State of the Sea Ice – February 2015

Guest essay by Robert A Cook, PE

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Sea ice concentration, north and south poles as observed by satellite. Image from University of Illinois Cryosphere Today

In particular, for the twenty-second of each month, we will calculate and present for discussion:

  • that day’s solar radiation level at top of atmosphere (TOA),
  • that day’s declination angle (the tilt of the earth’s axis towards or away from the solar plane),
  • that day’s average Antarctic and Arctic sea ice area and extents,
  • an estimate of the latitude of the edge of that day’s Antarctic and Arctic areas,
  • at the edge of the sea ice for that day, estimate the total reflected and absorbed solar radiation into open water and sea ice for a clear day. (This requires an estimate of the sea ice albedo for that day, the solar elevation of the sun for each hour of that day, an estimate of the open ocean water albedo each hour at each solar elevation angle, and an estimate of the atmosphere’s clarity that day, and the air mass attenuating the sun’s energy each hour of that day at that latitude. )
  • an estimate of the average additional heat losses each hour on that day from the open ocean and from the sea ice.

Summary

The Antarctic sea ice continues to be far above average for this time of year: rising from +23% Feb 1 to 33.4% on Feb 28. This DOES matter, because the excess Antarctic sea ice this time of year reflects significant amounts of sunlight, and this loss continues to cool the planet. A lot.”

“The Arctic sea ice remains slightly below average for this time of year at -7%.
It doesn’t matter. There is almost no sunlight hitting the Arctic sea ice at this time of year. However, losing this Arctic sea ice cools the planet now, which often leads to additional Arctic sea ice area later in the year, which can reflect more sunlight then, then – again – cooling the planet.

I appreciate Anthony’s patience in delivering this report several days after Feb 22. As an excuse, I could claim that I needed the Cryosphere to process its data for the 22nd, or to claim that I was waiting breathlessly for the Antarctic sea ice minimum to finally arrive ( Minimum looks like it happened 28 Feb, based on Cryosphere increases reported 2-3 March), but we should all be humble as we observe the planet. Its schedule does not recognize our months and days and hours.

Antarctica first?

As usual, Antarctic sea ice goes first for several reasons.

First, it is almost always ignored by the CAGW press agents because the Antarctic sea ice reflects badly on several of their predictions about the effects of CO2 in particular and global warming in general. As observers of the global warming debate, you need to know what is happening all over, not just what the press agents want you to know, and what they don’t want you to know.

We will continue to show through the next few months just how much more important the Antarctic sea ice area actually is to the world’s heat balance: The much-hyped Arctic amplification is a very real effect. But it does NOT only occur in the limited area of the Arctic (where sea ice has been receding for several decades) but around the unlimited seas and ever-increasing sea ice surrounding the Antarctica. Down south, where the sun is always higher in the sky and the solar energy reflected back into space much greater, sea ice area really does matter.

Up north? Not so much 9 months of the year.

22 February 2015, Day-of-Year (DOY) = 053

Antarctic Sea Ice Area (SIA)

The Antarctic sea ice continued to melt through February as sea ice area decreased towards its usual its summer minimum. The Antarctic sea ice anomaly remained positive all month (more sea ice than “normal” for every day in February. The Antarctic sea ice anomaly itself decreased during the month, even though the percent of excess sea ice increased. At 0.618 Mkm^2 on 22 Feb, this “excess” sea ice is now represents a reflecting surface about half the size of Hudson’s Bay, at a latitude slightly further north than Hudson’s Bay.

The Antarctic sea ice has been more than 2 standard deviations above normal for almost every day of the past 2-1/2 years now, and February 2015 only continues that trend towards more sea ice.

SIA 1979-2008, DOY 53, = 1.874 Mkm^2, Average area this date

SIA 2015, DOY 53, = 2.492 Mkm^2, Actual area this date

SIA Anomaly, 2015, DOY 53 = 0.618 Mkm^2, Anomaly this date

Percent increase of Antarctic SIA = 33.0% more Antarctic sea ice than normal for this date

Today’s total Antarctic Ice = 14.0 + 1.5 + 2.492 = 18.0 Mkm^2.

The edge of the Antarctic sea ice is at latitude -68.3 south, slightly closer to the South Pole than the Antarctic Circle at -66.5 south latitude.

(Antarctica’s ice now covers a total area of 18.0 Mkm^2 = 14.0 mkm^2 of continental land ice + 1.5 Mkm^2 of permanent shelf ice plus 2.5 Mkm^2 of total sea ice.) Today’s Antarctic sea ice area represents Antarctica’s annual minimum area.

General Observations:  The Antarctic sea ice completed its annual retreat towards the minimum sea ice area in 27-28 February, DOY = 57-58. This year’s minimum was no single sharp “point” but rather a slow flattening of the sea ice area over the last 13 days. You can never predict everything about the sea ice, but it is certainly expected to continue growing from now (2 March) through September’s maximum of 16+ million sq kilometers.

Below, the 1979-2010 avearge Antarctcic sea ice measurements are in green, this year’s actual measurements are in red. The Antarctic sea ice area anomalies are below in blue.

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The remaining sea ice tends to be very close to the Antarctic land mass.  The large open area (polynaya) in the Ross Sea region in January expanded somewhat, but the “ice island” offshore remained intact. This open area between the edge of the sea ice and the Antarctic continent mass is somewhat unusual, but the open water is expected to re-freeze shortly as air temperatures continue to decline.   Most of the time in most years, the Antarctic sea ice lies right up close to the coastline, with the sea ice touching the coast (grounded on the beaches) called “fast ice”.  (It is held fast by the land.)

Antarctic Sunlight, DOY = 53.

Solar radiation at Top of Atmosphere (TOA) = 1390 watt/m^2 this date (whole earth exposure) based on a yearly average TSI = 1362 watts/m^2. As it always does, solar radiation at TOA will continue to decrease from its yearly maximum of 1407 watts/m^2 on January 5 to its yearly minimum of 1315 watts/m^2 July 5. As far as the total planet heat balance goes, this means each day-of-year later means the sea ice at each pole will be able to reflect less and less between now and July 5.

Declination Angle on Feb 22 was = -0.183 radians/-10.48 degrees, Tau (the Day Angle) = 0.90

We are still in the Antarctic summer, but February represents late summer – compare it to early August up north. (Australian and South African readers do not need a summer-winter conversion table.)

At the edge of the Antarctic sea ice, at -68.0 latitude, sunrise occurred before 05:00 AM on Feb 22, sunset was 14 hours later after 19:00 PM.

At noon, at -68.0 latitude, air mass = 1.867; direct sunlight on a perpendicular surface = 813 watts/m^2 (Direct radiation on Feb 22 is down from January 22 due to increased air mass (greater attenuation), lower TOA radiation, and a slightly higher latitude of the sea ice edge. All as expected, since Feb 22 is later in the solar year, is right near the point of the annual minimum point for Antarctic sea ice, and has fewer hours of sunlight.)

At noon today, peak radiation on the sea surface = 434 watts/m^2 at a 32.3 solar elevation angle

At noon today under clear skies, the Antarctic Sea Ice albedo = 0.750: of the 434 watts hitting every sq meter of “excess” sea ice, 109 watts are absorbed, and 326 watts are reflected into space.

At noon today under clear skies at 32.3 SEA, the Open ocean albedo = 0.069: of the 434 watts hitting open ocean at the sea ice edge, 404 would be absorbed, and only 30 watts reflected.

Today, this day of year, from each and every “excess” meter of Antarctic sea ice, you can see that an “excess” of 294 watts/m^2 are reflected back into space (326 watts/m^2 – 30 watts/m^, clear day, at noon).

Well, “sunlight” occurs for 14 of the 24 hours down south at latitude -68.0 today, so it’s better to total the 14 hours that the sun is above the horizon. (We’ll compare this value later to what little sunlight is available up north.)

DIR_Rad Horiz. Hour DIR Ocean Albedo Dir Ocean Absorbed Dir Ocean Reflected Dir Ice Absorbed Dir Ice Reflected
0 0.00 0.000 0 0 0 0
0 1.00 0.000 0 0 0 0
0 3.00 0.000 0 0 0 0
3 5.00 0.682 1 2 1 2
44 6.00 0.352 29 15 11 33
124 7.00 0.205 98 25 31 93
216 8.00 0.137 187 30 54 162
304 9.00 0.101 273 31 76 228
374 10.00 0.082 343 31 93 280
419 11.00 0.072 389 30 105 314
434 12.00 0.069 404 30 109 326
418 13.00 0.072 388 30 105 314
373 14.00 0.082 342 31 93 280
302 15.00 0.102 271 31 76 227
214 16.00 0.138 185 30 54 161
121 17.00 0.208 96 25 30 91
42 18.00 0.359 27 15 11 32
3 19.00 0.698 1 2 1 2
0 21.00 0.000 0 0 0 0
0 23.00 0.000 0 0 0 0
3391 3391 3034 357 848 2543
Delta: 2186 2186

So, over 24 hours, 2186 more watts/m^2 were reflected from each sq meter of “excess” Antarctic sea ice at -68.0 latitude on Feb 22 2015.

Arctic Sea Ice Area (SIA)

22 February 2015, Day-of-Year (DOY) = 53

The Arctic sea ice continues to slowly expand towards its spring maximum in late March. As expected, even as every individual day grows longer after the winter solstice on Dec 22, the Arctic continues to lose heat into space. This heat loss is seen as an increase every day in the Arctic sea ice area.

The sun rises earlier each morning, the sun sets a little later each afternoon +> Again, both as must happen as we approach the spring equinox March 22 when both north and south poles get an equal 12 hours of sunlight, and 12 hours of darkness.

Today’s Arctic sea ice anomaly remains negative at -0.979 Mkm^2. This continues its decade long negative value, and this value continues the steady negative sea ice anomaly started in early 2013 and continued through all of 2014. However, today’s anomaly is significantly smaller than both 2007 and 2012’s record low sea ice anomaly, and it represents an increase in Arctic sea ice area since 2005. Today’s Arctic sea ice anomaly remains within 2 standard deviations of the 1979-2008 mean, and that continues a trend begun in 2013 and continued through most the days since.

Today’s Arctic sea ice anomaly is obviously negative, and represents an area of “lost sea ice” roughly 81% the size of Hudson’s Bay’s 1.2 Mkm^2.

From Cryosphere (the Arctic Climate Research at the University of Illinois) for Feb 22, 2015:

SIA 1979-2008 Average, = 14.005 Mkm^2, (Average area this date)

SIA 2015, DOY 53 Actual Area = 13.027 Mkm^2, (Actual area this date)

SIA Anomaly, 2015, DOY 53 = -0.979 Mkm^2, (Anomaly this date)

Percent of Arctic SIA = only 7.0 % less Arctic sea ice than normal for this date

Total Arctic Sea Ice Area = 13.027 Mkm^2

The edge of the Arctic sea ice lies approximately at latitude 71.6 north, well north of the Arctic Circle at latitude 66.5. (This assumes a circular Arctic sea ice cap, centered at the north pole. The actual Arctic sea ice is only roughly circular, and its geometric center lies closer to the Canadian coast than to the Russian coast.)

Arctic Sunlight, DOY = 53.

Solar radiation at Top of Atmosphere (TOA) = 1390 watt/m^2, (same as Antarctica)

Declination Angle on Feb 22 was = -0.183 radians/-10.48 degrees, Tau (the Day Angle) = 0.90

At the edge of the Arctic sea ice, at latitude 72.0 north, the sun pokes its head above the horizon a little before 09:00 AM, and sets 6 hours later a little after 15:00 PM.

At noon today, 22 Feb, air mass = 6.780, solar elevation angle = 8.1 degrees

At noon today, 22 Feb, peak radiation on the sea surface = 28 watts/m^2 at only 8.1 degrees solar elevation angle.

At noon today, 22 Feb, the average Arctic sea ice albedo = 0.830, (Arctic sea ice albedo is still at its winter maximum) but almost no energy is available: 5 watts would be absorbed, 23 would be reflected.

At noon today, 22 Feb, at 8.1 degrees SEA, the open ocean albedo = 0.419 (Pegau & Paulsen, 2006), so 16 watts/m^2 would be absorbed, 12 watts/m^2 would be reflected.

The Arctic sea ice anomaly is negative (meaning sea ice has been lost from its 1979-2010 average), so open water dominates the reflection exchange: At noon on Feb 22, each sq meter of open ocean absorbed 16 – 5 watts/m^2 => the Arctic Ocean absorbed an additional 11 watts/m^2.

Over the 24 hour day, this was a total of 34 watts/m^2. (The math, if anybody is interested: if open ocean, the water absorbed 4+12+16+12+4 watts = 50 watts/m^2. If sea ice were present, the ice would have absorbed 2+4+5+4+2 = 16 watts/m^2. The difference = 50 – 16 = 34 watts/m^2.)

Today, this day of year, for every “lost” square meter of sea ice, the open Arctic ocean loses more energy from 24 hours of increased losses (increased long wave radiation from the open ocean water, from increased convection and conduction up to the sea surface, and from increased evaporation) than it gains from a few hours of increased absorption in the open Arctic Ocean. In all cases, at this latitude at all hours of the day, more energy is lost from the open Arctic Ocean water than from ice-covered Arctic waters.

Today, this day of year, less Arctic sea ice = more heat loss from the Arctic ocean.

Net Planetary Sea Ice Heat Balance (at noon, this day of year).

Arctic sea ice area anomaly x net solar energy absorbed/m^2 – Antarctic sea ice anomaly x net solar energy reflected /m^2

Over a 24 hour day on Feb 22 2015, the net effect of today’s sea ice was

.979 Mkm^2 x 34.0 watts/m^2 – 0.618 Mkm^2 x 2186 watts/m^2 = -1317.6 MWatts reflected back into space, thus cooling the planet.

 

Earlier Reports:

January 2015 https://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/01/24/state-of-the-sea-ice-january-2015/

Why regularly discuss sea ice area?

Well, with the “pause” now extending 18 years – 3 months, and with every other CAGW prediction regularly failing as CO2 steadily increases, Arctic sea ice loss is just about the only defense left of the CAGW’s basic predictions. It is regularly hyped and used, so you need to know the details of why they think it is important, and the limits to that assumed importance. (Certainly, the CAGW proponents will not tell you of any limitations or constraints Arctic sea ice poses to their theory of Arctic amplification!) Antarctic sea ice, on the other hand, is failing every assumed CAGW result, and is just uniformly ignored. On the other hand, because it disproves the basic CAGW predictions, you need to know the details of Antarctic sea ice, the problems it poses, and the threats it poses.

Why the twenty-second of each month?

It is a convenient and exciting (well, interesting at least) day for almost all of the changes in all areas we need to look at through the year: solar radiation levels, the earth’s declination, the Antarctic and Arctic sea ice minimums and maximum areas.

The summer and winter solstices (longest day and longest night of the year occur on or about the 22 Dec and 22 June each, the fall and spring equinox fall 90 days later on 21-22 March and 21-22 September each year.

The Antarctic sea ice maximum occurs during the two weeks after 22 Sept each year, the Arctic sea ice minimum occurs a few days earlier: now it is averaging 15-20 Sept. The Antarctic sea ice minimum occurs around 22 Feb each year, the Arctic sea ice maximum occurs a the weeks after 22 March.

Solar radiation is not quite as convenient scheduled, but it is at least completely predictable: maximum solar TOA occurs halfway between 22 Dec and Jan 22 each year, solar TOA minimum occurs 5 July, halfway between 22 June and 22 July.

References and Boilerplate.

Challenge any item or equation you disagree with or wish to expand upon. I will in general treat any specific equation sourced from common geometry (such as a conversion of area into latitude, or the solar elevation angle calculated for a day-of-year and hour-of-day and latitude as a specific ‘thing”. It is not a model, nor an approximation. At sea level, the sun really is exactly that high in the sky on that hour of that day of the year at that latitude on earth. If you disagree with an equation, cite your source and justify the difference.

Cryosphere (Arctic Climate Research at the University of Illinois)

Note: There are several other reliable international labs and institutions reporting daily sea ice areas and extents.  Cryosphere at the University of Illinois is unique in reporting both Arctic and Antarctic sea ice areas.  All SIA and SIE numbers from each different lab differ from each other day by day, so for consistency across both poles, I will only use Cryosphere’s values for area.   (The Cryosphere data and graphs on WUWT Sea Ice pages is released one to two days after processing completes. Their on-line data files use January 1 as DOY = YYYY.0000, so check very carefully the all numbers you when download any of their files. Compare their areas and decimal dates with care during leap years and across seasons.)

Everywhere possible, I will quote the experimental data for actual measurements taken in the Antarctic and Arctic itself (sea ice albedo, air temperatures, water temperatures, winds and wind direction, sea ice area, cloudiness and direct/indirect radiation levels); or from the measurements of real seas and real winds and real waves in the open ocean (ocean albedo). Recognize the original experiment results ARE the data! Equally, each real world measurement has its own limits and its own assumptions.

Again, each source will be discussed in detail over time. Each experimental source will be cited as each detailed equation is discussed – and there will be disagreements between measured results from different sources writing in different journals at different times. Where the source article does present a specific equation or approximation of his or her own work, that equation or constant will usually be used “as-written” for that time frame or those conditions. (For example, in 2001, Dr Judith Curry reported Arctic sea ice albedo as 0.83 That value will be used for all arctic sea ice between January and early May. Her data (confirmed by Dr Perovich, 2002) showed a significant decrease in Arctic sea ice albedo between May and early September, and so her reported values will be curve-fit, and used for all Arctic sea ice albedo’s between those dates. Dr’s Curry, Perovich, and Warren (and others) have few recorded values for albedo during winter, so their 0.83 approximations need to be assumed constant in both hemispheres. Antarctic sea ice albedo reported per Warren, 2005.

There are very substantial differences in sea ice albedo and open ocean albedo, and between atmospheric absorption and diffuse radiation on clear days and cloudy days. For now, we will only evaluate clear days.

Solar radiation will usually be calculated much as the measured source data was obtained: in terms of direct radiation only under clear skies with typical Arctic conditions at typical arctic latitudes. Diffuse radiation and cloud cover and relative humidity levels are very important, but we need to get through many other things first.

Land area and sea ice area will generally use millions of square kilometers as units (abbreviated as Mkm^2) . Angles are in degrees and as Solar Elevation Angles (SEA) not Solar Zenith Angles (SZA), unless otherwise noted.

Your additions and questions about any value are encouraged of course, but always cite exactly what item or quote you question and why you feel it needs to be corrected.

I will not take credit for the basic research results discussed here – all of the hardest field work has already been done years before by many people and many teams from many nations and many institutions, nor of the basic equations and fundamentals used each time. Others deserve that credit, and they will be credited as each detail is discussed. I do acknowledge integrating their work together, and am responsible for the results discussed each time in this series.

