Arctic sea ice wintertime extent sees a record low

Arctic sea ice was at a record low wintertime maximum extent for the second straight year. At 5.607 million square miles, it is the lowest maximum extent in the satellite record, and 431,000 square miles below the 1981 to 2010 average maximum extent. CREDIT Credits: NASA Goddard's Scientific Visualization Studio/C. Starr

Arctic sea ice was at a record low wintertime maximum extent for the second straight year. At 5.607 million square miles, it is the lowest maximum extent in the satellite record, and 431,000 square miles below the 1981 to 2010 average maximum extent. CREDIT Credits: NASA Goddard’s Scientific Visualization Studio/C. Starr

Arctic sea ice appears to have reached a record low wintertime maximum extent for the second year in a row, according to scientists at the NASA-supported National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) and NASA.

Every year, the cap of frozen seawater floating on top of the Arctic Ocean and its neighboring seas melts during the spring and summer and grows back in the fall and winter months, reaching its maximum yearly extent between February and April. On March 24, Arctic sea ice extent peaked at 5.607 million square miles (14.52 million square kilometers), a new record low winter maximum extent in the satellite record that started in 1979. It is slightly smaller than the previous record low maximum extent of 5.612 million square miles (14.54 million square kilometers) that occurred last year. The 13 smallest maximum extents on the satellite record have happened in the last 13 years.

The new record low follows record high temperatures in December, January and February around the globe and in the Arctic. The atmospheric warmth probably contributed to this lowest maximum extent, with air temperatures up to 10 degrees Fahrenheit above average at the edges of the ice pack where sea ice is thin, said Walt Meier, a sea ice scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.

The wind patterns in the Arctic during January and February were also unfavorable to ice growth because they brought warm air from the south and prevented expansion of the ice cover. But ultimately, what will likely play a bigger role in the future trend of Arctic maximum extents is warming ocean waters, Meier said.

“It is likely that we’re going to keep seeing smaller wintertime maximums in the future because in addition to a warmer atmosphere, the ocean has also warmed up. That warmer ocean will not let the ice edge expand as far south as it used to,” Meier said. “Although the maximum reach of the sea ice can vary a lot each year depending on winter weather conditions, we’re seeing a significant downward trend, and that’s ultimately related to the warming atmosphere and oceans.” Since 1979, that trend has led to a loss of 620,000 square miles of winter sea ice cover, an area more than twice the size of Texas.

This year’s record low sea ice maximum extent will not necessarily result in a subsequent record low summertime minimum extent, Meier said. Summer weather conditions have a larger impact than the extent of the winter maximum in the outcome of each year’s melt season; warm temperatures and summer storms make the ice melt fast, while if a summer is cool, the melt slows down.

Arctic sea ice plays an important role in maintaining Earth’s temperature–its bright white surface reflects solar energy that the ocean would otherwise absorb. But this effect is more relevant in the summer, when the sun is high in the sky in the Arctic, than in the winter, when the sun doesn’t rise for months within the Arctic Circle. In the winter, the impact of missing sea ice is mostly felt in the atmosphere, said Jennifer Francis, a climate scientist at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey.

“In places where sea ice has been lost, those areas of open water will put more heat into the atmosphere because the air is much colder than unfrozen sea water,” Francis said. “As winter sea ice disappears, areas of unusually warm air temperatures in the Arctic will expand. These are also areas of increased evaporation, and the resulting water vapor will contribute to increased cloudiness, which in winter, further warms the surface.”

###

Source: NASA Goddard

162 thoughts on “Arctic sea ice wintertime extent sees a record low

    • Counting pixels in a satellite picture is not quite the same as trying to determine the temperature. Just because they both use satellites does not mean they are similar. Estimation of sea ice extent is pretty close to a measurement. It would be a mark of desperation to start doubting the figures here.

      • “It would be a mark of desperation to start doubting the figures here.”

        I am skeptical of all figures coming out of the government, as all of us should be. But Marcus did not express doubt over these figures, he mentioned the truth: the warmists discount anything that goes against their extraordinary conformation bias and applaud that which goes in their favor.

        Satellite goes in warmists favor —- satellite obviously good.

        Satellite goes against warmists —- satellite obviously bad. Naughty satellite. Worthless satellite.

        We have been watching this nonsense for a very long time. I can recall when the CO2 religion warmists said that the satellite measurements would prove their case, and when it did not, it was obvious that only ground measurements where reliable.

      • Do they take into a ccount the curvature of the Earth when counting pixels? It has been know for the UN to count tundra cover by measuring a Mercator Projection map in the past!

      • “Marcus did not express doubt over these figures.” Neither did I say he did.
        “Worthless satellite.” Who said that?

        The figures are accepted not becaue they say what anyone wants to hear, but because there is no reason to doubt them.

      • “The figures are accepted not becaue they say what anyone wants to hear, but because there is no reason to doubt them.”

        You may be having trouble reading this so I’ll type more slowly. The point you seem totally unable to grasp is NOT about this set of data or where it came from. The POINT that was made, by marcus, that you misunderstood (on purpose?) is that the WARMISTS will discount any data that goes against them and applaud data that supports the CO2 delusion. (as I amplified in my previous comment)

        “Worthless satellite.” Who said that?

        I typed it in the comment you responded to. My name is right there, how did you miss it? (typing is not verbal by the way)

        I do wish H.H. Lamb were still with us so that he could comment on the extraordinary conformation bias of the CO2 religion delusion.

      • Note on Sea Ice extent resolution:

        Sea Ice Index (SII) from NOAA is based on 25 km cells and 15% ice coverage. That means if a grid cell 25X25, or 625 km2 is estimated to have 15% ice, then 625 km2 is added to the total extent.

        MASIE is based on 4 km cells and 40% ice coverage. Thus, for MASIE estimates, if a grid cell is deemed to have 40% ice, then 16 km2 is added to the total extent

      • For the umpteenth time Ron, here’s what Walt Meier of NASA had to say about MASIE when I interviewed him last month:

        “MASIE repackages data from the NIC, and incorporates an ice edge hand drawn by analysts working with whatever satellite data they have available at the time. It is an “operational” product designed to produce a “best effort” ice edge each day, based on whatever data may be available at the time.

        Visual data is obviously not available in winter, and the ice edge is often obscured by clouds in summer. Synthetic Aperture Radar can “see in the dark” and through clouds, but suffers from different limitations. The whole of the Arctic isn’t covered every day for example. In addition, and unlike the SII, data from different satellite sensors is incorporated which means there are inevitably inconsistencies from day to day and from year to year. There is also an element of “human subjectivity” because different analysts are working with different sources of data from one day to the next. Since the quantity and quality of data varies the time series will not be consistent over time.”

