Sea Ice Mysteries

Guest Post By Willis Eschenbach

I’ve never seen either the Arctic or the Antarctic ice pack. I have, however, commercially fished for roe herring in the Bering Sea, setting purse seine net in “brash ice” off of Nome, Alaska. Brash ice is the broken-up remains of the pack ice. It looks like this:

As a result, polar ice has been a long-time interest of mine. So let me invite you to take a wander with me through the current state of the Arctic and Antarctic ice packs. First, here are the changes in the Arctic sea ice cover:

Figure 1. Changes in the Arctic sea ice cover anomaly during the satellite era. Values are anomalies from the 1991-2020 thirty-year average

Since around 1990, people have been talking about how human-emitted CO2 is busily reducing the amount of Arctic sea ice. When it started dropping very fast around 2015, there was talk that we’d passed a “tipping point” from which the Arctic ice would never recover. And over this entire time, predictions of an “ice-free Arctic ocean” abounded.

But then … around 2018, the Arctic sea ice rebounded.

Why did it suddenly start dropping so fast post-2015?

Nobody knows. Not one scientist on the planet can tell you.

Why the quick turnaround and rebound starting in 2018?

Nobody knows. Not one scientist on the planet can tell you.


Having seen those mysteries, how about the Antarctic sea ice? Here’s that data:

Figure 2. Changes in the Antarctic sea ice cover anomaly during the satellite era. Values are anomalies from the 1991-2020 thirty-year average

More mysteries. Why did the Antarctic ice pack, unlike the Arctic pack, start increasing quite rapidly around 2008?

Nobody knows.

Why did it again differ from the Arctic by plateauing from 2010 to 2015?

Nobody knows.

And why did it then mirror the Arctic by dropping very rapidly from ~ 2015 to ~ 2018, and then, again like the Arctic, turn around and start rebounding?

Nobody knows.


Finally, here’s the global situation.

Figure 3. Changes in the global sea ice cover anomaly during the satellite era. Values are anomalies from the 1991-2020 thirty-year average

It was basically flat from 1981 to 2008, rose until 2010, stayed level until 2015, dropped until 2018, and then rebounded almost all the way back to the 1990-2000 average.

And not one climate scientist on our benighted planet can tell you why … except a couple of things are for certain.

First, in addition to not being able to explain the recent radical sea ice changes in retrospect, there wasn’t one climate scientist on the planet who predicted those large changes in sea ice.

Second, it’s highly unlikely that the cause of the recent gyrations is CO2.

Figure 4. The increase in atmospheric CO2.

As you can see, the rise in atmospheric CO2 has been steady, strong, and unchanged … but the ice cover has been going up and down like a drunken yo-yo.

Here’s the strangest part. Despite the failure of the many predictions of an “ice-free Arctic”, despite the falsified claims that we’ve passed a “tipping point”, despite the fact that the reasons for the curious and unexpected changes in the polar sea ice cannot be explained by anyone and the changes weren’t predicted by anyone … climate scientists STILL insist that they can tell us what the global temperature will be like in the year 2100.

You are free to believe those failed serial doomcasters if you wish.

Me … hard pass. I’ve seen too many of their predictions crash and burn.

Warmest regards to everyone,

w.

My Boring Refrain: As always, I ask that when you comment you quote the exact words you are referring to. I can defend my own words—I choose them very carefully for that exact reason. But I cannot defend your (mis)understanding of my words. Thanks.

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John Tillman
November 27, 2022 10:29 am

In NSIDC summer minimum records, Arctic sea ice started dropping rapidly in 2007, bottomed out in 2012 and has trended up since then, helped by rapid rebound in 2013 and 2014.

Antarctic maximum was in 2014. Hence, CO2 is not the control knob on sea ice extent. Two weather events in El Niño year 2016 caused the record austral summer low in 2017.

https://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/charctic-interactive-sea-ice-graph/

Last edited 2 months ago by John Tillman
186no
Reply to  John Tillman
November 27, 2022 12:11 pm

and still the WWF adverts showing Polar bears invites people to become a member so that they can “continue their vital work and re-establish the “bears'” environment” ( or words to that effect.

How have they come up with a cunning plan to install ice making machines? ( A cheap shot but it makes me feel better..)

MCourtney
Reply to  186no
November 28, 2022 12:47 am

How does giving money to WWF, FOTE or Greenpeace help anything?

Most charities do something. They run lifeboats, build social services, create infrastructure – something.
But environmental charities seem to just campaign. Something which the news organisations do anyway.

My favourite is the WWF. They have a logo of a polar bear. All polar bears are owned by the Chinese state. Does anyone think the WWF can command Chinese policy?

What are people giving money to environmental charities for?

prjndigo
Reply to  MCourtney
November 28, 2022 1:46 am

There are a lot of charities that simply take your money and do nothing with it and even they are better than Sierra Club, Greenpeace, WWF and FOTE.

Citizen Smith
Reply to  prjndigo
November 28, 2022 7:13 am

I wish that was true but it’s not. Go check out the leadership of any of these green organizations. They are made up of mostly pettifogging ambulance chasers. Lawyers will school up like piranha around a specific “environmental” issue. Spotted Frog in Central Oregon is an example. They raise its endangered profile which produces contributions from the the biggies like NRDC. Now they have a job for several years fighting farmers in court. They pose as righteous crusaders fighting the good fight meanwhile circling their next victim.

Unfortunately, not all charities exist to primarily support and promote their principals. Clinton Foundation is a perfect example,

Scarecrow Repair
Reply to  MCourtney
November 28, 2022 9:31 am

Might want to edit that, s/polar/panda

MCourtney
Reply to  Scarecrow Repair
November 28, 2022 10:54 am

You are absolutely right.
Polar bears don’t live in China. Guess their paws are too clumsy to use chopsticks.
That was a bad brain-glitch by me.

Hivemind
Reply to  MCourtney
November 29, 2022 2:54 am

I assume you meant a panda bear?

