Study: Weather anomalies accelerate the melting of sea ice

From ETH ZURICH comes this study with a “never before been seen on this scale” claim. The problem is, we’ve really got only a few decades of observations to compare with, plus 2015/16 was the year of the “monster” El Niño, and there were all sorts of resultant weather anomalies. We don’t have enough weather data to know if this sort of extreme has happened before, because we haven’t been watching the Arctic closely until recent decades.

Weather anomalies accelerate the melting of sea ice

Melting sea ice is forming characteristic puddles on its surface. CREDIT NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

In the winter of 2015/16, something happened that had never before been seen on this scale: at the end of December, temperatures rose above zero degrees Celsius for several days in parts of the Arctic. Temperatures of up to eight degrees were registered north of Svalbard. Temperatures this high have not been recorded in the winter half of the year since the beginning of systematic measurements at the end of the 1970s. As a result of this unusual warmth, the sea ice began to melt.

“We heard about this from the media,” says Heini Wernli, Professor of Atmospheric Dynamics at ETH Zurich. The news aroused his scientific curiosity, and a team led by his then doctoral student Hanin Binder investigated the issue. In November 2017, they published their analysis of this exceptional event in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.

In it, the researchers show how these unusual temperatures arose: three different air currents met over the North Sea between Scotland and southern Norway, carrying warm air northwards at high speed as though on a “highway”.

One air current originated in the Sahara and brought near-surface warm air with it. To begin with, temperature of this air was about 20 degrees Celsius. While it cooled off on its way to the Arctic, it was still above zero when it arrived. “It’s extremely rare for warm, near-surface subtropical air to be transported as far as the Arctic,” says Binder.

The second air current originated in the Arctic itself, a fact that astonished the scientists. To begin with, this air was very cold. However, the air mass – which also lay close to the ground – moved towards the south along a curved path and, while above the Atlantic, was warmed significantly by the heatflux from the ocean before joining the subtropical air current.

The third warm air current started as a cold air mass in the upper troposphere, from an altitude above 5 kilometres. These air masses were carried from west to east and descended in a stationary high-pressure area over Scandinavia. Compression thereby warmed the originally cold air, before it entered the “highway to the Arctic”.

Poleward warm air transport

This highway of air currents was made possible by a particular constellation of pressure systems over northern Europe. During the period in question, intense low-pressure systems developed over Iceland while an extremely stable high-pressure area formed over Scandinavia. This created a kind of funnel above the North Sea, between Scotland and southern Norway, which channelled the various air currents and steered them northwards to the Arctic.

This highway lasted approximately a week. The pressure systems then decayed and the Arctic returned to its typical frozen winter state. However, the warm period sufficed to reduce the thickness of the sea ice in parts of the Arctic by 30 centimetres – during a period in which ice usually becomes thicker and more widespread.

“These weather conditions and their effect on the sea ice were really exceptional,” says Binder. The researchers were not able to identify a direct link to global warming. “We only carried out an analysis of a single event; we didn’t research the long-term climate aspects” emphasises Binder.

High-pressure systems cause sea ice to melt

However, the melting of Arctic sea ice during summer is a different story. The long-term trend is clear: the minimum extent and thickness of the sea ice in late summer has been shrinking continually since the end of the 1970s. Sea ice melted particularly severely in 2007 and 2012 – a fact which climate researchers have thus far been unable to fully explain. Along with Lukas Papritz from the University of Bergen, Wernli investigated the causes of these outliers. Their study has just been published in the journal Nature Geoscience.

According to their research, the severe melting in the aforementioned years was caused by stable high-pressure systems that formed repeatedly throughout the summer months. Under these cloud-free weather conditions, the high level of direct sunlight – the sun shines 24 hours a day at this time of year – particularly intensified the melting of the sea ice.

Areas of low pressure “inject” air masses into the Arctic

These high-pressure systems developed through an influx of air from temperate latitudes. Low-pressure systems in the North Atlantic and North Pacific areas, for example, “inject” air masses into the Arctic at a height of about eight kilometres. This raised the height of the tropopause, the boundary between the troposphere and the stratosphere, in the region of the “injections”. As a result, surface air pressure below rose and a high-pressure system was established. While it dissipated again around ten days later, an unusually high amount of sea ice melted in the interim, and the remaining ice thinned.

The climate scientists’ investigation demonstrated that in the summers of 2007 and 2012, during which these high-pressure situations occurred particularly frequently, they led to cloud-free conditions every third day. The high level of solar radiation intensified and accelerated the melting of the sea ice. “The level of solar radiation is the main factor in the melting of the ice in summer. Unlike with the winter anomaly, the “injected” air at about 8 kilometre altitude from the south is not warm – with minus 60 degrees it’s ice-cold,” says Wernli.

“The air temperature therefore has very little effect on the ice.” Furthermore, the northward transport of warm, humid air masses at the edge of the high-pressure systems reduces (heat) emission, which further intensifies melting.

Their analysis has allowed the researchers to understand the meteorological processes leading to significant variations in summertime ice melt for the first time. “Our results underline the fundamental role that weather systems in temperate latitudes play in episodes of particularly intense ice melt in the Arctic,” says the ETH professor.

###

The paper: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41561-017-0041-0

Role of polar anticyclones and mid-latitude cyclones for Arctic summertime sea-ice melting

Abstract

Annual minima in Arctic sea-ice extent and volume have been decreasing rapidly since the late 1970s, with substantial interannual variability. Summers with a particularly strong reduction of Arctic sea-ice extent are characterized by anticyclonic circulation anomalies from the surface to the upper troposphere. Here, we investigate the origin of these seasonal circulation anomalies by identifying individual Arctic anticyclones (with a lifetime of typically ten days) and analysing the air mass transport into these systems. We reveal that  these episodic upper-level induced Arctic anticyclones are relevant for generating seasonal circulation anomalies. Sea-ice reduction is systematically enhanced during the transient episodes with Arctic anticyclones and the seasonal reduction of sea-ice volume correlates with the area-averaged frequency of Arctic anticyclones poleward of 70° N (correlation coefficient of 0.57). A trajectory analysis shows that these anticyclones result from extratropical cyclones injecting extratropical air masses with low potential vorticity into the Arctic upper troposphere. Our results emphasize the fundamental role of extratropical cyclones and associated diabatic processes in establishing Arctic anticyclones and, in turn, seasonal circulation anomalies, which are of key importance for understanding the variability of summertime Arctic sea-ice melting.

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MarkW

Moving that much heat to the Arctic during Arctic winter just means that more heat is able to escape to space.
Arctic ice may have melted, but the planet cooled by a tremendous amount during the same period.

SMH

MarkW

I’m going out on a limb and guessing that you believe you have said something intelligent.

Urban Dictionary: SMH translates to So Much Hate. Why we have wasted ten seconds of our day to read this, I do not know, no one does…

Bryan A

Interestingly the DMI data doesn’t indicate a spike in Dec 2015
http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/plots/meanTarchive/meanT_2016.png
Neither in 2016
Nor in 2015
http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/plots/meanTarchive/meanT_2015.png
Not sure about the choice of accompanying photograph though
Svalbard sits north of the Arctic Circle and would be dark 24hours in December

Actually the spike at the far right of the 2015 graph is the December “thaw” in question. The “thaw” was at single buoy for only a few hours. It could not raise the mean temperature of the entire area north of 80 degrees all the way to freezing, but did result in the visible upward spike.

