NSIDC Mark Serreze's sea ice 'death spiral' no longer 'screaming' on the way down, now termed to be 'erratic & bumpy'

From the University of Colorado at Boulder, where they are apparently attempting to explain away why Arctic sea ice isn’t living up to previous wild claims such as those made by Dr. Mark Serreze of the National Snow and Ice Data Center, who famously said that the Arctic is in a ‘Death Spiral’ in response to my writing on WUWT:


Ah, the good old days, where alarmists like Joe Romm and Mark Serreze put their foot in their mouth in their efforts to be right, but are now bereft by a lack of cooperation by nature itself. Source: Climate Progress blog

Serreze also famously said two years earlier that “The Arctic is screaming,” and a Arctic research associate, Jay Zwally of NASA, said in the same article that summer sea ice may be gone in five years, in an interview with the unquestioning and compliant Seth Borenstein at the Associated Press:

serreze-screaming-iceNow, years later, with summer sea ice still there, in a new paper, the terms are “erratic” and “bumpy”…riiiiiight.

As anyone can clearly see, there’s no ‘death spiral’ in Arctic Sea ice extent, it has simply reached a new equilibrium state:


Source image: University of Illinois Cryosphere Today at: http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/

So much for “breathtaking ignorance”.

Press release from the University of Colorado at Boulder

Erratic as normal: Arctic sea ice loss expected to be bumpy in the short term

Arctic sea ice extent plunged precipitously from 2001 to 2007, then barely budged between 2007 and 2013. Even in a warming world, researchers should expect such unusual periods of no change–and rapid change–at the world’s northern reaches, according to a new paper.

“Human-caused global warming is melting Arctic sea ice over the long term, but the Arctic is a variable place, said Jennifer Kay, a fellow of the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences at the University of Colorado Boulder and co-author of the new analysis out today in Nature Climate Change.

Natural ups and downs of temperature, wind and other factors mean that even as sea ice slowly melts, random weather can mask or enhance the long-term trend. For example, even in a warming world, there’s still a one-in-three chance that any seven-year period would see no sea ice loss, such as in 2007-2013, the new analysis shows. And the chaotic nature of weather can also occasionally produce sea ice loss as rapid as that seen in 2001-2007, even though the long-term trend is slower.

Neither time period should be used to forecast the long-term future of the region, Kay and her colleagues concluded. Some commentators tracking sea ice trends have used the recent “pause” in sea ice loss to claim that human-caused climate warming is not occurring; others previously used the rapid decline from 2001-2007 to speculate about ice-free Arctic summers by 2015. Neither claim is warranted, the authors report.

“To understand how climate change is affecting the Arctic, you cannot cherry pick short stretches of time,” Kay said. “Seven years is too short.”

The research team, led by Neil Swart of Environment Canada, analyzed both long-term records of Arctic sea ice observations and an extensive dataset of results from global climate models. From the model runs, they could calculate the chances that certain types of scenarios could play out in a slowly warming Arctic: For example, just how likely is it that sea ice would not decline during a seven-year stretch?

The team focused on September measurements of sea ice, which is when the extent reaches a yearly minimum. By early October, Arctic sea ice generally begins growing again, a seasonal response to colder temperatures and shorter days.

The researchers determined that a seven-year period is too short to accurately capture long-term sea ice trends in the region. Even given long-term melting, there’s a 34-percent chance of randomly getting an unusual period of no change or even growth in sea ice, and a 5-percent chance of a period of very rapid loss, similar to the decline in 2001-2007.

The team also increased the time period of analysis, to see if longer spans of time would be long enough. In about 5 percent of model simulations, there were even 20-year time periods with no loss of sea ice, despite strong human-caused warming.

“It is quite conceivable that the current period of near zero sea-ice trend could extend for a decade or more, solely due to weather-induced natural variability hiding the long-term human caused decline,” said Ed Hawkins, a co-author and researcher at the National Centre for Atmospheric Science, University of Reading.

“Human caused climate warming has driven a decline in Arctic September sea-ice extent over the past few decades,” the new paper reports, and “this decline will continue into the future.” But understanding how and why natural variability affects sea ice trends should help scientists better predict how sea ice will evolve in upcoming years and decades, with implications for natural ecosystems, shipping routes, energy development and more.


CIRES is a partnership of NOAA and CU-Boulder.

Co-authors of the Nature Climate Change paper, “Influence of internal variability on Arctic sea-ice trends,” include Neil Swart and John Fyfe (Environment Canada), Ed Hawkins (University of Reading National Centre for Atmospheric Science), Jennifer Kay (CIRES, University of Colorado Boulder Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences) and Alexandra Jahn (National Center for Atmospheric Research, now at University of Colorado Boulder, Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences and Institute for Arctic and Alpine Research).


Swart, Fyfe, Hawkins, Kay & Jahn, 2015, ‘Influence of internal variability on Arctic sea-ice trends’, Nature Climate Change, 5, 86, doi:10.1038/nclimate2483

Available at: http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/v5/n2/full/nclimate2483.html


Update: the original article implied that NISDC’s Mark Serreze made the statement about sea ice being gone in 5 years, ending in 2012, when it was actually NASA’s Jay Zwally that made the claim in the National Geographic article. The language has been clarified in the paragraph to reflect this.

For those interested, 2012 came and went without the Arctic being “ice free”. In fact, it touched the “normal line” for that year in April for awhile:

The melt season ended below normal, with a new historic low, but was not “ice free” as his colleague Zwally claimed.

The historical low extent was due to a polar storm, as determined by NSIDC in a paper on the issue.

To my knowledge, Dr. Serreze has never publicly corrected the National Geographic article claim of 2012 being the ice-free year that wasn’t, suggesting he endorsed the idea at the time.

199 thoughts on “NSIDC Mark Serreze's sea ice 'death spiral' no longer 'screaming' on the way down, now termed to be 'erratic & bumpy'

    • You’d think when studying Arctic pole ice that you might consider using the “other” pole as a control.

    • I think this phrase they used sums up the latest ‘new direction / new excuse’ , the reason that projections of complete melt have not been met is:
      “solely due to weather-induced natural variability hiding the long-term human caused decline”
      Weasel words to hide the truth from the naive and to prolong the gravy train for as long as possible; and while they’re at it ignore the corollary of that argument i.e. apparent warming is not caused by humans but is “solely due to weather-induced natural variability “

      • “solely due to weather-induced natural variability hiding the long-term human caused decline”
        so natural variablitity must be as least as big as long-term human caused climate, because you cannot hide a big object behind a small one.

      • ferd berple: “so natural variablitity must be as least as big as long-term human caused climate, because you cannot hide a big object behind a small one.”
        Doctor Who! ferd. He can.

    • Kay and Serreze told IUCN Polar Bear Specialist Group biologists this at their last meeting in June, so I’m glad to see it has been published:
      Such “erratic” behaviour of sea ice will be a problem for polar bear model predictions (or should be), because in order for the bears to retain their international conservation status of ‘vulnerable’ (i.e., ‘threatened’), by June 2015 polar bear biologists need to show the IUCN that the global bear population could decline by at least 30% over the next 30 years (3 generations) due to sea ice declines.
      10-20 years of no or little change leaves them only 10-20 years in which to predict a dramatic decline worldwide. And if they can’t, polar bears will get upgraded to ‘data deficient’ or ‘least concern.’
      Predicted population declines due to predicted sea ice declines are the only criteria that can be used to suggest polar bears could be threatened with extinction – because they are doing so well at present.
      No or low sea ice decline prediction over next 30 years, no polar bear decline prediction. How sad for them.
      Dr. Susan Crockford, zoologist.