Tom Halla
November 27, 2022 10:36 am

Yeah, but looking very confident is a requirement for a prophet.
Not a scientist, but this has strayed over into faith long since.

michael hart
November 27, 2022 10:44 am

The Greenland ice sheet is pretty good too if you get to jet over it on a crystal blue day during a trans-Atlantic flight. I was gobsmacked.

mleskovarsocalrrcom
November 27, 2022 10:44 am

“…I’ve seen too many of their predictions crash and burn….” How about all the predictions? I continually ask AGW believers how many predictions have been realized and not one, not a single person, has been able to cite one. Some attempt with retorts like “the sea level is rising like they said it would” but a quick/easy reference to the data proves them wrong every time.

John Tillman
November 27, 2022 10:46 am

My comments are accepted until I edit them to add a link. Then they’re labeled spam. This moderation glitch needs fixed.

Thanks.

Mark BLR
Reply to  John Tillman
November 28, 2022 3:28 am

Off-topic, but if challenged I will invoke the classic “But sir, he started it !” defence …

It my just be my setup (Linux + Firefox, it did the same thing with Pale Moon for 5 days before Pale Moon suddenly stopped working with WordPress), but if I edit a comment here any emphasis using underlining is stripped out.

Bold, italics and strikethrough HTML tags appear to be unaffected though.

Line in bold (“B” button).

Line in italics (“slanted I” button).

Underlined line (“U” button).

Line struck through (“barred S” button).

Mark BLR
Reply to  Mark BLR
November 28, 2022 3:30 am

Similar ending as above, but I’ll edit this one afterwards …

Line in bold (“B” button).

Line in italics (“slanted I” button).

Underlined line (“U” button).

Line struck through (“barred S” button).

– – – – –

Add new line with bold, italic, underlining and strikethough text, then “Save” it …

Last edited 2 months ago by Mark BLR
drkenpollock
November 27, 2022 10:46 am

Willis, the sad thing is that our MSM and the BBC will never draw attention to this sort of thing, as it does not fit their pre-conceived idea of irreversible change all linked to CO2 concentration. Sadly, most governments of the world and their scientific experts all agree – it would cost too much to disagree! Just look at Peter Ridd, so don’t mention the GBR has entirely recovered. It was a talisman for irreversible decline!

prjndigo
Reply to  drkenpollock
November 28, 2022 1:48 am

CO2 is just a ruse to keep people from realizing it’s the destruction of forests, paving of surfaces, drainage of rainwater, roofing and destruction of sea life from run-off causing the problems. CO2 makes it “people’s problem” instead of governments’

walterr070
November 27, 2022 10:47 am

This could signal the end of the CAGW era ladies and gentlemen.

Steve Case
Reply to  walterr070
November 27, 2022 1:35 pm

This could signal the end of the CAGW era ladies and gentlemen.
_____________________________________________________

That was sarcasm right?

walterr070
Reply to  Steve Case
November 27, 2022 4:42 pm

Well if the sea ice comes back isn’t that the final nail in the coffin?

michel
Reply to  walterr070
November 27, 2022 5:48 pm

No, because of the way mass delusions of this sort behave. See ‘When Prophecy Fails’

The first result of decisive falsification of the prophecy is to increase belief, and to increase the venom directed to unbelievers or skeptics.

I know this seems weird, and indeed it is, but its what happens. The progress of a mass delusion goes something like this:

  • Initial vague prophecies (of, eg, Rapture, the End of Days)
  • Leadership of movement endorses them, they are doctrine
  • Emergence of extreme movement with prediction of definite date
  • Spread of the belief in definite date
  • Alarm of leadership of movement who worry about credibility on failure
  • Preparation for the event among the extremists, eg selling property, leaving jobs, going to high mountain in preparation
  • Failure of the prediction
  • Increased belief among the faithful, perhaps a mistake about the date is proposed and accepted, and they get ready for another. Virulent attacks on skeptics which increase in intensity.
  • Gradual dropping out, till eventually there are no more believers in the event
  • The leadership of the movement recovers, the doctrine of the End of Days or whatever remains, but now without any definite prediction of dates.

All this can be seen in ‘When Prophecy Fails’, and it has characterized the Jehovah’s Witnesses faith, with numerous false predictions of apocalyptic events. Also the repeated faith in Marxist circles that the mythical Crisis of Capitalism is finally underway. The climate mania is another in the long series of such things.

They take a very long time to work their way through. So don’t expect falsification of forecasts or prophecies to have any effect initially on the beliefs of the climate faithful. In fact, expect the failures to increase their faith. And, especially, expect the failures to increase the rage with which they react to skeptics.

It will eventually die out, but its going to take a lot longer than you would expect, and it will do a lot more damage than you expect before it ends.

michel
Reply to  walterr070
November 27, 2022 5:56 pm

This, incidentally, is why its futile to try and discredit the movement with arguments about the science or their predictions. Nothing that you say, nothing that happens to the climate, is going to have any effect. Because all this is a matter of faith. You will just be come in for the traditional abuse, you will be a denier/heretic/capitalist roader/anti-party clique, whatever.

The only way to make any progress is to attack the insane policies that are being proposed. The reason is that people are still used to thinking somewhat rationally about large infrastructure projects.

An example is EVs or wind turbines. You have no chance arguing against policy on them on the grounds that global warming isn’t a threat and there is no climate crisis.

But you have some chance of winning the policy debate by pointing out they are very expensive and work very badly.

Steve Oregon
Reply to  michel
November 28, 2022 8:57 am

But you have some chance of winning the policy debate by pointing out they are very expensive and work very badly.

and there is no science, data, math or measurement that shows any of the policies having any ability to impact or benefit the atmosphere, climate, weather, droughts or floods in anyway at all.
So the point of the policies cannot be anything climate or planet.

bnice2000
Reply to  walterr070
November 27, 2022 5:30 pm

Why should increasing Arctic sea ice have any affect on a political agenda ?