        [Jim Hunt has been previously banned from WUWT, not sure why he keeps trying. Maybe he’s got the same problem as Doug Cotton – he doesn’t understand what the word means. These sorts of Janus moments (below) as well as his threadbombing trying to get attention for his own blog are why he isn’t welcome at WUWT – Anthony]

      • Markstoval. As long as we are clear that it is you who said “worthless satellite” and you are not attributing this to the group you call “the warmists”. I don’t know why you should think this makes the satellite worthless.

        “The point you seem totally unable to grasp is NOT about this set of data or where it came from. The POINT that was made, by marcus, that you misunderstood (on purpose?) is that the WARMISTS will discount any data that goes against them and applaud data that supports the CO2 delusion.”

        The point you don’t seem to get is that I do not agree with this statement. The only evidence you have cited is that you think the satellite is worthless. Now, if you could quote “the warmists” saying the satellite was worthless because it geve the “wrong”answer, then you might have some evidence.

        These pages quite often cite papers that are published that go against what is described as “the warmist” view. An example is the recent Zwallly paper on Arctic ice growing. What you will find is reasonable questioning, not out and out rejection. If one piece of evidence does not fit with others, then questions will be asked. There are good reasons to ask questions of satellite temperature data as they are adjusted and corrected so much.

      • @ seaice1

        Response from seaice1“Markstoval. As long as we are clear that it is you who said “worthless satellite” and you are not attributing this to the group you call “the warmists”. I don’t know why you should think this makes the satellite worthless.”

        I see I did not type slow enough for you to understand what I was writing. I suppose you are doing that on purpose as a warmest troll, but on the off chance English is not your first language and you are not a disingenuous troll I will try to help your understanding.

        First, I would point out that I understand people don’t understand sarcasm well, especially very slow people. So to clarify— it was not myself I refereed to saying “worthless satellite” but rather the alarmists and warmists. If you don’t understand who I am referring to, I suggest you are not in the right place. The climate kindergarten is elsewhere. (and Google can help you)

        —–

        Mark Stoval wrote: “The point you seem totally unable to grasp is NOT about this set of data or where it came from. The POINT that was made, by marcus, that you misunderstood (on purpose?) is that the WARMISTS will discount any data that goes against them and applaud data that supports the CO2 delusion.”

        Response from troll seaice1 “The point you don’t seem to get is that I do not agree with this statement. The only evidence you have cited is that <i/i> Now, if you could quote “the warmists” saying the satellite was worthless because it geve the “wrong”answer, then you might have some evidence.”

        I did not write that I think the satellite data is worthless, you dreamt that up in your inability to comprehend written English. That, or you comprehend just fine and are disingenuous. You do know what “disingenuous” means don’t you?

        So to make it very clear, the point that I was making was the same that Marcus was making. The fools on the alarmist side are known to love satellites and other data when is supports their bias and their religion; and to call the satellites or other data no good when it goes against their (and your) religion. For example (one of many) the CO2 warmists decided that the Little Ice Age was only a local event when it was seen to be harmful to the false narrative.(not to mention that history of the satellite measurement of temperature that you seem blissfully unaware of — are you a teenager?)

        I know that you will be able to disingenuously misinterpret this entirely of this comment. I am looking forward to you showing off your troll abilities.

      • MarkStoval

        Perhaps this quote might suffice?

        “The idea of climate change has at last taken on with the public after generations which assumed that climate could be taken as constant. But it is easy to notice the common assumption that mans science and modern industry and technology are now so powerful that any change of climate or the environment must be due to us. It is good for us to be more alert and responsible in our treatment of the environment, but not to have a distorted view of our own importance. Above all, we need more knowledge, education and understanding in these matters.”
        Hubert Lamb December 1994

        tonyb

      • “The figures are accepted not becaue they say what anyone wants to hear, but because there is no reason to doubt them.”

        Heh!

        Sez you…

      • @ tonyb

        That is a great H.H. Lamb quote. It was Lamb’s 1977 book Climatic History and the Future that got me really interested in the climate. I always respected him, but was dismayed when the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia that he founded in ’72 became the alarmist dump that it has become since his departure.

      • marcus
        March 29, 2016 at 1:28 am

        Funny how the satellite data is only reliable when it says what the alarmists want to hear !

        seaice1
        March 29, 2016 at 2:48 am
        Counting pixels in a satellite picture is not quite the same as trying to determine the temperature. Just because they both use satellites does not mean they are similar. Estimation of sea ice extent is pretty close to a measurement. It would be a mark of desperation to start doubting the figures here.

        The first thing I thought after reading marcus’ post was about the Antarctic record high summertime maximum, broken 18 months ago. I remember that a commenter here, Stephen Mosher I believe was his name, (apologies if my memory fails) started doubting the figures and talking about possible detector problems, despite the fact that the very satellite that sweeps over the north pole sweeps over the south one. He kept on saying that before commenting we should read the specifications of the detector, or something along those lines. The area in excess was larger than the size of Texas. (funny american metric, btw, first time I heard of it was in the movie Armageddon)

        Remember that science is not symmetrical. New data that agrees with the theory does not validate the theory. New data that does not agree the theory refutes it. The Antarctic record high summertime maximun refutes CAGW, the rest is politics.

        [The June, 2014 Record-high Antarctic sea ice record anomaly was actually “only” slightly larger than the entire area of Greenland. .mod]

      • WtF are you even SAYING? Warmists have been claiming satellites aren’t capable of providing accurate measure of magical warming for more than two DECADES.

        And in actual fact these aren’t ”record” low ice readings, the years previous – on the same satellites – show lower ice levels. Quite a bit lower.

        Furthermore arctic ice extent is purely and solely a function of WIND DIRECTION. When winds dissipate the ice, it’s extent is larger; and when the wind compacts the ice it reduces by a great deal. 15% ice coverage is 1/8th surface coverage effectively – so all that ice pushed back, or spread out – by nothing more than wind direction: places e.x.t.r.e.m.e. variance in the record without so much need as for an additional, or one less, ice crystal.

        seaice1
        March 29, 2016 at 3:37 am

        “Worthless satellite.” Who said that?

      • Markstoval “So to clarify— it was not myself I refereed to saying “worthless satellite” but rather the alarmists and warmists.”

        That was indeed what I first surmised, so I asked for clarification as to which warmists had said that. I expected you to back up your claim that “warmists” had said that the satellite was worthless. You instead insisted that it was you who wrote it. So I ask again, which warmists have said/written that the satellite is worthless?

        You have accused me of being a troll as well as slow and unable to comprehend written English or dishonest. You have accused those who disgree with your point of view fools. May I remind you of what Judith Curry said on her blog. Where you find insults it is often a sign of intellectual dishonesty.

      • And where you find thickheaded stupidity is often a sign of thick-headedness and stupidity.

      • I bet if they had stated the Ice was a record high levels you would have been shouting the news from the rooftops.“. Well, would you then stop and think about it at all? Would you even listen? The evidence suggests not.

        What evidence, you ask.
        Answer: Warmists’ treatment of Antarctic sea ice data.