Arctic Ice Albedo
1. Curry, J.A. and Schramm, J.L.; Applications of SHEBA/FIRE data to evaluation of snow/ice albedo parameterizations; Journal of Geophysical Research, Vol 106, D14, July 2001.
2. Korff, H.C., Gailiun, J.J. and Vonder Haar, T.H; Radiation Measurements Over a Snowfield at an Elevated Site; Department of Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University, January, 1974.
3. Warren, S.G.; Optical properties of Snow; Review of Geophysics and Space Physics, Vol 20, No. 1; Feb 1982

4. Brandt , R.E., Warren, S.G., Worby, A.P., Grenfell, T.C.; Surface Albedo of the Antarctic Sea Ice Zone, September 2005, Link: http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/pdf/10.1175/JCLI3489.1

5. Perovich, D.K., Grenfell, T.C., Light, B., Hobb, P.V.; Seasonal evolution of the albedo of multiyear Arctic sea ice; Journal of Geophysical Research, Vol 107, C10, 2002.

[My thanks to reader Matt in January for recommending two references above: Brandt 2005 for Antarctic sea ice albedo measurements, and a link to Perovich 2002 with additional photos and errors not available in Curry 2001.]

North and South Poles: Important Climate Differences

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Stemming ice loss, giant atmospheric rivers add mass to Antarctica’s ice sheet

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Al Gore, wrong again – Polar ice continues to thrive
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177 thoughts on “State of the Sea Ice – February 2015

  1. Looking forward to six months down the track when below average ice in the Arctic means warming and above average ice in the Antarctic also means warming (the opposite to now)

    • It will also be interesting to see the total albedo calculations at the end of 12 months to see if sea ice actually makes any difference to the energy absorbed.
      If more sea ice in summer reduces absorbtion but reduces heat loss in the winter, it could be they cancel each other out.

    • They are not equal. Robert can and has explained better then I. However the basics are that the SH sea ice is always on average at lower latitudes, and so reflecting more insolation then the NH land bound sea ice. In addition the SH sea ice is reflecting stronger insolation during the SH summer, as compared to the NH summer, as the earth is closer to the sun in December, and further away in July. The SH ice is cooling more then warming, (Reflecting more energy from the sun then preventing heat from the oceans escaping)
      The NH ice is warming more then cooling. The sun is weaker for two reasons, it is both further away and its energy is impacting the ice at a greater angle.

      • Yes, but in July and August, the extra sea ice in the SH will mean less heat is lost from the Southern Oceans than normally would be if the ice were at average levels, thus leaving less open water to conduct, convect and radiate heat away.
        So now we have sunlight at max strength and SH extra sea ice slowing warming, in Winter we have sunlight at minimum and SHesi slowing cooling.
        So I restate: it will be interesting to see what the affect will be for the whole 12 months. Maybe one Jan/Feb effects will be bigger than opposite July/ Aug effects, maybe the reverse, maybe cancel each other out. Time and results will tell. That’s science.

      • This is the negative feedback to a naturally evolved homeostatic system regulation. The Southern Ocean SST anomaly is has been running negative, and it’s sea ice anomaly is positive. The Arctic SST and air temp anomalies are positive, the Arctic sea ice anomalies are running negative. The Earth is opening and closing its radiator shutters. This means for the current period the system has elevated ventilating of NH heat anomalies and a slowing heat loss in a cooling Antarctic Southern Ocean.

        The remarkable thing about our climate for the last 150 years, since exiting the LIA, is how stable the global temps have been. To my mind, this negative feedback regulation of our polar radiators is why the effective climate sensitivity to an enhanced GHE has been essentially down in the noise, confounding the alarmists.

        Ultimately, the long term trends in Global climate are dictated by the solar activity variations and TOA insolation changes due to Milankovitch cycles as the polar regions regulate the heat loss at the high latitudes.

        Eyes should now be on what the sun is doing as cycle 24 winds down in one of the lowest magnetic cycles seen in at least 100 years.

      • Say RAC, “””””…..•that day’s declination angle (the tilt of the earth’s axis towards or away from the solar plane),……”””””

        What means “the solar plane.” ??

        I can think of a plane perpendicular to the earth orbital plane, that passes through the sun and the earth, and the earth rotation axis would have some projected tilt angle ” IN ” that plane, but not ” towards or away ” from it.

        Then there is the earth orbital plane that passes through the sun and the earth; but then the Earth rotational axis tilt angle relative to that plane is constant, at least on a daily or monthly basis, but it would have a variable projected tilt angle onto that previously thought of plane.

        So I’m not tuned into your geometry Robert; if you could clarify. I’m sure I’m not the only one who doesn’t see the picture.

        But now I’ll get back to reading your dissertation in detail.

        ThanX for the work you put into this.

        George

      • george e. smith

        Say RAC, “””””…..•that day’s declination angle (the tilt of the earth’s axis towards or away from the solar plane),……”””””

        What means “the solar plane.” ??

        I can think of a plane perpendicular to the earth orbital plane, that passes through the sun and the earth, and the earth rotation axis would have some projected tilt angle ” IN ” that plane, but not ” towards or away ” from it.

        Then there is the earth orbital plane that passes through the sun and the earth; but then the Earth rotational axis tilt angle relative to that plane is constant, at least on a daily or monthly basis, but it would have a variable projected tilt angle onto that previously thought of plane.

        So I’m not tuned into your geometry Robert; if you could clarify. I’m sure I’m not the only one who doesn’t see the picture.

        Yes. Both questions are right. But that short answer doesn’t answer your question, does it? 8<)

        Declination Angle. Over short periods of time (decades – NOT the Milankovich Cycle of many centuries!), the earth's axis is tilted 23.45 degrees, and that angle does not change.
        Solar Plane. By convention, the solar plane is that perfectly flat surface that the earth's orbit around the sun lies on. The declination angle is a measure of the angle between the earth's axis and that plane – but relative to the sun's position in that plane, not to some "perfect point in the far heavens.
        22 Dec, DOY = 356: the north pole points "away" from the sun's north pole, and the decl angle is at its yearly minimum. (A negative value, decl = -23.45).
        05 Jan, DOY = 5: The earth is closest to the sun, and is traveling the fastest in its orbit. TOA radiation is at its maximum at 1408 watts/m^2.
        22 Mar, DOY = 81: The spring equinox. The earth's tilt is "zero" with respect to the sun's position. On this day, the sun rises due east, and sets due west. We have 12 hours of darkness, and 12 hours of sunlight. Now remember, the earth's axis is still tilted those same 23.45 degrees as in December, January and February – aimed right at that far distance polar star – but with respect to the sun on the solar plane, its decl angle = 0.0
        22 June, DOY = 173: The summer solstice (northern hemisphere.) The earth's north pole is now tilted towards the sun position on the solar plane (summer up north), the south pole is tilted away from the sun (winter down south), but the earth itself is nearing maximum distance from the sun in its elliptical orbit. Decl angle = +23.45
        05 July, DOY = 186: The earth is at its furthest point from the sun, but is traveling slowest in its elliptical path. Decl angle = +22.88 degrees, obviously down a little bit from its 22 Jun maximum. TOA radiation is down to 1316 watts/m^2, but will begin rising again as we continue towards Jan 5.
        22 Sept, DOY = 265: Autumn Equinox. The earth's tilt towards the north Star is still 22.45 degrees, but its declination angle with respect to the solar plane is back to 0.0 again. The sun rises in the east once again, and sets due west once again; and we have our second 12 hour day of the year.

        Formulas.

        There are several approximations – and I emphasize each is an approximation – of the declinatin angle, but the most accurate is

        =0.006918-0.399912*COS(TAU)+0.070257*SIN(TAU)-0.006758*COS(2*(TAU))+0.000907*SIN(2*(TAU))-0.002697*COS(3*(TAU))+0.00148*SIN(3*(TAU))

        Above is in Excel format using radians, assuming TAU (the day angle, also in radians) is defined for the day-of-year, and then for each hour of the day.

        TAU_Day =2*3.1415*(DOY-1)/365
        TAU=2*3.1415*(DOY+D9/24-1)/365

        when cell D9 = the hour of the day from 00 to 23

        Why so complex?
        Because the earth’s orbit is an ellipse, its speed changes as it goes around the sun. Thus, the declination angle changes as the day-of-year changes. Further, when the declination angle is changing the fastest (as declination plot crosses its zero axis at the two equinox) the sea ice is at its most important two points of the year: Near March 22, Maximum Arctic sea ice, Minimum Antarctic sea ice; then – in September, maximum Antarctic sea ice and minimum Arctic sea ice.

        I use the hourly declination angle every day-of-year in the spreadsheet for calculating solar exposure: From declination angle and day-of-year, you only need to specify a latitude to get: sunrise, sunset, elevation of the sun at every hour of the day, air mass, atmospheric attenuation, and the "tilt" of the sea surface from the sun.
        It's complex no doubt – there are more simple formulas approximating declination angle – but once entered one time, the accurate declination angle is accurately available for every hour of every day at every latitude.

      • Further thoughts to my post on the polar region sea ice as shutters on a radiator (above)

        The polar ice levels are the regulators acting on a time constant of decades to years.
        In any human engineered regulator, the set point can be usually be adjusted. For example:
        – In a nuclear reactor, the control rods move in or out adjusting the available neutrons to set a higher or lower power output by controlling the rate of fission.
        – In a simple gas pressure regulator, a turn screw mechanism changes the force on a diaphragm valve to set an outlet pressure differential.

        Some will argue the higher pCO2 will drive a higher set point. I would say yes, if the polar sea ice didn’t respond as it does. But, the underlying physical reason is that the physical properties of seawater don’t change is that it is the seawater that is the control fluid. That is the latent heat properties, the enthalpies of fusion don’t change year to year. Sea water will always freeze (at 1 bar) at around -1.5º C, (the effect of the salt ions are also critical is this process). And thus sealing off the water underneath from further evaporative cooling. And when it melts in the summer sun, it melts at a the same temp (slightly higher than it froze), regardless of pCO2 changes. Year after year, the seawater re-freezes at the same temp as it did the previous years, as the summer sun incidence angle wanes and the nighttime cooling cycles lengthen.

        So it is the unique but constant physical properties of sea water freezing and the freshwater ice melting points that control the sea ice regulator set points at the poles, not pCO2.

      • The “solar plane” would be synonymous with “the ecliptic”, using astronomy terms.

        [Correct, that is the better term. .mod]

      • wickedwenchfan

        I don’t see how increased insolation’s effect could offset the decrease in energy input into the system and if it did I don’t see how you could have maintain the increased ice levels year after year.
        The thing that concerns me is if we continue to have these levels of “low” ice in the NH and at the same time the “high” level of ice in the SH reflecting more of the input energy what offsets this loss of energy to the planet? does this signal a long term global temp down turn which many here are predicting? I live in the NE US and personally prefer to have the mild winters over the ones we had in the 70’s, I personally have been wishing for a little more Global warming another degree or 2 would be could for my personal outlook during the winter.

        What is the mechanism causing the NH and SH ice to transition over time, this is what interests me and is it a stable process? it seems pretty evenly balanced and almost like it was designed to shed energy or accumulate energy when need into or out of the system.

      • Bob Boder, asking wickedwenchfan

        I don’t see how increased insolation’s effect could offset the decrease in energy input into the system and if it did I don’t see how you could have maintain the increased ice levels year after year.
        The thing that concerns me is if we continue to have these levels of “low” ice in the NH and at the same time the “high” level of ice in the SH reflecting more of the input energy what offsets this loss of energy to the planet? does this signal a long term global temp down turn which many here are predicting? I live in the NE US and personally prefer to have the mild winters over the ones we had in the 70’s, I personally have been wishing for a little more Global warming another degree or 2 would be could for my personal outlook during the winter.

        What is the mechanism causing the NH and SH ice to transition over time, this is what interests me and is it a stable process?

        Good questions.

        Simple answer? We don’t know.

        Oh, by the way, you are not allowed (per common consensus “science” to wonder about Who was the Intelligent Designer who first balanced all these things out. It’s just random chance and simple physics after all. Just another random cloud of perfectly balanced ions randomly gathered together in space in one sphere so gravity could begin gathering them together. All 10^58 ions and nuclei and electrons just perfectly balanced randomly drifting in space only 5 billion years ago.

        /sarchasm

      • Robert A Cook,
        I want to thank you for this equation, I’ve got running code, and it’s running away (I think ~10 more days of run time). I went ahead and calculated an accumulated watts for a 24 hour day based on the hourly values, it is already really slow, using a smaller timestep would just take too long.

        I’ve download the solar constant data, so each day is calculated based on that. I’d like to add aerosols, if anyone know of a good daily data source please let me know.

        For dates without real data, I think I’m going to use 100, and then the result will be a percentage of the solar, instead of a fixed unit. This is similar to the base field that BEST calculates.

        Good article as well!

      • Well RAC, Mother Gaia knew all that which you just posted, except she uses Lotus 123.

        And she doesn’t tell us any of the details anyhow, so I will have to pay attention, and read your expose, carefully. Thanx for that and for the Excel form too.

        Now I just have to figure out how Kevin Trenberth gets your 1408 to 1316 Wm^-2 down to 342.

        I just assume that it averages 1362 Wm^-2 , for 24 hrs per day. (somewhere).

        Interesting that your max / min nummers do average to 1362, which is the latest NASANOAA figure that I have seen, and which I adhere to.

        When you look at your geometry, it is quite clear that the sun shines 24 hours per day, every day of the year; just not all in the same place.

        Thanks again.

        G

      • Bob Boder asked. “What is the mechanism causing the NH and SH ice to transition over time, this is what interests me and is it a stable process? it seems pretty evenly balanced and almost like it was designed to shed energy or accumulate energy when need into or out of the system.”
        If you watch ( http://www.netweather.tv/index.cgi?action=stratosphere;sess= ) for a season you will notice warm/cold air breaking of the vortex and going down past the equator. It seems the poles transfer heat via the stratosphere (the Doub effect). And hence you cant take one pole only as the two are linked. This transfer is not constant and we have a area of warm air over the artic at present which has stopped a strong vortex forming and pulling in more cold air, so giving us a week jet stream and our present NH weather.

        This is my understanding of what happens.
        Dose anyone have ideas about what is disrupting the vortex`s?

    • I see a really conspiracy here, there are an awful lot of contributors WUWT that are named Robert/Bob. What up with that!

    • I trust you mean “the opposite situation means warming”, because I’m sure you know that the current situation also means warming, as do all possible, and several impossible, situations.

  2. Excellent article. You bring up many salient points with regard to why the Antarctic is more important globally than the Arctic. I feel sometimes that we do not point out the fallacies in the CAGW arguments that stress Arctic ice anomalies. You do that very well here. Thank you.

    For future reports since this one was so long, could you provide an executive summary at the beginning that imparts the information you are conveying in the report? For example, and as you state about 3/4 of the way through the article, “Over a 24 hour day on Feb 22 2015, the net effect of today’s sea ice was

    .979 Mkm^2 x 34.0 watts/m^2 – 0.618 Mkm^2 x 2186 watts/m^2 = -1317.6 MWatts reflected back into space, thus cooling the planet.”

    This line should be near the top of the article imo, with the proofs under it. There should also be some tie-in of that number back to real life, such as what effect it would have on global temps if it continues. Unfortunately, most people will never take the time to learn what a watt is, let alone understand all the number you typed, That is certainly NOT a criticism of you, but an acknowledgement by me that few lay people care to take the time to understand climate science. By having an executive summary, it allows some of us to cut and paste the summation onto other sites where less investigative minds only want the cleft notes. If we are to challenge the meme of the CAGW followers, we need simple to grasp talking points.

    Just my pennies.

    • I should add that I know you had a summary at the beginning, but it was in percentages, and doesn’t relate well to real life. I think that is where we have missed the boat, and where CAGW zealots have done a good job. “The world has warmed by 0.5C over 30 years. We’ll now see more tornadoes, less ice, more heat waves, etc, etc, etc …”. Confirmation bias. What will -1317.6 MWatts mean over time if it continues? We need stories as well, but it is to be hoped that we don’t go over the top like our misguided friends have.

  3. “So, over 24 hours, 2186 more watts/m^2 were reflected from each sq meter of “excess” Antarctic sea ice…”
    ====================================
    Keep talking like that and pretty soon we will be talking of how many Hiroshima bombs of energy are not being absorbed into the oceans.

    Seriously I appreciate the detail of your work showing the net affect of energy gain and or loss associated with disparate sea ice levels. I wish the summaries to each hemisphere could be put in a spread sheet showing the gain / loss / net gain or loss / and the combined net gain or loss of both hemispheres. (Similar to your daily sheet, but perhaps a simplified monthly summary combing both hemispheres into a monthly average, and then showing a global net gain or loss.) Thanks for all your work.

    • Meteorologists doing daily weather talk are probably the best target for this so I’d say a daily release would fit the needs of that core constituency rather nicely. I polar energy balance number that can be dropped into the weather report as a data feed on the web site and a small mention in the broadcast would be really helpful.

  4. Layman query; wouldn’t exposed sea water around the Arctic radiate more energy up through the ‘window’ than ice?

    • That depends on date/time/solar declination, etc… items in list at beginning of RAC’s post.

      • Richard111
        March 5, 2015 at 3:54 am

        Layman query; wouldn’t exposed sea water around the Arctic radiate more energy up through the ‘window’ than ice?

        The “extra losses” are important – particularly in the “crossover weeks” of early April and late August. The rest of the year, the solar energy absorbed and reflected when the sun is up is much greater than even these losses over the entire 24-hour day and night. They matter – but are a smaller factor.

        Clouds above all. But 2 meter air temperature, relative humidity or dew point temperature, wind speed, water temperature, and Tsky (absolute temperature receiving the LW radiation from the ocean or sea ice)
        affect the amount of each “extra losses”. And, most of the time, they vary hour-by-hour. Makes it tricky to calculate. Most papers ignore them, or use “average” monthly values that add up to “near-zero” values.

        Yes, those are “extra losses” compared to the primary “gain” (of solar energy heating the darker, newly-exposed ocean waters) that everybody ignores. And, in truth, compared to the POTENTIAL solar energy gains into the open ocean, these extra losses are smaller. NOT zero, but smaller. However, those “potential gains” mentioned above are all too often approximated using nominal values of ocean albedo for an iceberg melting under the direct summer sun high above the horizon on the equator through a equatorial (1.0 air mass) or a temperate latitude’s1.5 air mass!

        “24 hours of sun” doesn’t mean much when 10 of those hours the sun is only 8 to 12 degrees above the horizon.
        At those elevation angles, the ocean reflects 20 – 35% of the sun’s energy – NOT a high-SEA albedo of 0.066.
        At those SEA’s, the sunlight is getting attenuated by 4.0, 8.0, 10.0, 16.0 (up to as much as 31) air masses.
        At those times of the year, the Arctic sea ice albedo is DOWN to a measured low in July at 0.42 – 0.38.

