Arctic sea ice melt may have turned the corner

We haven’t spent much time looking at Arctic Sea Ice this year, partly because I’ve rather lost interest in it as any sort of climatic indicator. This year’s melt seems similar to 2011 according to the comparison graph provided by Japan’s  National Institute of Polar Research.

Arctic-sea-ice-091115

Source: https://ads.nipr.ac.jp/vishop/vishop-extent.html?N

The DMI graph also seems to indicate that melt has turned the corner, but shows the 2015 data higher than 2011 unlike the graph above:

2015-DMI-icecover_current_new

Source: http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/plots/icecover/icecover_current_new.png

Arctic air temperature from 80°N is well below the freezing point of seawater now:

meanT_2015

Source: http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/meant80n.uk.php

Of course, since sea ice is highly prone to the vagaries of wind and weather, it could still take a turn downward in the next few days before starting back up again.

One of the things that I have come to notice about Arctic sea ice is that it appears to have reached a new plateau or regime, note how since 2007 the data seems to oscillate about the -1 million square kilometer line:

seaice.anomaly.arctic[1]

Source: http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/seaice.anomaly.arctic.png

My personal opinion is that this new quasi-stable regime is related to increased surface soot and changes in the AMO (Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation). Since the mid-1990s we have been in a warm phase, Now the AMO is now turning sharply negative, and next year might be quite different than the past eight.

AMO-12month-running-average

Source: Dr. Philip Klotzbach on Twitter who writes:

12-month running avg AMO continues to drop. August ’15 value (-0.9 SD) lowest since ’94. Cold NAtl persists.

Only time will tell if this change in the AMO will change the future of Arctic sea ice.

Note: [added] You can view more graphs on the WUWT Sea Ice Page: http://wattsupwiththat.com/reference-pages/sea-ice-page/

The title was corrected shortly after publication to remove a repeated word (have) and fix a spelling error.

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253 thoughts on “Arctic sea ice melt may have turned the corner

  1. Don’t feel bad Anthony, for losing interest in it as an indicator of climate behavior. The gloom-and-doom CAGW prognosticators have nearly abandoned it as well. The ebbs and flows of the arctic ice is now a seasonal rhythm like the changing color of the leaves. A rhythm with no direction. I am still interested in the Great Lakes freezing extent. Maybe with El Nino, the lakes won’t freeze so much this year?

    • I don’t think it means much, outside of the height of the northern summer. The Arctic is basically land-bound, so the sea ice tends to vary less from year to year in those months in which it is in signficant contact with land.

      • There’s more land in the arctic (North of +60 deg. lat.) than in the Antarctic (South of -60 deg. lat.)

      • George,
        IMO Mike is referring to the situation of the Arctic Ocean, the sea ice of which cannot extend as far toward lower latitudes as can sea ice in the Southern Ocean around Antarctica.
        However you are right that there is more land north of the Arctic Circle (not just of 60 degrees N) than south of the Antarctic Circle. The Arctic Ocean isn’t huge.

        • Lady Gaiagaia

          George,
          IMO Mike is referring to the situation of the Arctic Ocean, the sea ice of which cannot extend as far toward lower latitudes as can sea ice in the Southern Ocean around Antarctica.
          However you are right that there is more land north of the Arctic Circle (not just of 60 degrees N) than south of the Antarctic Circle. The Arctic Ocean isn’t huge.

          The Arctic Ocean pretty much fills the entire region north of 80 north latitude – there’s just a tiny corner of Greenand’s north coast that intrudes uppast 80 north latitude’s circle. The rest of the arcti ocean is “trapped” between a rough circle of Canada-Alaska-Siberian north coasts at 70-71-72 north, and splits and curves around the north Canadian islands and two Siberian Islands.
          Now, understand that “arctic sea ice” as a term for “an area of ocean covered by sea ice up north” includes more than the nominal 14.0 Mkm^2 area of the “arctic ocean” itself. Those who spend our billions tracking these thigns add the sea ice over Hudson Bay, the Labrador and Baltic and Bering and Gulf of the St Lawrence River and areas north of Norway, etc, etc to the “arctic ocean” itself.
          But… Those small areas always melt completely each summer. Most of these seas, bays, inlets, and straits are far smaller than 1.0 Mkm^2, and the largest single area is the Hudson Bay at 1.2 Mkm^2. So they affect ONLY the total “potential” sea ice area at its February-March-April maximum, and NOT ANY areas in the summer and September sea ice minimums.
          Thus, it is almost impossible, for “Arctic sea ice” to extend much further south than where it is right now at a minimum 71-72 north latitude. Regardless of how “early” the Arctic coast freezes up, once it freezes, it cannot extend any further south around almost the entire edge of sea ice. Most other seas are bounded as well – and they – most years – freeze over completely. Hudson’s Bay, Bering Sea (north half), Baltic, Norwegian sea? The “arctic sea ice” can only increase in a few places.
          Equally, it is physically impossible for ANY Arctic sea ice minimum to get much smaller than 2012’s minimum of 2.2 Mkn^2 area at 81 north latitude average edge.
          And, if the Arctic sea ice at minimum extents does become smaller, it will quickly freeze again in the ever-darker skies of late September and October, and re-freeze completely once again.

      • Lady Gaiagaia says:
        September 11, 2015 at 2:24 pm
        … However you are right that there is more land north of the Arctic Circle (not just of 60 degrees N) than south of the Antarctic Circle. The Arctic Ocean isn’t huge.

        Arctic land area: 11 million km2 link
        Antarctica (the vast majority of which lies within the antarctic circle): 14 million km2 link
        I do think you have to go to +/- 60 deg. before the northern land mass exceeds the southern.

      • ” george e. smith September 11, 2015 at 2:17 pm
        There’s more land in the arctic (North of +60 deg. lat.) than in the Antarctic (South of -60 deg. lat.)”
        But is that as important as the area that contacts the water?
        Arctic coastline: 45,389 km
        Antarctic coastline: 17,968 km
        Definition: This entry gives the total length of the boundary between the land area (including islands) and the sea.
        Source: CIA World Factbook – This page was last updated on June 30, 2015

    • I think it’s an excellent climate indicator, but the problem is the fudging by NOAA / Cryostat / JAXA, in particular their use of the discriminator between surface melt and open water. An audit of their use of this would reveal, I infer, that these were set strongly to “open water” for both the 2007 and 2012 minima. I expect the current fluctuations of the Antarctic sea ice fluctuations are also due to fiddling with this, in almost a “let’s see what we can do” mindset. It is these manipulations which cause me to lose confidence in polar sea ice as a climate indicator, not the concept as such which should be a very good one.

      • To fill out my point, up to this year there was an operational rule that the meltpond/open-water discriminator should be balanced between Arctic and Antarctic in a mirror-image way, that is, if one side is set to 80% meltpond then the other side is set to 80% open-water, etc. This is why the Antarctic sea ice has been so high, because the Arctic has been set open-water heavy for years and so consequentially the Antarctic has been set to meltpond-heavy for those years (meltponds are counted as ice). This year, I detect, they have been cut free from each other, with the Arctic still held open-water heavy (perhaps even more so) while the Antarctic balance has been turned back to 50-50 at least. Thus, the sudden Antarctic drop of sea ice about 2 months ago. Yes, they are getting things ready for Paris in November, our climate scientist heroes.

        • NZ Willy

          To fill out my point, up to this year there was an operational rule that the meltpond/open-water discriminator should be balanced between Arctic and Antarctic in a mirror-image way, that is, if one side is set to 80% meltpond then the other side is set to 80% open-water, etc. This is why the Antarctic sea ice has been so high, because the Arctic has been set open-water heavy for years and so consequentially the Antarctic has been set to meltpond-heavy for those years (meltponds are counted as ice). This year, I detect, they have been cut free from each other, with the Arctic still held open-water heavy (perhaps even more so) while the Antarctic balance has been turned back to 50-50 at least. Thus, the sudden Antarctic drop of sea ice about 2 months ago.

          Going to politely disagree with you there: The Arctic IS 35 – 40% covered with shallow melt water during the summer season, but the Antarctic sea ice doesn’t have those melt water ponds. Instead, the Antarctic sea ice tends to “melt from below” with its surface still solid and clean through its entire melt season. Not absolutely clear of melt ponds, but there are very, very few of them compared to up north. The Antarctic surface – because it IS solid and clear of water, has a higher albedo through the season, with fresh snow and clear ice present the whole year.
          As a result, the Arctic sea ice albedo drops significantly in May-June_July-August, going as low as 0.43 by July 5.
          Are there jumps and skips I cannot explain in the Arctic and Antarctic sea ice records as you point out? Yes. But I am not convinced (yet) that an albedo correction change factor is responsible. (Yet, he said carefully.)

      • The reason for the sharp drop in the Antarctic sea ice extent was that there were two streams of warm, moist winds that impacted the coastline of the continent for around 3 weeks or longer. All of the heavy melt loss took place at those two spots. One location was just to the west of the Ross Sea and the other was almost directly across the continent from the Ross Sea. The Ross Sea area still has a sizeable below norm hole in the area, and there is currently a wind stream moving straight down the middle of the Pacific that impacts the Ross Sea….http://earth.nullschool.net/#current/wind/surface/level/orthographic=-206.02,-79.15,302

    • Good graph from Bremen.
      I’d be surprised if we see the minimum this early. That big dip at the end of Aug won’t be the low point. I’d expect another dimple in the next week or so that will probably tough out in about 7 days time. Anyway, it’s going to be pretty damn close to 2011. to within the data accuracy.

  2. I am very interested to see the effects of a cold AMO and the passing of this el nino in the pacific. I think this will be indicative of the natural cyclical patterns as Joe Bastardi is hoping. Certainly should mess with the linearity of the models.

      • Is this a fail? Maybe next year eh.

        Links for quotes from Professor Peter Wadhams
        [Cambridge University]
        —————-
        Daily Telegraph – 8 November 2011
        Arctic sea ice ‘to melt by 2015’
        Prof Wadhams said: “His [model] is the most extreme but he is also the best modeller around.
        “It is really showing the fall-off in ice volume is so fast that it is going to bring us to zero very quickly. 2015 is a very serious prediction and I think I am pretty much persuaded that that’s when it will happen.”
        ——-
        BBC News – 27 August 2012
        Professor Peter Wadhams, from Cambridge University, told BBC News: “A number of scientists who have actually been working with sea ice measurement had predicted some years ago that the retreat would accelerate and that the summer Arctic would become ice-free by 2015 or 2016.
        I was one of those scientists – and of course bore my share of ridicule for daring to make such an alarmist prediction.”
        ——-
        Guardian – 17 September 2012
        Arctic expert predicts final collapse of sea ice within four years
        “This collapse, I predicted would occur in 2015-16 at which time the summer Arctic (August to September) would become ice-free. The final collapse towards that state is now happening and will probably be complete by those dates”.
        ——-
        Financial Times Magazine – 2 August 2013
        “It could even be this year or next year but not later than 2015 there won’t be any ice in the Arctic in the summer,” he said, pulling out a battered laptop to show a diagram explaining his calculations, which he calls “the Arctic death spiral”.
        ——-
        The Scotsman – 12 September 2013
        Arctic sea ice will vanish within three years, says expert
        “The entire ice cover is now on the point of collapse.
        “The extra open water already created by the retreating ice allows bigger waves to be generated by storms, which are sweeping away the surviving ice. It is truly the case that it will be all gone by 2015. The consequences are enormous and represent a huge boost to global warming.”
        ——-
        Arctic News – June 27, 2012
        My own view of what will happen is: 1. Summer sea ice disappears, except perhaps for small multiyear remnant north of Greenland and Ellesmere Island, by 2015-16. 2. By 2020 the ice free season lasts at least a month and by 2030 has extended to 3 months…..
        ——-
        TheRealNews – 29 May 2014
        Transcript [Youtube]
        [Q] WORONCZUK: And, Peter, what’s your take? Do you think that we’ve already passed the point of no return in terms of controlling polar ice cap melting?
        [A] WADHAMS: Yes, I think we have. A few years ago, I predicted that the summer sea ice–that’s the September minimum–would go to zero by about 2015. And at that stage, it was only really one model that agreed with me. My prediction was based on observations from satellites and from measurements from submarines of ice thickness, which I’ve been doing from British subs, and Americans have been doing the same from American subs. And the trend was so clear and so definite that it would go to zero by 2015 that I felt it was safe to make that prediction, and I still think it is, because next year, although this year we don’t expect things to retreat much further than last, next year will be an El Niño year, which is a warmer year, and I think it will go to zero.

        Tom, get back in touch with Waddhams and ask him what exactly he is an expert in.

        tom s says:
        May 24, 2014 at 10:33 am
        I wrote a correspondence to “Professor Peter ‘hot head’ Wadhams” and he actually responded; Here is my email to him;
        “Good day professor….. do you still stand by these words? Because in light of NOAA’s forecast for above average ice this coming Aug and Sep it appears your time is running out……
        To which he responded; “Dear Mr Skinner, I think you should wait until September 2015 before you assert that I’m wrong, since that remains my prediction. Yours sincerely, Peter Wadhams”…..
        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/05/23/sea-ice-news-volume-5-2-noaa-forecasts-above-normal-arctic-ice-extent-for-summer/#comment-1644854

        PS Whadams has now changed his ice-free Arctic prediction to 2020…see here.

