Southern Hemisphere Sea Ice Reaches "Unprecedented" Levels

Four of the past 5 months are “all-time” records for Southern Hemisphere sea ice anomalies, “unprecedented” since the data set began in 1979 as shown below:

On a global basis, world sea ice in April 2008 reached levels that were “unprecedented” for the month of April in over 25 years. Levels are the third highest (for April) since the commencement of records in 1979, exceeded only by levels in 1979 and 1982. This continues a pattern established earlier in 2008, as global sea ice in March 2008 was also the third highest March on record, while January 2008 sea ice was the second highest January on record. It was also the second highest single month in the past 20 years (second only to Sept 1996).

The graph below shows the monthly anomaly (aggregating NH and SH), collating information from ftp://sidads.colorado.edu/DATASETS/NOAA/G02135.
seaice98.gif
Figure 2. Monthly anomaly sea ice area.

As suggested by a reader, here’s the same information with each monthly series plotted as a separate line (April-solid; January – dotted.) The surge in anomaly area in 2008 is not limited to a single month, but is consistent for all 4 months to date (and for the YTD average).
seaice99.gif

At Cryosphere Today, they provide the following scientific description of recent sea ice changes:

You’ve heard Al Gore comment that the “Earth has a fever”? It may also have major tooth decay.

They provide an animation showing declining sea ice to 2007 lows, but not the subsequent recovery in 2008:

Peruse an archive of map displays of the atmospheric and radiative climatic conditions leading up to the record setting Northern Hemisphere sea ice minimum of 2007: sea ice autopsy

Instead of perhaps celebrating the dramatic recent increase in sea ice, they complain that there has been a loss of “multiyear sea ice”.

I’ve uploaded my collation of the NOAA data to http://www.climateaudit.org/data/ice/seaice.dat .

UODATE: NOAA reported high March 2008 SH sea ice here.

357 Comments

  1. jeez
    Posted May 4, 2008 at 4:51 PM | Permalink

    I look forward to next year’s bemoaning of the loss of decadal ice.

  2. Larry Sheldon
    Posted May 4, 2008 at 4:57 PM | Permalink

    For the earlier years when the Northwest Passage opened as it did last year, do we know what happened the following year each time?

    If I were a gambling man, what line should I ask for?

  3. Bob B
    Posted May 4, 2008 at 5:03 PM | Permalink

    You don’t hear about the record SH sea ice, but I am sure when summer comes and the NH starts is cyclic retreat you’ll be reading about Polar Bears and the melting Arctic.

  4. Ron Cram
    Posted May 4, 2008 at 5:12 PM | Permalink

    In addition to Cryosphere Today, another interesting site is the analysis at the National Snow and Ice Data Center.

    They have not yet gotten around to analyzing April yet. Perhaps the analysis will be released later this week as the March analysis came out on April 7.

  5. Posted May 4, 2008 at 5:20 PM | Permalink

    meanwhile nenana is still frozen

    http://www.nenanaakiceclassic.com/

  6. deadwood
    Posted May 4, 2008 at 5:35 PM | Permalink

    Hans, the Nenana went on April 28th. Its the Tanana that still hasn’t gone. Follow your link for confirmation.

  7. Posted May 4, 2008 at 5:47 PM | Permalink

    Where will they run to now?

  8. Paul S
    Posted May 4, 2008 at 5:49 PM | Permalink

    According to this article, the increase in the Antarctic ice is because of the ozone hole. Can anyone comment on this? …Thanks

    http://uk.reuters.com/article/environmentNews/idUKN0220811720080502

  9. Phil.
    Posted May 4, 2008 at 6:03 PM | Permalink

    World Sea Ice Increases to Levels “Unprecedented” in 25 Years

    Not exactly an accurate description is it Steve? ‘World Sea Ice’ was higher than that for Nov/Dec last year and for more than 6 months the year before!
    Perhaps you should reword your title to reflect the content more accurately.

    World sea ice in April 2008 reached levels that were “unprecedented” for the month of April in over 25 years. Levels are the third highest since the commencement of records in 1979, exceeded only by levels in 1979 and 1982.

    Wow clutching at straws aren’t you Steve? A fairly meaningless shift of the growth-rate of the Antarctic sea ice which has already been reversed. Your attempt at denigrating the loss of multiyear ice is likely to come back to bite you in the fall considering how much has been lost this winter.
    The animation does show the growback this winter and also the loss of multiyear ice via the Fram strait and extensive breakup of the ice pack in the Beaufort sea.

    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/multiyear.ice.quikscat.mov

    Here’s an illustration of the loss in thickness this year:

    and judging from Quikscat more of it has gone since March

    Larry I’d suggest you bet on a new Arctic record low this fall.

  10. Rob
    Posted May 4, 2008 at 6:05 PM | Permalink

    Lest the commentators here fall victim to another brand of confirmation bias, could someone comment on where we are with ice volume?

  11. Steve McIntyre
    Posted May 4, 2008 at 6:18 PM | Permalink

    #9. I think that the text is quite precise. I don’t have enough space for an entire paragraph heading and will entertain other suggestions that fit within the space limits. April 2008 seems like very up to date results. Are you saying that April 2008 results have already been reversed in the first few days of May?

  12. Jonde
    Posted May 4, 2008 at 6:23 PM | Permalink

    Phil, maybe little bit smaller pics would be better in blog environment.

    I found it funny when Cryosphere moved SH graphs to the end of their page when SH ice got to the record. Well, everyone has a right to present their results as their see the best.

    NH has recovered very nicely and it is a shame and only media release was WWF’s “tipping point” is here and all the ice will be lost in near future few weeks ago. It is a shame to see that good news are no longer worth to report in media.

  13. Reid
    Posted May 4, 2008 at 6:48 PM | Permalink

    “the loss of multiyear ice”

    Is multiyear ice like virgin forest? What’s the difference when the ice was formed. Multiyear ice is a contrived concern.

  14. Rob
    Posted May 4, 2008 at 6:53 PM | Permalink

    #13 Reid:

    I have read that multiyear ice is needed to build ice volume – and volume may not be indicated from the extent at any given time. But I defer to others with knowledge in this area.

  15. jae
    Posted May 4, 2008 at 6:54 PM | Permalink

    Instead of perhaps celebrating the dramatic recent increase in sea ice, they complain that there has been a loss of “multiyear sea ice”.

    LOL. Wordsmithing is a real art form. Mark Twain and Bill Clinton would be proud of the these folks.

  16. EJ
    Posted May 4, 2008 at 6:58 PM | Permalink

    Phil. says:
    May 4th, 2008 at 6:03 pm

    “Wow clutching at straws aren’t you Steve? A fairly meaningless shift of the growth-rate of the Antarctic sea ice which has already been reversed.”

    A fairly meaningless shift??? Are you serious? Perhaps I don’t know what a “shift” is.

    I do know that the change in ice area with respect to time, dA/dt, from low to high is the steepest in 2008. It is the largest ‘shift’ in the data set shown and not by a measily 5% over other major ‘shifts’.

    Meaningless, I beg to differ, but who knows any more what the meaning of ‘is’ is, let alone ‘inconsistant’. Who knew?

    What’s the name of that game where you keep having to pull out a block from the bottom and move it to the top? What inevitably happens at the end?

  17. Carl Gullans
    Posted May 4, 2008 at 7:13 PM | Permalink

    #9: Phil, I’m pretty sure that Steve wasn’t being entirely serious with the title of this post. I read it more as a bit of mockery towards previous uses of the word “unprecedented” in climate science (namely “we’re at temperatures unprecedented in the last 1000 years” when we have a temperature record of 150 years).

  18. kuhnkat
    Posted May 4, 2008 at 7:17 PM | Permalink

    Phil,

    apparently you didn’t get the NASA MEMO?? Arctic sea ice loss may have a cause other than global warming:

    http://hotair.com/archives/2007/10/05/video-nasa-says-global-warming-might-not-be-the-cause-of-arctic-ice-melt/

    http://wattsupwiththat.wordpress.com/2007/10/03/nh-sea-ice-loss-its-the-wind-says-nasa/

    (includes link to NASA press release)

    From the press release:

    “Nghiem said the rapid decline in winter perennial ice the past two years was caused by unusual winds. “Unusual atmospheric conditions set up wind patterns that compressed the sea ice, loaded it into the Transpolar Drift Stream and then sped its flow out of the Arctic,” he said. When that sea ice reached lower latitudes, it rapidly melted in the warmer waters.”

    “The winds causing this trend in ice reduction were set up by an unusual pattern of atmospheric pressure that began at the beginning of this century,” Nghiem said.”

    “From the 1970s through the 1990s, perennial ice declined by about 500,000 square kilometers (193,000 square miles) each decade. Since 2000, that amount of decline has nearly tripled.”

    Just think Phil, according to ice core and other paleo data we may be overdue for an ice age. Better fire up the old SUV!

  19. EJ
    Posted May 4, 2008 at 7:27 PM | Permalink

    So, as I read further, I see an ice qualifier. Apparently the thickness of the ice is no longer the standard.

    Am I to understand that old ice is different than new ice?

    Is this really true?

    • RichardC
      Posted Sep 15, 2008 at 9:07 AM | Permalink

      Re: EJ (#19), Yes, multiyear ice is completely different than first year ice. First year ice has a lot of salt entrained. Each year it survives, more and more salt melts its way through the bottom. It gets many times thicker and many times harder and resistant to melt. Eventually, after perhaps 6 years, it simply will not melt away, but instead is lost via drift as it is exported, primarily through the Fram strait. First year ice acts to warm the planet by insulating the ocean in winter. Multiyear ice acts to cool the planet by reflecting summer sunshine. There is essentially no “grandfather” old ice left. The multiyear ice that is left is just “teenager” ice — little better than “baby” first year ice. Given current conditions, there is no chance for recovery. The ice cap will be gone in a few years.
      .
      Pretending that the simplest soundbite MUST be honoured is deliberately foolish. Folks should instead learn to seek further knowledge. So YES, the phrases “multiyear” and “thick” and “hard” are somewhat interchangeable, and YES, volume of ice is infinitely more important than extent, specifically because with each foot of increase in thickness, the quality of ice also increases. The arctic ice cap USED to be seriously strong. Now it is like a movie set.

  20. EJ
    Posted May 4, 2008 at 7:30 PM | Permalink

    I meant “behaves (the chemistry) different”, not is different.

  21. deadwood
    Posted May 4, 2008 at 7:32 PM | Permalink

    Thinner ice breaks up easier. Multiyear ice is thicker, so winds and currents need to be stronger to break up and disperse them.

    It sounds like a reasonable hypothesis. We should find out this summer just how reasonable.

  22. EJ
    Posted May 4, 2008 at 7:33 PM | Permalink

    The only difference in a GW sense that I can see is that new ice is whiter, and thus less suseptable to melting from solar input.

  23. Ron Cram
    Posted May 4, 2008 at 7:35 PM | Permalink

    EJ,

    The thickness of the ice is more difficult to measure. The argument from people like Cryosphere Today is that new ice is less likely to survive the summer melt. My guess is that it probably is true. For some reason, the sea ice researchers are surprised by the amount of interannual variability. As kuhnkat notes above, ice melt is related to dynamic forces as well as thermal forces. When the Northwest Passage opened up in 1905 and 1944, the ice returned pretty quickly the following year. It is doing the same thing now. You can expect to see significant melt in the summer, but it is also very possible the multiyear sea ice decline has been reversed.

  24. Phil.
    Posted May 4, 2008 at 7:43 PM | Permalink

    Re #11

    Yes it’s precisely inaccurate! Don’t you think that some mention of the fact that you’re referring to the April level only might have been appropriate?

    April 2008 seems like very up to date results. Are you saying that April 2008 results have already been reversed in the first few days of May?