This paper is full if misinformation. The sea-ice thickness was not “reduced by 30 cm”. It stayed the same, and strong south winds pushed the edge north. At the time the media went into a frenzy, freaking out small children with silly stories of Santa’s house sinking and Rudolph drowning, even though the Pole itself never got above freezing.

It was a notable surge of mild air north due to a meridional flow. As I recall there was an equal and opposite surge of cold elsewhere. Not certain, but I think the Thai army was handing out blankets in to shivering villagers in Thailand. What was striking to me was how quickly the air cooled, at the surface, at the Pole. The surface temperatures dropped around 5 degrees a day.

A few months later the Russians were landing jets on the ice in the same area, at the “Barneo” base.

I’ve been watching the Pole for years. These things happen. No big deal.

Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy

With all the hypes, the seasonal up and lows are continuing in terms of ice at Arctic. During 2012 [2007] the minimum was the lowest but in 2013 to reversed and minimum level went up. Since then the ice for years reported in between these two years minimum conditions. Not much variations in maximum condition with the years.

Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy

Griff

Not if it is cloudy.

This year it is cloudy and relatively warmer in the arctic.

The arctic is now showing a trend towards remaining warmer in winter.

Bryan A

Yes it is… -20 instead of -30 definitely balmy

MarkW

Two years in a row is now a trend.

martinbrumby

What are they on about?
Even our beloved leaders understand that ‘The Science Is Settled”.
/sarc

It’s never going to end is it. Giving hysterical pseudoscientists high tech measurement apparatus is like giving a hypochondriac a combo CT/PET/MRI diagnostic suite. It isn’t going to end well.

commieBob

I would say that the worse problem is things that make it easy to calculate statistics. Matlab is one example. You can apply a zillion different statistical tests to your data and you don’t have to have a single clue about what you’re doing.

There is a bright side for researchers. Misapplied instruments plus misapplied statistics are likely to produce novel results that will ensure that your paper gets published. For some reason it reminds me of the old tabloid journalism maxim: Never fact-check yourself out of a good story.

Sweet Old Bob

The Arctic . Where heat goes to die . Who knew ?
/s

higley7

“Under these cloud-free weather conditions, the high level of direct sunlight – the sun shines 24 hours a day at this time of year – particularly intensified the melting of the sea ice.”

At the peak of summer, the low angle of the sun spreads the solar input across the surface, such that it is 17% of what vertical sunlight would be. Then, the longer atmospheric path from the Sun’s low angle allows only 17% of sunlight to get through. Put that together and, at the height of summer, solar input per square meter is 3% of normal. As that is the peak rate and, three months on either side, the rate goes to zero, the average solar input during the summer is 1.5%. This energy input does not melt anything and the little sunlight absorbed by open water is almost immediately countered by evaporative cooling.

What melts Arctic ice is three-fold. Warm water pumped into the Arctic Basin by the Atlantic Oscillation (which very effectively melts ice from below, particularly as the warm water rises and stays at the underside of the ice), ice being blown out of the Arctic by the wind patterns (where it melts elsewhere, NOT in the Arctic), and a little bit by warm air flowing north to replace cold air flowing toward the Equator. Solar input is simply too thin to do anything measurable.

It is too bad that people who are supposed to be studying the Arctic never seem to feel that they should learn ALL ABOUT THE ARCTIC, not just their political talking points.

AGW is not Science

Thank you for some level headed input. I seem to remember the poles being referred to as “areas of permanent heat loss.” Melting ice or not, the heat that gets transported to the poles isn’t around for long.

MarkW

I’m the last person who should be questioning anybody, but do you have a source for the claim that only 17% of the sunlight makes it through the atmosphere at those low angles?

Yogi Bear
Gary Pearse

Yogi It happened about a week ago, too – reported here:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=-168fhcT8iQ

Griff

which is not to do with cold, but moisture…

It is often cold enough for snow at night in the sSahara… but there is usually insufficient moisture in the air to fall as snow

Bryan A

Equal parts cold and moisture otherwise you have rain

michael hart

“We heard about this from the media,” says Heini Wernli, Professor of Atmospheric Dynamics at ETH Zurich.

I always had my suspicions about climate scientists, but it’s nice to see a bit of honesty about their standards.

Germinio

What is wrong with their standards? They saw something unusual in the news and decided to find out more. Seems perfectly reasonable to me.

Such behavior creates an ugly bias. They won’t ‘find out more’ about what matters, but about what media considers worthy of publication (mostly bullshit). There is publishing bias without this bias, but at least it’s scientific publishing (or ‘scientific’), not newspapers. This is way uglier.

Latitude

…so no one is monitoring the arctic but the media

michael hart

What is wrong with their standards?

Assuming you’re not joking…

Scientific bias of pretty much every kind ever described.
Incompetence.
Arrogance.
Bullying.
Deceit.
Lying.
….

I would run out space and exhaust the thesaurus long before I finished answering that question fully.

AndyG55

Here’s another one. This is the stuff that Arctic bed-wetters HAVE to ignore.
comment image

michael hart

..but seeing as how it seems to have escaped you, Germinio, don’t you think it somewhat irregular that these “scientists” take the MSM as a lead source for their data? Are they not experts in their field already? Or maybe they just wait for the daily newspaper to arrive before they decide what to investigate today, and take MSM-reported numbers as Gospel. I thought the information was generally supposed to flow in the other direction.

But on the bright side, perhaps they will now start paying more attention to the many, many newspaper reports in decades gone-by of low Arctic sea ice in the early 20th century? Normally these are just summarily dismissed as anecdote by the climaterati.

Germinio

I think you are missing the critical point here. The authors state very clearly:
We only carried out an analysis of a single event; we didn’t research the long-term climate aspects” emphasises Binder.

So all they are doing is looking at a single event and explaining why that happened. And since this
is not I guess their primary research area reading about it in the media and then deciding to investigate is again perfectly reasonable. And they are careful to emphasise that they did not research any long-term aspects.

Scientists are curious. If they hear about something that interests them then they will go and investigate it. This is how unexpected discoveries happen. And is often how all the best ideas start.

AndyG55

“What is wrong with their standards?”

Well, for a start, they don’t bother doing any research before making “never before” statements
comment image

There are many other reports from around the 1920s, leading to the peak warmth of the late 1930s (now erased) that show sharp rises in Arctic temperatures.

Ignorance of history and other branches of REAL science are the only thing that holds the Arctic bed-wetter together.

Like the fact that current extent levels are substantially higher than they have been for all but a short peiod of the last 10,000 years..
comment image

Germinio

Hi AndyG,
Can you find a single report showing that temperatures in Arctic were above freezing in late December?

Also the authors are very good to clarify what they mean – “Temperatures this high have not been recorded in the winter half of the year since the beginning of systematic measurements at the end of the 1970s.” Again can you show me any data that shows that this statement is false?

Gerald Machnee

OK, Andy, you beat me to it.

Gerald Machnee

Re Geronimo
That is the same type of cherry picking as occurs with the ice. Now they start in 1979 knowing very well that they had good reports from the early 1970’s which were much lower than 1979. The arctic ice goes in 60-70 year cycles so they are using half a cycle.
Apply the same principle to the “above freezing” temperatures that they conveniently only referred to the “1970’s” Remember the world did not start in the 1970’s even though some people would like us to believe it.
The news headline is there – go and look up the temperatures.