      • exactly Susan, it’s the three bears…too hot, too cold, and just right
        Climate scientists have to make people believe everything is supposed to be just right all the time.

      • Dr. Susan Crockford, zoologist:
        OK. The solutions (except for the penguins0 is obvious. 8<)
        We must immediately export the polar bears from the south coasts of the Arctic Ocean to the north coast(s) of Antarctica. This saves the polar bear since the Antarctic sea ice is steadily expanding. Further, the polar bears will chase the penguins and seals into the water faster and more regularly, and the sea lions, leopard seals, sharks and orca's will eat more often and more plentifully.

      • Dr. Crockford,
        Would you happen to have the world polar bear population from 50 years ago? And what is the world population today?
        Thank you very much.

      • A notable trait in the graph is that the span from about 2006 to 2013 is very strikingly more variable than preceding period and so far, is far more variable than the subsequent period (which isn’t all that long). But also, the trends on opposite sides of that highly variable span appear to be trending in opposite directions. That suggests a state change where countervailing influences are shaking out to a new balance.

      • global bear population could decline by at least 30%
        anything “could” happen. the issue is how probable. if there is 0.0000001% chance that polar bears populations could decline 30% over 30 years because the IPCC delegates leave an enormous carbon footprint behind after their annual climate conference, it still “could” happen.
        frogs were wipped out by scientists, not by global warming. maybe the ipcc will wipe out polar bears the same way.

      • Kamikaze Dave,
        Re: population changes over time – it’s kind of complicated but see the graph here http://polarbearscience.com/2014/02/18/graphing-polar-bear-population-estimates-over-time/
        also, just out is an estimate of ~3200 bears in the Kara Sea, which were not counted before, see here:
        The “official” estimate still quoted is 20,000-25,000 but that does not include unknown numbers from several large regions (such as Kara Sea).
        Ferd berple,
        Yes, well, true. I was just pointing out that even using their warped notions about the supposed negative affects of summer sea ice declines on polar bears (which so far haven’t been panning out), it is going to be really hard for the PBSG to make a credible declining polar bear model if the sea ice isn’t going down as previously expected. Can’t have one without the other.

      • If all the ice disappeared then the seals would have to come ashore. Wouldn’t reducing the hunting effort to a linear problem rather than a two dimensional one favor the bears? What about the Eemian. Wasn’t the Arctic in far worse shape than now? How about the driftwood on the north shore beaches of Greenland that apparently got there 7000yrs ago because its been socked in with ice since? How about Viking farms beginning to appear from under Greenland ice – they must have been there when it was warmer, or 4,000yr old Oetzi the guy in his leather outfit and quiver of arrows who appeared from under melting ice a few decades ago – it had to be warmer when he died – where they found him was a lousy place for hunting in current conditions. I think climate scientists are a bit like astronomers: they speculate on sparse evidence – not that the evidence is that sparse but it is if you don’t look for it. Cli Sci consortium is of course very unlike astronomers in that the latter have to rely on reason and logic, where this stuff is only a nuisance to a Cli Sci consorter.

      • Don’t be too confident. The criteria might get changed (perhaps Gored?) to keep the polar bears endangered. Something like a requirement to show incremental long term increase in numbers of polar bears south of Toronto in summertime.

  1. ““It is quite conceivable that the current period of near zero sea-ice trend could extend for a decade or more, solely due to weather-induced natural variability hiding the long-term human caused decline,”
    “It is quite conceivable that the current period of near zero sea-ice trend could extend for a decade or more, showing that in the long-term humans are not the cause of a decline,”
    Why is it that when the models and predictions are wrong, the data must be “hiding” somewhere. Perhaps the data just isn’t there, and the models are wrong! just saying….

    • That is exactly what I pulled out of the article….hiding, hiding, hiding. That is all they have left.

    • So natural causes can be big enough to cancel out man-made decline, but cannot be big enough to be responsible for what we say is man-made decline…
      So natural causes of ice growth are bigger than natural causes of ice loss?
      And this is what we are supposed to accept as “science”?

  2. Simple question for them: What warming? (other than that created in certain temp records to cover static or even falling temps)

  3. “Natural ups and downs of temperature, wind and other factors mean that even as sea ice slowly melts, random weather can mask or enhance the long-term trend.”
    What??? Slowly melt? It’s NOT melting at the present time. “mask or enhance”?? What??
    One of the of the worst press releases I’ve seen in a long time. Totally incoherent. It would be nice for NSIDC to get staff writers who can actually write…

    • Clear, accurate and articulate press releases would make it far too obvious they are selling CAGW snake oil based on poor data and even poorer research. As long as they’re still getting money from the public trough, don’t look for the writing to improve anytime soon.

  4. “Human-caused global warming is melting Arctic sea ice over the long term..”
    Nonsense, increased forcing of the climate increases positive NOA/AO conditions, that’s the wrong sign for Arctic warming. The accelerated warming of the Arctic and AMO since 1995 is from an increase in negative NAO/AO caused by declines in solar forcing.

  5. Yikes, piled higher and deeper. Let’s replace those past unfounded assertions with new updated unfounded assertions – and probabilities based on models – I’m like totally convinced.
    I would propose the following: when integrated over sufficient time, the effects of “human caused” CO2 warming are indistinguishable from natural variability.

  6. If a seven-year stretch is too short to consider then why is the much ballyhooed six year stretch from 2001 – 2007 canonical and the one they were jumping up and down about? To paraphrase Dr. Roy Spencer, they predicted less until they looked out their windows and saw more and then they claimed more proved their theory just as much as less would have.

    • While there is lots to disagree with in the characterization, to their credit they did say “Neither claim is warranted” in reference to recent flat and also specifically the 2001-2007 drop.

      • To their detriment, however, they waited until now to say the previous claim was unwarrented. Where were they when the previous claim was being made?

    • Yes, but one of their assertions (an extrapolation based upon 2001 to 2007data), ie., that summer sea ice will be gone by 2015 is demonstratably wrong.
      In 6 months time, it will be the summer of 2015 and summer sea ice will still be present.

      • Richard
        Dr Serreeze was quoted in the summer of 2007 saying they were taking bets that the sea ice would all be gone by September. I emailed him after the non event and to be fair he replied we were wrong, however he got his headline and no doubt sleeps easy.
        I may have the dates wrong above but hey why let the facts get in the way of a good story 🙂

      • I emailed him after the non event and to be fair he replied we were wrong
        I must have missed the part where he corrected his public predictions.
        how many times do you have to be wrong, before it increases the odds that you will be right?
        for example, if I pick 100 stocks in a row, and they all turn out to be bad, is this a good sign that the next stock I pick will be a winner?
        if a climate science makes 10 failed predictions, does this increase the odds that the next prediction will be correct? how about 100 failed predictions, or a million failed predictions. how many wrong answers does it take before you finally get one right?

      • how many wrong answers does it take before you finally get one right?
        a nitwit with a coin gets the right answer 50% of the time, so to get the wrong answer over and over again, that takes real skill.

    • Yep. And then there’s this:
      “The research team… analyzed… an extensive dataset of results from global climate models.”
      FAIL !! – Model output is NOT data.
      Climastrologists demonstrate once again that they are witch doctors masquerading as scientists.