    Well in anomaly terms the SH has dropped to the level of a month ago, in absolute terms it’s dropped a little, the global anomaly for today is approximately zero.

    Re #12

    Sorry about the size of the pictures, those are the actual links, I didn’t realize they’d be so large.
    I don’t recall the SH graph being anywhere other than its current location.

  25. Eggplant fan
    Posted May 4, 2008 at 7:56 PM | Permalink

    The salinity of multi-year ice is lower, making it harder and stronger than first-year ice.

    http://www.arctic.noaa.gov/essay_wadhams.html

  26. John Norris
    Posted May 4, 2008 at 7:59 PM | Permalink

    I noticed Dec 87 and Jan 88 data are missing from seaice.dat, is that causing any problems in your calculations Steve?

    Steve: Not in this case, but it’s the sort of thing that could easily have caused a problem had I done the calculation slightly differently.

  27. EJ
    Posted May 4, 2008 at 8:06 PM | Permalink

    Phil. says:
    May 4th, 2008 at 7:43 pm

    “Don’t you think that some mention of the fact that you’re referring to the April level only might have been appropriate?”

    Hmmm, Steve as quoted from above:
    “World sea ice in April 2008 reached levels that were “unprecedented” for the month of April in over 25 years.”

    So now when one says “for the month of April”, this is not ‘some mention’ that refers to the month of April. Seems to mention it to me, in the first sentence. In fact the statement is crystal clear.

    Should this be so tedious?

  28. Pat Keating
    Posted May 4, 2008 at 8:15 PM | Permalink

    11 24 Steve Phil

    I think Phil has a good point. When I first looked at you graph, it didn’t seem to match your text because the eye looks at the maxima. Adding “in April” would be more accurate and cause less confusion, without losing the point you’re making.

  29. Phil.
    Posted May 4, 2008 at 8:16 PM | Permalink

    Re #18

    apparently you didn’t get the NASA MEMO?? Arctic sea ice loss may have a cause other than global warming:

    I believe I mentioned the flow of perennial ice out of the Fram strait this winter.

    The thickness of the ice is more difficult to measure.

    Yes, however the freeboard is a good indicator, see the graph above (#9).

    As for the differences between first year ice and multiyear (perennial) ice EJ would do well to read this

  30. EJ
    Posted May 4, 2008 at 8:25 PM | Permalink

    It makes sense that the m.y. ice is harder and stronger. But it is dirtier, right?

  31. Phil.
    Posted May 4, 2008 at 8:26 PM | Permalink

    Re #27

    EJ it’s customary for the title to describe the contents, the present title clearly does not.

  32. Paul Penrose
    Posted May 4, 2008 at 8:27 PM | Permalink

    Considering what little we know of climatic trends in sea-ice extent, I don’t think that we can come to any conclusions about what any of this data means.

  33. Eggplant fan
    Posted May 4, 2008 at 8:37 PM | Permalink

    EJ #30:

    Don’t know, but this page might help: http://www.gi.alaska.edu/~eicken/he_teach/GEOS615icenom/albedo/main_albedo.htm

  34. EJ
    Posted May 4, 2008 at 8:46 PM | Permalink

    Thanks for the link. I think I meant thickness is most important as I stated.

    EJ says:

    May 4th, 2008 at 7:27 pm
    “So, as I read further, I see an ice qualifier. Apparently the thickness of the ice is no longer the standard.”

    And in fact m.y. ice is defined not by age, but by thickness. The same standard. Right on. Per the link, new ice is

  35. DRC
    Posted May 4, 2008 at 8:52 PM | Permalink

    Phil is arguing semantics. Adding “in April” to the title might be more specific, but the title as it stands is not misleading. Besides, it spoils the joke. Lighten up.

    Great links provided, people, especially the NASA one on the ice was affected by wind. Thank you.

  36. Jet Stream
    Posted May 4, 2008 at 8:57 PM | Permalink

    AMSR-E Sea Ice Extent since 2002

    http://www.ijis.iarc.uaf.edu/en/home/seaice_extent.htm

  37. Jet Stream
    Posted May 4, 2008 at 8:59 PM | Permalink

    AMSR-E Sea Ice Extent since 2002

    http://www.ijis.iarc.uaf.edu/en/home/seaice_extent.htm

  38. Jaye
    Posted May 4, 2008 at 9:04 PM | Permalink

    it’s customary for the title to describe the contents, the present title clearly does not.

    Dude, you are descending into “post lawyering” at ever increasing levels of minutia. Pretty soon you’ll be sniping because of mispellled words.

  39. Posted May 4, 2008 at 9:06 PM | Permalink

    Steve

    I have a question about the ice that no one has been able to answer. NASA’s ice records from satellite start well before 1979. I happen to have a NASA document (NASA SP-489) entitled:

    Arctic Sea Ice, 1973-1976; Satellite Passive Microwave Observations.

    The quality of the data is just as good as anything in 1979 so why does every single article on the subject begin with the state of the Ice in 1979. I have the book and am pretty sure that the answer is that the ice before was fairly variable and it appears that in some years it was less than in 79.

    Just a factoid for checking.

  40. John Norris
    Posted May 4, 2008 at 9:49 PM | Permalink

    re #9 Phil and #16 EJ

    As EJ eluded to, what is really unprecedented is the move from record negative to near record positive in such a short time. Looks like measurement problems to me. Either someone was way too pessimistic in 06 & 07, or someone is too optimistic in 08, or both, or an interpretation process significantly changed. And as we have all seen across the climate measurement world, every innocent little piece of raw data seems to get interpreted and adjusted.

    Phil, regarding:

    … growth-rate of the Antarctic sea ice which has already been reversed. …

    the anomaly for May 07 was -1.66, the anomaly for Apr 08 was .89, care to take a stab forecasting a + or – May 08?

  41. Steve McIntyre
    Posted May 4, 2008 at 10:09 PM | Permalink

    Here is a plot of the Antarctic ice anomaly – what Phil calls:

    A fairly meaningless shift of the growth-rate of the Antarctic sea ice which has already been reversed.

    Four of the last 5 months are records in this database (which goes back to 1979) and thus are “unprecedented” in the data base. Why is a SH record “meaningless” and a NH record meaningful? What is a term for someone, like Phil, discriminates against the southern hemisphere? A hemiphobe?

  42. Steve McIntyre
    Posted May 4, 2008 at 10:26 PM | Permalink

    In deference to Phil, I’ve changed the headline of this post to the somewhat punchier “Southern Hemisphere Sea Ice Reaches “Unprecedented” Levels”. While Phil may regard Southern Hemisphere sea ice as “meaningless”, apparently penguins do not.

    Like Phil, I would be surprised if the SH sea ice anomaly persists at its present record levels and certainly make no such prediction. But it seems unfair to deny the present months their record merely because future months may not match them.

  43. Phil.
    Posted May 4, 2008 at 10:41 PM | Permalink

    Re #40

    As EJ eluded to, what is really unprecedented is the move from record negative to near record positive in such a short time.

    Care to explain that, by record negative I assume you mean the arctic in which case there has been no ‘near record positive’?
    As for your assertion of ‘measurement problems’ there is no basis for that.

    the anomaly for May 07 was -1.66, the anomaly for Apr 08 was .89, care to take a stab forecasting a + or – May 08?

    I’m not sure where you’re getting your Antarctic anomalies from they don’t resemble the ones I’ve seen.

  44. Steve McIntyre
    Posted May 4, 2008 at 10:46 PM | Permalink

    month0=c(“Jan”, “Feb”, “Mar”, “Apr” ,”May” ,”Jun”, “Jul”, “Aug” ,”Sep”, “Oct” ,”Nov”, “Dec”)
    hemi=c(“N”,”S”)
    seaice=NULL
    for(j in 1:12) {
    for (k in 1:2) {
    url=”ftp://sidads.colorado.edu/DATASETS/NOAA/G02135″ #/Apr/N_04_area.txt”
    loc=file.path(url, month0[j],paste(hemi[k],”_”,month1[j],”_area.txt”,sep=””) )
    fred=readLines(loc)
    year=as.numeric(substr(fred,1,4))
    temp1=!is.na(year)&(year>=1978)
    fred=fred[temp1];year=year[temp1]
    test=data.frame(year, as.numeric(substr(fred,6,7)),substr(fred,27,27), as.numeric(substr(fred,29,34)),as.numeric(substr(fred,36,41)) )
    names(test)=c(“year”,”month”,”N”,”area”,”extent”)
    seaice=rbind(seaice,test)
    }
    }
    dim(seaice) #352 5
    order1=order(seaice$N,seaice$year,seaice$month)
    seaice=seaice[order1,]

    temp=(seaice$N==”N”)
    X=seaice[temp,]
    names(X)[4:5]=paste(names(X)[4:5],”N”,sep=”_”)
    X$area_S=seaice$area[!temp]
    X$extent_S=seaice$extent[!temp]
    seaice=X[,c(1,2,4:7)]
    seaice$GLB=seaice[,3]+seaice[,5]

    ##FOR GLOBAL ANOMALY
    m0=tapply(seaice$GLB,seaice$month,mean,na.rm=TRUE)
    seaice$norm=factor(seaice$month);levels(seaice$norm)=m0
    seaice$norm=as.numeric(as.character(seaice$norm))
    seaice$anom=round(seaice$GLB-seaice$norm,2)
    seaice$time=seaice$year+(seaice$month-.5)/12

    ##FOR SH ANOMALY
    m0=tapply(seaice$area_S,seaice$month,mean,na.rm=TRUE)
    seaice$norm=factor(seaice$month);levels(seaice$norm)=m0
    seaice$norm=as.numeric(as.character(seaice$norm))
    seaice$anom=round(seaice$area_S-seaice$norm,2)
    plot(seaice$time,seaice$anom,type=”l”,ylab=”SH Area Anomaly”,xlab=””)

    • Posted Mar 17, 2014 at 8:54 AM | Permalink

      Correction to the script: The order in the data columns is other than assumed, therfore the script mistakes area for extent and vice versa.

      The line

      names(test)=c(“year”,”month”,”N”,”area”,”extent”)

      needs to read

      names(test)=c(“year”,”month”,”N”,”extent”,”area”)

      The error carries through the graphics of other posts on sea ice. Looks like none of the regulars could be bothered to audit.

  45. Jeff
    Posted May 4, 2008 at 10:47 PM | Permalink

    “What is a term for someone, like Phil, discriminates against the southern hemisphere? A hemiphobe?”

    Good question, not sure what you would call an anti-Antarticist. Of course he might refer to the residents of that fine continent as South Polacks.

    snip as required.

  46. cbone
    Posted May 4, 2008 at 10:48 PM | Permalink

    Steve,

    You are to be commended, sir. This post is beautiful in both its satire and veracity.

  47. Steve McIntyre
    Posted May 4, 2008 at 10:51 PM | Permalink

    Phil, what are the Antarctic anomalies that you’ve seen. Maybe you should be asking them where htey got their data. This image is quite similar to the one above:

  48. Andrew
    Posted May 4, 2008 at 11:01 PM | Permalink

    47 (Jon): Surely you are a different “Jon” than he who was here earlier? Otherwisem that post would make no sense.

    Hmm…I seem to recall seeing what was supposed to be a longer record of Antarctic sea ice somewhere which showed high levels in the past. I’ll hunt it down.

  49. Jon
    Posted May 4, 2008 at 11:18 PM | Permalink

    47 (Jon): Surely you are a different “Jon” than he who was here earlier? Otherwisem that post would make no sense.

    Yes, those were not mine, but I’ve been around here longer. c’est la vie.

  50. Phil.
    Posted May 4, 2008 at 11:18 PM | Permalink

    Re #42

    In deference to Phil, I’ve changed the headline of this post to the somewhat punchier “Southern Hemisphere Sea Ice Reaches “Unprecedented” Levels”.