Germinio

Gerald,
The quote says the start of “systematic measurements” not the the start of the 1970s. There is a big difference. And the news headline shown above says unusually warm in November not December which this article refers to and there are no stated temperatures so there is no way of knowing what they meant by unusually warm.

The authors only compare their results to the data recorded from the late 1970s since that is
when systematic temperature measurements started. Unless you think there was a conspiracy
that started in 1979 to only record arctic temperatures and sea ice extents from a global maximum so that 40 years later scientists could claim there was global warming and a loss of sea ice.

AndyG55

“The long-term trend is clear: the minimum extent and thickness of the sea ice in late summer has been shrinking continually since the end of the 1970s”

Of course it is, NATURALLY.

The end of the 1970s was the highest extent since the LIA, and pretty much the same extent
comment image

Now Germino,

do you agree that….

1. Current levels ae a RECOVERY from extremes highs similar to in the LIA

2. There is nothing unprecedented about these warm surges of air up into the Arctic.

3. Arctic sea ice levels are still above those for most of the last 10,000 years, including the MWP.

Just simple yes or no answers. will do.

tty

Actually periods with temperatures above zero in winter are fairly common in the Atlantic sector of the Arctic, particularly Spitzbergen. As a matter of fact periods of rain and snowmelt followed by cold resulting in extensive ground icing, known as “bad winters” is the main factor keeping down the number of reindeer on Spitzbergen (which have no natural enemies), something that has been known to hunters since way back. Here is a whole dissertation about it:

https://brage.bibsys.no/xmlui/bitstream/handle/11250/187093/nedberg_master2012.pdf?sequence=4&isAllowed=y

A citation (p. 4)

“There is a concern that the climate on Svalbard is getting warmer (Førland et al. In press) and that the frequency of ROS events will increase.”

(my emphasis)

It can even happen in northern Greenland, though less frequently. Peter Freuchen mentions in his memories that when he and Knud Rasmussen started the Thule trading post in NW Greenland in 1910, there were no reindeer at all in the area, they had all starved because of ground ice after a mild period a few years earlier.

Frederik Michiels

What i find amazing is how much trends and analysises are posted for something they clearly sated as weather events…

like they said: “We only carried out an analysis of a single event; we didn’t research the long-term climate aspects” emphasises Binder.

commenting like this is making the same mistakes as warmists do. Don’t fall in that trap.

it’s a good research on which can be based upon to see if similar events took place in the 1920’s – 1930’s.

It’s also good to investigate unusual weather events, as these will be for sure repeated in the future, just as they have been repeated in the past.

in fact their study did do the opposite: instead of making the claim it was “climate change” they attibute it to weather, actually even discarding the claims of the press.

In Europe science works a bit differently: a freak event occurs and they investigate to see if this adds to european weather. To give an idea:

with ideal pressure settings we can freeze our butts off here with -30°C in the winter, and on the opposite side have + 15°C. The arctic around Spitzbergen has the same properties due to the Gulf stream, though even more extreme.

in a chaotic weather system “perfect” conditions do occur. and they explained what these perfect conditions are to reach to that result

MarkW

Germ, real scientists know when they have enough data to make positive statements regarding trends, and when they don’t.
Measuring since the 70’s is measuring from the coldest point on this planet since the Little Ice Age.
Claiming that the current warm snap is something unusual with this little data is disingenuous at best.

Gerald Machnee

Re Geronimo
** beginning of systematic measurements at the end of the 1970s. **
This is not defined. The high Arctic weather stations were started in 1948-50. There were some stations in the eastern Arctic before that. Obviously if the headlines from the 1920’s said temperatures have increased 18 degrees they were not talking about a single event. In addition there was panic that the glaciers in Greenland were melting away. Today it is fake news based on a few pools of water in the summer.
**The authors only compare their results to the data recorded from the late 1970s since that is when systematic temperature measurements started.**
That means they did not do their homework – aka research – failed journalism.

**Unless you think there was a conspiracy that started in 1979 to only record arctic temperatures and sea ice extents from a global maximum so that 40 years later scientists could claim there was global warming and a loss of sea ice.**
Conspiracy? Yes. But it did not start in 1979. In the 1990 IPCC Report they showed low levels of ice in the early 1970’s. Check it yourself. It has been reported several times on Realclimatescience. Then the wamistas altered the IPCC Report and started the ice in 1979.

AndyG55

Hereby noted…., that when asked 3 simple questions.

They agwers and Arctic bed-wetters are missing in answer.

Bruce Cobb

The specially cherry-picked long-term trend is clear.

Hugs

Look, it is not the longest long term period, but it is the longest long term period we could cherry-pick that’d show long-term sea ice decline. And, it is not inconsistent with climate models (that were based on the finding, anyway)./sarc

ossqss

I am curious, what % of Arctic Ice actually melts in the actual Arctic?

I’ve been watching Arctic Ocean buoy observations for a couple of years now and noticed that oddly this NH winter, there are only three buoys reporting to the global synoptic weather network that are not grounded at the coast, unlike past years where there are typically about a dozen or more. There are more than three reporting at the International Arctic Buoy Programme, but most of these are not reported to the synoptic weather network, so I doubt if those data are being ingested into the global weather models. The Arctic drifting buoy data are not included in the surface weather station networks used for most global surface temperature assessments, but they are used by the global weather forecast models and associated reanalyses. You’d think with all the interest in the Arctic weather these days there would be more buoys and not less now.

Another problem I’ve noticed is that some of the buoys are only reporting “surface” temperature at IABP, which is the temperature below the buoy hull and is either the temperature of the sea ice or surface water, as opposed to the “air” temperature. I noticed that two of the buoys reporting supposed air temperatures in the synoptic weather network were actually reporting what is shown as the “surface” ice temperature at IABP and these buoys did not have a reported “air” temperature at IABP. For buoys that report both the ice and the air temperature at IABP, the air temperature is almost always substantially lower than the ice temperature in the NH winter extended night. Thus, if I am not mistaken, this problem could be biasing the weather models a bit high over the Arctic Ocean in recent months, especially with the sparse data in the synoptic network. Perhaps the reanalyses pick up the additional IABP data, but I don’t know if they do.

Yet another potential serious problem with Arctic winter measurements is possible rime icing on the air temperature sensors, especially at unattended automated weather stations which are becoming more common these days. Ice encased sensors are like little igloos and will cause the readings to be substantially higher during times of extreme cold which would include most of the winter, although they may also read too low when air that is not as cold is advected into the area, mainly in the spring before the ice melts. I don’t know how often this problem might occur nor have I been able to find any studies of the situation. I do know that weather stations on high peaks at high latitudes have to deal with severe rime icing, like Mt Washington in the US and Cairngorn in Scotland. I’m not sure how they deal with the icing for temperature measurements at Mt Washington, but I have seen photos of a retractable measurement platform at Cairngorn that is only raised to make spot measurements, rather than continuous measurements. My guess is this type of solution is not likely being used for Arctic buoys or most automated weather stations.

These issues make me wonder just how well we are really monitoring air temperatures in the Arctic.

AGW is not Science

Between the very legitimate issues you’ve raised and the “making up” of data where there is actually *none*, you’ve probably explained much of the cause of the (supposedly) “anomalously warm” Arctic temperature “data.” It certainly isn’t CO2 causing it!

Mohatdebos

The Weather Channel just blew it. They stated that far more people die of cold than heat. Some producer will surely lose their job.

LdB

The CAGW climate police will be around to arrest him.

AGW is not Science

Oh no worries – they’ll just blame THAT on CO2 as well – you know, the “more extreme weather” meme.