Last edited 2 months ago by bnice2000
doonman
November 27, 2022 10:50 am

Apparently, sea ice conditions on Earth are not predictable. Which is no surprise as they are a subset of weather conditions on Earth, which are not predictable either.

Fred Haynie
November 27, 2022 10:54 am

The cold polar open waters are the ultimate sinks for atmospheric CO2. Try correlating monthly average Arctic atmospheric CO2 concentrations with sea-ice concentrations and time. First convert ppm to kg/m^2 at sea level pressure by multiplying by 44/28,8/1000000*10.197*1013.

JCM
November 27, 2022 10:55 am

some correspondence of wind field anomalies, mass flux, and internal energy dissipation. Some portion of convection is reserved for kinetic flows (winds, etc) which impacts available potential energy. https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/2515-7620/ac770a/pdf

FU0PPf0WIAMrzoy.jpg
Graham
November 27, 2022 11:03 am

Arctic ice cover is cyclic and always has been ,
Explorers in sailing ships were looking for the ice free North West passage back many centuries ago .
Ronald Amundsen was the first to successfully navigate it in1905 -1906.
Polar sea ice has always fluctuated and CO2 has minimal effect .
Both polar regions have 4 months without seeing the sun so it is always below freezing for at least 6 months and rising CO2 will not alter that.

Duker
Reply to  Graham
November 27, 2022 11:30 am

Thats right . Plus this beast called Arctic sea ice includes areas outside what is commonly known as the Arctic Ocean.
Down the Bering Str into the Northern Pacific near Kamchatka including Sea of Okhotsk and the same in North Atlantic down around Newfoundland and the Gulf of St Lawrence
These further areas are only marginally sea ice covered., but the impression for most non expert readers is they are only talking about ‘true’ Arctic Ocean ice

They may as well include the Baltic and the great Lakes as they have ice cover for most winters

BlueMarble_1[1].png
Phil.
Reply to  Graham
November 30, 2022 9:29 pm

Amundsen’s NW Passage crossing was from 1903-06.

E. Schaffer
November 27, 2022 11:19 am

I’d wish I could understand what this chart is supposed to tell. Until 2011 the line is consistently above 0.0%. So did the sea ice grow till then? Obviously the answer is no, which we know anyhow. It is just that it makes no sense.

comment image?resize=720%2C639&ssl=1

Curious George
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
November 27, 2022 2:21 pm

I have a deep distaste for displaying anomalies. By definition, they are a difference of a measurement from some average of measurements, so their error is always bigger than the error of the measurement itself.
They have their place when the measured quantity is highly variable, let’s say a temperature over the year. For sea ice I would be much happier with maximum and minimum extents.

Curious George
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
November 27, 2022 3:44 pm

The difference is that I know what a sea ice extent 2.3 million km2 means. I don’t know what a sea ice extent anomaly 50 km2 means.

Jim Gorman
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
November 28, 2022 5:36 am

The only problem is that you need an anomaly scale on the the right side. An anomaly should not have the same value as the absolute values. It should only be the “change” value. It actually looks like the average, not anomaly.

RickWill
Reply to  Curious George
November 27, 2022 4:39 pm

I have a deep distaste for displaying anomalies. 

It is more likely that scientists would be interpreting the current termination of the interglacial correctly rather than labelling it “Global Warming” if the fad of using anomalies was not so ingrained.

So called “global Warming” is not global. It is most evident on land north of 40N in January. Greenland plateau the best example. When the GHCN record started in 1948 the January average was nudging -30C It is now getting up to -20C. The most dramatic rise occurred in the first 14 years of this record. The July temperature is almost unchanged because it is not easy to get an ice block much above 0C.

No climate model predicted that Greenland would be gaining permanent ice extent and elevation.

Screen Shot 2022-11-17 at 9.35.21 am.png
bdgwx
Reply to  Curious George
November 27, 2022 7:16 pm

Curious George said: “By definition, they are a difference of a measurement from some average of measurements, so their error is always bigger than the error of the measurement itself.”

That is only true when the error due to random effects is larger than the error due to systematic effects. There are many reasons why anomalies are used. The cancellation of the error due to systematic effects is one them. And it happens with simple middle school level algebra.

A = (V + Es + Erv) – (B + Es + Erb)

A = (V – B) + (Erv – Erb)

A is the anomaly, V is the value, Es is the error due to systematic effects, Erv is the error for V due to random effects, B is the baseline, and Erb is the error due to random effects for the baseline. Since the baseline B is the average of a sample of V it carries with it the Es term since Σ(Es)/N = Es. Thus, the Es term gets simplified out of the equation.

It’s not a free lunch though. Es gets eliminated at the expense of adding the Erb term. But if the error due to random effects is smaller than the error due to systematic effects then the total error for the anomaly will actually be less.

And the most powerful thing about this is that you don’t even need to know the error due to systematic effect (Es) for it to cancel out. So if you cannot eliminate the possibility that it is high then you’d want to concert your measurements to anomalies so that you can eliminate the systematic error altogether.

BTW…if you feel that Es is not constant over time we can split it out as Esv = (Esi + Esv) where Esi is the invariant component and Esv is the variant component for V. You’d have Esb = (Esi + Esb) for the baseline (B) as well. Notice that the invariant component Esi still cancels out though.

Last edited 2 months ago by bdgwx
sherro01
Reply to  bdgwx
November 28, 2022 3:11 am

Bdgwx,
You failed to learn from the 800 WUWT comments to my article on uncertainty.
You failed to accept that some statistical procedures are possible when input data are independent, â

sherro01
Reply to  sherro01
November 28, 2022 3:21 am

bdgwx,
Sorry, tablet stopped working.
You have not learned that some types of statistical analysis work with input data that are IID, INDEPENDENT AND IDENTICALLY DISTRIBUTED, but are not allowed for data that fail this test.
In the simple algebra you quote, you cancel some negative values offsetting some positive values. This is only possible if the cause of positive excursions is the same cause as for the negative excursions. In other words, you need to know all contributors to the noise you wish to cancel. Different to earphones.
The data shown by Willis are not IID. There is no way you can simply cancel some of it out the way you claim with simple algebra. Geoff S

bdgwx
Reply to  sherro01
November 28, 2022 5:45 am

sherro01 said: “ In other words, you need to know all contributors to the noise you wish to cancel.”

