Interesting and positive changes in Arctic sea ice volume

Are we seeing an Arctic change? Three out of the four most recent years show increase in ice volume not seen since 2003.

Guest essay by Frank Lansner

DMI publishes daily their Arctic ice volume data in the form of graphs. From these it is possible to retrieve the data and plot them as you like.

So, first I plotted all years available, 2003 – 2016 for the period May 16 to Aug 8 to show the melt season. Not all dates in the period was used, but enough to get the overall picture.

The first that caught my interest was obviously how 2016 was “performing” in comparison with the other years 2003 – 2015. The winter winds Nov 2015 – Feb 2016 were quite harsh to the ice as it was generally blown towards the Atlantic via East Greenland. This may explain the very low levels of ice volume May 2016. Whatever the reason for this low level of ice volume May 2016, it appears that 2016 during summer melt did not melt as fast as most other years.

Then I noticed 2014. This year started out much better than 2016 with more ice, but it was remarkable that 2014 and 2016 both show this “pattern” of reduced ice melt in the summer period.

Thus, in order to study this a little closer, I redrew the graph: Below is now plotted the ice anomaly as estimated from DMI graphs.

It becomes clear, that 2016 and 2014 and to some degree also 2013 show remarkably more gain in ice volume anomaly that all other years. After July 16 I these data, most years seem to stick somewhat to the new level of ice volume anomaly.

Just to illustrate more clearly I set ice volume anomaly curves to zero for May 16.
2014 and 2016 gained around 2500 km3 of extra ice volume anomaly May 16  July 16, and 2013 accumulated around 1500 km3.
These are large numbers and illustrates that the summers in the Arctic indeed can change the game – not only to melt the ice away fast, but certainly also to lift the volume of sea ice volume anomaly to a new level fast.

Thus, 3 out of the 4 most recent years ranks number show increase in ice volume as not seen since 2003. Is this a sign of a real game changer for climate? If this tendency continues into La Nina times and continued low Solar Cycle activity years, the massive rebound of Arctic sea ice may be much closer than most would expect at this point.

What is also truly remarkable is that the year 2014 actually for Aug 8 had just as large a volume of ice as 2003 and 2006. This certainly shows that we are not in a situation of “point of no return”. It seems we can return to pre-2007 ice volume levels any year.
Link to DMI sea ice thickness / volume site:

http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/icethickness/thk.php

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123 thoughts on “Interesting and positive changes in Arctic sea ice volume

    • Extent is defined as >15% ice. That could still be 85% water and called ice. Somit matters greatly how compacted the ice edges are by wind, waves, and currents. Basically a meaningless number. Using 30% gives a very different picture of healthier ice, which is why DMI discontinued that chart when they refined the land mask, rather than simply recomputing the data with the new mask.

      • One of my neighbours is the master of Canada’s second largest ice breaker and is up in the Arctic right now.

        His observations from a “boots on the ground” perspective over the past few years corroborate the satellite data and the points made in the article. Discounting the Arctic cyclone caused 2012 outlier minimum, 2007 was probably the turning point and the multi year ice is growing.

        Said in passing, according to him the sound of the ice breaker hitting thick multi-year ice can’t be mistaken for anything else.

        Anecdotally but telling, the entrance to the Hudson Bay remained impassable to all shipping -including ice breakers-during the entire summer of 2015.

      • Tetris,

        Thanks for that report.

        North America should follow the Russian lead and build more ice-breakers.

      • Yes, the May 2016 volume actually went just below the previous record low 2012. None the less, just 2 months after, 2016 has a volume of ice right on the average for for all years 2003 – 2015. This massive gain of sea ice volume anomaly was also seen in 2014 and approx the same 2013.
        Thus, summer ice volume in 2013, 2014 and 2016 has grown in a manner not seen even close all years 2003-2012. The ability to massively grow ice volume anomaly in summers is what i find interesting for the development in coming years.

      • David Smith

        As best as I understand it from looking at the sea ice data: There was a new record low in the month of May but there has not been a new record annual low.

        Historically, the years with a low spring sea ice extents at maximum in March-April are years with a high sea ice minimum in September.
        And the same when there is a high sea ice extents in March-April. That year sees a very low sea ice minimum in September.

        This year, the sea ice maximum was about normal for the past 12 years. The sea ice extents in the middle months (May-June-mid July) were very low. But the arctic “death spiral” much-exaggerated meltdown just does NOT HAPPEN. Ever.

        the theory sounds right conceptually: Melting sea ice “should” expose more dark open ocean water to the sunlight.
        That sunlight “should” be absorbed into the newly melted water and heat it up.
        The newly heated water “should” further melt more sea ice and “should” increase the area’s heating even more, thus melting even more sea ice.
        But it does not work that simplistic way in the real world.

      • While water is darker than ice the two big problem with that theory is the angle of incidence of light. At the low angle most of the light is reflected in either case.
        The bigger problem is that ice is an insulator. It protects the warm water from the much colder (even in summer) air.
        Loss of ice means that the polar waters start losing massive amounts of heat to the air. Also evaporation puts more water into the air which results in more clouds which in turn reflect sunlight.
        You might suppose that all that extra evaporation would put enough water vapor into the atmosphere that it would start blocking heat flow.
        The problem there is that the air is really cold. Cold air just can’t hold much in the way of water vapor.

