even to precipitate a sharp cooling episode.

September 20, 2014 5:57 am

Growing Ice , not a problem thanks to the ‘magic’ of the cause more ice is also proof of AGW

September 20, 2014 7:04 am

Reduction of Arctic ice is due to global warming.
Growth in Antarcric ice is also due to global warming.
Sorry Spivs-R-Us, I’m not buying it.

Bill Illis
September 20, 2014 7:25 am

Regarding the comments above about Albedo, here is nice pic of Earth yesterday.
Nothing but white from 50S to 90S.
At very close to 12 hours of sunlight everywhere right now, this area south of 50S is getting 7.7% of the total solar energy received by the Earth today and the majority of that it is going directly back into space with the weighted average Albedo of the area being at about 66% today. 66% is a big number.
The impact on the climate of the glaciers and sea ice really does depend greatly on how far it gets toward the equator. At the poles, it makes a tiny difference, but getting into the 50s latitudes, now we are getting larger and larger and larger impacts.
How is it affecting the climate, look at the SSTs next to the ice.

Layman Lurker
Reply to  Bill Illis
September 20, 2014 10:24 am

Well said Bill. Not all sea ice is created equal when it comes to global energy balance. One unit of sea ice has a greater impact on albedo at lat 65S then it does at lat 70S. The effect on albedo is most amplified at the outer envelope. If the outer envelope is tending to push out toward the equator at the seasonal max then this is a phenomenon that needs to be discussed more widely.

David A
Reply to  Layman Lurker
September 20, 2014 12:38 pm

Not only is the SH sea ice closer to the equator, in the SH summer the earth is closest to the sun, which is about 7 percent more intense, meaning a larger reduction in solar energy through albedo then in the NH, just based on that alone. The SH reflects more intense solar insolation, more direct solar insolation, and does not release as much ocean heat when the ice is gone like in the N.H.

Reply to  Layman Lurker
September 22, 2014 5:25 am

But it is even worse than that! Now 58 south latitude!

September 20, 2014 8:23 am

It’s sad that almost every other source of Antarctica sea ice extent articles I’ve checked in the past hour that mentions the new record … has to mention Arctic sea ice extent too (but without bothering to mention the huge growth in the last two years) and “climate scientists” claiming more Antarctica sea ice is actually a symptom of “climate change” (these days EVERYTHING is a symptom of climate change).
Even the headlines for the articles (except here) can’t seem to focus ONLY on the new Antarctica sea ice extent record (for those readers who never get beyond the headlines, I suppose).
But there is good news too: Thanks to the internet, real scientists (not climate astrologers playing computer games), and people not affected by extremist left-wing beliefs, can share scientific data not slanted by those political beliefs.
Freedom of speech would be impossible without excellent websites like this one.
As a general rule of thumb, leftists are willing to lie and mislead about any subject to further their quest for big government socialism.
When leftists use statistics to support their “arguments”, the data they use are very likely to be wrong, or misleading, or even a complete fabrication.
That statement is based on the economic data they use to promote an inferior economic system called socialism.
For global warming, where I’m not as well versed as in economics, I just assume the same people who lie and mislead about economics, will behave the same way when discussing global warming (or any other subject).
The old political/religious strategy of claiming a catastrophe is coming unless everyone does as their leaders say has morphed again and again since the 1960’s for “environmentalists” — the boogeyman has changed from DDT, to acid rain, to a hole in the ozone layer, to global warming (I left out a dozen more).
When the general public stops believing in the alleged global warming threat, there will be another “coming catastrophe” the leftists will claim can only be stopped by everyone doing as they say (maybe global cooling?).
Two things you can generalize about leftists: They are well practiced liars/deceivers, but they are not bright enough to lie without getting caught (ex; Hockey Stick Chart)

Billy Liar
Reply to  Richard Greene
September 20, 2014 1:17 pm

Well said!

September 20, 2014 8:36 am

There you go. With global warming we can expect more ice and cooling. That’s what makes it so insidious. Warming takes many forms. It is the cause of everything that happens or doesn’t happen. It could mean hot or cold. Climate change is Gaia’s menopause.

Gary Pearse
September 20, 2014 9:02 am

A bulletin for Australian farmers: forget about BOM forecasts, you are definitely having late spring frosts because of this rapid expansion of ice around Antarctica. When Chris T’s Ship of Fools expedition got caught in summer sea ice and experienced cold blizzards during the ice minimum after the previous year’s record, I was convinced that this was going to be the beginning of a big cool down of Australia, New Zealand, Argentina (etc.) and even South Africa.
There is a good reason why all the rhetoric is about the N.H. and even it is not giving warmists a lot of joy with ice extent. I don’t buy the reports about how warm it has been globally (new record in August) and I know the keepers of the thermometers are squeezing every tenth they can out of their data to try to limit the plateau. In Canada, we definitely have had a cold summer and it has come to an early end with a cool August and September. They say +0.5C this morning in Ottawa when there were frost patches on my lawn and it has been snowing in the central and western part of the country. With this new record Antarctic ice, it is very annoying also to see NSIDC’s map showing a tight fit of the “climatological” extent on the actual extent. There should be a lot more white fringing the orange line to be an honest depiction. Also, they are going to have to add an extension on their long term ice extent graph – the line is reaching the top.