No you don’t. And that’s the cool thing about algebra. You don’t need to know what the systematic error (Es) actually is. You just need to know the algebraic identify Es + 0 = Es or Es – Es = 0 which is a simple enough concept that it is taught in middle school.

BTW…the concepts I use for error and uncertainty analysis come from NIST TN 1297, TN 1900, JCGM 100:2008, JCGM 101:2008, JCGM 6:2020, and JCGM 200:2012.

bigoilbob
Reply to  bdgwx
November 29, 2022 6:40 am

Good on you for ignoring the usual alt.world response, below. You seem to have recognized that the repeated, lengthy back and forths serve no purpose. Laying out the truth and providing documentation for it is really all you can do. Take heart in the fact that, outside of a small coterie of badly wired, hysterically blind posters here, this Bizarro world of statistical blunder is RME ignored.

I guess whoever downvoted this just doesn’t have the ability to show what is wrong!”

Almost right:

I guess whoever downvoted this just doesn’t have the ability to show YOU what is wrong! 

bdgwx
Reply to  bigoilbob
November 29, 2022 10:18 am

bigoilbob said: “Good on you for ignoring the usual alt.world response, below.”

I’m already growing tired of defending the law of conservation of mass, law of conservation of energy, the laws of thermodynamics, Stefan-Boltzman law, etc. Having to defend algebra (often so trivial that middle schoolers learn it) is too much. I’ve finally figured out that doing so over and over with the same posters is an exercise in futility. It’s not that I’ll never respond, but I’m more selective now.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  bdgwx
November 29, 2022 10:26 am

You keep making incorrect statements and you are tired of having to defend them? ROFL!!

The issue isn’t algebra, the issue is your understanding of how uncertainty works. The issue is your continued assumption that all uncertainty cancels even when confronted with real world examples showing that it doesn’t.

If you are tired of defending your statements then perhaps you should learn how your statements are wrong.

bigoilbob
Reply to  bdgwx
November 29, 2022 10:27 am

W.r.t. adverse climactic trends, breezy, but ~60 with no rain until dark in Southampton, just south of the Italian Hill. My built in excuse for not changing truck oil and filter just went away!

bdgwx
Reply to  bigoilbob
November 29, 2022 12:02 pm

If I were living near The Hill I’d spend too much time (and money) eating at the restaurants. There wouldn’t be anytime at all for defending physical laws and algebraic identities.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  bdgwx
November 30, 2022 4:39 am

——————————
A = (V + Es + Erv) – (B + Es + Erb)
A = (V – B) + (Erv – Erb)
——————————–

This is only true if the two Es values are the same.

This should read A = (V + Esv + Erv) – (B + Esb + Erb)

Then you get A = (V-B) + (Esv-Esb) + (Erv-Erb)

Esv – Esb = 0 only if Esv = Esb

There is no way you can guarantee Esv = Esb

*That* is your “simple” algebra.

Averages do *NOT* cancel anything unless each element in the distribution is exactly the same. Otherwise all you do is wind up using he average value as a scaling factor.

You can’t even guarantee that the systematic bias is the same for all measurements taken by the same device. In an LIG thermometer the offset is different based on whether the temperature is going up or down. For a micrometer the offset can be different for when you open the gap or close the gap because of the tolerances in the mechanism.

You just confirm your poor understanding of measurement uncertainty with every post you make.

bigoilbob
Reply to  sherro01
November 28, 2022 7:59 am

W.r.t. “independent” distributions of the data under discussion, unless you can show that older data and newer data correlate high and low, or visa versa (and you can’t) you have only 2 options for correlation. Either they are uncorrelated, or they are positively correlated. The most uncertainty in trending results from uncorrelated data.

Jim Gorman
Reply to  bdgwx
November 28, 2022 6:25 am

The first thing you need to prove is that Erv and Erb both have a normal distribution. Then, and only then, can you say that an average eliminates random errors. You have not shown this. Secondly, the measurand need to the same thing so that you have one and only one “true value” for each distribution of measurements. Since sea ice changes, you do not have the same measurand nor a distribution of measurements.

When are you going to learn that single measurements at a moment in time give you no distribution to cancel random errors. There are no multiple errors to cancel for that single measurement. The single random error in a single measurement is propagated thru any calculation and single random errors in other single measurements are ADDITIVE, just like variances are ADDITIVE when combining multiple distributions.

Where the heck did you ever learn this? What a joke! Systematic errors are NOT treatable thru any statistical methods. They are offsets to the correct value and averaging/subtracting wrong measurements DO NOT provide a value closer to the correct value. They also propagate thru out calculations and are ADDITIVE.

I have attached an image showing measurements of two different measurands. They each were measured multiple times and have normal distributions surrounding them, therefore there is a “true value” for each. Please note each may, and probably do, have systematic error. When computing a mean those systematic errors are ADDITIVE. They do NOT subtract.

Also note that each have a different variance. Those variances add when calculating a mean. That is why it is important to show the combined variance so people can see the width of possible values.

Jim Gorman
Reply to  Jim Gorman
November 28, 2022 6:27 am

I forgot to add the image.

true value of two measurands.png
Jim Gorman
Reply to  Jim Gorman
November 28, 2022 10:07 am

Nice to see down votes without a reply. I guess whoever downvoted this just doesn’t have the ability to show what is wrong! YOU LOSE!

karlomonte
Reply to  Jim Gorman
November 28, 2022 5:32 pm

Par for the course for this lot.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  bdgwx
November 29, 2022 5:43 am

Since the baseline B is the average of a sample of V it carries with it the Es term since Σ(Es)/N = Es. Thus, the Es term gets simplified out of the equation.”

