Video: Fifteen Years of Change in the Arctic – plus an interesting twist

The essay below has the typical “Arctic Sea Ice is Disappearing!” flavor, but it has an interesting premise at the end: summer albedo changes in the seas that have Arctic sea ice and volcanic ash issues. I wonder if all that detergent, fertilizers, and other nutrient laden runoff that makes it into the ocean isn’t more responsible for Arctic sea ice retreat via albedo changes producing algal blooms and generally increased growth that absorb more solar radiation than clear seawater. Albedo changes are for more powerful at climate forcing than carbon dioxide – Anthony.

Guest essay by Adam Voiland via NASA Earth Observatory

Remember the year 2000? Bill Clinton was president of the United States, Faith Hill and Santana topped Billboard music charts, and the world’s computers had just “survived” the Y2K bug. It also was the year that NASA’s Terra satellite began collecting images of Earth.

Eighteen years later, the versatile satellite  with five scientific sensors  is still operating. For all of that time, the satellite’s Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) has been collecting daily data and imagery of the Arctic  and the rest of the planet, too.

If you knew where to look and were willing to wait patiently for file downloads, the images have always been available on specialized websites used by scientists. But there was no quick-and-easy way for the public to browse the imagery. With the recent addition of the full record of MODIS data into NASA’s Worldview browser, checking on what was happening anywhere in the world on any day since 2000 has gotten much easier.

Say you want to check on the weather in your hometown on the day you or your child was born. Just navigate to the date on Worldview, and make sure that the MODIS data layer is turned on. (In the image below, you can tell the Terra MODIS data layer is on because it is light gray.)

This Worldview screenshot shows the first day that Terra MODIS collected data — February 24, 2000. The very first Terra scene showed northern Argentina and Chile. Credit: EOSDIS.

One of the things I love about having all this MODIS data at my fingertips is that it makes it possible to see the passage of relatively long periods of time in just a few minutes. Look, for instance, at the animation at the top of this page, generated by Delft University of Technology ice scientist Stef Lhermitte using Worldview.

Lhermitte summoned every natural-color MODIS image of the Arctic that Terra and Aqua (which also has a MODIS instrument) have collected since April 2003. The result  a product of 71,000 satellite overpasses  is a remarkable six-minute time capsule of swirling clouds, bursts of wildfire smoke, the comings and goings of snow, and the ebb and flow of sea ice.

Though beautiful, Lhermitte’s animation also has a troubling side to it. If you look carefully, you can see the downward trend in sea ice extent. Look, for instance, at mid-August and September 2012  the period when Arctic sea ice extent hit a record-low minimum of 3.4 million square miles. Between the heavy cloud cover, you will see lots of dark open water. Compare that to the same period in 2003, when the minimum extent was 6.2 million square miles.  Scientists attribute the loss of sea ice to global warming.


NASA Earth Observatory chart by Joshua Stevens, using data from the National Snow and Ice Data Center.

Earth Matters had a conversation with Lhermitte to find why he made the clip and what stands out about it. MODIS images of notable events that Lhermitte mentioned are interspersed throughout the interview. All of the images come from the archives of NASA Earth Observatory, a website that was founded in 1999 in conjunction with the launch of Terra.

What prompted you to create this animation?

The extension of the MODIS record back to the beginning of the mission in the Worldview website triggered me to make the animation. As a remote sensing scientist, I often use Worldview to put things into context (e.g. for studying changes over ice sheets and glaciers). Previously, Worldview only had data until 2010.

What do you think are the most interesting events or patterns visible in the clip?

I think the strength of the video is that it contains so many of them, and it allows you to see them all in one video. The ones that are most striking to me are:

An Aqua MODIS image of a bloom in the Barents Sea on August 14, 2011. Image by Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team at NASA GSFC.

+ algal blooms in the Barents Sea

+ declining sea ice extent. You can see this both annually and over the longer term.

+ changing snow extent. You can see this each summer, especially over Canada and Siberia.

+ summer wildfire smoke in Canada (2004, 2005, 2009, 2014, 2017) and Russia (2006, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016)

+ albedo reductions (reduction in brightness) over the Greenland Ice Sheet in 2010 and 2012 related to strong melt years.

+ overall eastward atmospheric circulation

+ the Grímsvötn ash plume (21 May 2011)

How did you make it? Was it difficult from a technical standpoint?