        One thing I have hear proposed is that melting sea ice, puts more water into the arctic air which then results in more snow on the land around the arctic. Without the warm water to melt it, that snow has the potential to stick around longer into the spring and summer than sea ice would. It’s also further south so it has the ability to reflect more incoming solar energy. Another negative feedback.

  1. I question any analysis of data that does not first give a good account of the error in the data. What are the proper margins of error on these estimates? Once those margins are properly accounted for, then does the data still look the same?

    • Hi Patrick, data are from DMI´s site, i cannot invent error-bars for these data that DMI do not show themselves. If you want to know further about this, check out their site or contact them.

      • So, we have no idea if these measurements mean anything at all. If you don’t know the error associated with the measurements, how can you justify using them for anything? You can’t. Measurements without proper margins of error mean nothing.

      • Model outputs meaning, I assume, they are nothing more than some original real data run through some formulas. Whether you run the analysis by hand or through a fancy program with lots of formulas, in the end the original data had some margin of error associated with it and that can then tracked through to see what effect it has on the range of potential model outputs, i.e. some final margin of error. My personal belief is that if proper statistical analysis was applied to all the climate data, every honest scientist would have to say “We don’t know, the data is neither good enough nor extensive enough to provide an answer.”

    • Patrick.. These are the data DMI shows online every day. Im telling the obvious that they show that 2013, 2014 and 2016 has suddenly started to show ice volume anomaly gain of around 2.500.000 km3 over the summer which is a completely new mechanism seen in summers.

      So what you are asking is, that if DMI do not show error bars on their data (just like for other DMI graphs) , hoe can anyone use DMI data for anything?

      Well, i think DMI must know just a little bit what they are doing, and i dont think they would publish data online if they were useless.

      • Frank, those are some pretty big assumptions given all the pre-release data manipulation done with lots of climate related data. Plenty of bad data is published where the real use is justification of funding. Let’s assume their numbers may have a margin of error of +/- 15% – does any of your analysis survive?

      • It would be interesting to see your last graph, the anomaly progress by year, as simple bar graphs with the total anomaly for the year. That way, I could see easily if there is a pattern (more easily than from a spaghetti graph).

    • Frank Lansner

      Hi all, please be aware that this article is about sea ice volume development, not sea ice extent.

      A true statement.

      however.

      Sea ice volume is simply a function (assumed model) of sea ice area x “factors to turn sort-of-measured-but-not-very-thoroughly0-calibrated sea ice height (above water level) into sea ice thickness (below water level), then to multiply that assumed sea ice height x assumed sea ice areas into sea ice “age group” …. So, there is an assumed/modeled 5-year sea ice area and thickness, an assumed/modeled 4-year sea ice area and thickness, an assumed 3-year sea ice area and thickness, and a 2 year model volume and a 1 year model volume

      Now, 2012 was a very low area at sea ice minimum, and ALL subsequent months after 2012 are higher. So, 2016’s sea ice has very little (assumed thicker) sea ice from 2011 (5-year ice) and 2012 (4 year sea ice).
      Thus, for 2015 area or volume to be higher now means that today’s 2016 August levels really are substantially higher than 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014.

  2. Polar Ocean Challenge in trouble. Too much Arctic ice.
    On June 19th 2016, the Polar Ocean Challenge expedition left Bristol in the boat Northabout to circumnavigate the North Pole anticlockwise. By doing this they hoped to demonstrate that the Arctic sea ice coverage shrinks back so far now in the summer months that sea that was permanently locked up now can allow passage through.

    Permanent irreversible change in the sea ice landscape of the Arctic seems to them inevitable. This will / is already having global economic political, social and environmental implications. The goal seems lofty and idealistic enough.

    There is only one major problem. The Arctic Ice Cap isn’t cooperating. Let us take a look at the polar ice cap on Aug 6, 2015.

    The North East Passage was open for clear sailing the whole Russian coastline and they planned to go through the North East Passage ice choke point, Cape Chelyuskin on or about Aug 5. 2016. It is now Aug 8, and the boat is huddling in a sheltered cove waiting for the ice to melt. Taking a look at the Arctic ice cap for Aug 6, 2016.
    There seems to be a lot of melting left to be done before they can pass through the choke point.

    How bad is it? The total Arctic ice volume on Aug 6 last year was around 6250 cubic kilometre. This year the volume on Aug 6 was about 8000 km3, a year to year increase of about 28%. The ice volume is now very close to the 30 year average.

    Reality has a way of getting in the way of the best laid plans and the most ambitious climate models.

    If you want to follow the future adventures of the ship Northabout, their website is http://polarocean.co.uk/calendar/
    With the charts: https://lenbilen.com/2016/08/07/5248/

    • Cape Chelyuskin was passed on August 18, 1878 by Adolf Erik Nordenskiöld during the first sea voyage through the North-East Passage. Oh dear, not looking good for this Arctic Ship of Fools, being reported on daily in the BBC radio 4 Climate Change propaganda slot.

      • I left them a blog post congratulating them on finding the Yamal…

        It has now been “disappeared” as I expected it would. :-)

      • It took Nordenskiöld two years to make the transit, he overwintered en route. Ousland cleared the Cape August 15th 2010 and continued on around through the NW Passage and arrived back in Norway that same fall. Northabout is attempting to replicate that. They just about reached the edge of the ice today (105ºE).

      • It looks like they may be in trouble.

