NSIDC: 2016 ties with 2007 for second lowest Arctic sea ice minimum

Arctic sea ice concentration

This image shows a view of the Arctic on September 10, 2016 when sea ice extent was at 4.14 million square kilometers (1.60 million square miles). The orange line shows the 1981 to 2010 average extent for that day. The black cross indicates the geographic North Pole. Sea Ice Index data. About the data. Credit—NSIDC/NASA Earth Observatory. Click image for High-resolution image

As WUWT first reported yesterday, Arctic sea ice has reached the minimum and turned the corner. This press release from NSIDC today updates the date and minimum extent value.

BOULDER, Colo.—The Arctic’s ice cover appears to have reached its minimum extent on September 10, 2016, according to scientists at the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC). Arctic sea ice extent on that day stood at 4.14 million square kilometers (1.60 million square miles), statistically tied at second lowest in the satellite record with the 2007 minimum. The 2007 minimum occurred on September 18 of that year, when Arctic sea ice extent stood at 4.15 million square kilometers (1.60 million square miles).

“It was a stormy, cloudy, and fairly cool summer,” said NSIDC director Mark Serreze. “Historically, such weather conditions slow down the summer ice loss, but we still got down to essentially a tie for second lowest in the satellite record.”

“It really suggests that in the next few years, with more typical warmer conditions, we will see some very dramatic further losses,” said Ted Scambos, NSIDC lead scientist.

Arctic sea ice cover grows each autumn and winter, and shrinks each spring and  summer. Each year, the Arctic sea ice reaches its minimum extent in September. The record lowest extent in the 37-year satellite record occurred on September 17, 2012 when sea ice extent fell to 3.39 million square kilometers (1.31 million square miles).

During the first ten days of September this year, the Arctic lost ice at a faster than average rate.  On average, the Arctic lost 34,100 square kilometers (13,200 square miles) per day compared to the 1981 to 2010 long-term average of 21,000 square kilometers (8,100 square miles) per day. The early September rate of decline also greatly exceeded the rate observed for the same period during  the record low year of 2012 (19,000 square kilometers, or 7,340 square miles, per day). By September, the air is cooling and there is little surface melt. This argues that that the fairly rapid early September ice loss was due to extra heat in the upper ocean. Recent ice loss was most pronounced in the Chukchi Sea, northwest of Alaska. NSIDC scientists said ice may also relate to the impact of two strong storms that passed through the region during August.

“This has been an exciting year with several record low extents reached during winter and early summer but thanks to a colder than average summer, more ice remained than at the end of 2012,” said Julienne Stroeve, NSIDC senior scientist. NSIDC scientists said there was a lot of thin ice at the beginning of the melt season, because thinner ice does not take as much energy to melt away, this may have also contributed to this year’s low minimum extent.

Sea ice extent animation

This animation above shows Arctic sea ice extent from 1979 through September 13, 2016. The black line is the 1981 to 2010 average, and the gray band around it shows ± 2 standard deviations for the same period. Yearly extents are color-coded by decade: 1979 to 1989 (green), 1990s (blue-purple), 2000s (blue), and 2010s (pink). This animation is adapted from NSIDC’s Charctic interactive sea ice graph.

Please note that the Arctic sea ice extent number for 2016 is preliminary—changing winds could still push the ice extent lower. NSIDC will issue a formal announcement at the beginning of October with full analysis of the possible causes behind this year’s ice conditions, particularly interesting aspects of the melt season, the set up going into the winter growth season ahead, and graphics comparing this year to the long-term record.

See the full analysis at NSIDC’s Arctic Sea Ice News and Analysis page.

See the NASA press release.

The National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) is part of the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences at the University of Colorado Boulder. NSIDC scientists provide Arctic Sea Ice News & Analysis content, with partial support from NASA.

Sea ice extent animationThis animation shows Arctic sea ice extent from 1979 through September 13, 2016. The black line is the 1981 to 2010 average, and the gray band around it shows ± 2 standard deviations for the same period. Yearly extents are color-coded by decade: 1979 to 1989 (green), 1990s (blue-purple), 2000s (blue), and 2010s (pink). This animation is adapted from NSIDC’s Charcticinteractive sea ice graph.

UPDATE: Paul Homewood passes these point on via email:
  • Earliest minimum since 1997 – shows how cold it is there
  • This year extent was 22% above 2012, despite two massive storms
  • Thickness is way up on 2010 and 2011
  • Already extent is above 2007, as well as 2012, for this date
  • We are looking at one of the fastest ice growths in September on record


212 thoughts on “NSIDC: 2016 ties with 2007 for second lowest Arctic sea ice minimum

  1. If Arctic sea ice were a market, this record would look like a triple bottom, ie a long buying opportunity to a chartist.
    If the record is to be believed.

      • Mark Serreze. “Historically, such weather conditions slow down the summer ice loss, but we still got down to essentially a tie for second lowest in the satellite record.”
        So after 9 years we have the same summer minimum. Hardly a death spiral is it?

      • Until it reverses.
        IMO 2012 was an excursion unlikely to be repeated, but even if so due to another similar storm, the trend has reversed.
        As I commented previously, the three-year average of 2010-2012 was lower than 2007-09, but 2013-15 was higher than both prior triennial intervals. The current one, 2016-18 has started off low, as with 2007-09, but IMO will end up between that period and 2013-15, thanks to two non-record years to come.
        We’ll see. But if my forecast should prove correct, then indeed the worm has turned.

      • A linear trend is bullshit in anything but a trivial linear system. That is what the mentally challenged pseudo-scientists in climatology fail to realise.
        Just because you load any set of data into excel and fit a “trend” does not mean a trend has any physical meaning or reveals any understanding of what is happening.
        It is an arbitrary model.

      • Greg,
        “Just because you load any set of data into excel and fit a “trend” does not mean a trend has any physical meaning or reveals any understanding of what is happening.”
        The linear trend is a property of the values in a series. If the series in question concerns a physical system then of course the linear trend has a physical meaning.

      • A linear trend is bullshit in anything but a trivial linear system.

        Absolutely the linear trend is only meaningful if the system obeys linear physics. Which we can say for sure is not generally true here. But does it matter if the trend is precisely linear if it looks like one? We shall see what happens.

      • Hugs
        “…the linear trend is only meaningful if the system obeys linear physics.”
        Linear trends aren’t exclusive to physical systems. They’re used in many non-physical data series too, such as in economics.
        A linear trend just tells you the direction of travel in a data set, if there is one. In the case of Arctic sea ice extent, the linear trend indicates that the data, i.e. time series measurements of Arctic sea ice extent, shows a distinct reduction over time.
        The linear trend doesn’t suggest a physical mechanism, but the decline it shows is real enough.

      • Gabro, the “trend is your friend” comment referred back to your triple bottom for technical stock traders. Stock trends are ruled by emotions, greed and fear. I am fully aware that sea ice is not.

      • Tom,
        I know you referred specifically to markets. However, trend reversals aren’t ruled just by fear and greed, but also by underlying fundamentals, which are subject to change for good economic reasons, not just emotion.
        There are also good reasons to predict that Arctic sea ice will start growing again, as we’re well past the middle of the c. 60 year cycle. Indeed, it arguably has already started waxing. Unless there’s a quadruple bottom and the 2012 low gets taken out, the trend is liable to up from there.

      • Richard,
        From your link on the Russian Northern Sea Route, the main portion of the NE Passage, 1941-45:
        “During the war lend-lease vessels, including liberty ships handed over to the Russians, made 120 voyages with cargoes from the American west coast via the Bering Strait to northern ports. Information is scarce about these extraordinary voyages by relatively thin-skinned ships, the largest to use the sea route up to that time.”

      • A linear trend just tells you the direction of travel in a data set,

        Xist, guy, you really rule me.
        Of course the fracking trend tells the direction, but if the physics does not follow linear development, it will be a damn bad prediction for future.
        Put it blunt, the long term trend will not be linear with current SDs for 100 years. You can, of course, draw a meaningless linear trend to any data set.

      • Yes.
        NOAA is not to be trusted, neither its “data” nor analysis thereof.
        Storminess for instance can make for lower ice extent, contrary to the spin in the report.