It was simple. I just downloaded the MODIS quicklook data from the Worldview archive using an automated script. Afterwards, I slightly modified the images for visualization purposes (e.g. overlaying country borders, clipping to a circular area). and stitched everything together in a video.

When you sit back and watch the whole video, how does it make you feel?

On the one hand, I am fascinated by the beauty and complexity of our planet. On the other hand, as a scientist, it makes me want to understand its processes even better. The video shows so many different processes at different scales, from natural processes (annual changes in snow cover and the Vatnajökull ash plume) to climate change related changes (e.g. the long term decrease in sea ice).

Terra MODIS image of the eruption of Grímsvötn Volcano in Iceland on May 22, 2011. NASA image by Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team.

There are some gaps during the winter where the extent of the sea ice abruptly changes. Can you explain why?

used the standard reflectance products, which show the reflected sunlight. I decided to leave all dates out where part of the Arctic is without sunlight during satellite overpasses (approximately 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. local time). The missing data due to the polar night are very prominent if you compile the complete record including winter months, and I did not want it to distract the viewer from the more subtle changes in the video.

A Terra MODIS image of smoke and fires in Siberia on June 29, 2012. NASA image by Jeff Schmaltz, LANCE MODIS Rapid Response.

In the course of your day job as a scientist, do you use MODIS imagery? For what purpose?

Yes, as a polar remote sensing scientist, I tend to work with a range of satellite data sets. MODIS is a unique data product, given its global daily coverage and its long record. Besides the fact that I use MODIS frequently to monitor ice shelves and outlet glaciers, my colleagues and I use it to study snow and ice-albedo processessnow cover in mountainous areasvegetation recovery after wildfires, and ecosystem processes. One MODIS animation of ice calving from a glacier in Antarctica actually made it into the Washington Post recently.

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J Mac
April 29, 2018 11:52 am

I see a slow warming trend with slowly decreasing arctic ice, similar to what was documented by the USS Skate submarine in 1958. Mariners, whalers, and fur trappers documented similar low ice conditions around 1900. Fro more on the USS Skate and North Pole ice, see:

Steve Keohane
April 29, 2018 12:03 pm

Anthony, I think you meant far not for in “:Albedo changes are for more powerful”

April 29, 2018 12:14 pm

“The video shows so many different processes at different scales”
I only see CO2.

Reply to  Max Photon
April 29, 2018 1:32 pm

Me too, me too!
CO2, this silent cause of ice ages: more of it => more vegetation => more Sun’s energy absorbed into creation of yet more vegetation + CO2 can’t really trap any more heat (green-housing past ~400ppm) => feeds instead the vegetation until everything freezes over! Let’s call it the inverse hockey shtick.

M Courtney
April 29, 2018 12:20 pm

I’ve long argued that the increase in population along the rivers of Alaska and Siberia will have caused more warm water to flow into Arctic.
Hadn’t thought about the human waste. Those algal blooms have to eat something.

Reply to  M Courtney
April 29, 2018 12:45 pm

indeed. something also has to eat the algal blooms. it is no surprise that the barents sea has been producing record catches of cod for a long time now, notable the quota was 1 million tonnes in 2013. i want it to get colder to shift peak cod producing conditions further south, much further south.

Roger Knights
Reply to  M Courtney
April 29, 2018 12:55 pm

I read years ago that holding lakes behind dams along Siberian rivers allow spring meltwater to get warmed up by the sun before being released to the sea, thereby warming the Arctic Ocean.

Reply to  M Courtney
April 29, 2018 2:31 pm

Primary productivity of the Arctic has been steadily increasing in the 2003-2017 period, albeit with interannual + and – fluctuations. Primary productive is the base level of the food chain that supports all the creatures above it. In Arctic waters, this is photosynthesizing phytoplankton species and sea ice algal colonies.