        From the ships log. http://polarocean.co.uk/mixed-day-ups-downs-probably-better-described-ups/

        ” it was my watch. clear water, slowly made way for thicker and thicker ice. Backwards/forwards,Three different routes, lots of swearing, many conferences with Nikolai. Stuff it, We needed to anchor again, We had 6/10 ice, and if we ploughed on until the middle and got caught, we could be in trouble. Im already losing sleep, and don’t want to lose any more unnecessarily,”

  3. This article gives the impression through figures 2 and 3 that the Arctic is gaining sea-ice. It is not. The graphs are comparing decreasing values of sea ice during the melting season to decreasing values of sea ice during average melting.

    Essentially Arctic sea ice has been stable since 2006 with years of increasing ice and years of decreasing ice. 2016 might end up being an average year for the 2006-2016 period.

    • The article show that summer ice can suddenly in 2012, 2014 and 2016 grow massively unlike all other years since 2003. This is interesting because it may be the key to a coming rebound of Arctic ice. I think the article states quite clearly what the point is, honestly, and the first graph clearly show the years in absolute values so i just dont understand how you can get another impression. Next graphs are developments in summer anomaly and for each graph the content is described correct.

      • Frank Lanser: You have to look at the first figure, and then you see that ice volume is decreasing in summer. Like Javier has written. It doesn`t grow massively, but decrease less than other years.

      • We’re yet to see the growing part; so far we saw slowed but still decent melting. What I believe is that weather patterns or natural variation are still driving melt rather than climate, and you need more than 30 years of observations in the Arctic to see the actual climatic signal.

        However, the 30 year trends in extent and volume have been so clear that the continuous talking about rebounding starts to sound like the black knight in Monty Python. Just a flesh wound!

        We will see. Just wait. If all the Arctic sea ice melts in the summer 2035, it is not the end of the world. It is rather a repeat from the Eemian interglacial. If not, then we’ll have a laugh. Hansen won’t laugh, of course.

      • Lack of summer melt is a better indication of cooling than ice growth during the winter. It is lack of melt that portends glaciations.

      • We don’t have to go back to the Eemian for an ice-free summer in the Arctic – between 8000-6000 BP there is evidence of beach form and hence wave impact in North Greenland – the area that has maximum ice thickness and has been frozen since that time, thus indicating that the Arctic Ocean was ice-free in summer. The area was at least two degrees C warmer than today during this Holocene Optimum, due mainly perhaps to orbital patterns and summer insolation. At this time – in my locality (Somerset, England), there were Neolithic lake-villages where the inhabitants ate pelicans for lunch. Interestingly, a wandering pelican from southern Europe visited Cornwall this summer! And white storks are prospecting for nests – not having nested here since the Medieval Warm Period when they nested as far north as Edinburgh! Added to these signs of (natural) climate change, Arctic marine mammals are being seen much further south than normal this year…maybe a sign of things to come!

    • To nobodysknwledge :

      Fig 1 shows that 2016 starts out at a very low level and ends in the middle.
      The point of the article is, that suddenly 2013, 2014 and 2016 have an ability to massively gain volume anomaly during melt season like no other years can even remotely compede with.

      Next is to consider WHY ? Is it increased cloud cover (the SUN ) or how can we interpret this?
      What does it mean if this new tendency goes on? Etc.
      2014 and 2016 showed summer increase in anomaly of around 2.500.000 km3. This is enormous and this new ability might help the ice rebound in coming years.

      This is the point of the article, and fig 1 show completely clearly that indeed 2016 starts out at low levels. This must be obvious to all and has not much to do with the whole point of this article.

      • FrankL@1239pm: We have some trolls about, using weasae tactics. Myself, I’m just watching the Nth Atlantic Deepwater dT.

  4. “Interesting and positive changes in Arctic sea ice volume”

    I would have much more confidence in climate science, and climate scientists, if they included the occasional optimistic “it may not turn out as bad as we thought” comments. However, we never hear this. Instead, it is usually, “it’s worse than we thought”, when usually they are talking about theoretical projections rather than actual, you know, reality.

    PS — This is a nice piece of work — even I can understand it :)

    • Isn’t it funny how frequently they say “it’s worse than we thought”, considering this is all settled science?

      And still not one single piece of sky has hit the ground. It IS worse than they thought.

  5. The pile up on the North Shores of Greenland and Canadian islands has been “yuge” the past few years. Some serious thickness in those areas.

      • “some period” ? You are welcome not to find the intense melt season extremely interesting nor relevant.

        However:
        The melt season is vital because in very short time around two thirds of the entire sea ice mass melts away.

        So, if a new pattern suddenly show up (like we see 2013, 2014 and 2016) that seems to affect this fast-melt it can be a game changer. A mechanism that can slow this massive melt over a few months can apparently add 2.500.000 km3 in 2 months!

        In addition, if clouds for example is the cause of this new summer pattern, then it has a special effect in june july as shield against Sunlight.

        Personally i find this new sudden summer-gain pattern very interesting indeed, and if repeated in more years it may help explain how Arctic ice can rebound from low levels.

        Notice how 2016 changes from record low levels in may to appear right in the middle of all years after this new summer-gain pattern. I find it amazing indeed, but you are welcome to believe this it is of no relevance that summers are starting to show this new pattern. Its a free world.