      • Wadhams is the nut who says that a series of deaths were assassinations by the oil industry.
        And his models were and are always wrong. In fact they are not models at all. Just a series of predictions based on very poor linear thinking.

      • Sure sounds like the preacher who predicted the 2nd coming in 2012…
        (“…come on back Jesus, and pick up John Wayne on the way!” – Willie Nelson)

      • Jimbo,
        When there is even more ice in 2020 than now, he can uproot and move the goalposts again to 2025 and repeat the process until retirement.

      • Lady Gaiagaia,
        Professor Wadhams is at least 65 years old. I think he is already past his ‘sell-by’ date but, as with a number of elderly environmentalists, he just doesn’t know when to let go.

      • Billy,
        Yes, Prof. Wadhams at 67 is one of those alarmists who need to pass from the scene before real climatology might once again be practiced, but I hope that the Good Lord grants him enough years to update his prediction again when aged at least 72 and then again at 77, from an exalted emeritus status.

      • Wadhams had forecast 0.98M km2 for the Arctic sea ice in September in the ARCUS sea ice guessing game this year. He was by far the lowest submission.
        The trends are tracking toward 4.55M km2 so we can call Wadhams a bad guesser at least but more likely he is just someone to ignore because he is as wrong as it can get.

      • To go from “best modeller around” to last place in just 4 years would have to be extremely embarrassing.

    • I was thinking the same thing too. I thought it was around the 17th – so if it IS the turn then it’s about 1 week early?

      • I have a similar chart that covers both Jaxa and the NSIDC going back to the beginning of all the records (which is really 1972 – Jaxa uses an algorithm which is very similar to the NASA Team algorithm which goes back to 1972).
        The sea ice minimum may have been reached on September 8, 2015 (4 days ahead of the average date) The daily melt rates are going positive now including today’s release as of September 11, 2015 numbers.
        http://s18.postimg.org/yyta6j2w9/NH_SIE_Daily_Melt_Rate_Sept11_15.png
        Jaxa minimum on September 8 —> 4.30M km2
        NSIDC minimum on September 8 —> 4.34M km2
        NSIDC September minimum (used in the Arcus sea ice guessing game) tracking to —> 4.57M km2

      • Why is there any ice at all, in the arctic ocean, given the astronomical quantity of “HEAT” energy (noun) that gets pumped from the tropics (where it arrived on earth as EM radiant energy), by the Gulf stream, Japan current, and the like ??
        There is damn little cooling going on in the arctic, which can get down closer to 200 K than 300 K, at which Temperature the maximum radiant emittance would be one fifth of what the global average rate is.
        So with pitiful cooling capability, and huge heat convection to the arctic (which mysteriously shows up exactly nowhere in Kevin Trenberth’s global energy budget cartoon) why is there so much ice there.
        My guess is that there is actually damn little incoming solar energy arriving in the arctic to try and warm it up.
        And with so little solar insolation; I would guess that the arctic contribution to earth’s albedo is about nil.
        One related question. With this huge thermal conveyor belt running heat energy to the arctic, how is it possible for land based glacial melting to dilute the gulf stream and similar currents, and mess with the so-called “thermo-haline” circulation ??
        I mean what are the five principle equatorial ice fields, that are doing all this melting, and lowering ocean saltiness ??
        g

  3. What is also interesting is that the Arctic sea ice VOLUME is increasing (disregarding the seasonal changes). Only for 3 year, it may be only a fluctuation, but at least it decreases the long-term trend of decline.

  4. Last time there was a strong(ish) El Nino and cold AMO was way back in the early 1970’s. North Atlantic ocean temperatures over the last couple of weeks have warmed up a little though, with the cold pool shrinking and weakening. The AMO has a very big influence on Arctic ice due to the ocean currents it covers physically ends up there. Arctic ice predictions have been difficult generally because nobody can predict weather up there longer than about a week or so. The AMO though should be one of the few drivers that is easier to predict and very influential on Arctic ice.

  5. What about sea ice volume? I hear people say that since extent is just area, it doesn’t do a good job of measuring the total amount of ice. Then they point to lessening amount of sea ice volume as a demonstration that sea ice extent isn’t a good measure, etc.

      • The exact same “recovery” you refer to occurred between 1984 and 1988 (and 89-92), and yet the ice volume continued to decline. There is absolutely nothing to indicate that the 2013-2015 period is any different.

      • 1972 Arctic Specialist Bernt Balchen predicts Ice Free Arctic Ocean by 2000:
        http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2007/12/071212-AP-arctic-melt.html 2007
        The arctic is screaming” said Mark Serreze Senior Scientist at the Government’s snow and Ice data center:
        http://soa.arcus.org 2010 Climate Scientist Jay Zwally “at this rate, the Arctic Ocean could be nerely Ice Free by 2012:

        2009 Sen. John Kerry “Ice free summer in 5 years” (2014):
        http://cnsnews.com/news/article/sen-kerry-predicts-ice-free-arctic-5-or-10-years 2010 Sen John Kerry “Ice free arctic in 5 to 10 years (2015 – 2020)
        https://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2013/03/12/sierra-club-predicts-ice-free-arctic-in-six-months
        Sierra Club Ice free in 6 to 30 months (Sept 2013, Sept 2014, Sept 2015)
        https://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/ice-free-arctic-forecasts
        And numerous others care of Steven Goddard dot wordpress dot com

      • Bryan, you look at quotes, I look at the data. And does it really matter if the year in which the Arctic becomes ice free in the summer is off by 10 or 20 years when it has been at least 8,000 years since that happened?

      • Chris,
        The Arctic was nearly ice free much more recently than 8000 years ago. It happened every summer during the Holocene Climatic Optimum, which ended about 5000 years ago. It probably also happened during the Minoan Warm Period, which ended around 3000 years ago, during the Roman WP of 2000 years ago and the Medieval WP a thousand years ago.
        Indeed for most of the Holocene, a nearly ice free Arctic Ocean at the end of summer was normal. We are still suffering the effects of the Little Ice Age.

      • Lady G said:” The Arctic was nearly ice free much more recently than 8000 years ago. …..” Followed by a link to a paper.
        1) The estimates in the paper you referenced were determined by simulations. I thought models were not to be trusted? Or is that only when those models support AGW? And in any case, how can the accuracy of those models be verified?
        2) The paper says the cause of the warming then was higher levels of insolation. That is not the case today, so what is causing the sharp decline in Arctic ice now?
        3) The paper (at least the summary) does not mention over what period of time the Arctic ice declined. I would be extremely surprised if it was a few decades, as is the case now.

      • I don’t just look at Quotes but rather the Source of those Quotes.
        Ice free arctic has been predicted since 1972 that I have found so far.
        Pundits and Scientists alike have constantly predicted the event to happen 5 to 10 years out.
        And as many others have pointed out, It is probably 95% probable that Ice Free arctic conditions have occurred much sooner than “At least 8000 years ago” It is even likely that Ice free conditions could occur in possible 1000 – 1200 year cycles…
        Minoan Warm Period
        Roman Warm Period
        Medieval warm period
        But if the current rate of accurate “The Arctic is Melting” predictions coming from climate scientists continues to mirror the prior rate, an “Ice Free” Arctic could still be a Century off (if ever) rather than the constant 5 to 10 years out that Climate Scientists and Climate Pundits continue to cast out as Model output inspired failed predictions.
        If you write the Model such that “X” increase in CO2 = “Y” increase in Temperatures due to CO2 IR Trapping ability, then ask the model to produce a scenario with an increased level of CO2, the Model WILL almost always produce an end result with an increased temperature and all the predictive associated melting.
        We’ve seen just how well these same models have predicted global temperature increases over the last 18 years

      • Chris,
        The fact of lower Arctic sea ice for thousands of years is based upon sediment cores, whale remains and other hard data. It was minimal during the height of insolation, but also during other periods of the Holocene, as I noted.
        The decline since 1979 is not sharp, but well within the normal range. Sea ice was low in the 1920s to ’40s, too. It was at an at least 60 year high in 1979.
        We can be sure that CO2 has nothing whatsoever to do with Arctic sea ice, since carbon dioxide rose rapidly from 1945 to 1977, while sea ice was growing. Antarctic sea ice is near record levels, despite steadily rising CO2.
        Sea ice has declined more rapidly than now not just in the Holocene Climatic Optimum, but during previous years and decades in the past century, as many sources in these comments show.

      • Chris says:
        1) The estimates in the paper you referenced were determined by simulations. I thought models were not to be trusted? Or is that only when those models support AGW? And in any case, how can the accuracy of those models be verified?
        Chris,
        This is geology. There are other references showing the same thing. You just don’t like it because if the Arctic was naturally ice-free 6,000 years ago, it effectively undermines the current Arctic ice scare.
        There is nothing to support Arctic ice fluctuations being caused by humans, other than the assertions of people who want to promote climate alarmism. When you think about it, the claim that humans are making Arctic ice vanish is a pretty silly assumption.

      • Chris, here is something interesting on Antarctica and the Arctic sea ice. The science is not settled.
        The science.

        Abstract
        Anomalous Variability in Antarctic Sea Ice Extents During the 1960s With the Use of Nimbus Data
        The Nimbus I, II, and III satellites provide a new opportunity for climate studies in the 1960s. The rescue of the visible and infrared imager data resulted in the utilization of the early Nimbus data to determine sea ice extent. A qualitative analysis of the early NASA Nimbus missions has revealed Antarctic sea ice extents that are significant larger and smaller than the historic 1979-2012 passive microwave record. The September 1964 ice mean area is 19.7 × 106 km2± 0.3 × 106 km2. This is more the 250,000 km2 greater than the 19.44 × 106 km2 seen in the new 2012 historic maximum. However, in August 1966 the maximum sea ice extent fell to 15.9 × 106 km2 ± 0.3 × 106 km2. This is more than 1.5 × 106 km2 below the passive microwave record of 17.5 × 10 6 km2 set in September of 1986. This variation between 1964 and 1966 represents a change of maximum sea ice of over 3 × 106 km2 in just two years. These inter-annual variations while large, are small when compared to the Antarctic seasonal cycle.
        http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpl/articleDetails.jsp?arnumber=6547200

        The story as reported.

        ….In the Arctic, sea ice extent was larger in the 1960s than it is these days, on average. “It was colder, so we expected that,” Gallaher said. What the researchers didn’t expect were “enormous holes” in the sea ice, currently under investigation. “We can’t explain them yet,” Gallaher said…..
        “And the Antarctic blew us away,” he said. In 1964, sea ice extent in the Antarctic was the largest ever recorded, according to Nimbus image analysis. Two years later, there was a record low for sea ice in the Antarctic, and in 1969 Nimbus imagery, sea ice appears to have reached its maximum extent earliest on record….
        http://cires.colorado.edu/news/press/2014/nimbus.html

      • Lady Gaiagaia,
        Here is what you need for future reference on the Holocene Climate Optimum and the Arctic sea ice.

        Abstract – 2007
        We therefore conclude that for a priod in the Early Holocene, probably for a millenium or more, the Arctic Ocean was free of sea ice at least for shorter periods in the summer. This may serve as an analogue to the predicted “greenhouse situation” expected to appear within our century.
        http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2007AGUFMPP11A0203F
        ======================
        Abstract – December 2010
        The combined sea ice data suggest that the seasonal Arctic sea ice cover was strongly reduced during most of the early Holocene and there appear to have been periods of ice free summers in the central Arctic Ocean. This has important consequences for our understanding of the recent trend of declining sea ice, and calls for further research on causal links between Arctic climate and sea ice.
        http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0277379110003185
        ======================
        Abstract – 1993
        Calcareous nannofossils from approximately the past 7000 yr of the Holocene and from oxygen isotope stage 5 are present at 39 analyzed sites in the central Arctic Ocean. This indicates partly ice-free conditions during at least some summers. The depth of Holocene sediments in the Nansen basin is about 20 cm, or more where influenced by turbidites.
        http://geology.gsapubs.org/content/21/3/227.short
        ======================
        Abstract – July 2010
        ….Nevertheless, episodes of considerably reduced sea ice or even seasonally ice-free conditions occurred during warmer periods linked to orbital variations. The last low-ice event related to orbital forcing (high insolation) was in the early Holocene,…
        http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.quascirev.2010.02.010
        ======================

        During the 1920s and 1930s there was a huge warming in the Arctic as acknowledged by the IPCC.

      • Lady Gaiagaia
        Affirmed. The north coast of Greenland was settled by Inuit and ice free during summer in the Minoan Climate Optimum. Recovered DNA gives origin and even disease risk of the male studied.

      • @Lady G.
        “Indeed for most of the Holocene, a nearly ice free Arctic Ocean at the end of summer was normal. We are still suffering the effects of the Little Ice Age.”
        How true that is. You get exactly the same message if you start looking at Fram Strait biomarkers.
        Current Arctic sea ice levels are ANOMALOUSLY HIGH compared to the first 3/4 or so of the Holocene.
        Unfortunately, it looks like that small amount of warming out of the LIA may have stopped !! 🙁

      • DBStealey said:”This is geology. There are other references showing the same thing. You just don’t like it because if the Arctic was naturally ice-free 6,000 years ago, it effectively undermines the current Arctic ice scare. There is nothing to support Arctic ice fluctuations being caused by humans, other than the assertions of people who want to promote climate alarmism.”
        No, you are wrong. I know that the Arctic was ice free in the past. That in no way undermines the current concern about Arctic ice melting. Your position is analagous to saying that lightning caused forest fires in the past undermine the possibility of man made fires.
        I looked at your link. Here is what it says: “However, the scientists are very careful about drawing parallels with the present-day trend in the Arctic Ocean where the cover of sea ice seems to be decreasing. “Changes that took place 6000-7000 years ago were controlled by other climatic forces than those which seem to dominate today,” Astrid Lyså believes.”
        So thanks for posting a link that supports my position, Dave!