NOAA’s Arctic Report Card highlights for Primary Productivity:
– Estimates of ocean primary productivity via satellite observations showed widespread positive (increasing) anomalies for 2017 (relative to the 2003-2016 mean) for all regions, with the most pronounced overall trends over the years 2003-2017 occurring in the Barents Sea and Eurasian Arctic regions.
– The regional distribution of positive (negative) anomalies in chlorophyll-a concentrations can often be associated with a relatively early (late) breakup of the sea ice cover.
– During May 2017, strong positive anomalies in chlorophyll-a concentrations occurred in the northwestern Bering Sea and in the southeastern Chukchi Sea off the coast of Point Hope, while widespread negative anomalies occurred in the Barents Sea. Negative anomalies for 2017 were also prevalent across broad areas of the Kara and Laptev seas, particularly during June, July, and August.
– Some of the most significant increases in chlorophyll-a concentrations over the years 2003-2017 have occurred during May in localized areas of the Labrador Sea and the Barents Sea.
source here:

This all likely due to the combination of lower summer sea ice extent and increased CO2 fertilization for phytoplankton production. And in the Arctic, due to permafrost greatly limiting land primary productivity, means that essentially all the land animals get their calories from the surrounding seas productivity.
Basically, more CO2, more and fatter polar bears. The exact opposite of what the rent-seeking climateers want the public to believe.

April 29, 2018 12:36 pm

There are some gaps during the winter where the extent of the sea ice abruptly changes. Can you explain why?……….probably because it only runs from April to Sept every year….there’s no winter there

Philip Mulholland
Reply to  Latitude
April 30, 2018 1:54 am

“it only runs from April to Sept every year”
One of the great things about WUWT is that we are always being shown new ways to explore published data.
Here is an example WorldView animation for the arctic winter from 13 Sep 2017 to 30 Mar 2018.

April 29, 2018 12:43 pm

I watched the whole thing and saw absolutely nothing to worry about. It is interesting to note how as more open water is exposed it becomes ever cloudier.
Though I agree that Albedo is more powerful than CO2. I believe it’s importance has been exaggerated over all. Evaporation as the open ocean waters releases it’s thermal energy into the atmosphere where it is the shallowest is more important it seems to me. If it were not, then the Arctic would be virtually ice free as so many in the past have predicted it would be by now.

richard verney
Reply to  RAH
April 29, 2018 6:30 pm

I had intended amplifying your observation regarding the change in cloudiness offsetting the albedo change due to less ice, but my comment has been set out at the foot of this article, not under your comment.
richard verney April 29, 2018 at 6:24 pm below

April 29, 2018 1:04 pm

You mean
far more
Not for more?

Reply to  Henryp
April 29, 2018 1:08 pm

But the point is good. Our waste probably causes much more algae growth. Nevertheless I doubt that it would be the main reason for the arctic melt.

Reply to  Henryp
April 29, 2018 1:21 pm

I wonder if we could get a magnetic picture from the sats showing the movement of the magnetic north pole. That movement of the elephant in the room is most probably the biggest reason for the arctic melt.

Reply to  Henryp
April 29, 2018 2:14 pm
Reply to  Henryp
April 30, 2018 3:40 am

Amazing, that movement.

Clyde Spencer
April 29, 2018 1:06 pm

“+ albedo reductions (reduction in brightness) over the Greenland Ice Sheet in 2010 and 2012 related to strong melt years.”
That doesn’t mean that there was a significant change in total reflectivity. It means that the surface snow, which is approximately Lambertian in its diffuse reflectance, was replaced by meltwater, which is a specular reflector. Because the sun angles are relatively low above the Arctic Circle, the total reflectance is higher than it appears from albedo alone. Albedo is the apparent brightness of a body, not its total reflectivity, Albedo is a lower bound on total reflectance. And, the albedo will vary with viewing geometry. The use of albedo is best reserved for diffuse reflectors such as the regolith, sand, and clouds of astronomical bodies lacking specular reflectors such as water. Albedo has to be used out of necessity for all astronomical bodies beyond the orbit of Earth because ground based observations cannot observe low-angle reflections; essentially, only retro-reflectors can be observed.

J Mac
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
April 29, 2018 1:35 pm

“Albedo is a lower bound on total reflectance.”
A very relevant observation!

Reply to  Clyde Spencer
April 29, 2018 4:20 pm

Thank you, Clyde Spencer, for educating me.

Bill J
April 29, 2018 1:20 pm

“Scientists attribute the loss of sea ice to global warming.” That sentence is the end of the paragraph pointing out the loss of sea ice in 2012 vs 2003. It intentionally implies “Scientists attribute the loss of sea ice [in 2012] to global warming.” which is not true. NOAA research indicated it was unusual weather patterns.
This type of lie is very similar to what was used in An Inconvenient Truth to mislead naive viewers.

