WUWT Sea Ice Page – updated for 2016

Of the many reference pages we offer on WUWT about weather and climate data, the WUWT Sea Ice Page is the most popular of all, and it is the most popular page on WUWT besides the home page. In the last year, it got neglected and some of the images, data, and links became broken due to them changing at their source websites.

Having a year of distractions, both personal and professional, I was remiss in keeping it updated. That has since changed and as far as I can tell, it is fully functional again. If it isn’t, please let me know in a comment below.

I’m always interested in new elements, so if there is an image, graph, or live feed that you know of that is not included here, please leave a comment with a link to the source and I’ll look into including it.

Thanks for your patience, and as always, thanks for reading WUWT.

94 thoughts on “WUWT Sea Ice Page – updated for 2016

  1. I love the page. The only problem I have is the Denmark sourced pages are blocked at work, for some stupid reason.

  2. ICE !! What sea ice, I thought it all melted a few years ago ? You’re not saying that all these greenie web sites lied are you !! LOL

  3. I send my friends there and heard nothing negative when I asked them later what they thought. I have a particular interest in the Gulf of Maine and surrounds and it’s been very interesting. Thanks for everything! Oh, and GO PATS!

  4. Too bad the page cannot contain a little more history.
    Page 224. N. Hemisphere snow extent was still going up. Fig 7.19:
    1973 & 1974 Arctic Ice extent was 700,000 km^2 below the 1998 Average.
    Sea Ice – 1973-1990 https://stevengoddard.files.wordpress.com/2015/12/screenshot-2015-12-29-at-11-10-12-pm.png
    This is written ;under the original chart in the report.
    Changes and fluctuations in Arctic seaice extent have been analysed by Mysak and Manak (1989); they find no long term trends in sea-ice extent between 1953 and 1984 in a number of Arctic ocean regions but substantial decadal time scale variability was evident in the Atlantic sector. These variations were found to be consistent with the development, movement and decay of the “Great Salinity Anomaly” noted in Section 7.7. Sea-ice conditions are now reported regularly in marine synoptic observations, as well as by special reconnaissance flights, and coastal radar. Especially importantly, satellite observations have been used to map sea-ice extent routinely since the early 1970s. The American Navy Joint Ice Center has produced weekly charts which have been digitised by NOAA. These data are summarized in Figure 7.20 which is based on analyses carried out on a 1° latitude x 2.5° longitude grid. Sea-ice is defined to be present when its concentration exceeds 10% (Ropelewski, 1983). Since about 1976 the areal extent of sea-ice in the Northern Hemisphere has varied about a constant climatological level but in 1972-1975 sea-ice extent was significantly less.
    About where we are now.

  5. Thanks for updating. I check it out almost every day, and have missed the temeprature graph, which I now see if working again.

  6. I think I know where a lot of those views of your Sea Ice Page are likely coming from, Anthony. They will never admit it, but, they respect and trust you. And you deserve it:
    December 31, 2013
    by Anthony Watts

    Today, while shopping at lunchtime for some last minute year end supplies, I got one of the strangest cell-phone calls ever. It was from my friend John Coleman, the founder of the Weather Channel and Chief meteorologist at KUSI-TV in San Diego. He was calling via cell phone from his car, and he was on his way into the TV station early.
    He started off by saying, “Anthony, we have a really strange situation here”.
    Then to my surprise, he relayed a conversation he had just had; a person on the Akademik Shokalskiy had reached out, …
    they needed better weather information on the ship than they had, specifically about wind and how it might affect the breakup of sea ice. John asked me to gather everything I had on the area and send it, …
    My first thought was that no matter how much we’ve been criticizing the expedition for its silliness, that if such a request had reached all the way from Antarctica to me, I’d do everything I could to help. …

    (Source: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/12/31/wuwt-and-weatherbell-help-kusi-tv-with-a-weather-forecasting-request-from-ice-trapped-ship-in-antarctica-akademik-shokalskiy/ )
    Here’s to you, Anthony Watts, a true hero, whose persevering dedication to science realism (thus, freedom) is matched by the greatness of his heart.
    Yes, JohnKnights — one can laugh and cry at the same time.