        Many hours of the day even in mid-summer, there is actually very little “extra” energy absorbed into the Arctic Ocean.

        But we will calculate every variable each month every day-of-year at every degree different SEA as the year unfolds.

  5. With the excess SH ice preventing so much insolation from entering the oceans and the NH ice decrease allowing ocean heat to escape to the atmosphere, it is hard to imagine the oceans gaining the missing heat the CAGW proponents claim. Do you know if the space derived TOA measurements capture the polar latitude’s atmospheric energy gains and losses well?

  6. You seem to have a problem with the units you are using. The Watt is a unit of power, and if you aggregate it over a period (such as 24 hours), you end up with a quantity of energy (or work, or heat), which should be expressed as either watt-hours, or converted to joules. You have expressed it as megawatts.

    You say
    “”So, over 24 hours, 2186 more watts/m^2 were reflected from each sq meter of “excess” Antarctic sea ice at -68.0 latitude on Feb 22 2015.””

    but this is greater than the total top-of-atmosphere radiation of 1362 watts/sq.m

    • Richard Barraclough (quoting the article)

      “”So, over 24 hours, 2186 more watts/m^2 were reflected from each sq meter of “excess” Antarctic sea ice at -68.0 latitude on Feb 22 2015.””

      but this is greater than the total top-of-atmosphere radiation of 1362 watts/sq.m

      True. But your mixing instantaneous top-of-atmosphere radiation (watts/sec) with the total radiation reflected from the sea ice – down at the bottom-of-atmosphere – over an entire 24 hour period.

      On Feb 22, Radiation received at top-of-atmosphere (TOA) = 1390 watts/m^2 per sec.

      Over a 24 hour day, that is actually 1390 x 24 x 60 x 60 = 120 watts/m^2 x 10^6.

      But, the 2186 watts/m^2 is the simple sum of 24 individual measurements, each taken one hour apart.

      Thus, rather than integrating the solar radiation received, refracted, absorbed in the atmosphere, reflected from the ice or from the open water, absorbed, etc. over 24 hours, I am merely taking 24 hourly “results” and simply adding them up.

      Technically, that doesn’t even make the sum = watt/sec-hour. Which doesn’t really exist. Then again, you don’t get an accurate daily total by adding each hour’s value to every other hour either. Supposedly, you could multiply each hourly result by 3600 (the number of seconds/hour), but that implies radiation received, reflected, absorbed and lost in transmission is constant over the entire 3600 seconds of each hour. Which isn’t right either.

      Nevertheless, over a day, repeated each day of the year, you CAN compare what happens over the summer and winter periods at both poles. Which is our goal in this exercise.

      As the reader above mentioned, you have to compare like-to-like. Regardless of what units are used.

      • Over a 24 hour day, that is actually 1390 x 24 x 60 x 60 = 120 watts/m^2 x 10^6.
        Again your units are wrong, as calculated that should be 120×10^6 J/m^2 or 120 MJ/m^2.

      • If you’re writing an article about the energy received by the earth, you must surely understand that the term “watts per second” makes no sense at all. One watt is one joule per second, so you can count the number of joules in 24 hours, or you can work out the average number of watts received over a 24-hour period, but you can not add up the number of watts received each hour and add them up and express the answer in watts. It is meaningless to do so.

        A 100-watt bulb in your house consumes 100 watts day in and day out if you leave it on. At the end of 24 hours it has consumed 2400 watt-hours, or 8640000 joules. (i.e 100 joules per second)

      • “But, the 2186 watts/m^2 is the simple sum of 24 individual measurements, each taken one hour apart.”
        That explanation still makes no sense. That would be like saying “I was driving 50 km/hr for an hour, and 60 km/hr for the next hour, and 70 km for the final hour. 180 km/hr is the simple sum of the 3 individual measurements.” Adding speeds or adding power values like this is nonsensical.

        “Over a 24 hour day, that is actually 1390 x 24 x 60 x 60 = 120 watts/m^2 x 10^6.”
        NO. Over 24 hours that is 120 x 10^6 JOULES/m^2, not WATTS/m^2.

        “Thus, rather than integrating the solar radiation received, refracted, absorbed in the atmosphere, reflected from the ice or from the open water, absorbed, etc. over 24 hours, I am merely taking 24 hourly “results” and simply adding them up.”
        Actually you ARE integrating — or at least doing a simple rectangle rule approximation to the integration. You are (even though you don’t seem to realize it), integrating and getting a result that should be written in units of energy per square meter (W*hr/m^2), not power per square meter (W/m^2)

      • Actually you ARE integrating — or at least doing a simple rectangle rule approximation to the integration. You are (even though you don’t seem to realize it), integrating and getting a result that should be written in units of energy per square meter (W*hr/m^2), not power per square meter (W/m^2)

        true.

        But a “Rectangle” approximation using hourly values is a very, poor approximation of the true intregal. Worse, it uses “corner” values for something that is not even a true sine wave. For rectangles, you’d need to use the 1/2 hour values across the hourly max/min. A 12:00 noon value (local solar time) only only valid for one sec, then it is “too high” for the next 3599 seconds until 13:00 PM.

        A far better approximation would be trapezoids for each hour – approximating the rising (morning) values between the start and end points, and the falling (afternoon) values between their start and end points.

      • RACookPE1978 commented

        Actually you ARE integrating — or at least doing a simple rectangle rule approximation to the integration. You are (even though you don’t seem to realize it), integrating and getting a result that should be written in units of energy per square meter (W*hr/m^2), not power per square meter (W/m^2)
        true.
        But a “Rectangle” approximation using hourly values is a very, poor approximation of the true intregal. Worse, it uses “corner” values for something that is not even a true sine wave. For rectangles, you’d need to use the 1/2 hour values across the hourly max/min. A 12:00 noon value (local solar time) only only valid for one sec, then it is “too high” for the next 3599 seconds until 13:00 PM.
        A far better approximation would be trapezoids for each hour – approximating the rising (morning) values between the start and end points, and the falling (afternoon) values between their start and end points.

        Dang………

      • Now, what ya gotta help me with is them there “unit” thingies ….

        So, iffen you start with 1390 watts/m^2 up at the top of atmosphere at the beginning of each hour, and youse figger out some sort of approximated and variated value getting reflected off of the sea ice at the beginning of each hour after the sun’s ray reflect and reverberate and invertebrated and pale-anthro-propagated a few micro-seconds later at the bottom of the atmosphere, what units do you use at the end of a 24-hour day for the total all of the seconds that went by that day?

      • tjfolkerts – exactly.

        I thought of using the speed analogy as soon as I’d submitted my earlier comment. The whole article shows a lack of understanding over the difference between power and energy, which confuses whatever point it was trying to make

      • “A far better approximation would be trapezoids for each hour – approximating the rising (morning) values between the start and end points, and the falling (afternoon) values between their start and end points.”

        That certainly is a bit better in a general, abstract sense for numerical integration. However, in this case with endpoints that drop to zero, the result is exactly the same.

        From 4:00-5:00, the trapezoid has an area of (0+3)/2 W/m^2 * 1 hour = 1.5 W*hr/m^2. From 5:00-6:00 is (3+44)/2 W/m^2 * 1 hr = 23.5 W*hr/m^2. Continue through each hour and you get the following:

        1.5
        23.5
        84
        170
        260
        339
        396.5
        426.5
        426
        395.5
        337.5
        258
        167.5
        81.5
        22.5
        1.5

        Add them up and you get exactly the same 3391 W*hr/m^2 as the simple rectangles (which is easy to prove mathematically as well).

        The only real way to improve the numerical integration would be to divide the time into finer intervals (eg 30 min or 10 min).

      • tjfolkerts commented…
        Yeah!
        30 minute intervals would ~double the 10 day run time to calculate Total daily watt – hours accumulated for just 1978 on, the period I have for solar constant data for the lat of every station I have surface data for.

      • tjfolkerts

        Add them up and you get exactly the same 3391 W*hr/m^2 as the simple rectangles (which is easy to prove mathematically as well).

        Well, yeah – Right after I added up the whole bunch manually … and came to the same conclusion. 8<) (Can I complain to the mod's that you copied my homework – before I handed it in?

        Caveats. That works only if equal time intervals are available.
        And only if the morning (first data value!) at 00:00 is = 0.0 and the last data value (23:00) also equals 0.0 (Or if first_value (day 1) = last_value (day 1) = first_value (day 2). Otherwise, add up the time intervals through the day, then first_value/2 + last_value/2 will work pretty well as long each day-to-day change is relatively small.

        So, you're concluding watt-hours is the right unit for the day-to-day total?

      • “what units do you use at the end of a 24-hour day for the total all of the seconds that went by that day?”
        I multiple watt seconds x 3600 for watt hours.
        When i do annual power it will probably be kwh.

      • Phil. commented

        The appropriate unit would be Joules, on a daily basis MJ would be best as shown above.

        Then why is the Solar Constant in Watt/M^2?

      • Then why is the Solar Constant in Watt/M^2?

        That’s the incident instantaneous power, the author was referring to the daily integrated value,
        W=J/sec so W*sec= J*sec/sec = J

  7. When the wind blows hard, as it often does in polar regions, the heat lost from open water will increase significantly compared to that lost from ice. It is implicit in the post but bears repeating.

  8. “So, over 24 hours, 2186 more watts/m^2 were reflected from each sq meter of “excess” Antarctic sea ice at -68.0 latitude on Feb 22 2015….

    Over the 24 hour day, this was a total of 34 watts/m^2. (The math, if anybody is interested: if open ocean, the water absorbed 4+12+16+12+4 watts = 50 watts/m^2. If sea ice were present, the ice would have absorbed 2+4+5+4+2 = 16 watts/m^2. The difference = 50 – 16 = 34 watts/m^2.)”

    You can’t ADD W/m^2. You can add J/m^2, or you can average W/m^2.

    • He should have written, “So, over 24 hours, 2186 more watt-hours/m^2 were reflected. . .”

  9. Robert, Have you considered the impact of clouds and/or the atmosphere?

    1) Even on a “clear” day, a significant fraction of the light will be absorbed by the atmosphere before ever reaching the surface. If Trenberth’s diagram is to be believed, the average absorbed by the atmosphere is ~ 78/341 = 23%. At low angles of incidence (ie always near the poles) the absorbed fraction would go up at the sunlight travels longer distances through the atmosphere. This means that your numbers for reflected solar energy should all be much lower (ie reduced by at leaet 23%). This reduces the net warming/cooling effect.

    2) How cloudy are these areas? On cloudy days, much less energy yet would reach the surface, and the difference in albedo would be less important. I have no idea about the general weather patterns, but if some areas or some times of the year have heavy cloud cover, that would throw your numbers off quite a bit.

    • Good point.
      Also worth considering that because air is less dense than water or land it takes less energy to raise its temperature. As the atmosphere absorbs much of the suns energy before it hits the planets surface it pulls into question the whole notion of the surface warming the atmosphere and stage 1 of the standard greenhouse effect diagram.

      Thought experiment: Graphite rocks are more absorbant of sunlight than water. If 50cm of water is covering a shallow lake with a graphite rock bed, does the sun warm the water or does the graphite warm the water?

    • Near the poles the atmosphere is much less thick. The troposphere is an average of 56,000 ft thick at the equator and only an average of 30,000 ft thick at the poles. This makes the poles able to lose heat much easier and at the same time even though low angles of incidence do increase the distance light travels through the troposphere the decrease in atmosphere thickness along with the much drier atmosphere at the poles will attenuate the resulting absorption of light. What would the final numbers be? I have no idea..

      • Near the poles the atmosphere is much less thick. “
        Sort of. The surface pressure is (roughly) the same, so the total mass (or total # of moles) above each square meter is (roughly) same. The atmosphere rises to a smaller height, but the density of the cold air is greater, basically offsetting each other.

        “the decrease in atmosphere thickness along with the much drier atmosphere at the poles will attenuate the resulting absorption of light. “
        The point about water is important. The reduced absolute humidity will me less absorption by water (both for incoming sunlight and outgoing thermal IR. Reduced levels of dust could also be important. But (as pointed out in the 1st paragraph), a thinner overall atmosphere is NOT important here.

    • Actually, it looks like the atmospheric absorption is built in to the calculations, including effects due to angle above the horizon, The reduction I was concerned about is included.

      So, my point #1 is moot. Kudos to Richard on including this factor.

    • tjfolkerts
      March 5, 2015 at 4:52 am

      Robert, Have you considered the impact of clouds and/or the atmosphere?

      1) Even on a “clear” day, a significant fraction of the light will be absorbed by the atmosphere before ever reaching the surface. If Trenberth’s diagram is to be believed, the average absorbed by the atmosphere is ~ 78/341 = 23%. At low angles of incidence (ie always near the poles) the absorbed fraction would go up at the sunlight travels longer distances through the atmosphere. This means that your numbers for reflected solar energy should all be much lower (ie reduced by at [least] 23%). This reduces the net warming/cooling effect.

      2) How cloudy are these areas? On cloudy days, much less energy yet would reach the surface, and the difference in albedo would be less important. I have no idea about the general weather patterns, but if some areas or some times of the year have heavy cloud cover, that would throw your numbers off quite a bit.

      Clouds are critical five ways. Maybe more.

      Yes, right now I am ignoring them – but at least I know I am ignoring them. And trying desperately in each clause to make sure the readers know I am ignoring them!

      Clear skies, arctic conditions (both poles!) of low temperature, little water vapor, little dust and soot and little pollen (Antarctic in particular) = very low atmospheric attenuation. Measured values ~ 0.85
      Clear skies temperate latitudes ~ 0.75
      Temperate latitudes, but pollen or dirt or pollution? As low as 0.60 or below in local areas.
      Equatorial (high humidity) but no pollution? About 0.75

      Fine, those were clear skies. Clouds start by reflecting between 65% to 75% of the potential solar radiation directly from the cloud top. But how much each day? How much on different latitudes on different days? In different seasons?
      Regardless, assume you make some assumptions about the “number of cloudy days” each season. Then these clouds attenuate the left-over (non-reflected) solar energy (either strongly or weakly) the as they pass through the cloud layers – and there may be several layers from stratosphere down to the bottom of the dark gray cumulus cloud raining on the solar meter than hour.

      Now, you have anywhere between 15% of the original potential solar energy at ground level to 5%. So, you can see that “clouds matter” but the amount of energy left over to calculate after the clouds are factored in is much less than the original “clear sky” case.

      But the albedo of both sea ice and open ocean change with clouds!
      Sea ice. More clouds occur over open ocean than over sea ice.
      Albedo of sea ice is lower under clear skies (by about 8% – 10%) than under cloudy skies in both hemispheres.
      But – the albedo of open ocean is a function of solar elevation angle ONLY under clear skies. Under clouds (diffuse radiation) the open ocean albedo remains constant at 0.066 – that old hoary classic Wikipedia value all of us have memorized by comparing it to clean snow-covered Arctic sea ice in January (0.83). Under clear skies, measured open ocean albedo goes from 0.45 (at the horizon) to 0.066 (at solar elevation angles over 33 degrees). So, SEA matters in clear skies, but not cloudy skies.

      However, under cloudy skies, winds are typically higher (convection losses increase) but the LW radiation losses (from open ocean or from the top of sea ice) go down. Average air temperature, and hourly air temperature – changing through the year from -25 deg C to +1.5 degree C changes the film coefficients for conduction and convection losses.
      Higher humidity reduces LW radiation losses.
      Evaporation losses reduce as humidity increases – which always happens under the higher winds typical underneath storm clouds! – but the higher winds increase other factors in those evaporation loss rates as well.
      High winds (typical of clouds) reduce the film coefficient between sea surface and the air, so that increases convection losses from the ice or from the top of the sea surface.
      High winds reduce the open ocean albedo, but under clouds, you have almost only diffuse radiation available anyway, so there is little real effect on ocean albedo.
      Emissivity (gray body LW radiation) is about the same for both sea ice and open ocean water.

  10. …we should all be humble as we observe the planet. Its schedule does not recognize our months and days and hours.

    So true!

    Warmists of course replace humbleness with hubris. The link below takes you to Googles ngram viewer. Type in hubris as the search word and you will see usage for the word hubris tracks surprisingly well with CO2 and Warming temperature claims. Using hubris as my guide the only valid conclusion is that CO2 is a direct cause of hubris as evidenced in alarmist claims.

    Ngram Viewer

    If the above link does not work the link is http://books.google.com/ngrams/

  11. As interesting as this article is, it ignores the opposite effect of sea ice – namely the insulation effect reducing heat loss from the water below.

    This wouldn’t matter if the article was just discussing how the albedo effect works over different seasons and latitudes, but rather, it seems to be trying to draw conclusions about the effect on climate change. I don’t know which effect is larger, or whether they net off, but it does leave the question hanging.

    • Actually he doesn’t totally ignore the loss of Arctic sea ice.

      Today, this day of year, for every “lost” square meter of sea ice, the open Arctic ocean loses more energy from 24 hours of increased losses (increased long wave radiation from the open ocean water, from increased convection and conduction up to the sea surface, and from increased evaporation) than it gains from a few hours of increased absorption in the open Arctic Ocean. In all cases, at this latitude at all hours of the day, more energy is lost from the open Arctic Ocean water than from ice-covered Arctic waters.

  12. A nitpick:

    I will in general treat any specific equation sourced from common geometry … as a specific ‘thing”.

    For angles near the horizon, you can’t ignore atmospheric refraction.

    A few years ago, some Eskimos observed, among other things, that the stars seemed to be coming up in different places. The environmental activists, who were using the Eskimos’ testimony, tried to censor that particular bit. They said it would hurt their credibility. Finally someone pointed out that the Eskimos were right. Changes in atmospheric refraction, caused by temperature and humidity changes, would affect the position of the stars on the horizon.

    Any equation is just a model of reality. (That could be my pet peeve #1.)

    • There are several versions of “air mass” and “declination angle” available. Some correct for refraction, some do not. Some Air_Mass formulas correct for the earth’s curvature, some do not. Some correct for the colder temperatures (greater density) near the poles, some do not. Worldwide, Kasten & Young has become widely accepted with its integrated values for both. It is NOT clear whether Kasten & Young, in any of their versions, corrected for the shorter “height” of atmosphere near the poles, but the greater density becomes more important anyway. The slight difference in radius between pole and equator is not apparently corrected against in any formula I have found so far. Neither is the different radius for the earth’s oblate spheroid difference between between north and south pole.

      Bottom line? Kasten & Young 1989 is accepted, I used it.

      The one used here (Kasten and Young, 1989) is also used by the NOAA for their air mass values, and IS valid for low solar elevation angles and DOES correct for refraction near the horizon. The often-quoted “latitude cosine” function is wrong, and is only an approximation valid between south 45 and north 45 latitudes.