April 29, 2018 1:27 pm

“Remember the year 2000?”
And Eninem, a white guy, was at the top of Rap music charts.
And Tiger Woods, a black man, was at the top of men’s Pro golf rankings.
And “Hanging chads” were forever fixed in the US political lexicon.
And pseudo-scientist Mikey Mann was getting all sorts of accolades for his hockey stick deception in AR3.
Strange times indeed.

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
April 29, 2018 2:10 pm

“Rap music” is an oxymoron of unparalleled magnitude.

J Mac
Reply to  jorgekafkazar
April 29, 2018 9:29 pm

I’ve always felt that the phrase ‘rap music’ should immediately be followed by (sic) to acknowledge the as-written mistake.

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
April 29, 2018 2:42 pm

I should be more clear about the last statement to be clear on the historical record.
The IPCC Third AR final report came out in 2001 of course. It was the top billing of that deceptive proxy reconstruction, and accolades that pseudoscientist Mann received in 2000 that got it into the 2000 TAR drafts and then its prominent part of the 2001 final AR3 report. 2000 was a fateful year for the corruption of science surrounding climate.

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
April 30, 2018 9:19 am

I just read and learn here, but I’ve got to correct you on 2000 being a fateful year for the corruption of climate science. I posit that Dr James Hansen, in his tenure at GISS, did much more damage to climate science than any other individual in the history of climate science.
His alterations of the historic temperature records, while destroying the unaltered data, makes all research based on that altered data to be invalid. Raw data, once altered, is no longer data. It is one’s approximations and subject to the individual’s biases.
The acceptance in climate science of adjusting raw data and continuing to call it data is not an accepted practice in science. Any predictions made on adjusted data are unlikely to be replicated in real life unless one continues to alter the raw data to ‘validate’ their predictions.
I read somewhere that there were more than 400 adjustments made to last month’s temperature record – this is completely unacceptable and cannot even begin to masquerade as science. So while Mann’s hockey stick diagram is routinely mocked by all but the most zealous, Dr Hansen’s damage to climate science by making alterations of the climate record an acceptable practice has corrupted climate science to the point where it is no longer legitimate science.

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
April 29, 2018 5:31 pm

“And Eninem, a white guy, was at the top of Rap music charts.”
I’ve always wondered why he never got criticized for cultural appropriation.
That’s a big no-no on college campuses nowadays, or so I thought. Don’t go out at Halloween dressed like an American Indian, unless you are an American Indian, isn’t that how it goes?
Don’t act like a Black Rapper unless you are a Black Rapper.
Eminem is so lame he can’t even get a rise out of Trump.

April 29, 2018 1:42 pm

“The video shows so many different processes at different scales, from natural processes (annual changes in snow cover and the Vatnajökull ash plume) to climate change related changes (e.g. the long term decrease in sea ice).”
Odd that you separate natural (volcano) and “climate change related changes”. What evidence do you have that the “long term” (we don’t actually have data on geologically long term sea ice) sea ice extent isn’t natural?

Reply to  Jeff Alberts
April 29, 2018 5:41 pm

Yeah, I wondered about that “long term” myself. Is he talking about from 2000 to 2018, or 1978 to 2018? Neither of which are really “long term”. If they were to look at the long term sea ice data, they would see that today is nothing unusual.

April 29, 2018 2:02 pm

Polar sea ice is more significant for its insulation effect on heat loss from the upper water column than it is for albedo changes. This is due to fact that even in the summer months (June, July, August – NH; December, January, February – SH) the solar angles are quite low, and thus changes in solar short-wave absorption from sea ice albedo changes are minimal in the larger context of global climate. And of course the long winters, albedo is meaningless.
Taken together with the clear flow of global heat from the equatorial to mid-latitudes to the poles in both hemispheres, this picture informs us that the poles are primarily best understood as the climate system’s radiators. And sea ice extent are the variable shutters on those radiators, modulating that return of energy back to space. The stabilizing negative feedback of sea ice changes in this system are also clear. When the Earth’s oceans are warmer than long-term average, polar sea ice extent remains low into the winter allowing much more heat to be lost during the long, dark winter. And when the Earth’s oceans are colder than long-term average, polar sea ice extent remains high into the long, dark winter.
The system is self-regulating due to this negative feedback from water phase changes, and the additional negative feedback effect that when the polar seas do have lower ice extent (warmer than average SST), more water can be advected from the sea surface to fall over high latitude land areas as snow, thus raising albedo over land areas.