September 20, 2014 9:24 am

I wonder how the warmies are feeling? Are they looking at it quizzically, wondering how this makes sense? Are they indifferent, thinking “Yep, this is consistent.” Or are they increasing conviction, thinking “OMG, it’s much worse than we thought and gerbil worming is accelerating”?

September 20, 2014 9:40 am

And of course! Global warming is to blame ! This just in:
“According to scientists cited by LiveScience, global warming is the cause of both the Arctic’s sea ice decrease and Antarctica’s sea ice increase. Scientists report that Antarctica’s sea increase may be the consequence of more powerful winds. These winds, according to studies cited by LiveScience, are more powerful because the southern polar vortex is agitating the air closer to Antarctica as a result of the ozone hole and greenhouse gases.”
Jan Lieser of the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre in Hobart, said that the increase will not sustain itself. “By 2100 we will see dramatic reductions,” she said, according to the publication. “Once it goes belly-up it’s not good for the rest of the world.”

Reply to  Mike
September 20, 2014 9:55 am

From Mike above:
…global warming is the cause of both the Arctic’s sea ice decrease and Antarctica’s sea ice increase.
That about says it all, doesn’t it? Global warming causes everything bad; nothing good. Send money.
And here’s a little gif, showing NH seasonal ice changes. [Give it a few seconds to load]
Just like no one takes each breath exactly the same way, year-over-year ice cover varies. It’s natural climate variability. There is nothing to be concerned about. Send money anyway. Just to be sure…

David Schofield
September 20, 2014 11:16 am

BBC ‘Inside Science’ radio programme 2 days ago….
“Shrinking Antarctic sea ice due to climate change affecting penguins”

Pamela Gray
September 20, 2014 12:40 pm

Margaretville is now in Antarctica. The only difference: Wear a heavy parka and wool socks with those flip flops.

September 20, 2014 1:07 pm

What matters more – Antarctic ice mass or sea ice extent? Mass is mostly very old ice. Compression or volcanoes could melt it at its base, the meltwater going into the sea or maybe the earth.
But Antarctic sea ice growing increases albedo with possible cooling feedback. It can interrupt shipping or even block Cape Horn.
Antarctic sea ice matters. Mass – not so much.

September 20, 2014 3:22 pm

Data contraindicative to global warming has begun to snowball (pun intended). Another colder than normal winter in heavily populated areas, currently forecasted by some, would just about kill any additional governmental policies to reduce carbon dioxide.
In that event, the only way CAGWers can maintain their initiative is to take total control of the narrative. I suspect there will be attempts to drive this blog and others like it off the Internet. The CAGWers will not go gentle into that good night.
Perhaps it is something we should plan for.

September 20, 2014 5:01 pm

Reblogged this on The GOLDEN RULE and commented:
No global warming here!

September 20, 2014 6:19 pm

Reblogged this on Public Secrets and commented:
But wait… I thought the polar caps were melting and the cities would flood! I’m confused! Michael Mann… Al Gore… What’s happening? This truth is so inconvenient.

September 21, 2014 12:22 am

Hello Anthony,
This WUWT article has reached the “portada” (front page) of Meneame (which is kind of the spanish reddit). This is the first time that such a thing happens for any WUWT article. I hope this leads to more people knowing about your site. Congratulations.

September 21, 2014 5:31 am

It’s good to see the record Antarctic sea ice story all over the man stream media. Journalists should be congratulated on their commitment to reporting the truth and for not simply caving in to political/editorial pressure. As I write a whole squadron of flying pigs just passed over my house.

Iggy Slanter
September 21, 2014 9:51 am

“We’re gonna need a bigger graph.”
Ha! I’m here all week. Try the veal.

Philip Bradley
September 21, 2014 6:06 pm

Lost in all the hype about Arctic sea ice is the fact we have seen record Arctic sea ice formation over the last 2 decades. The rate of decline of the minimum is more than 3 times greater than the rate of decline of the maximum. Ergo record amounts of sea ice are being formed in the Arctic winter. The increase in winter sea ice formation is similar in both the Arctic and the Antarctic.
The difference is the increase in Arctic summer melt, whereas there is no real change in Antarctic summer melt.
See my comments above about black carbon and aerosols and note both are almost completely absent around Antarctica.

September 22, 2014 1:05 am

Interesting piece in The Sunday Times yesterday about Arctic Ice cap. Apparently it is all melting away and will be gone shortly. The proof for this is that September 2014 ice is less than the summer average measured for the period from 1991 (if memory serves me right) to 2010.
So measuring the month that comes at the end of the summer against the whole season shows it to have less ice – well who’da thunk?!
And then why exclude 2011, 2012 and 2013…?

September 22, 2014 8:55 am

Oh how you try to deceive by telling only half the story. What is going on the other pole smartass?
If it’s not normal, then it’s change. Hence the term ” climate change”.

Bertram Felden
Reply to  Truth
September 23, 2014 1:29 am

@ Truth (Pravda?). You did manage to read the title of this thread I presume, but just to recap it’s about Antarctic sea ice. I think you might have missed that. It’s rather pertinent to the discussion. But as an aside, the climate has always changed, is currently changing, and will continue to do so until the atmosphere boils away into space. The term “Climate Change”, as used by you and your co-religionists, arose simply to obscure the rather disappointing (from your point of view) fact that “Global Warming” failed to happen as required. The name has been changed to protect the guilty.

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