      • “some period” ? You are welcome not to find the intense melt season extremely interesting nor relevant.
        ===
        ….it was a reply to Mosh…not you

      • Indeed, the Volume data ( DMI, Piomas) are modeloutputs. When lookong at DMI the early yearly minimum ( august, not mid september like Piomas) is some keind of strange. Anyway: also when looking at the extent ( JAXA) which is not a modell but satellite data one can see the mentioned circumstance:

        In the beginning ( 1st. of May here) of the melting season there was a great negative gap. During the saison the loss of extent was very normal in contrast to many other years before. We saw a meltig season near the average after a great negative anomaly in winter and early spring and in the end we’ll get an extent like 2010 maybe. This could mean: there is no “death helix” , which means: negative anomalies generate more negative anomalies. This is a tale.

      • normals are arbitrary.
        pick any period you like.
        =====
        …making claims that one normal is more normal than another is bull crap

    • Mosher… This article is simply saying what DMI´s data results show. If DMI´s data are not useful why do you think they show it to people?

      • “Mosher… This article is simply saying what DMI´s data results show. If DMI´s data are not useful why do you think they show it to people?”

        Hi Frank,

        Well no.. The article starts with a QUESTION and then purports to answer that question
        by looking at one data source and then doesnt even address the obvious issue that it is MODEL OUTPUT.

        So you are not “simply saying”

        Second, Did I imply the data are not useful? did I use those words? Nope.

        All I did was tell you what a good analyst would do, as opposed to what you did.

        As for WHY they show it to people? Motivations? do I look like a mind reader?
        Are you? I think not.

        Recall when DMI had a bad graph posted for quite some time. who knows why?

        A good analyst just looks at the data. all the data. if you send me a link to their motivations, I will download it.

      • Models in the climate regime are simply useless. No point in wasting time considering the implications of output from models. Nothing useful to be gained by that.

        Far better to spend time looking at actual real observational data before it has been manipulated by others.

    • Indee, the volume data are model outputs. DMI shows a strange annual minimum: in august, not mid september like Piomas which is some kind of strange. Anyway, when looking at the extent anomaly ( which is not a modeloutput but measured with satellites) ane can see the same circumstance:

      In the beginning of the melting season ( 1st. of May) there was a great negative gap and the season itself was very normal. The loss was on average and not as negative as many years before. ( See 2012,2007, 2011). This could mean: there is no “death helix” which means: negative anomalies generate negative anomalies down to the collapse. This is a tale.

    • Mosher: “So you are not “simply saying..”

      The very same graph that i present :
      http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/icethickness/thk.php

      Only difference is that i have collected more years in one graf, fig 1.

      And this DOES show that 2013, 2014 and 2016 have much less summer melt that the rest of the years since 2003.

      If you have a problem with this, you have to contact DMI , not me.

    • Mosher, maybe i misunderstood you:

      First, i have simply shown what DMI data show. Its that simple, and at first glance your “protest” seem to object simply telling what DMI data shows.

      However, if your objection is that “DMI data may be wrong” I’d say: Yes off course. Thats the case with all data represented anywhere and still its ok to comment and reflect over data.

      But Mosher, there is a reason that i have posted this none the less:
      Yes, DMI could be wrong like all other data, BUT: If you have mathematical genes something in these data should strike you, even if data are not accurate:

      3 out of the latest 4 years show a NEW trend nothing like seen since 2003.

      So some of the input to this model in very recent years HAVE CHANGES MASSIVELY.
      Hypothetically, a very strange model could suddenly produce a completely different output from 2013, but you have to realise that most models would not suddenly show years of 2.500.000 km3 Ice accumulation over summer when previous record was just 20% hereof UNLESS input REALLY has changed.

      So it is very relevant indeed to notice this change i data as i do, and you should be reflecting on what is actually going on up there like some other commenters do.

    • And if the data doesn’t match the model, NOAA will just change the data. There is no point in looking at or listening to NASA/NOAA. Without consistency no one has any idea about climate . They are either keeping two sets of books, or they are so messed up they don’t know either. So that’s how I look at your analysis Steve.

  6. What is interesting is that after the May lows in ice, it snapped back to a normal range indicative of a local temperature induced response. That is, the ice level is in response to regional temperature, and rebounds to that. It did not stay low and then follow along a normal sinusoidal path, lower. Regional climate induces a specific amount of ice, stronger than other effects possible such as CO2.

  7. Us color blind folk remind graph makers that using colors to display data leaves
    us clueless. Since you do display the year, why not attach the year nomenclature to
    the line it references on the graph?

  8. Reblogged this on Climatism and commented:
    Climate experts assured us there would be no summer sea ice as of two years ago.
    What other falsehoods and exaggerations are we told by them and complicit media to drive the global warming con?

  9. Reblogged this on Climate Collections and commented:
    Fascinating comment, too from Tetris, August 9, 2016 at 11:35 am:
    One of my neighbours is the master of Canada’s second largest ice breaker and is up in the Arctic right now.

    His observations from a “boots on the ground” perspective over the past few years corroborate the satellite data and the points made in the article. Discounting the Arctic cyclone caused 2012 outlier minimum, 2007 was probably the turning point and the multi year ice is growing.

    Said in passing, according to him the sound of the ice breaker hitting thick multi-year ice can’t be mistaken for anything else.

    Anecdotally but telling, the entrance to the Hudson Bay remained impassable to all shipping -including ice breakers-during the entire summer of 2015.

  10. Some say the world will end in fire,
    Some say in ice.
    From what I’ve tasted of desire
    I hold with those who favor fire.
    But if it had to perish twice,
    I think I know enough of hate
    To say that for destruction ice
    Is also great
    And would suffice.