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
April 30, 2018 7:47 am

And in the tropics you have the thunderstorm thermostat. Regulators at both ends.

April 29, 2018 2:09 pm

I see snowball earth trying to kill us all but luckily every year it is defeated. Thank God!
Sorry, what was the problem again?

April 29, 2018 2:13 pm

And the equivalent for Antarctica looks like?

Reply to  Max Hugoson
April 29, 2018 2:52 pm

Antarctic sea ice extent over the satellite era doesn’t fit the political narrative.comment image
So it’s, “Nothing to see here folks, move along now.”

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
April 29, 2018 2:54 pm

But that hasn’t stopped the obligatory article or two about the western ice shelf coming to drown us all that seems to be cycled every couple years in the press.

April 29, 2018 2:18 pm

Seawater with algae is more reflective of solar radiation than clear seawater is, at least on average.

Gary Pearse
Reply to  Donald L. Klipstein
April 29, 2018 4:29 pm

Presumably the algae formation is exothermic so it sequestered heat, too.

Robert Austin
April 29, 2018 2:24 pm

“Though beautiful, Lhermitte’s animation also has a troubling side to it. If you look carefully, you can see the downward trend in sea ice extent.”

This is the “troubling” aspect of the alarmist case. Whether and to what portion mankind is responsible for the decline in Arctic ice extent since 1979 is one question. Another question entirely and one poorly or completely unsupported by science is whether recently declining Arctic ice extent is actually “troubling”. Indeed, the “troubling” (catastophic) aspect of global warming/climate change has always been the weakest part of the warmist claims.

Reply to  Robert Austin
April 29, 2018 2:48 pm

Totally agree. It seems that just about every alarmist makes the implicit claim that ANY change is bad and caused by humans. The sheer idiocy of a “static climate” seems to elude them.

M Courtney
Reply to  Robert Austin
April 29, 2018 3:08 pm

But there are only three options:
1) A downward trend in sea ice extent.
2) No trend in sea ice extent.
3) An upward trend in sea ice extent.
•Option 1 is obviously troubling. It may mean that all the sea ice disappears raising the sea level by the volume of the formerly frozen water (less the frozen water volume that is submerged by the floating ice). That sounds troubling.
•Option 2 is obviously good news. It means that weather and climate are constant and we’ve overcome that complicated chaos idea. That would be what the natural world should be like, according to the complexity of current climate model design.
•Option 3 is obviously disastrous. It would mean that we are entering an ice age. Assuming that the trend over 30 years can be reasonably extrapolated over 300.

Reply to  M Courtney
April 29, 2018 4:01 pm

M Courtney
Option 3 – does not mean that earth will enter an ice age, it may be as simple as the mid latitude ocean heat release will not be as great as it has been since the early 1980’s which was the predominant reason for atmosphere bearing heat ingress to the Arctic. Any extrapolation is in fact modeling, and we know how pitiful that can be.

Reply to  M Courtney
April 30, 2018 9:43 am

Option 1 does not raise sea level at all, except by melting ice that is not floating but supported by land. Ice shrinks as it melts. And remember the Archimedes principle. You can even do an experiment, with a container of water that has ice floating it. (Put a cover on the container to keep water from evaporating.) See what happens to the water level as the ice melts.

richard verney
Reply to  M Courtney
May 1, 2018 12:57 am

You can even do an experiment, with a container of water that has ice floating it.

We see it every day with a cold drink at McDonalds. Have a cup of coke, which is 1/3rd ice. When the ice melts the drink does not overflow.
A more refined version is to have a glass of good whisky (or bourbon) with a few chunks of ice in the glass. Don’t drink the whiskey immediately, the level of the liquid in the glass does not rise as the ice melts.

Bruce Cobb
April 29, 2018 2:41 pm

I see no reason to worry about arctic ice. None. If man has had an effect, it is nothing to worry about, despite the ardent desires of professional worriers, who get paid to “worry”. It has declined somewhat. Whoop-de-do. All the more real estate for oil exploration, shipping, etc. When things turn colder again, which they may already have started to, the ice will rebound. Then people will wonder why people were “worried” about such a stupid thing. Well, professional “worriers” is one reason why.