On the other hand.

In June 2014, just the “excess sea ice” around Antarctica exceeded the entire area of Greenland. (Kind of makes the potential loss of one Manhattan-sized iceberg sort of meaningless, doesn’t it?)

The total area of all ice around the South Pole (continental land ice, fixed sea ice, and variable sea ice at maximum) is larger than all land areas south of the equator. Put together.

The variable sea ice around Antarctica has been steadily increasing from 1992 – 2015, set all-time high sea ice area records in 2013-2014, then dropping only in 2016-2017 to below the long-term average sea ice areas. (We should calculate whether the warmer 2015-2016 El Nino waters came from warmer waters flowing north on the Peruvian current from those newly-covered millions of square kilometers of excess sea ice around Antarctica. Year round, greater sea ice area mean less heat loss from the Southern Ocean around Antarctica. Warmer waters down south mean warmer water will be flowing north towards Peru.)

If Arctic sea ice is lost (less sea ice is present compared to some arbitrary “average” sea ice area for that date), the newly exposed Arctic Ocean does absorb extra sunlight (compared to the “average” for that date), but only between mid-April to mid-August. The remaining eight months of the year, less sea ice (from any assumed “average Arctic sea ice area”) means increased heat loss from the Arctic Ocean in the fall, winter, and spring up north. This may explain much of what we see up at 80 north: Warmer air temperatures than normal between Septemebr to March, but no increase in air temperatures at all between April and September. (See the DMI 80 North gif for year 1958 – 2017.)

When Arctic sea ice is lost – and there can be no question that today’s Arctic Sea ice areas in all regions are less than they were in 1979-81, and remain below their 30 year daily sea ice averages of 81-2010 – heat losses from the newly exposed Arctic Ocean increase dramatically.
– Evaporation losses go from near-zero (sublimation energy loss is very small) to 25-100 watts/m^2, depending on air temperature, air pressure, and air relative humidity.
– Convection losses increase because the surface temperature difference goes from 1-2 degrees (top of sea ice to air) to 25-30 degrees (water surface to air).
– Conduction losses through the 1 to 3 meter thick sea ice go to zero.
– Long wave radiation losses to the Arctic air increase when sea ice is lost: The upper water surface now continuously radiates LW heat energy at 275 – 278 degrees K; if sea ice was present the upper sea ice surface would radiate LW energy at temperatures between 243 K to 250 K. (LW Radiation Heat loss is proportional to T^4, and the increased losses add up quickly.)

AGW is not Science

Oh c’mon, don’t give us all that LOGIC; didn’t you get the memo?? Sea ice loss = BAD = caused by minuscule human contribution to CO2 emissions = “positive” warming feedback from all that extra sun hitting the water (that is losing heat faster but we won’t mention that). /sarc

The monitoring of temperatures in the Arctic has been becoming more widely scattered and less dense over the last few year, at exactly the same time as the Arctic melting scare stories have multiplied on the basis of less and less real information and more and bigger computer models monitored from the comfort of the laboratory.

AGW is not Science

We should come up with a good name/description for, or maybe an equation/expression for, that relationship.

Basically it seems like the less ACTUAL data is collected, the larger the “anomalies” become.

Latitude

If this is true…
“Weather anomalies accelerate the melting of sea ice”

…then it stands to reason this is also true

“Weather anomalies accelerate the freezing of sea ice”

So explain Larsens 1944 single year NWP navigation via the Northern route. Then get back.
Discussed with more Arctic details in essay Northwest Passage in ebook Blowing Smoke.

AndyG55

And remember, Larson was in a very heavy, Aussie ironbark reinforced sloop, the St Roch, with a small engine, capable of a maximum of about 4 knots under power.

He also sailed through the channel next to Banks Island, which has never been sailed since.

All recent NWP passages have been through the more southern Cambridge Bay routes, in much faster specially designed boats and satellite assistance.

tty

I remember that a chinese ice-breaking freighter went through that channel a few years back, and it has been done occasionally by icebreakers before. But this northern route is very rarely open to non-icebreaking vessels, which makes the northwest passage commercially unviable, since the southern route is too narrow, crooked and shallow for major vessels. I’m not sure if any non-icebreaking vessel has made it by the northern route since 1944.

Incidentally the (southern) NW passage was also navigated in 1937 when the Hudson Bay Company sent supply ships to the Fort Ross trading post both from the east and the west. They met and then returned, the same way they came, so in effect there was two passages.

That, by the way, was the first time anyone went through the Bellot strait (also used by Larsen on his first passage). This is most used route nowadays, since it is the only one that is reliably ice-free in autumn. However before the satellite era it was very dangerous. The strait is very narrow with very strong currents (up to 7 knots) and if you go in and the far end is blocked by ice you are in big trouble.

John Murphy

“The … journey took a total of 86 days (from July 22 to Oct 16 1944), although it actually involved 43 days of actual sailing. That certainly sounds like it was more straightforward and sounds like it may have involved steaming through an ice-free Passage, doesn’t it ? Well, the reality is rather different. The description again is of heavy, tightly-packed ice and atrocious weather – so much so that the only really fine day was actually noted in the account. Again, most of the open water they experienced consisted of leads between the ice, which they had to follow as far as they could before anchoring on the ice to shelter from the persistently bad weather. It was reported by Larsen that that particular season was ‘the worst in years’.
Again, hardly ice-free by any description.
In fact, as Larsen himself later acknowledged, the only reason the voyages were attempted had nothing to do with any widespread opening-up of the Passage and everything to do with WWII and Canada’s determination to re-iterate its sovereignty over the Northwest Passage, and its concern to show that there were no physical obstacles to prevent it defending its territory.” https://skepticalscience.com/northwest-passage-has-been-navigated-in-the-past.htm

There’s a more detailed description on that website if you are at all interested in knowing the facts.

John Murphy

My comment is in reply to ristvan (January 16, 2018 at 6:01 pm)

Griff

There is no comparison with the few transits in the earlier C20th, either multi year in reinforced boats or with heavy icebreaker assistance and the decade of completely open water after 1996, when boats of all sizes (of massive size) with no arctic reinforcement have been able to sail through with no icebreakers used.

MarkW

Griff’s ability to make up whatever data he needs has been improving lately.

MarkW

A decade after 1996 only gets us to 2005. What’s happened in the more than a decade since then?

Bryan A

Not only that big it also paves the way for imbeciles to try to “Row for the Pole” as greenie publicity stunts

TA

Nothing to see here. Nothing unprecedented here. Much ado about nothing.

Ack
Hugs

Yakutians for global warming…

Go there now, soon it will be congested by climate refugees.

mike the morlock

Hello everyone. Hopefully the authors come across this bit of MSM news and investigate. We have bigger problems.

http://www.newson6.com/story/37280548/tulsa-shelters-fill-as-frigid-temps-hit

michael

TA

It’s supposed to get down to about zero F tonight in Tulsa.

But, there’s a big warmup coming as soon as we get through tonight. The next week or so looks downright balmy.

In at least two towns in Oklahoma, temperatures reached new record lows of -28 and -29 F. Lower than yesterday’s temperature at the South Pole (down in the southern summer) at -27 deg F.