      • Julienne Stroeve, NSIDC senior scientist:

        “This has been an exciting year with several record low extents reached during winter and early summer but

        This quotation totally reveals their biased, warmist mindset. Strong ice loss is somehow “exciting” , they love it, anything going the other way is disappointing and starts with a “but …”
        As has often been remarked, though they claim to believe that all this “climate change/disruption/weirdness” is the biggest problem facing humidity they are cheering it on.
        We also note that the alarmists at U. Illinois’ Cryosphere Today has not even bothered calibrating to a new satellite. Since the failure in February they have been producing garbage data.
        They have long lost interest since “run away” melting of 1997-2007 has backed off. They don’t even want to show us what is happening any more.

      • Even the historical data now collected back to 1850, using all sources, cold war submarines, soviet sources, whaling ships?
        The historical data which shows that there wasn’t a lower level of ice in the 1920s through 1940s?

      • Does the average reader know that the word stormy in this case implies low sea ice extent but that is not how the statement from the Director is being used. You can fool most of the people all of the time.

      • In science a fact is an observation, so unless you have an Arctic Chrystal (Serenity) ball, your statement is an opinion not a fact.
        It’s unknown if the world will warm more in the near future and if Arctic ice will melt more.
        In any case, small changes in global average air temperature obviously doesn’t affect sea ice much, since the Antarctic has gained while the Arctic lost. Both are natural cyclic fluctuations. One more molecule of CO2 in 10,000 dry air molecules has little to do with them.

      • When you say that my statement is an opinion : do you speak about the melting process ?
        “One more molecule of CO2 in 10,000 dry air molecules has little to do with them”
        I really like that one. That’s a great scientific claims : you tell me that all type of molecules are the same….

      • Ton,
        Your prognostication that sea ice will keep decreasing is an opinion, presumably based on nothing more than extrapolation. The trend is your friend, until it isn’t any more.
        We have millennia of data demonstrating the fact that, just in the Holocene alone, sea ice has fluctuated far more than “observed” since 1979. What goes down, must go up. Sooner or later. And sea ice follows the same ~60-year cycle as the ocean oscillations. If you wanted to be scientific, you’d wait for at least that long before making not just a prediction but asserting a certainty that isn’t in evidence.

      • Ton,
        Far and away the most important GHG is water vapor, the molecules of which aren’t counted in the dry air assay. But it swamps CO2. Over most of our planet, H20 molecules outnumber CO2 by a factor of 100 in the atmosphere, ie in the tropics and temperate zones. Only under the coldest and driest conditions, ie polar deserts on winter nights, when it’s going to be far below freezing no matter what, does CO2 concentration fall to the same order of magnitude level as H2O. And outside the troposphere.
        In the moist tropics, water vapor runs around 40,000 ppm vs. CO2 at 400 ppm (400 H2O molecules per 10,000 of dry air vs. four CO2).

      • It’s not based on nothing : OHU is increasing, CO2 is increasing and will keep increasing, which means that climate system is not in equilibrium and won’t be in equilibrium in the future. So the climate system has to warm. So “If Arctic sea ice were a market”, you should sell all what you have over the coming years…

      • Ton,
        You make the mistake of imagining that rising CO2 causes sea ice to melt. It clearly doesn’t, or at best has a negligible effect. If it did matter, then the Antarctic would also be losing instead of gaining since 1979.
        Arctic sea ice grew from the late ’40s to 1979 under steadily rising CO2. Powerful natural cycles rule, not man-made CO2. Chief among these are oceanic oscillations. In 1977 the PDO flipped strongly and the late 20th century warming started. Same as happened in the early 20th century, mid-19th century and early 19th century, plus in between.
        Your assumption is totally unwarranted by all available evidence.

      • Rising CO2 make the climate sytem warm, and in particular in the Arctic. Warming make ice melting.
        Yeah, that’s why we reglaciate every time CO2 is at its highest.

      • “It’s because when it’s warm, ice melts…”
        “A new NASA study says that an increase in Antarctic snow accumulation that began 10,000 years ago is currently adding enough ice to the continent to outweigh the increased losses from its thinning glaciers.”
        When it’s warm, there is precipitation and snow falls on Antarctica. Seasonally, when it warms ice melts until next Winter.

      • toncul, why don’t you start being honest – with yourself, and with us. I love it when someone gives themselves away with their own words:
        “Rising CO2 make the climate system warm, and in particular in the Arctic.”
        No, you know full well that isn’t what was said when predictions were made way back when. The phrase was:
        ‘Rising CO2 make the climate system warm, and in particular at the poles.’
        But of course, you can’t say that, can you? So you changed it to the ‘Arctic’. Observation isn’t following expectation and prediction, toncul, and that must really, really hurt. The fact that the Antarctic has cooled, if anything, really grinds, doesn’t it? Can you just answer me a question? If Arctic ice now starts to recover over the coming decade, what will you say then?

      • So warming actually causes more sea ice, clearly contradicting the( unconditional ) assertion that it causes melting.
        Mon cul, Tonsul.

      • bazzer1959
        Away from equilibrium, the largest warming is at north pole, without any comparison. Warming in southern ocean is small because that’s the region where transfer of energy to deeper ocean is the most efficient.
        Glaciations are triggered by variations in earth’s orbit (Milankovitch cycles)
        “Now you need to show this warming you talk so much about.”
        There are many surface temperature data set that you can look at.

    • Personally, I’m not going to be impressed until the crocodilians return, so Hollywood can make the movie, Alligators vs Polar Bears. With the additional suspense-kicker, great white sharks patrolling the shoreline.bigger-than-Jaws

    • “If the record is to be believed.”
      yes we did land on the moon.
      Ya know you can actually get the source data files for the Satellites and compute it yourself..
      And you can actually get the raw sensor bits if you want to be a real skeptic as opposed to a dog whistling pseudo skeptic.
      yes, the ice is shrinking, consistent with a warmer world.. Go figure!! the same thing happened in holocene when it was warm.. go figure a warmer world tends to reduce the ice cover in the arctic..
      Who would have thought THAT!
      Will the shrinking be Monotonic? nope..
      Even willis recognizes that the Null hypothesis is threatened by what we see in the ice.
      Arctic sea ice shows behavior that challenges the null
      Start here… read it all. the null is busted..
      Willis on the Null
      “The oddity about the data is what happens after 2007. Suddenly, there is a strong annual signal. I have put in vertical black lines to highlight this signal. The vertical lines show the end of September of each year. Before 2007, there is only a small variation in the data, and it does not have an annual signal. After 2007, the variation gets large, and there is a clear annual aspect to the signal. The area in September (the time of minimum ice) is smaller than we would expect. And the area in March (the time of maximum ice) is larger than we would expect.”
      As I point out this challenges the null
      Willis agrees
      And then he tries to blame it on a software change.. But gets the wrong satellite
      I point out that the data is the data and the null is busted.. but people are free to
      speculate that it could be something else.
      Then.. willis points to a software change on the wrong satellite
      And finally there is a promise to write and see if there is any evidence of a software change
      Let’s wrap this up in a nutshell. Willis observed a phenomena in the ice area that challenges the Null. I pointed that out. He accepted that it would challenge the null. that is what the data shows.
      he then suspected the sensor software. With no evidence of a software change ( These are put in notes for researchers) he tries to reject the data. It’s now been two years. And still no reply. The record stands. The data show a rejection of the null. Speculations about changes to software have not been confirmed. There is no record of a software change in advisories that PIs routinely post about their data products. There is no follow up on the letter to the PI.
      The data stands. The null is busted. The null is busted until you or somebody else proves that the data is an artifact. Arm waving doesnt make data disappear.

      • Mosh quoting Willis:

        “The oddity about the data is what happens after 2007. Suddenly, there is a strong annual signal. I have put in vertical black lines to highlight this signal.

        What Willis seems to have failed to notice and Mosh continues to fail to notice is that W. was looking at anomaly data
        So all he remarked on was a change in the amplitude of annual variation in 2007. I’m not sure what Null that is supposed to reverse.
        That change means that there is a very fuzzy record since 2007 which makes it hard to visualise what is happening in that recent segment.
        That is why I applied an adaptive anomaly adapts to the changes in the annual cycle.
        Method is described here:
        The rate of decline from 2007-2012 was about half that of the “run away melting ” of 1997 to 2007 and looks like it will be even less in the next segment.