    A pity you can’t get it right this time either! But I’m sure that’s deliberate.

    While Phil may regard Southern Hemisphere sea ice as “meaningless”, apparently penguins do not.

    Problems with reading comprehension Steve?

    Like Phil, I would be surprised if the SH sea ice anomaly persists at its present record levels and certainly make no such prediction. But it seems unfair to deny the present months their record merely because future months may not match them.

    Why not describe it correctly then?

    I’ll await your announcement in a similar manner when the NH hits a new record low.

  51. Phil.
    Posted May 4, 2008 at 11:24 PM | Permalink

    Re #47

    Phil, what are the Antarctic anomalies that you’ve seen. Maybe you should be asking them where htey got their data. This image is quite similar to the one above:

    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/current.anom.south.jpg

    Tell me where you see -1.66 in that graph, 1980 maybe, certainly not 2007?

  52. vauss
    Posted May 4, 2008 at 11:27 PM | Permalink

    Phil,

    And if it doesn’t, will you promise to crawl on your belly like a harp seal? :-)

    >Why not describe it correctly then?

    >I’ll await your announcement in a similar manner when the NH hits a new >record low.

  53. Andrew
    Posted May 4, 2008 at 11:31 PM | Permalink

    Ah, now I remember where I saw it! It was here:

    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=2802#comment-218378

    (Incase you have trouble with it, it’s post 170 by lucia)
    The two charts are bizarrely contradictory. I haven’t read the whole thread, so I don’t know if the issue was resolved therein, but it is a curious descrepancy. If the IPCC can get it’s hands on slightly older SH sea ice data, why doesn’t cryosphere today have such data? Hm…so puzzling.

  54. Jud Partin
    Posted May 4, 2008 at 11:32 PM | Permalink

    Steve – it would be very objective and scientific of you to update this thread in Sept/Oct… I, for one, would be interested to see how this year’s strong La Nina (which was not preceded by a strong El Nino) affected both NH and SH ice.

  55. Phil.
    Posted May 5, 2008 at 12:06 AM | Permalink

    Re #53

    That was the data I posted in that earlier thread, while it was in the IPCC report it originally came from the NIC:
    SH Ice
    as I recall the satellite data started in ’73.
    As fall as I remember Lucia and I resolved the discrepancies, they used different baselines and different timescales.

  56. Paul S
    Posted May 5, 2008 at 12:23 AM | Permalink

    Well, according to this article, Climate change warms Arctic, cools Antarctica, both more ice and less ice are signs of human-induced climate change.

    http://uk.reuters.com/article/environmentNews/idUKN0220811720080502

    The article states that human caused ozone depletion is the reason why the Antarctica has more ice and as the ozone level recovers:

    its recovery is likely to open the way for warming in central Antarctica

    This is the first time I have heard this explanation for the increase in ice area in the Antarctica. Can anyone comment on this article and its validity?
    Thanks in advance, this is one of the few places I trust for unbiased information.

  57. Philip Mulholland
    Posted May 5, 2008 at 12:37 AM | Permalink

    Dome A temperatures

    Some more data to audit?

  58. Mot Normalt
    Posted May 5, 2008 at 1:47 AM | Permalink

    Somewhat related to this topic; I am waiting for the papers that investigate the great 2007 Arctic anomaly. This must be chrtistmastime for the people ivestigating the ice-albedo feedback. Nature has provided a free experiment!
    Have anyone seen the data showing the OLR anomaly for the time after the record low ice anomaly? My intuision says that lots of heat have escaped to space. I’d like to falsify myself on thisone.

  59. cx
    Posted May 5, 2008 at 1:49 AM | Permalink

    As reported in data files area values for NH before and after july 1987 are not comparable due to a change in area not imaged by the sensor:

    ftp://sidads.colorado.edu/DATASETS/NOAA/G02135/Apr/N_04_area.txt

    Important Note: The “extent” column includes the area near the pole not
    imaged by the sensor. It is assumed to be entirely ice covered with at
    least 15% concentration. However, the “area” column excludes the area not
    imaged by the sensor. This area is 1.19 million square kilometers for SMMR
    (from the beginning of the series through June 1987) and 0.31 million
    square kilometers for SSM/I (from July 1987 to present). Therefore, there
    is a discontinuity in the “area” data values in this file at the June/July
    1987 boundary.

  60. Geoff Sherrington
    Posted May 5, 2008 at 2:38 AM | Permalink

    Re # 56 Paul S

    I see increasing references to the hole in the ozone layer creeping in. Al Gore said it made Patagonian rabbits and salmon go blind, but that was about 1992 and we’ve moved on since then.

    Climate Audit cover so many subjects that it is hard to seach every topic until one is satisfied with the final word. Can anyone who has done the searching refer to a couple of links that look objectively at the ozone problem as it is tied in (wrongly, perhaps) with Antarctic ice extent.

    The last I read was the possibility of the properties of a chlorine dimer being wrong in all previous work and a need to replicate the observation. Is the science of ozone really settled?

  61. Gerald Machnee
    Posted May 5, 2008 at 4:24 AM | Permalink

    Soon the first year ice will be multi-year ice as less of it melts.

  62. welikerocks
    Posted May 5, 2008 at 5:09 AM | Permalink

    Antarctic deep sea gets colder

    ScienceDaily (Apr. 23, 2008) — The Antarctic deep sea is getting colder, which might stimulate the circulation of the oceanic water masses. This is the first result of the Polarstern expedition of the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in the Helmholtz Association that has just ended in Punta Arenas/Chile. At the same time satellite images from the Antarctic summer have shown the largest sea-ice extent on record. In the coming years autonomous measuring buoys will be used to find out whether the cold Antarctic summer induces a new trend or was only a “slip“.

    another paper (there are a whole lot of them!)
    from 2006:
    “New Model Suggests Antarctic More Dynamic Than Previously Believed”
    link

    “Because summer insolation is controlled by precession, and summer heating controls ice sheet mass balance, it is difficult to understand why the ice volume record is dominated by the obliquity frequency,” said Dr. Raymo. “It’s not a complete mismatch, but the precession frequency we think should be strong in geological records is not.”

    The new model proposes that during this time, ice volume changes occurred in both the Northern Hemisphere and Antarctica, each controlled by different amounts of local summer insolation paced by precession.

    “The reason the frequency is not observable in records is because ice volume change occurred at both poles, but out of phase with each other. When ice was growing in the Northern Hemisphere, it was melting in the Southern,” said Raymo.

    On this page the links to the left side say:

    “Past Antarctic Ice Sheet Development Linked To Ocean Temperatures And Carbon Dioxide (Sep. 20, 2004)”

    “Tidal Motion Influences Antarctic Ice Sheet (Dec. 24, 2006)”

    “Ice Sheets Drive Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide Levels, Inverting Previous Ice-age Theory (Jul. 25, 2006) ”

    …and so on infinity. ;-)

  63. John A
    Posted May 5, 2008 at 5:32 AM | Permalink

    Why do I keep seeing Hockey Sticks everywhere?

  64. Dave
    Posted May 5, 2008 at 6:52 AM | Permalink

    It sure is cold in the Southern Hemisphere. Last month’s average temperature for Sydney was the lowest for 57 years, ie unprecedented since 1951.

  65. John Lang
    Posted May 5, 2008 at 7:00 AM | Permalink

    The NSIDC [snip] changed the data in January 2007 with no explanation..

    This “Before and After” animation of the change is quite shocking and contributed significantly to how the record sea ice loss during 2007 occurred.

  66. kim
    Posted May 5, 2008 at 7:07 AM | Permalink

    Wayne, be easy on Phil. He helped me make up a non thermometer dependent gauge of whether the globe is warming or cooling and that is the time between Minimum Southern Sea Ice Extent and Maximum Northern Sea Ice Extent, generally, less than a month. When that period is longer than usual, the globe is cooling, when shorter, it is warming. All you need is photographs, not thermometers. This year that period was extraordinarily long, and it grates on him.

    By the way, you understand that there is a difference between sea ice extent, and sea ice area? The former is larger because intervening open water is included.
    ==================

  67. Basil
    Posted May 5, 2008 at 7:09 AM | Permalink

    #57 Philip Mulholland

    I don’t know about at Dome A, but around where I live, a 10 degree temperature swing is not unusual.

  68. Jeff A
    Posted May 5, 2008 at 7:10 AM | Permalink

    Paul S. Ozone is unlikely to be a problem since net ozone since it’s “discovery” has hardly changed. The “hole” is a seasonal feature that, as far as we know, has always been there and always will be.

  69. yorick
    Posted May 5, 2008 at 7:22 AM | Permalink

    Your attempt at denigrating the loss of multiyear ice is likely to come back to bite you in the fall considering how much has been lost this winter.

    September will come and we shall see. It is always the verifiable predictions that lead to the end of doomsday cults.

  70. kim
    Posted May 5, 2008 at 7:29 AM | Permalink

    Remember, particularly in the North, a lot depends on dynamics, wind and currents, and may not accurately be a simple thermal gauge. This season ought to be a good test.
    ========================

  71. yorick
    Posted May 5, 2008 at 7:29 AM | Permalink

    I wish I was omniscient like the warmies. That way I could know that any inconvenient fact is “meaningless”, while only those that strengthen my rhetorical position are “meaningful”.

    BTW, didn’t the chemestry behind the human caused ozone depletion turn out to be in error? Doesn’t matter, because the warmies “just know” that it is correct anyway, just a matter of time til they come up with a new theory that shows that a feature that we couldn’t even measure a short time ago is unprecidented.

  72. Reference
    Posted May 5, 2008 at 7:47 AM | Permalink

    #41 Steve McIntyre

    What is a term for someone, like Phil, discriminates against the southern hemisphere? A hemiphobe?

    Antipole might be apt.

    An´ti`pole n. 1. The opposite pole; anything diametrically opposed.

  73. Phil.
    Posted May 5, 2008 at 7:50 AM | Permalink

    Re #60

    Here’s one:
    Science paper

  74. tty
    Posted May 5, 2008 at 8:07 AM | Permalink

    Re 39:

    If one is cynical the reason that all series start in 1979 might be connected with the fact that 1979/80 was an exceptionally cold winter.

    Re 40:

    There may indeed be a serious data problem with historical ice data. During the period 1989-2003 the maps at Cryosphere consistently shows sea ice surving into July in the baltic (see:
    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/ARCHIVE/19890701.png and the same for the other years). Now this positively never happens, so it seems fairly clear that ice areas during these years are too large.

    Another data problem that has been obvious the last few weeks is that large areas (hundreds of thousands of square kilometers) of ice “disappears” abruptly and then come back a few days later (look at: http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/recent365.anom.region.4.html for example). This has occurred so frequently of late that I am uncertain if the ice area during the last half of April at Cryosphere is correct for any one day. Could this possibly be due to snow melting, and large amounts of melt water accumulating on top of the ice? It only seems to occur in marginal areas (Hudson Bay, Baffin Bay, Bering Sea, Laptev Sea).

  75. James Chamberlain
    Posted May 5, 2008 at 8:21 AM | Permalink

    I’ve written the Illinois Cyrosphere website numerous times asking for the same “comparison chart” that they offer showing any two given days for the Arctic to be shown for the Antarctic as well, and also to stick to science and data only rather than marketing and agendas on the site in general. No responses thus far.

    Marketing and agendas move people far more than data does, unfortunately.

  76. Larry Sheldon
    Posted May 5, 2008 at 8:43 AM | Permalink

    A long way back up-thread, somebody said:

    The salinity of multi-year ice is lower, making it harder and stronger than first-year ice.