  7. The Jaxa Antarctic “click for latest value” link doesn’t work for me although the Arctic link works fine.

  8. I contacted the Amundsen-Scott web cam people about it being stuck on 4th. January.
    They say it is broken but they are working to get it fixed.
    I guess sourcing spare parts will not be easy down there

  9. Thanks.
    The Sea Ice page (and its links ) is an invaluable resource and I was confused until I realized the page was not updated to 2016.

  10. Hi Anthony. A possible typo.
    The Sea Ice Page Reads: “Drifting ‘North Pole’ Camera (offline until a near one is placed in Spring 2016)
    Should that read …(offline until a new one…?
    PS: Other than that, it looks great.

  11. Anthony,
    Here are direct links to JAXA data:
    These have problems with adblock plus. It has to be disabled. I contacted adblock a few months ago. They fixed it, but the problem seems to be back. I’ll contact them again.

    • IMO JAXA data should be removed, split into two separate periods.
      As Anthony noted at the time they CHANGED the way they calculate sea ice area just before the annual minimum, a couple of years ago. But KEPT the earlier data with the old calculation method.
      This means that the data is useless and misleading as a long term record. This is Mike’s Nature Trick On Ice. : apples and oranges on the same graph, grafted together into a continuous line as though it is the same thing.
      If the newer method is reckoned to be more accurate ( I have not assessed whether that is the case ) , then the new data merits a new graph.
      My personal opinion is, if they are going to mess around like that they should not be regarded as a reliable source of data.

  12. And nobody does it better
    Makes me feel sad for the rest
    Nobody does it half as good as you
    Tony, Tony, Tony, you’re the best.

  13. The US White House “Executive Office” demands results that “prove” anthropogenic global warming effects. This request is also becoming doctrine within the UN, UNFCCC and IPCC. The NSIDC near-real-time area extents show … curious!
    Because Anthropogenic Global Warming is being demanded to be proven by World Bureaucracies the algorithms must be liberated from the oppression and sexual deviations of the National Leader of the said National Country, such as the United States of America for example or from an extra-governmental entity such as the United Nations and its Agencies (IFCCC and IPCC) and All Other National Sexual Deviants (UK ha ha) of World countries.
    Now that is a Faulkner sentence.
    Ha ha

    • If they are demanding proof of AGW they may have to wait a long time, ‘cos so far as I can find out there isn’t any proof so far.
      But maybe this is just an excuse for more funding.
      OTOH, I thought that the science was settled …… .

      • Oh, they aren’t paying most of them to find anything. They’re demanding they make it up if they want another grant!

  14. It’s good to have the Ice Page updated. However, I wonder what ever happened to the solar wind index meters that used to be on the Solar Page. They were wonderful and really made the sun’s daily dynamics more tangible for my students.

  15. Is it practical to include the DMI 30% ice concentration graph ? It is quite high this season .

  16. Sweet Old Bob
    Is it practical to include the DMI 30% ice concentration graph ? It is quite high this season.
    Have you a functioning link?
    “This is the DMI AW used to use but changed to 15%.
    It seems to have been killed off at the start of this year.
    comments at a warmist site
    ‘IJIS caught up, but what is happening in Denmark ?
    It’s now Jan 18 and we still have no North-of-80 temps from DMI
    “1) ocean.dmi.dk is not an “operational” site
    2) They had a computer crash earlier in the year.
    3) The guy whose “best efforts” maintain the temperature data has been out in “the field” for a couple of weeks. He was due back last Thursday, but what with one thing and another is not now expected until this evening”
    While the guy maintaining the Arctic section of ocean.dmi.dk is taking a break, you can see the current and forecasted temps on this DMI site, which is still updated:”
    He never came back.
    The DMI 30% which was breaking all records has mysteriously been retired.
    As has the DMI operative.
    A Bourne identity job no doubt.
    Anyone out there with some insight?

  17. NOOA
    Monitoring Weather and Climate
    The daily AO index is constructed by projecting the daily (00Z) 1000mb height anomalies poleward of 20°N onto the loading pattern of the AO. Please note that year-round monthly mean anomaly data has been used to obtain the loading pattern of the AO (Methodology). Since the AO has the largest variability during the cold season, the loading pattern primarily captures characteristics of the cold season AO pattern.
    This is a great chart if you can add it to your repertoire.