You are back to calculating the average systematic bias and assuming that can be used to cancel out all of the systematic bias.

What if the systematic bias is different for each element in the distribution? All you do by calculating an average systematic bias and subtracting it out is obtain a systematic bias anomaly. There will *not* be any cancellation from doing so. You will still have a set of positive systematic bias terms and a set of negative systematic bias terms. Unless those systematic bias anomalies cancel each other you will not eliminate the effect of systematic bias. All you will have done is scale the values down to smaller values to make it look like you’ve eliminated the systematic bias – a TRICK. Just pick an number for your scaling factor and do the same thing, it doesn’t have to be some hokey “average systematic bias”.

The only time your trick will work is if all Es values are equal and are positive. If all the Es values are equal and negative and you subtract Es from them then you get -Es – Es = 2Es. That’s not actually what you want is it? If you don’t know what the actual Es value is then how do you decide to add or subtract it?

Utotal = u_systematic + u_random. The big issue is that for any specific measurement of temperature from a field measuring device is that you do not know either u_systematic or u_random. So how do you separate out u_systematic? All you have is an estimate of U_total.

You are lost in the forest of assuming all measurements are taken from the same measurand using the same device so Es is equal for each measurement and the Erv represent a normal distribution so that all Erv values cancel. Temperature data bases are *NOT* multiple measurements of the same thing using the same device. So your assumptions simply do not apply.

Mark BLR
Reply to  Curious George
November 28, 2022 4:31 am

For sea ice I would be much happier with maximum and minimum extents.

It is also possible to “overload” a graph with too much information while trying (and often failing, in my case) to extract the “important” bits for more detailed analysis.

Arctic-sea-ice_Data_overload_1979-2022.png
real bob boder
November 27, 2022 11:32 am

Thanks Willis, been battling with all the tipping point asses for years

Kevin Kilty
November 27, 2022 11:47 am

There are several problems with this data in helping to inform a person about what causes the variability in sea ice. Mainly, though, the satellite era is too short a time period. I think the most recent maximum of sea ice in the Arctic occurred in 1978-1979.

An article about OSNAP documented that meridional overturning in the north Atlantic is far more variable than the designers of the experiment believed. Figure 2 in this contribution shows a pronounced uptick in transport of warmer water occurred in late 2014. Once again, the time period covered by the data is much too short. However, rapid changes in sea ice coverage seem to me best explained by the intrusion of warm water into the Arctic. This may be a common occurrence — we don’t know. I recalled having read a paper about large-scale intrusions of warm water, and thoight it might be found in the above linked article, but no such luck.

On a tangential note, this sort of mystery is precisely where a detailed entropy balance might be profitably employed. Changes of water-phase involve entropy changes, mass flows in and out of a region involve entropy flow, and heat transfer from surface to space, or between sea and air, involve entropy changes — coming up short or long on entropy balance can provide information about the magnitude of materials flows difficult to spot otherwise. N. Stokes seems to think that climate models automatically balance entropy, but I doubt they do so in as transparent a manner as checking that they meet an energy balance (first law). Just doing the exercize would help substantiate that lack of resolution and parametrization doesn’t inject wonky physics to the simulations.

Last edited 2 months ago by Kevin Kilty
Steven Fraser
Reply to  Kevin Kilty
November 27, 2022 5:57 pm

Kevin: If its of any help, satellites were used for polar ice extent imaging beginning in 1973, which were then plotted on to polar-coordinate maps and digitized. The IPCC FAR published graphs for both Arctic and Antarctic. Interestingly, the years prior to 1978 (when the first of the sounding-sats went online) there was much lower sea ice extent. 1978 was anomalously HIGH.

pillageidiot
November 27, 2022 11:58 am

The AGW alarmists tell us they can predict what is in store for the world based on the CO2 trend.

I would love to see a hindcast ice model that was capable of matching the article’s NH sea ice trend or the SH sea ice trend.

I would lay big money that such a model WILL NOT accurately predict the next 7-10 years.

Ron Long
November 27, 2022 12:05 pm

OK, the CO2 level marches steadily along on an increasing trend, but the Arctic and Antarctic ice floes are erratic. The other item that helps explain things, is world wide sea level, because it marches along like CO2 level. No implying any cause-and-effect, but isn’t it curious that the long-term factors, CO2 and sea level match? Wait a minute, the Covid industrial shutdown reduced anthropogenic CO2 contributions, but the CO2 increase in the atmosphere was steady? And sea level didn’t flex either? Kinda looks like some larger control knob has hold of the earth, like maybe solar cycles and Milankovich cycles?

ATheoK
Reply to  Ron Long
November 27, 2022 1:39 pm

comment image

“Nevertheless, almost four centuries after the Pilgrims arrived, Plymouth Rock still receives over one million visitors annually.

The Rock, in fact, is estimated to be only about half of its original size. The top half has been moved around the town, broken, repaired, shared, and further diminished by centuries of relic hunters. This begs the question: How did Plymouth Rock become such a powerful object in the American consciousness?

There are only two primary sources written by Mayflower passengers that discuss the landing in Plymouth, and neither mention any rocks.

The chunk of granite was first identified as Plymouth Rock in 1741 by Thomas Faunce, a 94-year-old Plymouth church elder who was assured by his father, who arrived in Plymouth in 1623, that the boulder was the exact landing spot of the Mayflower Passengers”

Sea level rise since 1741 has apparently drowned Plymouth Rock when it was determined as the landing spot. Not!

Ron Long
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
November 27, 2022 2:59 pm

“…no correlation”, short term yes, long term (in geologists time) no.

cwright
Reply to  Ron Long
November 28, 2022 3:56 am

“The other item that helps explain things, is world wide sea level, because it marches along like CO2 level.”
Ron,
There’s a much bigger contradiction of that claim.
Sea level rise started near the end of the Little Ice Age. According to one peer reviewed study the modern sea level rise started precisely in 1820, almost as if a switch had been thrown. The study shows that the rate of sea level rise has been remarkably constant since 1820. This strongly suggests that the modern sea level rise had nothing to do with CO2.
Chris

michael hart
November 27, 2022 12:21 pm

I have read, here or elsewhere, that for reasons of the relevant satellite orbit the two sea ice measurements may not be completely independent. That is, for instrumental or algorithmic reasons a lower figure in one hemisphere might give a lower value in the other.
Can’t comment further.