    How does the salinity of ice change? I understand that salty water can get more salty by evaporation of water, or by adding salt, and less salty by adding water (I don’t know how to remove salt in an open body).

    But I thought the constituents of a solid (or even a fluid or what ever ice that is not crystals is called) were pretty much fixed.

  77. Francois Ouellette
    Posted May 5, 2008 at 8:45 AM | Permalink

    #63 since you mentioned hockey stick, latest measurements have shown that all winter ice has melted last Saturday night in Montreal. OTOH, Pennsylvania is forecasted to have record ice extent this spring, from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh, which may not melt until early June… and for Steve Mc, Toronto has been ice free for quite a while…

    Seriously, this may show the ice albedo feedback at work. For all the talk about old ice and new ice, or new snow, one may wonder if new ice and snow does not have a higher albedo. Old ice and snow may be contaminated with black carbon soot, for example. As new ice replaces the melted ice, the higher albedo may result in lower temperatures, and more ice, etc. This could be some form of self-regulating mechanism.

  78. Hoi Polloi
    Posted May 5, 2008 at 8:59 AM | Permalink

    Free to Monty Python:

    Ximinez: NOBODY expects the Ozone Hole! Amongst our weaponry are such diverse elements as: fear, surprise, ruthless efficiency, an almost fanatical devotion to Al Gore, and carbon offsets – Oh damn!
    [To Cardinal Biggles] I can’t say it – you’ll have to say it.
    Biggles: What?
    Ximinez: You’ll have to say the bit about ‘Our chief weapons James Hansen…’
    Biggles: [rather horrified]: I couldn’t do that…

    [Ximinez bundles the cardinals outside again]

    Chapman: I didn’t expect a kind of Ozone Hole?

  79. Philip Mulholland
    Posted May 5, 2008 at 9:04 AM | Permalink

    Larry #76

    How Does Arctic Sea Ice Form and Decay?
    Hope this helps.

  80. Phil.
    Posted May 5, 2008 at 9:05 AM | Permalink

    Re #76

    Larry, I suggest you read the following, they should answer your questions:
    sea ice formation
    salinity

  81. Phil.
    Posted May 5, 2008 at 9:10 AM | Permalink

    Re #74

    Another data problem that has been obvious the last few weeks is that large areas (hundreds of thousands of square kilometers) of ice “disappears” abruptly and then come back a few days later (look at: http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/recent365.anom.region.4.html for example). This has occurred so frequently of late that I am uncertain if the ice area during the last half of April at Cryosphere is correct for any one day. Could this possibly be due to snow melting, and large amounts of melt water accumulating on top of the ice? It only seems to occur in marginal areas (Hudson Bay, Baffin Bay, Bering Sea, Laptev Sea).

    This is a satellite problem and occurs on NSIDC as well, they have a comment on their website about it:

    The satellite data sources for these products, while generally providing complete coverage, are subject to gaps (shown in dark grey) in coverage because of satellite operations. In the daily extent timeseries, gaps are replaced with values interpolated from surrounding days, but temporary spurious results may occur. The current satellite source is aging and showing more frequent data gaps. NSIDC is investigating a reliable replacement data source.

  82. David_Jay
    Posted May 5, 2008 at 9:31 AM | Permalink

    John Lang:

    I love that animated chart! I love it when a historical value suddenly changes by (in the case of 2001) a HALF A MILLION SQUARE KM !

    snip

  83. Reid
    Posted May 5, 2008 at 9:31 AM | Permalink

    All increases in ice cover must be new ice. Bringing multiyear ice into the discussion is a diversion. It presumes a static “sustainable” ice cap that does not exist.

  84. Phil.
    Posted May 5, 2008 at 10:06 AM | Permalink

    Re #77
    Francois
    If you take a look at Quikscat you’ll see that the major changes in the multi-year ice that have occurred this winter have been flow out of the Fram strait and down the E coast of Greenland (there’s no multiyear ice at the pole now) and a major break-up of the ice pack in the Beaufort sea and the ongoing dispersion of that ice through the gyre (see #9 I hesitate to add more large images). I would submit that neither of those processes involved albedo changes or soot since they occurred in the dark.
    Quikscat images may be found here

    The scatterometer instrument on QuikScat sends radar pulses to the surface of the ice and measures the echoed radar pulse. These measurements allow the differentiation of the seasonal ice from the older, perennial ice.

  85. Phil.
    Posted May 5, 2008 at 10:11 AM | Permalink

    Steve McI I would draw your attention to #82!

  86. Phil.
    Posted May 5, 2008 at 10:15 AM | Permalink

    Steve I notice that the images associated with #9 have been reduced to a reasonable size, thanks.

  87. Fred
    Posted May 5, 2008 at 10:23 AM | Permalink

    wow . . . 85 comments and not one concern for the future welfare of polar bears.

    Where is the enviro sensitivity, the concern for nanook, the future book cover photo ?

  88. MattN
    Posted May 5, 2008 at 10:38 AM | Permalink

    “Larry I’d suggest you bet on a new Arctic record low this fall.”

    Phil, I’d suggest you bet on a new Antarctic record high this fall…

  89. Steve McIntyre
    Posted May 5, 2008 at 11:25 AM | Permalink

    #53. I will re-visit this issue in the fall. What would my forecast of Arctic sea ice this summer be? My guess is that it will not be as low as last summer because of the ongoing cold NH seasons. But the distinction between multiyear ice and single year ice, even if tendentious, probably has a point and I would presume that we’ll have a fairly substantial meltback.

    The NH-SH differential is really quite intriguing. If you look at the RSS anomaly maps, the high-latitute SH cold anomaly is substantial, as is the corresponding NH warm anomaly.

  90. cbone
    Posted May 5, 2008 at 11:28 AM | Permalink

    How does the salinity of ice change?

    The way I understand it is something like this. When sea water freezes it is not completely salt free. The water freezes and entrains some salt within it. As it (the ice) persists, the salt gradually is leeched out of the ice and the salt content of the ice decreases until it is almost entirely fresh water.

  91. Jet Stream
    Posted May 5, 2008 at 11:45 AM | Permalink

    #65 John Lang

    The NSIDC will just change the data again (like they did in January 2007 with no explanation.)
    This “Before and After” animation of the change is quite shocking and contributed significantly to how the record sea ice loss during 2007 occurred.

    WOW !
    No explanation ?

  92. Phil.
    Posted May 5, 2008 at 11:46 AM | Permalink

    Re #89

    I recall reading that there is evidence for asymmetric behavior at the poles, probably in comparisons of Antarctic and Greenland ice cores I don’t recall where it was published. That they should behave differently is not too surprising, at one pole we have a semi-enclosed ocean at the other a high plateau. At the antarctic there is relatively little multiyear sea ice and a large amplitude seasonal variation and until recently in the arctic a large fraction of multiyear ice and lower amplitude seasonal variation. Currently the arctic appears to be transitioning to a scenario with little or no multiyear ice and a larger amplitude variation, i.e. similar to the antarctic.

  93. paminator
    Posted May 5, 2008 at 12:10 PM | Permalink

    re #77- Francois- Great post! I was pulling for the ice to remain in Montreal for at least a few more weeks, but something has again cleared the ice from the entire country far too early.

  94. Jon
    Posted May 5, 2008 at 1:25 PM | Permalink

    #90.

    The way I understand it is something like this. When sea water freezes it is not completely salt free. The water freezes and entrains some salt within it. As it (the ice) persists, the salt gradually is leeched out of the ice and the salt content of the ice decreases until it is almost entirely fresh water.

    As it forms, pockets of brine are trapped in the ice. Over time the brine drains out into the ocean. Overview here.

    Ice strength is determined to a great extent by its brine volume- multiyear ice is generally much stronger than young ice.

  95. Bill P
    Posted May 5, 2008 at 1:41 PM | Permalink

    How long til we begin to hear the first anthems of praise for our CO2-reduction efforts?

  96. kuhnkat
    Posted May 5, 2008 at 2:14 PM | Permalink

    Fred,

    we’ll start worrying about Polar Bears when their numbers start going down in Canada and they actually stop the shooting of 500 a year!

    Here is an interesting article based on findings from the Crista-Spas project that relates to ozone:

    http://www.mitosyfraudes.org/Ingles/Crista.html

    Tends to disagree with most of the “accepted” alarmist ozone hole science.

  97. Jon
    Posted May 5, 2008 at 2:32 PM | Permalink

    Ice strength is determined to a great extent by its brine volume- multiyear ice is generally much stronger than young ice.

    There are really two issues here: 1) old-ice resists melting and 2) old-ice withstands greater sheer forces which in turns helps maintain the integrity of the ice-sheet

  98. DeWitt Payne
    Posted May 5, 2008 at 3:29 PM | Permalink

    I seem to remember someone (Sadlov?) pointing out that passive microwave can see melt pools on the ice surface as open water.

  99. mccall
    Posted May 5, 2008 at 4:23 PM | Permalink

    re: the “April” qualifier — unnecessary in my view.

    If you check the Cryosphere Today data on even an infrequent basis, the language used is consistent with headlines they and the AGW alarmist camp use whenever an anomalous extreme occurs in support of catastrophic global warming. I knew exactly what was meant, and who was being tweaked.

    [i]One could question whether Phil has a sense of perspective on this topic, and more than a little sense of humor? And if those question aren’t enough, ask whether he has a linguistic precision double-standard, when he agrees with the headline? An example to test this would be what occurred last summer in the arctic, and again in SEP’07 in the antarctic — cause CT sure did have a double standard in how they treated both headlines, both in content, methodology discussion, and the duration of coverage? [/i]

  100. mccall
    Posted May 5, 2008 at 4:24 PM | Permalink

    Sorry for the italic delimeter error — it’s been a while since I posted.

  101. crosspatch
    Posted May 5, 2008 at 4:39 PM | Permalink

    “Old ice and snow may be contaminated with black carbon soot, for example. ”

    That is something I have often wondered about. During a glaciation, a lot of dirt, dust, volcanic debris, etc. must accumulate with the snow. I would expect this stuff to be mingled fairly evenly through the snowpack with some layering to account for large volcanic events but overall new snow would cover the dust.

    Now once the accumulated ice begins to melt, I would expect all of that accumulated dust and debris to accumulate on the surface. I would expect the albedo to drop further as the ice melts more and accumulates more gunk on the surface. So the response I would expect to see from warming as you come out of an ice age would be a slow initial thaw that speeds up as more and more dirt accumulates on the top of the ice acting almost as a pavement on top of the icepack. I would expect a lot of dust and debris to collect over 90,000- 100,000 years of glaciation.

  102. jeez
    Posted May 5, 2008 at 5:02 PM | Permalink

    crosspatch 104. You’re making the implicit assumption that glaciers are static chunks of ice when in fact they are quite dynamic, flowing as slow rivers. The accumulated dirt and debris collects at the base of the glacier.

  103. aurbo
    Posted May 5, 2008 at 5:10 PM | Permalink

    Re the rapid melt-off of snow at Montreal vs. more lingering snow and ice farther south.

    Under snow-free conditions early in winter, considerable heat is lost from the bare ground due to nocturnal radiation and conduction/advection from cold, dry airmasses. As a result, sub-freezing temperatures penetrate deeply into the ground. (Some good data on the depth of frost in the ground can be obtained from commercial grave-diggers.) If snow cover develops later in the winter, it insulates the surface from further temperature changes (plus or minus). When air temps warm in the spring, snow melting is slowed by the refrigerating effect of the sub-freezing ground temperatures. Finally, when the snow does melt, the snow-melt cannot penetrate deeply into the frozen ground and lingers on or near the surface.

    When snow comes early in the winter and remains, there is much less frost in the ground so that when spring melt occurs the melt-water has no problem percolating down through the soil. This is an ideal situation for farmers who are able to work their fields shortly after the snow is out. In Maine, an early snow-cover is sometimes referred to as “white manure”.