Yogi Bear

“The climate scientists’ investigation demonstrated that in the summers of 2007 and 2012, during which these high-pressure situations occurred particularly frequently, they led to cloud-free conditions every third day. The high level of solar radiation intensified and accelerated the melting of the sea ice. “The level of solar radiation is the main factor in the melting of the ice in summer. Unlike with the winter anomaly, the “injected” air at about 8 kilometre altitude from the south is not warm – with minus 60 degrees it’s ice-cold,” says Wernli.”

August 2012 in fact saw a large loss of sea ice due to a low pressure cyclone system:
http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/2012/08/a-summer-storm-in-the-arctic/

Summer 2007 saw the sea ice extent reduce strongly during the months with negative North Atlantic Oscillation conditions, which points to humidity or moisture events into the Arctic.
“One such preconditioning mechanism, potentially related to those listed above, is an anomalously large transport of moisture and heat into the Arctic, a critical component of the accelerated sea ice melt during summer 2007 that eventually led to a record low ice extent”
http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/full/10.1175/BAMS-D-14-00202.1

Also overlooked is that there is typically a strong warm pulse to the AMO roughly 8 months following the Dec peak of an El Nino episode.

Ominous news. A cooler planet kills more people; ice ages kill millions more.

We are told that any year-long ice and snow (sea ice or land-based ice caps and glaciers) at 60 North latitude controls long term climate much more than sea ice further north, ice closer to the poles.

And, obviously, the majority of the Arctic Sea Ice is up north floating (freezing and melting) above the “Arctic Ocean” between 70 north latitude and the pole.

Note: The NSIDC, DMI (Denmark), JAXA (Japanese), Cryosphere (University of Illinois), and other national sea ice laboratories exclude fixed sea ice shelves from their daily sea ice area (and sea ice extent) reports, the Baltic Sea; any US shoreside “sea ice” in harbors or estuaries (Boston, Bar Harbor, New York harbor, Long Island Sound, etc. – even though these areas did freeze out as recently as the 1820’s!. They exclude all fresh water “lake” ice (which includes the Great Lakes, Lake Baikal in Russia, Crater Lake, Lake Yellowstone, etc.

Broadly speaking, you can then segregate the daily “Sea Ice Area” reports into two groups. The largest of these is the central Arctic itself plus all of the smaller seas clustered around north coast of Alaska, Canada, Norway-Russia, Siberia and between land in the Canadian Archipelago, the Greenland Sea, Denmark Strait. All of these sea ice areas are well north of latitude 70 north, even at Arctic sea ice maximum in March each year. At sea ice minimum area in September, the average edge of the central Arctic sea ice is between 78 and 80 north latitude. A little remains between the islands making up the Canadian Archipelago, but not very much.

There are four other Arctic Sea Ice regions. These four are all much further south, are themselves small regions – but they add up to 2.6 Mkm^2. And all four of these regional sea ice masses have been increasing the past four years.

Bering Sea:
Hudson Bay:
Sea of Okhotsk:
Gulf of St Lawrence:

Bering Sea: 0.614 Mkm^2 at maximum, 60 degree latitude.
The recent ten year (2006-2015) average maximum Bering Sea area was .614 Mkm^2, the long-term “climatic average” of 1981-2010 Bering Sea maximum was only 0.530 Mkm^2. The Bering Sea ice maximum decreased a bit in 2016 and 2017 from this new record high average area, but there is more ominous news.
For the first time ever in the satellite record, the Bering Sea ice did not melt out over the summer. Was this multi-year ice covering a large area? No, only a few tens of thousands of square kilometers. If it remains through 2018, the Bering Sea could be covered in places with third-year sea ice.

Hudson Bay: 1.210 Mkm^2 at maximum, 60 degree north latitude.
We can essentially repeat the same words here.
The recent ten year (2006-2015) average maximum Hudson Bay area was 1.210 Mkm^2, the long-term “climatic average” of 1981-2010 Hudson Bay maximum was only 1.183 Mkm^2. The Hudson Bay ice maximum decreased a bit in 2016 and 2017 from this new record high average area down to its long-term average sea ice maximum area, but there is more ominous news.
As usual in the satellite record, the Hudson Bay sea ice did not melt out over the summer. Again, only a few thousands of kilometers of sea ice remained solid through the entire summer. The 2006-2015, 2014-2015, and 2016-2017 average summer minimums were essentially unchanged from each other; and each of these more recent average Hudson Bay sea ice minimums were less than the longer-term 1981-2010 average minimum. However, there has been a substantial (more than doubling of the recent average daily levels) of Hudson Bay sea ice between mid-Dec 2017 and mid-Jan of 2018.
More troubling, the recent record-breaking Hudson Bay sea ice average maximum was not a short, one or two day spike. The “climatic” 30-year (1981-2010 average) Hudson Bay sea ice maximum was 1.182 on DOY=51 (21 Feb), increased to 1.183 on DOY=53, then dropped below 1.182 two later on DOY=55 (24 Feb).
The 2014-2015 Hudson Bay sea ice average maximum passed the old maximum on DOY=37 (6 Feb), increased to 1.210 on DOY=72 on 13 March, then finally dropped below the old record maximum sea ice area on DOY76 (17 March), 40 days later!

Sea of Okhotsk: 0.815 Mkm^2 at maximum, 58 degree north latitude (at nominal center of sea ice).
Let’s repeat the same words again.
The recent ten year (2006-2015) average maximum Sea of Okhotsk area was 0.727 Mkm^2, the long-term “climatic average” of 1981-2010 Bering Sea maximum was only slightly larger at 0.815 Mkm^2. The Sea of Okhotsk average sea ice maximum increased a bit in 2016 and 2017 from the 2014-2015 sea ice high average area of 0.562, but there is more ominous news.
For the first time ever in the satellite record, the Sea of Okhotsk sea ice did not melt out over the summer. Was this multi-year ice covering a large area? No, like the Bering Sea nearby, only a few tens of thousands of square kilometers. If it remains through 2018, the Sea of Okhotsk could also be covered in places with third-year sea ice in 2018.
Many, but not all, of the most recent Dec 2016-2017 Sea of Okhotsk daily sea ice averages are equal to or greater than the 1981-2010 climatic daily averages, and the more recent 2006-2015 and 2014-2015 average daily levels. This could mean a substantially higher daily sea ice levels in January and February over the climatic (long-term) daily sea ice average areas.

Gulf of St Lawrence: 0.176 mkm^2 at maximum,
We can essentially repeat the same words used for Hudson Bay here. The Gulf of St Lawrence is much smaller than Hudson Bay, and it is much further south south of the center of the near-circular Hudson Bay, but it is nearby geographically – there is little reason to suspect there will be significant differences between the two.
The recent ten year (2006-2015) average maximum St Lawrence Gulf sea ice area was 0.176 Mkm^2, significantly higher than the long-term “climatic average” of 1981-2010 St Lawrence maximum of only 0.139 Mkm^2. The St Lawrence Gulf average sea ice maximum decreased in 2016 and 2017 from this new record high average area, but -as usual today – there is more ominous news.

As usual in the satellite record, the Gulf of St Lawrence did melt out over the summer.

However, the St Lawrence Gulf 2016-2017 average regional sea ice remained present 30 days longer into August than the 1981-2010 long-term average, and refroze the same day as the long-term sea ice average (1 Nov), but it did melt out completely in summer 2017.

However, there has been a essentially no change from the long-term average daily sea ice areas between 1 Nov 2017 and mid-Jan of 2018, compared to the 1981-2010 daily average, the 2006-2014 daily average, the 2014-2015 and the 2016-2017 daily sea ice averages.