    • What’s even funnier is that on a “baseline average” from 1980 to 2010, the extent is low. I have two questions based on that. The first one is, WHY is it assumed that an average from 1980 to 2010 actually represents an AVERAGE of Arctic sea ice extent? The second would be, WHY, since we have such a short baseline, do we not continue to add the additional years to the average to get, after all, a closer to normal “average?” How do we know – sounds like a third question – that we aren’t actually ABOVE the “normal” sea ice extent for the last 400 years, as example? Do you suppose – question 4 – that “average” from 1980 to 2010 ice extent was what the Vikings saw when they colonized Greenland, or do you suppose it is possible that there was considerably less?

      • Their baseline average from 1981 – 2010 follows the World Meteorological Organization’s practice of declaring 30-year periods as the current “climate”. It’s a convention, like so many others. The idea was to have everyone use the same base period so that when you were comparing anomalies from paper to paper you didn’t have to guess what the baseline was. The current WMO normal is 1961 – 1990. The next one will be 1991 – 2020. The various “global” temperature data sets each use a different “normal” period and so can’t be compared to one another directly.

      • Baselining on 1981-2010 has become more and more accepted because satellite data can’t do another way: most datasets began with 1979.

        Japan’s meteorology agency for example has a 1971-2000 baseline, but their public data is wrt 1981-2010.

        Moreover, the choice for a given baseline does not change the appreciation of the whole record: it’s just a value shift up or down. The average of tha absolute values recorded within the baseline period determines the “null point”. from which the deltas (“anomalies”) are computed.

        If you want to compare satellite data with surface data for example, you must do that wrt to a common baseline, because otherwise that comparison is meaningless if the two baseline periods had a different mean.

        NASA GISS’ temperature data is baselined wrt 1951-2000; if you want to compare it with satellite measurements of the lower troposphere brightness, you have to subtract 0.428 °C from each anomaly in the GISSTEMP data.

      • Oh sorry: a little mistake. Speaking here of the 1981-2010 baseline for satellite data in general is wrong; RSS’ lower troposphere data is baselined wrt 1979-2008, so if you want to compare that with UAH data, you have to shift down all RSS anomalies by about 0.08 °C.

  1. Not surprising, considering how many large Atlantic lows have spun up into the Arctic this winter. Not sure what the Pacific has been doing, but those Atlantic lows must represent a lot of energy being transported to the pole.

    However, this also represents a huge energy loss for the climate. It has been ten degrees warmer in the Arctic this winter, and since it is perma-night up there all that extra energy is dissipating out into space, and representing a huge loss of heat to the climate system. If so then global temperatures will take a plunge later this year.

    • The Pacific has been providing us with an El Niño. Remember “the Blob”? That was a huge pool of warm water situated in NE Pacific region. Who would think that the El Niño and the blob might influence Arctic ice?

    • Exactly! If I were really worried about too much heat in the atmosphere, this is exactly the way I’d want the system to respond.

  2. “In places where sea ice has been lost, those areas of open water will put more heat into the atmosphere because the air is much colder than unfrozen sea water,” Francis said. ….So it is a warmer ocean, not a warmer atmosphere that is melting the sea ice ?

    • I don’t think the ice is so much melting as it is being moved by the wind. It is the wind that has caused the reduced extent by compressing the ice into a smaller area. This is obvious in the volume numbers. The volume is not even close to a record low.

      The big question is why was this obvious fact not mentioned?

      • I agree 100%. Last year our lake was about 90% covered until a big wind came up and reduced the area to about 10%. Ice was pushed right up on shore and damaged some cabins. The ice was soft.

      • Yes, the 15% ice extent is one way to visualize the amount of ice, but it has obvious limitations.

        Consider a case where most grids had 20% ice. Then a lot of wind dispersed the ice to where each grid/more grids had only 15% ice. With no growth in the actual amount of ice, this measure would appear to show 1/3 more ice extent.

        Then more wind comes up and spreads the ice out some more, until the average is only 10%. All of a sudden there is zero ice extent, even though the actual amount of ice has not changed one bit – all that has changed is the location of the ice.

        Ice extent can be a useful number so long as you keep the limitations in mind.

    • That was an interesting passage from Francis. She touched on how open water radiates heat more rapidly, but then couched it in terms to make it see that the process adds to global warming… never mentioning that the radiated heat is radiated to space.
      Go figure.

  3. They have satellite data going back to the early 1970s. They should use all the data, not just that post 1979, but then again the early 1970s would be inconvenient especially since the amount of ice observed today is more than in 1974.

    • I showed this graph to a science teacher a few years ago and was told it was a bogus fantasy. I then revealed the source as the IPCC (originally NOAA) and was told that the data and graph were old and therefore worthless. Newer algorithms and so on now reveal that the ice is all melting and the polar bears are going to go extinct.

      Jesus, Joseph, and Mary you can not win with these bloody blokes. You show them data from the freaking IPCC and they discount it. What good would independent data from some science group do?

      There is nothing happening now that has not happened before, and we live in an amazingly stable epoch in time climate-wise.

      • Furthermore, according to the 1990 IPCC report, they used an extent of only 10% with very large grids. If I’m visualizing that correctly that means if we used the current NOAA 15% extent with smaller grids the current methodology would have yielded an even larger negative anomaly in 1974!

      • The alarmists have a response for everything. If they don’t, they resort to calling you an earth killer! I guess it is a complement to think that mankind can do more harm to the earth in 70 years than what nature can do in 2 billion! How do the alarmists think oil can be drilled in Alaska? Or reefs (thriving only in Carribean climate conditions) can be drilled in Canada. The earth’s climate and conditions change – it’s called evolution. The alarmists must think the Earth should remain static for all eternity. What a joke!

      • Phil, is it below the 1974 max value that Richard mentioned? Looks like 1979 experienced a larger extent.

      • I don’t know how old you are, Phil, but I remember clearly the concern about the rapid expansion of Arctic ice in the mid to late 1970s and advocacy for spreading soot over the ice to cause melting to avert a return of an ice age.

      • If that is so, then (within measurement error) it is about the same as it was in 1974.

        if you examine the plot you will note that the 1974 anomaly figure is about – I million, and the 1979 anomaly is about + 0.85 million, ie., 1979 ice extent was about 1.85 million sq km more than in 1974.

        It was the growth of about 1.85 million sq km during the 1970s that gave rise to the claims that we were heading towards another ice age. You know, the scare that the warmists seek to argue that never was.

        Of course, it is unfortunate that we do not have data for earlier periods, but the Greenland ice cores suggest that the 1930s were considerably warmer, so it is likely that Arctic ice extent in the 1930s was even less than today. This, of course ties in with the recently discovered US flight that went missing in Greenland, see:

        . Six American fighter planes and two bombers that crash-landed in Greenland in World War II have been found 46 years later buried under 260 feet of ice, searchers said today

        http://www.nytimes.com/1988/08/04/us/world-war-ii-planes-found-in-greenland-in-ice-260-feet-deep.html

        All we know is that there is much variability. Presently we do not have enough data to even begin to attribute cause.