  18. I have derived years of pleasure from the links found in your Sea Ice Page, and owe a huge debt of gratitude.
    During the summer thaw, when the hoopla about the “Death Spiral” tends to get going and to rise to a crescendo, I often notice that your Sea Ice Page is right up there near the top, over on your listing of “Top Posts And Pages”. It is very obvious that I am not the only one who values the resource.
    There are some other sites that have heaps of information about Sea Ice, but unfortunately you always seem to need to wade through some political bias to get to the data. One reason I prefer your Sea Ice Page is that the data and links are provided without commentary. Thanks again.

  19. I’ve noticed all winter that NOAA’s Arctic SST maps are unequivocally wrong.
    There are large areas of the Arctic Ocean (looks like more area than Alaska) that are 0.25-0.50+ degrees warmer than they should be, given that these areas are completely frozen and should be the temperature of frozen sea ice. Both the Dutch and Naval Research Lab data show these same areas to be about -2 degrees, the correct temperature.

  20. I have frequently visited the sea ice page over the years. A few years ago, my son brought up the “fact” that sea ice was rapidly disappearing. I sent him to the WUWT sea ice page, end of discussion.

  21. The larger annual variations since 2007 tends to mask longer term view. This is due to use of a one-size-fits-all annual “climatology” which leaves a large residual annual signal. The following analysis uses an adaptive annual cycle the more effectively removes this residual and makes the recent recovery easier to assess.

  22. Cryosphere today :
    Around 15 july, they WERE experimenting with reducing the numbers for ice concentration, but perhaps accidentally this went online. Later the 17 july image was corrected to some degree back to normal, but after this incidence, their numbers for ice concentration went down. I just wonder why anyone would need to experiment making the numbers for iceconentration lower. (?) And even implementing this on their graphic. For what purpose woud you need to experiment with this? Around the same time, WINTER ice concentrations for Antarctica also made ice look like slush ice in huge areas. This is extremely unusual for Antarctica winter ice to say the least.
    Im not sure what to make of this, but its a little difficult for me to 100% trust these data now.

    • Another thing, did all the continental ice melt between 13th and 17th July.
      it’s something I noticed before – are they trying to make sure we won’t know what snow is?
      Where has it gone – was it too embarassing to show the snow extent while claiming how warm it is?

  23. But but but satellite information isn’t reliable…one of the world’s leading Climatologists just said so.
    How can we know what’s ‘really’ going on up there…there might be no ice at a all!?

  24. I downloaded the the JAXA .csv sea-ice extent file for the artic that is linked under the JAXA graph , and it looks like something is gone astray with the mumbers in it. When they are graphed it looks as the graphs are upside down with max ice-extent in september and minima in march each year. I dont know how to paste a graph into the comment , but right now i am looking at one graph on my screen that i made with the numbers from this file for the years 2015 and 2016 an on it it looks as last year minimum extent ocuured around the 50th day ( feb. 20 or 21) of last year and was c. 3.5 million square km’s and the maximum which seems to have been a record of 19+ million km² on or around the 275th day ( early september? ) of the year 2015 , and it also looks like the 2016 artic extent has been decreasing rapildy since the beginning of this year and is today somwhere in the vicinty of 3.5 million km². I am not sure whats going on but suspect somwhere some software program routine is dropping the first digit in every number above 9.99999+ million in the ice extent number or something like that but not all the time. Now I know (or think I know ) that this is probably happening at the place that houses the orginal source , rather than at WUWT , but i do not know how to make the that party aware of the fault, but perchance some of the regular readers here know whom to contact ? ( and are willing to mail off a notice of this to the same ).

    • Bjorn, are you sure you have arctic data, the numbers sound much closer to what is expected for antarctic figures (and times of min/max).

      • Right you are this SteveT , It was the Antartic data that was downloaded on the direct link from the WUWT page, when I clicked on the graphic to get to the source site , I found a data download button there , and though the graph displayed above it was for the Artic it still sent the Antartic .csv file back on first attempt , I had to flip the graph couple of times between poles, before downloading again to get the right file down the wire. I guess my browser was hanging on to a cached page and was slow on refreshing or resync-ing.