Tom in Florida
April 29, 2018 2:48 pm

I have just returned home from a day on Boca Grande in Florida (about 20 miles south of me). When I arrived there late this morning the winds were almost nothing and the Gulf was flat, turquoise and gorgeous. The sky was blue with very few clouds, the temperature was about 80F. After lunch at the South Beach Restaurant on the beach my wife an I walked around a bit, had some ice cream and then settled in on the beach. By then the wind had come up, the Gulf was white capping but the air was fresh and comfortable. Several groups of people were scattered around and also enjoying the day. I sat there looking out at the Gulf and thinking about all that energy coming from the Sun through a clear blue sky into the beautiful waters that stretched out before me for hundreds of miles. Energy that makes all life possible and has done so for millions of years. I was enthralled by the beauty of it all and then thought about the climate change fear mongers who lock themselves away in their artificially lighted rooms toiling away at making charts, graphs, analyzing data and equations. It really saddened me that most have probably never had a day of just sheer wonder at the place we all live. Most will pass through life and never experience the real beauty of it all. Willis will understand, so will others. Our world is more than a just mathematical brain exercise, more than just a jumble of lifeless numbers and symbols. Get out and celebrate and enjoy your life while you still have time. Make sure you never have to say “I should have…” Our life span is short enough as it is, stop wasting so much of it.

Reply to  Tom in Florida
April 29, 2018 3:11 pm

Thanks for that Tom….we’re living in what is the best time possible

Reply to  Tom in Florida
April 29, 2018 3:46 pm

Nicely done, Tom in Florida. It’s the same thing here in the northern part of the USA. I may gripe about the cold weather (right now, could change tomorrow) but we all live in the land of plenty and there are so many beautiful things to be seen, it’s difficult to imagine how anyone can be alive and not see it.

Alan Robertson
Reply to  Tom in Florida
April 29, 2018 8:33 pm

“Most will pass through life and never experience the real beauty of it all.”
Easy, now. Someone might advise against wading into such fathomless waters.
Personally, I have very little idea of the discernments and experiences of others, but then, I’m the dumbest guy that I know.

Tom in Florida
Reply to  Alan Robertson
April 30, 2018 6:57 am

Just to be clear, it refers to those in the prior sentence. In my 66.5 years on this Planet, one thing is clear to me: too many people fall into that category.

April 29, 2018 3:27 pm

lt was interesting to see the difference in the speed of the spring snow melt between the year’s 2016 and 2017. Where 2016 had a very low NH spring snow extent and 2017 a far higher one.
Also of interest is the difference that forest cover makes to the albedo of snow covered land. You can clearly see how that forest cover lowers the albedo of the snow covered area’s across Russia. This may partly help to explain how over the long term a warm climate can move into a ice age. Where the extending snow cover in the spring could force lower temps over northern lands, which over the long term pushes the tree line further to the south. Thus extending the area of highest albedo further to the south as well. Which in turn pushes the temps lower and so pushing the tree line yet further to the south, and so on.

Bob Burban
April 29, 2018 4:17 pm

The DMI (Danish Meteorological Institute) website shows Arctic sea ice has been thickening rapidly for the last few months … a very strange ‘disappearing’ trick indeed.

Gary Pearse
April 29, 2018 4:19 pm

What you see in these massive algal blooms is really it’s building material CO2!
Yes in a greening planet the oceans are also part of it. Childish but diabolical experiments of pumping high levels of CO2 over laboratory seawater tanks for measuring pH changes, dissolving seashells and poisoning fish isn’t how reality works. Also, note that as in the theory of tree growth, where productivity is limited by the scarcest resource available- water, sunshine, NPK nutrients, suitable temperature and the one that’s usually left out, carbon dioxide, the same holds true of ocean productivity.
Anybody notice that when carbon dioxide became more abundant, plankton surged. No longer was the linear thinking notion of iron being deficient a problem. It magically appeared as required. The ocean basins have abundant iron in volcanics river water sediments entering, meteoric dust, land based dust, etc. its solubility just increases with added CO2 and serves as another of the many buffers. Phosphate is an abundant resource even without detergents which have largely been moving away from old formulations.
Simply, low CO2 has been a limiting resource and a bit of warming doesn’t hurt either.