      • richard verney March 29, 2016 at 4:41 am
        If that is so, then (within measurement error) it is about the same as it was in 1974.

        if you examine the plot you will note that the 1974 anomaly figure is about – I million, and the 1979 anomaly is about + 0.85 million, ie., 1979 ice extent was about 1.85 million sq km more than in 1974.

        The data from that graph is sufficiently different from the satellite data recorded today that such a comparison can’t be made. The ‘pixels’ used for compiling that graph were 1ºlat X 2.5ºlong, much larger than the current resolution, also the criterion used to determine extent were different.
        We have data extending back beyond the 70s which have been compiled on a consistent basis:

    • And don’t forget that the current sea ice concentration numbers are lower because they changed the definition since that 1990 IPCC graph. The current data is for 15% concentration of ice, whereas the graph you posted used 10%, thus ice extent in that graph would have been even lower if they used the same metric.

    • Oh SNAP i HATE it when people say stuff like this, it makes my Magic Heater religion seem so.. FAKE.

      richard verney
      March 29, 2016 at 1:48 am

      They have satellite data going back to the early 1970s. They should use all the data, not just that post 1979, but then again the early 1970s would be inconvenient especially since the amount of ice observed today is more than in 1974.

  4. The guys from NASA and their mates are clowns. For a system that changes over Millenia these guys are trying to create a statement for the three months of a year.
    Overwhelmingly the alarmists, including sections within NASA, BOM, Universities have corrupted the science process. They all start with the desired outcome then try to creat a trail leading to it. Invariably their science is ridiculed and reinforces the views of skeptics.
    I suppose you cannot blame them for trying to preserve their taxpayer funded careers.

  5. The sea ice coverage measured is erratic so measuring a min or max has little meaning. The trend all winter has been in the bottom 4 years. It is not a spectacular new trend. Being consistently below any previous year is a warmer year. Being in the bottom 4 is another year of low range. One would expect with an Aleutian, Oregon, and Costa Rican water warm blobs representing an El Nino season for the Arctic ice to be lower. Since man does not warm the water off Costa Rica, off Oregon, or off the Aleutian Islands, but subsea volcanism does, it is unclear to me how this relates to anything man is doing.

  6. Last glacial period-

    “The Arctic Ocean between the huge ice sheets of America and Eurasia was not frozen throughout, but like today probably was only covered by relatively shallow ice, subject to seasonal changes and riddled with icebergs calving from the surrounding ice sheets. According to the sediment composition retrieved from deep-sea cores there must even have been times of seasonally open waters”

    Arctic’s got a mind of it’s own.

    Why was this? undersea volcanoes?

  7. Why, oh why didn’t the Vikings send up satellites to check on what it was like sailing there then??

  8. Something I don’t get.. ‘its bright white surface reflects solar energy that the ocean would otherwise absorb’

    In my work with optical physics I find people make assumptions that are often wrong. ‘A black car *must* absorb more heat because it absorbs more visible light’.. funny thing is, observed paint colours under visible light really don’t tell you a thing about thermal absorption in the IR band.

    Of course there’s also the whole ‘only heat’ (IR) conveys energy’ rubbish as well. If a material absorbs a wavelength then it gains energy and heats up.. it may re-radiate that as heat too unless it decides to emit it at another wavelength as phosphorescent things do, but it gained energy. People think IR has some special trait associated with heat – I can assure such people that the wavelength isn’t as big a deal as intensity. A small IR LED ain’t going to generate much heat – a bar heater will, but the amount of light generated by a bar heater (light we can’t see as it’s outside our visible range) is immense. If you could output the same levels of visible wavelengths of light I doubt anyone could tolerate being in a room with such a thing. furthermore if you got close, you’d find yourself just as warm as had it been a bar heater.

    So – I’d be curious to know what if solid water actually has different absorption characteristics to liquid water?

    • Karl
      yes it does
      http://speclib.jpl.nasa.gov/search-1
      It mentions reflectance but you can convert reflectance data to absorption/emission by doing a wavelength calculation-Planck blackbody thingy and remember to adjust the percentage of reflectance.
      If you don’t want to do that then just compare the reflectance graphs shown

    • Solid and liquid water similar absorption coefficients, vapor very different.

      Green is vapor, blue is ice, red is liquid.

      More interesting is the poor correlation between solar energy reaching the surface and the liquid water absorption strike zone. (Ice similar)

    • To my mind albedo is one of those nonsensical values like average temperature. I was looking out my window earlier today and observing the traffic on a busy road. A thought popped into my mind. “I wonder what the average colour is of all those cars?”. Stupid question and the answer wouldn’t be any better.

    • But that is an average albedo graph – yes?

      If you look at the albedo maps you linked to, there is a distinctly lower albedo across the Arctic, which could well be the driver of Arctic ice melting. In turn, the open Arctic waters in the summer could well be responsible for some increase in NH temperatures.

      • There is no Sun in the Arctic during the winter, so there is no albedo either. In any case atmospheric albedo of Earth is huge compared to surface albedo.

  9. . But ultimately, what will likely play a bigger role in the future trend of Arctic maximum extents is warming ocean waters,

    Precisely. And the warmer waters are the result of ocean currents and not CO2, which can not have any significant effect on ocean temperatures

  10. Not a record low maximum year in Arctic sea ice according to EUMETSAT Ocean and Sea Ice Satellite Application Facility (OSI SAF) from the Norwegian and Danish Meteorological Institutes.

    http://osisaf.met.no/p/ice_extent_graphs.php

    It is fifth lowest behind 2006, 2007, 2011 and 2015.

    Evidence that is not reproduced by independent researchers is not to be trusted.

      • And why would anyone want to fit a straight line to any climate variable?

        Because that’s all they are capable of doing? More likely because it reinforces their preconcieved assumption that the primary force driving the planet is a very small amount of a gas whose spectral window is already saturated.

        If you fit a trend, you are saying that there is a trend to be fitted. It is also a way of leading the eye and preventing those looking at the data from seeing what actually there.

        If we find a graph which does not have a preconceived “trend” imposed upon we can see Arctic sea ice has been essentially flat-lining for the last ten years and now close to where it was in 2006.

        That, despite ten year of knashing of teeth and screaming about how it’s reached a “tipping point”, is “disappearing” ; is in a death spiral , etc. etc.

      • Clearly a straight line since 1979 does not characterise this data

        Anyone doing is either trying to mislead or is so hopeless at data processing that this is all know how to do.

      • seaice1,

        The highs are showing a continuation of the downward trend (purple line in the figure), but the lows are showing a slight upward trend (blue line).