      Expressed as an Excel equation for solar elevation angles, Kasten & Young, 1989 is:

      Air_Mass = (1/(COS(3.14159/2-H9)+0.50572*(6.07995+I9)^-1.6364))

      where H9 is the SEA in radians, and cell I9 is the SEA in degrees.
      More frequently, you will see this written for Solar Zenith Angle (SZA) as :

      Air_Mass_SZA_Deg = (1/(COS(SZA_Deg)+0.50572*(96.07995-SZA_Deg)^-1.6364))

      SEA (or SZA) are calculated from latitude, declination angle, and hour-angle for each specific day-of-year and that unique hour-angle.

      SEA_Radians =ASIN( (SIN(F12)*SIN(LAT)) +(COS(F12)*COS(LAT)*COS(G12)) )

      for cell F12 = That declination angle (radians) on that day-of-year for that hour-of-day
      cell G12 = the hour-angle in question (radians)
      and LAT = the spreadsheet variable for latitude in question, (also in radians).

      if you have declared everything in variables, then this becomes:

      SEA_Radians =ASIN( (SIN(DECL_Rad)*SIN(LAT_Rad)) + (COS(DECL_Rad)*COS(LAT)*COS(HRA_Rad)) )

      For other approximations, see also Young, 1994.

      Young 1994, for cell d17 = SEA (radians)

      AirMass (Appx) =(1.003198 * (sin(d17) + 0.101632)/( (sin(d17))^2 + (0.090560 * sin (d17)) + 0.003198)

      • Bear in mind that this is a nitpick. :-) If we’re talking about watt-hours per day, the contribution of the sun at the horizon can be ignored.

        Kasten & Young 1989 is accepted, I used it.

        You can’t predict exactly where the stars will appear at the horizon unless you take the local conditions at the time of observation into account. Any Eskimo knows that.

  13. More nit-pick (of mine) from my military days: “after 15:00 PM”, the PM annotation is not needed when using 24 hr time.

    • Joel O’Bryan

      More nit-pick (of mine) from my military days: “after 15:00 PM”, the PM annotation is not needed when using 24 hr time.

      Yes, but most readers are not familiar enough with military time to convert back and forth. Things are confusing enough trying to “force” a 24 hour day at both poles at the same day-of-year that I elected to “duplicate” an PM (and sometimes an AM as well) for hourly numbers.

  14. Wind direction and speed does more to determine Sea Ice Coverage than does temperature. Sea Ice Volume, much more difficult to detect, tells the temperature story, but this of course includes both air temperature and much more important water temperature.

    I live on Lake Michigan, 36th floor, high enough to be able to see the Lake ice up and open up based on the WIND!!! Today I see maybe 10-15% ice coverage. Last week it was 100% in this area, and the week before that it averaged maybe 60%. What does this tell us? Cold, windy winter in the Midwest…

    • The thing that must be kept in mind is the wind may reduce ice coverage, but prior to 22 March, but the effect is still cooling (as the nights are longer than the days). As the wind now blows over a large fetch of open water, and with air temps still far below freezing, the overturning effects will keep ice from reforming but it markedly accelerates heat loss to depth (convection, in the form of downwind lake effect snow). Once the wind dies down, and the air temps remain solidly below freezing at night, the ice will reform rapidly.

  15. Was it just me or are there some issues in the Arctic section? The heading says Jan 22 and DOY=22. Is this last month’s report in this part or did the heading fail to be updated? It looks like all the data is for Feb 22 and DOY=53, so I am guessing the section titles for the Arctic portion need to be updated. Nice report otherwise. There are a lot of Watts going missing in the current configuration. So much for “energy budgets”!

    [DOY values are corrected, thank you for the “blogosphere’s” quick peer-review. .mod]

  16. While I generally agree with your statement “33.0% more Antarctic sea ice than normal for this date” using your chart, this other chart of “Daily Global Sea Ice Anomaly” http://nsidc.org/data/seaice_index/images/daily_images/S_stddev_timeseries.png shows much more sea ice area so the percentages are less. I’m also confused about your claim Antarctic sea ice “rising from +23% Feb 1 to 33.4% Feb 28. ” I’m not seeing that in either chart – on the nsidc chart it looks like the opposite happened comparing to the 1981-2010 average?

    They call it “global warming” so I always argue in terms of global sea ice and that recovered dramatically over two years ago and remains at mid 1980’s levels http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/global.daily.ice.area.withtrend.jpg

    The striking difference to me is how long it is currently remaining at the average level. It started down in 2001 and became less stable with a slow decline with several brief recoveries from ~2006 to and including one at the end of 2011.

    But then “something” must have happened because at the end of 2012 it recovered and appears to be stable again. Does anyone know why that happened?

    If as they say CO2 somehow “controls” earth’s temperature and CO2 is now at a record high concentration, one so high that they said it would cause catastrophic warming – how was it possible for global sea ice to recover back to the same as what it was 30 years ago and stay there for over two years?

    • Mike M

      While I generally agree with your statement “33.0% more Antarctic sea ice than normal for this date” using your chart, this other chart of “Daily Global Sea Ice Anomaly” http://nsidc.org/data/seaice_index/images/daily_images/S_stddev_timeseries.png shows much more sea ice area so the percentages are less. I’m also confused about your claim Antarctic sea ice “rising from +23% Feb 1 to 33.4% Feb 28. ” I’m not seeing that in either chart – on the nsidc chart it looks like the opposite happened comparing to the 1981-2010 average?

      You are reading a different laboratory’s interpretation of the daily satellite sea ice numbers. There are differences between JAXA, DMI, NSIDC, Cryosphere, and the others each day, but – in general – over longer periods of time, they track fairly well. But whenever you compare number-to-number, you do have to use the same lab. That’s why I chose Cryosphere for all Sea Ice reports – they are one of the few that reports both north and south poles.

      But, more important, you have to look at either “Area” (ocean waters 100% covered with sea ice) or “Extents” (ocean waters covered by at least 15% of sea ice – just about the maximum point where ships can travel at slow speed by steering between ice floes and the larger, deeper, more dangerous icebergs). Again, for consistency between north and south, because the Cryosphere reports “sea ice area” each day, I’ll report and use “sea ice area”.
      Area, of course, is smaller that “Extents” – so percentages comparing the two are going to be different.

      Note: The Cryosphere does not issue or plot “standard deviations” in its reports, so those have to be either assumed the same as another lab’s values, or left out entirely.

      See the following for Antarctica’s longer percentage trends

      Year	        DOY	Anomaly	Area	Avg_Area  Date       Pct_Excess	Latitude
      2013.8054	295.0	1.061	15.472	14.411	22-Oct-13	7.4%	-61.5
      2013.8904	326.0	1.078	12.587	11.509	22-Nov-13	9.4%	-62.9
      2013.9727	356.0	1.607	7.930	6.324	22-Dec-13	25.4%	-65.2
      2014.0575	22.0	0.976	3.937	2.961	22-Jan-14	32.9%	-67.5
      2014.1425	53.0	0.573	2.447	1.874	22-Feb-14	30.6%	-68.4
      2014.2192	81.0	0.564	3.396	2.832	22-Mar-14	19.9%	-67.8
      2014.3041	112.0	1.602	6.973	5.371	22-Apr-14	29.8%	-65.8
      2014.3864	142.0	1.389	9.652	8.264	22-May-14	16.8%	-64.3
      2014.4712	173.0	1.794	12.852	11.058	22-Jun-14	16.2%	-62.7
      2014.5535	203.0	1.356	14.641	13.285	22-Jul-14	10.2%	-61.9
      2014.6383	234.0	1.112	15.720	14.608	22-Aug-14	7.6%	-61.4
      2014.7233	265.0	1.530	16.622	15.092	22-Sep-14	10.1%	-60.9
      2014.8054	295.0	0.597	15.009	14.411	22-Oct-14	4.1%	-61.7
      2014.8904	326.0	0.459	11.967	11.509	22-Nov-14	4.0%	-63.2
      2014.9727	356.0	1.340	7.664	6.324	22-Dec-14	21.2%	-65.4
      2015.0575	22.0	0.713	3.674	2.961	22-Jan-15	24.1%	-67.6
      2015.1425	53.0	0.618	2.492	1.874	22-Feb-15	33.0%	-68.3
      

      And, for the Arctic.

      Arctic	        DOY	Anomaly	Area	Avg_Area   Date	     Pct_Less	Arctic_Lat
      2013.9727	356.0	-0.652	11.085	11.737	22-Dec-13	-5.6%	73.0
      2014.0575	22.0	-0.786	12.385	13.171	22-Jan-14	-6.0%	72.1
      2014.1425	53.0	-0.976	13.029	14.005	22-Feb-14	-7.0%	71.6
      2014.2192	81.0	-0.480	13.487	13.968	22-Mar-14	-3.4%	71.3
      2014.3041	112.0	-0.892	12.179	13.071	22-Apr-14	-6.8%	72.2
      2014.3864	142.0	-0.689	10.827	11.516	22-May-14	-6.0%	73.2
      2014.4712	173.0	-1.174	8.262	9.436	22-Jun-14	-12.4%	75.4
      2014.5535	203.0	-1.204	5.341	6.545	22-Jul-14	-18.4%	78.3
      2014.6383	234.0	-0.863	4.231	5.094	22-Aug-14	-17.0%	79.5
      2014.7233	265.0	-1.235	3.639	4.874	22-Sep-14	-25.3%	80.3
      2014.8054	295.0	-1.116	6.119	7.235	22-Oct-14	-15.4%	77.4
      2014.8904	326.0	-0.685	8.940	9.625	22-Nov-14	-7.1%	74.8
      2014.9727	356.0	-0.548	11.190	11.737	22-Dec-14	-4.7%	73.0
      2015.0575	22.0	-0.716	12.454	13.171	22-Jan-15	-5.4%	72.0
      2015.1425	53.0	-0.979	13.027	14.005	22-Feb-15	-7.0%	71.6
      
  17. The below quoted statement doesn’t make sense to me. The South Pole is at 90.0 South Latitude.

    “The edge of the Antarctic sea ice is at latitude -68.3 south, slightly closer to the South Pole than the Antarctic Circle at -66.5 south latitude.”

    It is farther south than the Antarctic Circle, but it is closer to the Antarctic Circle than to the South Pole.

    • Tim

      The below quoted statement doesn’t make sense to me. The South Pole is at 90.0 South Latitude.

      “The edge of the Antarctic sea ice is at latitude -68.3 south, slightly closer to the South Pole than the Antarctic Circle at -66.5 south latitude.”

      It is farther south than the Antarctic Circle, but it is closer to the Antarctic Circle than to the South Pole.

      it’s a bit tricky addressing both poles – when so many millions of people (in the northern hemisphere) are so conditioned to “north” “up” “pole” “further away” = “colder air, less light, more ice, more freezing, etc … For these many millions, “further south” ALWAYS means “closer to the equator” and “hotter, drier, more deserts, less ice, more and longer summer weather, more hurricanes, etc. July is always “hot” and December 22 is always “in winter” . Mentally, remember people have been conditioned by 40 years of propaganda to believe “Global Warming” means Central England will become as dry and barren as the Sahara Desert. Upstate New York will become a disease-ridden malaria-infested central American swamp. (As if the insect-ridden malarial swamp waters they cleared to dig the Eire Canal and the Russian city of St Petersburg can be forgotten in history’s muck.)

      Across all 12 months of the year, the Arctic Sea ice is concentrated north of the Arctic Circle’s 66.5 North latitude. At its minimum point in mid-September, the Arctic sea ice edge lies between 80 north and 78 north latitude, with only a few hundred sq kilometers further south between Canada’s islands. At its late March maximum of 14.0 Mkm^2, the Arctic sea ice just about fully covers the Arctic Ocean’s 14.0 Mkm^2 sq area, plus all of Hudson Bay, and areas of the Denmark Strait, about half of the Bering Sea, and partial areas in the waters between Greenland and Canada. Europe’s far smaller Baltic and Norwegian waters add just a little bit.

      The important point to remember is that virtually all of the Arctic sea ice is always north of the Arctic Circle every day of the year.

      For 10 months of the year, the Antarctic sea ice area is a band AROUND the antarctic continent whose icy areas are ALL between the Antarctic Circle and the equator. Only in January and February does the irregular Antarctic sea ice cross the Antarctic Circle, coming as you correctly point out, between the Antarctic Circle at 66.5 south and the South Pole. But those are the summer months in Antarctica, and so the edge of the Antarctic sea ice is hit with more than 16 hours per day of sunlight in November, almost 20 hours of sunlight in December, 18 hours per day in January, and 14 hours per day in February.

      And, those are the days of the year when the sun’s rays shine brightest, with TOA radiation at its yearly peak.

    • I see your point. But try reading RAC’s sentence this way: 68.3S is slightly closer than 66.5S to the S Pole.

      • MJ
        March 5, 2015 at 12:21 pm

        I see your point. But try reading RAC’s sentence this way: 68.3S is slightly closer than 66.5S to the S Pole.

        True, it really should be: “68.3S is closer to 66.5S than to the South Pole; but 68.3S is much closer to the Equator than 72N is to the Equator.”

  18. “The much-hyped Arctic amplification is a very real effect.”

    It’s like saying that the climate made the AMO warm up, when in reality the AMO made the climate warm up. If the ice extent is reduced with a negative North Atlantic Oscillation, then it’s an amplified negative feedback. Increased forcing of the climate increases positive NAO, e.g. when the ice extent increased through the late 1970’s, and the 2013/14 increase.

    • Great Lakes ice levels should be topping out in the next week, at least based purely on temperatures.
      After this last blast of frigid air eases up, next week will see temperatures get above freezing. The Southern Great Lakes will have some max readings approach 50.
      Next week is the 2nd week in March, so we are long over due for melting.

      I will guess that the peak in ice coverage for the Great Lakes would happen, based on the climatological average during the month of February, probably around the 2nd/3rd week.

      Obviously, peaking very late(in early March) correlates closely with cold Winters, especially late cold. Having 2 years in a row with ice coverage greater than 80% has not happened since the end of the previous natural global cooling cycle in the 1970’s,

      There is a strong regional weather element involved here. The core of the coldest global temperature anomalies the past 2 years has been over the Great Lakes and areas surrounding them.

      By no coincidence, the weather has been completely the opposite along the West Coast during much of that period with the Ridiculously Resilient Ridge, often built up well into the Northeast Pacific and at times last Winter, to Siberia teleconnecting well, with a downstream, deep upper level trough, at times a cut off upper level low, which when amplified has periods of being a “Polar Vortex”.

      Even last July, when we here in Indiana, (one state south of the Great Lakes) had our coolest July since records have been kept, this pattern occurred. However, it’s been most pronounced during the past 2 Winters.
      These past 2 Winters have featured a weather pattern very similar to the Winters of 76/77 and 77/78 for much of the US. Upper level ridge and drought in the West, extreme cold, Polar Vortexes at times in the East. The timing and similarities make for a strong connection to the natural cycle than also results in a -PDO,

      The PDO in the last year has spike positive(+PDO).
      Either we are prematurely switching back to a +PDO regime(10-15 years early) with the possibility of a pattern change which will favor milder Winters again or the +PDO spike higher will be short lived, similar to the late 1950’s, in the middle of the previous -PDO regime, when the +PDO only lasted briefly and was followed by another 15 years back to a -PDO, along with more modest global cooling(until that ended in the late 1970’s)

      http://research.jisao.washington.edu/pdo/PDO.latest
      http://research.jisao.washington.edu/pdo/

      What the PDO does during the next 2 years is huge in telling us about the natural cycle.

  19. “SIA 1979-2008, DOY 22, = 1.874 Mkm^2, Average area this date

    SIA 2015, DOY 22, = 2.492 Mkm^2, Actual area this date

    SIA Anomaly, 2015, DOY 22 = 0.618 Mkm^2, Anomaly this date”

    Did you mean DOY 53 (Feb. 22)?

    [Corrected, thank you. .mod]

  20. Well done, R.A. Cook! Your attention to detail is wonderful. That you have written a scientifically meaningful report is demonstrated in all the great discussion it has elicited on this thread.

    Thanks for all the hard work to keep WUWT a first class science site!

    (politics is also important…. but it is refreshing for all the wonderful scientists and engineers here to have threads like this one appear).

    • How can this be first class science when the author clearly doesn’t understand that the Watt is a unit of power not energy (and therefore can’t be added over time), and apparently also struggles with the 24 hour clock?

  21. “Today, this day of year, from each and every “excess” meter of Antarctic sea ice, you can see that an “excess” of 294 watts/m^2 are reflected back into space (326 watts/m^2 – 30 watts/m^, clear day, at noon).”

    Watch out, carbon pollution MIGHT increase DLWIR by 0.2 watts/m^2 per decade!

    • In view of the historical data in this WUWT Sea Ice Page chart (Arctic Sea Ice Extent), “it doesn’t is not likely to matter.”

      • Thanks, Janice.

        Of course, when discussing sea ice extent, we should keep in mind that global ice cover is what matters. As we see here [the red graph line], global ice extent is right at its long term average:

        There is nothing unusual happening. The Polar see-saw is operating normally. Currently, the Arctic is losing ice, while the Antarctic is gaining ice. And since the Antarctic has 10X the ice volume of the Arctic, the fact that the Arctic has recently gone therough one of its regular, periodic fluctuations is of no concern.

      • Good move dbstealey..
        ..
        Nothing like changing the subject when a significant defect in Cook’s argument is brought to light.

      • Cook said, “It doesn’t matter”
        ..
        Two standard deviations do matter, unless of course you don’t have a clue about statistics, not to mention that the chart that Janice provides shows that the trajectory is going the wrong way.

      • Grumbling: If YOU knew anything about data analysis… that “the red line has been dropping” would not be a matter of significance to you at this point. Did you notice the time scale along the bottom of that chart?

      • Robert Grumbine
        March 5, 2015 at 9:46 am

        Notice how the red line has been dropping in your chart? Shouldn’t it be rising?

        No. You are plotting a NORSEX value for Sea Ice EXTENTS, not Cryosphere Sea Ice AREA.
        Different lab, different values. Look at the Cryosphere data, that is what we are using. Oh – by the way, your NORSEX plots a ONE std deviation gray curve, NOT a 2 std deviation bar. Looks more “dangerous”, doesn’t it, when you show the sea ice extents trailing way below the “average curve” on a one deviation chart?

        Nice propaganda move. Now, look at this one from the NSIDC.

        Not nearly so “dangerous” is it?

        You mentioned the “red line” in your cherry-picked NORSEX plot. Look at the “black line” above from NSIDC. See how the daily values wiggle and churn back and forth? Since mid-October, the NSIDC Arctic sea ice extents has been WITHIN 2 std deviations of the 1981 – 2010 “normal sea ice extents” for ALL but 10 days! That long term trend – of Arctic sea ice staying below the long-term average, but within 2 std deviations of that average, is what is important. That long-term total heat balance equation – of increased heat losses from the Arctic when sea ice is “missing” between August and April each year, is what is important.