    Re the references to the “ozone hole”. The loss of Antarctic stratospheric ozone has been attributed to the catalytic effect of Cl compounds with the source of the Cl being man-made CFCs and the energy being supplied by UV radiation.. The success of this program was widely celebrated within the community of atmospheric chemists and their environmental supporters. 19 years after the Montreal Protocols banning the use of CFCs was signed and a dozen years after the ban became broadly effective, the results have not been as salubrious as some of the media have suggested.

    The largest “ozone hole” ever observed occurred in September 2006. This, despite the fact that measured atmospheric concentrations of CFCs have been steadily declining. See the ozone graphic here and the Data charts here.

    There’s a lesson here for all of us.

  104. aurbo
    Posted May 5, 2008 at 5:13 PM | Permalink

    Correcting first chart in my prior post, it can be found here.

  105. paminator
    Posted May 5, 2008 at 5:28 PM | Permalink

    Aurbo- are you a hockey fan? Francois is talking about a very specific indoor ice location. I extrapolated to other indoor ice locations across Canada, including Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Ottawa and of course Toronto.

  106. John Norris
    Posted May 5, 2008 at 6:46 PM | Permalink

    Re Phil #43

    Re #40
    JN: As EJ eluded to, what is really unprecedented is the move from record negative to near record positive in such a short time.
    Phil: Care to explain that, by record negative I assume you mean the arctic in which case there has been no ‘near record positive’?
    As for your assertion of ‘measurement problems’ there is no basis for that.
    JN: the anomaly for May 07 was -1.66, the anomaly for Apr 08 was .89, care to take a stab forecasting a + or – May 08?
    Phil: I’m not sure where you’re getting your Antarctic anomalies from they don’t resemble the ones I’ve seen.

    Phil,
    1. This thread is about Southern Hemisphere Sea Ice …, thus that is what I am referring too.
    2. I said “Looks like measurement problems to me.” Lets call it my opinion rather than my assertion. I suspect now that Steve has pointed the issue out, the data will get some additional scrutiny by the developing community over the coming months and we will get an explanation.
    3. The data that you apparently haven’t seen is the data file that Steve uploaded from NOAA to http://www.climateaudit.org/data/ice/seaice.dat as referenced at the top of this thread.
    4. Perhaps you should take a look at the data. It is rather relevant to this thread, and many comments within.

  107. Francois Ouellette
    Posted May 5, 2008 at 6:49 PM | Permalink

    #108 Well, at least now we know there’s a scientific explanation… ; )

  108. SteveSadlov
    Posted May 5, 2008 at 6:59 PM | Permalink

    Multi year sea ice is indeed a contrived concept. The main driver of thickness is wind driven compression. Most NH / Arctice ice formed in a given year that does not melt during the following summers, will be ejected into the Atlantic by no later than 5 years hence, more typically 2 – 3 years.

    On a different note, if a CUSUM was done on SH sea ice, all would agree, over the past couple of years, something has changed in dramatic fashion. Some may view it as cause for grave concern.

  109. SteveSadlov
    Posted May 5, 2008 at 7:21 PM | Permalink

    RE: “I seem to remember someone (Sadlov?) pointing out that passive microwave can see melt pools on the ice surface as open water.”

    Passive microwave has all sorts of issues. That is one of them. The raw data must be sliced and diced (a great audit project!). What results, I will generously term, estimated areal extent.

  110. Larry Sheldon
    Posted May 5, 2008 at 7:29 PM | Permalink

    Thanks for the salinity help.

    I’ll need to read that few more times, but I see the drift.

    Speaking of which, did y’all see the video of the folks skiing across the North Pole showing the damage to the ice, the poor penguins adrift on a floe,…..?

  111. Phil.
    Posted May 5, 2008 at 7:47 PM | Permalink

    Re #111

    Multi year sea ice is indeed a contrived concept. The main driver of thickness is wind driven compression. Most NH / Arctice ice formed in a given year that does not melt during the following summers, will be ejected into the Atlantic by no later than 5 years hence, more typically 2 – 3 years.

    Yes that’s the mechanism, however not enough first year ice is surviving to replace the loss of multi-year ice due to melting and flow out of the arctic.
    NSIDC has just published their April analysis which agrees with what I’ve said here.

  112. jeez
    Posted May 5, 2008 at 7:49 PM | Permalink

    Penguins at the North Pole? Que?

  113. Phil.
    Posted May 5, 2008 at 7:50 PM | Permalink

    Re #112

    RE: “I seem to remember someone (Sadlov?) pointing out that passive microwave can see melt pools on the ice surface as open water.”

    Passive microwave has all sorts of issues. That is one of them. The raw data must be sliced and diced (a great audit project!). What results, I will generously term, estimated areal extent.

    Which happens to agree with data obtained by radar scattering, i.e. Quikscat!

  114. austin
    Posted May 5, 2008 at 7:56 PM | Permalink

    I know that the US, British, and Russian Navies will have sea ice data going back into the 50s if not before. I imagine someone could get that data from them by asking nicely.

  115. David Smith
    Posted May 5, 2008 at 8:15 PM | Permalink

    Regular use of passive microwave for sea ice measurement began in late 1978 / early 1979.

    This paper gives some feel for the changes in sea ice estimation techniques over the last 100 years. You’ll see things like this

    Because Walsh
    amalgamated heterogeneous data types, there is a discontinuity
    in the total sea ice area in the full data set when the
    satellite microwave data began in 1978 (see documentation
    at the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC,

    http://www.nsidc.org)).

    I believe a discontinuity can still be observed in the 1978-79 summer/fall values at CT .

    Regarding the Arctic, the summer 2007 melt was aided by the unusually clear and sunny sky in July and August. There is some thought that the lack of wind (= lack of mixing with colder subsurface water) last summer may have played a role, too. Cloud cover and perhaps windspeed should play big roles in the 2008 melt. A cloudy summer would preserve a lot of ice.

    In the Antarctic, my impression is that the circumpolar winds have weakened. If that is correct then there may be less corraling of the cold over Antarctica and more of that cold flowing into the SH temperate regions. Also, I think there is some belief that these circumpolar winds may play a role in thermohaline circulation. A change in wind may portend a change in thermohaline behavior, which ultimately affects NH climate.

  116. Phil.
    Posted May 5, 2008 at 8:18 PM | Permalink

    Re #109

    1. This thread is about Southern Hemisphere Sea Ice …, thus that is what I am referring too.

    Actually it’s about World Sea Ice, Steve changed the title to have some fun with me! (#42)

    Phil, regarding:

    “… growth-rate of the Antarctic sea ice which has already been reversed. …”

    the anomaly for May 07 was -1.66, the anomaly for Apr 08 was .89, care to take a stab forecasting a + or – May 08?

    Clearly the context was Antarctic sea ice, I pointed out that that data didn’t correspond to any of the Antarctic data that I was aware of, to which you replied:

    3. The data that you apparently haven’t seen is the data file that Steve uploaded from NOAA to http://www.climateaudit.org/data/ice/seaice.dat as referenced at the top of this thread.

    The data you reference is not Antarctic data but the composite of NH & SH!

    2. I said “Looks like measurement problems to me.” Lets call it my opinion rather than my assertion. I suspect now that Steve has pointed the issue out, the data will get some additional scrutiny by the developing community over the coming months and we will get an explanation.

    Which Steve, what issue?
    The only measurement problem is intermittent drop out in the daily data which is the result of an ageing satellite, this is known and documented at NSIDC for instance.
    The results are also cross checkable against the independent images from Quikscat.

    Steve: The above data file includes SH anomalies which were used in the calculation of the SH graphic (as well as the GLB total.)

  117. John Norris
    Posted May 5, 2008 at 9:35 PM | Permalink

    re Phil #116

    The data you reference is not Antarctic data but the composite of NH & SH!

    … and so it is! My amateur error.

    Let me restate, the anomaly FOR THE WORLD SEA ICE for May 07 was -1.66, the anomaly for Apr 08 was .89, care to take a stab forecasting a + or – May 08?

    My references to Steve, and issue, were wrt McIntyre, and this thread.

    re:

    The only measurement problem is intermittent drop out in the daily data …

    Lets see if that holds up over the next several months. No up adjustments to 2006 and 2007 data, nor down adjustments to 2008 data, then I am wrong.

  118. Rod
    Posted May 5, 2008 at 11:12 PM | Permalink

    The term “multiyear” ice seems a little misleading. Most of the ice formed in the Arctic lasts no more than about 2 years old, which means that most of the ice is less than 1 year old. Besides which ice coverage and thickness is not determined mainly by temperatures but by the winds, which push ice to warmer waters faster when they are higher.

    The Russians have been putting weather stations on thick pack ice floes since the 1930’s. The stations are manned until the floes break up when they reach warmer waters. They’ve established 33 stations over the years and none of them has lasted more than about 2 years.

  119. Phil.
    Posted May 5, 2008 at 11:38 PM | Permalink

    Re #118

    That’s the situation we’re in now but that’s a recent development.
    From the NSIDC:
    “Changes in ice age and thickness
    Another aspect of the story for 2007 is the “memory” of the sea ice to changes over the past few decades. Specifically, there seems to have been a transition to younger, thinner ice beginning in the late 1970s. This reflects not only trends towards more summer melt and less winter ice growth, but changing winds that have transported fairly thick ice out of the Arctic Ocean into the North Atlantic, and decreased the length of time that ice is “sequestered” in the Arctic Ocean where it might have a chance to grow thicker.
    Ice that has survived through one summer, called second-year ice, is typically thicker than first-year ice, and ice that has survived several summers is assumed to be thicker than second-year ice. To estimate ice age, our colleagues Chuck Fowler and Jim Maslanik at the University of Colorado used drifting buoy data along with information from satellites to assess the formation, transport, and melt of the ice, which they in turn used to estimate ice age. Results from this study reveal the area of oldest ice (i.e., ice older than four years) is decreasing in the Arctic Ocean, and being replaced by younger, and therefore, thinner ice. The region of the oldest (and thus thickest) ice is now confined to a relatively small area north of the Canadian Archipelago. Replenishment of old, thick ice is essential to the maintenance and stability of the Arctic summer ice cover, since thinner ice requires less energy to completely melt out in summer than thicker ice.
    Figure 4 shows an animation of ice age in the Arctic from 1981 through 2007. The colors indicate the age of the sea ice in years; light blue is open water (OW). Areas in red are locations where the ice is five years or older, whereas the dark blue areas are first-year ice. The overall reduction in ice age over the past twenty-six years becomes evident as the animation runs through the years. The animation also shows seasonal variations in the ice cover as the first-year ice melts in the summer and regrows in the winter.”

  120. Posted May 6, 2008 at 1:01 AM | Permalink

    I’m going to go out on a limb here:

    If global temperatures keep going lower for 3 years the oceans will capture more CO2 and the rate of rise of CO2 will start falling off. It may even reverse.

  121. Posted May 6, 2008 at 1:06 AM | Permalink

    Further prediction:

    Summer is due to global warming. Winter is due to natural variation.

  122. Filippo Turturici
    Posted May 6, 2008 at 2:26 AM | Permalink

    Antarctic sea ice record extent cannot be linked to ozone hole in any way, in my opinion – of course, thinking ozone hole is the cause of very low temperatures of inner Antarctica, and not very low temperatures (-70/-80°C) to be the cause of ozone hole or any other possible cause.
    Indeed, last months saw a POSITIVE temperature anomaly in inner Antarctica, where last decades temperature trends and mostly negative; on the other side, last months saw NEGATIVE and near to record temperature anomalies all along the open sea belt that surrounds Antarctica, areas which instead had positive trends in the last decades (of course, it is an average, not all the points of the belt were in negative temperature anomaly).
    Thus, by one side it is a problem of weather patterns dominating last months; by the other side, we have to blame cold seas surrounding Antarctica, seas temperatures that are very little influenced by air weather patterns, but just by other “water facts” (ENSO, oceans heat content etc.) linked even to GW, but this time in a cooling way (and what a cooling it is for now).