Toneb

“For the first time ever in the satellite record, the Sea of Okhotsk sea ice did not melt out over the summer. Was this multi-year ice covering a large area? No, like the Bering Sea nearby, only a few tens of thousands of square kilometers. If it remains through 2018, the Sea of Okhotsk could also be covered in places with third-year sea ice in 2018.

You’re describing weather…..

Time-series representations of maximum sea ice extents in the Sea of Okhotsk from 1971 to 2017.
http://www.data.jma.go.jp/gmd/kaiyou/data/english/seaice_okhotsk/sea_ice_extent_okhotsk.png

“For the first time ever in the satellite record, the Bering Sea ice did not melt out over the summer. Was this multi-year ice covering a large area? No, only a few tens of thousands of square kilometers. If it remains through 2018, the Bering Sea could be covered in places with third-year sea ice.”

Eh?
You’ve said it again
And Wrong!!
See below…..

http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/files/2017/09/Figure1-1.png

Er, right. Your attempt at rebutting the numbers fails:

I correctly described both Sea of Okhotsk and Bering Sea summer ice minimum areas for 2016 and 2017 – correctly noting the inconvenient fact that neither region melted out completely in either summer 2016 and summer 2017, and you show a plot of decreasing winter ice maximum extents? (The plot, by the way, displays a series of sea ice extent maximum in millions of sq kilometers. You need a few more decimal places to show what I properly described as only a few thousand sq kilometers of sea ice that was did not melt out through the summer.)

Look at the NSIDC regional daily sea ice areas for both sea ice regions. The FIRST year they did not melt out since the satellite records began was 2016. Then 2017.

Data from:
The Excel workbook contains average daily sea ice extent from 1978 to present,
using 5-day trailing averages, in square kilometers, by region of the Arctic
Ocean.

Data are from the NSIDC Sea Ice Index (http://nsidc.org/data/seaice_index),
using data from the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) series of
passive microwave remote sensing instruments. The Sea Ice Index is based on the
data sets, Near-Real-time DMSP SSM/I-SSMIS Daily Polar Gridded Sea Ice
Concentrations (http://nsidc.org/data/nsidc-0081), and the NASA-produced Sea Ice
Concentrations from Nimbus-7 SMMR and DMSP SSM/I Passive Microwave Data
(http://nsidc.org/data/nsidc-0051).

For more information, see the Sea Ice Index user guide (http://nsidc.org/data/g02135).

For questions or assistance, contact NSIDC User Services at nsidc@nsidc.org.

Citation

As a condition of using these data, you must cite the use of this data set. See
the Sea Ice Index product landing page (https://nsidc.org/data/g02135) for
citation format.

For figures or illustrations made with the data, the credit in the caption
should read “Credit: Sea Ice Index, National Snow and Ice Data Center.”

Toneb

“Er, right. Your attempt at rebutting the numbers fails:”

Really then explain this please…..

So you refute the graphic showing the complete absence of ice in the Bering Sea and the sea of Okhotsk this last Sept and for Sept 2016 do you?
Splendid.
Here is the Sept extent for both 2016 and 2017.
Say what?

http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/files/2016/09/Figure1-859×1024.png
http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/files/2017/09/Figure1-1.png

And here are the actual daily Ice Area values from NSIDC for the 2nd, 12th, and 22nd of each month.

1979	1980	1981	1982	1983	1984	1985	1986	1987	1988	1989
638222	528540	220700	371361	526387	259086	426981	337455	332656		134865
936874	667227	338627	547450	438333	386357	576638	461095	485348		276352
1134523	736395	512710	610412	629700	383670	711900	618046	679352	647209	471553
1214790	844122	691767	794917	836468	488281	893573	738098	792043	770157	395584
1197326	984990	856966	841428	996538	421261	927835	884685	900478	671984	598606
1248232	1185125	899797	894564	1081986	572657	707641	872597	966543	806478	749205
1240705	1174883	980867	923067	1138437	558104	830448	816387	840527	981961	804497
1345789	1078975	1038133	995232	1023385	611853	952999	951197	760824	1164939	812607
1210597	1059375	876906	1040177	941835	656018	976225	847046	706490	783551	589156
1157038	1099967	886190	928255	898139	633794	744957	745328	677024	652095	530451
976785	995818	727903	895322	623658	580638	623206	610813	584311	589358	405217
845630	942968	483555	735247	429904	391277	561009	399396	410666	457724	290193
639151	732296	263744	514827	247483	207810	430872	260213	241416	308129	176496
335997	520654	137186	308965	158370	130464	362787	119879	153786	199517	123928
115791	296209	62598	142640	117189	92415	281318	84745	108810	105808	92199
69715	127761	33437	62619	89002	70591	139101	56587	72469	65671	62669
42600	89352	28212	41135	54200	44090	70185	33438	45412	46018	29701
43612	64828	26967	41877	41305	39799	36150	24346	38258	34391	25989
12252	27483	15997	14935	26612	20985	11173	21754	28867	13494	13614
0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0
0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0
0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0
0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0
0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0
0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0
0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0
0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0
7230	7778	5086	9297	7281	5885	8895	4832	3726	4235	6098
15252	18142	15473	16944	19340	16365	11536	15321	11793	11337	15624
19248	13089	11782	16793	14777	12003	19929	13216	12214	10871	10429
19160	19757	21633	19048	17216	23667	21884	22091	13495	9626	15141
28480	30457	19195	25454	26043	36446	29961	18912	20440	21764	20420
52644	28144	23922	37307	33164	34505	21896	29426	28794	20078	26617
136575	69003	43140	66684	47940	92420	48313	44026	50398	30853	42265
241297	91083	72757	211168	66176	172375	93939	69826		53960	94880
287796	150719	150964	399817	138732	338848	171062	190789		78331	170298

Nope, no sea ice there. Let’s try again.