        The Arctic will heat up slightly May-June-July if sea ice is “missing”. Then it promptly re-freezes in October to even higher extents.

        Yes, we are a little below that 2 std deviation line right now. Again, so what? There was no sun up in the Arctic sea ice since early October either.

        Earlier last year, the Antarctic sea ice was as much as 43% above average. Did that bother you?

    • Robert Grumbine

      No. In terms of energy absorbed, the Arctic sea ice on Feb 22 was only 7% below the long-term average for that date. The Antarctic sea ice was 32% ABOVE average for that day-of-year! Which is more important?

      1. Heat Loss is increased when Arctic sea ice is “missing”. Sure, the Arctic sea ice is below 2 std deviations on some labs, the others show it right within the +/- 2 std deviation limit. Again, so what? Less arctic sea ice between late August and mid-April means MORE heat loss every hour into space.

      2. Potential Heat Absorption did NOT occur. The 7% of “missing” Arctic sea ice area – NOT “extent” as in your graph below (from a different lab) – was “missing” up past latitude 72 north.

      All day, there were only 79 watts available to fall on that “missing” sea ice. Of those 79 watts, 40 were absorbed in the ocean water, 39 were reflected from the open ocean. How could that little energy matter? For direct radiation, clear skies.

      Hour    If      If      If     If
      Of     Ocean	Ocean	Ice    Ice 
      Day    Absorb  Reflect Absorb Reflect
      0       0	0	0	0
      1       0	0	0	0
      3       0	0	0	0
      5       0	0	0	0
      6       0	0	0	0
      7       0	0	0	0
      8       0	0	0	0
      0       0	0	0	0
      10      3	5	1	6
      11     10	9	3	16
      12     14	11	4	20
      13     10	9	3	16
      14      3	5	1	7
      15      0	0	0	0
      16      0	0	0	0
      17      0	0	0	0
      18      0	0	0	0
      19      0	0	0	0
      21      0	0	0	0
      23      0	0	0	0
             40	39	13	66
             27			27
       

      3. Further, in the “net heat loss” calculation at the bottom of the article that you ignored, what little heat that was gained up in the Arctic WAS subtracted from the 100x larger losses caused by the much more important Antarctic sea ice “excess”.

      • Again, the subject here is Arctic sea ice which you stated is 7% below normal, and which according to the NSIDC is 2 standard deviations below average. Now, you ask about Antarctic ice ( “Which is more important?” )

        Changing the subject doesn’t help your case.

        PS check this out with regard to the 3rd dimension of the Arctic http://www.the-cryosphere.net/9/269/2015/tc-9-269-2015.pdf

      • No.

        The planet – if you did not notice – has two poles.

        You are ignoring the most influential one with respect to reflecting solar energy – the Antarctic.
        You are ignoring the extra heat losses that occur in the Arctic 9 months of the year when Arctic sea is missing.
        You are ignoring the fact the between October and February, there is no solar energy to be reflected from your PIOMASS “modeled” Arctic sea ice mass using assumed thicknesses over assumed areas based on the a mythical “next-year-melting” of future sea ice that does NOT occur!

        In September 2014, the Royal Society of London focused on that projected Arctic sea ice reduction you are hysterically clinging to.

        That meeting specifically REJECTED your assumption that “Arctic sea ice loss in September causes a reduction in sea ice the next season.”

      • When Arctic ice is two standard deviations below normal (7%) and you say “It doesn’t matter” ….
        you are wrong.

        If it was one standard deviation, you would be correct, but when it drops below two, there is something the matter.

      • Hi Robert,

        Thanks for looking at the big picture. Global ice cover is completely normal; there is nothing either unusual, or unprecedented happening WRT polar ice. In fact, the Arctic has been ice-free at times during the current Holocene — before human emissions had anything to do with it.

      • Robert Grumbine
        March 5, 2015 at 11:48 am

        When Arctic ice is two standard deviations below normal (7%) and you say “It doesn’t matter” ….
        you are wrong.

        If it was one standard deviation, you would be correct, but when it drops below two, there is something the matter.

        OK. So, according to you, “Something is the matter” (when the Arctic sea ice goes below 2 std deviations below the average) – for 10 days out of the previous 5 months. (That is, the plotted sea ice was “out of the normal” plot by 2 std deviations – from an average value now 40 years old! – to accept “natural deviation” as a cause.)

        But the 2014 – 2015 Arctic sea ice extents remained well within the last 15 years of data – does that matter?

        Well and good. I agree.

        Now, what is “out of the normal” when the Antarctic sea ice is greater than 2 std deviations from the 1981 – 2010 average sea ice extents – for ALL of the past 30 months????? (Except 15 days in Nov 2014) . Is THAT deviation “a problem”?

        See, it cannot be excused by “winds” caused by “global warming” – air temperatures over the Antarctic continent have decreased steadily over their measured history.

        It cannot be excused by hand-waving of “melting Antarctic land ice” – that fresh water lost as vapor to sublimation into the dry air at -50 deg C is not enough to dilute 16 million sq kilometers of sea water around the continent.

      • Mr Cook
        ..
        What is so bad about your “argument” is that you continually change the subject from Arctic to the Antarctic. Please try to focus on the loss in the Arctic of 7% (aka 2 std’s) and leave the Antarctic be.

        [Note: Email not legitimate. Please fix. ~ mod.]

      • Mr Cook
        …………
        Here is analogy that shows why your claim is suspect.
        ..
        Imagine you are the president of a small hometown bank. Your bank has two locations The North branch office, and the South branch office. Now the South branch is doing fine, and has a positive cash flow. However the North branch is losing money. But, as president of the bank, you proclaim, “Don’t worry about the losses at the North branch, the cash flow from the South more than make up for them.

        [Note: Email not legitimate. Please fix. ~ mod.]
        ..

      • Robert Grumbine:
        Relax, there is no “death spiral” in the Arctic and in fact Arctic sea ice extent has been increasing at a rate that will restore it to normal within 3-5 years.
        The big concern now is not global warming but whether we are faced with another LIA, which would be a disaster.
        The present sea ice expansion should be your concern now, not AGW, which has been thoroughly debunked.

      • Yeppers.

        That there south bank done sure did cool the planet in February – at a rate 100.0 times greater than that little-itty-bitty bit of heat gain at the north pole. If your north pole bank heated up by $27 for one day for the first time since October 15, but that South Pole bank lost more than $2,186.00 dollars every day of the year since September, which is more important to the earth’s bottom line?

        Oh, to repeat our earlier oh-by-the-way, the Antarctic sea ice “excess” you are trying to get us to ignore has been GREATER than 2 std deviations from its mean for almost 2-1/2 years now ….

  22. Robert Cook,

    I am glad you provided this excellent post. The assessment of the magnitude of the radiative feedback as a function of time of year and location has been neglected. You might find these papers of ours of use in your analyses:

    Pielke Sr., R.A., G.E. Liston, and A. Robock, 2000: Insolation-weighted assessment of Northern Hemisphere snow-cover and sea-ice variability. J. Geophys. Res. Lett., 27, 3061-306. http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/files/2009/10/r-222.pdf

    Pielke Sr., R.A., G.E. Liston, W.L. Chapman, and D.A. Robinson, 2004: Actual and insolation-weighted Northern Hemisphere snow cover and sea ice — 1974-2002. Climate Dynamics, 22, 591-595 DOI10.1007/s00382-004-0401-5. http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/files/2009/10/r-256.pdf

    Best Regards

    Roger (Pielke Sr)

  23. “Down south, where the sun is always higher in the sky…”

    Always higher? Won’t the sun be higher in the sky up north after March 22?

      • That doesn’t help. Please explain. In July, the Arctic sun will be higher in the sky than the Antarctic sun, so what am I missing?

      • Sorry. As you travel south toward the equator, the sun appears higher in the sky. At the equator [only at the equinoxes] the sun appears directly overhead. But it never does when you move away from the equator.

    • Louis

      “Down south, where the sun is always higher in the sky…”

      Always higher? Won’t the sun be higher in the sky up north after March 22?

      It’s complicated, but please bear with me. This is why I want to report on sea ice for BOTH poles EVERY month of the year. The Arctic sea ice cycles at latitudes closely approximated by 78-80 north in September to between 71 – 72 north each spring. At these latitudes above the Arctic Circle, the sun is sometimes completely below the horizon – but NOT the “assumed” everybody-knows-it “12 months of the year” nonsense always used.

      The Antarctic sea ice on the other hand surrounds the Antarctic continent (14.0 Mkm^2 area) AND the fixed Antarctic shelf ice (1.5 Mkm^2). Thus, as the Antarctic sea ice goes up and down in its annual cycle between 2.5 Mkm^2 and 16.0 Mkm^2 – BOTH now at all-time record highs – it really is cycling between 18.0 Mkm^2 (at minimum, the total Antarctic ice covers an area larger than the Arctic sea ice does at maximum) to 31.5 Mkm^2 at maximum. (For comparison, at maximum, the Antarctic total ice covers an area larger than the TOTAL of sub-Aharan Africa plus all all of the land in South America below the Equator. That’s a lot of area to reflect solar energy.)

      Thus, the Antarctic sea ice extents cycles between latitudes 58-59 south to latitude 67 south. Every month of the year, every day of the year, every part of the Antarctic sea ice is closer to the equator than the Arctic sea ice. (Look carefully, and you will see that small parts of the Arctic sea ice (half of the Bering Sea, the Hudson Bay, Baltic for example) are “equal” to the average latitude of the Antarctic sea ice. But these area melt completely each summer, and so are NOT part of the critically-examined “minimum sea ice each September.”) As we look at each month’s exposure on the 22nd, you will see the difference go back and forth.

      But the Antarctic sea ice never goes “dark” any month of the year. It does see much “less” solar energy June and July than the other 10 months of the year.
      The Arctic sea ice goes completely “black” five months of the every year, sees very little solar energy four months, and gets a large amount only 3 months every year.

      May-June-July.

      Critical days up north. The sun IS higher in the sky than at the edge of the sea ice around Antarctica. But there is still solar energy being reflected from the large area of excess sea ice down south. Yearly? The Antarctic is much more important when every month of the year is compared – and that is what I was trying to impress upon you. In future articles, I will clarify the difference better – thank you for the question.

  24. I quote:

    ” The much-hyped Arctic amplification is a very real effect….”

    No it isn’t. There is no such thing as Arctic amplification. What causes Arctic warming and sea ice loss is not some mystically strengthened greenhouse effect but warm water carried into the Arctic Ocean by North Atlantic currents.

    Specifically, warm water from the Gulf Stream that is first carried north parallel to the North American coast and then turns east and bifurcates into the North Sea and the Barents Sea. I made this clear in my 2011 paper [E&E 22(8):1069-1083(2011)] but all those “Arctic experts” simply don’t do their homework and read the literature.

    We know that the current Arctic warming started at the turn of the twentieth century when a rearrangement of the North Atlantic current system began to carry warm water into the Arctic Ocean. Prior to that there was nothing in the Arctic except for two thousand years of slow cooling. The initial warming was interrupted in mid-century by a thirty year cold spell but warming resumed in 1970 and continued into the next century.

    All those studying Arctic warming today start their observations in 1979 because that is the start point of satellite observations. This makes them ignorant of what happened before this. Since they do not know anything about the start of warming let me make it clear: such a sudden start of warming is completely impossible for the greenhouse effect to produce because laws of physics do not permit it. The mid-century cool spell was just not cool but freezing which took place at the rate of 0.3 degrees per decade.

    Every once in a while you hear these guys notice that there was warming in the twenties and thirties as though they had discovered something new. Had they done their homework they would know that this is part of of more than a century-long warming that was interrupted by a cool spell in mid-century. That cool spell itself most likely was caused by a temporary return of the former flow pattern that existed before the warming began. And here is the problem: whatever has happened in nature before can happen again. If a cool spell like that one should appear it would disrupt both Arctic transportation and resource exploration that the current warming has made possible.

    I have been watching the Arctic temperature and notice that the rate of warming has already slowed since the big thaw of 2007 appeared. That unexpected thaw was caused by extra warm water pushed across the Bering Strait by pole-ward winds. It opened up a large batch of open water north of the Strait while at the same time the Russian side did not change. There has not been a repeat of this but we don’t know how likely such changes in the Arctic are. With the mid-century cooling and the 2007 melt as warnings we have to keep watching for what other surprises might be in store for us in the Arctic.

  25. According to American Society of Civil Engineers SmartBrief, Antarctica is melting:
    “Sustainable Development
    “Antarctic thaw is bad news for world’s coastal cities, scientists say
    “Scientists now see Antarctica as the “ground zero of global climate change,” says Harvard geophysicist Jerry Mitrovica, with some projections suggesting that Antarctic ice melt could send sea levels rising by 10 feet within the next century. That could cause $1 trillion in flooding damage in the world’s major coastal cities. “Before, Antarctica was much of a wild card,” said University of Washington ice scientist Ian Joughin. “Now I would say it’s less of a wild card and more scary than we thought before.” The Associated Press (2/27)”
    http://bigstory.ap.org/article/fcf40cc64971496e91d3059f2f7878f3/big-melt-antarcticas-retreating-ice-may-re-shape-earth
    “The big melt: Antarctica’s retreating ice may re-shape Earth
    By LUIS ANDRES HENAO and SETH BORENSTEIN
    Feb. 27, 2015 3:38 PM EST”
    “The world’s fate hangs on the question of how fast the ice melts.”

    • Follow the money.

      How much Big Government money went to the group writing the report – how many hundred thousand dollars in tax money, or more likley – how many millions of dollars went to the society FOR this paper – WITH NO feedback or advice or review by the members! – to get this published by the Washington headquarters?

      CGAW has been declared the world’s most serious national security problem by the Obola administration. This is the face of Muslim extremist groups and North Korean governments armed with nuclear weapons they are trying to promote further development with. Do you really believe this is “unbiased” or correct?

  26. Robert, are you using Fresnel’s equation for specular reflection to calculate the open ocean albedo? If not, could you briefly explain how it is calculated?

    • I was wondering that too. This approach would work quite well for still, flat water. However, rough seas would cause the light to hit the surface at a less glancing angle on average (and/or reflect twice before heading back up). Significant waves would increase absorption well above the simple calculation base purely on latitude.

      • tjfolkerts (talikng with Clyde Spencer)

        I was wondering that too. This approach would work quite well for still, flat water. However, rough seas would cause the light to hit the surface at a less glancing angle on average (and/or reflect twice before heading back up). Significant waves would increase absorption well above the simple calculation base purely on latitude.

        Sort of. But not really.

        The accepted – actually measured under open ocean conditions for real waves and real winds at real solar elevation angles!!! – is from Briegleb, 1986. His crew measured several years of Chesapeake Bay open water albedo’s down to 10 degrees SEA under all sorts of cloud and wind conditions. Briegleb matches data files reaching as far back as Payne, 1972 and Saunders, 1972. The earliest albedo paper I use is Grishchenko, 1959. (Note: Grishchenko shows low-angle albedo’s decreasing at SEA’s less than 10 degrees, probably because he is getting diffuse results mixed in with the direct results. (His maximum albedo for the ocean was 0.38 at 10 degrees SEA, then 0.30 at 4 degrees SEA.) A few other groups measuring open water albedo’s are in the literature: several later ones (such as Jin 2004) only repeat the graphs and data from their earlier experiments. Quite often, unless you read Payne or Briegleb, you are wasting your time. However, Jin does has a few nice plots showing direct radiation albedo’s over different conditions, but he never issues a single equation – only look-up tables. Which, in my opinion, are useless.

        Rutledge and Schuster re-used Payne’s original platform in the Chesapeake Bay Lighthouse over 4 years from 2000 – 2004. Their paper has a beautiful graph plotting BOTH direct and diffuse radiation albedo’s together. (Look up “Multi-Year Observations of Ocean Albedo From A Rigid Marine Ocean Platform from NASA-Langley, Figure 4. (Surprisingly, he gets a high-angle diffuse radiation albedo of 0.053.) Rutledge and Schuster are much more clear than the somewhat “muddy” overlaid graphs of the

        For calm waters, open ocean albedo =>

        Albedo_calm waters, direct radiation = 0.026/(mu^1.7 + 0.065) + 0.15 x (mu – 0.1)x(mu-0.5)x(mu-1.0)
        for mu = cos(SZA). This equation is curve fit to several thousand obervations, and works well under most conditions.

        NOTE! For solar elevation angles greater than 33.0 degrees (SZA < 57 degrees), use the diffuse radiation value of 0.066 for all albedos at all SEA's. No article quoting Breigleb ever tells you this, but if you blindly follow their equation across all SEA's from 90 to 0.0, you get a high-solar-elevation-angle albedo of 0.045 or less – which is incorrect.

        For winds?

        Pegau and Paulsen, 2001 are the only people reporting albedo's with a correction for wind speed.

        They expand on Briegleb's "ornate" formula above as follows.

        Also, data below 8 degrees SEA from ANY source is scarce. Most sources reporting values thatlow do not separate diffuse radiation albedo's from the direct (clear sky only) albedo's either. Makes it tricky.

        So, what about wind speed?

        Use Pegau and Paulsen,

        = 0.026/(mu^1.7 + (-0.0002w^2 + 0.0076w + 0.0266)) + 0.15 x (mu – 0.1)x(mu-0.5)x(mu-1.0)

        for mu = cos(SZA) and w = wind speed in m/sec.

        Their equation compares well for wind speeds up to 20+ m/sec.

        So, the only thing I needed to do differently is allow a "Wind" variable be defined for the spreadsheet.

        "Wind" is also critical for determining the film coefficients for convection and evaporation heat transfer, and is available for most areas as a daily, instantaneous, or average value. So, though I call out "calm waters, direct sunlight, clear skies" in the paragraphs above, the actual process is more robust.

    • Clyde Spencer

      Robert, are you using Fresnel’s equation for specular reflection to calculate the open ocean albedo? If not, could you briefly explain how it is calculated?

      No. Fresnel’s equations are valid for laboratory pure water under perfect conditions, using a “pure” mix of light at only two angles (usually, then the report “averages” the two curves together for a “mushy” result that is equally useless). ALL of the open ocean albedo’s are from at-sea measurements by various lab’s and research crews dating as far back as 1959, to as recent as 2010. (And a few conversations with the authors between 2010 and today.)

      One of the other replies has a more full list of the better quality articles and papers. Do you see it below?

      A sample of the Pegau and Paulsen equation for open ocean albedo at various wind speeds and solar elevation angles is below.