November 27, 2022 12:28 pm

Personally, I think we should never give into the propaganda by displaying atmospheric CO2 on a graph from 320 to 420 parts per million. It should always be shown on a graph from zero to 420 parts per million!

The Last Resort
Reply to  Toby Nixon
November 28, 2022 1:23 am

Or better still, on a graph with a scale of zero to 1 million!

Rud Istvan
November 27, 2022 12:34 pm

Nice post, WE. Shows natural variation at decadal time scales. We know they also exist at multidecadal time scales (AMO, PDO, Stadium Wave). A fatal IPCC flaw is assuming they do not exist (the attribution problem) when unavoidable parameterization drags natural variation into climate models via parameter tuning to best hindcast.

Richard M
Reply to  Rud Istvan
November 27, 2022 6:40 pm

A PDO switch occurred around 2014 and an increase in solar energy reaching the surface was measured by CERES. This was also the start of the super 2015-16 El Nino. I suspect the timing of these events is what led to the rather large drop in sea ice. Since then we’ve returned to a more stable value.

If you eliminate this anomaly then the slow downward trend associated with the +AMO transition in the mid 1990s is more clear.

ralfellis
November 27, 2022 12:45 pm

We know that sea ice has nothing to do with CO2, because of the contrary reactions in opposite hemispheres. CO2 is a global gas, so should have the same effect globally, which is not what we see. Have a look at the hemispheric asymmetry in sea ice extents on ‘climate4you’, with the Arctic decreasing and Antarctic increasing. (Antarctic sea ice took a dip in 2017 because of a large storm that broke up the ice.)

Asymmetric Sea Ice, North and South.
https://climate4you.com/SeaIce.htm#Sea%20ice%20extension%20in%20a%20longer%20time%20perspective

.

So why would sea ice decrease in the north, but increase in the south?

Well, we see the same with ice ages, where ALL interglacials are all NH forced events (ie: when Milankovitch insolation is at a maximum in the NH). Again, this means it is unlikely that a global gas (CO2) is the primary feedback agent controlling ice ages. We need a feedback agent that operates primarily in the north, not the south.

In reality, interglacials are controlled by ice sheet albedo, with the major ice sheets being in the north, and the NH ice sheets being covered with dust for 10,000 years before each interglacial. That dust came from the Gobi, which is why there never was a NE Asia ice sheet (too much dust). It is reduced ice sheet albedo, combined with a Milankovitch maximum, that precipitated interglacials.

See: Modulation of Ice Ages by Dust and Albedo.
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1674987116300305

The same could be true of recent NH sea ice reductions, because they are coincident with the rise of China as an industrial nation. And China never did give a flying figg about emissions. The Dark Ice project did try to study ice albedo effects on sea ice and climate, but their grants were cut because they were not invoking CO2.

They did provide evidence of low albedo ice across the Arctic, which was interesting. I imagine that the CERES satellites could build on that data, but I have not seen any graphs of Arctic albedo changes, over the last 40 years. I imagine the CERES data does not go back that far.

Ralph

Last edited 2 months ago by ralfellis
Steven Fraser
Reply to  ralfellis
November 27, 2022 6:03 pm

One thing that pops to mind… ocean current flow northward from the Pacific energizes sea ice flows past Greenland. These currents do not allow multi-year ice to stay in the arctic very long.

ralfellis
Reply to  Steven Fraser
November 28, 2022 12:35 am

But ocean current do not have a 80,000 or 100,000 year periodicity, whereas dust does indeed have exactly this periodicity (as proven by the ice-core record).

These dust peaks are caused by low CO2 concentrations killing off all the plant-life on the Gobi plateau, creating large CO2 deserts. It is the dust from these CO2 deserts that generate the dust peaks.

Ralph

ralfellis
November 27, 2022 12:54 pm

.

We know that sea ice has nothing to do with CO2, because of the contrary reactions in opposite hemispheres. CO2 is a global gas, so should have the same effect globally, which is not what we see. Have a look at the hemispheric asymmetry in sea ice extents on ‘climate4you’, with the Arctic decreasing and Antarctic increasing. (Antarctic sea ice took a dip in 2017 because of a large storm that broke up the ice.)

Asymmetric Sea Ice, North and South.
https://climate4you.com/SeaIce.htm#Sea%20ice%20extension%20in%20a%20longer%20time%20perspective

.

So why would sea ice decrease in the north, but increase in the south?

Well, we see the same with ice ages, where ALL interglacials are all NH forced events (ie: when Milankovitch insolation is at a maximum in the NH). Again, this means it is unlikely that a global gas (CO2) is the primary feedback agent controlling ice ages. We need a feedback agent that operates primarily in the north, not the south.

In reality, interglacials are controlled by ice sheet albedo, with the major ice sheets being in the north, and the NH ice sheets being covered with dust for 10,000 years before each interglacial. That dust came from the Gobi, which is why there never was a NE Asia ice sheet (too much dust). It is reduced ice sheet albedo, combined with a Milankovitch maximum, that precipitated interglacials.

See: Modulation of Ice Ages by Dust and Albedo.
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1674987116300305

The same could be true of recent NH sea ice reductions, because they are coincident with the rise of China as an industrial nation. And China never did give a flying figg about emissions. The Dark Ice project did try to study ice albedo effects on sea ice and climate, but their grants were cut because they were not invoking CO2.

They did provide evidence of low albedo ice across the Arctic, which was interesting. I imagine that the CERES satellites could build on that data, but I have not seen any graphs of Arctic albedo changes, over the last 40 years. I imagine the CERES data does not go back that far.