  7. Alarmists are always claiming the Arctic Sea Ice is the “canary in the coal mine.” Wrong. Arctic ice extent varies a alot for a lot of reasons. Predictions of its disappearing because of rising CO2 are another attempt to use a natural process as proof to advocate for fossil fuel reductions.
    The references below, among many others, show that the factors causing Arctic Ice to lessen, when that was happening, have nothing to do with air temperatures whcih is the only way CO2 could have an effect (theoretically).
    The melting is much more the result of water circulations, especially when warm Atlantic water from the south is able, or not, to get into the Arctic Ocean.
    “Researchers have found that the high amounts of cloud in the early summer lead to low concentrations of sea ice in the late summer. This relationship between cloud cover and sea ice is so strong that it can explain up to 80 per cent of the variation in sea ice over as much as 60 per cent of the the sea ice area.”
    “Regional Arctic sea ice variations result from atmospheric circulation changes and in particular from ENSO and North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) events. Patterns of Arctic surface air temperature changes and trends are consistent with regional changes in sea ice extent. A dominant mode of Arctic variability is the Arctic Oscillation (AO), and its strong positive phase during the 1990s may account for much of the recent decrease in Arctic ice extent. The AO explains more than half of the surface air temperature trends over much of the Arctic.”
    “The variation in the ice extent caused by a 1C change in the ocean temperature since 1860 compares with about 90% of the concurrent total ice extent variation observed in the eastern area. The net effect of atmospheric temperatures seems accordingly to be relatively small over the same period of time. This concurs with the large difference in the individual heat capacity.”

      • Ulric, the paper was dated 2003, so the observation concerned especially the years prior to 1996 when NAO was strongly positive, as your graphs show. The current negative NAO period coincides with the “new equilibrium” mentioned above.
        The point is, a number of factors affect sea ice extent, not just NAO.

    • “Researchers have found that the high amounts of cloud in the early summer lead to low concentrations of sea ice in the late summer”
      That requires a weaker vortex from increased negative NAO/AO.

    • Oh, no! Not the “canary in the coal mine” analogy again. Jimbo will be along shortly to post his archive of the dozens of global warming canary claims. It’s become a fairly crowded space. Maybe global warming canary analogies are the true “first climate refugees”.

      • Thanks Jimbo; you are a treasure. I re-read you list just to make sure it didn’t have any duplicates. But I did find:

        hamptonroads.com – March 11, 2011
        At Portsmouth exhibit, artists caution against environmental disaster
        Ronald Reagan’s face is the darkest. He blamed global warming on vegetation and said, “Let’s not go overboard in setting and enforcing tough emission standards.”

        which does not contain any use of the word “canary”, so I have to disqualify it. Are you perhaps missing part of the quote?
        One thing for sure, alarmists just keep beating that dead horse of a canary proverb, like almost to death. 🙂

      • Alan, while compiling it I made a mistake and did not copy the quote. It’s in the original

        It’s the canary in the coal mine,” said Gayle Paul, curator of Courthouse Galleries in Olde Towne Portsmouth. “They’re trying to raise awareness about these issues.”…………
        Ronald Reagan’s face is the darkest. He blamed global warming on vegetation and said, “Let’s not go overboard in setting and enforcing tough emission standards.”……….

      • OK, that’s a second order canary metaphor. If I understand the reference properly, the “canary” here is the art exhibit created to dramatize the effects of climate change. Unless they’re saying the pictures themselves will get darker more rapidly due to climate change?
        It looks like we’re going to see more frequent and extreme canary metaphors increasing at a rate much greater than previously predicted. Contact your legislator now and demand action to cap canary metaphor emissions before we reach a tipping point and everything turns yellow.

    • @ Ron C. January 29, 2015 at 7:18 am
      Arctic sea ice loss did not accelerate strongly until the NAO shifted negative from the mid 1990’s.

  8. “To understand how climate change is affecting the Arctic, you cannot cherry pick short stretches of time,” Kay said. “Seven years is too short.”

    The only death spiral in evidence is the quality of work produced by climate science. The breathtaking ignorance rests with the academics that ignore the much longer history of Arctic sea ice, that shows that current conditions are nothing unusual.
    During the current inter-glacial the Arctic has had periods with less ice than today, long before there was any question of global warming. The polar bears did not die off, there was no death spiral.
    Climate is determined by long term orbital cycles that range from 1 day to at least 400 thousand years. These interact in a non-linear fashion, similar to earth’s ocean tides, such that climate cannot be predicted from first principles.
    We predict the ocean tides from observations, not from theory. When the orbital parameters repeat, the tides repeat. We see the exact same behavior in climate. The daily cycle follows the rotation of the earth. The annual cycle follows our orbit around the sun. Longer term cycles follow the cycle of changes in the orbit.
    Until we have a long term history of climate, prediction will escape us. Climate Science is an ant crawling up the leg of an elephant, trying to predict which way the elephant will turn by examining the skin of the elephant around the ant.

    • more than that. while climbing the elephants leg, the ant farted, and at the same time the elephant turned left. from this the ant has developed an entire theory that it can control the elephant by way of ant farts. the ant believes that if it can stop ant farts, the elephant can be made to stop turning left.

      • How dare you question the settled science of ant farts.
        Understand that if the ant farts and the elephant turns right the next 3 times, the ant is still correct in that the elephant is pointing in exactly the direction predicted.

      • You must be psychic, I am an old fart .
        An Irish woman was carrying twins , she was three months pregnant and fell into a coma , six months later she regained consciousness , and asked the doctor . ” Where are my babies “?
        ” Oh they are fine and well . you had a boy and girl , your brother Seamus is caring for them ”
        ” He has not named them has he ? he will give them really stupid names ” she said.
        “I`m afraid he has ” said the doctor .
        ” What did he call my little girl ” ? “Denise ” replied the doc
        ” That’s a nice name, I like that “. ” What did he call my son “?
        ” De nephew ” said the doc.

    • When the cherry pick that supported your argument turns rotten, blame the decision on someone else and look for another cherry.

    • I believe I read somewhere that the genetic makeup of polar bears shows that in the past they have interbreed with land based brown bears. Could it be that with less ice the polar bears come ashore — surviving quite handily on land — till the ice returns?
      This interbreeding suggests that in times past the arctic might very well have been ice free. Must have been those primitive human inventing fire and filling the atmosphere with CO2 that warmed the arctic and melted all that ice.
      Eugene WR Gallun

      • Is this it?

        Current Biology
        Ancient Hybridization and an Irish Origin for the Modern Polar Bear Matriline
        We used a spatially explicit phylogeographic model to estimate the dynamics of 242 brown bear and polar bear matrilines sampled throughout the last 120,000 years and across their present and past geographic ranges. Our results show that the present distribution of these matrilines was shaped by a combination of regional stability and rapid, long-distance dispersal from ice-age refugia. In addition, hybridization between polar bears and brown bears may have occurred multiple times throughout the Late Pleistocene.
        The reconstructed matrilineal history of brown and polar bears has two striking features. First, it is punctuated by dramatic and discrete climate-driven dispersal events. Second, opportunistic mating between these two species as their ranges overlapped has left a strong genetic imprint. In particular, a likely genetic exchange with extinct Irish brown bears forms the origin of the modern polar bear matriline. This suggests that interspecific hybridization not only may be more common than previously considered but may be a mechanism by which species deal with marginal habitats during periods of environmental deterioration.