      • Crispin in Waterloo
        September 11, 2015 at 8:42 pm
        Lady Gaiagaia
        Affirmed. The north coast of Greenland was settled by Inuit and ice free during summer in the Minoan Climate Optimum. Recovered DNA gives origin and even disease risk of the male studied.

        Here is more.
        The Holocene Climate Optimum was between about 9,000 to 5,000 years B.P.

        Structured Abstract – 29 July 2014
        Humans first peopled the North American Arctic (northern Alaska, Canada, and Greenland) around 6000 years ago, leaving behind a complex archaeological record that consisted of different cultural units and distinct ways of life, including the Early Paleo-Eskimos (Pre-Dorset/Saqqaq), the Late Paleo-Eskimos (Early Dorset, Middle Dorset, and Late Dorset), and the Thule cultures.
        http://www.sciencemag.org/content/345/6200/1255832

      • Chris
        “However scientists are careful about drawing parallels”
        The “care” being taken is political, not scientific. This quite is merely the epilogue / homily added to the paper to make it PC, not the data itself (which convey a quite different message) and thus this politically inserted string in no way detracts from dbstealey’s comment.
        You have constructed for yourself a narrative and mindset which insulates you from the implications of natural climate variation. AGW is founded on the mother of all logical fallacies. It really does matter that the 20th century climate oscillation is similar to about 20 other such oscillations during the Holocene.

      • Chris says:
        “No, you are wrong.”
        Chris has now resorted to using assertions as his argument. ☺
        I wrote that the Arctic was ice free some 6,000 years ago, which was a natural event that undermines the current climate alarmism. It also undermines the endless, repeatedly falsified predictions that the Arctic would be ice free by now. It isn’t. Far from it, in fact.
        There are plenty of references supporting the Arctic being ice free some six millennia ago:
        http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081020095850.htm
        http://iceagenow.com/Arctic_Ocean_may_have_been_ice_free_6000_Years_Ago.htm
        http://www.cgfi.org/2011/11/ice-free-arctic-6000-years-ago-by-dennis-t-avery
        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/09/08/inconvenient-ice-study-less-ice-in-the-arctic-ocean-6000-7000-years-ago
        If there is a current “concern” about the Arctic, the reason is clear: The Arctic ice scare is the only prediction that the alarmist crowd clings to, because for a few years it dipped below average.
        This is a cyclical event, as shown here (“The Changing Arctic / The Arctic Seems To Be Warming Up” – from 1922).
        And as the late, great John Daly writes, the Arctic is often mostly water.
        When we look at the big picture, we always find the same thing: there is nothing either unusual, or unprecedented happening with the global ‘climate’. Everything we see now has been observed before, repeatedly, and to a greater degree in the past.
        The climate Null Hypothesis has never been falsified. The alternative hypothesis: that dangerous AGW is happening, has no measurements to support it.
        I wonder, what would it take for alarmists to admit that their conjecture has turned out to be wrong? Can anything convince them? Or is their religious faith in dangerous man-made global warming so strong that it defies all evidence to the contrary?

      • @ Chris… yes it does matter because the implication being that the math and the science are correct in relation to the amount of co2 and the amount of heat retained. If its off by 20 years, both the science and the math breaks down, it’s not related. I’ve done the math by the IPCC, in their view the amount of retained heat is enormous. I can’t not disagree given the parameters of how they are viewing…. However, I do disagree with the parameters. Who’s right? the hard evidence that ice hasn’t melted or the models? . The Arctic should have surely melted by now, and that is just a fact. In fact it should have melted sooner. And why is that, because not only have we not curtailed the production of co2, it has increased. Just the sea level rise should be apparent, in cm/year not mm per decade, and what from, the expanding volume of water from heat. AGW is a dead Theory.

      • The Minoan Warm Period around 1200 BC was in fact a very cold dry type period for the mid latitudes, it caused the demise of the Minoans.
        The warmest past of the MWP for Europe was in the 8th century, while Greenland was having the second lowest temperatures of the Holocene.

      • Jimbo
        September 11, 2015 at 1:51 pm
        Good sources.
        IMO there is also strong evidence of effectively ice free Arctic Ocean summers or at least extent lower than now much more recently than the Holocene Climatic Optimum.
        DB mentions some proxy data, such as the entry of the Inuit into northern Greenland during the MWP, even as the Norse were settling in its south.
        Bowhead whale remains are the indicator with which I am most familiar.

      • DBStealey said: “Chris,
        This is geology. There are other references showing the same thing. You just don’t like it because if the Arctic was naturally ice-free 6,000 years ago, it effectively undermines the current Arctic ice scare.
        There is nothing to support Arctic ice fluctuations being caused by humans, other than the assertions of people who want to promote climate alarmism. When you think about it, the claim that humans are making Arctic ice vanish is a pretty silly assumption.”
        I am perfectly fine with Arctic ice having melted in relatively recent times. It in now way undermines today’s events, it simply means that the Arctic can melt for natural reasons as well as man made ones, which neither I nor climate scientists dispute. Oh, and by the way, the paper you quoted was written by climate scientists – you know, the very same folks you denigrate when their findings do not agree with your opinion. And you ignore the key point they made in their article, which I will post again: “Changes that took place 6000-7000 years ago were controlled by other climatic forces than those which seem to dominate today.”

      • Chris quotes:
        “Changes that took place 6000-7000 years ago were controlled by other climatic forces than those which seem to dominate today.”
        “Seem”?? Like Chris, they’ve got nothin’.
        Upthread, Chris says:
        Bryan, you look at quotes, I look at the data.
        Ha, ha! You’re kidding, right? You’re looking at data? What “data”??
        I challenge you to produce verifiable, testable, empirical data showing that human CO2 emissions are the cause of the recent Arctic ice fluctuations, from around 2006 – 2012. Post it here.
        The fact is, all you’ve got is assertions. You posted your baseless opinion, then you asserted that it’s “data”. It’s not. You have no “data” showing that changes in Arctic ice are caused by human activity.
        This isn’t some thinly-trafficked alarmist blog that excuses bogus claims like that. If there was any verifiable “data” showing that CO2 emissions were the cause of Arctic ice fluctuations (but of course, not Antarctic ice, which is increasing), the debate would be over.
        But it’s not over, only because you refuse to accept reality. Your arguments are based on nothing more than your belief; you came to your conclusions, and now you try to support them with your assertions. That’s not science, that is just your religious argument.

  6. It cracked me up that BHO, when in Alaska recently, said he wanted to support Arctic commerce by adding new ice-breakers to the US fleet by around 2020. Surely an unnecessary step if NH ice cover extent is in a death spiral ? Maybe they’re to meant to be used rescue all the climate scientists who get stuck while opining about the decline in NH ice cover ?

  7. The Pacific side of the Arctic is the reason the anomaly is so low this year and that is probably because of El Nino, right? Like others have said, I’m very interested to see what the climate indicators do after this El Nino is over and all factors, save anthropogenic, favor cooling.

  8. I assume it is reasonable to presume that if the Arctic sea ice extent undergoes a prolonged expansion resulting from the AMO negative phase our alarmist counterparts will not acknowledge anything particularly meaningful or even claim climate models predicted it?
    Or, it will be the AGW icebreaker that begins the collapse of their movement?

    • Steve, don’t you get it, the alarmist stake out all the possible alternatives as a result of “climate change” and therefore are impervious to being proven wrong? Just yesterday alarmist were claiming that the “Atlantic conveyor” was slowing down so an increase in ice is to be expected!

      • Yep I read that too. They are raising the prospect of the Day After Tomorrow scenario.
        Funny that they can pretend to believe that while at the same time advocating the reduction of the very fuels needed for millions to survive such a scenario.
        I guess they simply prefer a mass loss of human planet occupancy?

      • Steve Oregon
        “the reduction of the very fuels needed for millions to survive such a scenario. ”
        Funny you should put it that way. Recalling the movie. whatshisname survives by lighting gas fires in the restaurant and his son survives by burning books in the library. (CGI wolves were awful)
        Even at the time I’m yelling stop burning the books, Start burning the chairs and whatever other wood (more energy dense) stuff you can find. Why are the accepted green solutions always least energy dense and most destructive?

      • Slows down, speeds up, no trend. Short termism me thinks.

        Abstract – 28 October 2005
        Slowing of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation at 25° N
        http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature04385
        Abstract – 25 March 2010
        Can in situ floats and satellite altimeters detect long-term changes in Atlantic Ocean overturning?
        …..There is no significant trend in overturning strength between 2002 and 2009. Altimeter data, however, suggest an increase of 2.6 Sv since 1993, consistent with North Atlantic warming during this same period. Despite significant seasonal to interannual fluctuations, these observations demonstrate that substantial slowing of the AMOC did not occur during the past 7 years and is unlikely to have occurred in the past 2 decades.

        WUWT – 25 March 2015
        “NASA refutes Mann and Rahmstorf – Finds Atlantic ‘Conveyor Belt’ Not Slowing”
        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/03/25/nasa-refutes-mann-and-rahmstorf-finds-atlantic-conveyor-belt-not-slowing/

  9. Here’s a question for those that study this more than me.
    For most of the summer, there appeared to be a “ring” from 135W to 180. It was the retreating edge of the ice. Yet, inside of that ring, there was a large area that appeared to have no ice. Was this just a large melt pond (lake) inside of the retreating edge? And, if so, should we expect a rapid refreeze of this pond? Of course, this is assuming no adverse weather conditions that might affect it otherwise.

  10. “We haven’t spent much time looking at Arctic Sea Ice this year, partly because I’ve rather lost interest in it as any sort of climatic indicator”
    Could the failure of the much heralded and hoped for rebound of Arctic ice have something to do with that loss of interest I wonder.

    • What failure? The no ice during the summer has failed.
      The AMO has become cold while Arctic ice levels are back a decade to mid-2000’s levels. What further evidence do you need that is failure of a recovery?

    • Don’t speak [too] soon Gareth. If it rebounds then you will not be heard from. Here is a heralding.

      WUWT – 22 July 2013
      “…As the Pacific Decadal Oscillation and Arctic Oscillation shift to their cool phases and solar activity wanes, natural climate cycles predict that Arctic sea ice should recover within the next 5 to 15 years. Climate models have demonstrated that Arctic sea ice can recover in just a few years after the winds change.7 Allowing for a lag effect as subsurface heat ventilates and thicker multiyear ice begins to accumulate, recovery could be swift….”
      [Dr. Jim Steele, Director emeritus Sierra Nevada Field Campus, San Francisco State University]

      • If it rebounds Jimbo I will be in great spirits and contribute extensively. My loss of interest is that the majority of climate science states that Arctic ice will decrease in extent as the world warms. That seems to be what it is doing. It’s not particularly riveting to see a phenomena predicted 25 years ago slowly happen. The only really interesting bits are the catastrophists who claim it will all be gone on such and such a date, and the skeptics who say it will all refreeze in the near future. Both are profoundly mistaken.

      • Gareth Phillips
        September 12, 2015 at 1:30 am
        If it rebounds Jimbo I will be in great spirits and contribute extensively. My loss of interest is that the majority of climate science states that Arctic ice will decrease in extent as the world warms. That seems to be what it is doing. It’s not particularly riveting to see a phenomena predicted 25 years ago slowly happen. The only really interesting bits are the catastrophists who claim it will all be gone on such and such a date, and the skeptics who say it will all refreeze in the near future. Both are profoundly mistaken.

        We will have to wait and see on that one. It took Arctic sea ice decline from 1980 to 2007 for the louder alarm bells. I make that 27 years. I say we will see increasing extents within the next 15 years.
        In science we have prediction followed by observations. Warmists have predicted an ice-free Arctic for 2013, 2012 and counting.
        PS an ice free Arctic was predicted well over 25 years ago.

        New Scientist – 1 December 1960
        “If this goes on,” Mr. Murphy points out, “the Arctic Ocean will be open the year round” before the close of the twentieth century.
        [Dr. Robert Cushman Murphy – American Geographical Society]
        __________________
        Christian Science Monitor – 8 June 1972
        Arctic specialist Bernt Balchen says a general warming trend over the North Pole is melting the polar ice cap and may produce an ice-free Arctic Ocean by the year 2,000.
        [Bernt Balchen – Arctic explorer]

      • Gareth,
        Here is the Arctic temperature anomaly from NASA. Like I said it could be a pattern of ups and downs or maybe not. We still have to wait and see.

        The rapid warming trend in the Arctic over the last 25 years has dramatically reduced the region’s sea ice extent. Comparing this more recent trend with long-term data, scientists are trying to determine to whether this 25-year warming trend will continue, or is part of a longer-term cycle of ups and downs.
        http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/ArcticIce/arctic_ice3.php

        http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/ArcticIce/Images/arctic_temp_trends_rt.gif

      • Slightly off topic, but the warming trends in the Arctic (not amount) are the same worldwide compared with the tropics, USA and Australia for example. Arctic temperatures show no higher temperatures over recent years than the 1930’s and 1940’s. There is no evidence that global temperature would overall react in a different trend to these.
        SO that leads to the question, how are global surface data sets so different from these obvious observations? There is no evidence that the 1940’s are any different to 2010’s. I think it is clear that tamperature trends have been going on for decades, not just recent decades. HADCRUT and GISS have got the trends roughly right, but the amplitude wrong between historic temperatures and recent temperatures. The obvious reason has been continuous tampering of the data to hide this inconvenient observation which is damn pretty clear.