  25. Pethefin I thought DMI killed off that inconvenient graph (30%). has it been put back? If so where can we link it? thanks

  26. Eliza, you can either click the graph above or add “g” (I have not learned how to prevent WP form automatically transforming the url into a graph) to the end of this address: http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/plots/icecover/icecover_current.pn
    I had not realized the DMI has “hidden” the 30 % product by removing the link that they used to have to it from the “new” 15 % product! It seems that the 30 % coverage is truly getting inconvenient for the alarmists, Luckily I had bookmarked the url before the new DMI policy. I do hope that DMI are scientists enough to keep on updating it.

  27. When comparing to the 07-08 refreeze, shouldn’t on 1 Jan the cryosphere data go to 08 rather than 07? we are looking at the refreeze of 2 different seasons currently since it stays 07. Not sure how best to do that…maybe shift back at 07 when peak ice is reached? or just keep it as it is since we want to compare the 07 melt? Just wondering…I am thankful you put this together.

  28. Anthony, I suggested this change a couple years ago so maybe you’ve already considered it and decided against it, but I’ll try again since you’re in the process of updating the page. Kudos for that, by the way.
    My suggestion regards the Cryosphere Today pix where you compare the most recent date with the corresponding date in 2007. When you put that together initially, 2007 was the year of lowest extent. My understanding, which might be wrong, was that the purpose was to be able to compare the latest available sea ice extent with the lowest ever. Since you made that initial choice, 2012 has set a new low for sea ice extent, so the choice of 2007 in the graphic now seems to be a choice of a random year.
    I’d suggest replacing 2007’s pic with the corresponding one for 2012. Barring that, I’d appreciate an explanation as to why 2007 has a special status I’m unaware of.
    Incidentally, the links to the data (Download HERE) under both NANSEN extent and area graphs currently lead to a 404 Page Not Found error. I just noticed that while looking for data on 2007.
    And thanks for all your work on this.

  29. Thanks gang, great site and Sea ice page.
    Is a site I look at to see what is happening over the arctic. It is all starting to go unstable with the centre of the cold air in the vortex centred over the Shetland Islands UK on Sunday 31st. It is also interesting the way the cold air travels over the equator…….. (going/coming from the Antarctic?)
    Perhaps another page like the Sea Ice might be just as popular. Sorry for suggesting more work….

  30. So what became of the teenager who got headlines for planning an Antarctic trek to the south pole to promote climate change? Did it get past the headline and promotion stage?

  31. What, you mean sea ice is still a thing? And for that matter, glacial ice as well? /sarc
    Meanwhile we have the 9 Bay Area Counties putting a new voter initiative on the ballot of all 9 counties. The premise is to tax ourselves (parcel tax) to pay for “sea level rise” mitigation. It’s advertized as a combo of wetland restoration and levees, but given the actual rise against our levees needs the MM scale to measure what has occurred during my own lifetime, I must conclude this will be 100% consumed by wetland restoration. Hey wait …. developers are supposed to fund that to offset their EIRs! …. FOLLOW THE MONEY!

  32. I use the heck out of the ice page. I just used it this past weekend to shut down a conversation about how much Antarctica is melting.

  33. Anthony, I see the Canadians are still changing the date on their sea ice concentration map, without updating the image. I don’t understand their reason for doing this as it can only cause confusion.

  34. Thanks Anthony,
    A couple of charts on your ocean references pages could do with an update too, if you get a chance. The NCDC global SST chart (via climate4you) stops in June 2015, though NCDC data now runs to December. Climate4you has the updated the chart too: http://climate4you.com/images/HadSST3+SST2%20GlobalMonthlyTempSince1979%20With37monthRunningAverage%20WithARGO.gif
    Also, you’re still showing global SST data from HadSST2, which is now obsolete and ends in Dec 2012. The updated (to Dec 2015) HadSST3 global data are found here: http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/hadobs/hadsst3/
    Climate4you also charts these if you prefer: http://climate4you.com/images/HadSST3+SST2%20GlobalMonthlyTempSince1979%20With37monthRunningAverage%20WithARGO.gif

  35. Thanks for adding the 30% DMI coverage. I was unable to find it two days ago when this was more topical. What’s going on there – definitely not following the narrative?

    • Come to think of it, it would be wonderful to have a new sub-page under sea ice reference page for “historical” data. The two links above could function as a starting point, and there certainly is a lot more material that could be included.

  36. DMI 30 % ice coverage data.Can someone provide a link to this page?Im not finding it anymore on DMI nor on WUWT.thanks

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