      • jimbo
        Thank you very much for taking an interest.
        I can state wholeheartedly that CURRENT BIOLOGY is not one of my usual reads so I didn’t see that actual paper. The paper seems to talk about hybridization during the last ice age — when there was (simply stated) lots of ice.
        But my memory tells me that what I read was about more recent hybridization during the Holocene — the ice being markedly reduced. The claim was made that there have been interbreedings between current stocks of polar bears and current stocks of brown bears — this showing up in genetic markers in polar bears.
        Perhaps my memory serves me ill in this matter.
        If so I have once again sustained the old saying — Poets rush in where angels fear to tread.
        Eugene WR Gallun

      • It seems that an article or two that mention interbreeding between polar bears and brown bears have appeared on WUWT. They are not what I remember reading.
        Anyway, what i said is said differently there though in one article under discussion the authors were emphasizing the smaller genetic diversity of the polar bears from the brown bears suggesting that the polar bears stayed largely separate from the brown bears during periods of low ice. (Polar bears and brown bears can mate and have cubs that are not sterile making them members of the same species.)
        Hmmm……what I remember reading was about genetic markers in polar bears that indicated that interbreeding with brown bears had occurred in intermittent waves. It could be that maybe I am just having a gigantic brain fart.

  9. They write about sea ice loss but they are really dealing with area or extent not volume. Area or extent or even volume are wind driven numbers. The volume of Arctic sea ice has been increasing even at times when the area and extent numbers have been decreasing. Most experts in sea ice seem to ignore the basic dynamics of wind driven sea ice in the Arctic.

    • They write about whichever parameter meets their need for disaster (and all are interchangeable at any time).

  10. Just out of curiosity, I wanted to put the ’19 billion extra tons of ice’, that Serreze was panicking over in the National Geographic article, into perspective.
    19 billion tons of ice, spread out evenly over Greenland’s 2.166 million square kilometers, comes to a shade under nine millimeters.
    Spread that out over the ~360 million square kilometers of Earth’s oceans, and you get about 0.05 mm.

    • But since this sea ice, that has already displaced the ocean, if it melts, it will not add to sea level rise.

    • I wonder how they rationalise the multi-metre change in tides at Christmas Island with the much lower tides everywhere else. Is it valid to claim additional water (from any source) will cause oceans’ wide change in sea level rather than another foot at Christmas Island and none elsewhere?
      (I had the experience on a RAN ship of going ashore climbing UP a very steep gangway but returning via a just as steep gangway going DOWN – but that was in the 1970’s so maybe AGW has caused changes since then)

  11. You’re talking about my favourite subject again Anthony!
    Would you believe that I have interviewed Mark about the “Arctic Death Spiral” story, and his account differs from yours in certain aspects?

    • Well Jim, if you know something about Mark’s account that differs, by all means share it with the rest of us. You are not in a private conversation with AW and just saying “I know something you don’t know” is not very helpful.

    • “Jim Hunt January 29, 2015 at 6:25 am

      Would you believe that I have interviewed Mark about the “Arctic Death Spiral” story, and his account differs from yours in certain aspects?”

      What odd phrasing Jim:
      You claim that “… his account differs …”, but what you actually mean is that your version of Mark Serreze’s story is different.
      Perhaps you should start with facts. Anthony posted a copy of National Geographic’s page above with quote’s from Serreze; identify differences between your version and NatGeo’s story.

    • Zwally said it could be nearly ice-free in 2012. Here is Serreze in quotes.

      Canada.com – 17 August, 2007
      “Everyone is seeing the same thing,” Mark Serreze, a senior researcher with the Boulder, Colo.-based National Snow and Ice Data Center, told CanWest News Service on Friday.
      “The sea ice seems to be on this death spiral,” he said. “And this is not some nebulous thing like global temperature rises. You can see this with your own eyes.”
      Two state-run Japanese research agencies released data on Friday that echoed the U.S. studies, according to Asian………..
      “The absolute minimum is typically the first or second week of September,” said Serreze, “but we’ve already set a record. That is amazing. That is just an eye-opener. We appear to be on the fast track of change.”…..
      National Geographic – December 12, 2007
      “The Arctic is screaming,” said Mark Serreze, senior scientist at the government’s snow and ice data center in Boulder, Colorado.
      National Geographic News – 12 December 2007
      “NASA climate scientist Jay Zwally said: “At this rate, the Arctic Ocean could be nearly ice-free at the end of summer by 2012, much faster than previous predictions.” ”
      [Dr. Jay Zwally – NASA]

  12. A bit like the NY city snowfall, it was caused by Global Warming, and luckily we just dodged it, but with Global Warming getting worst, it wont be dodged next time.
    There you go, its proof that Global warming is happening and its man made……
    Most people would agree with the above statement to a large degree, critical thinking is not something that most do, with that narrative and 97% of scientists supporting GW.
    The only possible way of even waking people up is to try and link the lack of Hurricanes to Global Warming, that would be interesting to see….

    • it means we may get this headline soon: “new study finds: global warming causes arctic ice to thicken”
      couldn’t resist the sarcasm in line with the article above hahahahahaha

      • Actually, that’s a perfect headline, bumper sticker, or punchline for any ‘environmental’ concerns for global warming!

    • Thicker chunks will eventually get pushed out of the Fram Strait, increasing hazards for smaller vessels plying the northern shipping lanes.

      • What’s interesting to me is the increased and persistent +5m. thick ice around northern Nunavut and Greenland, for the past couple of years.

    • John
      These are excellent graphics. Do you have links to both ? I recall seeing a study recently that the loss of ice mass in Greenland fell dramatically in 2014. All this is fascinating.

      • Robert Austin
        How does one go north east from the north pole? Just saying.

        The longitude lines do mean something everywhere except at the immediate few meters at the poles themselves. So, walk south from the north pole a few meters, then you’ll find the 0 longitude line points directly back south towards London’s 0.0 point. Turn left, and you are walking “east” around the world on a 20 minute trip.
        Thus, “northeast” from the north pole “should be” that arc of the ocean to the “east” of longitude 0.0, but closer to the pole than some recognizable latitude. 70 north, maybe 80 north – or about the area of Svalbard Island.

    • “Look at the vast area north east of the north pole that is going green”
      Can you be North East of the North Pole?

    • Ed – I fear you won’t get much traffic from here 🙁
      P.S. Ed’s one of the authors of the paper referenced above. He doesn’t work at the NSIDC. None of the authors do

    • Your “alternative visualization” also comes with this disclaimer :
      Disclaimer: NRL is providing the INFORMATION on an “as is” basis. NRL does not warrant or represent this INFORMATION is fit for any particular purpose, and NRL does not guarantee availability, service, or timely delivery of data.
      You were caught pulling this crap on Steve Goddard’s blog a few months ago, and now you have the brass neck to try it on again.

      • Nobody responded to the helpful additional information I provided over at Tony II’s place. What’s the word? Something beginning with P possibly?

      • “Jim Hunt January 29, 2015 at 2:58 pm
        Nobody responded to the helpful additional information I provided over at Tony II’s place. What’s the word? Something beginning with P possibly?”

        Pusillanimously paltry?
        It is unusual for the trolls to come here begging. Whining about their pitiful web sites, yes. Insistent paltry arguments, yes. Repeated puerile attempts to bait commenters, yes.
        Do something else unusual, try intelligent discourse.

    • “Can you explain to me what that all means?”
      Nope. I suggest you contact the author of that website.

    • It’s always been a bit rotten docha know.

      ….In the Arctic, sea ice extent was larger in the 1960s than it is these days, on average. “It was colder, so we expected that,” Gallaher said. What the researchers didn’t expect were “enormous holes” in the sea ice, currently under investigation. “We can’t explain them yet,” Gallaher said…..
      “And the Antarctic blew us away,” he said. In 1964, sea ice extent in the Antarctic was the largest ever recorded, according to Nimbus image analysis. Two years later, there was a record low for sea ice in the Antarctic, and in 1969 Nimbus imagery, sea ice appears to have reached its maximum extent earliest on record….