        You are betting on a continuation of the purple line and I am betting on a continuation of the blue line. But I have to warn you, I have insider information that the system is cyclical, not linear. I am playing with advantage.

        A signal of persistent Atlantic multidecadal variability in Arctic sea ice. M.W. Miles et al. 2014. Geophys. Res. Lett., 41, 463–469.

        “We establish a signal of pervasive and persistent multidecadal (~60–90 year) fluctuations… Covariability between sea ice and Atlantic multidecadal variability as represented by the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) index is evident during the instrumental record. This observational evidence supports recent modeling studies that have suggested that Arctic sea ice is intrinsically linked to Atlantic multidecadal variability.
        Given the demonstrated covariability between sea ice and the AMO, it follows that a change to a negative AMO phase in the coming decade(s) could —to some degree— temporarily ameliorate the strongly negative recent sea-ice trends.”

        We should know who is right in about ten years or less.

      • The trend is fake: it doesn’t reflect longterm temperature variability due to two things:

        there was less ice than this in the early 1970s,

        the amount of ice is a function – s.o.l.e.l.y.

        of wind direction,

        and has z.e.r.o. to do with temperature. Good wind year: ice packs up tight together and travel is possible over water.

        Bad wind year, ice is spread everywhere – it’s dissipation by wind is counted until the wind spreads it out less than 15% coverage, then counting stops.

        The claim there’s less ice is demonstrably a canard for temperature.

        TEMPERATURE has ZERO to DO with ARCTIC ICE DISTRIBUTION.

        Z.
        E.
        R.
        O.

        seaice1
        March 29, 2016 at 3:51 am

        OSI SAF is still showing a very clear downward trend for both summer and winter.

      • No seaice1 I did not miss out the 2012 minimum in my blue line. September Arctic sea ice is a lot more variable than March Arctic sea ice. The 2012 minimum constitutes what in trading is called a failed break or also commonly referred to as a “false breakout”. That minimum was not confirmed in March nor in the following years and therefore has to be ignored as “noise” when tracing the trend.

        One of the trend lines, whether the purple or the blue, is “lying”. When that trend line is broken we will have to wait for confirmation. It should be broken in both seasons and for more than one year. If the broken line is the purple we will know that the trend has changed. If the broken line is the blue then we will know that the trend is continuing. In the first case the AMO (Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation) model of Arctic sea ice variability is supported by evidence. In the second case the alarmist view of Arctic sea ice decrease driven by atmospheric CO2 increase is supported by evidence.

        As scientists are always making excuses for failed predictions, it is nice to have fixed goalposts that anybody can check to see which hypotheses are supported by evidence.

      • Javier – thank you for the explanation. It is indeed useful to have a “fixed goalpost” test. We will see which line gets broken.

      • Isn’t the cherry-picking interesting?

        While the Arctic has lost sea ice, the Antarctic — which contains 10X the volume of Arctic ice — is doing just fine:

        This ‘seaice’ alarmism is nothing more or less than natural variation. It is a non-problem, at both Poles.

        In fact, it would be a net benefit if all the Arctic ice disappeared: there would be much shorter transit times for ships, fuel use would be considerably less, and there would be exactly ZERO effect on mean sea level.

        The Arctic ice scare is just another example of the eco-lemming head-nodders, who believe that every change is automatically bad, and is caused by human CO2. They’re flat wrong, of course. The rise in CO2 of just one part in 10,000 (which took a century) has done nothing measurable regarding Arctic ice.

        And that’s why this bunch of propagandists hide out from any fair, moderated debate. They’d be laughed out of the room, and it would be recorded forever on the internet. Really, they’re just being stooges for ths relatively small clique that issues their talking points.

  11. One quote in their Australian ABC’s coverage reads “”What usually happens at this time of year was reached March 24, and the total area that’s covered by sea ice in the Arctic is smaller this year than it’s been at any time in the last 37 years,” lead researcher Dr Ted Scambos said.””

    Lower highs is a tricky concept. Together with the regular references to how warm it has been and references to lower sea ice levels, the uninitiated could be excused for thinking that Arctic ice all but disappears in the Australian summer.

    Seriously guys, warmer just isn’t the word when air temperatures are running at -15 to -25 C even if they normally run at -25 to -30 C at this time of year.

  12. Let’s see; the earth is a few billion years old and somehow studying the Arctic ice extent since about 1970 is a sufficiently reliable time frame to make reliable estimates of future climate trends or to confirm the existing dogma regarding climate.
    And let’s make very sure that estimates of the Arctic Ice Extent during the Medieval Warm Period (brought back from the dead upon the revelation that Mann’s “hockey stick” paper was an intentional, purposeful fraud) during which the Vikings settled Greenland, is never discussed.

    By the way, what caused the Medieval Warm Period?
    Did not the Medieval Warm Period end in the Little Ice Age? And what caused this?

      • The constant burning of witches, heretics, and the corpses of disease victims, too. Or now you’ll tell me there just weren’t enough people to burn to raise the temperature of the planet? Drat.

  13. It is too early to be certain. They say “A late season surge in ice growth is still possible. NSIDC will post a detailed analysis of the 2015 to 2016 winter sea ice conditions in early April.”

    This record is not yet certain.

    • It doesn’t matter anyway. Arctic sea ice is strictly a matter of wind direction and nothing else. Temperature isn’t even part of it. In fact before the Magic Heater religion arctic ice was anticipated solely due to wind direction if people were traveling somewhere.

      There’s simply no place in there for temperature to become a factor.

      There can be a third as much ice as a previous time,

      yet show there’s more.

      There can be more by 20%

      and show there’s less by as much as 40%.

      seaice1
      March 29, 2016 at 3:59 am

      It is too early to be certain. They say “A late season surge in ice growth is still possible. NSIDC will post a detailed analysis of the 2015 to 2016 winter sea ice conditions in early April.”

      This record is not yet certain.

      Again: Arctic sea ice is not – repeat not –

      attached in any meaningful way to temperature.

      For you to have named yourself seaice1, it sure seems like you’d be the FIRST one explaining it in detail. Not having to have it explained to you.

      Matter of fact the end of many peoples’ lives in the arctic came because temps were pretty mild, then – out of wherever – cold winds blast the spread-out ice into a dramatically smaller configuration. Trapped in that: a ship. And then it can be 4 or 5, even 20 years, and some guys will come by, and find the ship, STILL in the ice: the bottom eaten out by bugs, too treacherous to even walk below on the shell of the ship’s hull at times; everything else either kept clear of ice and weathered away through drying or turned into an unrecognizable blob as through the years, ice warp simply slow-motion rips the object practically molecule from molecule. Multiple times people have come upon remainders of human expeditions and found the surface objects in some cache or whatever, simply smeared until they’re no longer recognizable.

      You seem to be a lot less any kind of widely read enthusiast for arctic travel than some kind of authority/mob worship junkie who arrived to inform everyone you have some inner psychic connection to a polar bear named Nanukashukawalla.