Ralph

Ante1952
November 27, 2022 12:57 pm

Dear Willis and others,

Please read these two important old papers concerning Arctic ice and natural fluctuations in the area:

Koch, L. 1945. The East Greenland Ice. – Meddelelser om Grønland, vol. 130, No. 3, pages 1-374.

Vibe, Ch. 1967. Arctic Animals in Relation to Climatic Fluctuations. – Meddelelser om Grønland, vol. 170, No. 5, pages 1-227.
 
Best wishes, Antero Jarvinen, Finland

ATheoK
November 27, 2022 1:04 pm

And not one climate scientist on our benighted planet can tell you why … except a couple of things are for certain.”

My understanding is that the very few years that the Arctic sea ice plummeted, the plummets were caused by storms and/or high winds. Piling sea ice into areas where the sea ice gets flushed into the Atlantic/Pacific oceans.

It is also my understanding that biased climate researchers refuse to seriously investigate cause/reduction of sea ice, because they don’t want to harm their CO₂ gravy trains.

John Tillman
Reply to  ATheoK
November 27, 2022 1:23 pm

In the four recent low Arctic sea ice years since 2007, there have always been one or two summer cyclones.

Warm Super El Niño water and storms from the north, which kept new ice from forming, caused the record Antarctic sea ice low in 2017.

So actually honest scientists do know what caused record low extents.

Tom in Florida
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
November 27, 2022 6:21 pm

“but it wasn’t until 2015 that they mysteriously caused both poles to rapidly lose sea ice starting at the same time, and it continued for three years in both hemispheres.”
My first impression seeing that was a satellite calibration problem.

John Tillman
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
November 27, 2022 10:41 pm

No theory, just fact. Only one of many observations:

https://www.washington.edu/news/2017/08/31/record-low-2016-antarctic-sea-ice-due-to-perfect-storm-of-tropical-polar-conditions/

The weather event of the 2015-16 Super El Nino (not 2014-15, as you incorrectly stated) weren’t normal. They were rare events.

You really shouldn’t comment upon subjects on which you are so clearly abjectly ignorant.

DavsS
Reply to  John Tillman
November 28, 2022 5:44 am

From the paper:

Our results suggest that atmospheric and oceanic conditions drove a significant part of the evolution of large-scale SST and sea ice concentration anomalies in 2016, likely aided by coupled feedbacks between sea ice and the ocean. Given the extreme negative anomalies of this event, it is possible that unforced sea ice variability was a further important contributor.”

To the authors it is a suggestion, not a fact.

Phil.
Reply to  John Tillman
November 30, 2022 9:55 pm

Warm Super El Niño water and storms from the north, which kept new ice from forming, caused the record Antarctic sea ice low in 2017.”

And yet during the third La Niña in succession we encountered a new record Antarctic sea ice minimum according to NSIDC and Jaxa (2022)?

Kevin Kilty
November 27, 2022 1:36 pm

Willis,

Can your data be broken down by region? i.e. by arctic basins (eurasian, markov or canada), or margin locations. The warm water intrusions that i wrote about earlier are Atlantic water injected through the Fram Strait. Any such would progress in predictable fashion from there — counterclockwise around the arctic margin. There was a known pulse in the 1990s and in the 2000s. I think there was another developing in the last five years but I can’t find anything immediately. These are large heat injections.

Polyakov, I. V., Alexeev, V. A., Ashik, I. M., Bacon, S., Beszczynska-Möller, A., Carmack, E. C., Dmitrenko, I. A., Fortier, L., Gascard, J., Hansen, E., Hölemann, J., Ivanov, V. V., Kikuchi, T., Kirillov, S., Lenn, Y., McLaughlin, F. A., Piechura, J., Repina, I., Timokhov, L. A., Walczowski, W., & Woodgate, R. (2011). Fate of Early 2000s Arctic Warm Water Pulse, Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 92(5), 561-566. Retrieved Nov 27, 2022, from https://journals.ametsoc.org/view/journals/bams/92/5/2010bams2921_1.xml

Henry Pool
November 27, 2022 1:37 pm

Of course I can explain what is happening.
It is cooling top to bottom due to recuced solar input. But we are also still on the top of the Eddy cycle which is due mainly to volcanic forcing. The ice cover explains to you who is winning and when…

AndyHce
November 27, 2022 3:52 pm

Nobody knows.

I don’t have any insight but I do have some memory. Reportedly the big reduction Arctic sea ice around 1979 or 1980 started with unusually heavy and persistent winds that broke up a great deal of ice and pushed it south, out of the Arctic. Similarly, the drastic drop in Antarctic sea ice around 2015 reportedly occurred through the same mechanism, unusually strong and persistent winds that broke up the sea ice and propelled much of it north. \

While this is how, not why, weather extremes do occur from time to time, beyond human prediction or control.

John Hultquist
Reply to  AndyHce
November 27, 2022 7:10 pm

For those that want to pursue the issue, “ice arches” is the search phrase to start with.
Using satellite images, there was a stitched-together video of the breakup of an ice-arch and the subsequent flushing of ice bergs into warmer southern water.
These flushings were discussed here on WUWT.

rocdoc1945@bigpond.com
November 27, 2022 4:55 pm

Another great article Willis – the areal extent of the sea ice is one thing while the volume extent of the sea ice is another with Antarctica showing a net gain over the graphing period.

Incidentally, one thing that has fascinated me in this whole affair about ice ages, etc for the last 1,000,000 years. The very deep core holes such as Vostok 3 etc all have one extraordinary characteristic in common. They all exhibit a constant annual ice accumulation for their respective locations that transcend all other measurements and sampling taken from the various cores.

Importantly, there is no correlating evidence that the various glacial and interglacial events had any influence on the physical ice accumulation as indicated by core recovery.

The siting of each of these core sites also have one thing in common – there is no lateral movement such as there is in the modern-day glacial extents. If there was movement then it would be impossible to recover the core as the drill stem would be lost.