  13. As anyone can clearly see, there’s no ‘death spiral’ in Arctic Sea ice extent, it has simply reached a new equilibrium state:

    More likely the Arctic Sea ice extent is cyclical, like just about everything else in Nature, while climate science continues to try and draw linear trends onto short term observations of climate waves.
    Current conditions are most likely a local minimum, caused by a lagged response to AMO and PDO warm/cold phases.

  14. In the final analysis it will be seen that Arctic sea ice extent depends on the amount of heat conveyed into the Arctic Ocean by the Gulf Stream and that other factors are of little significance.

  15. Always “In the long term”. Push your forecast far out into the future and ignore any historical records or real records before 1979. Forecasts are based entirely on modeling and the “long time period” from 1987 to 2006.

  16. Unfortunately, The Lamestream Media tend to limit their Science data view to just decade long periods which is why we get the Ice Age onset of the 70’s and the Arctic Death Spiral of the 98 to 08 decade

  17. I’m glad in one respect that they are finely saying in the long term as it makes it harder for some to push the catastrophe meme. It’s just too bad they weren’t smart enough to take the long view from the beginning. The bad news is they can delay admitting they were wrong for another 20 years and hope we forget.

  18. The Warmunists are in full retreat.
    irrelevant Arctic Ice Extents were the last line of defense for the Warmunists, yet, alas, even this tired old argument is starting to collapse…
    Arctic sea ice extents have shown gradual recovery since 2007. It’s apparent AMO cycles have a large impact on Arctic Ice Extents and the 30-yr AMO warm cycle peaked in 2007. It’s now a slow cool slide down to the next 30-yr AMO Cool cycle, which starts around 2020. Until then, Arctic ice extents should continue to Increas, as we’ve seen for the last 7 years.
    CO2 levels have almost nothing to do with Arctic Sea Ice Extents as is becoming painfully clear.
    CAGW Is becoming such a joke.

    • “The Warmunists are in full retreat.”
      Au contraire. While the man in the street may now realize that the CAGW meme is full of holes, those wielding wealth and political power are exerting more “climate” influence than ever before.

      • Alan– political hacks have two primary motivations: 1) getting elected 2) getting reelected. As soon as CAGW advocacy becomes a political liability, it’s dead.
        CAGW poll numbers are crashing as people are very quickly losing interest and belief in this scam.
        I think everyone will be very surprised at how quickly CAGW will collapse and is laughed, ridiculed and eye-rolled into oblivion…

    • I don’t see them in full retreat yet. They are having a go at their Battle of the Bulge. They are riding their 2014 hottest year evah meme like the Nazis’ last push with their panzers. But we will see how long until they concede, perhaps career suicide would have been better analogized with the Japanese.

  19. Might I recommend that in addition to a National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) we should enhance our knowledge with Additional Data Depositories (ADD). For instance we could have the following:
    A Blowing Underwater Lagging Latent Subsurface Heat Inventory Tool (BULLSH … ok, I’ll skip the acronym on that one.)
    Or, howze ’bout a Morning Dew Data Depository (MDDD)?
    Maybe a Drizzle Data Suppository … oops, I meant Depository (DDD)?
    A Moonbeam Data Depository (MDD)?
    A Micro Atmosphere Data Depository (MADD)?
    Or, maybe a study of Atmospheric Transgender Effects (ATE)?
    Maybe an Environmental Atmospheric Tutorial (EAT)?
    How about an International Atmospheric Meteorological And National Independent Depository Incorporating Otherwordly Tools (IAMANIDIOT)?

  20. is it frustrating to anyone else the way they so definitively keep repeating ‘human-caused warming,’ ‘human-caused warming?’

    • “is it frustrating to anyone else the way they…”
      Yep, pretty much everyone, except the Warmists. You must have seen; “repeat a lie often enough…”

  21. Appropriate that Sereze released this press release at this time.
    From today’s sea ice extents, the following general statements remain true:
    1. Annual Arctic average air temperatures have risen, as predicted by CAGW theory, but ONLY when the following are done to the air temperature records:
    1A. Annual averages only are displayed or graphed or used. (This is because Arctic high and Arctic low temperatures are behaving differently (for example, the DMI daily average SUMMER temperature at 80 north latitude has remained not only near-datum steady since 1959 with a very, very small std deviation, but is actually declining slightly. Arctic daily average WINTER temperatures are swinging in broad +/- 5 jumps weekly, and very often, are above average by more than 10 degrees. But there is no solar energy in the Arctic across the winter, the entire Arctic ocean is covered in sea ice during the entire time that no solar energy is present, and there is no measured change in winter Arctic storm frequency or intensity up at 80 north. Odd, isn’t it?)
    1B. Annual Arctic air temperatures are presented, not for the Arctic ocean itself – which has no thermometers or weather stations above it! – but for the “arctic” as a tundra and steppe and tioga and permafrost swamp and forests. That is, the AREA of the “Arctic” between 60 north and 70 north latitude is reported, NOT the Arctic Ocean. The Arctic Ocean – broadly speaking – is all between 72 north and the pole. The tundra (land. forest, trees, swamp, permafrost, tioga, etc) is between 60 north and the edge of the Arctic Ocean at (roughly) 72 north.)
    Land and plants ARE darkening due to the extra CO2 in the air, and the LAND areas ARE getting warmer as the LAND albedo decreases due to more bushes, more leaves, early-season blossoms and sprouts, etc. The sea ice? Not so much.
    2. A. Polar amplification may, or may not, be correct in theory, but the Arctic sea ice “death spiral” theory of “Warmer arctic air melts sea ice into open water, which has a lower albedo than sea ice, which then absorbed more solar energy which then heats up the air more, which leads to more sea ice loss” can be falsified. But Sereze’s death spiral is ONLY falsified for 9 of the 12 months in the Arctic! May, June, and July? Sereze IS correct. There IS more solar energy absorbed than lost – but only then! ONLY in those three months.
    We will be doing just those calculations of heat gain, and heat loss this year as we calculate the monthly heat energy absorbed and reflected from the Antarctic and Arctic sea ice on the 22nd of each month.
    Bottom line? “From today’s Arctic sea ice area, increasing sea ice loss means more open Arctic Ocean water for longer periods between August and April every year, which means increased heat loss from the newly exposed ocean waters into space.”
    2B. Note that the “theory” of “a sea ice death spiral feedback” IS VALID for the Antarctic. More Antarctic sea ice IS reflecting more solar energy into space and that effect IS cooling the planet every month of the year. Again, we will be showing that difference each month through the year on the 22nd of each month. Again, that effect is NOT what Sereze wants to discuss.
    Bottom line? “From today’s Antarctic sea ice area, increasing Antarctic sea ice area over longer periods of time all months of the year, means significantly more immediate heat loss by reflection into space.”
    3. However, the premise of “Arctic amplification” also amplifies the assumed heating effect of CO2 as a “greenhouse gas” … This occurs because today’s CO2 increase is assumed uniform around the world and pole to pole. However, in the polar areas, air temperature is much lower on average, thus at the same relative humidity levels above the oceans, the actual humidity (water vapor levels) are much less, and so there is no (or much less) water vapor feedback due to the CO2 effects of heating the air. The result (according to their theory at least) is that the increase inCO2 worldwide is much more important in the Arctic because there already is so little effect from everything else (methane and water vapor and CFC’s) that “CO2’s effect is much greater proportionally when CO2 is increased.” Confused enough? Yeah – It’s tricky.)

  22. In order to compare the magnitude of flying insults, let’s for the moment assume that Romm quoted Serreze accurately – admittedly a big IF!
    IMHO “breathtaking ignorance” still trumps “previous wild claims” by a good margin.
    On the factual front, it would appear that Mother Nature has been with Anthony for the last number of years. She’s a pretty big player in this and will ultimately decide the winner.