      The mark of scientists is that we’re interested in getting the most granular, detailed understanding as swiftly as possible and every syllable past that better make the whole thing be properly graded for pressure, rarity, color, or duration.

      The minute you take off on some desperately hoped for tangent about holding deep truth yourself, and all that comes out of your head’s mush,

      it’s time for an assessment of what your conception of scientific acumen is.

      Liars lead people into polar regions to get killed. Liars lead people on expeditions to do dangerous things, with a psychology based in hubris, like when quacks who think mankind can make the sky hot using fire got trapped by ice in ships.

      The wind direction compacted that ice. Temperatures come along with winds, but winds
      determine the extent of arctic ice.

      The temperature can plummet many degrees but if the wind doesn’t change neither does total ice coverage in many instances.

      However on the other hand, the temperature can rise – and yet the ice spread out and there be 10, 15, 20% more ice over an area that’s quite large.

      You embarked on a major phake physics phale today.

      • Seaice1 “It is too early to be certain. They say “A late season surge in ice growth is still possible. NSIDC will post a detailed analysis of the 2015 to 2016 winter sea ice conditions in early April.”

        This record is not yet certain.”

        Oliver “You embarked on a major phake physics phale today.”

        I cannot imagine what I said in that comment that prompted your response.

        “Again: Arctic sea ice is not – repeat not –

        attached in any meaningful way to temperature.”

        Do you think the Arctic wind is much stronger in the summer?

  14. Never wishing to challenge NASA on any aspect of their climatic reporting since they clearly are the very acme of honesty and objectivity on these issues but I would nevertheless be keen to pose the follow-up question i.e. what is your evidence that a) this has anything to do with co2 levels and b) in particular the human emission component of atmospheric co2?

  15. Picking apart the statement,
    “In places where sea ice has been lost, those areas of open water will put more heat into the atmosphere because the air is much colder than unfrozen sea water,” Francis said. “As winter sea ice disappears, areas of unusually warm air temperatures in the Arctic will expand. These are also areas of increased evaporation, and the resulting water vapor will contribute to increased cloudiness, which in winter, further warms the surface.”

    Heat flows from hot to cold. The heat, in the wintertime of the Arctic, is in the water. No sunshine, to speak of, in the winter.
    While increased evaporation causes clouds to increase (and, with no sunshine, all the cloud effect is infrared inhibition) … it does not ‘further warm the surface’. The polar winter is a time of high, high, heat rejection to space, via infrared transfer. The region is in emission.
    As evaporation causes increased clouds, the latent heat of evaporation (non-infrared heat transfer) brings heat from the surface to the troposphere. Most of the CO2 … most of any atmospheric molecule … is in the troposphere. Any bit of altitude gain, made by water in vapour form, as it is carried aloft, means that there is less CO2 above it to restrict infrared transfer of heat to space. This process, which Francis says “…further warms the surface” is actually cooling the surface. Francis seems to have the heat leaving the water, entering the atmosphere, and then, “further warming the surface” … heat transfer does not reverse itself. Heat flows from hot to cold.

    The magnitude of increase of heat transfer from water to air is 100X higher when there is no sea ice.
    “Less ice also contributes to higher air temperatures by allowing transfer of heat from the relatively warmer ocean.”
    http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/2014/03/

    ”… the release of heat to the atmosphere from the open water is up to 100 times greater than the heat conducted through the ice.”

    Zwally, H. Jay, et al. Antarctic sea ice, 1973-1976: Satellite passive-microwave observations. No. NASA-SP-459. NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION WASHINGTON DC, 1983.
    http://oai.dtic.mil/oai/oai?verb=getRecord&metadataPrefix=html&identifier=ADA278193

    To some extent, supposed ‘blackbody’ temperatures of infrared emission that fall in the 666/cm band get modified by surface evaporation … the radiant energy isn’t in the bands absorbed by CO2 any longer, being shifted into longer wavelengths by the cooler cloud-tops. Plus, “Clouds also absorb the long-wave radiation emitted by the earth’s surface and emit energy into space at the temperature at the cloud tops (e.g., Ramanathan et al., 1989).”
    Calisto, M., et al. 2014 “Cloud radiative forcing intercomparison between fully coupled CMIP5 models and CERES satellite data.” Annales Geophysicae.
    http://www.ann-geophys.net/32/793/2014/angeo-32-793-2014.pdf

  16. “In places where sea ice has been lost, those areas of open water will put more heat into the atmosphere because the air is much colder than unfrozen sea water,” Francis said. “As winter sea ice disappears, areas of unusually warm air temperatures in the Arctic will expand. These are also areas of increased evaporation, and the resulting water vapor will contribute to increased cloudiness, which in winter, further warms the surface.”

    So they even manage to spin extra heat radiating from open water and additional evaporation into being a warming effect and an implied positive feedback. Amazing. More “tipping points”.

    The only fly in the ointment is that it is not behaving like there is “tipping point” runaway melting. That’s why they had to rush off to the Antarctic for a couple of years to play bait ans switch while Arctic ice volume increased by > 40%.

    Now they’re back, but it’s the winter one day in a year data we are supposed to look at instead of the usual summer one day in a year data point.

  17. Looks like it’s mainly because of the warm waters of the Gulf Stream pushing way up into the northern Barents Sea. Also the Greenland Sea has less ice for the same reason. The rest seems relatively normal compared to averages from 1979. Ref:

  18. Warmists always tell us about arctic ice MELTING at a dramatic speed, re Jennifer Francis at Rutgers :
    “As winter sea ice disappears, areas of unusually warm air temperatures in the Arctic will expand. These are also areas of increased evaporation, and the resulting water vapor will contribute to increased cloudiness, which in winter, further warms the surface.”

    But I wonder: Are there similar “self-amplifying” processes that make FREEZING go out of control as well? Hirr hirr.

  19. Despite its meaningless wrt climate, I can hear the usual Warm-brainer buglers, trumpeters, and drummers warming up in the wings, in preparation of loudly proclaiming our imminent doom because of this “event”.

  20. As we recovered from the 2007 record low, I was told ad nauseum by alarmist it meant nothing because volume was decreasing.

    So, how is volume doing?

  21. “The wind patterns in the Arctic during January and February were also unfavorable to ice growth because they brought warm air from the south and prevented expansion of the ice cover. But ultimately, what will likely play a bigger role in the future trend of Arctic maximum extents is warming ocean waters, Meier said.”

    In the future …, not now?

    Now operating something different?

    https://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/: “However, it was especially low in the Barents Sea. Below average winter ice conditions in the Kara and Barents seas have been a persistent feature in the last several years, while the Bering Sea has overall seen slightly positive [?!] trends towards more sea ice during winter.”