    By Robert Frost. (Attribution by courtesy, not a suggestion that you didn’t know.)

  11. Is anybody actually measuring Sea Ice this year? The links on the Sea Ice page are becoming more and more broken (and i don’t think it’s my paranoid browser settings).

    These are now broke:

    Many are stuck in March and April and clicking on them doesn’t help.

    This, and several others is obviously wrong (April ice in August?):

    How do they know anything right now?

  12. I guess that when considering this interesting post, one should also have regard to what Steven Goddard has recently posted about DMI ‘data’

    See: http://realclimatescience.com/2016/08/more-bs-from-dmi-2/

    Of course, I haven’t checked whether he is correct with his image plot, and that green represents truly the ice gain since 2016, and red truly the ice lost since 2012.

    If his plot is accurate, it shows just how much ice overall has been gained since 2012 (2012 appearing to be a low caused not by global warming and one which was out of kilter with the direction of travel since 2007).

      • This is one of the most XXXX comments i have ever seen. “Goddard” CAN make mistakes, but makes far more valid points than mistakes!!

        Griff, its really TROLL like bombings you are making.

      • And you think you make reliable comments with your paid shill copy and paste operation from alarmist sources?
        Griff you are a classic u know what whose mind is made up and doesn’t want to be confused by the facts. You apparently are capable of swallowing any alarmist nonsense hook, line and sinker without even the slightest bit of critical review.

      • Griff: “Goddard is never correct -he makes mistakes and he makes things up.”

        Ye Gods!

        I really can’t believe you had the damn gall to write that, Grifter, you being the biggest maker up of stuff – with the possible exception of ZedsDeadBed – on any climate blog ever.

        Awesome mendacity, even by your truly Olympian standards!

  13. Are we seeing an Arctic change?

    No, like the alarmists, you’re just jumping at every tiny squiggle.

      • When you’re talking about year to year changes, yes, just squiggles. It’s pretty meaningless.

    • But Jeff, this article is not about the year to year changes that has been. Read again.
      Its about massive change in summer trends which might impact the future, no more no less.

  14. Patrick B writes:

    ” Let’s assume their [DMI] numbers may have a margin of error of +/- 15% – does any of your analysis survive?”

    Oh yes.

    As stated in the article, 2014 and 2016 show a gain in ice volume anomaly of approx 2.500.000 km3 over melt period. This is stunning and new.

    Older years mostly showed decline in anomaly over that period, but the “record” ice gain anomaly before 2013 over the melt period is approx 500.000 km3.

    Thus 2014 and 2016 have 5 0 0 % more ice gain than “record level” in the years before 2013.

    2013 has 3 0 0 % “record levels” before 2013.

    So you must REALLY think DMI data stink if you just ignore this huge new trend of ice volume anomaly in melt season. I think you should read the article one more time carefully.

  15. PS to Jeff and Patrick,

    The different behaviour of ice volume during melt season for 2013, 2014 and 2016 is obviously quite different from the other years since, you should be able to see this:

    Not a “squiggle”, not a few % different during melt season.

    • Keep up the good work Frank.

      And don’t let the b&stards grind you down.

      Because if you try to do any research that goes against “the cause”, there are plenty who will try, in at least one case their income depends on it.

  16. Really, the ice is in as bad shape, if not worse shape, than any time since 2006, even if extent won’t hit 2012 levels.

    The extent is only holding up really as so much ice has broken up, giving large patches a little above the 15% mark…

    Just look at this and tell me its recovering:

    http://www.iup.uni-bremen.de:8084/amsr2/

    • Griff, we all know that the ice in the period 2007 – today is in lower leve´ls, this it not the point of this article.

      The point is, that suddenly the summer-period is very much capable of gaining sea ice volume anomaly dramatically more than earlier. Since the summer melt removes two thirds of the ice in two months, any change in the summer melt period is very interesting indeed (!)

      This article show a new capabillity of summers to gain ice anomaly that gives a much more positive outlook for the future ice conditions in the Arctic.

      Alone this year, this new summer pattern changed 2016 from record low levels of ice volume to a situation now where ice volume is right on the NORM for 2003 – 2016. This is truly extraordinary, you should realise this.

      In far most years before 2013, the melt period reduced the ice anomaly, so something has definitely changed.

      If you are not convinced, ok: If this new summer tendency continues, you will see how it can change the whole developlment of ice volume and extent in just one or two years from now.
      In combination with La Nina, Solar low activities, i think many will be surpriced of the ice development within just a year or two. Articles may show up with “explanations…”

      If this summer tendency goes on, it might very well be a game changer, but future will tell for sure. At least, if summers now start to build up ice anomaly, harldy any more record lows will be seen in september.

    • And yet the Naughtyboat is at anchor blocked by all the sea ice which has closed the northeast passage to regular ships with only ice breaker assisted conveys getting through. Griff you are unbelievably naive.

  17. Here’s an account of the latest research, covering all historical records of sea ice extent in the arctic:
    https://www.carbonbrief.org/guest-post-piecing-together-arctic-sea-ice-history-1850

    It concludes:

    “Most fundamentally of all, the new dataset allows us to answer the three questions we posed at the beginning of this article.

    First, there is no point in the past 150 years where sea ice extent is as small as it has been in recent years. Second, the rate of sea ice retreat in recent years is also unprecedented in the historical record. And, third, the natural fluctuations in sea ice over multiple decades are generally smaller than the year-to-year variability.”

    there’s a chart showing just how much lower ice is now than 1920s-1940s….