    • “There are now elements in the environmental movement who are so worried about the state of the planet that they have lost all sense of proportion. This is alarming for those at the receiving end of their mindless wrath. It does not help to protect the environment either.”
      h/t Richard Tol (IPCC lead author).

    • Nobody disputes that Serreze has ignored his past predictions and pushed the alarm out another two decades. But a quick google search reveals Serreze telling anyone and everyone that the North Pole might be ice free back in 2008.
      Google is your friend! I found countless interviews with the same message of a possible ice free north pole.

    • Jim Hunt, what is your point? Go to the National Geographic article and read it. I have. Nat Geo said:

      “Arctic Sea Ice Gone in Summer Within Five Years?”
      “One scientist even speculated that summer sea ice could be gone in five years.”

      So I don’t understand what you mean by “his account differs from yours in certain aspects?” Also why the question mark?

      • To clarify. Nat Geo did not say Serreze said it could be gone in 5 years. He then changed his mind to 2020. It mentioned Jay Zwally. So what is your point???

      • So what is your point???
        the point is that all you’ve shown is that Serreze is so sure of his predictions they change with the telling. Like a politician promising to tax the rich when talking to poor people, and promising tax cuts for the rich when hosting $1000 a plate dinners.
        why not simply say the ice could be gone in 2016, 2017, 2018, … 2030,2031,… 2099,2100, …3100, …etc.etc.
        Without a doubt, my prediction above is going to be correct. Climate science is doing the same thing. Changing their predictions all the time, which means their previous predictions were wrong and thus worthless, which means that their current and future predictions are more than likely also wrong and equally worthless.
        no one in their right mind would risk their future to a that sort of nonsense. thus, it isn’t logic, it is fear driving the debate. fear is driving the crowds to behave irrationally. fear of harm from global warming has inflated the risk all out proportion to reality, to the point where worry over a future problem has paralysed us from solving todays problems.

      • Well spotted Jimbo!
        Unlike you and I it seems Anthony has NOT read all of the article he links to. Mark Serreze never said that Arctic sea ice would be gone by 2012. If Anthony had moved the lower edge of his screenshot a bit further down the page the truth would have been revealed. Why do you suppose he neglected to do that?
        Where is your evidence that Mark Serreze ever “changed his mind”?

      • Jim Hunt,
        My small error on changing minds. My mind was partly on Wadhams at the time of typing.
        Nowhere has Anthony asserted that Serreze claimed ice free in 5 years.

    • By 2030? I will have my kayak out of layaway from Dick’s Sporting Goods by then, I have been keeping in shape, but now I know I can ease of the training for a bit, and enjoy a pizza now and then. and maybe hit the gym in 2018 again. Rowing machine, you know.

    • http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/files/2015/01/Figure41-350×233.png
      The actual data does not fit the models well. Notice that the models start around 2007 and the data is smoothed to hide the problem.
      The historical record doesn’t seem to be consistent with news reports either.http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article62428921
      “….it was concluded that near Polar temperatures are on an average six degrees higher than those registered by Nansen 40 years ago. Ice measurements were on an average only 6½ feet against from 9¼ to 13 feet.” Large error bars and its sea-ice extent but surely a 30-50% drop in thickness would also show up in the ice extent? The NYT also had a ’58 report of 50% decrease in volume over the past 50 years.
      Looks like it was put in to lengthen the x axis and make it less obvious there is a problem with the models

  23. Observations and Patterns on Sea Ice

    1. Arctic sea ice anomaly trends.

    The Arctic sea ice area was broadly decreasing, but it remained within 2 std deviations of the average daily area for the entire 1979 through 2005 satellite period. Declining certainly, but declining slowly and steadily. Remaining within “natural patterns” if you use the usual” +/- 2 std deviations” is “normal” in natural systems.
    (Arctic sea ice area changes from low to high each year, but the plots show two std deviations are between 0.75 to 1.0 Mkm^2)
    Then, after 2004, sea ice oscillated wildly. 2007 and 2012, sea ice anomaly dropped very low, but then immediately re-bounded (as the newly exposed ocean water cooled and re-froze) back up to almost 0.0 anomaly in the next 3-4 months! A high sea ice area (a low, near-zero anomaly) lead into more melting the next season, and a unusually low sea ice area.
    Storms caused much of the movement (the loss of sea ice from sheltered north Canadian islands) down into the warmer meltwaters off of Greenland, but the pattern was significantly different after 2004-2005.
    But, 2012’s record-setting low sea ice area was followed by now the third year of sea ice growth as anomalies go back towards a positive Arctic sea ice. In fact the Arctic sea ice anomaly has been within 2x std deviations (below “average” sea ice levels, but well within “natural changes” movement) almost ALL of the past two years.
    So, in the arctic, we are looking for some change that happened in 2004-2005 to ‘stop the decline” AND “cause the 2005 – 2012” oscillations; or
    Something that changed the gradual decline between 1979 and 2000, into a a sharp decline between 2000 – 2005 AND the subsequent oscillations between 2005 and 2012.

    2. Antarctic sea ice anomaly trends.

    Antarctic sea ice WAS declining gradually slightly from the beginning of the satellite record in 1979 (and maybe BEFORE that!) up through 1992. then, 1992, something changed that long pattern.
    Antarctic sea ice ROSE steadily the ENTIRE time between 1992 and 2010. Nothing fantastic, nothing ominous or threatening, just a steady, gradual increase the entire time CO2 was rising. Antarctic continental average AIR temperatures have NOT risen during any part of the satellite Antarctic sea ice record; They HAVE REMAINED STEADY.
    From 2010 through today’s latest 2015 data, Antarctic sea ice has grown quickly, fast, and much more rapidly than before. If Antarctic sea ice extents continue grow as they have the 3-1/2 years, and if that sea ice growth expands uniformly around the continent, Antarctic sea ice extents could block sea traffic around Cape Horn in as little as 8 – 12 years.
    3. Antarctic Sea Ice Growth: Excuses or Explanations.
    Two excuses (not theories even, but they are excuses) have been used to explain this growth of Antarctic sea ice.
    Neither is justified by measurements, only hand-waving comments and generalities.
    3A. There has been no continent-wide measured increase in uniform off-land wind speeds to “blow the sea ice away from land” that would uniformly increase the sea ice area at every latitude, across every longitude, and during every season of the year.
    3B. There are claims of Antarctic land ice melting, and this meltwater is diluting the sea water around Antarctica enough to allow the extra freezing. Even IF one accepts the very “generous” assumptions of Antarctic land ice loss from GRACE satellite modelling, there is not enough Antarctic land ice mass loss to dilute enough southern ocean water enough to freeze. To repeat, the “excess” Antarctic sea ice is occurring at ALL latitudes around Antarctica during ALL seasons of the year at ALL longitudes around Antarctica and ALL sea ice edge distances away from the continental land masses.
    To explain:
    When it is “hot” across continental Antarctica (meaning the daily high temperatures “almost” get above freezing during the long summer days near the coast),
    when the edge of the Antarctic sea ice areas are getting closer to the continental edge,
    when the amount of southern ocean water to be diluted is at its minimum for the year, the Antarctic sea ice excess anomalies expand at the SAME RATE as they do when the Antarctic continental air is
    well below -30 deg C,
    when the Antarctic sea ice edges are their furthest ever from the coastal zones,
    when meltwater cannot exist in quantity,
    when the edge of the sea ice extents is both increasing distance and decreasing distances the assumed meltwater must flow, and
    when the “excess” Antarctic sea ice extents cover six times the volume of diluted ocean water as they cover (and thus dilute) at minimum sea ice extents!
    In fact, cherry-picking through the last four years of the Antarctic sea ice anomaly, you can call out several times when the greatest increase in Antarctic sea ice extents is when the assumed seawater dilution effect MUST BE at its least possible amount (lowest air temperature, greatest distance from the coast, most area of ocean water covered (or the greatest rate of growth): and the small anomalies (least dilution effect) is when the sea ice is closest to the coast and sea ice area is the least amount and coast land temperatures and solar exposure near their annual highest point.