        This is inconsistent with the idea of a dominant positive feedback: ( A tipping vase cannot slow down when it gets to 45 degrees. ) This is NOT a run-away process.

      • One record is correct. Therefore all records are correct.
        Isn’t it cute when a warmista attempts to do logic?

      • Steven and
        Griff September 16, 2016 at 1:02 am,
        Your simple faith in government bureaucrats is touching. Do you feel the same way about economic statistics?
        That NOAA and NASA have systematically wickered the “data” to achieve the desired result is indisputable. Just compare the temperature records for the tridecadal climatic intervals of 1855-84 (warming), 1885-1914 (cooling), 1915-44 (warming comparable to 1975-2004) and 1945-74 (pronounced cooling) NCAR published in the late ’70s with what NOAA tries to pass off on the public now. It’s obvious that the books have been cooked.
        The global cooling scare of the 1970s was based upon those records.

      • Of course, in the 1970s, NOAA was staffed largely by disinterested scientists. Now they’re trough-feeding bureaucrats who know whence come their slops.

      • Steven Mosher:
        From that post you mentioned:
        Here’s what it looks like to me. Before, more random. After, synchronization. Assume warming oceans. At some point the Arctic Ocean gets to work attempting to cool them more than they had been doing before. The sea ice now retreats when it can, during Summer which cools the Arctic Ocean. It still cannot stay open during Winter. Compare this to the temperature at my furnace’s thermostat. During mild Fall it wanders as the furnace is not running. As Winter starts, that temperature synchronizes. It drops until the furnace is commanded to start. It rises until the furnace is commanded to stop. When something is needed, in this case warmth, synchronization. Same pattern as in the sea ice plot. Synchronization might be described as a lot of similar things doing the same thing at the same time. The emergence of consistent melting followed by consistent freezing is this. Without synchronization, we’d have the more random prior data.

      • Some people still remember how badly you felt when in 2014 the Antarctic sea ice extent set a new all time satellite era record. So badly that you started blaming the sensors or the algorithms that process the data.
        So, when you like the data, it is all fine, but if you do not like the data, like when the Antarctic sea ice extent was broken two years ago, then you blame the algorithms.
        If the data shows that the Arctic sea ice is decreasing the data is the data, but when the Antarctic sea ice extent is growing then it must be an artifact or the algorithm is faulty or something. Funny how some people think that the satellite only gives faulty data when it is over the South pole, but it is OK when it reads Arctic ice.

      • Mosh
        What null hypothesis?
        You openly deny Karl Popper’s assertion that science should be deductive, not inductive. Of course you have to, since warmingology is inductive on steroids.
        No Popper means no Null.
        So WTF are you talking about?!
        Why would an atheist count angels on the head of a pin?

    • Indeed, Paul. This is yet more propaganda: a cherry-picked period without any context.
      Why did he not also select another period where the rate was slower than average? Because he’s not objective and is playing alarmist politics, not science.
      There is considerable short term ( weekly ) variability in the record, so there will always be periods which are both greater and less than than the 35 average. This tells us absolutely nothing other than the fact the cycle is not identical each year and contains significant short term variability.
      These guys are career “scientists” so they can not pretend that this is subtlety that they do not understand. They are being deliberately misleading.

  2. Storminess caused ice loss in 2012 and in 2016. So now Serreze says lack of storminess will make it worse. Serreze confuses storms with clouds. It can definitely be cloudy without being stormy in the Arctic. Of course, he is an ice climatologist and not a meteorologist. I bet he is dead wrong over the next 4 years. Arctic has begun a cyclic summer ice recovery. Essay Northwest Passage provides supporting observational details.

    • That storminess spread the ice out so that the above 15% level was reduced,
      but that will mean it re-freezes quicker.
      It could be quite interesting to see the level in a few weeks time.

      • Yup. From what I have read, it is much easier for ice to form from preexisting sea ice than from just sea water. Nucleation, brine exudation, and all that related physical chemistry stuff. And 2016 differs from 2012 in a significant way. The 2012 cyclone drove ice out of the Fram Strait so it melted. The 2016 series of storms did not, just chewed it up into bits exposing more water to release heat.

      • more ice…makes more ice….faster
        There’s a lot of old ice there this year
        Area, extent are garbage when you’re talking about how much ice……volume is how much ice

    • These aren’t inspirational scientists. Real scientists will be thrilled to get to observe fantastic proliferations of tropical species in the mid-latitudes and major exploding of mid-latitude life-forms in the boreal and arctic regions.
      My best high school friend just called and informed me about the current Big Sur fire. Apparently caused by a campfire. It was closed to campfires We used to backpack in the Los Padres National Forest and the Sierras. We made campfires in July and August. Never came close to igniting the forest. Smokey the Bear used to advise (along with the BSA), thoroughly wet your embers, stir completely to create mud, until there was no steam emitted.
      Now, the rules are, NO FIRES when the fire-risk is above Medium.. Why? Because suburban and urban raised people today are stupid.

    • ristvan – Thanks for picking out the “storminess” nonsense, that’s what jumped out for me from the article. I too expect him to be dead wrong. I note also that when he refers to an “exciting year” he seems to be wanting disaster, which to any sane observer is a somewhat unsavoury attitude. [Please note – 1. I don’t think that global warming is a disaster but he belongs to a community that does. 2. “exciting” doesn’t necessarily mean he viewed the situation favourably, but the word is rarely used negatively sans irony/cynicism. If the sentiment was negative then a word like “alarming” would more likely be used.]

  3. Who’d have thought it – low ice in a major El Niño year. What might that average look like had satellites been available in 1965 rather than 1979, the era of the great ice age scare? We don’t yet have enough data to presume a trend, and ice coverage is quite dependent on local weather at the NP. Climate isn’t the only factor. It is also interesting that the rate of change in ice coverage from season to season is largely unchanged over the period of the sat record. Wouldn’t a warming world affect the rate of increase and decline in some noticeable way?

  4. For those that focus on the NH sea ice extent, you will note that the Antarctic starting a rapid decline two days later. The sea ice must be transporting (joke).

    • It arrived in the Arctic two days before it left the Antarctic? I want to know who’s building that transportation system so I can invest in it.

  5. It’s called doubling down on BS. If the warmists can’t read the tea leaves, it’s going to turn colder, it’s not our fault. Now their saying CC is the biggest problem for our military–REALLY. They (warmists) may love tragedy because they embrace it like a cheap lover. But it’s only worth the $6 dollar cover charge……

  6. I think they just make it up as they go along. When Serreze states, “Historically, such weather conditions slow down the summer ice loss, but we still got down to essentially a tie for second lowest in the satellite record,” he sounds like they have a history of a full sixty year cycle. The better satellite records only go back to 1978, which is only 38 of the 60 years.
    In actual fact I think they were seeing things for the first time this summer. But they cannot admit it, for then they might look like they cannot truly differentiate their posterior from their elbow. Pity. They miss the sense of wonder.

  7. Maurice Ewing’s theory was that low Arctic Sea ice cover was a prelude to cooling, due to the ease with which ocean heat transfers to the atmosphere.

    • i agree .anything that ends up in the arctic, be that water or air is only going to get colder. in winter a lot colder.

      • In the next week the sun will set at the North pole for six months, and from that point on, it will get much colder, and do so faster.

  8. What changes? The actual trend since 2006 and been basically zero.
    And before that, well 1979 was an extreme peak probably nearly as high as those of the LIA.
    And we all know that there was a strong cooling trend from the 1940s to the 1970’s
    All part of the NATURAL CYCLE.
    Levels seem to be quite strongly linked to the AMO, so over the next several years we can expect Arctic sea ice levels to start climbing back up.

    • You’re right Phil. I just went to the Sea Ice page to check the extent data, but get file not found for both JAXA and Nansen.

    • Yes, there are a lot of broken links on the sea-ice page unfortunately.
      BTW forget JAXA for long term analyis they changed there processing method just before the annual minimum a couple of years back and caused a step change. They do not apply the same method to all the data. Laughable.
      Maybe someone could find the corrent link for NANSEN data. It seems to be one of a small and dwindling set of usable data.