      • Gareth, it hasn’t been melting for the last 3 years and counting.
        Now that PDO has flipped and AMO is getting close to flipping to their respective cool cycles, I expect ice levels to start increasing, just as it did back in the late 60’s and 70’s.

      • Thanks for the extensive info Jimbo. My definition of a rebound would be to see the Arctic regain the ice it has lost over the last 27 years. It can be debated whether is has been this low in times past or not, but the general slow decrease over the last quarter century is irrefutable. I agree though that there seems to be some sort of stabilisation at a lower level over the last few years.

    • Could the variability of the AMO cycle and the limited number of cycles to work with have anything to do with it also? That question will be coming up a lot over the next 10 years or more.

    • The key statistics to watch now are ice thickness and percent multiyear ice. Arctic sea is greatly affected by melting from below and there has been a pattern of alternating years of increasing vs decreasing as Arctic sea ice since 2007 as ice oscillates around 1 km2 anomaly. That would b expected from an Arctic Iris Effect under a regime of below average multiyear ice extent. As thicker multiyear ice continues to accumulate, we should expect more consecutive years of slightly greater extent. This year’s Ice volume data suggests a smaller volume than 2014, but a greater volume than observed for the 4 years from 2010 to 2013.
      http://psc.apl.uw.edu/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/schweiger/ice_volume/Bpiomas_plot_daily_heff.2sst.png

    • Gareth,
      “It will without doubt have come to your Lordship’s knowledge that a considerable change of climate, inexplicable at present to us, must have taken place in the Circumpolar Regions, by which the severity of the cold that has for centuries past enclosed the seas in the high northern latitudes in an impenetrable barrier of ice has been during the last two years, greatly abated.
      (This) affords ample proof that new sources of warmth have been opened and give us leave to hope that the Arctic Seas may at this time be more accessible than they have been for centuries past, and that discoveries may now be made in them not only interesting to the advancement of science but also to the future intercourse of mankind and the commerce of distant nations.”
      President of the Royal Society, London, to the Admiralty, 20th November, 1817 ( Royal Society Archives)

  11. Well I guess….
    When you start in 1979 with an extra 2 million km2’s…
    Looks to me like it’s been “normal” all along

    • Exactly, the 2 M km2 ice above normal makes out it was normal back in even the 1970’s, but it certainly wasn’t. It was the highest extent recorded over the past 60 years with only a few years in the 1960’s and 1970’s matching it.
      http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/pdf/10.1175/1520-0485%281979%29009%3C0580%3AAAOASI%3E2.0.CO%3B2
      The year 1961 showed Arctic ice over 3.5 M km2 BELOW normal and was astonishingly over 5.5 M km2 below the extent in 1979. During the 1950’s and 1960’s Arctic sea ice was often more than 1 M km2 below normal. The spin and exaggeration by some alarmists has been disgraceful over the years with their greatest cherry.

      • Thanks for the info an link.
        Average Arctic sea ice extent must have gotten pretty low by the late ’40s, then struggled to rebuild until reaching a cyclical high in the late ’70s, although even 1975 was about the same as 2015.

  12. I think the AMO connection is pretty solid. We also saw a lot less melting in Greenland this past summer. Note that when the AMO went positive around 1995 it still took about 10 years for any big changes. I suspect we will see ups and downs for several years before returning to the higher ice conditions.

      • Looks that way but ‘never say never’ on weather. (thanks Joe)
        We don’t really have a handle yet on the amount of time it takes for solar changes to influence climate (from what I have read). And, as Joe B said on weatherbell’s Sat. summary, we are starting this grand minimum at a different global temperature and ocean cycle phases than the last one, so they’re unlikely to be identical.

      • “And, as Joe B said on weatherbell’s Sat. summary, we are starting this grand minimum at a different global temperature and ocean cycle phases than the last one, so they’re unlikely to be identical.”
        The global average surface temperature being ~ 0.8C warmer won’t make any meaningful difference to how deep the negative AO&NAO episodes will be, so regional temp extremes will tend be similar to previous solar minima.

  13. The summer sea ice extent is not what is the most interesting thing that’s going on in the Arctic.
    What interests me is what’s putting a cap on the summer temps from rising higher in the Arctic. For if the Arctic is getting warmer then why is it just confined to just the winter half of the year

  14. I’m disappointed. First the El Nino fading in early 2016. Now sea ice extent in the Arctic “leveling off”.
    There was supposed to be a Ka-boom. There was supposed to be an Earth-shattering Ka-boom.

    • Not a Ka-boom, “Shock and awe of climate change” is what you mean.
      As for the Arctic, I have been looking at the early snow return in Alaska and Siberia. The ice might not be recovering quickly, but the snow on the ground is rushing ahead (keep an eye on the daily anomaly charts):
      http://climate.rutgers.edu/snowcover/
      The last few winters have seen a large positive anomaly during the fall, as large areas have seen early snows.
      I would like to understand why that is.

      • Early snow is bad and because of man-made global warming, is exactly what all climate scientists have expected and all the models have always predicted it.
        Not.

      • Thanks for the snow link. We’ve cut extra wood again, expecting the 3rd colder than normal winter in a row this year.
        I invoked the words of Marvin the Martian to express my disappointment in the lack of real evidence to support the dooming and glooming of climate alarmism. After all the wolf is supposed to show up eventually. Instead we get cold winters not seen for 30 years.

      • Snow on the ground, since that area is still receiving some sun light, should speed the cooling of the air.
        Any snow that falls in the oceans will speed the cooling of the water directly.

  15. During the last major advance of the Laurentide ice sheet, the greatest thickness of the dome was found atop and just south of Hudson Bay, same area as where the “polar vortex” sets up every winter. Besides the Laurentide ice sheet, there was also the Finoscandian Ice Sheet. Siberia and parts of Alaska were relatively ice free by comparison.
    It seems to me that the ice in Hudson Bay persisted for a long time this summer. Did it ever completely melt out? Also East Coast ice was drifting as far south as Martha’s Vinyard. Maybe the Arctic Ocean will not necessarily be the place to look for ice extent in the coming years.

    • Also the British and alpine ice sheets, besides the Fennoscandian in Europe. The extent of glaciation in Siberia remains somewhat controversial.

    • Much of Siberia was also glacier free. Lots of mastodons and human hunters ran around there and the humans followed the game across Siberia to Alaska and then down to California and into South America and we called these people ‘Indians’ due to mistakes made by European explorers.
      The Inuit all came out of Siberia, too, and stayed Ice Age hunters where there were still lots of animals roaming about Alaska.

      • You mean mammoths. No mastodons in Pleistocene Siberia, although obviously their Miocene ancestors passed through there.
        Late Pleistocene North America was home to at least four proboscidean species in three genera and families: woolly and Columbian mammoths (elephant family), mastodons and gomphotheres.

    • The ice on Hudson Bay has not melted out yet (although it still might and this is only the northern exit from Hudson Bay, the main Bay ice is gone).
      I don’t think any ships are getting through this in the current year and let’s remember, they have been navigating this water since 1610 when Henry Hudson first explored the Bay.
      Sea ice on the northern exit of Hudson Bay on September 11, 2015 in Red.
      http://s28.postimg.org/gsojdzynx/Sept_11_15_Northern_Hudson_Bay_Ice.jpg

  16. “We haven’t spent much time looking at Arctic Sea Ice this year, partly because I’ve rather lost interest in it as any sort of climatic indicator.”
    Arctic sea ice extent may be an excellent forward hurricanes indicator of a great importance to the Caribbean and the United States, only if we knew how to interpret it.
    In the summer months as ice retreats, the atmospheric pressure in the Sub-Arctic area is influenced by atmosphere’s direct contact with free sea surface, as the Icelandic Low moves much further north.
    Dr. Judith Curry in her paper shows a graph of major hurricanes
    http://www.eas.gatech.edu/sites/default/files/ins_tampa_09.pdf
    Here I superimposed the summer Arctic pressure on the above graph
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/NATL.gif
    I find it hard to believe that similarity between blue and red lines is just ‘spurious’ coincidence. If it is not, then the Arctic ice extent (to which change in the summer Arctic pressure appears to be directly related) may produce even better correlation, providing good predictive indicator for the major hurricanes.

  17. I’m not convinced that Arctic sea ice has reached its minimum yet (today, 10 September) but clearly it is near its yearly low.
    On the other hand, as each day goes by, the effect of the daily sunlight difference (the difference in heat energy being either reflected (by excess sea ice) or absorbed (by the absence of sea ice above the “darker” ocean surface)) gets lower and lower.
    For example, on 1 September this year, the ever-rising Antarctic Sea Ice area already was more important to the earth’s daily heat balance than the Arctic sea ice area. By September 22 – 26, each square meter of Antarctic sea ice area will be more than 10 TIMES important than the Arctic sea ice.

    • Luke:
      If the arctic sea ice extent is a triangle wave of period of about 70 years then you would get the “long term” trend noted above taken over a period of 32 years.
      “long term” isn’t long enough until you’ve satisfied Nyquist – you need two periods. Since the various ocean oscillations have periods on the order of 60-70 years, and the evidence prior to 1979 is that 1979 was a maximum, and there’s anecdotal evidence that ice extents oscillate between the Arctic and Antarctic, you can’t rule out the possibility that we’re just seeing one portion of an oscillation.
      In summary a valid Null Hypothesis is that the downtrend in Arctic Ice Extent is just a subsample of larger period. We need to wait until 2099 to invalidate this Null Hypothesis.
      I realize it’s tough to wait that long. Humans have different lifespans than natural cycles. Them’s the breaks.
      Peter

      • “Hate to burst your bubble folks but arctic sea ice extent is trending downward at the same rate it has been for the past two decades. All indications are we are still in the midst of a long-term decline.”
        All indications are we are at the end of long-term decline would be more appropriate.
        1) Solar activity in a slumber.
        2) AMO increasingly negative.
        3) NH snow cover significantly increasing over recent years.
        4) Recovery of Arctic sea ice and volume during recent years.
        5) Cooling global temperatures (the current strong El Nino may have a very slight short term delay affect)
        6) Reached the end of the cycle that mirrored the period between the 1930’s and 1970’s.
        The linked graph doesn’t tell us the whole picture because it is only one month. (August) Not even the month when the minimum occurs each year. (September) We know there has been a decline since the late 1970’s, but there are many signs this is about to change and it has nothing to do with CO2.
        The 1950’s had similar ice anomalies compared with the 2010’s.
        The early to mid 1960’s had lower ice anomalies compared with 2010’s.
        The late 1960’s to early 1970’s had higher ice anomalies compared with 2010’s.
        The years 1974 and 1975 were little different from anomalies compared with 2010’s.
        The 1950’s until the 1970’s showed an increase in Arctic sea ice and currently levels now are no lower that at times during these decades. The lowest Arctic sea ice recorded since the 1950’s was in 1961 and that year had over 5.5 M km2 below the ice extent during 1979.

      • Peter Sable,
        To expand further Luke should read the following on the previous Arctic Warm Period of the 1920s and 30s.

        Abstract
        The Early Twentieth-Century Warming in the Arctic—A Possible Mechanism
        The huge warming of the Arctic that started in the early 1920s and lasted for almost two decades is one of the most spectacular climate events of the twentieth century. During the peak period 1930–40, the annually averaged temperature anomaly for the area 60°–90°N amounted to some 1.7°C…..
        dx.doi.org/10.1175/1520-0442(2004)017%3C4045:TETWIT%3E2.0.CO;2
        ————
        Abstract
        The regime shift of the 1920s and 1930s in the North Atlantic
        During the 1920s and 1930s, there was a dramatic warming of the northern North Atlantic Ocean. Warmer-than-normal sea temperatures, reduced sea ice conditions and enhanced Atlantic inflow in northern regions continued through to the 1950s and 1960s, with the timing of the decline to colder temperatures varying with location. Ecosystem changes associated with the warm period included a general northward movement of fish……
        dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pocean.2006.02.011
        ————
        Abstract
        Early 20th century Arctic warming in upper-air data
        Between around 1915 and 1945, Arctic surface air temperatures increased by about 1.8°C. Understanding this rapid warming, its possible feedbacks and underlying causes, is vital in order to better asses the current and future climate changes in the Arctic.
        http://meetings.copernicus.org/www.cosis.net/abstracts/EGU2007/04015/EGU2007-J-04015.pdf
        ————
        Abstract
        ……(a) the Arctic amplification (ratio of the Arctic to global temperature trends) is not a constant but varies in time on a multi-decadal time scale, (b) the Arctic warming from 1910–1940 proceeded at a significantly faster rate than the current 1970–2008 warming, and (c) the Arctic temperature changes are highly correlated with the Atlantic Multi-decadal Oscillation (AMO) suggesting the Atlantic Ocean thermohaline circulation is linked to the Arctic temperature variability on a multi-decadal time scale……
        http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2009GL038777/full
        ————
        IPCC – AR4
        Average arctic temperatures increased at almost twice the global average rate in the past 100 years. Arctic temperatures have high decadal variability, and a warm period was also observed from 1925 to 1945.
        http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/spmsspm-direct-observations.html
        ————
        Abstract
        Arctic Warming” During 1920-40:
        A Brief Review of Old Russian Publications
        Sergey V. Pisarev
        1. The idea of Arctic Warming during 1920–40 is supported in Russian publications by the following facts: *retreating of glaciers, melting of sea islands, and retreat of permafrost* decrease of sea ice amounts…..
        http://mclean.ch/climate/Arctic_1920_40.htm
        ————
        Abstract
        …..Winter season stable isotope data from ice core records that reach more than 1400 years back in time suggest that the warm period that began in the 1920s raised southern Greenland temperatures to the same level as those that prevailed during the warmest intervals of the Medieval Warm Period some 900–1300 years ago. This observation is supported by a southern Greenland ice core borehole temperature inversion……
        Climatic signals in multiple highly resolved stable isotope records from Greenland
        http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0277379109003655

      • Peter Sable said: “In summary a valid Null Hypothesis is that the downtrend in Arctic Ice Extent is just a subsample of larger period. We need to wait until 2099 to invalidate this Null Hypothesis.”
        So why is a period of only 18 years of relatively flat RSS data sufficient to disprove AGW?