    • And, again, the question needs to be asked: So what? At minimum sea ice extents in September, the Arctic Ocean is losing more heat from the newly exposed arctic ocean than it receives from the sun.

      From 1 September to 24 March, the Arctic sea ice does not receive enough sunlight energy to warm it at all, and continues to lose more energy from the exposed open ocean to the atmosphere and then to space.

      So, April-August, the Arctic ocean “might” warm due to exposed waters. But even that has not happened: The daily DMI 80 north forecast for the summer months has not increased between 1959 and today. Obviously the actual arctic air has NOT heated up – you know, up north where the arctic sea ice is actually present?

    • GRIFF,

      Your point that recent years show low levels of ice extent etc. has nothing to do with this article, which you may know.
      -> This article points out that the important melt season suddenly show a capabilityfrom 2013 to gain ice volume anomaly with up to 500 % as much as highest level before 2013.

      This is a completely valid and relevant point.

      On top of this, your irrelevant claim that:
      “there is no point in the past 150 years where sea ice extent is as small as it has been in recent years”

      .. is not even that true. Below, DMI ice map August 1938 versus NRL prognosis for 15 August 2016:

      1938 is not likely the year with lowest ice area in the Acrtic, the years around 1940 were even lower, but no DMI map exist for these years. [DMI map 1938 and most years show no data for Canadian side]

      But Griff (!!!!) please stick to the topic.
      The melt season takes out 2/3 of the Arctic ice in around 2 months, and therefore any change in these months can have very large effect in the next few years. Do you have any reflection about this, the core message of the article or are you here for another reason?

  18. Griff you link :
    https://www.carbonbrief.org/guest-post-piecing-together-arctic-sea-ice-history-1850

    is not honest and correct.

    They are clearly aware of the DMI maps, then show 1926 where they show a lot of ice but not the 1930´ies with a steep decline in ice !!

    Buh, i hate lies.

    1938 vs. 2016:

    An here in the DMi 1914, notice they have drawn the SEPTEMBER 1913 line! A lot of open sea even back in cold 1913.

    here is the ice decline in the 1930´ies:

    GRIFF!
    Your link show a completely flat line in graf of ice 1920-50 for example, no dive 1925-40.
    Its completely not honest your link, please keep such far away from truth seeking sites like WUWT.

  19. Griff linked to a new analysis of sea ice area since 1850:

    https://www.carbonbrief.org/guest-post-piecing-together-arctic-sea-ice-history-1850

    In general the issue is that older ice areas are set higher than original documentation justify.

    On example, 1938 vs. 1984. These years are show as having approximately the same ice area, with 1938 having a little MORE ice than 1984…

    And then below, DMi 1938 August vs. 15 August 1984 from Chryosphere:

    What are the odds that this NSIDC “analysis” is correct, that there were more ice in 1938 than in 1984?

    0.0000001 % ?

    • A lot better odds than you’re being right! Try drawing some circles around the regions where 38 has more ice than 84, e.g. E Greenland, Svalbard, N Canadian shoreline, Bering sea etc.

      • Phil, there are NO data from DMI on the Canadian side (!) data are marked red dots etc.

        We can only make a comparison on the Russian side. So all we can see is that on the Russian side there were much more ice in 1984 than 1938 .

      • Phil,

        DMI has no data on the Canada/Alaska side of the Arctic ocean , ONLY Russian side comparison is valid (!)
        It has been mentioned more times above.

      • Phil,

        DMI 1938 have no data on the Canada / Alaska side, therefore ONLY a comparison DMI 1938 vs. CryosphereToday 1984 of the Russian side is valid.

      • I won’t reply in triplicate but there are data from DMI for East Greenland, Bering Sea and Svalbard which you ignore. Also NSIDC considered data from the Canadian side too unlike you so I consider their analysis has a much better chance of being accurate than yours. You may want to consider why DMI didn’t have data from the Canadian coastline in 38 when they did have it for the 20s. Larsen captained the St Roch in the NW Passage throughout the 30s and had plenty of data on the state of the ice, you should try reading his autobiography: Henry Larsen, The Big Ship (1967).

      • Phil writes about the 1938 DMI vs. 1984 Cryosphere comparison:
        “You may want to consider why DMI didn’t have data from the Canadian coastline in 38 when they did have it for the 20s…”

        Why that is – its not essential (obviously).

        So :
        1) DMI did not have data from the middle of the Bering strait all the way along the Canadian shore lines 1938. Therefore we cannot make comparisons there. (For the same reason, nor can we for the NE corner of Greenland).
        2) Even so, the Cryosphere 1984 data obviously show that the Alaska/Canada shore was quite filled up with ice, hard to see how you can be “sure” that this area there would have been more ice in 1938 if data was available.

        You then mention the Bering strait: First, if you take a close look you will see that actual data 1938 is in fact only near the Russian shore. There is no DMI data 1938 in the bulk of the Bering Strait to allow for your comparison. Second, the ice that DMI do show near Bering is red empty circles. This means “Open Ice”, which is the lowest concentration on the DMI scala. Then you mention Svalbard: Again, the few spots of ice on DMI 1938 are just “Open Ice”, and if there is still a little more ice there in 1938 than 1984 it is indeed a small quantity.

        So bottom line: In the majority of areas were data actually allow for 1938/1984 comparison, the 1938 do show less ice than in 1984.