The good news is that Australia is set to drill a new core hole at dome C over a 5 year period. This will be the first deep 1 million-year-old core hole that will aim to intersect basement below the ice. It may replicate the same basal information that Camp Century and NDIP achieved in discovering the existence of a temperate climate below the ice.

Australian Antarctic Division prepares to drill million-year-old ice core to understand ice age shift – ABC News

bnice2000
November 27, 2022 5:29 pm

Consider looking at UAH NoPol data

UAH NoPol 2000-March 2022.png
Rick C
November 27, 2022 5:57 pm

Willis: Is the y-axis on the charts correct? Are we really talking about a variation of about +/- 1%? Seems much smaller than the variability in ice cover and extent data shown elsewhere.

Jan Kjetil Andersen
Reply to  Rick C
November 28, 2022 10:24 pm

You are right Risk C. The y-axis is clearly wrong.

Change is closer to 10% than 1%

Phil.
Reply to  Rick C
December 2, 2022 8:37 am

Yes, the current Antarctic cover is below the interdecile range and has been since september, hard to believe that it only amounts to an anomaly of -0.2%. The 1981-2010 median is ~14.5 and current value is ~13.5 which would be about -7%.
S_iqr_timeseries.png

SAMURAI
November 27, 2022 7:43 pm

I think the major phenomena influencing Arctic/Antarctic Sea Ice flux are: PDO, AMO 30-year warm/cool cycles, SOI, and ENSO.

During PDO/AMO/SOI warm cycles and Super El Niño events , Arctic Sea Ice generally decreases, and during PDO/AMO/SOI and Strong La Niña events, Arctic Sea Ice generally increases.

During the previous 30-year PDO warm cycle (1913~1945), Arctic Sea Ice decreased significantly, and during the last PDO 30-year Cool cycle (1945~1979) Arctic Sea Ice substantially increased, with many climatologists suggesting we were entering a new Mini Ice Age….not so much…

When the PDO reentered It’s warm cycle from 1980, Arctic Sea Ice extents stalled and then declined rather rapidly until around 2017 when it reentered its new 30-year cool cycle.

The AMO will likely reenter its 30-year cool cycle in a few years, which will likely cause the Arctic Sea Ice recovery trend to increase for the next 30 years (to the consternation of CAGW zealots)…

We’ll see soon enough.

The Arctic and Antarctic regions are earth’s natural air conditioning keeping global temps in relative equilibrium thanks to the Law of Entropy.

Jan Kjetil Andersen
November 27, 2022 9:49 pm

Not seen the arctic ice? take a look on this. Not much to see, just ice and northern light.

https://twitter.com/eriksolheim/status/1596760992997703680?s=61&t=VUigVDAabWD9TCvTUrCkxw

To the serious stuff:
Your vertical axis seem to be wrong Willis. The variation is more than 1%.

/Jan

Last edited 2 months ago by Jan Kjetil Andersen
viejecita
November 27, 2022 10:56 pm

Just to send you ¡¡¡ Un abrazo !!! Willis.
And to say I como to read at WUWT, every day, even if I say nothing, knowing I am No One, and have no academic background, just common sense , but it still gives me hope for my grandchildren.

Ed Zuiderwijk
November 28, 2022 1:56 am

And this is only tip of the iceberg of things that not a single climate scientist on the planet knows.

Bob Weber
November 28, 2022 7:38 am

“First, in addition to not being able to explain the recent radical sea ice changes in retrospect, there wasn’t one climate scientist on the planet who predicted those large changes in sea ice.”

True Willis, no climate scientist predicted more ice, but I did in my 2018 AGU poster, referring to the cooling effect of solar activity below my decadal sun-climate warming threshold

“Under the long-term solar deficit of TSI energy under 1361.25 W/m2 [SORCE], fig. 13k blue dotted line, the northern hemisphere is now cooling early each winter during the present solar minimum, in fig. 20, also evidenced by Greenland ice growth since early 2017, when the long-term F10.7cm running average since May 1960 fell below 120 sfu/day, meaning early hard winters until 2021± 1yr.”

“Earth has therefore dipped into a “mini-ice age” until TSI > Threshold.” -Bob Weber,12/2018

The effect on the Arctic of the now higher TSI won’t be felt until it breaks the La Nina. This new ice growth will last until the next El Nino sends warm water north again for a few years. The long-term F10.7cm flux running average of 116.5 sfu today means continued hard winters for at least 1-2 more years while the ocean warms more from higher solar cycle #25 TSI.

It’s very satisfying to see my sun-climate warming/cooling threshold science result in such a good prediction when no one else saw it coming, while government agencies spend billions of dollars getting the wrong results.

JC
November 28, 2022 1:12 pm

Serious question. Blocking highs and bubbles of very cold air vortex south pulling warm air north. So it can be freaken cold in the US and seasonably mild at the arctic. So can cold winters in the US mean less ice for the arctic?

Currently, the impact of ambient crustal heating in volcanic zones remains a null factor for most people I have talked to. They say no impact. I can understand no impact globally but not regionally. Volcanically heated water occasionally is pulled from the vast region of the Pacific of with Tonga sits in the middle and I have watched anomalously warm plumes of water be pulled by currents right into the Antarctic ice shelf causing melt and collapse. We saw this 8-10 years ago. So regional crustal heating has to be considered a factor even if we can’t measure it. GOCE and GRACE missions were to measure gravitation variable to help[ measure sea levels to and temp to prove the climate change hypothesis but both programs shut down. Too bad. Too bad, they had to tech to provide some clue to ice extent variation. Gravitational variance is a reasonable proxy (ruling out dense non-magmatic formations) for identifying regions magma compression into the crust and ambient heating of ocean water.

Phil.
December 1, 2022 8:34 am

sea-ice-cover-SH-1.png

I’m puzzled as to the source of this data, for example the record low for Antarctic sea ice extent occurred this spring: Jaxa 2.13 million km^2, NSIDC area 1.23 million km^2. I would have expected to see some indication of that in the anomaly graph, what is the basis of the calculation?

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