      		Wind    Wind 	Wind	Wind 	
      		0	3	9	12	
      SEA		Direct	Direct	Direct	Direct	Diffuse
      Degrees Sin-SEA	Albedo	Albedo	Albedo	Albedo	Albedo
      3	0.052	0.779	0.476	0.301	0.269	0.067
      5	0.087	0.613	0.409	0.274	0.247	0.067
      7	0.122	0.478	0.345	0.245	0.223	0.067
      9	0.156	0.378	0.290	0.216	0.200	0.067
      11	0.191	0.304	0.245	0.191	0.178	0.067
      13	0.225	0.250	0.209	0.169	0.159	0.067
      15	0.259	0.209	0.180	0.149	0.141	0.067
      20	0.342	0.142	0.128	0.112	0.108	0.067
      30	0.500	0.078	0.073	0.067	0.066	0.067
      33.3	0.549	0.066	0.062	0.058	0.056	0.067
      
  27. “The Arctic sea ice remains slightly below average for this time of year at -7%.
    It doesn’t matter. There is almost no sunlight hitting the Arctic sea ice at this time of year.”

    Please explain why it doesn’t matter when we are very close to the Equinox.

    “However, losing this Arctic sea ice cools the planet now, which often leads to additional Arctic sea ice area later in the year, which can reflect more sunlight then, then – again – cooling the planet.”

    And you should always put hot water in the ice cube tray because it will freeze faster than cold water. Try it.

    • Barry

      “The Arctic sea ice remains slightly below average for this time of year at -7%.
      It doesn’t matter. There is almost no sunlight hitting the Arctic sea ice at this time of year.”

      Please explain why it doesn’t matter when we are very close to the Equinox.

      It comes from the math. From the average latitude of the sea ice edge (72 degrees), from the day-of-year (53) and the resulting declination angle and solar radiation levels and the air mass and the angle of the sun. You got an argument? Go complain to the Designer(s) of this here planet.

      To repeat, on Feb 22, at latitude 72 north
      At 1:00, the sun is below the horizon, the Arctic loses more heat from the 2 deg C open ocean than it gains.
      At 2:00, the sun is below the horizon, the Arctic loses more heat from the 2 deg C open ocean than it gains.
      At 3:00, the sun is below the horizon, the Arctic loses more heat from the 2 deg C open ocean than it gains.
      At 4:00, the sun is below the horizon, the Arctic loses more heat from the 2 deg C open ocean than it gains.
      At 5:00, the sun is below the horizon, the Arctic loses more heat from the 2 deg C open ocean than it gains.
      At 6:00, the sun is below the horizon, the Arctic loses more heat from the 2 deg C open ocean than it gains.
      At 7:00, the sun is below the horizon, the Arctic loses more heat from the 2 deg C open ocean than it gains.
      At 8:00, the sun is below the horizon, the Arctic loses more heat from the 2 deg C open ocean than it gains.
      At 9:00, the sun is below the horizon, the Arctic loses more heat from the 2 deg C open ocean than it gains.
      At 10:00, the sun is 2 degrees above the horizon, 8 watts hit a horizontal flat surface at sea level, and the Arctic loses more heat from the 2 deg C open ocean than it gains.
      At 11:00, the sun is 7.1 degrees above the horizon, 19 watts hit a horizontal flat surface at sea level, and the Arctic loses more heat from the 2 deg C open ocean than it gains.
      At 12:00, the sun is 7.7 degrees above the horizon, 24 watts hit a horizontal flat surface at sea level, and the Arctic loses more heat from the 2 deg C open ocean than it gains.
      At 13:00, the sun is 7.1 degrees above the horizon, 19 watts hit a horizontal flat surface at sea level, and the Arctic loses more heat from the 2 deg C open ocean than it gains.
      At 14:00, the sun is again only 2 degrees above the horizon, 8 watts hit a horizontal flat surface at sea level, and the Arctic loses more heat from the 2 deg C open ocean than it gains.
      At 17:00, the sun is below the horizon, the Arctic loses more heat from the 2 deg C open ocean than it gains.
      At 18:00, the sun is below the horizon, the Arctic loses more heat from the 2 deg C open ocean than it gains.
      At 19:00, the sun is below the horizon, the Arctic loses more heat from the 2 deg C open ocean than it gains.
      At 21:00, the sun is below the horizon, the Arctic loses more heat from the 2 deg C open ocean than it gains.
      At 22:00, the sun is below the horizon, the Arctic loses more heat from the 2 deg C open ocean than it gains.
      At 23:00, the sun is below the horizon, the Arctic loses more heat from the 2 deg C open ocean than it gains.
      At 24:00, the sun is still below the horizon, the Arctic is still losing more heat from the 2 deg C open ocean than it gains.

      You don’t like the results, show me where I am wrong. (Clear skies, direct radiation. Or any other combination you can make stick.)

      • That is the reality. During the midnight sun in the Arctic offshore loses more heat into space.

      • Robert wrote –
        “It comes from the math. From the average latitude of the sea ice edge (72 degrees), from the day-of-year (53) and the resulting declination angle and solar radiation levels and the air mass and the angle of the sun. You got an argument? Go complain to the Designer(s) of this here planet.”

        Do you see these set of images where the polar points of Uranus turn parallel to the orbital plane ? –

        What everyone here does is get themselves a household broom and any object close by represent the Sun. The walk/orbit the central object while using the broom handle to keep their orientation fixed to any external point as they orbit the object imitating the constant orientation of circumpolar motion and daily rotation itself –

        They will quickly discover that all parts of their body (representing all location on the planet) turn with respect to the central object apart from daily rotation and clearly seen in the 4 degree change per annum as Uranus moves through space.

        This business of declination and the Earth ’tilts’ towards and away from the Sun was fine before idiots started to run around trying to convince everyone that people can control the planet’s temperature but not now. You too have to come to terms with sea ice evolution and the surface rotation behind it.

  28. I have to shake my head sometimes in watching grown men talk about the ’tilt’ of the Earth’s axis rather than the actual cause of sea ice evolution.

    Start with the daily development of frost/ice at any location and most people can appreciate it is because their location turns away from the Sun and the frost will disappear after dawn when their location turns back into solar radiation and the daytime Sun.

    The Earth has also a polar daylight/darkness cycle where regions surrounding the North/South poles experience roughly 6 months of daylight followed by 6 months of darkness. Arctic sea ice forms and the polar region turn in a circle parallel to the orbital plane and presently, as polar dawn approaches , the sea ice will begin to disappear.

    So, the Earth has dual surface rotations to the central Sun corresponding to the two distinct daylight/darkness cycles. As the Earth moves through space the entire surface turns slowly and unevenly to the Sun so when mixed with daily rotation we get the seasons and variations in the length of the noon cycle. Anyone who cares to discover the two surface rotations can enjoy them via the Hubble time lapse footage of Uranus and about 40 seconds into the presentation which demonstrates how all planets behave including ours –

    I don’t have much confidence in readers here to interpret the evolution of sea ice in terms of the surface rotation as a component of the Earth’s orbital motion alone and quite distinct from daily rotation but I have to try anyway.

    • Gkell1

      I don’t have much confidence in readers here to interpret the evolution of sea ice in terms of the surface rotation as a component of the Earth’s orbital motion alone and quite distinct from daily rotation but I have to try anyway.

      No. Your words (the permanent “tilt” in the earth’s axis of which you complain) does exactly what you say it does above in your comment: Smoothly change the seasons as the earth goes through each year – gradually and smoothly approaching and receding from the sun as each day goes by. Now, your words are slightly different than those in the article, but they say the same thing.

      • The evolution of Arctic sea ice is contingent on a surface rotation as a function of the orbital motion of the Earth and has nothing whatsoever to do with hemispherical declination. If you want to be useful then appreciate the general principles which can be extrapolated from the easy to understand experience that as your location turns away from the Sun that frost/ice forms locally overnight and then disappears and your location turns back into solar radiation.

        Arctic sea ice evolution is that principle writ large as the entire planet turns slowly and uneven as it moves through space aside from and in addition to daily rotation.So have you got it ? – frost/ice evolution overnight is a consequence of daily rotation while Arctic sea ice arises from a separate rotation which is obvious via the polar daylight/darkness cycle.

        The problems promoting this new insight based on dual surface rotations with separate effects (including the seasons) is that most of you are stuck in your schoolboy days with the teacher telling you the Earth ’tilts’ towards and away from the Sun along with the flawed view of axial precession. With everyone going bananas trying to pass off predictions as fact or counter this aggressive empiricism there are few around who can revisit a lot of older material we inherited from the great astronomers. Try Uranus once more to appreciate the surface rotation to the central Sun as a function of the planet’s orbital motion alone –

        Schoolboys are unlikely to appreciate what is going on but perhaps those who can reason why sea ice appears and the dynamic behind it will.

    • ren

      The ice in the Arctic will increase rapidly in March. Relatively strong solar wind caused the acceleration of the polar vortex.

      No, I am going to disagree with you there: There will likely be almost no increase in Arctic sea ice between today (6 March) and the Arctic sea ice maximum the last in March – maybe first week in April. We are near the peak already of a slowly-rising annual cycle. Perhaps another 0.25o Mkm^2 from today’s 13.9 Mkm^2 (remember – I’m looking at Cryosphere area, not “sea ice extents” from another lab.) Maybe less.

      The Arctic has surprised people before. Been a bit of a turndown the past three days – we shall see how it bounces the next week.

  29. weird isnt it how this information slips through virtually unnoticed by the warmist Sea Ice blog – which I notice is now being frequented by m1riam from HW. Perhaps the change from religiously following ‘PIOMAS’ ice volume for years (which is for them upsettingly close to 1 SD now) to suddenly switching to Sea Ice Area and Extent data has dented their enthusiasm to tell us here how wrong we all are. Adding such vitriolic followers doesnt do much for their credibility either or blanking out inconvenient references.

    To have this resource here is excellent, not to have lively debate from another well researched site such as Neven’s a real shame – especially considering their frequent posters pop up on here relatively regularly.

    I get the feeling that Sea Ice just wont do what they expect it to do. The difference here is there is no expectation that the Sea Ice will do anything except fluctuate as it always has until it dives into another Ice Age that we so far have no idea when or if is coming

  30. This is my first time visiting this site, and I have a question. I thought that the surface air temperature in the Antarctic (actually both poles) had been rising faster than the global average, which in turn causes more permanent ice to melt, which in turn causes a greater volume of surface fresh water to be present, which freezes faster because it is less dense (ie, does not sink) and has a higher freezing temperature. This effect, combined with wind shifting to more N/S (jet stream changes) causes larger temporary sea ice in the south pole winter. The minimum sea ice extent in the south pole historically has had a lot of variation, and it is a much smaller number than the total sea ice extent in in the northern hemisphere, for the obvious reason that the south is covered with land. Hence, it would make sense that the “global sea ice extent” at any particular moment might look the same as it has historically, even though large amount of total ice volume is being lost, as evidenced by dramatically increased glacial movement at both poles. Is the recent cracking of the Larson C shelf (49,000 km2) of any concern? Next summer it should bust off and disintegrate like Larson B did in 2002, shouldn’t it? Or, is losing the Larson C just something in the noise level?

    • Roger Caldwell

      I thought that the surface air temperature in the Antarctic (actually both poles) had been rising faster than the global average, which in turn causes more permanent ice to melt, which in turn causes a greater volume of surface fresh water to be present, which freezes faster because it is less dense (ie, does not sink) and has a higher freezing temperature.

      A long question – but well-researched – from a first-time writer.

      First, does this plot of Antarctic air temperatures look like the Antarctic air temperatures have risen? Continental-wide average temperatures by satellite have actually been going down steadily since the measurements began in 1979. And, with only two stations in the entire interior – an area the size of Sub-Saharan Africa, you cannot assume only the few peninsula weather stations are correct. (The little 3% of Antarctica that is the skinny peninsula stretching up towards Cape Horn is the only bit that has warmed slightly.)

      ftp://ftp.ssmi.com/msu/graphics/tlt/plots/rss_ts_channel_tlt_southern%20polar_land_and_sea_v03_3.png

      Wind changes around the whole continent? You’ll have to look a long time to find any actual evidence of any wind changes. The Antarctic sea ice has been growing since 1992. And there have been no changes in measured wind patterns – showing a change in the pattern (before 1992) to today’s circulation patterns (after 1992 and between 1992 and today) . Claims? Absolutely.. But no measured wind pattern changes.

      The daily Arctic summer air temperatures by DMI for 80 north latitude show ZERO change since 1959. Winter temperatures? They have gone up. Average (annual) air temperatures have gone up because winter temp’s have increased. But summer temps? No change at all.

      The minimum sea ice extent in the south pole historically has had a lot of variation, and it is a much smaller number than the total sea ice extent in in the northern hemisphere, for the obvious reason that the south is covered with land. Hence, it would make sense that the “global sea ice extent” at any particular moment might look the same as it has historically, even though large amount of total ice volume is being lost, as evidenced by dramatically increased glacial movement at both poles.

      Nope. Dead wrong. Since 2001-2002, the Antarctic sea ice (at today’s larger minimums 2.5 Mkm^2 ) are greater than than those earlier (1979 – 2001) by 50% – growing from right around 1.2 to 1.5 Mkm^2 up to today’s record-breaking sizes. But it is not just Antarctic sea ice minimums that have increased. Ominously, recent Antarctic sea ice maximums, and sea ice anomalies, have also been record breaking. Worse – from your argument’s sake – the Antarctic sea ice has NOT been highly variable. It has just been getting steadily getting larger for 22 years.

      Now, the past 4 years (since 2011) the Antarctic sea ice anomaly HAS been growing much faster than the previous stretch (1992 – 2011), but the past 5 months now the anomaly seems to have slowed down a bit, and has “only” been a 3/4 Mkm^2 of excessive ice.

      Still, there is NO measured value available that shows the Antarctic sea ice is any more “variable” than the Arctic sea ice.

      If anything – the rapid CHANGE in Arctic sea ice anomalies have been substantially higher!

      But even at its minimum in late February, the Antarctic sea ice is closer to the equator than the Arctic sea ice is at its maximum extents. And that lowered air mass, reduced atmospheric attenuation, longer days with greater sunlight available each day, cleaner sea ice around Antarctica compared to the Arctic, combined with the greater solar radiation at TOA in Nov-Dec-Jan-Feb means the Antarctic sea ice drives climate much, much more than the Arctic ever can.

      Do the math. Don’t just read the propaganda.

      Is the recent cracking of the Larson C shelf (49,000 km2) of any concern? Next summer it should bust off and disintegrate like Larson B did in 2002, shouldn’t it? Or, is losing the Larson C just something in the noise level?

      Well, good question. So, the Larsen B ice shelf cracked in 2002. What happened thereafter? Yes – it is just noise.

      Likewise, given the unusual underwater shape of the ocean floor under the end of the Pine Island Glacier out in the middle of the Peninsula, it can be well-argued that the recent “retreat” of the tip of the PIG actually means it has gotten thicker.

      • RACookPE1978 March 6, 2015 at 8:26 am
        First, does this plot of Antarctic air temperatures look like the Antarctic air temperatures have risen? Continental-wide average temperatures by satellite have actually been going down steadily since the measurements began in 1979.

        That plot covers about half of the Antarctic coastline, not the continent.

      • Thank you for that response. I really appreciate it. I am new to this whole tech about sea ice, but I’m not new to tech. In my horror in listening to the concerns about Arctic sea ice loss, and in particular the plight of wildlife that depends on sea ice in the Arctic, I have been working with a team of people to come up with a way to artificially accelerate the rate at which sea ice forms. I’m pretty sure we’ve found a way to grow seasonal sea ice 300% thicker (from 2m -> 6m), and do it at a large scale with very reasonable costs. I am currently putting together a marketing plan to raise funding for the project, which I am calling “I am Walrus”. I believe that the technology we’re inventing will allow sea ice to be “farmed” and controlled at a large scale to provide multiple benefits – among which are albedo control, habitat, shipping, and ultimately farming of mass quantities of photosynthetic cyanobacteria (PBF). If the PBF proves feasible, then it is theoretically possible to create a carbon sink that can pull from the air the CO2 that fossil fuel puts into the air, and at the same time, replace fossil based fertilizers for agriculture worldwide. Anyway, if this topic I’ve just mentioned interests you, I would be happy to invite you to our group so you can check out what we’re doing and lend your unbiased scientific opinion.

        By the way, throughout this whole thread, you too are obviously concerned about the changes that man can make and is making to our planet. Nobody denies that CO2, and Methane are on the rise and that the rise is induced by man. There seems to be great disagreement as to whether or not the headlines we hear about in the news are really connected to the changes (or not changes) that are actually occurring; but there is no doubt (I hope) that the consequences of habitat destruction accompanied by extinction of many species is making our planet less interesting for our children and grandchildren.

        Anyways, from a technical level as a sea ice global warming expert, you may conclude that we don’t need to engineer sea ice at this moment. That opinion is fine, but tell that to the Walrus who are losing their ice, or the reef species who are losing their coral. The habitat destruction has been phenomenal with 7 billion humans now all wanting cell phones, cars, and meat on their plate. We need to find ways to coexist with nature, or it will all be lost. I don’t want to be the one to look in the mirror and know that I didn’t do what i could’ve done to prevent it, whatever that is. That’s what drives me. Thanks.

      • And you will see that the concern about continued Arctic sea ice loss is misplaced and incorrectly focused: the continued loss of Arctic sea ice from today’s extents will only cool the planet, potentially pushing us towards the next rapid Ice Age start point.

        The (deliberately-ignored) steady increase in Antarctic sea ice is only doing the same. Cooling the planet.

      • “Wind changes around the whole continent? You’ll have to look a long time to find any actual evidence of any wind changes. The Antarctic sea ice has been growing since 1992. And there have been no changes in measured wind patterns – showing a change in the pattern (before 1992) to today’s circulation patterns (after 1992 and between 1992 and today) . Claims? Absolutely.. But no measured wind pattern changes.”
        Sorry that is wrong;
        “Changes to Antarctic winds have already been linked to southern Australia’s drying climate but now it appears they may also have a profound impact on warming ocean temperatures under the ice shelves along the coastline of West and East Antarctic.”
        http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140707103633.htm
        And again;
        “Based on the NCEP–NCAR reanalysis data, there are increases in surface wind speed (0.13% yr−1) and convergence (0.66% yr−1) over the ice-covered areas of the Southern Ocean during the period 1979–2010.”
        http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/JCLI-D-12-00139.1

      • Paul

        And again;
        “Based on the NCEP–NCAR reanalysis data, there are increases in surface wind speed (0.13% yr−1) and convergence (0.66% yr−1) over the ice-covered areas of the Southern Ocean during the period 1979–2010.”

        And that “research” was only another model.