        You did spot that the Russian side show MASSIVELY more ice in 1984 than in 1938 , right (!?!)
        So this confidence you somehow have that there was probably more ice in 1938 than in 1984 sounds a little wishful to me.

  20. Phil, as mentioned 3-4 times in this debate, DMI have no data on the Canada/Alaska side og the Arctic Ocean and thus:

    -> you can ONLY make a comparison of the DMI 1938 vs. Chryosphere 1984 on the Russian side!

    • Which is why I back NSIDC over you because you have so little data to compare whereas they use data from other sources for the regions you miss. Also your map clips off the DMI data from the Greenland coast so the large amount of ice opposite Iceland is omitted by you.

  21. Phil, I really try to give you the benefit of the doubt and give you a chance to prove your point.

    I asked you for the original maps that are basis for your argumentation that 1938 had more ice than 1984 even though original maps DMI 1938 / Cryosphere 1984 obviously show otherwise in MOST of the areas where you can compare.

    You then DONT give me links to any specific maps, you give me a link to the general grid product for NSIDC, is this a joke?

    How come you dont show me original documentation for all the areas you claim had more ice in 1938 than 1984 ?

    You really dont have any original maps to show to support your claim, but pretend you do? So your argument is:
    “I just trust NSIDC without any documentation, you skeptics should so so too, and stop checking things out” ?

    AT LEAST you should be honest about it if you dont have any specific maps supporting your Alaska, Bering And Canada Claims.

    If one then proceed from your link, these are the databases that NSIDC is supposed to be based on:

    Arctic Sea Ice Charts from Danish Meteorological Institute, 1893 – 1956
    Arctic Sea Ice Concentration and Extent from Danish Meteorological Institute Sea Ice Charts, 1901-1956
    Arctic and Southern Ocean Sea Ice Concentrations
    The Dehn Collection of Arctic Sea Ice Charts, 1953-1986
    National Ice Center Arctic Sea Ice Charts and Climatologies in Gridded Format
    Sea Ice Charts of the Russian Arctic in Gridded Format, 1933-2006
    NOAA/NSIDC Climate Data Record of Passive Microwave Sea Ice Concentration, Version 2

    Phil, DMI overall show more ice in 1984 than 1938 if you are objective. And this is mainly based on Russia data, correct. So :
    -> what do NSIDC have from 1938 not DMI/Russia that the National Ice Center gridded Sea Ice Charts can be based on?

    i see potentially this link only:
    Arctic and Southern Ocean Sea Ice Concentrations

    Is this the source of maps that finally support your claims that there are more ice in 1938 than 1984 in the Bering Strait, Alaska and Canadian Arctic. Or do you in fact have nothing to support this claim?

    Show me the maps with more ice in 1938 than 1984 in Bergin, Alaska and Canada or else, dont claim you know something relevant.

    • LansnerFrank August 16, 2016 at 12:58 pm
      Phil, I really try to give you the benefit of the doubt and give you a chance to prove your point.

      I asked you for the original maps that are basis for your argumentation that 1938 had more ice than 1984 even though original maps DMI 1938 / Cryosphere 1984 obviously show otherwise in MOST of the areas where you can compare.

      You then DONT give me links to any specific maps, you give me a link to the general grid product for NSIDC, is this a joke?

      You asked for data so I linked to it.

      You made the claim that “the odds that this NSIDC “analysis” is correct, that there were more ice in 1938 than in 1984?”
      were
      “0.0000001 % ?”

      I said that I felt the NSIDC analysis was more likely to be correct since it combined data from a variety of sources, not just DMI maps. You confirmed this by repetitively pointing out that “you can ONLY make a comparison of the DMI 1938 vs. Chryosphere 1984 on the Russian side!”

      How come you dont show me original documentation for all the areas you claim had more ice in 1938 than 1984 ?

      You really dont have any original maps to show to support your claim, but pretend you do? So your argument is:
      “I just trust NSIDC without any documentation, you skeptics should so so too, and stop checking things out” ?

      Your own documentation shows areas where 1938 sea ice exceeds that from 1984 but you ignore it, or in one case actually clip it from your map (large body of ice adjacent to Iceland).
      The NSIDC analysis is described in:
      Walsh, J. E., Fetterer, F., Stewart, J. S. and Chapman, W. L. (2016) A database for depicting Arctic sea ice variations back to 1850. Geographical Review, doi:10.1111/j.1931-0846.2016.12195.x

      and the data is available in the link I gave.

  22. Phil,
    fine , you gave a link to show original documentation that there is more ice 1938 than in 1984, sad you cant take the time to show the specific documentation from your own link. Too busy? Next year maybe?

    As long as you dont bring any specific documentation we can look at, we can evaluate the 1938 vs 1984 only on my documentation, its that simple.

    Here i have approx shown where 1938 has more ice than 1984 (red) and where 1938 has less ice than 1984 (blue).

    From this we can see:

    * Somewhat more blue than red ares *
    That is, more ice in 1984 than 1938.

    On top of this!

    Cryosphere show NOTHING less that 30%, which is not the case for DMI. DMI show simply where ice has been spotted at all, so perhaps down to just maybe 1 – 5 %.
    Thus , (1984) Cryosphere – in comparison with (1938) DMI – generally UNDERestimates the ice area along the whole ice line. Thus the extra ice in 1984 in comparison with 1938 is underestimated.