      • So why is a period of only 18 years of relatively flat RSS data sufficient to disprove AGW?

        Because we are talking about Arctic Ice Extent here…
        Peter

      • Peter,
        So let’s review what you are saying. The Arctic ice levels are affected by long term natural trends whose cycles are greater than the 35 years of Arctic sea ice data that is available, therefore we can’t draw any conclusions about the significance of the current decline.
        Global temperatures apparently are not affected by any natural phenomena with long cycles (or at least cycles are greater than 18 years). Even though the Arctic, which you say has long cycles, is part of the planet. Even though the AMO is 20-40 years in length. Even though the PDO is 20-30 years. All of which are longer than the 18 year pause that is trumped here as proof that AGW is insignificant.
        Is that what you are saying?

      • Chris
        September 11, 2015 at 9:41 pm
        Peter Sable said: “In summary a valid Null Hypothesis is that the downtrend in Arctic Ice Extent is just a subsample of larger period. We need to wait until 2099 to invalidate this Null Hypothesis.”
        So why is a period of only 18 years of relatively flat RSS data sufficient to disprove AGW?

        To me AGW is real. The question for me is how much of the warming since the mid-1970s is due to man’s greenhouse gases?
        Your question could be directed at the proponents of global warming is MOSTLY man’s fault. Read on.

        “The simulations rule out (at the 95% level) zero trends for intervals of 15 yr or more, suggesting that an observed absence of warming of this duration is needed to create a discrepancy with the expected present-day warming rate.”
        http://www1.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/cmb/bams-sotc/climate-assessment-2008-lo-rez.pdf

        “A single decade of observational TLT data is therefore inadequate for identifying a slowly evolving anthropogenic warming signal. Our results show that temperature records of at least 17 years in length are required for identifying human effects on global-mean tropospheric temperature. ”
        http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2011/2011JD016263.shtml

        “The LLNL-led research shows that climate models can and do simulate short, 10- to 12-year “hiatus periods” with minimal warming, even when the models are run with historical increases in greenhouse gases and sulfate aerosol particles. They find that tropospheric temperature records must be at least 17 years long to discriminate between internal climate noise and the signal of human-caused changes in the chemical composition of the atmosphere.”
        https://www.llnl.gov/news/newsreleases/2011/Nov/NR-11-11-03.html

      • Chris wrote:

        Even though the AMO is 20-40 years in length. Even though the PDO is 20-30 years.

        Not sure where you are getting that.
        AMO 60-75 years:
        http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v367/n6465/abs/367723a0.html
        http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2008JD010036/abstract
        PDO 50-70 years:
        http://research.jisao.washington.edu/pdo/
        There’s also beat frequencies to consider between the two as they are probably out of phase (which is why you need 2 periods… you can get away with a little over one period if you are absolutely sure there’s only a single source of oscillation through some mechanistic explanation…which you can’t in this case).
        Perhaps you were confused by the half-period numbers? These “events” last half of the period. Or, approximately the length of the commonly published Arctic Ice Extent. The unpublished “proxy” data Mr Goddard is finding shows that there is likely an oscillation, or at least we don’t know what the true average extent should be.

        Even though the Arctic, which you say has long cycles, is part of the planet.

        Yes, but when it comes to globally averaged temperatures, the Arctic is a blip because the it’s surface area is so small. Keep in mind the globally average temperatures include huge surface area of the tropics. In fact you can see ENSO signals in all the temperature data sets I’ve looked at so far. But you can barely see them (hovering at just above 95% confidence level), Which means that arctic ice extent changes would likely not be visible in all that noise.
        Also, I didn’t say “Arctic Ice Extent has long cycles”. That’s a Boolean Logic interpretation. Science is (at least) tri-state, either “yes”, “no” or “unproven”. I said it’s unproven that the Arctic Ice Extend doesn’t have cycles, and there’s enough data to suggest that “Has Cycles” is a valid Null Hypothesis against the idea that the Arctic Ice is in permanent decline as shown by the 1979 present. A possibly subtle but very important distinction.
        Peter

      • Science is (at least) tri-state, either “yes”, “no” or “unproven”.

        Ooops, I missed one. “Not even Wrong” is a valid designation as well… and the proper designation for much of CAGW hysteria.
        Let me amend that to Science has these basic things to say about any particular hypothesis: “proven yes, proven no, unproven, unprovable”…
        Peter

      • Peter,
        My point is that you say that the downward Arctic trend cannot be confirmed yet due to long term cyclical factors such as AMO. Yet somehow it IS ok to say that the warming trend claimed for AGW is not happening due to the relatively flat RSS data. Why doesn’t the same caveat you stated about the Arctic apply to global temperature, which is also affected by long term cyclical factors such as AMO, PDO, etc?

      • et somehow it IS ok to say that the warming trend claimed for AGW is not happening due to the relatively flat RSS data.

        Well, some may think it’s okay to say that. I don’t think so. For me this is in the category of “interesting, but unproven”.
        I think it’s valid to say that the RSS zero trend for 18 years invalidates the climate models, by the climate model’s own criteria. I think that’s the strongest statement made by Mr Monckton and it’s a valid statement.
        I note the climate models do a poor job of showing AMO and PDO…
        Peter

      • Matt G
        “The linked graph doesn’t tell us the whole picture because it is only one month. (August) Not even the month when the minimum occurs each year. (September)”
        I used August because it was the latest data. All of the months show a similar decline but since you asked about September, here is it. Nothing you suggested in you reply really addressed the point that I was making. All evidence suggests that we are witnessing a long-term decline in arctic sea ice which is unprecedented in the past 1450 years (url below). I see nothing that suggests it is turning around.
        http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v479/n7374/full/nature10581.html
        http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/files/2014/10/monthly_ice_NH_09.png

      • Luke,
        How do the authors explain Antarctic sea ice growth, if man-made GHG has caused Arctic sea ice decline?
        Their reconstruction is contradicted by actual observations of Arctic sea ice in the 20th century, as during the pronounced decline from c. 1920 to 1945, followed by general gain into the late ’70s, with some exceptional years. Naturally there is less ice now than was normal during the Little Ice Age, c. AD 1400 to 1850, but lMO there are good proxy data showing less sea ice than now during the Medieval Warm Period, c. AD 900 to 1400. They’re outside of the study period, which includes part of the Dark Ages Cold Period, but sea ice extent was less during the Roman and Minoan Warm Periods and the Holocene Climate Optimum, too.
        The fact is that present sea ice extent occurred as recently as 1975, so how can it be unprecedented in 1450 years?
        At least the authors recognize large uncertainties in their reconstruction.

      • Chris
        September 11, 2015 at 9:41 pm
        The 18 year temperature plateau matters because it was preceded by only about 20 years of warming, which followed around 32 years of cooling, despite CO2 rising at roughly the same rate since 1945. Indeed, to the extent that the rate of rise has accelerated, this has happened during the plateau.
        These facts show the hypothesis of man-made global warming to be false and the GIGO climate models to be worse than worthless, except to demonstrate that their assumptions are faulty at best.

      • Matt G said:
        “4) Recovery of Arctic sea ice and volume during recent years.”
        How do you draw that conclusion? Here’s extent: http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/ (Figure 2). 2015 is tracking well below 2013 and 2014, and on track to be below 2011. Here is volume: http://psc.apl.uw.edu/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/schweiger/ice_volume/BPIOMASIceVolumeAnomalyCurrentV2.1_CY.png
        2015 is well below 2014, and will likely be at the level of 2013 or slightly lower.
        “The 1950’s until the 1970’s showed an increase in Arctic sea ice and currently levels now are no lower that at times during these decades. The lowest Arctic sea ice recorded since the 1950’s was in 1961 and that year had over 5.5 M km2 below the ice extent during 1979.”
        What data do you have to support that statement? It’s not what the NSIDC data shows: http://nsidc.org/icelights/2011/01/31/arctic-sea-ice-before-satellites/

    • Luke, If I’m not mistaken, your rock-solid trend takes us to ice-free by ~2100. Looks like you should agree that Wadhams was/is quite bonkers.

      • Steve from Rockwood

        You can approximate part of a sine function with a straight line to within 99%.

        Key words: “Approximate” and “part of” …
        very approximate, and only for a very small part of that sine wave.
        So, if the Arctic sea ice has a 66 to 96 year oscillation cycle – like the very well known PDO or AMO cycles, both of which follow the shorter 66 – 70 year cycles, how many “straight lines” has our data of Arctic sea ice demonstrated since we first had data in 1979-80? We are not yet through the first half-wave!

    • Luke, you chart shows a difference of 2 million km2 between 1979 and the present…
      1979 was a record high year……a record 2 million km2
      It’s not a decline…it’s a return to normal

    • Luke
      September 12, 2015 at 11:57 am
      Jimbo,
      It appears that there was a slight decline in arctic sea ice extent in the 1920s and and in the 1940-50s but nothing like we have witnessed over the last two decades.
      http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v479/n7374/full/nature10581.html

      Luke,
      we did not have the technology like today of satellites. Yet the scientific literature is clear – there was a ”
      huge warming of the Arctic” during the 1920s and 1930s. Sea ice recovered after that huge warming of the Arctic. Climate change is always with us.

      Camperdown Chronicle 1903
      THE ENGLISH CLIMATE. IS IT CHANGING?
      “In the face of the facts it seems hardly worth while to answer the question, Is the climate changing? Every one knows that we hardly ever have a real old-fashioned, snow-clad Christmas in these times that fires are often welcome on Midsummer Day, and that September— after the cricket season—often turns out to be the best month of the year…”
      ____________________
      The Brisbane Courier 1903
      IS THE CLIMATE CHANGING?
      “…..that the mean summer temperature at the Melbourne Observatory for the three years from 1859 to 1862 was 75.8, while for the last three years, from 1899 to 1902, the mean summer tempera-ture was 76.5—a difference of less than a degree….”
      ____________________
      Examiner (Launceston, Tas.) 1906
      IS THE EARTH GETTING WARMER?
      That the earth is growing temporarilly warmer is shown by the mountain gla-ciers….The latest report includes 90 glaciers in the Swiss Alps, in Norway, Greenland, the Caucasus, the Pamir, the North West United States, Western Canada. and Africa, and practically all are grow-ing smaller. In the Savoy Alps and the Pyrenees small glaciers have quite dis- appeared.
      ____________________
      Cairns Post 1923
      TEMPERATE ARCTIC
      “The discovery by American seal fishers that of late there has been a remarkable increase in the mean tem-perature of the Arctic, and that in some parts of the Polar basin no ice has been seen less than 9 degrees from the North Pole, agrees with the ex- perience of many Arctic explorers in recent years…”
      ____________________
      The Sydney Morning Herald 1926
      CHANGING CLIMATE. AMERICAN EXPERIENCE. RECORDED FACTS
      “Although the temperature year by year fluctuates widely from the average, there is an underlying upward trend in the northern United States and Canada like a slowly rising tide, while in the south of the United States the trend is the other way. Thus the con-trast between the weather of the north and south is diminishing, and the climate ot the country as a whole is ameliorating…”
      ____________________
      The Register News-Pictorial 1930
      WARMER WORLD Weather Physicist Looks Ahead
      The world is growing warmer. Dr. J. W. Humphreys, physicist of the Weather Bureau,…..”There is evidence, however, that the world as a whole is very slowly growing warmer,” he said. “The evidence is that glaciers in all parts of the world have been on the average slowly retreating since the culmina- tion of the Ice Age, and they are still slowly retreating….”
      ____________________
      The Courier-Mail 1934
      WORLD’S CHANGING CLIMATE Unsafe To Generalise
      “The fact that during last year 81 of 100 Swiss glaciers decreased in size did not in any way indicate that the earth was becoming warmer and drier, said professor H. C. Richards, Pro- fessor of Geology at the Queensland University, yesterday, commenting on a message from Geneva concerning a world-wide drought. Even if the ob-servations of Swiss glaciers were con-tinued over a period of 50 years, he said, the data obtained could not warrant any general statement that the world as a whole was becoming drier or warmer…”
      ____________________
      Camperdown Chronicle 1937
      THE WARM ARCTIC!
      “We are usually inclined to regard the Arctic as a region where it is always cold. Actually, this is an erroneous belief. In the summer quite a large part of the continental Arctic has temperatures of 80 degrees F. in the shade
      ____________________
      The Courier-Mail 1939
      WORLD CLIMATE CHANGING Scientists Puzzled
      “Scientists’ investigations show that the world’s climate is changing. But whether it is becoming wetter, warmer, drier, or colder they can’t say with certainty. Dr. F. W. Whitehouse, University geologist, said this yesterday in an ad- dress to the Constitutional Club…”
      ____________________
      Western Mail 1941
      Impending Climatic Change
      “The report was made by Halbert P. Gillette, of Chicago, to the association’s geology section….”Three of the long climatic cycles.” he reports, “have produced a downward trend in rainfall in many regions, cul-minating in a series of droughts begin-ning about 1920. This series of cycles probably will continue until about 1990. In many regions these droughts bid fair to be more severe than any long series in the last 20 centuries. It will therefore prove futile to continue the present policy of relief in the dustbowl regions. Wholesale migrations from these regions seems advisable.”…”
      ____________________
      The Canberra Times 1951
      WEATHER REALLY IS CHANGING
      Sunspot activity indicates that the world will have generally cooler summers and colder win-ters during the next 15 years, according to a forecast based on the study of sunspot cycles go- ing back to 1790. Dr. H. C. Willett, meteorolo-gist at the Massachusetts Insti-tue of Technology, said to-day that official records of sunspot activity linked their activity with weather conditions in all parts of the world….”