    “… in the Kara and Barents …”

    Opel et al., 2013. (http://www.clim-past.net/9/2379/2013/cp-9-2379-2013.pdf):

    “Understanding recent Arctic climate change requires detailed information on past changes, in particular on a regional scale.”
    “…the last 1100 yr provides new perspectives on past climate fluctuations in the Barents and Kara seas region…”
    “… proxies reveal major temperature changes over the last millennium, including the absolute minimum around 1800 and the unprecedented warming to a double-peak maximum in the early 20th century.
    “… is evidence of several abrupt warming and cooling events, such as in the 15th and 16th centuries…” “These abrupt changes are assumed to be related to sea-ice cover variability in the Barents and Kara seas region, which might be caused by shifts in atmospheric circulation patterns […]. Our results indicate a significant impact of internal climate variability […] on Arctic climate change in the last millennium.” (…)

    • And the growth may not be over.

      True, but I would not count on that. The maximum will be record small, and better starting to ingest that.

      What were the reasons? Just CO2 warming Arctic and pushing it over the melting point? Or rather nice warm sea current keeping Scandinavia mild?

  22. The Bering Sea side of Arctic Ice Extents are already at average levels, partially because the PDO entered it’s 30-yr cool cycle form 2008.

    As the Pacific Ocean continues to cool over the next 15~20 years, Berring Sea Ice Extents will continue to increase

    The Atlantic AMO 30-yr warm cycle will soon end, switching to its 30-yr cool cycle from around 2022.

    Arctic Ice Extents are sinusoidal and follow AMO 30-yr warm/cool cycles very closely. Once the AMO enters its 30-yr cool cycle, the alarmists will have to find another hobbyhorse to flog…

    BTW, why no mention of Antarctic land and sea ice increases hitting new records over the past 10 years?

    Why, indeed…

    • As far as AMO is concerned: you might be right, if the plot’s recent data really points in that direction:

      But the Bering sea ice exrent growing actually? Do you have real, actual data?
      When I look at both satellite and land/sea surface data published by Roy Spencer a few weeks ago, I have some little doubt, even if the ocans’ temps below their surface may well differ quite a bit from the top :-)

      But Antarctica is cooling, that’s good news.

  23. Another time where the discussion after the post is as good as the original post. Richard Verney made a very good point that not all the available data was being used.

  24. And, while remembering that open Arctic water releases heat, it is also a more efficient sink for CO2 than when covered by ice…

  25. Why don’t we run a trend line from the peak of the last Ice Age ? That ought to put things in perspective !

  26. What is the margin of error plus/minus of these figures? A 1.4% reduction in such a vast area seems far to accurate a measurement to be feasible. The same with ‘point one of a degree or less’ in temperatures. Where are all these super thermometers and measuring instruments sited throughout the world ? Or am I just an ignorant 82 year old who is in despair at the current ‘back to the stoneage greenmafia bullshit’ . I for one do not want to go back to my childhood especially if I have to rely on a bloody windmill to keep me warm and cook my food.

  27. Irrelevant.
    September is what matters. Winter – not so much.
    This is what the warmunists always say when winter ice has been high.
    It’s true.

  28. Why is it always assumed that less ice is a bad thing? I think less ice is a good thing. I’d rather live in a slightly warmer world than in a slightly cooler world.

    Even if arctic ice disappeared completely why would that be a bad thing? The world might be a different place but life wouldn’t disappear. The world has been a lot different place in the distant past and life did just fine.

    The people who are most afraid of any change in the environment are the same people who want to control and impose drastic economic changes on the rest of us.

      • Polar bears are the champion swimmers among terrestrial mammals, able to swim for days on end over hundreds of miles of open ocean.
        The idea they will drown is laughably ignorant, and completely unsupported by a single smidgen of actual data or observation.
        On top of that, bears in general are incredibly adaptable survivors…if they somehow have a hard time with the easiest food source they know of, they will switch to another and do just fine.
        Besides for all of that, they apparently do most of their eating in the Spring months, when ice is always widespread.

  29. Would it not be a sign of insanity to suggest sea ice in a record El Niño year is abnormally low? Perhaps it is exactly what it should be given the contextual reality of the environment this year. Another point – the decline of sea ice appears to be slower than at any recent year at this point in the cycle. Lastly, there is no significant trend in Arctic sea ice cover for nearly a decade. Are these people looking models and not data?

  30. Hey, wait a minute. Since how long ago? Lowest on RECORD starting when? Wasn’t some world power or another sailing submarines through there on the surface in about 1962? The AGW/CCC crowd must think climate was invented the moment they starting looking at it. The way children do.

    • ..The CAGW crowd are the real ” Climate Change ” DEE Niers !! They think climate does not change !

    • You may not have posted the right graph….that one doesn’t quite make sense….at least not in my humble opinion.

    • PIOMASS has been repeatedly discredited here. Do a search and you’ll see.

      Picking just the Arctic is classic cherry-picking. It’s a form of confirmation bias that the eco-lemmings like to use. But the only worthwhile metric is global ice cover. And as we see, it is well within historical parameters. Nothing unusual is happening.

      And in 1926 the North Pole was open water. That was well before the recent rise in (harmless, beneficial) CO2.

      Less than 2 years ago Antarctic ice was at an all time high. It is still above average.

      That is why the wild-eyed eco-alarmists are running around in circles and clucking about the Arctic. If they discussed the Antarctic, which holds 10X more ice than the Arctic, people would laugh at their ice alarmism.

      So they ignore the Antarctic. It’s just deviousness, folks. They can’t start being honest at this late stage of the game. How would they explain their newfound honesty to their pals, who they’ve been teaching their dangerous AGW nonsense to?

      There is absolutely nothing happening that is either alarming, or unprecedented. Scare stories are all they’ve got. That may bring in the grant loot — but it’s at the cost of any integrity they ever posessed.

  31. Excellent news. Suggests that the modern warm period may not come to a sudden end now that the sun has gone quiet, and our slightly thicker blanket of greenhouse gasses may be enough to flatten out the turning point. A wise humanity would be trying to thicken that blanket rather than thin it. Luckily our actions do not always conform to our often stupid intents.

    • Jim Steele
      Good find:
      Day Cryosphere
      Sea Ice Area
      41 12.6849
      57 12.8431
      74 12.8850
      87 12.8993

      Yes, we are clearly near the peak Arctic sea ice area, but there no no sign we have reached it yet.

      • Cryosphere Today SIA has peaked at 12.921 million km2 (not reported yet), which is around 223K below the 2011 record lowest maximum. It is also the second latest maximum on record, after 2012. This peak is followed by a 125K drop, and I’m not seeing anything in the forecast that will get CT SIA back up that high, at this time of year.