April 29, 2018 5:05 pm

Yes, 2012 was a low. However, despite 6 years of every increasing CO2, the arctic has not come close to matching that low.
Even after the impact of the late great El Nino.

April 29, 2018 5:06 pm

Fantastic site, going to be preoccupied with this for some time.

richard verney
April 29, 2018 6:24 pm

I watched the whole thing and saw absolutely nothing to worry about. It is interesting to note how as more open water is exposed it becomes ever cloudier.

Absolutely, NASA is finding out that this is a zero sum game. The changes in albedo due to less ice is offset by increased cloudiness/ See:

Although sea ice and snow cover had noticeably declined in the Arctic from 2000 to 2004, there had been no detectable change in the albedo measured at the top of the atmosphere: the proportion of light the Arctic reflected hadn’t changed. In other words, the ice albedo feedback that most climate models predict will ultimately amplify global warming apparently hadn’t yet kicked in.
Kato quickly understood why: not only is the Arctic’s average cloud fraction on summer days large enough—on average 0.8, or 80 percent—to mask sea ice changes, but an increase in cloudiness between 2000 and 2004 further hid any impact that sea ice and snow losses might have had on the Arctic’s ability to reflect incoming light. According to the MODIS observations, cloud fraction had increased at a rate of 0.65 percent per year between 2000 and 2004. If the trend continues, it will amount to a relative increase of about 6.5 percent per decade. At least during this short time period, says Kato, increased cloudiness in the Arctic appears to have offset the expected decline in albedo from melting sea ice and snow.

Reply to  richard verney
April 29, 2018 6:53 pm

richard verney
That was 2004. Any updates at all from ANY NASA reports about the 2004-2018 changes in space-measured, far-north arctic regional albedos since then?

April 30, 2018 1:30 am

Albedo change at the pole isnt that important, the angle of incidence of the sun is so low open water is quite reflective.
Plus the loss of the insulating ice cap allowing the ocean to radiate heat to space.

Reply to  MattS
April 30, 2018 2:31 am

I have never seen a comment like Yours. Thanks.
A black sky during the winter draws heat from the ice or the water.
Which one will cool the most?
Which one will spread the cooling?
How long is the winter in the Arctic?

Reply to  oppti
April 30, 2018 3:21 am

As You all can study the sun during the summer has no impact in the temperature in the above DMI charts.
Non at all!

Mike T.
April 30, 2018 5:28 am

Hi Anthony,
Of course, one of the more effective albedo-changers is the carbon black that has been pouring out of China (and India). The smoke cloud from China often gets drawn into the circumpolar circulation patterns.
If we accept the basic premises of the AGW crowd that 1) The planet is heating, and 2) the sun is constant; there are only two possible causes: either the atmosphere has expanded to absorb more sunlight by being a larger target, or the Albedo of the planet has gone down. I haven’t heard anyone make a case for the first. In the second instance, a simple question then can be asked. “What affects negative albedo more: a gas which is transparent to almost the whole solar spectrum, or continent-sized clouds of particulates which absorb every wavelength in existence?”

April 30, 2018 7:10 am

“Scientists attribute the loss of sea ice to global warming.”
Oh, really??? What evidence is offered by these “Scientists?” The usual nonsense, “We all say so, we don’t know anything else that could be doing it, CO2 Up Ice Down, (except not in the Antarctic)…”
Blah blah blah, the Earth is 4.5 x 10*9 years old, satellite records go back 39 years now. Makes you wonder how many times in the past there has been less, or more, or the same amount of ice in the Arctic.
Lovely video, fascinating. It took me a couple of minutes to find Hudson’s Bay…

April 30, 2018 12:34 pm

The Russians have a fleet of icebreakers. I counted 144 from the wikipedia list (past present and future included).
Instead of nuclear powered subs or aircraft carriers, Russians build nuclear powered icebreakers, rated for ice up to 10 feet thick. That’s the average thickness for sea ice in the Arctic.
So when the Arctic ice cap breaks up every year starting in the Kara and Barents Seas, gradually becoming earlier and more extensive over the years, pretty sure it’s a man made event.
Doesn’t have anything to do with co2 however.

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