1990	1991	1992	1993	1994	1995	1996	1997	1998	1999	2000	2001	2002	2003	2004	2005	2006	2007	2008
232456	213540	231496	339332	387758	423192	143153	259234	292689	411975	172742	442747	307480	348291	335923	310907	167903	280056	185217
360521	189802	395941	427135	564379	540341	154169	356139	424866	391031	238604	550140	381981	523873	441933	354399	266764	335904	292060
511942	298346	466115	609941	610698	686279	309907	399689	509595	541553	377674	681529	644345	693098	543473	458993	311945	511835	469376
647914	345415	633369	623686	794103	651770	400104	370779	605231	596464	625023	912997	710615	663240	564390	517951	363550	720048	636461
813398	443539	742768	753946	819073	843774	420847	583472	724133	670081	820740	1070775	788662	841947	627881	505825	493910	748960	735392
819544	472024	769272	815184	706877	670286	544262	566242	799602	826032	826919	1214248	912265	907710	716180	620874	568943	805295	648389
876623	538637	680927	849025	603505	734299	639701	647511	904821	797033	886428	1188479	960611	992363	746870	622509	524832	798419	658910
857586	592878	675756	925262	593748	710399	638219	613920	935717	761394	938411	1175583	953111	867952	791609	618357	608552	725670	709108
768712	651726	787522	677020	575133	674959	608391	589428	764224	909113	986701	1104422	966182	874307	588277	579261	526079	536747	559365
616711	653552	636403	772078	613194	704404	598045	452728	681498	893427	760856	834878	771854	729371	533388	458798	467638	530748	465318
350369	525574	482327	553885	499402	530093	326155	298499	608756	831181	608885	825120	597989	585005	413874	421770	403160	395902	412156
265562	317860	372148	431728	383253	442942	251988	164816	416274	575822	436852	638877	452630	395380	311832	343229	366519	320223	349000
155921	175577	247762	223793	306153	314786	142562	108873	324024	423262	261643	538610	306980	220234	181926	257705	224183	215317	269610
93093	109120	132863	133224	221586	195493	84784	64407	218250	286640	110781	429264	180625	108009	111742	168624	132405	131383	153248
50493	77024	97310	75900	165417	107094	52244	44417	123784	200165	54682	249428	63748	68624	70567	117360	89394	85144	89483
28565	52496	55752	44610	121619	62233	26407	27856	70342	116532	36756	149252	31825	40953	46768	67591	57135	46949	42648
24789	32894	32339	32014	93336	41129	24282	22350	43241	57345	27365	89256	18874	26347	35573	50164	34374	30826	33779
20651	27288	29260	24140	69309	35746	20847	21368	27910	38373	25313	55121	19662	21056	27103	38405	28221	21134	24841
12498	12023	15035	12733	32320	18029	13586	8960	12029	21463	8941	25716	9962	9456	14451	17849	14262	11949	9978
0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0
0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0
0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0
0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0
0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0
0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0
0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0
0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0
8153	4045	8407	5091	6045	6497	6891	8363	8192	5558	2535	5450	6668	4852	4878	5613	6049	4824	3833
12469	15730	13768	12831	13831	9350	16607	16713	7809	16468	14884	10250	14034	8332	13570	8836	13759	14009	19429
15937	16081	10847	13838	16393	10381	10487	18822	9718	14371	13625	12291	10406	10038	7240	8313	6958	12998	8928
13982	14236	17701	18680	14502	27098	12697	8843	16929	17262	7900	13283	14045	15654	8682	12862	13985	7944	13496
34813	23848	20656	17946	21789	25384	19638	10211	16529	15367	14800	15548	24385	12015	13661	21330	11661	11336	15703
27563	19861	27045	24318	35510	20164	25189	19409	28007	15672	32063	16291	20034	20735	19607	12352	15991	20786	24254
43198	29805	73602	67092	57390	26165	34175	35336	120385	39631	100592	47043	34723	38631	32854	34551	27915	28953	32274
57748	61662	188573	192105	117327	37195	59343	77427	278046	91699	215900	108731	71677	114618	107791	40343	99412	56893	54552
136132	122787	265575	313464	262572	72598	203407	173540	337611	105628	342965	193793	190118	214891	222980	73249	191983	114941	102689

Nope, no sea ice those dates either. What about the last few years?

2009	2010	2011	2012	2013	2014	2015	2016	2017
92999	220223	115747	340859	229138	95194	234895	202393	293409
201047	303907	278734	403199	388493	221720	257738	337124	417966
395398	415298	288185	456909	427288	354297	371637	393083	448886
419076	479371	436187	505389	549332	598192	421334	494756	571222
485338	503827	464043	646298	577789	496506	433075	628036	482232
623802	691057	587973	754374	683696	549774	455390	749002	502537
728713	670136	658863	802345	774761	633453	490441	822439	602828
620182	814181	596927	858310	736152	543084	463934	849261	506285
521889	759506	620301	809558	731708	617688	433422	698508	397520
400172	731904	644085	796797	611986	465457	423212	562141	360635
374840	645347	491391	609879	460329	324644	424981	429429	293879
289026	515479	360607	430891	295748	206885	347351	379950	197624
242499	384462	248082	284137	247366	125082	221023	263136	137914
178347	208381	145426	197636	222145	75860	128231	131923	84099
126221	127000	85342	131880	167354	49761	92259	73625	55250
61353	82502	38546	64856	106589	29920	60699	47743	30315
36865	49527	26641	38466	65564	24642	42426	32231	24576
29195	32669	21592	30075	51745	16698	36900	26407	19893
17123	10866	6153	11114	22656	12864	17117	12592	9788
0	0	0	0	0	0	0	4238	3866
0	0	0	0	0	0	0	3833	4952
0	0	0	0	0	0	0	4624	4557
0	0	0	0	0	0	0	6020	5643
0	0	0	0	0	0	0	7325	6980
0	0	0	0	0	0	0	4183	6681
0	0	0	0	0	0	0	438	793
0	0	0	0	0	0	0	409	694
6854	4718	7276	7890	10217	9949	10924	5631	6301
13858	14999	18808	17570	14741	18812	19803	14530	11595
14642	13861	16530	19226	9921	16637	17700	16155	13065
12705	12251	14059	23793	15442	20119	15524	11217	15795
15237	14793	17040	16833	25501	18527	16084	20643	22529
21521	20207	33279	22681	28043	12969	25884	25048	17281
40465	33515	36912	27856	23463	37393	34004	93607	44145
85497	50004	115169	42522	44728	59670	69602	148142	117500
150721	131201	242225	82777	48777	158614	120886	195360	209664

Odd. Exactly what I said: The sea ice in the Sea of Okhotsk ALWAYS melted out. Until the summer of 2016. And again, the summer of 2017. My statement that thousands of sq kilometers remained is incorrect: At minimum, the daily sea ice in the Sea of Okhotsk only reached several hundreds of sq kilometers at minimum in both 2016 and 2017. More than ten “Manhattan Islands” of sea ice.

Toneb

Ok … summat wrong somewhere.
Tried but I cant get to your numbers from your links.

wildeco2014

Interesting reference to compression heating of descending air in light of my previous comments in posts relating to an atmospheric mass induced surface temperature enhancement.

TA

“Interesting reference to compression heating of descending air”

Yeah, maybe they have stumbled onto something here. 🙂

MattS

Loss of sea ice allows the relatively warm arctic ocean to lose heat and thus cool. Loss of ice is therefore a negative feedback to warming.

Indeed, just like the tropics have large daily rain showers.

Griff

That’s not the whole story… in summer it allows arctic waters to warm and the heat is retained into the winter…

MarkW

Poor little Griff, so desperately trying to support the lies he’s been told to believe.
At the low angles found in the arctic, there is no difference in reflectivity between water and ice.
Actually, since ice often gets covered with soot and dust, the ice can actually be a better absorber of sunlight than water.

RWturner

But the lowest possible angle for sunlight to strike the Arctic Sea is 43 degrees where a few percent of the sunlight is reflected off the water. That is the very minimum angle on June 21st and it is at 66.5 degrees at the pole. All other days receive a higher angle, and once you go above 66.6 degrees, the percent of sunlight that is reflected off sea water increases rapidly, about 50% above 80 degrees and of course there is no direct sunlight above 90 degrees.

The loss of radiant heat from open ocean in a region with an air temperature below freezing has a bigger impact than sunlight has the ability to warm it at these degrees of incidence.

RWTurner: Remember, you are describing the Arctic solar elevation angles (angle from the horizon up to the center of the sun) using their complementary term – the solar zenith angle (angle from the vertical down to the center of the sun.) Either can be used, and astronomers do prefer SZA because they are looking at stars ideally very high in the sky with the least atmospheric absorption and diffraction and diffusion. The Arctic sun is very low in the sky at all times of the year – at the pole itself below the horizon 6 months of the year.

SEA (solar elevation angle) is easier to “use in descriptions” up north because the sun is low in the sky, very strongly attenuated by 6 to 13 air masses between the observer and the sun.