    • Andy, there’s a five year periodicity in that data. The March max having it’s low year 18mo before the Sept min shows a low.
      On that basis I see this coming March as being notably higher than last March and Sept 2017 being lower than this year.

    • Just for the record..
      I claim a new measurement of Arctic sea ice area.
      1 Wadham = 1 million km²
      This year bottomed out at about 4.3 Wadhams.

  9. These diagram of the NSIDC above are made to frighten the general puplic. And that is the only reason why the ordinate starts with 3 and not with zero. Unluckily, most people will not realize this manipulation…

    • No, that is a perfectly reasonable way to present the data, with similar gap above and below and is probably created automatically by some plotting software to display the active part of the data at the largest scale possible.
      Gnuplot does exactly this unless you instruct it specifically to start at zero. It’s a normal auto-scaling feature.

  10. One thing you need to pay attention to is that the baseline for the graph is at 3 million so that it looks like the ice is about gone while it’s actually not that much different over the recent period.

  11. OK, here we go again:
    Boreal Sea ice conditions mainly but not exclusively influenced by Arctic Oscillation and wind.
    Historically, the Arctic sea ice has been known to fluctuate greatly in extent.
    The Greenland ice sheet is in an accretionary mode.
    Ice free in the Arctic summer? It’ has been speculated to have happened in the done it before but is really unlikely in the near future, despite what Wadhams/Serreze and NSIDC/NOAA/PIK spiel.
    Overall Average sea ice area….. is growing and the Antarctic is still as cold as hell, even in its brief Summer.
    Sea ice is cool but what goes, on the gargantuan Antarctic continental ice cap is really key and oceanic/solar/geothermal-volcanic influence and that ain’t going anywhere soon, and man made CO₂ is the faintest puff on a drop in the ocean.

  12. “It was a stormy, cloudy, and fairly cool summer,” said NSIDC director Mark Serreze. “Historically, such weather conditions slow down the summer ice loss, but we still got down to essentially a tie for second lowest in the satellite record.”
    Thus spoke the “Arctic is Screaming” Serreze.
    So what he’s saying is that ice loss is disconnected from warming, and blows his whole line about “Warming” causing ice loss. Perhaps he’s admitting that there’s so many causes that it looks randon to us mortals – or chaotic if you prefer.

    • “Still we got down to a tie…” Has he forgotten already that 2016 started (and stayed for quite a while) well below the 2012 and 2007 extent and then recovered sufficiently to match 2007? I just love these revisionist history guys, 6 months and they’ve forgotten everything they said

    • “So what he’s saying is that ice loss is disconnected from warming, and blows his whole line about “Warming” causing ice loss.”
      No, he is not saying that at all. He is saying that the ice loss would’ve been worse, if not for the stormy and cloudy weather, which is atypical for that time of year in the Arctic. It is unlikely that those same storms and cloudiness will occur in the coming years, which will mean the rate of ice loss may well accelerate.

  13. We know that temperature data since the 90’s has been
    rolled to create the false impression that every year is the
    hottest ever. There is a cooling on the horizon which is
    evidenced by the melting in the arctic. The earth expels
    it’s heat at the poles and as the oceans give up their heat
    even more ice will melt.

      • Great to see cretins like Monna Manhas display their total ignorance!
        Monna…punctuation is the difference between ‘knowing your shit’ and ‘knowing you’re shit’….I know that will take you some time to figure out…so see you in October!

    • It’s taken as an example of florid writing.

      It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents, except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the housetops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness.

      Terry Pratchett could have taken that paragraph and turned it into an excellent story. The original author Edward George Bulwer-Lytton did not. Thus, there is a prize for bad writing named in his honor.

      • etudiant says (below):
        I am disappointed by the quality of the discussion here.
        Just you wait…
        Here are a few more Bulwer-Lytton entries. (Yell “Uncle!” when you’ve had enough):
        For the first month of Ricardo and Felicity’s affair, they greeted one another at every stolen rendezvous with a kiss — a lengthy, ravenous kiss, Ricardo lapping and sucking at Felicity’s mouth as if she were a giant cage-mounted water bottle and he were the world’s thirstiest gerbil.
        And this year’s sub-category ‘adventure’ winner:
        If it weren’t for the knee-high sewage lapping at his dress pants and the confused terrorist spraying automatic gunfire over his head between loud, emotional outbursts in a language that sounded like someone choking on gravel, Johnson could see little reason to change his mind about the wisdom of registering at a two-star hotel.
        The 1986 Winner:
        The bone chilling scream split the warm summer night in two, the first half being before the scream when it was fairly balmy and calm and pleasant for those who hadn’t heard the scream at all, but not calm or balmy or even very nice for those who did hear the scream, discounting the little period of time during the actual scream itself when your ears might have been hearing it but your brain wasn’t reacting yet to let you know.
        And the 1990 Winner:
        Dolores breezed along the surface of her life like a flat stone forever skipping across smooth water, rippling reality sporadically but oblivious to it consistently, until she finally lost momentum, sank, and due to an overdose of fluoride as a child which caused her to lie forever on the floor of her life as useless as an appendix and as lonely as a five hundred pound barbell in a steroid free fitness center.
        Had enough yet? If not, you’re a glutton for punishment…
        The 1988 Winner:
        Like an expensive sports car, fine tuned and well built, Portia was sleek, shapely, and gorgeous, her red jumpsuit molding her body, which was as warm as the seatcovers in July, her hair as dark as new tires, her eyes flashing like bright hubcaps, and her lips as dewy as the beads of fresh rain on the hood; she was a woman driven—fueled by a single accelerant—and she needed a man, a man who wouldn’t shift from his views, a man to steer her along the right road, a man like Alf Romeo.
        Winner of the 1992 contest:
        As the newest Lady Turnpot descended into the kitchen wrapped only in her celery green dressing gown, her creamy bosom rising and falling like a temperamental souffle, her tart mouth pursed in distaste, the sous-chef whispered to the scullery boy, “I don’t know what to make of her.”
        This one made me beg for mercy…
        Standing in the concessions car of the Orient Express as it hissed and lurched away from the station, Special Agent Chu could feel enemy eyes watching him from the inky shadows and knew that he was being tested, for although he had never tasted a plug of tobacco in his life, he was impersonating an arms dealer known to be a connoisseur, so he knew that he, the Chosen One, Chow Chu, had no choice but to choose the choicest chew on the choo-choo.
        The 1995 winner wrote:
        Paul Revere had just discovered that someone in Boston was a spy for the British, and when he saw the young woman believed to be the spy’s girlfriend in an Italian restaurant he said to the waiter, “Hold the spumoni—I’m going to follow the chick an’ catch-a-Tory.
        1985’s winner:
        The countdown had stalled at T minus 69 seconds when Desiree, the first female ape to go up in space, winked at me slyly and pouted her thick, rubbery lips unmistakably — the first of many such advances during what would prove to be the longest, and most memorable, space voyage of my career.
        From 2011:
        Cheryl’s mind turned like the vanes of a wind-powered turbine, chopping her sparrow-like thoughts into bloody pieces that fell onto a growing pile of forgotten memories.
        More biped sex, from a writer in Oxford, England:
        His knowing brown eyes held her gaze for a seeming eternity, his powerful arms clasped her slim body in an irresistible embrace, and from his broad, hairy chest a primal smell of “male” tantalized her nostrils; “Looks like another long night in the ape house,” thought veterinarian Abigail Brown as she gingerly reached for the constipated gorilla’s suppository.
        And for fans of both sci-fi and bad fiction, here’s an entire novella (if you can handle it; I couldn’t): The Eye Of Argon. All 7.5 chapters:
        A final Bulwer-Lytton-style sci-fi attempt:
        Kirk’s mind raced as he quickly assessed his situation: the shields were down, the warp drive and impulse engines were dead, life support was failing fast, and the Enterprise was plummeting out of control toward the surface of Epsilon VI and, as Scotty and Spock searched frantically through the manuals trying to find a way to save them all, Kirk vowed, as he stared at the solid blue image filling the main view screen, that never again would he allow a Microsoft operating system to control his ship.
        See? The writing here isn’t all that bad. Even without a preview function…

  14. I am disappointed by the quality of the discussion here. Hemispheric bias is not helpful.
    Arctic sea ice has made an annual minimum substantially below the mean observed over the past 40 years, while the Antarctic seasonal peak was early, very low and is now falling to seasonally unprecedented lows, only two years after reaching all time highs for Antarctic sea ice extents.
    See: https://sunshinehours.net/
    The result is that we are at record low global sea ice levels.
    Historically, the cyclical sea ice area expansion and contraction in the two hemispheres have offset each other, so that global sea ice extent has been remarkably constant since 1979, when the monitoring formally began.
    Does the record recent reduction in global extent reflect some new development or is it an aberration?
    That is the relevant question that should get addressed.