      • Luke,
        Pre-satellite era extents are not as easy to determine than you think. Below is someone who wrote to the NSIDC and got a reply. Please read it.
        Reconstructions don’t cut it.

        This paper provides evidence that supports a conclusion that the official sea ice data bases covering 1920-1945/50 appear to very substantially overstate the ice area extent. Some of the thinning of the ice and reduction of glaciers noted today appears to have had their genesis in the period.
        http://judithcurry.com/2013/04/10/historic-variations-in-arctic-sea-ice-part-ii-1920-1950/

      • Jimbo
        Sorry but a blog post by Judith Curry doesn’t cut it. Provide some peer-reviewed scientific papers that find problems with Kinnard’s reconstruction and we can have a conversation.

      • Luke,
        The post was not from Judith Curry but from Tony Brown. This indicates to me that you most probably did not read it. Secondly, read the referenced peer-reviewed papers’ abstracts and data sources.
        Since you insist on peer review I have to wonder why I should take anything the IPCC seriously. They reference NON-peer reviewed literature in ALL of their reports. Take a chill pill.
        IPCC non-peer reviewed notes on pages

        [IPCC insiders answering a 2010 InterAcademy Council questionnaire]
        =======
        “…there are vast amounts of information and data that are not published in scientific papers…and without which the assessments of the IPCC would not be possible.” [p. 241]
        “For a number of areas of IPCC work non-peer reviewed literature is absolutely essential, because the peer reviewed literature does not cover enough relevant information.” [p. 257]
        Some chapters rely heavily on gray literature while ignoring peer-reviewed literature on the same matter” (e.g., Ch 7 WG2). [p. 543]
        “The pressure from [developing countries] to use publications in [developing countries] and/or grey literature is high and effective.” [p.555]
        My [2007 Working Group 3] chapter depended heavily on non-peer reviewed literature and I have yet to hear a complaint about its quality.” [p. 52]
        http://reviewipcc.interacademycouncil.net/Comments.pdf

        This from the 1978 conference previously referenced:

        “ Sea ice charts have been published (by DMI) from 1900 to 1956 for the Arctic seas, and from 1957 to 1964 for the Greenland waters (Fabricius 1961 DMI 1964) .The earlier data are from ship reports. Aerial reconnaissance has been used since 1959.”
        Please note that large portions of the pre-1953, and almost all of the pre-1900 data is either climatology (weather conditions averaged over a period of time) or interpolated data and the user is cautioned to use this data with care (see “Expert user guidance”, below). “ (Chapman)

        http://judithcurry.com/2013/04/10/historic-variations-in-arctic-sea-ice-part-ii-1920-1950/

      • Here is Dr. James Hansen.

        Abstract – PNAS – August 15, 2000
        James Hansen et. al.
        Global warming in the twenty-first century: An alternative scenario
        A common view is that the current global warming rate will continue or accelerate. But we argue that rapid warming in recent decades has been driven mainly by non-CO2 greenhouse gases (GHGs), such as chlorofluorocarbons, CH4, and N2O, not by the products of fossil fuel burning, CO2 and aerosols, the positive and negative climate forcings of which are partially offsetting. The growth rate of non-CO2 GHGs has declined in the past decade……
        http://www.pnas.org/content/97/18/9875.long
        ==============
        Abstract – PNAS – 4 November 2003
        James Hansen et. al.
        Soot climate forcing via snow and ice albedos
        Plausible estimates for the effect of soot on snow and ice albedos (1.5% in the Arctic and 3% in Northern Hemisphere land areas) yield a climate forcing of +0.3 W/m2 in the Northern Hemisphere. The “efficacy” of this forcing is ~2, i.e., for a given forcing it is twice as effective as CO2 in altering global surface air temperature. This indirect soot forcing may have contributed to global warming of the past century, including the trend toward early springs in the Northern Hemisphere, thinning Arctic sea ice, and melting land ice and permafrost……
        http://www.pnas.org/content/101/2/423.abstract

      • Chris & Luke:
        When your response is that a link “doesn’t cut it”, what you’re saying is you have no answer. If you did, you would have posted it instead of making that lame comment.

  18. .

    CAGW prognosticators have nearly abandoned it as well.

    I was quite caught of guard by the turning point this year. There’s been no exaggerated, falsified data by Suzanne Goldberg at the Guardian so far. Not a whisper. In fact today they are preferring to talk about a paper predicting that Antarctic ice will be mostly gone several MILLENNIA from now.
    Now that’s what I call extrapolation !!
    We have barely got around to measuring _approximately_ what polar ice volumes are and they are extrapolating millennia into the future. The paper is, of course, from the damn potty Potsdam Institute.
    So no claims of ice free summers form Whacky Wadhams, and “don’t look up, look down” from the Guardian. No mention of how we must focus on saving polar bears and the Arctic in the ‘last hope for the world’ conference in Paris. This tells me we probably should be looking closer at Arctic sea ice.
    Since the whole idea of an Arctic ‘tipping point’ has (thankfully) fallen apart since 2007 the alarmists seem to have gone off talking about it Odd that, you’d think they would be pleased. They seemed so concerned about it at one time.
    https://climategrog.files.wordpress.com/2013/09/art_nh_ice_area_short_anom_2007_final.png
    https://climategrog.wordpress.com/2013/09/16/on-identifying-inter-decadal-variation-in-nh-sea-ice/

    • Thanks. Confirming my reply to Luke on the flattish “now” trend, despite the cyclone-driven lows in 2007 and 2012.

      • From the study you posted: “A strengthening AMOC could have contributed to the observed decline in the
        Arctic Sea-ice in the Winter, but not in the summer based on GFDL CM2.1 results. ”
        So the study is saying that Arctic summer ice is NOT impacted by the AMOC.

      • I see no justified reason why a MODEL thinks that the AMOC has no impact in summer.
        The AMOC has been blamed on causing huge differences in temperatures and ice age conditions, yet apparently has no impact in summer. Sorry that is a load of nonsense because if it had no impact, sea ice during summer would not have declined over the past few decades. Ice ages would not be able to occur via any changing in the AMOC. DMI shows the atmosphere above the Arctic ice for the region 80N+ is not warm enough to melt the ice even during middle of summer. It requires warmth from the ocean to melt it from below and if the AMOC can’t do it then what does?
        “AMOC seems to have little impact on Pacific sector of the Arctic in GFDL
        CM2.1, where the observed decline is the strongest in the summer.”
        Fair enough as the current from AMOC directly affects the Atlantic side, so a bit obvious. Although more ice on the Atlantic side will prevent warmer waters reaches the Pacific side. The Arctic is affected far more by the Atlantic side than the Pacific side in any scenario during past history.

  19. It will without doubt have come to your Lordship’s knowledge that a considerable change of climate, inexplicable at present to us, must have taken place in the Circumpolar Regions, by which the severity of the cold that has for centuries past enclosed the seas in the high northern latitudes in an impenetrable barrier of ice has been during the last two years, greatly abated.
    (This) affords ample proof that new sources of warmth have been opened and give us leave to hope that the Arctic Seas may at this time be more accessible than they have been for centuries past, and that discoveries may now be made in them not only interesting to the advancement of science but also to the future intercourse of mankind and the commerce of distant nations.

    President of the Royal Society, London, to the Admiralty, 20th November, 1817 Minutes of Council, Volume 8. pp.149-153, Royal Society, London.
    20th November, 1817.
    Those new to this might like to look at John L. Daly’s site:
    http://www.john-daly.com/polar/arctic.htm
    Also, here:
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/04/26/ice-at-the-north-pole-in-1958-not-so-thick/

  20. The DMI graph also seems to indicate that melt has turned the corner, but shows the 2015 data higher than 2011 unlike the [japanese] graph above:

    Don’t forget that JAXA redefined how they measred arctic sea ice just before the annual minimum a couple of years ago, rendering their data useless for inter-annual comparisons. You should remove any graphs of data based on JAXA sources that show annual comparisions: they are unscientific and misleading.

      • That’s very different to just having to recalculate orbital changes. What makes me laugh is people in favor of surface data still like the Arctic ice using SATELLITE data. Shows nothing other than they only don’t like the satellite data for temperatures because they don’t like the results. Political agenda related that has nothing to do with science. Why is the satellite good enough for Arctic ice extent, but not temperature? The fact it is because it can deliver such good results with Arctic ice trends shows it’s much better product than if tried to do the same thing with surface sea ice Arctic observations.

      • The UAH changes to their satellite product was far more than changing orbits, the whole methodology was changed, the computer program was completely rewritten, the contribution from different altitude ranges was changed.
        The different between the two measurements is that the satellite ice extent makes a measurement of signals originating from the surface so is measuring the same parameter. In the case of the satellite temperature measurements they are of a distributed temperature over 12km of atmosphere not of the surface!

      • “The different between the two measurements is that the satellite ice extent makes a measurement of signals originating from the surface so is measuring the same parameter. In the case of the satellite temperature measurements they are of a distributed temperature over 12km of atmosphere not of the surface.”
        The sea ice data still has some of the satellite errors to correct that are needed for temperature. They both measure the same parameter and there are no inconsistencies when the errors are corrected. These errors are not difficult to correct mentioned in the link below, unlike the surface data record would be. There is a big difference to calibrating everything the same to having thousands of points varying differently in many ways and sometimes not even using them and changing them whenever they feel like it. (surface data) It is much easier to correct the error with satellite then it could ever be with surface data. I’m not sure how the surface data could ever be corrected with so many unaccounted changes. Satellite temperature measurements are from very near the surface right up to well above the troposphere. Different channels are used to distinguish between different bands.
        The satellites are always measuring the same parameter just much more accurately, cover greater coverage of the planet like it does for sea ice. It doesn’t matter that is not measuring the direct surface when the idea is you want to measure the energy changes of the planet. To complete this goal the satellite method is by far the better technique. Surface is better for humans to know how warm and cool it will be in weather forecasts, but for climate satellite it is by far the best to use.
        They measure the atmosphere very near the surface up to 0.1 hPa. It is very clear the reason you and others don’t like them is because it is not recording want you want them to show. If the surface were recording cooling and satellite warming, there would be many alarmists that would change their view. In fact it was only a few months ago the surface was showing cooling, until the intended change to them.
        http://www.drroyspencer.com/2010/01/how-the-uah-global-temperatures-are-produced/
        The quality in the data is compared to a CRN 1 weather station.
        “John Christy has spent a lot of time comparing our datasets to radiosonde (weather balloon) datasets, and finds very good long-term agreement.”

  21. If you listen closely, you can hear the arctic screaming.
    Apparently, it can’t take any more of the alarmist nonsense.
    I know how it feels.

  22. Re NZWillie’s comments on data manipulation.
    The Antarctic graph for the third year in a row (Southern Heisphere Sea Ice Extent with Anomaly) has numerous small black spots scattered around the coast but also through the ice mix.
    These are obviously areas that count as having no ice reducing the extent.
    They may be examples of computer melt ponds as he suggests,
    Or someone is just pencilling them out to reduce the extent.
    Happening every year and very unscientific.
    On the Arctic there was a ring of disappearing ice which broke up but one remnant has remained above Greenland.
    Hope is high that this will seed a super fast recovery in the next 2 weeks as there may be a lot of thinner ice just ready to rejoin.
    Fingers crossed.

  23. Well all the pretty graphs and we’ll reasoned arguments aft and to, what of the cry to arms, the Arctic is now ice free? When IPCC? When will the Arctic be ice free? Surely, the increased co2 and all of that retained heat will completely melt the Arctic. The sea level rise will be devasting. When, oh when? By the end of the century? Why so long when the science is settled? I need to see the science so that I can be reassured you aren’t making this stuff by the seat of your pants.

  24. I recall an article about this time last year making the same call. Then the ice started melting again and the low didn’t occur for another 5 or 6 weeks.
    Let’s wait at least a week or two before getting excited. A few days of uptick is meaningless.