  32. Spring equinox was March 20th. Can they really call the 24th winter time still? What jerks.

    [No, that is the correct term for a maximum Arctic sea ice extent. .mod]

  33. Nuances … so …. the high longitudes are in pretty good shape. The low longitudes are not. In the low longitudes open water may actually reach the pole. Meanwhile straddling the date line and for quite a way on both sides of it, good and solid through summer with a fairly normal minimum condition. Overall that will yield a very low total and everything that will attend that.,

  34. Sooooo…. 15% sea-ice area is statistically indistinguishable from 2011 and 2007 measurements. Not even having to remove my shoes for this calculation, I see that it is therefore essentially unchanged, except for statistical variability, during the last 9 years.
    Yawn.

  35. The recent so-called record warm temperatures are mostly driven by the warmer Arctic winter temperatures. But DMI (the chief source of that Arctic temperature data) has changed their data processing numerous time — since 2010 they are using what they call the “T1279 model system”. DMI states:

    “In the plot, the red curve is based on the average 2 m temperatures north of 80
    degree North, from the twice daily ECWMF analyses. These are gradually becoming
    better and more detailed, as the NWP model system at ECMWF is improved with
    time. That is why the name shift with time (e.g. from T799 to T1279 in year
    2010).
    The green curve is based on ERA40 data for the period 1958 to 2002. ERA40 data
    are in fact analyses, made in the same way as above, but done as a hind-cast,
    using a fixed version of the NWP model, and spending time on carefully
    validating and eventually correct or remove all observations found to be in
    error, before the data assimilation. These, so-called “re-analysis”, data
    represent our best estimate of the properties of the atmosphere for the period
    they cover.”

    It would be worthwhile to audit their evolving techniques for artifacts.

  36. Having followed the Sea Ice Page for over four years on a nearly daily base now, I have noticed one feature in the NCEP-graph http://polar.ncep.noaa.gov/sst/ophi/color_anomaly_NPS_ophi0.png this winter, whitch I haven’t seen anytime before: To the west, as well as to the southeast of Spitzbergen/Svalbart two blotches of very warm water have appeared early this winter, which are 8 (!) degrees Centigrate or more warmer than normal.

    This is exactly the region where a mayor recess of sea ice was noticed over the same period this winter.

    I believe that, for one reason or the other, very warm water either by redirected, upwelling residues of the North Atlantic Current or by hydrothermal vents (or both) has been, and still is warming up the sea surface there so much that sea ice simply cannot form – which has NOTHING to do with “Global Warming” whatsoever, but rather, with a change in ocean current-patterns, or with the forming of new geological vents (or the first being caused by the latter).

    Over the winter I have tried to post this observation under “Tips & Notes” several times already, to make it public. But the “Tips & Notes”-page is so crammed with earlier postings, that It simply wouldn’t load.

    Nevermind.

    • Is increased melting at a level of say 500 Gt/y able to affect the thermohaline circulation in that region?

      NOAA oceanographs have published a paper over 15 years ago about that (and compared the situation with a period in the Younger Dryas where similar conditions led to an abrupt climate change down to very low temperatures in the northern Atlantic region).

  37. I’ll start worrying when the ice starts growing. Until then, I’ll just keep on enjoying the interglacial.

    • I know, right?
      How in the world was it possible to convince even one single fool that a somewhat less lethally frigid Arctic Winter, or a slightly less ice-choked uninhabitable polar wasteland was somehow a bad thing at all, let alone a terrible disaster or a portent of civilization-ending doom?

  38. Every day ‘religiously’ I check Nullschool Earth for the regions that concern me and my family, namely Australia, Antarctica, Europe UK and the Arctic. Anyone who had been doing the same would have noted that for many months a southerly wind blew continuously across the UK and towards the Arctic and pushed the sea ice back compressing it. This same wind may have melted some of the ice at the fringes but the same maps showed that the temperature fell rapidly to sub zero as soon as it crossed the sea/ice threshold. It looks as though major amounts of snow and ice were deposited on the ice pack and on the Greenland Ice sheet over this past Arctic Winter. Expect a slow melt and high minimums!

  39. “This year’s record low sea ice maximum extent will not necessarily result in a subsequent record low summertime minimum extent, Meier said.”

    What? There’s still ice in the Arctic in the summer? I thought we were supposed to have an ice-free Arctic by now. How could the warmists, with their “settled science,” be wrong about that?

  40. Actually, depending on the method of extrapolation, the estimates for a nearly ice-free arctic summer range from 2020 to 2060. Personally, I tend towards the modelers who put that event as occurring in 2040 to 2060.

  41. The statement: “Arctic sea ice plays an important role in maintaining Earth’s temperature–its bright white surface reflects solar energy that the ocean would otherwise absorb” is simplistic.

    It isn’t bright white, old sea ice albedo is about 35%, and water at low angles of incidence, as found in the arctic, can match or exceed this.

    Also note that solar forcing in the arctic is relatively weak, at 10` south in the equinox it is ~35 wm^-2 given the global average of ~200 wm^-2

    However the greatest impact of loss of ice is the amount of heat the relatively warm arctic can lose through emission, ~300 wm^-2, and evaporation, which is capable of transporting huge amounts of heat out of the system.

    Arctic ice loss is a thermostat, not an amplification mechanism.

  42. What is mass doing? A decrease in extent can be an increase in mass and multi-year sea ice. Increase in precipitation and winds and waves can reduce extent and increase thickness. It would also warm the atmosphere as clouds, rain, snow and ice form. And, as the article notes, clouds would reduce cooling where the warm, moist air and water entering the arctic is. A warm arctic in the winter is likely a massive heat dump and may be a sign of ice mass increase.

  43. Record low Arctic ice at any time would, I think, be a prerequisite to the normal peak conditions of a warm interstadial period, which we are currently in. If the paleoreconstruction of stadial and interstadial periods is indicative of business as usual, I see nothing unusual about Arctic Ice being low and thank God I am alive during the peak of an interstadial. God help the poor souls who are on the ride down.

  44. My goodness…my last comment vanished without a trace!

    [It’s always a good idea to save your comment draft until you see it in the thread. -mod]

  45. “In places where sea ice has been lost, those areas of open water will put more heat into the atmosphere because the air is much colder than unfrozen sea water,” Francis said. “As winter sea ice disappears, areas of unusually warm air temperatures in the Arctic will expand. These are also areas of increased evaporation, and the resulting water vapor will contribute to increased cloudiness, which in winter, further warms the surface.”
    _____________________

    In the 100 mills of years of glaciation / deglaciaton. More, less ice coverage of the poles. Maybe more then once arctic water near icefree. A proof for high positiv feet back atmospheric warming threatning human live and biodiversity we can’t get – we were’nt here.

  46. And that’s the proof against possible positiv feet back atmospheric warming threatning human live and biodiversity – we are here, curious as ever

  47. I believe you made a serious error in judgement when you edited Mr Hunt’s comment and pasted that composite of two comments from his blog. I am afraid you played right into their hands, proceed with caution in the future. Aren’t all you guys a little too old to be participating in a blog war?

    [Reply: It is simple, easy, and free to start your own WordPress blog. Then you can run it as you see fit. ~mod]

Comments are closed.