    • What it means is that the alarmists, who have been banging on relentlessly about the Arctic year after year while studiously ignoring the Antarctic, are now trying to work out the best time to quietly shove the Arctic into a dark place and switch their PR machine to the Antarctic.

      • They already did that when there was a massive increase in arctic ice volume following 2012. NO COVERAGE what soever and sudden interest in millennial scale changes in Antarctica being presented as catastrophic “collapse” of the WAIS.

  15. The early ice minimum means that this ice forming season should be about >3% longer, a factor contributing to a bigger ice maximum next March.
    Not a good time for an ice alarmist. There has been no change in Arctic melting in 10 years, despite record temperatures. Sea ice does not obey to temperatures.

    • Javier
      This year (winter 15/16) started with a very low Arctic winter peak sea ice primarily due to the inflow of atmosphere with higher temperatures. The heat was transported in. I enjoy your optimism regarding the extended 10 days to the next Arctic winter peak, but looking at the UAH temperature profiles for July and August which trended upward the same loss at winter peak may be repeated unless they drop before.
      In my opinion this years Arctic low was only salvaged by that same July / August temperature rises and retention of atmosphere. It took some of the seasonal pressure / air transport out of the system. Dr Tim Ball, whom I respect had a great post recently on winds, but I feel he left out one of the most important creators of wind, the seasonal downward movement of the tropopause which shifts vast volumes of air.
      As I am writing this in Christchurch New Zealand the large roller door is rattling from strong westerly winds transported down to the southern hemisphere by the NH reduction in seasonal tropopause height. It happens every year with wind gusts over 160kmph for as long as a week.
      The minimum Arctic ice extent this year was saved by those temperature upswings in July and August.

      • Ozonebust, I appreciate your knowledge of atmospheric planetary changes that I have no doubt play a very important unrecognized role on the planet’s climate and its changes. Arctic sea ice seems to respond primarily to water temperatures, and more specifically to AMO.
        This article shows evidence that Arctic sea ice has depended on AMO for centuries:
        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.”

        And this graph also presents the modern evidence:
        So most likely factor for a trendless 10 years of Arctic sea ice is a trendless 10 years of AMO. You might be right and the atmosphere could determine each year’s extent, but for the multiyear trend the atmosphere must be secondary unless it is always locked with AMO.

      • Javier,
        the AMO index in the paper you give and the AMO index of your plot doesn’t look the same.
        Are you still trying to fool people ?

      • I was speaking about the blue curve, didn’t see the grey that is “AMO modern index, not detrended, i.e.,
        North Atlantic SST anomaly” that is more or less your curve. Oh my God, a correlation between SST and sea ice.

  16. What so many of the so called experts don’t seem to understand is that the Fram Strait (between Greenland and Svalbard) is the key. Watch this cycle through a few times.
    See how the polar sea acts like a giant ice maker, pumping massive amounts of ice out the Fram Strait into the North Atlantic. This happens every year – more ice freezes in the Arctic than melts. If it weren’t for the losses through the Fram Strait, ice would accumulate in the Arctic like it does in the Antarctic, only limited by the calving of glaciers.
    This will eventually act as a negative feedback mechanism on the extent of the sea ice. When the ice gets low enough, the losses through the Fram Strait will be diminished, yielding significant recovery over the winter.
    This isn’t a big factor when the sea ice extent is 3 or 4 million km sq, but let it get significantly under 2 and the Fram Strait will not be so well fed. This will eventually show up in the NSIDC plots of minimum sea ice by year. What has been a pretty linear decline will start to look like it’s approaching an asymptote.
    That could be a long way off anyway; we haven’t even cracked 3 yet. Still, the coveted “ice free arctic” may never arrive.

    • Yes, but the point is that it gets thinner, melts more every summer…
      The ice is not now in balance like it was…
      Now the thick multi year ice along the Canadian/Greenland coast is breaking up and drifting out of the Fram.
      your idea is frankly nonsense.

    • Frederick Michael September 15, 2016 at 6:42 pm —
      You unearthed a great Arctic ice show with your polar map. Unfortunately you expect the flow through the Fram Strait to explain the ice loss we are interested in. Fram Strait is active every year but we want to see somehing specific that makes this year’s ice loss different. It turns out that what is different is melting of large volumes of ice in place. What happens is that thanks to unusual wind patterns more than usual warm water gets pushed north through the Bering strait. It interacts with the ice field directly to its north and causes large parts of the Chukchi and Beaufort seas to melt. All the ice loss takes place during the three months of July, August, and September. Your animation shows it well. Exactly the same thing happened also in 2007.

  17. [quote]September has pushed the ice extent to a statistical tie with 2007 for the second lowest in the satellite record[/quote]
    2016 finished 3rd by their metrics.
    [quote]since the minimum extent of 4.13 million square kilometers (1.59 million square miles) on September 16[/quote]
    [quote]On September 10, Arctic sea ice extent stood at 4.14 million square kilometers[/quote]
    Additionally, NSIDC always fails to mention sea ice extent minimum values before 2012 were based on a nine day trailing mean.
    Since then we have a 5 day trailing mean, which makes the minimum extent value appear lower than it would be had there been a 9 day trailing mean. The 2016 arctic sea ice extent minimum based on a 9 day trailing mean is 4.18 million square kilometers. For those wondering the daily NSIDC arctic sea ice extent daily minimum value was September 7th, 2016. 
    NSIDC’s own northern hemisphere arctic sea ice extent can be found below. Go ahead and see for yourself what the minimum would of been had the criteria been the same.
    Well done NSIDC 

    • Ufasuperstorm
      …and the % difference (based upon 5-day/9-day) in sea ice extent increased dramatically in the two months leading up to the annual minimum; roughly increasing from 2.4% (change in methodology increasingly understated ice extent as it approached the minimum).

  18. In layman’s the 5 day running mean for 2007 was adjusted to 4.15 million square kilometers years after the actual minimum. Even if you take the 9 day running mean of 2007’s adjusted data, 2016 is higher.

  19. First, some additions to Paul Homewood’s list:
    • Start of Arctic warming – beginning of twentieth century
    • Warming interrupted for 30 years in mid-century, from 1940 to 1970
    • Warming resumes in 1970 and still active
    • Warming is caused by Gulf Stream water flowing into the Arctic Ocean. Warm water
    temperature entering the Arctic measured directly by an exploring ship.
    Warming started as a result of a rearrangement of North Atlantic current system at the turn of the twentieth century. Prior to the start of warming there was nothing going on in the Arctic except for a slow, linear cooling for two thousand years. The rate of warming is twice as fast as predicted by the greenhouse effect. The reason is obvious – there is no greenhouse effect in the Arctic. The reason for the unusual degree of warming this year is the same as was the one for the year 2007. What happened is that an unusual wind pattern pushed more warm water north through the Bering Strait than usual. As you can see, this caused more ice to melt in the Chukchi Sea and the Beaufort Sea while the Russian side of the ocean remained untouched. The question is often asked, why is the Arctic melting when the Antarctic is not? The answer is heat. If you can stop warm Gulf Stream water from flowing into the Arctic Ocean then both poles will be equally cold.