    • I found that I can view the graphs from within an InPrivate IE11 session. An Incognito chrome session doesn’t work. Anyone else experience this?

    • At least nine yachts have completed the passage this summer, even the northern route is open at present. Wind was apparently the biggest issue this summer rather than ice, there was a particularly nasty storm off Barrow a couple of weeks ago that eroded the beach. I guess such crossings aren’t publicized any more because it’s become routine?
      One that just completed the E-W transit is attempting to sail back the opposite way, now sailing through Parry Channel, Andros.

  25. Interesting observation you make, Anthony, with this comment:
    “…One of the things that I have come to notice about Arctic sea ice is that it appears to have reached a new plateau or regime, note how since 2007 the data seems to oscillate about the -1 million square kilometer line.”
    I checked your graph for the 1979 to 2008 baseline and there really does seem to be some sort of change or reorganization taking place. I have determined that the Arctic warming itself is not caused by any imaginary greenhouse effect but is due to a rearrangement of pcean current flow patterns of the North Atlantic Ocean at the turn of the twentieth century. I had a paper out on that and gave you a chance to post it but you turned me down with an incredibly ignorant non-scientific argument. The title of my paper was “Arctic warming is not greenhouse warming.” You must object to to this, I thought, and dropped the subject. I had planned to shorten it because I doubted that you would accept a six thousand word document but we never got to the technical part. But be that as it may be, the result is that all comments about Arctic temperature changes you have published completely ignore Arctic history. Let me outline it. For most of the last 2000 years Arctic history was boring – nothing happened except for slow, linear cooling for almost 2000 years. The most likely cause of this was a steady, orbitally-driven reduction of summer insolation. This came to an end at the turn of the twentieth century when the Arctic temperature suddenly turned up and assumed a hockey stick stance. Kaufman, whose data I used, did not have sufficient resolution to show what happened at that point but fortunately NOAA had published a high-res Arctic temperature graph for the twentieth century. Their graph showed that during the twentieth century Arctic warming went through three phases, with abrupt transitions between them. The first phase was a strong warming from the beginning of the century until about 1940. At that point an abrupt cooling set in that lasted for the next thirty years. In 1970 another abrupt change took place and the warming that had been interrupted now resumed again. None of the comments on Arctic cooling that have been published by you give anybody an inkling that this is what was going on just prior to the start of their observations. Their comments all start after 1970 when the major changes had already happened. As far as the cause of warming goes, it is quite impossible for any greenhouse warming to do it. First, there was no increase of atmospheric carbon dioxide that laws of physics require to start a greenhouse warming from scratch. Second, the abrupt changes in the rate of warming/cooling documented by NOAA also rule out the greenhouse effect. The only thing left that is not contradicted by physics is a change in the flow pattern of North Atlantic currents that began to carry large amounts of warm Gulf Stream water into the Arctic Ocean. Satellite photos I was able to obtain do show a large amount of warm water entering the Arctic Ocean in a broad front between Iceland and Norway. If I were to estimate the extent of ice melt they cause from these photos I would guess that they are responsible for one quarter to one third of the ice melt in the Eastern Arctic Ocean. Another aspect of Arctic warming is the abrupt changes that took place in 1940 and 1970. They cannot be explained by any kind of greenhouse effect but they are easily understood as a temporary resumption of the former pattern of ocean currents. Since we don’t know what started it a repeat of this is not out of the question. Your observation of a change in the pattern of ice melt fits in here easily as just one more change in the Arctic ice story. And don’t forget that the Arctic is now the only part of the world that is still warming because it does not depend on the greenhouse effect. The rest of the world is experiencing a a ‘pause’/’hiatus’ that makes global temperature stand still.

  26. It looks like wind and not melt is the big player again, this year regarding area. From what I read the multi-year ice is on the rise regardless of the area of coverage. Might be worth reviewing the data from the orbiting gravitometers to understand what the ice mass delta might be. Area isn’t that helpful.

    • The ice mass is still low and not recovering…
      http://neven1.typepad.com/.a/6a0133f03a1e37970b01bb086e5178970d-pi
      the trend is still down:
      http://neven1.typepad.com/.a/6a0133f03a1e37970b01b8d153ede6970c-pi
      The extent for 2015 is lower than both 2013 and 2014, which were billed as a recovery
      Multi year ice has basically just vanished away in 2015 – if you look at this chart from August
      ftp://ccar.colorado.edu/pub/tschudi/iceage/gifs/age2015_32.gif
      and then the current state, you see all the 5yr plus ice melted.
      http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/NEWIMAGES/arctic.seaice.color.000.png
      Then the ice thickness isn’t good – the last of the really thick stuff came unstuck from the coast and there’s not much of it…
      Really with 2015 no better than 2011 and the ice in a worse state, 2016 isn’t looking good ?
      and with 3 of the top 4 record lows in the last 5 years, why should it…

      • Egriff,
        Thanx for the photoshopped pic. You didn’t think that was an actual photo, did you?
        The “Vanishing Arctic Ice” scare is a zombie that keeps coming back:
        https://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/ice-free-arctic-forecasts
        Polar ice fluctuates. It’s cyclic, see?
        https://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2015/09/09/arctic-has-gained-hundreds-of-miles-of-ice-the-last-three-years
        The government bureaucrats who fabricate their factoids are fibbing for job security, they are not practicing honest science. If they were being honest, they wouldn’t cherry-pick the high point in Arctic ice cover:
        https://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2015/09/10/starting-graphs-in-1979-world-class-fraud
        Looking at a data-based chart instead of your photoshop shows that 2015 is about average for the past decade, and the two prior years were above average:
        http://realclimatescience.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/ScreenHunter_3036-Sep.-11-09.15.gif
        You can see in the links above that the endless alarmist predictions of disappearing Arctic ice have all been flat wrong. No exceptions; the alarmist crowd has been 100% wrong in all their scary predictions. That makes me think that the reason the ‘Arctic ice’ alarm keeps coming back is because the ‘dangerous man-made global warming’ scare has become a new religion. It is certainly not supported by any empirical, testable measurements, because there are no measurements of AGW.
        So, what would it take for you to accept that the global warming and Arctic ice alarms have been debunked? Anything? Or can nothing ever convince you? Please tell us what it would take for you to throw in the towel on that nonsense.
        Or is ‘dangerous AGW’ your new religion? If so, then I can understand that your faith overcomes all doubt.

      • This sums it up below, you like the alarmists are putting a line to a sine-wave and continuing ahead for scary claims that are rubbish.
        http://4.bp.blogspot.com/–pAcyHk9Mcg/VdzO4SEtHBI/AAAAAAAAAZw/EvF2J1bt5T0/s1600/straightlineproj.jpg
        “The extent for 2015 is lower than both 2013 and 2014, which were billed as a recovery”
        Stong El Nino is going to have some influence don’t you think with it warming the lower atmosphere a little?
        “and with 3 of the top 4 record lows in the last 5 years, why should it…”
        There are not record lows, the peak in 1979 was cherry picked as a starting point and 1961 had lower ice extent than any of them by far. The early 1960’s had ice extent lower than most of the recent years. 1975 had ice extent 2 M km2 lower than 1979 which is around the level today.

      • NattG

        There are not record lows, the peak in 1979 was cherry picked as a starting point and 1961 had lower ice extent than any of them by far. The early 1960’s had ice extent lower than most of the recent years. 1975 had ice extent 2 M km2 lower than 1979 which is around the level today.

        Presumably you have some evidence that ice extent in the early 1960s was “around the level today”?

    • Egriff, do you agree with Dr. James Hansen when he wrote the following? If not why not?

      Abstract
      James Hansen et. al.
      Soot climate forcing via snow and ice albedos
      Plausible estimates for the effect of soot on snow and ice albedos (1.5% in the Arctic and 3% in Northern Hemisphere land areas) yield a climate forcing of +0.3 W/m2 in the Northern Hemisphere. The “efficacy” of this forcing is ~2, i.e., for a given forcing it is twice as effective as CO2 in altering global surface air temperature. This indirect soot forcing may have contributed to global warming of the past century, including the trend toward early springs in the Northern Hemisphere, thinning Arctic sea ice, and melting land ice and permafrost……
      http://www.pnas.org/content/101/2/423.abstract

  27. Meh. Just wait 6 months & all will be well (if you like a frigid, pretty much lifeless & uninhabitable, continent-size icecap).

    • Yes, Barry, there is a reason why one year is different from another year: Polar ice is cyclic. It fluctuates from year to year.
      Right now Antarctic sea ice is at its 1981 – 2010 average. Try to figure out how you can make that into an alarming factoid.

    • It had to do with surface wind patterns in the Southern Hemisphere that carried focused streams of warm moist air to two points on the Antarctic coast line. These flows held in place for weeks, with the result being large sea ice loss in those two areas of the sea ice shelf. The same pattern has shifted to new areas around the continent, and you can see that the melt as shown on NSIDC is concentrated in the areas that are impacted by southward flowing warmer moist surface air….http://earth.nullschool.net/#current/wind/surface/level/orthographic=-206.02,-79.15,302

  28. Anthony, irrespective of whether arctic ice is indicative of climate change, it’s still an interesting topic, and one which the AGW community continues to use as a drum to beat. I hope you continue to cover it and that you will maintain your sea ice page.

    • I noticed that as well. The updates stopped for a while after Aug 5th and when they were finally updated the charts showed a bizarre steep drop for a few days followed by an almost vertical drop for the next day. Then the updates stopped again. Then two or three days ago the site was completely updated but the charts were back to Aug 5th again. Very strange?

  29. Luke,
    “All evidence suggests that we are witnessing a long-term decline in arctic sea ice which is unprecedented in the past 1450 years (url below). I see nothing that suggests it is turning around.
    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v479/n7374/full/nature10581.html
    The nature link is wrong in the first place because it ignores observation data that we have before 1979. The king of cherry pickers choose the highest extent in the data to begin with. The September chart you linked to does show a decline from 1979 and this is not the issue.
    “Arctic sea ice extent is now more than two million square kilometres less than it was in the late twentieth century” from nature link.
    Did you know 1975 ice extent levels were ~2 M km2 lower than 1979, which is the highest peak in the September graph and the point nature is referring too. The 1975 sea ice extent levels were only a bit lower than normal going back to the 1950’s. I find it rather funny that you choose ignore real data and prefer to choose a reconstruction from Nature.
    Fair enough if you think the list on my previous post doesn’t suggest it’s turning around. Why isn’t it turning around and what science observations support it?
    Please read this below from observational data that has been ignored from the charts you linked.
    The 1950’s had similar ice anomalies compared with the 2010’s.
    The early to mid 1960’s had lower ice anomalies compared with 2010’s.
    The late 1960’s to early 1970’s had higher ice anomalies compared with 2010’s.
    The years 1974 and 1975 were little different from anomalies compared with 2010’s.
    The 1950’s until the 1970’s showed an increase in Arctic sea ice and currently levels now are no lower that at times during these decades. The lowest Arctic sea ice recorded since the 1950’s was in 1961 and that year had over 5 M km2 below the ice extent during 1979.
    Some of the original Arctic ice observation journals before 1979 that the alarmists decided to ignore are here.
    http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/pdf/10.1175/1520-0485%281979%29009%3C0580%3AAAOASI%3E2.0.CO%3B2

    • The 1950’s until the 1970’s showed an increase in Arctic sea ice and currently levels now are no lower that at times during these decades. The lowest Arctic sea ice recorded since the 1950’s was in 1961 and that year had over 5 M km2 below the ice extent during 1979.

      No it didn’t. Where did you get this nonsense from?

      Some of the original Arctic ice observation journals before 1979 that the alarmists decided to ignore are here
      .
      http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/pdf/10.1175/1520-0485%281979%29009%3C0580%3AAAOASI%3E2.0.CO%3B2

      And what do you think your link shows?

      • “The 1950’s until the 1970’s showed an increase in Arctic sea ice and currently levels now are no lower that at times during these decades. The lowest Arctic sea ice recorded since the 1950’s was in 1961 and that year had over 5 M km2 below the ice extent during 1979.”
        This was the result from linking several papers together. The 1970’s early satellite observations matched the trend in ground sea ice observations in the link during the 1970’s. The year 1975 had 2 M km2 less sea ice then during 1979 based on other paper published by the NOAA for the northern hemisphere. The journal has been used for constructing high sea ice extent periods during the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, but ignored for the earlier periods.
        With 1975 2 M km2 less than 1979 it is reasonable to say that using the sea ice observation in the link below that sea ice extent was likely lot lower during the early 1960’s. 1975 was the minimum ice extent since the early 1960’s.
        The link shows Arctic temperatures above 60N cooling between 1950’s and 1970’s with increasing sea ice extent. The 1950’s and early 1960’s had lower ice extent than the late 1960’s and 1970’s.

      • This was the result from linking several papers together.

        Which papers?
        The paper you linked to shows nothing which supports your claim.

      • With 1975 2 M km2 less than 1979 it is reasonable to say that using the sea ice observation in the link below that sea ice extent was likely lot lower during the early 1960’s. 1975 was the minimum ice extent since the early 1960

        The sea ice extent in 1975 was not “2 Mkm2 less than 1979”. You have not . provided any evidence that it was. The one paper you linked to does not support what you say.