        A global sea ice–ocean model is used to examine the impact of wind intensification on Antarctic sea ice volume. Based on the NCEP–NCAR reanalysis data, there are increases in surface wind speed (0.13% yr−1) and convergence (0.66% yr−1) over the ice-covered areas of the Southern Ocean during the period 1979–2010. Driven by the intensifying winds, the model simulates an increase in sea ice speed, convergence, and shear deformation rate, which produces an increase in ridge ice production in the Southern Ocean (1.1% yr−1). The increased ridged ice production is mostly in the Weddell, Bellingshausen, Amundsen, and Ross Seas where an increase in wind convergence dominates. The increase in ridging production contributes to an increase in the volume of thick ice (thickness > 2 m) in the Southern Ocean, while the volumes of thin ice (thickness ≤ 1 m) and medium thick ice (1 m < thickness ≤ 2 m) remain unchanged over the period 1979–2010. The increase in thick ice leads to an increase in ice volume in the Southern Ocean, particularly in the southern Weddell Sea where a significant increase in ice concentration is observed. The simulated increase in either the thick ice volume (0.91% yr−1) or total ice volume (0.46% yr−1) is significantly greater than other ice parameters (simulated or observed) such as ice extent (0.14–0.21% yr−1) or ice area fraction (0.24%–0.28% yr−1), suggesting that ice volume is a potentially strong measure of change.

        No measured data.

      • Paul

        “When we included projected Antarctic wind shifts in a detailed global ocean model, we found water up to 4°C warmer than current temperatures rose up to meet the base of the Antarctic ice shelves,” said lead author Dr Paul Spence from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science (ARCCSS).

        “The sub-surface warming revealed in this research is on average twice as large as previously estimated with almost all of coastal Antarctica affected. This relatively warm water provides a huge reservoir of melt potential right near the grounding lines of ice shelves around Antarctica. It could lead to a massive increase in the rate of ice sheet melt, with direct consequences for global sea level rise.”

        Prior to this research by Dr Spence and colleagues from Australian National University and the University of New South Wales, most sea level rise studies focused on the rate of ice shelf melting due to the general warming of the ocean over large areas.

        Using super computers at Australia’s National Computational Infrastructure (NCI) Facility the researchers were able to examine the impacts of changing winds on currents down to 700m around the coastline in greater detail than ever before.

        Previous global models did not adequately capture these currents and the structure of water temperatures at these depths. Unexpectedly, this more detailed approach suggests changes in Antarctic coastal winds due to climate change and their impact on coastal currents could be even more important on melting of the ice shelves than the broader warming of the ocean.

        “When we first saw the results it was quite a shock. It was one of the few cases where I hoped the science was wrong,” Dr Spence said.

        “But the processes at play are quite simple, and well-resolved by the ocean model, so this has important implications for climate and sea-level projections. What is particularly concerning is how easy it is for climate change to increase the water temperatures beside Antarctic ice sheets.”

        Again. ONLY models. And the mandatory CAGW warning at the end, complete with the implied “send more funds for more research” to my research group. No data. No measured trends, no shifts or inflection points or influences. ONLY a model.

      • Roger Caldwell.

        By the way, here is an article that says that westerly Antarctic winds have been shifting poleward since the 50’s, and that anthropogenic forcing will keep making it worse. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2014GL060613/abstract

        And from its abstract, not a single measurement in sight. On site. Off site. No trend of data. Nothing but a model showing what “may” happen if winds “could” change that “might be caused” by CAGW – but from the 1950-1970, the world cooled. So, the original premise begins with a step in the wrong direction. Again. No data.

        No measured data justifying (excusing ?) the steady increase in Antarctic sea ice since 1992, nor the rapid increase 2010-2014, then a steady sea ice excess for 7 months. None. You need to show a consistent series of data from 1979 through 2015 showing the CHANGE in winds that HAVE HAPPENED continent-wide before and after every change in Antarctic sea ice trend across every season, at every part of the 1.5 Mkm^2 sea ice area (the old minimum) to today’s record-setting maximums of 16.0 Mkm^2.

        they do have a model. And they do relate a single 1950 date.

        The southern hemisphere westerly winds have been strengthening and shifting poleward since the 1950s. This wind trend is projected to persist under continued anthropogenic forcing, but the impact of the changing winds on Antarctic coastal heat distribution remains poorly understood. Here we show that a poleward wind shift at the latitudes of the Antarctic Peninsula can produce an intense warming of subsurface coastal waters that exceeds 2°C at 200–700 m depth. The model simulated warming results from a rapid advective heat flux induced by weakened near-shore Ekman pumping and is associated with weakened coastal currents. This analysis shows that anthropogenically induced wind changes can dramatically increase the temperature of ocean water at ice sheet grounding lines and at the base of floating ice shelves around Antarctica, with potentially significant ramifications for global sea level rise.

      • Here’s an article, with satellite telemetry data, that says the Antarctic is losing 125 km3 of ice per year which has been confirmed by two satellites – one that measures altitude, and and another that measures gravity. These are not “fly by night” sources, but collaborative from 4 highly respected German, Dutch, and American laboratories (plus NASA). The satellites can now directly measure ice loss in even small glaciers, so I don’t think there is a lack of data indicating that something unprecedented is going on in Antarctica. The wind is even easier to see with Satellites, so I don’t think there is a lack of data to say that wind current has shifted to a more polar orientation. It makes more sense to me that the extension of summer ice is caused by more fresh water at the surface. I agree with you that from an Albedo standpoint today – right now – that increased temporary ice is having a cooling effect, but it seems to be masking a much larger long term problem. http://phys.org/news/2014-09-goce-reveals-gravity-dip-ice.html#jCp

  31. I’d just finished reading this and the Michael Bastasch post from a few days ago when I decided to watch ABC TV news tonight here in Australia, from which I learnt that Antarctica is melting so fast there’ll soon not be enough ice cubes to cool a cocktail. It seems all that deep ocean boiling water is melting Antarctica from below, with Chinese and Tasmanian scientists saying it’s disappearing faster than expected. Read all about it at http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-03-06/researchers-shed-light-on-why-ice-shelves-shrinking-faster/6280404 if you want a good laugh.

      • For details, see:
        Antarctic ice-shelf thickness from satellite radar altimetry
        J.A. GRIGGS, J.L. BAMBER, 2011. Journal of Glaciology.

        That paper lists all of the Antarctic ice shelves and their assumed thicknesses. Oh, the “article” you quoted? Only models. No data. No measurements. No trends.

    • I don’t understand what’s so funny. Are you saying that the painstaking work they’re doing to count ice in satellite images is flawed? or what? Nowhere in that article does it say that all of the ice will be lost anytime soon. They’ve just found another way to confirm that the ice is actually being lost – – using data from pictures. Or, are you laughing because the scientists are from China and Tasmania? Whats up with that? The concern over water temperature is not “boiling” water, but changes in water temperature at depths of 200 – 700m.

  32. Solar radiation at Top of Atmosphere (TOA) = 1390 watt/m^2 this date (whole earth exposure) based on a yearly average TSI = 1362 watts/m^2. As it always does, solar radiation at TOA will continue to decrease from its yearly maximum of 1407 watts/m^2 on January 5 to its yearly minimum of 1315 watts/m^2 July 5. As far as the total planet heat balance goes, this means each day-of-year later means the sea ice at each pole will be able to reflect less and less between now and July 5.

    Let’s be absolutely clear about it.

    If the following 4 preconditions are met, average annual insolation of the two hemispheres at ToA (Top of Atmosphere) is exactly the same.

    1. The solar constant is constant indeed
    2. Earth has a true Keplerian orbit around the Sun
    3. Orientation of Earth’s spin axis is fixed relative to the stars
    4. Shape of Earth is symmetric with respect to its equatorial plane

    According to Kepler’s second law of planetary motion “a line segment joining a planet and the Sun sweeps out equal areas during equal intervals of time”. Should the planet proceed by a small angle along its orbit, the area swept by this line segment is proportional to the square of its length (the instantaneous orbital radius). On the other hand, incident shortwave radiation flux at ToA is inversely proportional to the square of instantaneous orbital radius.

    What follows is cumulative incoming solar energy at ToA in an orbital segment is proportional to the angle between its endpoints as seen from the Sun.

    Insolation at ToA on January 3, when Earth is at its perihelion, is some 7% higher (at 1407 W/m²) than on July 4 (1316 W/m²). However, Northern summer (between spring and fall equinoxes) is about a week longer, than the Southern one, because Earth is farther away from the Sun, therefore it is slower on its orbit. The two effects, as shown above, cancel exactly, because angular distance between equinoxes is 180° (π radian), half of a full circle.

    We have actually shown more than that. Latitudinal distribution of average annual incoming solar radiation is symmetric with respect to the Equator, and it is also true if Northern summers or winters are compared to Southern ones.

    Unfortunately none of the 4 preconditions above is strictly true. But deviations are tiny and they can safely be ignored at first approximation.

    It is far more interesting, that not only incoming radiation has an inter-hemispheric symmetry, but reflected radiation as well. What implies the two hemispheres should absorb the same amount of energy at an annual scale.

    see: The Observed Hemispheric Symmetry in Reflected Shortwave Irradiance

    This fact lacks a simple explanation, it is an emergent phenomenon of the climate system.

    Clear sky albedoes of the two hemispheres are very different, the Southern one being inherently darker, in spite of extended Southern ice cover. That’s because ocean is much darker, than continental surfaces, and we have substantially more water in the South. Under clear sky conditions annual average reflected shortwave radiation would be some 6.2 W/m² lower in the Southern hemisphere, than in the Northern one.

    The actual difference is almost two orders of magnitude lower than that, some 0.1 W/m². That’s because there are clouds as well, and some as yet unidentified global process regulates hemispheric cloud cover just so.

    This symmetry is not replicated by sophisticated computational climate models, which is a far more serious issue than divergence of observed and modelled global average surface temperatures.

    The symmetry is only valid for annual hemispheric averages of reflected (or absorbed) shortwave radiation. Latitudinal distributions are not symmetric, so they do not follow incoming radiation in this respect. There are also much larger swings in global average reflected shortwave radiation on an inter-annual scale, but the two hemispheres follow each other closely.

    It is even more interesting, that emitted thermal IR radiation also lacks an inter-hemispheric symmetry, being some 1.2 W/m² higher in the North. Which translates to a 0.3°C higher effective temperature of the Northern hemisphere (as seen from space). In other words, there is considerable heat transport from the cooler Southern hemisphere to the warmer Northern one. Which, presumably, is done by ocean currents, demonstrating they are driven by pure mechanical energy input (tides &. winds), not by thermodynamic forces.

    • Berényi Péter commented

      This symmetry is not replicated by sophisticated computational climate models, which is a far more serious issue than divergence of observed and modelled global average surface temperatures.

      IMO this goes back to the excess sensitivity to Co2 in the models, which leads to a fundamental failure to model the climate since that warming masks the actual processes.

      I have been pondering what about a mass of arctic air makes it 10F out with the same solar forcing as a few days later when it’s 40F out at the same time of day. The two differences are absolute humidity, and air temp.

      What you’re describing, how Willis has highlighted the regulation of temps by tropical oceans, the failure of the models is all defining a box that contains the driving factors of the climate (and excludes what doesn’t), and Co2 is getting shoved out of that box.

      The stair steps in Surface temps look to be from a large change in separate regional temps, not a small global trend from Co2. I can’t discount that there isn’t a small Co2 trend (such as what BEST calculates), but I do discount that it is the main driver of increasing temps. The annual average of the derivative of Daily change in Max temp dithers around 0, and has since the 50’s. the derivative of Min temp is all over the place, and yet when you look at temps from yesterday’s minimum to yesterday’s max, to today’s minimum, cooling is a match for warming, some years rising temps vary up and down some, but it is closely matched by falling temps.

      Picture a pot of water boiling, and the steam entering a long cooling tunnel, now make the tunnel so big it doesn’t have any walls, starts to remind me of the planet cooling off with all the hot air from the equator, flowing towards the poles where it cools off.

    • Berényi Péter

      Thank you for the verifications. The daily TOA solar radiation values are from 10-year measured SORCE TOA values for that day-of-year. The day-to-day values are specific to the DOY (day-of-year) in question.

      Specifically, the data follows the not-quite-Keplerian formula =1362.36+46.142*(COS(0.0167299*(DOY)+0.03150896))

      But you missed something. The calculated TOA radiation on each day and the atmospheric attenuation and air mass and solar elevation angles for hour of the chosen day for that latitude are specific individual items based on DOY, latitude, and season (sea ice albedo varies day and by season). There is NO “averaging” or hemisphere-wide figures. Only specific hour-by-hour comparisons of the energy reflected from and absorbed by the sea ice (or open ocean) at the specific latitude at equatorial edge of each sea ice area.

      If 2015 is similar to 2013 and 2014, you will find over the next 10 months that the ever-expanding Antarctic sea ice is much more important to the earth’s energy balance than the now-receded but-static Arctic sea ice.

      Further, when all ocean heat losses are included, the the loss of additional Arctic sea ice from today’s extents only means MORE heat lost to space fro thew ocean than is gained by the short May_June_July summer insolation months.

      Clear sky albedoes of the two hemispheres are very different, the Southern one being inherently darker, in spite of extended Southern ice cover. That’s because ocean is much darker, than continental surfaces, and we have substantially more water in the South. Under clear sky conditions annual average reflected shortwave radiation would be some 6.2 W/m² lower in the Southern hemisphere, than in the Northern one.

      The actual difference is almost two orders of magnitude lower than that, some 0.1 W/m². That’s because there are clouds as well, and some as yet unidentified global process regulates hemispheric cloud cover just so.

      Interesting, please amplify your thoughts on this. However, …

      In these monthly reports, we will look not at “clear-sky albedo” (of sea ice ?, or of the open ocean waters )? but will use only measured open water and Antarctic or Arctic sea ice albedo’s measured on-site, valid for the month and day in question. Thus, the comparison asks ONLY:
      On a clear day at this latitude, how much solar energy gets through the atmosphere each hour of across a 24-hour day to land on the ocean surface?
      How much energy is absorbed by the sea ice, and how much would be absorbed by the open ocean waters?
      How much is reflected by the sea ice, and how much would be reflected by the open ocean if the sea ice were missing?
      How much additional energy is lost from the open ocean after 24 hours of average weather conditions at this location on this day if the sea ice were missing?

      What happens to the rest of the hemisphere is of mild interest, but is beyond the scope of the question.

  33. Europe-Asia snow cover (white) and sea ice (yellow) 3 March 2014 (left) and 2015 (right). Map source: National Ice Center (NIC).
    You can see more ice around Svalbard.

  34. You state: “Today, this day of year, for every “lost” square meter of sea ice, the open Arctic ocean loses more energy from 24 hours of increased losses (increased long wave radiation from the open ocean water, from increased convection and conduction up to the sea surface, and from increased evaporation) than it gains from a few hours of increased absorption in the open Arctic Ocean”.

    What you don’t state here but imply in your statement concerns the very important concept of the latent heat of fusion of water at the melting point of ice. If I have this correct, perhaps this should be made clear that the heat required to melt 1 g of ice is 79.8 cal/g (or 335 J/g) in order to change the ice to water but this amount of heat required does not increase the temperature, it only changes the state from solid ice to liquid water. Then the heat required to raise the temperature of water by one degree C. is a different amount and is a far smaller amount of 1 cal/g (or 4.18 J/g).

    • Conodo Moose

      If I have this correct, perhaps this should be made clear that the heat required to melt 1 g of ice is 79.8 cal/g (or 335 J/g) in order to change the ice to water but this amount of heat required does not increase the temperature, it only changes the state from solid ice to liquid water. Then the heat required to raise the temperature of water by one degree C. is a different amount and is a far smaller amount of 1 cal/g (or 4.18 J/g).

      Almost. Specifically, I am not trying to develop or maintain a “long-term” or complete climate model of all heat flowing into and out of an isolated static equilibrium environmental “box” from sea bed to outer space at 3 deg K with intermitent flashes of 1390 watts of solar solar radiation at top of atmosphere. Were that true, then the latent heats of fusion and evaporation become critical. (Also the inbound heats from the moist or dry coming into the environment, and the more humid or more dry winds leaving the environment, etc.) Rather, I compare the heat balance from solar radiation (and consider other losses) into the top of ocean that happens at a particular latitude if sea ice is present one hour on one given day. Then, compare it to the heat balance if that sea ice were removed (whether by winds or Sereze’s fears or Mann’s sleight of hand or Thor’s hammer is irrelevant).

      Or, if you will, use the following recipe: Take four square meters of ocean. Place two at -68 latitude, and the remaining two at 72 north latitude on Feb 22. Cover one with sea ice, leave the other open to the air. Leave sit for 24 hours, exposed to the weather at both locations. Report the net heat gained or lost at day’s end from that sq meter of open ocean. Thus, if air temperature were -25 deg C and the ocean water were 2 deg C, heat would have been lost from the water proportional to the difference between the water and the air temperature, right? If the top of sea water were 2 deg C, but the surface of the sea ice were -23 deg C, then the two surfaces (both side-by-side radiating into the same air and the same sky through the same relative humidity would lose different amounts of LW energy through through raidation, right?
      Long term? Sure. Heat up the air, evaporate some mass from the water surface, melt the sea ice and cool the water, bring more saline in from the outside but cool it and let it sink out the bottom, change the salinity under the sea ice, change the humidity of the air blowing by, and let that change the cloud cover above. Later.

      Right now, just look carefully at two adjacent sq meters of sea water, one covered by sea ice and reflecting the sun’s rays strongly, and one open to evaporate and convect heat to the air above.

      • RA,
        “Thus, if air temperature were -25 deg C and the ocean water were 2 deg C, heat would have been lost from the water proportional to the difference between the water and the air temperature, right?”

        No, not air temp, the sky temp in IR, and at N41 I’m currently measuring near -80F, since the thermometer is calibrated to a blackbody, so you do have to add Co2 forcing, but at most it has to be limited to a percentage of upwelling LW IR. Far less than air temp.

      • Mi Cro

        RA,

        “Thus, if air temperature were -25 deg C and the ocean water were 2 deg C, heat would have been lost from the water proportional to the difference between the water and the air temperature, right?”

        No, not air temp, the sky temp in IR, and at N41 I’m currently measuring near -80F, since the thermometer is calibrated to a blackbody, so you do have to add Co2 forcing, but at most it has to be limited to a percentage of upwelling LW IR. Far less than air temp.

        Concur. There many (tens of thousands ?) of calc’s on the net of “radiation losses” to “space” … None that I’ve found to date actually account for the different interferences in the atmosphere between the surface (ice or sea water, in this case) and the 3 deg K “black body” of outer space.

        Thus, the surface loses by conduction, convection and evaporation to the first 1-2 meters: That heat loss is “controlled” by the surface (skin) temperature, the 2-meter air temperature, the local wind speed, the local (2 meter) relative humidity. Assumed “constants” are that the surface is flat, the surface is either at a constant temperature (or is cooling/heating at a slow, predictable rate based on its thermal mass (Cp, mass, density, height,width, thickness, and chemical composition is known).