    On the side of the World, Arctic sea ice extent is at highest value since 2003, but as told above we cannot forget last year very small minimum: anyway, there will be some way in which Arctic ice will expand back (as happened at the end of Medieval Optimum, where sea ice extent was smaller than nowadays – meaning last years, not entire XXth century – both by winter and by summer).
    So, we will have just to wait next summer (better: July-August) to see whether the downward trend continues, or stabilise at very low values, or at least for a year has stopped.

  123. yorick
    Posted May 6, 2008 at 6:51 AM | Permalink

    Well, Phil,
    Fortunately this is a testable hypothesis you’re flogging, and the experiment is under way. The results will come some time around September. How about we check back then? I plan to.

  124. Dennis Wingo
    Posted May 6, 2008 at 6:53 AM | Permalink

    (115)

    Regular use of passive microwave for sea ice measurement began in late 1978 / early 1979.

    Wrong

    I have A NASA publication, SP-489 that has passive microwave sea ice measurement that begins in 1973. Why is this data not used?

  125. Ron Cram
    Posted May 6, 2008 at 7:15 AM | Permalink

    Phil,
    re: 119

    What do you mean “recent development?” You seem unaware of significant sea ice melting in the past. The Northwest Passage opened up in 1905 and again in 1944. In total more than 60 ships made the voyage in the 20th century. Both times, the sea ice came back strongly the following years – just as it is now.

  126. David Smith
    Posted May 6, 2008 at 7:15 AM | Permalink

    Re #124

    Dennis, I believe that passive microwave developmental work began in 1972 using what was known as ESMR technology. In 1978 a better technology known as SMMR was deployed. SMMR, I think, provided more detail and is considered more reliable than the earlier ESMR data. Late 1978 was when the data began to be used for sea ice.

  127. yorick
    Posted May 6, 2008 at 7:35 AM | Permalink

    I have a picture of the “Poor penguins adrift on an iceberg” but I don’t know how to post it. It came from the Guardian Climate section. It is like a painting, beautiful, but it is also very funny. Poor penguins…

  128. Phil.
    Posted May 6, 2008 at 8:08 AM | Permalink

    Re #125

    Phil,
    re: 119

    What do you mean “recent development?” You seem unaware of significant sea ice melting in the past. The Northwest Passage opened up in 1905 and again in 1944. In total more than 60 ships made the voyage in the 20th century. Both times, the sea ice came back strongly the following years – just as it is now.

    The recent development I referred to is the substantial depletion of multiyear ice, I know of no evidence of such an event in the past.
    The Northwest passage did not ‘open up in 1905′ Amundsen took three years to get through, in any case brief openings in the Canadian archipelago do not constitute the type of melting that was observed last fall. Your assertion that the ice has ‘come back strongly’ is not borne out by the facts: substantial loss of multiyear ice during the winter and the sea ice extent declining during April at a faster rate than last April.

  129. David Jay
    Posted May 6, 2008 at 8:17 AM | Permalink

    Alas, poor Yorick… er… Penguin.

    How will it escape the iceberg without drowning???

  130. Gerald Machnee
    Posted May 6, 2008 at 8:22 AM | Permalink

    Re #125 and #128 – **The recent development I referred to is the substantial depletion of multiyear ice, I know of no evidence of such an event in the past.**
    There is no evidence because all you are looking at is satellite data. That is the same problem as the thread on hurricane data. There are hand drawn maps of ice surveys done by air by the Canadian Ice Survey for many years back. They may not be of complete polar data, but they did record multi-year ice.
    **Your assertion that the ice has ‘come back strongly’ is not borne out by the facts: substantial loss of multiyear ice during the winter and the sea ice extent declining during April at a faster rate than last April.**
    You are looking at a short term here – you are not looking at loss of multiyear ice in the 1930’s and 1940’s because you are limiting yourself to “satellite data”
    Re ESMR and SMMR. I sometimes wonder if some of the improvements were not necessarily better. There was a lot of advertising to sell the new instrumentation.

  131. Phil.
    Posted May 6, 2008 at 8:24 AM | Permalink

    Re #123

    Well, Phil,
    Fortunately this is a testable hypothesis you’re flogging, and the experiment is under way

    Yorick, just for the record what is the hypothesis you think I’m flogging?

  132. Terry
    Posted May 6, 2008 at 8:27 AM | Permalink

    Re: 127

    I have a picture of the “Poor penguins adrift on an iceberg” but I don’t know how to post it. It came from the Guardian Climate section. It is like a painting, beautiful, but it is also very funny. Poor penguins…

    I have a picture of penguins in the Western Cape (South Africa) sunbathing on a beach in 80 degree heat and going for the occasional swim in the ocean. The only ice I could find was in my soft drink. Wish I was there now.

  133. Phil.
    Posted May 6, 2008 at 8:34 AM | Permalink

    Re #130

    OK Gerald where’s the data you speak off?
    I’m aware of the historical timeseries for sea ice extent which as far as I know includes the Canadian mapping data and I can’t see that it supports your argument.

  134. steven mosher
    Posted May 6, 2008 at 8:52 AM | Permalink

    re 133. thanks for the reference to that data. It’s interesting that the extent didnt
    change much in the warming earlier this century. Not that interesting, but interesting.

    I suppose one could look at NH temps and the NH ice extent from 1870 to today and
    ponder it.

  135. Phil.
    Posted May 6, 2008 at 9:00 AM | Permalink

    Re #117

    “The data you reference is not Antarctic data but the composite of NH & SH!”

    … and so it is! My amateur error.

    No problem, I was just trying to reconcile the data sets.

    Let me restate, the anomaly FOR THE WORLD SEA ICE for May 07 was -1.66, the anomaly for Apr 08 was .89, care to take a stab forecasting a + or – May 08?

    Since the NH at this time of year decreases at about 2 million km^2/month and the SH increases at about the same rate I would expect it to stay about where it is now, 0.020. Of course this is subject to large errors since at such large rates of change a small hiatus (such as is occurring in the SH now) will lead to a big swing.
    That’s the problem with making a big deal about extents in the middle of the growth period, a week ahead or behind normal can lead to a large change in anomaly, case in point last year the NH ice was late refreezing so the anomaly grew to -3 million km^2. The anomalies at the max/min are much more meaningful, the ones we’re see now could be just changes in the timing of the growth/decay season.

  136. tty
    Posted May 6, 2008 at 9:01 AM | Permalink

    Re 119

    In September 1935 the russian “Sadko” expedition reached 82 deg 41 min latitude north of Severnaya Zemlya in open water. So, very likely ice meltback was about as extensive during the warm 1930’s summers as in recent years. However since this was the first Soviet effort to reach high latitudes we have very limited data. Note that this voyage could not have been repeated in 2007, the ice-edge never retreated that far north near Severnaya Zemlya.

  137. Phil.
    Posted May 6, 2008 at 9:14 AM | Permalink

    Re #135

    re 133. thanks for the reference to that data. It’s interesting that the extent didnt
    change much in the warming earlier this century. Not that interesting, but interesting.

    Thanks Steve, my guess is that there was much more residual thick ice then and the response time was slow.
    That would mean that a more sustained warming period would be necessary, based on that graph the decrease has been occurring for the last 50 years.
    Also we’re talking about the Arctic basin as a whole, just because N America was warm in the 30s doesn’t mean that the Asian side was too.

  138. tty
    Posted May 6, 2008 at 9:15 AM | Permalink

    Re 128

    The “Fram” expedition in 1893-96 recorded an average ice thickness of 3,6 meters during their transpolar drift. The “Sedov” recorded an average 2,2 meters on a similar drift in 1937-40, so thinning of the ice has happened before.

    As for when the Northwest Passage has been open before the last three decades, nobody knows, because nobody was there to see it. However the distribution of subfossil Bowhead Whales shows that it was certainly open for several millenia during the early and middle Holocene. However it has probably not been regularly open since the MWP.

  139. Steve McIntyre
    Posted May 6, 2008 at 9:24 AM | Permalink

    See post here on driftwood in the Arctic discussing a very interesting specialist article. http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=1015

  140. James Chamberlain
    Posted May 6, 2008 at 9:26 AM | Permalink

    I don’t see how any resonable scientist could link of the data/plot of ice coverage prior to 1979 to the data after 1979 when the satellite information was input and believe that the plot as a whole or information taken from it had much meaning.

    It is like attaching current, observed temperatures to the anthopogenic temperatures calculated for the past 2000 years.

  141. Andrew
    Posted May 6, 2008 at 9:31 AM | Permalink

    There is a “alternative” NH sea ice data set:

    http://www.worldclimatereport.com/index.php/2007/10/30/arctic-sea-ice-another-hockey-stick/

  142. Gerald Machnee
    Posted May 6, 2008 at 9:32 AM | Permalink

    Re #130

    OK Gerald where’s the data you speak off?
    You would have to check with Ice Branch at Environment Canada in Ottawa for the paper work. Flightw were made in DC4 and Lancaster aircraft.
    I would have some reservations about adding the satellite data to 1870’s data as in #133. That is somewhat like the hockey stick where proxy data and temperature data are spliced together.

  143. MattN
    Posted May 6, 2008 at 10:04 AM | Permalink

    Say, that SH ice anomaly graph looks like a hockey stick, yes?

  144. Phil.
    Posted May 6, 2008 at 10:07 AM | Permalink

    Re #141

    I don’t see how any resonable scientist could link of the data/plot of ice coverage prior to 1979 to the data after 1979 when the satellite information was input and believe that the plot as a whole or information taken from it had much meaning.

    My only point in showing that data is in response to Gerald as it is my understanding that the data he referred to was included in the early part of that graph.

    Re #136

    In September 1935 the russian “Sadko” expedition reached 82 deg 41 min latitude north of Severnaya Zemlya in open water.

    That statement somewhat understates the difficulty they had reaching that point, in fact there data shows multiyear ice in a similar location to last year (largely determined by the shallow water in that location I believe).
    For example to pass north of Svalbard they had to pass through a ‘zone of passable ice between heavy multiyear ice to the North and the coast to the south’ this zone being as narrow as 700m. The ‘open water’ is described as ‘a wedge of open water, which had evidently been driven north into the edge of the Arctic pack by recent southerly gales’. By the time they’d been at that location 9 hours pancake ice was forming and they had to head back south.

    There’s a very good account of that expedition here

  145. SteveSadlov
    Posted May 6, 2008 at 10:09 AM | Permalink

    NSIDC are highly biased “partisan” adherents to certain IPCC doom and gloom “killer AGW” scenarios. Mind you, I have no problem with doom and gloom scenarios as a class, however, the IPCC have gotten on board with the wrong scenarios. They give no attention to the ones that would actually (and may actually now) kill billions. These things happen via small cuts. For example, due to an abnomally late winter / early spring like polar vortex, the polar jet runs very far south over Asia, steering a cyclone into Burma. A volcano shoots ash into the stratosphere in a once in 10K years event. The Sun slumbers. The PDO and AMO both go down in unison. Asian aerosols depress North Pacific SSTs. Small cuts.

  146. SteveSadlov
    Posted May 6, 2008 at 10:13 AM | Permalink

    RE: #133 – notice anything funny about those plots?