  24. “Human-caused global warming is melting Arctic sea ice”
    At least only the human-caused warming is melting it, if any other warming such as natural variability was to melt it as well we would be well in the shit! / sarc.

  25. Some commentators tracking sea ice trends have used the recent “pause” in sea ice loss to claim that human-caused climate warming is not occurring; others previously used the rapid decline from 2001-2007 to speculate about ice-free Arctic summers by 2015. Neither claim is warranted, the authors report.

    One of those is Professor Peter Whadams who said there would be an ‘ice-free’ Arctic in 2015 OR 2016 but no later. He then changed his mind to 2020.
    See my references for Wadhams.

    • TRM
      You are too cruel.
      Readership Alert!! The above statement was being said sarcastically.
      Eugene WR Gallun

  26. “It’s quite conceivable that the current period of near zero sea ice trend could extend for a decade or more soley due to weather induced natural variability hiding the long term human caused decline “. Hilarious. Is this like the heat is hiding in the ocean? If everything is “hiding” human causation maybe there is no human causation. Someone robbed my house last night and replaced everything with exact duplicates.

  27. Good grief!
    What a flaming mess of a paper, and this passed pal review!? Somebody sure got more than a kiss as payment.
    Of course they want money, for a government funded, government supported research effort.
    However, the much too clever scientastrologists included a supplementary PDF, obtainable from their abstract page, that lists their processes of data abuse in order to cause it too confess.
    After reading through all of the effort to compare observations against to multiple model runs, there is really only one conclusion.
    ‘The authors knew what result they desired before they started torturing an data’.
    I love the way they decide data validity using overlapping pentads whilst evaluating seven years periods after applying their quadratic detrending.
    This smelly mess looks to have Gavinmater’s thumbprints all over it. RealClimate must love it.

    • Usually with a simple link. RACook above used this one. “http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/seaice.anomaly.arctic.png”

      • I believe he meant the Tagging needed like ( text ) or or ( /text ) to have the image properly displayed in the post rather than just a link to the image source
        (I’ve been curious about this myself)

  28. Joe Romm is blessed- if ignorance really took away one’s breath his would have left him breathless years ago..

  29. Unless I’m missing something, the benchmarks for Arctic ice extent are based on a multi-decade average and graphed or enumerated as a flat line. Yet the AMO is a multi-decade cycle that is anything but flat and even the long cycles are not regular or even numerous for effective use by models. This is another system short coming that any other discipline would readily acknowledge to observers and policy makers as a problem.

      • In response to old44: Unfortunately, there are no satellite estimates prior to 1979. Kinnard et al. 2011 have estimated arctic sea ice extent using robust proxies and their conclusion is “both the duration and magnitude of the current decline in sea ice seem to be unprecedented for the past 1,450 years.”
        I guess there is a no betting policy on this site so I take back my offer.

      • Yes, but you need to look at the annual trend, not just spring and summer. According to NORSEX (and who wouldn’t?), annual ice loss is ~3.9%/decade since 1979, while summer ice loss is ~9%.
        I bet you are right that the 2010 – 2020 period will see lower levels of ice compared with 2000 – 2010. But overall loss annually should be lower than the graphs you post imply.
        Betting is okay. But gentlemen bet a plugged nickel over things like this: the objective being to be right, not to make money.

      • Luke;

        In response to old44: Unfortunately, there are no satellite estimates prior to 1979.

        So they say, and is another ‘cherry pick’ on behalf of the ‘97% consensus’. Satellite observations of sea-ice extent have been used since the early ’70’s (~1972) and were used in the IPCC’s 1st report;
        IPCC FAR (AR1) Chapter 7, page 224:

        Especially importantly, satellite observations have been used to map sea-ice extent routinely since the early 1970’s. The American Navy Joint Ice Centre has produced weekly charts which have been digitised by NOAA. These data are summarized in Figure 7.20 which is based on analyses carried out on a 1 latitude x 2.5 longitude grid. Sea-ice is defined to be present when its concentration exceeds 10% (Ropelewski, 1983). Since about 1976 the areal extent of sea-ice in the Northern Hemisphere has varied about a constant climatological level, but in 1972-1975, sea-ice extent was significantly less.


      • Luke
        January 29, 2015 at 12:34 pm
        In response to old44: Unfortunately, there are no satellite estimates prior to 1979. Kinnard et al. 2011 have estimated arctic sea ice extent using robust proxies and their conclusion is “both the duration and magnitude of the current decline in sea ice seem to be unprecedented for the past 1,450 years.”

        Satellites were picturing the Arctic sea ice back in the 1960s.

        H.H. Lamb1965
        The early medieval warm epoch and its sequel
        The Arctic pack ice was so much less extensive than in recent times that appearances of drift ice near Iceland and Greenland south of 70[deg] N, were apparently rare in the 10th century and unknown between 1020 and 1194, when a rapid increase of frequency caused a permanent change of shipping routes. Brooks suggested that the Arctic Ocean became ice-free in the summers of this epoch, as in the Climatic Optimum; but it seems more probable that there was some ‘permanent’ ice, limited to areas north of 80[deg] N….”
        Elsevier Publishing Company
        Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 1:1965, p. 15-16
        Variations In Climate
        Press, Volume XLIV, Issue 6903, 8 November 1887, Page 6
        By Alexander Beck, M.E.
        “…The reverse of that state of things is found by calculations for the year 1122 A.D., and it is precisely at that time that we find the Danes and several Scandinavian nations going through the Arctic open seas. Colonies are established by them in the highest north latitude of Greenland, and upper part of North America, a long time before Christoper Columbus had reached a more southern part of the same continent….”

        • Jimbo,
          Thanks for digging up the info on satellite records in the arctic. Of course you failed to share a key quote from the CIRES page “In the Arctic, sea ice extent was larger in the 1960s than it is these days, on average. “It was colder, so we expected that,” Gallaher said.
          They make it clear that the satellite data were very sporadic during that period and some of the data were discarded or placed in storage and forgotten. There is no evidence of data suppression as you and some others have suggested.
          “When NASA launched Nimbus-1 50 years ago, the agency’s key goals were to test instruments that could capture images of clouds and other meteorological features, Gallaher said. The Nimbus satellites dished up such excellent observations, NASA eventually handed over key technologies to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), for use in weather forecasting, including hurricane forecasts. But even with such success, data tapes and film that recorded Nimbus observations slipped through the cracks.“At the time, the satellites’ real-time observations, including clouds, for example, were what people wanted most of all, for weather forecasting,” Gallaher said. He and colleagues with NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, tracked down old Nimbus film to a NOAA facility in Suitland Maryland, where they were stored for about 25 years, and then Asheville, North Carolina. There, hundreds of 35-millimeter film reels lay in an old storage facility.”
          As for your references from 1887 and 1965 using land and sea-based observations to estimate sea ice cover, you must be aware that such observations are subjective and very prone to error. The estimates of sea ice cover based on surrogates (Kinnard et al. 2011) do not support the observations in the documents you cite.