        Actual radiation heat loss from a grey/gray body into a real-world atmosphere that has been really measured against calibrated instruments? I’ve seen approximation using T_sky (the 15,000 or 10,000 meter air temperature) other approximation using T_Space, others using T_air and the assumed cloud cover, others that are similar using the T_air (2 meter) temperature plus a “factor” for “clear winter nights” times a factor for relative humidity, etc. Nothing quantifiable.

  35. Being a watery planet and water being a very good refrigerant molecule the earth is in a chaotic fashion trying to maintain equilibrium. The various cycles as the earth meanders it’s way through the universe and the gas giants manipulation of the solar cycles, cause a little concern as some undulations of our climate cycles give us some unpleasant conditions. Some conditions are good as have been noted in history other periods of a cooler climate have been less than satisfactory for human health and welfare.

    This little planet of ours is in the grip of cycles that are far greater than anything that we could even begin to effect it. The odd century or two from now when we are in our trillions as a race we may have a problem at the moment we are like fleas on a hound. Development of our demeanour and our technology will see our little blue speck In the sky flourish.

    The ice age commeth for sure but there are many places on the world that will be good to live in and prosper. The various climatic cycles of our world are beyond our control they are cyclic which seems to suggest that the harmony of the spheres may have a greater impact than CO2.

  36. Zeke,
    “As I’ve mentioned elsewhere:”
    If look at station derivative over regional areas, you see large swings that are brief, and at different places (and time) globally, like a change in ocean temps upwind would cause.

  37. Guy’s, I’m new to this and I’m just trying to figure out whats up. I’m finding it pretty easy to get hold of data. Here’s a NASA article that says global sea ice loss (net, north and south) is some 13,000 km2 per year. They have really cool pictures and graphics that illustrate data taken by satellites. I understand the significance of increased albedo from Antarctic ice vs Arctic ice, but this data clearly shows a net loss that is significant. Are the satellites all wrong? http://www.nasa.gov/content/goddard/nasa-study-shows-global-sea-ice-diminishing-despite-antarctic-gains/#.VP0bs1OUeAI

    • Roger Caldwell

      Here’s a NASA article that says global sea ice loss (net, north and south) is some 13,000 km2 per year. They have really cool pictures and graphics that illustrate data taken by satellites. I understand the significance of increased albedo from Antarctic ice vs Arctic ice, but this data clearly shows a net loss that is significant.

      Not, it is not significant. The ONLY reason Arctic sea ice loss is noticed and hyped is for its propaganda value: it meets the need for publicity. The actual impact of the 3 month reduction in albedo (due to increased loss of sea ice up north) is more than “balanced” by the increased losses that occur all 12 months of the year, when the increased losses far exceed the summer warmth. And, by the way, the Royal Society has produced symposium results showing that first-to-next-year Arctic losses do NOT affect the next year’s sea ice. A low sea ice one year produces extra cooling that Oct-Nov (as we have been saying) and thus increased sea ice the next year.

      From the NASA article:

      “One of the reasons people care about sea ice decreases is that sea ice is highly reflective whereas the liquid ocean is very absorptive,” Parkinson said. “So when the area of sea ice coverage is reduced, there is a smaller sea ice area reflecting the sun’s radiation back to space. This means more retention of the sun’s radiation within the Earth system and further heating.”

      Parkinson doesn’t find it likely that the Antarctic sea ice expansion will accelerate and overturn the global sea ice negative trend in the future.

      “I think that the expectation is that, if anything, in the long-term the Antarctic sea ice growth is more likely to slow down or even reverse,” she said.

      Parkinson calculated and published the global results after witnessing the public’s confusion about whether Antarctic sea ice gain might be cancelling out Arctic sea ice loss.

      “When I give public lectures or talk with random people interested in the topic, often somebody will say something in the order of ‘well, the ice is decreasing in the Arctic but it’s increasing in the Antarctic, so don’t they cancel out?’” Parkinson said. “The answer is no, they don’t cancel out.”

      No, they don’t “cancel out.” The Antarctic sea ice INCREASE reflects MUCH MORE solar energy over the ENTIRE year than the Arctic sea ice loss absorbs in its 3 short summer months!

      • What about telemetry data that says the Antarctic is losing 125 km3 of ice per year? It’s confirmed by two satellites – one that measures altitude, and and another that measures gravity, plus the Tasmanian’s, Chinese, and others that are counting icebergs. You’re saying that Antarctic ice volume is growing, which to me sounds like BS. That’s a lot of fresh water. Combined with polar wind changes which is even easier to see with Satellites (documented by NASA if you look), and the result is larger temporary sea ice in the Antarctic. I agree with you that from an Albedo standpoint today – right now – that increased temporary ice is having a cooling effect, but it seems to be masking a much larger long term problem. http://phys.org/news/2014-09-goce-reveals-gravity-dip-ice.html#jCp

      • You’ll have to work a bit harder: See this abstract below indicating the ice is accumulating across most, but not all, of the continent. Combine this accumulation with the decrease in measured temperatures and you have a serious complication for your concerns.

        Snow- and ice-height change in Antarctica from satellite gravimetry and altimetry data

        A. Mémina, , ,
        T. Flamentb,
        F. Rémyb,
        M. Llubes


        We combine GRACE and Envisat data to examine snow and ice-mass changes in Antarctica.

        We account for leakage effects in surface-mass rates estimated using GRACE solutions.

        We estimate regional change in air and ice content of the Antarctic Ice Sheet surface.

        Estimated snow accumulation rates agree well with predicted surface-mass balance rates.

        Abstract
        We combine the surface-elevation and surface-mass change derived from Envisat data and GRACE solutions, respectively, to estimate regional changes in air and ice content of the surface of the Antarctic Ice Sheet (AIS) between January 2003 and October 2010. This leads, upon certain assumptions, to the separation of the rates of recent snow-accumulation change and that of ice-mass change. We obtain that the height of ice in Thwaites and Pine Island glaciers sectors decreases (≤−15.7 cm/yr) while that in the Kamb glacier sector increases (≥5.3 cm/yr). The central part of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet is mostly stable while the whole Dronning Maud Land coast is dominated by an increase in snow accumulation. The Kemp land regions show an ice-mass gain that accounts for 67–74% of the observed rates of elevation change in these regions. A good agreement is obtained over 68% of the investigated area, mostly in the East AIS, between our estimated rates of snow accumulation change and the predicted rates of the monthly surface mass balance derived from a regional atmospheric climate model.

        And this one.

        Mass balance of the Antarctic ice sheet
        D.J Wingham , A Shepherd , A Muir , G.J Marshall
        DOI: 10.1098/rsta.2006.1792 Published 15 July 2006

        Article
        Figures & Data
        Info & Metrics
        eLetters
        PDF

        Abstract

        The Antarctic contribution to sea-level rise has long been uncertain. While regional variability in ice dynamics has been revealed, a picture of mass changes throughout the continental ice sheet is lacking. Here, we use satellite radar altimetry to measure the elevation change of 72% of the grounded ice sheet during the period 1992–2003. Depending on the density of the snow giving rise to the observed elevation fluctuations, the ice sheet mass trend falls in the range −5–+85 Gt yr−1. We find that data from climate model reanalyses are not able to characterise the contemporary snowfall fluctuation with useful accuracy and our best estimate of the overall mass trend—growth of 27±29 Gt yr−1—is based on an assessment of the expected snowfall variability. Mass gains from accumulating snow, particularly on the Antarctic Peninsula and within East Antarctica, exceed the ice dynamic mass loss from West Antarctica. The result exacerbates the difficulty of explaining twentieth century sea-level rise.

        http://rsta.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/364/1844/1627

        To further confuse the issue, another using a large number of ice cores finds a large mass increase.
        http://joannenova.com.au/2013/04/antarctica-gaining-ice-mass-and-is-not-extraordinary-compared-to-800-years-of-data/

        My opinion? We do not know yet. We do not have enough information, and – at 30,000,000 cubic kilometers of EXISTING Antarctic ice, we can wait a few years to see if this estimate of 130 cubic kilometers per year is even present at all. Much less missing each year.

      • Going a little bit further, we don’t even know yet if the GRACE “data” is measuring accurately enough yet to even tell.

        Limits in detecting acceleration of ice sheet mass loss due to climate variability

        B. Wouters,
        J. L. Bamber,
        M. R. van den Broeke,
        J. T. M. Lenaerts
        & I. Sasgen

        Nature Geoscience
        6,
        613–616
        (2013)
        doi:10.1038/ngeo1874

        Received
        26 July 2012
        Accepted
        05 June 2013
        Published online
        14 July 2013

        The Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets have been reported to be losing mass at accelerating rates1, 2. If sustained, this accelerating mass loss will result in a global mean sea-level rise by the year 2100 that is approximately 43 cm greater than if a linear trend is assumed2. However, at present there is no scientific consensus on whether these reported accelerations result from variability inherent to the ice-sheet–climate system, or reflect long-term changes and thus permit extrapolation to the future3. Here we compare mass loss trends and accelerations in satellite data collected between January 2003 and September 2012 from the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment to long-term mass balance time series from a regional surface mass balance model forced by re-analysis data. We find that the record length of spaceborne gravity observations is too short at present to meaningfully separate long-term accelerations from short-term ice sheet variability. We also find that the detection threshold of mass loss acceleration depends on record length: to detect an acceleration at an accuracy within ±10 Gt yr−2, a period of 10 years or more of observations is required for Antarctica and about 20 years for Greenland. Therefore, climate variability adds uncertainty to extrapolations of future mass loss and sea-level rise, underscoring the need for continuous long-term satellite monitoring.

      • But these guys don’t agree with your estimate of 130 cubic kilometers a year either. Y’all ought to get your numbers straight before the Paris dictatorship begins. 8<)

        Science 30 November 2012:
        Vol. 338 no. 6111 pp. 1183-1189
        DOI: 10.1126/science.1228102

        Research Article

        A Reconciled Estimate of Ice-Sheet Mass Balance

        Andrew Shepherd1,*,
        Erik R. Ivins2,*,
        Geruo A3,
        Valentina R. Barletta4,
        Mike J. Bentley5,
        Srinivas Bettadpur6,
        Kate H. Briggs1,
        David H. Bromwich7,
        René Forsberg4,
        Natalia Galin8,
        Martin Horwath9,
        Stan Jacobs10,
        Ian Joughin11,
        Matt A. King12,27,
        Jan T. M. Lenaerts13,
        Jilu Li14,
        Stefan R. M. Ligtenberg13,
        Adrian Luckman15,
        Scott B. Luthcke16,
        Malcolm McMillan1,
        Rakia Meister8,
        Glenn Milne17,
        Jeremie Mouginot18,
        Alan Muir8,
        Julien P. Nicolas7,
        John Paden14,
        Antony J. Payne19,
        Hamish Pritchard20,
        Eric Rignot18,2,
        Helmut Rott21,
        Louise Sandberg Sørensen4,
        Ted A. Scambos22,
        Bernd Scheuchl18,
        Ernst J. O. Schrama23,
        Ben Smith11,
        Aud V. Sundal1,
        Jan H. van Angelen13,
        Willem J. van de Berg13,
        Michiel R. van den Broeke13,
        David G. Vaughan20,
        Isabella Velicogna18,2,
        John Wahr3,
        Pippa L. Whitehouse5,
        Duncan J. Wingham8,
        Donghui Yi24,
        Duncan Young25,
        H. Jay Zwally26

        + Author Affiliations

        1School of Earth and Environment, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, UK.
        2Jet Propulsion Laboratory, M/S 300-233, 4800 Oak Grove Drive, Pasadena, CA 91109, USA.
        3Department of Physics, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO 80309–0390, USA.
        4Geodynamics Department, Technical University of Denmark, DTU SPACE, National Space Institute, Elektrovej, Building 327, DK-2800 Kgs. Lyngby, Denmark.
        5Department of Geography, Durham University, South Road, Durham DH1 3LE, UK.
        6Center for Space Research, University of Texas at Austin, 3925 West Braker Lane, Suite 200, Austin, TX 78759–5321, USA.
        7Polar Meteorology Group, Byrd Polar Research Center, and Atmospheric Sciences Program, Department of Geography, The Ohio State University, 1090 Carmack Road, Columbus, OH 43210, USA.
        8Centre for Polar Observation and Modelling, Department of Earth Sciences, University College London, London WC1E 6BT, UK.
        9Institut für Astronomische und Physikalische Geodäsie, Technische Universität München, Arcisstraße 21, 80333 München, Germany.
        10Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (LDEO), 205 Oceanography, 61 Route 9W – Post Office Box 1000, Palisades, NY 10964, USA.
        11Polar Science Center, Applied Physics Laboratory, University of Washington, 1013 NE 40th Street, Seattle, WA 98105–6698, USA.
        12School of Civil Engineering and Geosciences, Cassie Building, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 7RU, UK.
        13Utrecht University, Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research, Princetonplein 5, Utrecht, Netherlands.
        14Center for Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets, University of Kansas, Nichols Hall, 2335 Irving Hill Road, Lawrence, KS 66045, USA.
        15Department of Geography, College of Science, Swansea University, Singleton Park, Swansea SA2 8PP, UK.
        16National Aeronautical and Space Administration (NASA) Goddard Space Flight Center, Planetary Geodynamics Laboratory, Greenbelt, MD 20771, USA.
        17Department of Earth Sciences, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario K1N 6N5, Canada.
        18Department of Earth System Science, University of California, 3226 Croul Hall, Irvine, CA 92697–3100, USA.
        19School of Geographical Sciences, University of Bristol, Bristol BS8 1SS, UK.
        20British Antarctic Survey, High Cross, Madingley Road, Cambridge CB3 0ET, UK.
        21Institute of Meteorology and Geophysics, University of Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria.
        22National Snow and Ice Data Center, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO 80309, USA.
        23Delft University of Technology, Faculty of Aerospace Engineering, Kluyverweg 1, 2629 HS Delft, Netherlands.
        24SGT Incorporated, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Cryospheric Sciences Laboratory, Code 615 Greenbelt, MD 20771, USA.
        25Institute for Geophysics, University of Texas, Austin, TX 78759, USA.
        26NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Cryospheric Sciences Laboratory, Code 615 Greenbelt, MD 20771, USA.
        27School of Geography and Environmental Studies, University of Tasmania, Hobart 7001, Australia.

        ↵*To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: ashepherd@leeds.ac.uk (A.S.); erik.r.ivins@jpl.nasa.gov (E.R.I.)

        Abstract

        We combined an ensemble of satellite altimetry, interferometry, and gravimetry data sets using common geographical regions, time intervals, and models of surface mass balance and glacial isostatic adjustment to estimate the mass balance of Earth’s polar ice sheets. We find that there is good agreement between different satellite methods—especially in Greenland and West Antarctica—and that combining satellite data sets leads to greater certainty. Between 1992 and 2011, the ice sheets of Greenland, East Antarctica, West Antarctica, and the Antarctic Peninsula changed in mass by –142 ± 49, +14 ± 43, –65 ± 26, and –20 ± 14 gigatonnes year−1, respectively. Since 1992, the polar ice sheets have contributed, on average, 0.59 ± 0.20 millimeter year−1 to the rate of global sea-level rise.

      • But watch out. A single storm in a single year could re-add most of what was (assumed) lost over a twenty-year period.

        A separate study found that the Antarctic ice sheet has lost substantial mass in the last two decades – at an average rate of about 68 gigatons per year during the period 1992-2011.

        “The unusually high snow accumulation in Dronning Maud Land in 2009 that we attributed to atmospheric rivers added around 200 gigatons of mass to Antarctica, which alone offset 15 per cent of the recent 20-year ice sheet mass loss,” says Irina Gorodetskaya.

        “This study represents a significant advance in our understanding of how the global water cycle is affected by atmospheric rivers. It is the first to look at the effect of atmospheric rivers on Antarctica and to explore their role in cryospheric processes of importance to the global sea level in a changing climate,” says Martin Ralph, contributor to the study and Director of the Center for Western Weather and Water Extremes at the University of California, San Diego.

        “Moving forward, we aim to explore the impact of atmospheric rivers on precipitation in all Antarctic coastal areas using data records covering the longest possible time period. We want to determine exactly how this phenomenon fits into climate models,” says Irina Gorodetskaya.

        “Our results should not be misinterpreted as evidence that the impacts of global warming will be small or reversed due to compensating effects. On the contrary, they confirm the potential of the Earth’s warming climate to manifest itself in anomalous regional responses. Thus, our understanding of climate change and its worldwide impact will strongly depend on climate models’ ability to capture extreme weather events, such as atmospheric rivers and the resulting anomalies in precipitation and temperature,” she concludes.

        More information: The study, “The role of atmospheric rivers in anomalous snow accumulation in East Antarctica”, was published recently in the American Geophysical Union’s Geophysical Research Letters: onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10… 014GL060881/abstract

        Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2015-01-giant-atmospheric-rivers-mass-antarctica.html#jCp

  38. Hmmm….The quote above says exactly the point I’m making – it “confirm(s) the potential of the Earth’s warming climate to manifest itself in anomalous regional responses” — so, we’re actually in violent agreement. Scientists are grabbing data from wherever they can to make points associated with their political agenda. Where we differ, I believe, is on the sense of urgency needed to intervene with the existing course of evolution of man on earth. Over the course of my life I’ve seen the destruction that our specie has brought on all other species of the planet, and we see the undeniable metrics of a contaminated atmosphere. Now, we see an undeniable disappearance of a large fraction of Arctic ice that threatens to upset the ecosystem of the entire ocean, including the death of 50% of the worlds coral reefs, 90% of population decline of edible fish species, 40 times larger death zones in the oceans, and thinner shells of virtually all crustaceons ….so, yes, I am alarmed. I do not think it is time to sit back and relax and pretend that nothing important is changing or that there is nothing we (as humans) can do about it. I think there is something very specific we can do about it. I believe we can farm the ice in the Arctic, just like we’ve farmed 39% of earths airable land to grow food. I believe we can do it in a holistic way that is reversible, builds habitats, and potentially replaces fossil based sources of energy and fertilizer. I would like it if intelligent people such as yourself could join me to take a look at what I’m proposing – throw rocks at it, and tell me why you don’t think it will work. I do not see the situation as an “us vs them” – – we all share the same spacecraft, and those who are capable of sharing their brain cells to find a more sustainable path should do it, for their children’s sake. I’m asking you – RA Cook to join me Roger Caldwell – to take a look at this idea I have and give me your professional opinion.

  39. What we really need is an Arctic ice measure that splits the ice cap in half and separately measures the north Pacific influenced half from the north Atlantic side. This would highlight ocean cycles in the interpretation and limit the over generalizations of whole ice cap decline or rise from an oversimplified measure.

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