  147. windansea
    Posted May 6, 2008 at 10:16 AM | Permalink

    Penguins at the North Pole? Que?

    this will explain it, MSNBC got caught with their hand in the warmie jar

    http://thisgoesto11.blogspot.com/2008/05/confused-penguins-create-credibility.html

  148. Phil.
    Posted May 6, 2008 at 10:33 AM | Permalink

    Re #146

    NSIDC are highly biased “partisan” adherents to certain IPCC doom and gloom “killer AGW” scenarios.

    Ignoring your following ‘bait and switch’ Sadlov how about backing up your statement with a criticism of NSIDC’s analysis?

  149. Richard Sharpe
    Posted May 6, 2008 at 10:45 AM | Permalink

    These things happen via small cuts. For example, due to an abnomally late winter / early spring like polar vortex, the polar jet runs very far south over Asia, steering a cyclone into Burma. A volcano shoots ash into the stratosphere in a once in 10K years event. The Sun slumbers. The PDO and AMO both go down in unison. Asian aerosols depress North Pacific SSTs. Small cuts.

    Steve, you’re just an anthropogenic global cooling alarmist. One wonders whether Mann will climb on that bandwagon again.

  150. Phil.
    Posted May 6, 2008 at 10:55 AM | Permalink

    Re #112

    Penguins at the North Pole? Que?

    Yes that would be remarkable since they’ve been extinct for 150 years!
    The North Pole would require a longish swim/walk though.

  151. steven mosher
    Posted May 6, 2008 at 11:12 AM | Permalink

    re 148. I like the part about the loo. Ice melters!

  152. MattN
    Posted May 6, 2008 at 11:15 AM | Permalink

    RE: #133 – notice anything funny about those plots?

    Ignores southern hemisphere, as usual?

  153. steven mosher
    Posted May 6, 2008 at 11:31 AM | Permalink

    re 137. I was thinking of looking at the gridded data on that. ( asian side versus other)

    The lag issue is probably tougher to handle

  154. BarryW
    Posted May 6, 2008 at 11:45 AM | Permalink

    Re 147

    The difference between winter and summer has been widening but the winter value is not changing anywhere near as fast as the summer. Are the arctic summer temps increasing faster than winter temps?

  155. Ron Cram
    Posted May 6, 2008 at 11:51 AM | Permalink

    Phil,
    re: 128

    Amundsen did begin his trip in 1903 when significant sea ice was still there, but by 1905 the passage had opened up. In 1994, ships passed through in a matter of weeks. We do not have satellite photos of sea ice in 1905 and 1944 but there is little doubt they would have looked very like 2007. It still holds true that more ships made the voyage in the 20th century than in the 21st century.

    The melting ice was mostly due to dynamic forces (wind and ocean) rather than changes in temperature.

  156. Phil.
    Posted May 6, 2008 at 11:53 AM | Permalink

    Re #155

    Once the basin is filled with ice there’s not much further to go, the expansion into the Pacific and Atlantic are reasonably limited.

  157. alex verlinden
    Posted May 6, 2008 at 12:06 PM | Permalink

    Mr. Phil … I haven’t read everything, but your zeal, comming to the enemies forum and trying to win souls is commendable … however, you couldn’t possibly be right, because you apparently lack humour (your first post in this thread) … if you ever want to convince me, at least some doubt on your behalf and your theories is necessary … and what also might help … please refer to 1 of your “computer models”, and, just as Ohm can predict, 1 month in advance, the current in a given resistor when so many volt is applied, predict me the min. and max. temperature in De Bilt, the Netherlands (or any other city worldwide) on 6th June 2008 … past temperatures in the case of De Bilt can be found on http://www.knmi.nl

  158. Phil.
    Posted May 6, 2008 at 12:08 PM | Permalink

    Re #156
    I’m sorry Ron I don’t buy your ‘little doubt’ I think there’s considerable doubt. 1994 is not the 1940s and I don’t see any documentation of that claim.

  159. Larry Sheldon
    Posted May 6, 2008 at 12:17 PM | Permalink

    Here is a pointer to the documentary about the investigation into the loss of Arctic ice and its effect on the poor penguins. (And in watching it again just now, I wondered “am I more jaded than I realized, or is that really Styrofoam in an earlier scene?”

    http://www.env-econ.net/2008/05/the-env-econ-ho.html

  160. Leonard
    Posted May 6, 2008 at 1:10 PM | Permalink

    If you go to

    http://www.colorado.edu/news/r/1fb96a0f5e60677e20ddafee67219e8d.html

    You see that the University of Colorado at Boulder says that all the new ice is (!) new ice and is unlikely to
    survive the summer.

    “The forecast by researchers at CU-Boulder’s Colorado Center for Astrodynamics Research is based on satellite data
    and temperature records and indicates there is a 59 percent chance the annual minimum sea ice record will be broken
    this fall for the third time in five years.”

    They think it will all melt away and we have a good chance of new minimum by September.

    I guess we’ll have to wait till september.

    Leonard

  161. oggy
    Posted May 6, 2008 at 1:36 PM | Permalink

    I read quite recently that beneath the Arctic Ocean lies an extremely active volcanic region. Are there any records available of deep sea temperatures in the Arctic?

  162. Jim Arndt
    Posted May 6, 2008 at 1:48 PM | Permalink

    #160, Larry I don’t believe there are Penguins in the Arctic. You will find them a little more south.

  163. David Jay
    Posted May 6, 2008 at 2:43 PM | Permalink

    #161 –

    Wow, exactly a 59% chance. I’m impressed.

    Based on long term historical variation, I assert that they have a 41% chance of being right.

  164. Larry Sheldon
    Posted May 6, 2008 at 2:50 PM | Permalink

    #163

    #160, Larry I don’t believe there are Penguins in the Arctic. You will find them a little more south.

    Gasp! Certainly the MSM would not lie to me. You must be wrong!

  165. Larry Sheldon
    Posted May 6, 2008 at 2:52 PM | Permalink

    indicates there is a 59 percent chance

    59 percent of what?

  166. Larry Sheldon
    Posted May 6, 2008 at 2:58 PM | Permalink

    Re #163. The penguins have been edited out.

  167. Gerald Machnee
    Posted May 6, 2008 at 3:00 PM | Permalink

    Re #141 and #145 – **My only point in showing that data is in response to Gerald as it is my understanding that the data he referred to was included in the early part of that graph.**
    I have no documentation on where the data for 1 hundred or so years ago came from – a lot of ships? ground expeditions? But I have reservations because it was not obtained in the same manner and may not have the same coverage as the satellite data. They may have seen the edges of the ice and not all the holes, which would make the area earlier in the century larger than it actually was.

  168. Gunnar
    Posted May 6, 2008 at 3:01 PM | Permalink

    #156, Ron, I think the arctic was probably normal in 1905. You forgot to account for the fact that Norwegians are really tough. He perservered to find a way through, plowing through on a route that typically has thinner ice. People seem to be forgetting that summer comes every year.

  169. Phil.
    Posted May 6, 2008 at 3:15 PM | Permalink

    Re #168

    I have no documentation on where the data for 1 hundred or so years ago came from – a lot of ships? ground expeditions? But I have reservations because it was not obtained in the same manner and may not have the same coverage as the satellite data. They may have seen the edges of the ice and not all the holes, which would make the area earlier in the century larger than it actually was.

    As I recall the data were put together by Walsh, the graph is for extent not area so the edges are all that’s needed.

  170. Larry Sheldon
    Posted May 6, 2008 at 3:15 PM | Permalink

    My last on this round of the Penguin Saga: http://thisgoesto11.blogspot.com/2008/05/confused-penguins-create-credibility.html

  171. Phil.
    Posted May 6, 2008 at 3:19 PM | Permalink

    Re #171
    Actually the correct answer to the question “Why don’t polar bears eat penguins?” is that humans ate them all. ;)

  172. kim
    Posted May 6, 2008 at 3:35 PM | Permalink

    So the bear walks out of his den heading ten miles south, then ten miles east, then ten miles north and he’s back at his den. What color is the bear?

    Better: How many places on earth could such a den be?
    ===================================================

  173. Sean
    Posted May 6, 2008 at 3:41 PM | Permalink

    Kim, there are three such places on the Earth, although one of them doesn’t have any bears.

  174. kim
    Posted May 6, 2008 at 3:43 PM | Permalink

    Nope, an infinity of infinities. No bears in most of them. Where are your two besides the North Pole?
    ===============================================

  175. Sam Urbinto
    Posted May 6, 2008 at 4:06 PM | Permalink

    Larry, a 59 percent chance the annual minimum sea ice record will be broken this fall.

    And probably a 100% chance that if you see some penguins in the Arctic, somebody put them there, or you’re looking at an Auk, or you’ve found this ship.
    :D

    But we know it must be one of the other two, network television would never put up anything false even by accident. Or has one of them broadcast AIT after all?

    lol

  176. Sean
    Posted May 6, 2008 at 4:09 PM | Permalink

    Hi Kim, you got me. It’s infinite.

    I was thinking of a circle, somewhere slightly North of the South pole, which is ten miles around, and the den is located on a spot which is ten miles North of that circle. But of course that spot could be anywhere in a circle.

    Then I was thinking of a circle near the North pole which is also ten miles around. If that circle is more than 10 miles South of the North pole, you could have the den on a spot ten miles North of that circle (which again could be a circle hence another infinity).

  177. Posted May 6, 2008 at 4:12 PM | Permalink

    Brit Hume is at this exact moment quoting this blog on the Fox News Channel GrapeVine…

  178. kim
    Posted May 6, 2008 at 4:32 PM | Permalink

    Yep, anywhere on a circle approx. 11.59 miles north of the South Pole. Or anywhere on a circle app. 10.8 m. n. of the SP, and cetera to infinity and beyond.
    ===================

  179. MrPete
    Posted May 6, 2008 at 5:13 PM | Permalink

    There’s quite a variety of references demonstrating the historic lack of arctic ice at various times in the 20th century. Remember, the main thing about the Northwest Passage is not whether it is always “solid” ice but whether it is too dangerous to pass through. People get the idea that there is a permanent, solid, ice cap spreading from the north pole outward… ice that grows and shrinks but has always ‘been there’ until recently. That’s simply untrue.

    A couple of examples from a quick Google search:

    March 1959, USS Skate surfaces at the North Pole:

    May 1987, 3 nuclear subs surface in a pool at the North Pole:

    John Daly long ago created a nice page about this.

  180. kuhnkat
    Posted May 6, 2008 at 5:44 PM | Permalink

    Phil,

    your statements about the length of time and difficulty for most of the ships sailing the Northwest Passage are appropriate. I would toss in one possible outlier. A Canadian RCMP ship called the St. Roche. Their historic west-east passage in 1940 from Vancouver to Halifax took 2 years due to being frozen in the ice for an extended time. Their return trip to Vancouver in 1944 only took 86 days.

    http://hnsa.org/ships/stroch.htm

    http://pubs.aina.ucalgary.ca/arctic/Arctic46-1-82.pdf

  181. Sean
    Posted May 6, 2008 at 5:53 PM | Permalink

    Kim,

    I just realized how many more such places there are. Is this what you were saying, or am I adding some new points?

    1. Any point 10 miles N of the latitude at which the circumference of the Earth is 10 miles.

    2. Any point 10 miles N of latitude at which the circumference of the Earth is 5 miles (because nowhere in the question does it say you can’t cover the same ground twice).

    3. Any point 10 miles N of the latitude at which the circumference of the Earth is 3.33 (repeating) miles.

    etc. etc.

    To summarize, the set of points equals:

    1. The North Pole; and any point 10 miles N of a SH latitude at which the circumference of the Earth equals 10 divided by any whole number.

  182. kuhnkat
    Posted May 6, 2008 at 5:58 PM | Permalink

    Sean,

    there is no EAST at the south pole, only North.

    Kim

    2 possible dens. North pole and North Magnetic pole. Depends on your navigation equipment.