      • Matt G said: “The 1950’s until the 1970’s showed an increase in Arctic sea ice and currently levels now are no lower that at times during these decades. The lowest Arctic sea ice recorded since the 1950’s was in 1961 and that year had over 5 M km2 below the ice extent during 1979.”
        Here is data from NSIDC for the period from 1953-2010: http://nsidc.org/icelights/2011/01/31/arctic-sea-ice-before-satellites/
        There is a slight increase from the 60s to the early 70s, and then a decline. 1979 is not the peak, it is below the prior years – so that date is not cherry picked, contrary to what has been said on this thread. 1961 is a bit lower than the 50s and later 60s, but all ice data since 1980 is well below that of 1961. Current levels are not the same as the 50s to 70s, today’s numbers are far lower.

      • Chris September 13, 2015 at 9:41 am
        “There is a slight increase from the 60s to the early 70s, and then a decline. 1979 is not the peak, it is below the prior years – so that date is not cherry picked, contrary to what has been said on this thread. 1961 is a bit lower than the 50s and later 60s, but all ice data since 1980 is well below that of 1961. Current levels are not the same as the 50s to 70s, today’s numbers are far lower.”
        That view is based on one paper, Polyak, L, et. al. 2010. I am showing an alternative view based on one observation paper that the later one ignored. Both show different views on how Arctic ice extent was between the 1950’s and 1970’s. The paper I linked was all observation based (proper science) whereas Polyak.L, et. al. 2010 was mainly a reconstruction before satellite data. Why was it ignored when better data was available at the time?
        Concentrating only on what’s in this paper.
        http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/pdf/10.1175/1520-0485%281979%29009%3C0580%3AAAOASI%3E2.0.CO%3B2
        “Fig. 6 shows the time series (24-month running mean) of the area averaged surface temperature for the polar cap north of 60N. The plot was constructed by adding data for the years 1976 and 1977 to the temperature set described by Walsh (1977). The slope of the linear regression line fitted to the temperature series is negative, implying a net temperature decrease over the past 25 years;”
        “A comparison of figs. 5b and 6 reveals some corresponding features. Above-normal temperatures during 1959-62 were followed by a rather pronounced cooling to a 1965 minimum. The increase in ice extent during the cool period is apparent in Fig. 5b. A return to the 25-year mean by the mid-1970’s is seen in both the temperature and ice plots.”
        Fig 5a/b & Fig 6.
        Arctic temperatures above 60N are shown cooling between 1950’s and 1970’s with increasing sea ice extent. The 1950’s and early 1960’s had lower ice extent than the late 1960’s and 1970’s. The years 1974/1975 had higher sea ice extent then a few years in the early 1960’s.
        “Current levels are not the same as the 50s to 70s, today’s numbers are far lower.”
        The sea ice extent used in the IPCC report disagrees and shows almost 2 M km2 lower than 1979. The alternative observation paper shows that the levels during the 1960’s were even lower. Today numbers are around 2 M km2 lower than 1979 similar to 1975 shown below.
        http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/files/2014/10/monthly_ice_NH_09.png
        http://i772.photobucket.com/albums/yy8/SciMattG/ipcc_1_extent_anomalies_fig_7-2ab_zpsuyoii8cf.png
        Therefore which paper is most likely to be correct for the 1950’s to 1970’s period when there was a temperature decrease over the past 25 years. Do you really expect to find decreasing sea ice extent during a cooling period using reconstruction or do you expect it to increase like is does in this observational paper?
        This paper only goes up to 1977 can’t compare Polyak, L, et. al. 2010 with this one after then, without other methods comparing different techniques.
        Just noticed a post I have missed and you wondered which one I support more than the other. Well I always support observations over reconstructed data and the clincher for me are the temperature decrease over the past 25 years with it.

      • http://nsidc.org/icelights/2011/01/31/arctic-sea-ice-before-satellites/
        It does make the anomalies from 2007 and 2012 seem unreachable now, but I have failed to see any observational data that agree with the pre satellite data in that link from the 1955-77 observational paper. There is especially a huge disagreement between the linked graph and the June 1977 plot.
        Comparing June 2000 satellite data with June 1977 plot.
        ]http://i772.photobucket.com/albums/yy8/SciMattG/SeaIceExtentJune2000vJune1977_zpsitcm5d58.png
        The June 1977 plot actually has LESS sea ice extent keeping same standards. (taking only 2+ and the 15%+ to represent sea ice in a grid/area)
        Clearer link to the June 1977 plot.
        ]http://i772.photobucket.com/albums/yy8/SciMattG/June%201977%20grid_zps5vhggui4.png
        So what, the June 2000 ice is hardly much different so it doesn’t matter with just one month?
        WRONG.
        The graph from the top link shows a difference of around 2M km2 sea ice extent between June 2000 and June 1977 compared with the June 1977 plot. There ignorance has been exposed and I am deeply disappointed to find such a huge disagreement.

    • John Finn September 13, 2015 at 8:32 am
      Matt G -“With 1975 2 M km2 less than 1979 it is reasonable to say that using the sea ice observation in the link below that sea ice extent was likely lot lower during the early 1960’s. 1975 was the minimum ice extent since the early 1960
      John Finn -“The sea ice extent in 1975 was not “2 Mkm2 less than 1979”. You have not . provided any evidence that it was. The one paper you linked to does not support what you say.”
      The sea ice extent was nearly 2 M km2 less than 1979 see the IPCC report. I agree the one linked paper only shows that despite the low extent during 1974/75 it was still higher than a few years in the early 1960’s. The year 1975 was the minimum ice extent since the early 1960’s only based from 1955-77. I wasn’t comparing that to any later date, only that paper for the last sentence.
      http://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/far/wg_I/ipcc_far_wg_I_full_report.pdf
      page 224
      Therefore nearly 2M km2 less than 1979 is close to the recent sea ice extents levels now and the paper with observations shows lower sea ice extent even earlier.

      • You are comparing apples and pears. Basically you are using the range of the ‘noise’ to make your comparison. If you apply the same methodology with recent years the difference is nearer 4 million km2.
        The 12 month moving average shows that there was the range of ice extent variation during the 1970s remained in a range of about 500,000 km2 throughout the 1970s. but extent has fallen significantly since then.

      • John Finn September 13, 2015 at 4:16 pm
        “You are comparing apples and pears”
        I agree comparing ground observations to satellite are like comparing apples and pears, but didn’t stop others and little different to any reconstructions before satellite. In fact it was better because it was a proper scientific project over decades observing sea ice extent with local temperatures.
        “Basically you are using the range of the ‘noise’ to make your comparison.”
        Not really being ground observations because if satellite had been there it would still have observed the same noise on a larger scale. The standard deviation from these are not that different from the satellites from 1979 until now. It’s only like measuring surface temperature on the ground with reduced stations using grids. It is reasonable to believe the trend would be the same as satellite with an agreement in trends, when overlapping during the early to mid-1970’s . This also answers the moving average during the 1970’s, as the standard deviation more important than the actual values.
        “If you apply the same methodology with recent years the difference is nearer 4 million km2.”
        Not true, the variation is much less and no more than 2M km2 on NSIDC from 1979 to now.
        http://www.climate4you.com/images/NSIDC%20GlobalArcticAntarctic%20SeaIceArea.gif
        The northern hemisphere ice anomaly is currently -1.573 M km2, roughly 2.573 M km2 lower than 1979. It has been lower, but also were some years in the 1960’s.
        http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/seaice.anomaly.arctic.png
        “The increase in ice extent during the cool period is apparent in Fig. 5b. A return to the 25-year mean by the mid-1970’s is seen in both the temperature and ice plots.”
        Note – the authors mention the mid 1970’s were around the mean for sea ice extent over the 25 year period.

      • The northern hemisphere ice anomaly is currently -1.573 M km2, roughly 2.573 M km2 lower than 1979. It has been lower, but also were some years in the 1960’s.

        No. See this
        http://nsidc.org/icelights/2011/01/31/arctic-sea-ice-before-satellites/
        Look at the plot. The 1953-77 bit agrees with Steve Goddard’s plot from the IPCC 1990 report, i..e the range of anomalies might be 2M km2 but the 12 month mean is only about . Goddard has taken the plot out of context (as usual). The link above shows the full record.in CONTEXT.
        Look at the extent plot in your last post. between 1979 and 1990 it’s fairly flat. Now look at Goddard’s link. Again 1979 to 1990 is flat. The mean extent for 1975 is only about 200,000 km2 below the mean.

      • http://nsidc.org/icelights/2011/01/31/arctic-sea-ice-before-satellites/
        It does make the anomalies from 2007 and 2012 seem unreachable now, but I have failed to see any observational data that agree with the pre satellite data in that link from the 1955-77 observational paper. There is especially a huge disagreement between the linked graph and the June 1977 plot.
        Comparing June 2000 satellite data with June 1977 plot.
        http://i772.photobucket.com/albums/yy8/SciMattG/SeaIceExtentJune2000vJune1977_zpsitcm5d58.png
        The June 1977 plot actually has LESS sea ice extent keeping same standards. (taking only 2+ and the 15%+ to represent sea ice in a grid/area)
        Clearer link to the June 1977 plot.
        http://i772.photobucket.com/albums/yy8/SciMattG/June%201977%20grid_zps5vhggui4.png
        So what, the June 2000 ice is hardly much different so it doesn’t matter with just one month?
        WRONG.
        The graph from the top link shows a difference of around 2M km2 sea ice extent between June 2000 and June 1977 compared with the June 1977 plot. There ignorance has been exposed and I am deeply disappointed to find such a huge disagreement.
        Sorry – please remove the same duplicate post just above (attached it to wrong reply)

  30. “… note how since 2007 the data seems to oscillate about the -1 million square kilometer line:”
    But also note that the Sept minimum continued declining right up to 2012. And that the rebound to maximum extent in March is stronger following a lower minimum in the previous Sept, and less strong following a higher minimum, i.e a negative feedback, presumably due to reduced sea ice extent allowing greater sea surface cooling.

    • We also know that during the 20s Wrangel Island was usually inaccessible: in 1921 an attempt to claim Wrangel by settling on it failed because of the inability to reach the island for two years through the pack ice. The lone survivor was rescued in August 1923. In 1926 the Soviet Union landed a party on the island but following that landing the island was surrounded by continuous heavy ice and couldn’t be resupplied. In 1929 an icebreaker was dispatched to the island to rescue that party, despite heavy ice and only making a few hundred meters a day the party was rescued in September 1929.
      Here’s a satellite shot from August 2008, a bit different than the 20s:
      http://eoimages.gsfc.nasa.gov/images/imagerecords/9000/9043/wrangelis_amo_2008231.jpg
      And the current uni-bremen sea ice map, not much ice there today:
      http://www.iup.uni-bremen.de:8084/amsr2/NorthWestPassage_AMSR2_visual.png

      • The melt of the 1920s started on the Atlantic side of the Arctic Ocean.
        Ice was variable during the 1920s off Siberia, coming down from the high levels of the ‘teens. For instance, ice-free water aided the 1926 landing of Soviet settlers.
        In the 1930s and ’40s, conditions around Wrangel were generally similar to now. It was used as a POW camp during the war. Admittedly, most of the inmates died, but that was true at all camps.

      • From Wiki:
        In 1932, a Soviet expedition led by Professor Otto Yulievich Schmidt was the first to sail all the way from Arkhangelsk to the Bering Strait in the same summer without wintering en route. After a couple more trial runs, in 1933 and 1934, the Northern Sea Route was officially defined and open and commercial exploitation began in 1935. The next year, part of the Baltic Fleet made the passage to the Pacific where armed conflict with Japan was looming.
        A special governing body Glavsevmorput (Chief Directorate of the Northern Sea Route) was set up in 1932, and Otto Schmidt became its first director. It supervised navigation and built Arctic ports.
        During the early part of World War II, the Soviets allowed the German auxiliary cruiser Komet to use the Northern Sea Route in the summer of 1940 to evade the British Royal Navy and break out into the Pacific Ocean. After the start of the Soviet-German War, the Soviets transferred several destroyers from the Pacific Fleet to the Northern Fleet via the Arctic. The Soviets also used the Northern Sea Route to transfer materials from the Soviet Far East to European Russia, and the Germans launched Operation Wunderland to interdict this traffic.

    • Phil,
      The Atlantic side.
      See 1920s to 1940s Arctic Warm Period. All the peer reviewed abstracts are there as well as from the IPCC.

      IPCC – AR4
      Average arctic temperatures increased at almost twice the global average rate in the past 100 years. Arctic temperatures have high decadal variability, and a warm period was also observed from 1925 to 1945.
      http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/spmsspm-direct-observations.html

      1932: First navigation of the Northeast Passage without wintering
      http://www.climate4you.com/ClimateAndHistory.htm

  31. I’m afraid that NIPR’s latest value, for September 13th, is now 4268045, new minimum for the year and lower than 2011’s by a smidgen. WUWT has counted its chickens before they have hatched.
    BTW what has happened to the good ol’ ice guessing/forecasting competitions in which WUWT used to participate and do rather well?
    Rich.

  32. Jimbo, I don’t think it’s fair to call it a cherry-pick when I used exactly the same source as Anthony Watts did at the head of this posting, but 4 days later. I generally find your comments more astute than that.
    Rich.

  33. Interesting. For several days if not weeks the US Navy has depicted a “necklace” of sea ice hanging just off the the Alaskan Arctic Coast. Some others neglect to show that. Somehow I’m inclined the believe the Navy’s data over the others.

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