  20. Isn’t an ice-free (or nearly ice-free) Arctic Ocean required for the growth and expansion of ice sheets?

    • A melting and freezing arctic is important in getting O2 CO2 ect into the deep Atlantic. As discussed here melting ice also puts minerals in the water, and is fert for phytoplankton.
      Melting ice is an essential part of the system, trying to stop it is something one should be committed to an asylum for

  21. 37 years of data and we’re supposed to draw long term conclusions? If this year is 22%more than the 2012 minimum I wonder why he expects the coming years to be lower minimums? What trend would he attribute that to? Just looking at the history it would appear that the likelihood if higher minimums would be better than lower ones in the coming years. Unless of course you believe this is all being manually controlled by the trace gas CO2, then of course you might wonder why it’s 22% above 4 years ago with CO2 levels higher now than then? To me , it doesn’t appear to be alarming at all.

    • In fact we have good data going back to 1850… we can certainly say with confidence ice levels are now lower than in the 1920s to 1940s period.

      • Griff, you don’t have data going back to 1850 😉 You have guesses based almost entirely on ship logs, which are incredibly scarce. Data suggests there was some form of measurement taken.

  22. The animation shows shows “1st year in the satellite record — 1979,” which is untrue.
    Nimbus 5 was measuring sea ice extent with a passive microwave radiometer (which can observe ice through clouds) from Dec. 12, 1972 through May 16, 1977. Most of its sea ice measurement data (all except 1977) are on the NSIDC’s own web site, here:
    Inconveniently, however, the Nimbus 5 measurements show that Arctic sea ice extent was increasing during the chilly 1970s, and graphs of sea ice until about fifteen years ago showed 1979 as an anomalous peak. E.g., this is from the FAR (1990):

  23. Has anyone seen a geneaology for the current polar observing satellites? There seem to be numerous sick sensors and I wonder how seamless a lot of measurements can be. Will the folks who run Cryosphere come back from wherever they are vacationing? Has the Naval Research Lab found another supplier?

    • They’ve lost interest since the data no longer fits their OMG alarmist hype. I predict that they will let if rot and only keep the melty bit.

  24. They haven’t been tracking that ice for very long. Blip in the scale of time. So is the last 35 years. Waiting, waiting, waiting until we can all have a good long laugh at this….

  25. For 8 out of the past 9 years, Arctic Ice Extent Minimums have been higher or equal to the 2007 low.
    That certainly is NOT what the CAGW alarmists were predicting, and hilariously off from those “polar experts” that predicted a minimum of around 1 million KM^2 by 2015 and continuing at the level until humanity “took Global Warming seriously”….
    Well,… any rational adult no longer “takes Global Warming seriously”, because it has become the biggest and most expensive junk-science scam in human history.
    CAGW is dead.

  26. Ice minimum scare is a misnomer, it’s area, not volume, volume matters. There are still millions who believe that the ice melted when a storm broke it up and compacted it because that fact is rarely if ever mentioned, as with 2012 and twice this year.
    Wadhams and co allow people to believe it is because of warming.
    An important bit is how long the minimum lasts, and the recovery, and the minimum was very short lived and the recovery looks good.

    • The obsession with one day per year cherry-picked from 365 days of data is politics, not science.
      For the first time this year they got interesting in the other extreme but only since they could also start screaming about it being the “lowest on record”. Before this year it did not matter.
      Many were excitedly saying this was going lead to another OMG summer min. having started at an all time low. But now we don’t see them saying this years change was surprisingly small since it was already low in March. That seems to be forgotten.
      One thing is clear, larger areas of open water since 2007 have been accompanied by a slower rate of melting. This indicates a negative feedback, not the much heralded run-away melting.
      The death spiral is dead.

  27. And now the desperate cherry picking begins…
    No, this did NOT tie – it was the second lowest extent… it was lower than 2007
    See here:
    And as for Homewood:
    •Earliest minimum since 1997 – shows how cold it is there
    •This year extent was 22% above 2012, despite two massive storms
    •Thickness is way up on 2010 and 2011
    •Already extent is above 2007, as well as 2012, for this date
    •We are looking at one of the fastest ice growths in September on record
    The early minimum shows no such thing… and it is hotter up there than in previous years.
    Thickness is not way up… does this look like its ‘thick’?
    The rate of recovery and relative extent stuff is just nonsense…
    You need to look at the extraordinarily broken up state of the ice as it hit minimum, plus note that the ice edge was way north at over 86 degrees..
    Here’s a proper summary of what’s happened:
    “It’s quite amazing, really. If there had been just a few weeks of open skies when the Sun was high in the sky during June and July, I think the 2012 record low minimum would have been beaten. As it is, this melting season comes in second.
    I always thought that it would take extreme weather conditions as seen in 2007 for a melting season to end really low: Lots of open skies, warm winds and continuous compaction, just weeks and weeks of the same kind of weather. But given that there’s no let-up in the amount of heat flowing into the Arctic – via air and especially ocean – other set-ups can be just as destructive. It will probably be a back-and-forth of high pressure (open skies) and low pressure (dispersal, mixing) that will lead to new records, and eventually an ice-free Arctic.
    That’s the big lesson for this year. Things just aren’t improving for the sea ice at all, and the fact that the cyclonic conditions we’ve seen this year, haven’t prevent the second lowest minimum on record, doesn’t bode well for the future at all.
    Whatever it is we’re doing to stop this from getting worse in decades to come, we need to do it faster.”

  28. OH NOES!!!, we’re doomed. Climate change, dwindling arctic ice and the polar bears have finally been reduced to eating russian scientists to survive!! “Five Russian scientists are currently stranded in a small wooden shack in the Arctic, surrounded by a family of hungry bears.” http://www.bbc.co.uk/bbcthree/item/4ee744e6-4390-4768-8632-06c4e3ddff99?intc_type=singletheme&intc_location=bbcthree&intc_campaign=bbcthree&intc_linkname=vidclip_polarbear_contentcard27

  29. I have read through the posts trying to see if anyone else has said this and seeing as they have not probably means I am wrong. If it was genuine warming would it not be something that takes place over the whole year. I look at the data from the Danish site and there is never any increase during the summer months. It does not get as cold in winter but until things change in the summer I do not think it will ever be “ice free”

    • Well, not entirely. Average temp at the north pole sits at around 0 celsius in summer, but can go above that and does. Of course, you have areas where it is warmer than that. In winter, it drops to around -40 C, so even if it was warming, in winter it would need to be something spectacular to stop ice from forming. So the issue is always how much melting will occur in the summer months and what drives that melting. It is unlikely to be a .12 c decadal increase, so you either have to believe in arctic amplification of warming (I haven’t looked into it much) or you need to believe that the ice melting is primarily driven by ocean currents and wind. You then need to look at and understand what drives those and I don’t think you can really link that to CO2.

    • Andrew Bennett
      “If it was genuine warming would it not be something that takes place over the whole year.”
      It is taking place over the whole year Andrew. 2016 Jan to August has seen the lowest Arctic sea ice extent in the satellite record over that period and 2016 as a whole looks very likely to set a new lowest annual average Arctic sea ice extent record.
      Every calendar month shows a downward trend in Arctic sea ice extent since 1979. It’s more pronounced between July and September, but even in winter the rate of Arctic sea ice loss has been -0.45 million km^2 per decade (NSIDC data) since 1979. That’s a total reduction of 1.72 million square kilometres of Arctic sea ice in winter (Dec-Jan) between 1978/79 and 2015/16.

      • Gabro (replying to Geoff)
        Also, Antarctic sea ice has a many times greater effect on planetary albedo than does Arctic.

        Well, it is not “many times”, but we are able to show that, over the course of a year, for equal assumptions about atmosphere clarity north and south, every square meter of the Antarctic sea ice does receive and reflect (or receive and absorb – depending on how you want to phrase it) 1.7 times the solar energy that the Arctic sea ice reflects.
        Seven months of the year, LESS Arctic sea ice means increased heat losses from the Arctic ocean, and only five months a year (April – August) is there any gain at all from a loss of Arctic sea ice into the open (darker) arctic ocean waters.

      • RA,
        The way I calculate it, Antarctic sea ice at its maximum extent has about five times the albedo effect of Arctic at its edge. Antarctic ice can go to much higher latitudes than can Arctic, which is largely surrounded by land. The angle of incidence of incoming sunlight at higher latitudes multiplies the effect.
        Your calculation must be for the whole area covered.