    And..
    Almost ALL “red” areas , where DMI show more ice than Cryosphere has OOO signature, for “OPEN ICE”.
    This can be from 1% , so in all these areas we dont know if cryosphere in fact also have 5-10-25 % ice.

    I will remind all that areas with just white on DMI maps has no data, incl Canada, Alaska, Bering etc.

    So in short:
    — > The maps show somewhat more ice in 1938 than 1984, and on top of this, the areas of more ice in 1938 than 1984 are too large because cryosphere 1984 dont show areas with concentration 1 – 29 %.

    – * –

    Then a little thing, the spot in NE Greenland that is without ice in Cryosphere 1984 illustration:
    This area is not at all without ice in the NASA Earth Science 14 sep 1984 illustration, nor is most of East Greenland coast. i dont know if this points to an error in 1984, but its just meant as a little note here:

    • LansnerFrank August 19, 2016 at 10:50 am
      Phil,
      fine , you gave a link to show original documentation that there is more ice 1938 than in 1984, sad you cant take the time to show the specific documentation from your own link. Too busy? Next year maybe?

      I gave you the link to the paper and to the data file, isn’t that enough?

      As long as you dont bring any specific documentation we can look at, we can evaluate the 1938 vs 1984 only on my documentation, its that simple.

      Except as both you and I have pointed out your documentation only covers less than half the ice edge!

      Here i have approx shown where 1938 has more ice than 1984 (red) and where 1938 has less ice than 1984 (blue).

      From this we can see:

      * Somewhat more blue than red ares *
      That is, more ice in 1984 than 1938.

      For those parts for which you have data, when NSIDC did their analysis they were using more sources which allowed them better coverage.

      Cryosphere show NOTHING less that 30%, which is not the case for DMI. DMI show simply where ice has been spotted at all, so perhaps down to just maybe 1 – 5 %.
      Thus , (1984) Cryosphere – in comparison with (1938) DMI – generally UNDERestimates the ice area along the whole ice line. Thus the extra ice in 1984 in comparison with 1938 is underestimated.

      And..
      Almost ALL “red” areas , where DMI show more ice than Cryosphere has OOO signature, for “OPEN ICE”.
      This can be from 1% , so in all these areas we dont know if cryosphere in fact also have 5-10-25 % ice.

      No the ‘Open Ice’ in the DMI charts represents 40-60% ice coverage, the ‘Tight Ice’ represents 70-90%, ‘Young Ice & Brash’ is 10-30%.

  23. Phil writes:

    “I gave you the link to the paper and to the data file, isn’t that enough?”

    No.

    If you still cant come up with the exact original documents/Maps from 1938/39 supposed to be somewhere behind your link confirming your claim that there were more ice in1938 than 1984, for example near Canada, Alaska and Bering as you claim, you cannot expect to be taken serious.

    I cannot find your % vals in the original DMI document “Isforholdende i de Arktiske have”, please document these as well.

    Summa: In the areas where we can make comparison of 1938 vs. 1984, still 1938 appear to have less ice than 1984.

    If you or anyone else have specific original documents from1938/39 showing something else you are still wellcome to share this with us.

  24. In addition , Phil, if both you and I cant find any specific original documentation in the NSIDC data-foundation that actually show more ice in 1938 than for example Cryosphere show for 1984, then this is important.

    Because:
    If there is no such documentation to be found in your NSIDC-link, then there is no foundation for NSIDC to claim that there is more ice in 1938 than 1984. Then there is something wrong with the NSIDC representation of sea ice area through time. And this give basis for yet another writing maybe here at WUWT.
    And thank you for helping making this NSIDC issue visible.

    You are still welcome to show what documentation you think support your claim of more ice in 1938 than 1984.

  25. Phil,
    an important side note, you write
    “the ‘Open Ice’ in the DMI charts represents 40-60% ice coverage, the ‘Tight Ice’ represents 70-90%, ‘Young Ice & Brash’ is 10-30%.”

    Its plain wrong.
    The signature with text “YOUNG ice & brash” refers to YOUNG ice creations only , NEW ice .

    If you doubt me, then go through ALL DMI´s August ice graphics and you will see that this signature for YOUNG (new) ice, you cannot find in their August graphics, simply because no new ice forms there (or very rarely do so).

    So your %-values are wrong. For “not-young” ice (as we have in August) there is no signature with less concentration than “open ice”. So it starts from just visible ice, a few %, to maybe 50-60%. Thus, when Cryosphere do not show less than 30%, then Cryosphere are not showing the “Open ice” 1 – 29% .

    You can also see, that in DMI from 1952, the very same signature earlier labelled as “YOUNG ice&brash”, is now only labelled as “Young Ice”.

    IF you claim otherwise, DO DOCUMENT IT THIS TIME !

  26. Look at the data today and yoou see that Frank’s graphs have no relevance at all.
    Like this “StevenGoddard” who lost his bet in August 2012. Did he ever pay?

  27. MFKBoulder
    “Look at the data today and yoou see that Frank’s graphs have no relevance at all.”

    I show that the mechanisms during summer melt has changed dramatically.
    (What happens in other periods – f.example now after a massive Arctic August storm – is also interesting. But is a little besides the point).

    Before 2013 , in average each summer we lost around 500 km3 ice anomaly since 2003.
    2013-2016 show summer accumulation in anomaly of around 2000 km3 per year.

    A truly dramatic change in summer melt is not interesting for people that don’t understand science.

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