  30. Here are the two concluding paragraphs of the PR (joint press release of NOAA’s Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES),The University of Reading, and the University of Colorado Boulder – See more at: http://cires.colorado.edu/news/press/2014/seaicetrends.html#sthash.GPKpGrI9.dpuf) :
    “It is quite conceivable that the current period of near zero sea-ice trend could extend for a decade or more, solely due to weather-induced natural variability hiding the long-term human caused decline,” said Ed Hawkins, a co-author and researcher at the National Centre for Atmospheric Science, University of Reading.”
    “Human caused climate warming has driven a decline in Arctic September sea-ice extent over the past few decades,” the new paper reports, and “this decline will continue into the future.” But understanding how and why natural variability affects sea ice trends should help scientists better predict how sea ice will evolve in upcoming years and decades, with implications for natural ecosystems, shipping routes, energy development and more.”

    They merely posit an unestablished premise as ‘a priori’ true when it is not shown by open science to be significantly observed. Namely they falsely premise that there must be significant “human caused climate change”.
    They are not capable of critical epistemological self-analysis. I say that because they have still not realized that the climate debate is finally now evolved into an open science process. There is finally an open science process where the institutional science orgs and bodies have lost their ‘argument-from-authority’ attempts to silence critics through ‘consensus’ and ‘settled science’ strategies.

  31. It looks like the only way to get an ice-free Arctic is to manipulate the satellite data, although I wouldn’t want to give anybody any ideas.

  32. The S.H. sea ice volume /extent is higher this decade versus last decade which makes the point about Arctic Sea Ice volume/extent quite meaningless when applied to AGW as the reason which it is not.

    • You could get warmer temps and still get ice expansion if the warming is during winter (which it is) and precipitation picks up.

  33. I notice the 7 years/34 percent statistic and couldn’t help but compare it to the “1 chance in 27,000,000” statistic (for higher temps being so closely spaced), and which was thoroughly and eloquently debunked on this site recently. It seems they can’t get their story straight!

  34. “In 5% of models” – Getting desperate aren’t we.
    ” Could be 20 year periods of no loss of sea ice” – Should keep my grants coming until 1935.

  35. What is missing is that nobody pays any attention to the real cause Arctic ice melt. As I proved (E&E 22(8):1029-1063 (2011). See alsp my book, pp. 37-46). The warmists want to credit carbon dioxide and its greenhouse effect for this but that is quite impossible. The Arctic is melting because at the turn of the twentieth century there was a rearrangement of North Atlantic current system that started to carry warm Gulf Stream water into the Arctic Ocean. Prior to that there had been nothing there but two thousand years of slow, linear cooling. The strong initial warming was was interrupted by a thirty year cool spell in mid-century. Warming resumed in 1970 but it took until 2003 to reach the same temperature level it had in the twenties and thirties. In addition to the North Atlantic influence, Its Pacific side is also influenced by warm water entering through the Bering Straight. This was demonstrated by the record melt in 2007. What happened is that strong pole-ward winds pushed warm water from the Aleutian Sea across the Bering straight where it melted the ice in the Chuckchi Sea and then created a large meltwater patch to the north of it. At the same time, the Russian side of the Arctic was undisturbed. The amount of warm water entering the Atctic through the Bering Straight is controlled by the strength of the Aleutian Low which in turn responds to the phases of the PDO. A loose end today is the mid-twentieth century cooling. It is likely that it was caused by the temporary return of the original flow pattern of currents. But in nature, if something has happened before, it can happen again. Should another such cool period return it could wreak havoc with Arctic transportation and resource explorations. I wonder how likely it is that the apparent slowdown of warming today can turn into another such cold spell we had in the mid-twentieth century?

  36. Serreze and his cohorts can probably expect an erratic and bumpy ride aboard their global warming gravy train, the “Spirit of Climageddon”, now that it has jumped the tracks.

  37. Actually the entire paper is a joke. If 7 yrs of serious ice loss is important and 7years of no loss and some rebounding since 2012, is of no consequence, then 14 years, 28yrs, 50 years….is not data enough for all the hype and pain that we have endured from these troughers. Does this mean that we are going to be free from comment on distress in the arctic for the balance of their careers? This paper is definitely put out because they could no longer take the yearly stress of not losing the ice.
    Climate ideologues have been coming down with a climate blues syndrome unquestionably because of the dreaded “pause”. It’s too bad they have ruined the perfectly serviceable word Deenyal because being in Deenyal is exactly the situation what psychiatrists have been trained to correct. But the “science has evene even screwed up the psychologists and psychiatrists because they are ideologically unable to try to solve this problem for their sufferers.
    I think the kind of people who can’t function outside a crowd have some issues to start with before they even went into climate science. Indeed, gregarious types, I would posit, were attracted into this field because of its clubiness (I don’t include the minority who do work basically alone – they are forced to be outside by their integrity). These semi annual grand pilgrimages to exotic places to sing from the same song book is not so different from youth playing balalaikas and singing in the forest about exploits of ideological heros. I’m worried if the pause goes on another few years, some nuts will end up going up there and poisoning all the bears.

    • They just haven’t added up the gross factors.
      That’s not the scientist’s roundhouse. His views are essentially tactical (with occasional forays into the operational level). It’s a job for us game designer/developers. We take a strategic view, with a constant eye to the major diverse elements. If it doesn’t add up to the known data, the “model” is wrong.

  38. Alarmists are desparately trying to scare everyone by pointing to melting polar ice. You know what would be really scary? Ice sheets advancing as far south as the US Midwest again.

  39. To hear these “experts” yak on, you’d never think they ever even heard of the AMO and PDO (or the issue of post-Y2k Chinese soot increase). And that’s part of the Remedial Ice .001 idiot curriculum. I could explain the pause in ice loss and make their own case better than they can — an I’m both a skeptic and a non-scientist.

  40. The report is mostly hand-waving, with a germ of truth: the forces that determine NH sea ice extent are diverse, unpredictable. Sea ice extent is geographically constrained. Any short term variation is weather. It takes a long term to determine any underlying trend. They have no proof that any variation is human-caused.

  41. [trimmed. Sereze’s Vietnam experiences, and the medical effects and treatment thereafter, are his own affair. .mod]

  42. Sea ice is a trailing indicator of temperature. Temperatures have been flat for ~18 years. So, I expect sea ice decline to continue its “pause” as well.

  43. Too bad we don’t have Arctic sea ice data back just a little farther. How about 2000 BP years. Considering how warm it was at times back then we might find that the polar bears don’t really exist at all. They may have been wiped out several times by the total lose of sea ice and the ones we seem to have now are just Disney animatronics. Too bad the Disney ones eat just as many seal pups.

  44. Andres, you take my breath away!
    Especially for Jimbo and Anthony, a teaser for my forthcoming interview with NSIDC director Mark Serreze:
    “Anthony Watts has been telling porky pies again”

  45. Anthony – I’ve now added an update to my post about your update to your post, which can be seen here:
    [Snip. Instead of promoting your two day old blog post, with only 2 comments beside yours, please make your best arguments here. This would not be an issue, except that you labeled our host a liar. Do that on your own blog, not here. ~mod.]
    I note, amongst other things, that you seem to be singularly lacking in gratitude for the sterling efforts of yours truly in bringing your no doubt inadvertent error to your attention. I also include the most amusing video contained in my previous comment here, which I further note has still not emerged from your moderation queue.
    You will no doubt be pleased to learn that I shall now head off to inform David Rose about the numerous inaccuracies in his recent “Climate Hate” self-interview. Just be thankful that unlike David you reside far beyond IPSO’s jurisdiction!

Comments are closed.