        • Gabro
          The way I calculate it, Antarctic sea ice at its maximum extent has about five times the albedo effect of Arctic at its edge. Antarctic ice can go to much higher latitudes than can Arctic, which is largely surrounded by land. The angle of incidence of incoming sunlight at higher latitudes multiplies the effect.
          Your calculation must be for the whole area covered.

          Almost. The difference could also be in the subtleties of the calculation: the differences in sea ice albedo between north and south, the difference in top-of-atmosphere SW radiation each day of year between north and south, and the differences in ocean water albedo at each incident angle. As you point out, there is always greatly increased atmosphere absorption up north on to the Arctic sea ice.
          Reasoning that there is ALWAYS some direct solar energy absorbed by sea water (sea ice) when it lands on the open ocean, and ALWAYS some direct solar energy reflected by the sea water (sea ice) when it lands on the open ocean,
          and that the same amount of direct (or diffuse) solar energy will fall on the sea ice as falls on the open ocean,
          I calculate the DIFFERENCE in energy absorbed between what is absorbed by the open ocean compared to what is absorbed by sea ice at the same latitude on the same time of day at the same day of year.
          Further, reasoning that the albedo of sea ice changes differently in the north and south over the year, the albedo of open ocean changes based on time of day (incident angle of the sun), and the TOA radiation level changes over every day of the year, do not use average values at all. Instead, I calculate the total Daily Reflected Energy-Absorbed Direct Energy Difference for every hour at the average latitude at the edge of the sea ice area for every day of the year. So, this DREAD Energy Difference shows the theoretical difference in heat energy absorbed into the open ocean if any square meter of sea ice is replaced by open ocean each day of the year.
          By totaling the Daily Energy differences over the course of a year, you get the yearly difference. The yearly total removes the distraction often used to allow the use of yearly average radiation levels at TOA, and the distraction of “slower arctic summer solar transitions” and “24 hours of sunlight” in the arctic – while ignoring the five months of the year when the arctic sun is not even above the horizon at the latitudes where the sea ice accumulates.
          Yes, you are correct: The hourly energy budgets (heat received and absorbed) are much higher in the Antarctic than in the Arctic.
          The sun is much higher in the sky through the entire year in the Antarctic than in the Arctic.
          Antarctic atmospheric absorption is much less, and when the Antarctic sea ice is in its 24 hours of summer sunlight, the TOA radiation levels are 90 watts/m^2 higher than in the Arctic summer months. (The Antarctic sea ice is also much cleaner and “brighter” than the measured Arctic sea ice during each hemisphere’s summer melt season, so the Antarctic sea ice – which tends to melt-from-below, has a higher albedo than the arctic sea ice.)
          EVERY measure causes the Antarctic sea ice to be more important than the Arctic sea ice in the earth”s total heat budget over the course of the entire year.

  30. (All figures from NSIDC: ftp://sidads.colorado.edu/DATASETS/NOAA/G02135/)
    Since satellite records started in November 1978 the Antarctic has gained sea ice extent at a rate of around 240,000 km^2 per decade; a total gain of 920,000 km^2. Over the same period the Arctic has lost sea ice extent at a rate of 370,000 km^2 per decade; a total loss of 1,390,000 km^2. The net change in global sea ice extent since November 1978 is therefore a reduction of 470,000 km^2 and the net rate of reduction over the period is 120,000 km^2 per decade.
    Whether or not this matters, or represent ‘big losses’ depends on a number of factors. Perhaps most importantly that all the losses have occurred in the northern polar region.

  31. “Paul Homewood passes these point on via email:
    •Earliest minimum since 1997 – shows how cold it is there
    •This year extent was 22% above 2012, despite two massive storms
    •Thickness is way up on 2010 and 2011
    •Already extent is above 2007, as well as 2012, for this date
    •We are looking at one of the fastest ice growths in September on record”
    Wonder if the follow-up to the preliminary report will mention any of those?
    /sarc /cynic

  32. Since this IS this the same “scientists” who made the statement that the Arctic could be ice free by 2008, one wonders why they continue to believe in dramatic climate change caused by increasing CO 2 which has not had any recent impact. Do they learn from their mistakes?
    “You know when climate change is biting hard when instead of a vast expanse of snow the North Pole is a vast expanse of water. This year, for the first time, Arctic scientists are preparing for that possibility.
    “The set-up for this summer is disturbing,” says Mark Serreze, of the US National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC). A number of factors have this year led to most of the Arctic ice being thin and vulnerable as it enters its summer melting season.
    In September 2007, Arctic sea ice reached a record low, opening up the fabled North-West passage that runs from Greenland to Alaska.
    The ice expanded again over the winter and in March 2008 covered a greater area than it had in March 2007. Although this was billed as good news in many media sources, the trend since 1978 is on the decline.
    Young and Thin
    Arctic ice at its maximum in March, but that maximum is declining by 44,000 km2 per year on average, the NSIDC has calculated (see graph, top right). That corresponds to an area roughly twice the size of New Jersey.
    What is more, the extent of the ice is only half the picture. Satellite images show that most of the Arctic ice at the moment is thin, young ice that has only been around since last autumn (see picture, right).
    Thin ice is far more vulnerable than thick ice that has piled up over several years.”

  33. Arctic sea ice appears to have turned the corner and is expanding so quickly and looks though it is going into the long term average range. However antarctic sea ice appears to be showing the opposite and is now at all time record low max extent according to the antarctic sea ice chart.

  34. It is lower than it has been in recent years, but I can’t see anything on the charts to say it is a record low extent. What are you looking at?

    • It is incredibly interesting how the drop in the antarctic this September is as drastic as the increase in the Arctic…

  35. What these guys forecasting the demise of the ice do not comprehend is that the arctic SUMMERS ARE NOT WARMING The DMI site here shows that plainly. In fact the last 5 years together appear colder than 1960-1965. The warming has been in winters where it leads to decreased seasonal growth, but it cant melt beyond a certain limit if the arctic summer is not warming. But nature is showing you she has her caps and the arrogant forecast, given the predictions of no ice and the death spiral proclamation shows ignorance of the simple fact that they have no idea if summers will warm, and have busted horribly on all this. But that is how it is nowadays. Push it back and stay on the attack. In fact with the IOD flipping, the PDO likely to go back to cold in coming years and the AMO coming out of its warm cycle, I suspect they understand they need to push the hysteria now because the true recovery is around the corner.

    • Actually, I would challenge even that observation; The DMI latitude 80 weather “forecasts” are not actually measurements – there never has been a single calibrated thermometer screen at 80 north that has lasted even part of one season, much less all seasons in the same place since 1959. ”
      However, the DMI 80 north average temperature for the summer months has not even moved 1/10 of a degree in 60 years of “global warming” in the Arctic – the place theoretically most susceptible to CO2-induced warming! Winter months? Yes, those average temperatures have increased. (I do question their “average baseline” line in winter: Seems like there would be at least half the times the winter daily temperatures would have to be “below average” if there were to be an “average” at all. but even winter air temperatures as early as 1960-1970 are at today’s levels of +3 to +4 degrees “above average”. )
      But the summer temperatures at 80 north have not changed at all.