MarkW:

True, very true that the Arctic sea ice becomes very dark (on average) through the Arctic summer between mid April and mid-Sept. However, even at its darkest, the Arctic sea ice albedo at 0.42 (averaged value in late July) or lowest measured value (0.38 at August 5), it is still slightly higher than the typical calm water open ocean albedo of 0.35 for a solar elevation angle below 6 degrees. (Arctic sea ice albedos from Dr Curry’s SHEBA year-long measurements in 1998, Pegau and Paulsen for open water albedoes.)

Even when sea ice is at its darkest in mid-summer, there is heat being absorbed into the exposed arctic ocean, it is just that 8 months of the year, more heat is lost from the newly exposed arctic ocean than is gained by this extra absorbed energy.

Toneb

So you re saying that a planet with no Arctic sea-ice will be a colder planet?

Arctic sea-ice will only form when the Arctic is on average colder.
Yes?
So you are saying that simultaneously losing Arctic sea-ice will both make the planet colder but NOT allow sea-ice to form.
Really?
I suggest you need to go back to the drawing-board.

[??? .mod]

Toneb

“[??? .mod]”

The poster argues that removal of ice causes the earth to cool at a faster rate.
Which ergo must then cool the Arctic.
Which must then cause ice to form!
The ice-loss must be looked at over the whole year.
Not just for winter.
In summer there is a reduced albedo and absorption of SW by the ocean.
It must also be looked at in terms of what that warming of the troposphere because of more open waters in the Arctic does in terms of atmospheric circulation.
Warm air in the Arctic induces a -ve AO which in turn causes Arctic plunges further south, which causes warm air to advect north and so on.

Toneb:

Clearly, it depends on the time of the day, the day of the year, and the local “weather” conditions above the Arctic ice: the local pressure (affects relative humidity), the previous weather (rain or snow or clear skies the night before the daylight hours), the local latitude, the local cloud condition above the sea ice, the local 2 meter air temperature, the local wind, the local surface water temperature and clarity.
In general, between mid-April and mid-August (four months of the year) we consistently observe that there is enough sunlight on the ice long enough to cause surface melting of the snow and ice on top of the sea ice to melt. Some of these melt ponds do “melt through” the 1-2 meter sea ice and drain out [their] trapped fresh water down to the ocean. Many do not. Some of the floating sea ice breaks up, moves apart under the wind, and some of it moves together and gets piled up into rows and spines. But most of it does not. By mid-August (12 August at 78 north latitude, as reported by Dr Curry during SHEBA) there are enough heat LOSSES overnight above the sea ice that ALL of the absorbed heat from sunlight through the daylight hours was lost, and the trapped fresh water froze up. Every night after 12 August, the ice refroze, each night a little thicker.

Thus, yes. Loss of sea ice from today’s average sea ice conditions causes increased heat loss from the exposed Arctic ocean 8 months of the year. Loss of sea ice from today’s sea ice conditions causes temporary – not permanent! – heat gain into the surface waters 4 months of the year. Less sea ice = More cooling. (Most of the time.)

Obviously, there will be Arctic sea ice up north. The only question is whether that sea ice will be slightly more, or slightly less than the “official” 1981-2010 climate-assigned “daily average” now used. Arctic sea ice (at maximum) is now consistently only some 7% below “the official average.”

The sunlight at midnight is usually very low at most latitudes most of the year. And the sunlight at noon is some 600% of the sunlight at 7:00 AM. Does that mean that we should base our measurement of the noon sunlight on the 5:00 AM – 7:00 AM “average sunlight”? Before you can assign an “official sea ice average extent” it is essential that we get through at least one AMO-PDO cycle of 66 years.

Gary Pearse

In Alberta the warmth from compression is called a chinook. In the middle of January you could ride a horse into and back out of the warm air. Its been happening there for centuries and th3 cold isn’t diminishing in Alberta’s winters.

That said, in 2007 the ice melted because it was broken up by an big August storm and was flushed out Fram Strait to melt in the Atlantic. Sorry Willy, our memories are longer than that. Someone here has a video they made using satellite images over the duration of this storm. Quite a dramatic video. Hmm…ah here is the dramatic animation. Scroll down

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/04/13/watching-the-2007-historic-low-sea-ice-flow-out-of-the-arctic-sea/

Coeur de Lion

I have this bet in my blogosphere- £100 that September 2018 will see more ice than 2017. Like 2016. Nobody takes me up. Bother.

donald penman

If cold air is going from the arctic to the mid latitudes then warm air is going from the mid latitudes to replace this air. I think just speculating that you would need high pressure and clear skies in the arctic in the winter to increase surface heat lost to space and low pressure in the arctic during the summer and not clear skies to reduce surface heat loss. It makes some sense at least to me what is being said here and I note that we have had a lot of blocking and high pressure in the arctic so far this winter.

Ghalfrunt

What weather feature has lasted from 1972 to present that has produced a [fall in sea ice] call in we ice (averaged)?

[Correct. But the mods think the original was much more entertaining an entry. .mod]

Ghalfrunt

Call=fall.we=sea!!!!

donald penman

I believe an explanation that I heard was that the Atlantic Oscillation trended positive during this period rather than negative

Griff

“The problem is, we’ve really got only a few decades of observations to compare with..”

No, we now have good collated records on arctic sea ice going back to 1850.

RWturner

Arctic sea ice data from a variety of historical sources have been synthesized into a database extending back to 1850

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1931-0846.2016.12195.x/abstract

Usually science deals with empirical data or experiments. Climastrology is a special field, using interpolation of synthesized data.

MarkW

In little Griff’s world, a single captains log is the equivalent to a full year of satellite data.

Mihaly Malzenicky

The editors of the page may be honored to report such research. This may be the case with the climate alarmist stigma.

RWturner

Compression thereby warmed the originally cold air, before it entered the “highway to the Arctic”.

Where did the energy come from to do this? Gravitational potential energy. Quick, someone find me a single climatology paper or even a heat budget diagram that factors in gravitational compression of the atmosphere at all.

Toneb

“Where did the energy come from to do this? Gravitational potential energy. Quick, someone find me a single climatology paper or even a heat budget diagram that factors in gravitational compression of the atmosphere at all.”

Heating via subsidence in an anticyclone is weather.
Not climate.
Air also cools by expansion on rising.
The two cancel.

TomRude

In the winter of 2015/16, something happened that had never before been seen on this scale: at the end of December, temperatures rose above zero degrees Celsius for several days in parts of the Arctic. (…) “We heard about this from the media,” says Heini Wernli, Professor of Atmospheric Dynamics at ETH Zurich.

Not only these experts studying the Arctic get their measurements from… the news, and they really love to stage themselves… But stuff like this is too funny:

Areas of low pressure “inject” air masses into the Arctic
These high-pressure systems developed through an influx of air from temperate latitudes

Sure, 300 hPa warm air pushes 1060 HPa cold air…
Meanwhile reality of atmospheric circulation has been published for a while…
http://ddata.over-blog.com/xxxyyy/2/32/25/79/Leroux-Global-and-Planetary-Change-1993.pdf

Toneb

“Sure, 300 hPa warm air pushes 1060 HPa cold air…
Meanwhile reality of atmospheric circulation has been published for a while…”

Basic meteorology.

A dome of warm air has anticyclonic curvature.
When “injected” into the Arctic via warm advection an anticyclone is induced.
In short, air aloft flows from warm to cold and turns to the right via Coriolis forming an anticyclone.
Clockwise rotation and induced decent.