    • Joe Bastardi on September 16, 2016 at 6:18 am
      What these guys forecasting the demise of the ice do not comprehend is that the arctic SUMMERS ARE NOT WARMING The DMI site here shows that plainly.
      Could you show us your source at DMI?
      If you extract the arctic region (all stations within 60-90N) out of the raw unadjusted GHCN V3 record
      and produce a monthly average out of it, you may, in a second step, produce
      – for each winter sequence ‘oct nov dec jan feb mar’
      – for each summer sequence ‘apr may jun jul aug sep’
      the sum of the monthly values, and finally average these sums.
      The result since october 1978, wrt the UAH baseline 1981-2010:
      – winter months: 0.61 °C
      – summer months: 0.79 °C

      • Bindidon (challenging Joe Bastardi’s comment on September 16, 2016 at 6:18 am)
        What these guys forecasting the demise of the ice do not comprehend is that the arctic SUMMERS ARE NOT WARMING The DMI site here shows that plainly.
        Could you show us your source at DMI?
        If you extract the arctic region (all stations within 60-90N) out of the raw unadjusted GHCN V3 record

        Are you incapable of thinking for yourself? Of looking at the data yourself?
        There are NO stations between 72 north and 85 north – where the arctic sea ice actually is! – that can be used to produce your supposed average monthly 60-90 north records!
        At best you can cite a few coastal land-based stations “almost” at the sea ice part of the year. But those are not measuring air temperatures over the sea ice, they are measuring the 2 meter air temperatures on the beaches 40-800 kilometers away from the sea ice in mid-summer.
        The DMI DOES have daily weather forecasts for 80 north latitude since 1958 at
        Now, click on EVERY year’s plot since 1958. There is NO increase in summer temperatures in that record (those forecasts) since 1958. Now, how many kilometers of newly greening tundra and steppe and timberland are there between 80 north sea ice and 60 north tundra and forest? (Hint: How many kilometers per degree latitude at sea level x (80-60) = … )
        Should you not wish to click that many times, a simple gif program can produce a permanent scrolling image.
        Your monthly averages for 60-90 north land stations are irrelevant to the 50+ years of steady air temperature above the sea ice in mid-summer. There is NO arctic sea ice in mid-summer between 60 north and 72 north latitudes!

      • RACookPE1978 on September 18, 2016 at 1:52 pm
        There are NO stations between 72 north and 85 north
        Aha. I see in the GHCN station list 47 units between 70 and 85N. Minus 14 between 70 and 72N gives 33. Not much, of course!
        The DMI DOES have daily weather forecasts for 80 north latitude since 1958 at

        I know of this chart, RACookPE1978. Since longer time. Many thanks.
        What you imho do not want to be taken into account is simply the fact that the arctic region indeed isn’t warming very much above 80N recently, but the 60-80N stripe really is heavily warming, at a rate of about 1.25 °C / decade since 1979.
        And that is what I’m talking about. Should this be irrelevant in your mind: no problem for me.
        I repeated my little averaging on winter and summer months anomalies since 1979, this time restricted to the 70-80N stripe:
        – winter months: 0.17 °C
        – summer months: 0.52 °C
        There is a point where we probably will have exactly the same meaning: in comparison with 1980-2016, the temperatures in the Arctic were by far higher 100 years ago! You just need to sort the temperature list since 1880 to be convinced about that fact.
        But that was not the point in my answer to Joe Bastardi.

        • To repeat, the only sea ice between 60 north and 72 north is Hudson Bay, Bering Sea, and the Okhotsk Sea. All of these have melted by mid-summer, so they have no effect on sea ice totals after mid-summer. There is NO arctic sea ice below 72 north, and NO land thermometers where the sea ice actually is in the summer. Your averages are meaningless for discussions of the air temperatures above the arctic sea ice

      • Bindidon says:
        …in comparison with 1980-2016, the temperatures in the Arctic were by far higher 100 years ago!
        That’s exactly what we would expect, since the Little Ice Age has been tapering off for several hundred years now.
        Natural climate variability is still the default “simplest explanation”, per Occam’s Razor.
        Why do you feel compelled to find another explanation?

        • A good point. Thank you. (But is it accurate if I use the Alert hourly weather data for approximating the “weather” around the entire pole? To date, I have not done so. )
          Reversing the comment that began this, how closely does the Alert weather data since its founding track the 60-90 degree averages that ARE assumed to be accurate for the trends across the ice fields. More than half the time, the Alert winds are from the islands and land to the south, not the arctic sea to its north.

  36. It’s been 4 years since the lowest and 9 years since the second lowest. Yet they keep telling us that next year is the year the collapse will begin.
    Denial, it’s not just a river in Africa.

  37. ‘Arctic sea ice extent on that day stood at 4.14 million square kilometers . . ., statistically tied at second lowest in the satellite record with the 2007 minimum.’
    Are the numbers in yet for how many people died from this?

  38. I find it particularly disturbing when the US military establishment jumps on the CAGW platform.
    “U.S. defence experts and military officers sound alarm about climate change”
    “Climate change is increasing the risk of international conflict and putting U.S. national security at risk, warns a coalition of 25 retired officers and Democrat and Republican security experts. “There are few easy answers, but one thing is clear: the current trajectory of climatic change presents a strategically-significant risk to U.S. national security, and inaction is not a viable option,” said a statement signed by the security advisors and published by the Center for Climate and Security in Washington.”
    We will soon be firing arrows into the sea in order to defeat Neptune. GK

    • The US Military says what the Commander-in-Chief tells them to say. If that C-in-C changes and orders them to say “Global Warming is a hoax” and climate is not relevant they will do so or be retired. According to the Constitution our National Defense is under civilian control.

  39. The record lowest extent in the 37-year satellite record…

    37 years??
    We’ve only just begun to measure Arctic sea ice extent.
    Given this scant 37 years of satellite data,
    We really know nothing of the history of Arctic
    sea ice extent.
    Any reference to “history” on this subject is a thin argument at best.
    (150 years of temperature data hardly describes “history” either.)

  40. So, who’s to say what is normal, what the mean is and the distribution looks like? I say, there is nothing whatsoever unusual going on. One thing for certain, . . . ice melts . . . and water freezes. Not certain what the freezing point of salt water is in the arctic.

  41. While causes, rate of melt and outcome can be debated, I fail to see why anyone can argue against the trend of decreasing ice cover in the Arctic. If they are not convinced by now, what on earth would it take?

    • You are seeing half of a sixty-seventy year cycle:
      1979-1980: Top of the cycle, anomaly = +0.5
      1980-2005: Anomaly slowly, then more rapidly decreases through 0.0 towards -1.00
      2006-2016: Anomaly remains steady at -1.0 .
      For the past ten years, the Arctic sea ice anomaly has not gotten “larger” … It has oscillated around the same -1.0 valiu.
      It is only a flat-earth, straight-line trend that projects arctic sea ice into 0.0.
      Oh, by the way, from this point on, the more arctic sea ice is lost, the greater the cooling effect on the Arctic ocean 7 months of the year. Less sea ice = a cooler planet.
      And historically,
      A SMALL sea ice area in Sept means a very large sea ice extent in March-April the next year.
      A LARGE sea ice extent in April-May (and 2016 April-May sea ice extents were higher than any recent years) means a SMALL sea ice extents the next Sept at minimum.
      Yes. It IS opposite what the conventional arctic “death spiral theory” holds near and dear to their hearts and papers. It IS opposite what hundreds of thousands of on-line pages and printed papers say. But it IS what the record shows to happen.

      • You are confusing the issue.
        The article above (and all of the CAGW community’s hype and propaganda) discusses Arctic sea ice.
        Antarctic sea ice from 1992 through mid-2015 is “not obeying” the CAGW script by increasing steadily, increasing to record high levels in 2013 and 2014. 2015-2016 Antarctic sea ice levels continue to confound the record by staying right at the established long-term norm. Lower than the most recent five years, but right at the long-term average level through the record-setting El Nino of 2015-2016.
        dbstealey is merely and quite properly pointing this out.
        Total (global) sea ice is a meaningless and useless value. He didn’t talk about total global sea ice. Total antarctic ice IS an appropriate number, since the edge of the antarctic sea ice lies at the latitude of Antarctic land ice (a fixed value) + Antarctic shelf ice (a fixed value) + Antarctic sea ice (a variable quantity).
        Unlike the arctic sea ice

      • RACook,
        The disappearing polar ice scare was just one of many such false alarms which generated predictions that never came true (vanishing polar bears, runaway global warming, accelerating sea level rise, etc). The reason the alarmist contingent still clings to “Arctic” ice scare is because it’s the only part of their original prediction that was even minimally correct.
        But half right is still wrong.
        We’re observing natural climate variability, which remains well within Holocene parameters. Any other conclusion requires data-based evidence — verifiable, testable, accurate measurements — which the alarmist clique has never produced. If they had measurements that demonstrate X amount of global warming (or vanishing sea ice) would be caused by X rise in CO2, then making accurate predictions would be a piece o’ cake.
        But every scary, alarming prediction they ever made has failed to come true. At some point, you gotta wonder what they’ve been smoking…

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