    And probably white, although only his fur dresser knows for sure!!

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

  183. kim
    Posted May 6, 2008 at 6:15 PM | Permalink

    Right, Sean, but you intuited the gimmick immediately. I don’t think this is one of his, but someone gave me a copy of the Dover book about Sam LLoyd when I was about twelve.

    kuhnkat, bears packing compasses are or ought to be endangered. And with all those empty dens near the South Pole, Polar bears must indeed be endangered.
    ===================================

  184. kuhnkat
    Posted May 6, 2008 at 6:16 PM | Permalink

    Oooops, forgot.

    Sean, there are no BEARS at the south pole either, unless we are counting Russians.

    (no east only applies if you went to the pole, your idea works except for lack of bears!!)

  185. John Lang
    Posted May 6, 2008 at 6:49 PM | Permalink

    Speaking of the NorthWest Passage – there is a lot of ice breakage and open water on the exit side of the NW Passage area right now.

    I’m assuming there are very strong ocean currents which have pulled the ice apart and opened areas up. Given it still quite cold there, the ice will probably re-freeze but it seems quite unusual for this time of year.

  186. Phil.
    Posted May 6, 2008 at 7:12 PM | Permalink

    Re #187

    Yeah it started breaking up in December and has continued spreading, you can see the result in the recent Quikscat (post #9), originally set off by a couple of storms off the Pacific if I recall correctly. SOCC.ca had a good Quikscat movie showing the last 3 months. As I’ve said before it’s going to be interesting to watch the Beaufort sea this year.

  187. kuhnkat
    Posted May 6, 2008 at 7:33 PM | Permalink

    Phil #29:

    actually, you had not mentioned it.

    Here is an excerpt from the press release:

    “From the 1970s through the 1990s, perennial ice declined by about 500,000 square kilometers (193,000 square miles) each decade. Since 2000, that amount of decline has nearly tripled. ”

    With all that albedo loss from the minimum last year, I am personally rather surprised it could return as large as it did!!

    Can’t wait for this years minimum!!

  188. Paul O
    Posted May 6, 2008 at 7:53 PM | Permalink

    Re #133

    The documentation for the graphed dataset states the following:

    These data are a compilation of data from several sources integrated
    into a single gridded product by John Walsh and Bill Chapman,
    University of Illinois. The source of data for each grid cell is
    included within a separate file. These sources of data have changed
    over the years from observationally derived charts to satellite
    data. Gaps within observed data are filled with climatology or other
    numberically derived data.

    Please note that much of the pre-1953 data is either climatology or
    interpolated data and the user is cautioned to use this data with care.

    The Source are listed as:

    The data sources for the ice concentrations vary spatially and temporally.
    There are seven basic data sources for the ice concentrations:

    1. Danish Meteorlogical Institute
    2. Japan Meteorological Agency
    3. Naval Oceanographic Office (NAVOCEANO)
    4. Kelly ice extent grids (based upon Danish Ice Charts)
    5. Walsh and Johnson/Navy-NOAA Joint Ice Center
    6. Navy-NOAA Joint Ice Center Climatology
    7. Temporal extension of Kelly data (see note below)
    8. Nimbus-7 SMMR Arctic Sea Ice Concentrations or
    DMSP SSM/I Sea Ice Concentrations using the NASA Team Algorithm

    I don’t see any mention of Canadian data, and I don’t think the graph is useful to illustrate any point.

  189. Ron Cram
    Posted May 6, 2008 at 7:58 PM | Permalink

    People seem to think Amundsen took three years “plowing” his way through the arctic sea ice. This idea is not exactly accurate. For 22 months, his ship stayed at King William Island. It could not sail because of the ice. When the ice melted in August of 1905, he was able to complete the voyage without any problem.

  190. Gerald Machnee
    Posted May 6, 2008 at 8:13 PM | Permalink

    Re #170 **As I recall the data were put together by Walsh, the graph is for extent not area so the edges are all that’s needed.**
    The chart shows millions of square kilometres so it is in effect area.
    Re #190 **I don’t see any mention of Canadian data, and I don’t think the graph is useful to illustrate any point.**
    I indicated I did not know where the data came from. Before satellites, Canada did a lot of air surveys in the islands of the Canadian north. I was on a DC4 flight in 1972. All the compiling was done on paper.

  191. Tim
    Posted May 6, 2008 at 8:14 PM | Permalink

    the debate continues…..

    do any of you really think we’ll understand the earth in our lifetime?

    Please…..the earth is too complex……….We still can’t accurately measure the global temperature yet!

    Yes……..we all can see there is less ice in the artic and more in antartica.

  192. Paul O
    Posted May 6, 2008 at 8:21 PM | Permalink

    Re #192 My post was directed at Phil’s belief that the Canadian records were included in the historical sea ice extent data he is quoting. It appears that they are not.

  193. Phil.
    Posted May 6, 2008 at 8:26 PM | Permalink

    Re #189

    Phil #29:

    actually, you had not mentioned it.

    Check #9
    As well as the loss due to outflow what remains has got thinner.

    The NSIDC analysis would indicate a rather higher probability of a new record minimum.

  194. cce
    Posted May 6, 2008 at 8:26 PM | Permalink

    “August 17, 1905
    Continuing to the south of Victoria Island, the Gjøa clears the Arctic Archipelago on this date but has to stop for the winter before going on to Nome on Alaska Territory’s Pacific coast. About 500 miles away, Eagle City, Alaska has a telegraph station; Amundsen travels overland there (and back) to wire a success message to Norway on December 5, 1905. The Gjøa breaks through the final stretches of the Northwest Passage and reaches Nome on August 30, 1906.”

    It took him another year. I also question the commercial viability of this route, even if it were to become completely ice free.

  195. Dennis Wingo
    Posted May 6, 2008 at 9:38 PM | Permalink

    Well there is another culprit to blame the Antarctic ice extent if the record is exceeded this year. The volcano in Chile

    http://apnews.myway.com/article/20080507/D90GHEFO0.html

  196. cce
    Posted May 6, 2008 at 9:41 PM | Permalink

    The longest analysis of satellite sea ice data is the Goddard Space Flight Center sea ice extent series, starting in 1972 for the Arctic and 1973 for the Antarctic. For a period in 1977 and 1978, there is a gap in the satellite data, and the National Ice Center (NIC) data fills in, which is also used to match up the different satellite sensors.

    This is documented here:

    http://www.atmos.umd.edu/~kostya/Pdf/Seaice.30yrs.GRL.pdf

    The data is here:

    http://polynya.gsfc.nasa.gov/seaice_datasets.html

    Their most recent analysis ends in 2006, and must be combined with their previous analysis which includes the pre-1978 data (the differences between the two series during the period of overlap are miniscule). To extend it to the present, I used the NSIDC sea ice extent. I matched it to the GSFC data by comparing the period of overlap between 1988 and 2006 (which is the most recent “SSMI” data). To adjust the NSIDC data to match GSFC, multiply by these values for each month:

    Month NH SH
    Jan 97% 96%
    Feb 98% 100%
    Mar 98% 90%
    April 98% 92%
    May 99% 93%
    June 98% 95%
    July 97% 96%
    Aug 99% 97%
    Sept 99% 98%
    Oct 93% 98%
    Nov 97% 96%
    Dec 97% 91%

    If you calculate the anomaly based on the 1979-2000 averages, you get this (with moving 12 month average).

  197. kim
    Posted May 6, 2008 at 9:55 PM | Permalink

    191 (Gerald) Sea Ice Extent and Sea Ice Area have different definitions. Total extent includes open sea between sea ice extensions and thus is larger. That’s why Phil only needed extent in 170. Both are denoted in square kilometers.
    ====================================================

  198. Brian D
    Posted May 6, 2008 at 10:40 PM | Permalink

    Well Steve, you made national news tonight on Fox with this particular post. It was mentioned on “Special Report with Brit Hume”.

  199. Eric McFarland
    Posted May 6, 2008 at 11:09 PM | Permalink

    Should this be a surprise with La Nina in play? I wonder what the recent volcanic activity will do in the following months …?

  200. Jet
    Posted May 7, 2008 at 2:43 AM | Permalink

    # 199
    Not news, but an opinion column in the UK Telegraph a few days ago:

    Watch the web for climate change truths, by Christopher Booker

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml?xml=/opinion/2008/05/04/do0405.xml

  201. Filippo Turturici
    Posted May 7, 2008 at 3:46 AM | Permalink

    #196: not for now. Chilean volcano erupted just a few days ago, while Antarctic sea ice extension is well above normal since 5-6 months.
    Anyway, that volcano has still to “really erupt”: it means that any effects, both on local population or on global temperatures, is still small until today…and the dust cloud is expected to reach and cover Buenos Aires’ skies, 2,000km away, now, so let’s imagine what could be the future “real” eruption (to tell the truth, no one can really imagine it: that volcano had no eruption for 9,000 years).

  202. MarkW
    Posted May 7, 2008 at 4:41 AM | Permalink

    is that humans ate them all

    All the polar bears, or all the penguins?

  203. Chris V
    Posted May 7, 2008 at 5:26 AM | Permalink

    Reportedly, penguins taste TERRIBLE (with a capital TERRIBLE).

    As for the sea ice diagram above, why is the data ALWAYS adjusted?

  204. yorick
    Posted May 7, 2008 at 5:53 AM | Permalink

    Phil, The hypothesis would be that the Arctic ice is younger and therefore Arctic sea ice will be very low this September.

  205. tryter
    Posted May 7, 2008 at 6:12 AM | Permalink

    Lots of sea ice in the southern hemisphere, as it breaks off from the Antarctic land mass and floats around the southern oceans. You and Britt Hume are a bunch of rubes.

  206. Geoff Sherrington
    Posted May 7, 2008 at 6:15 AM | Permalink

    Re # `173 Kim

    How do you do a TOB temperature adjustment at a Pole?

    Is there a zone near each Pole where the same difficulty applies?

    How large is that zone?

    Serious questions.

  207. David Smith
    Posted May 7, 2008 at 6:29 AM | Permalink

    One factor to keep in mind is heat inflow from the Atlantic into the Arctic. A plot I watch is the SST for the far northern Atlantic, shown here . here seems to be some correlation between Sept to December SST and overall ice extent the next summer. Note the warmth in Sept-Dec 2006, which was followed by the melt of summer 2007.

    My belief is that this SST fluctuation is largely natural in origin and related to multidecadal Atlantic behavior – the role of AGW in this is a topic to explore.

  208. Posted May 7, 2008 at 7:06 AM | Permalink

    So like what model predicted this? After they are the oracles of all weather.

    Shouldn’t they be putting up headlines saying yeah this happened but we told you that it would years ago.
    :)

  209. Phil.
    Posted May 7, 2008 at 7:57 AM | Permalink

    Re #203

    “is that humans ate them all”

    All the polar bears, or all the penguins?

    All the penguins! The original penguins were the Great Auk which were rendered extinct by humans by 1852.

  210. kim
    Posted May 7, 2008 at 8:01 AM | Permalink

    207 (Geoff) Thanks for making me think. My semi-serious response would be that the closer you get to the pole, the more futile the effort to get usefulness from calculating the adjustment.
    ====================================

  211. Andrey Levin
    Posted May 7, 2008 at 8:38 AM | Permalink

    Sweden’s meteorological agency has reported that ice in the Baltic Sea reached the lowest levels since records began in the beginning of the 20th century

    http://www.greencarcongress.com/2008/05/baltic-sea-ice.html#more

    We are doomed.

  212. tty
    Posted May 7, 2008 at 8:54 AM | Permalink

    Re 189

    Also no mention of any Russian source, nor of Norsk Polarinstitutt. Those historical ice data are a joke.

    Re 206

    Dear Tryter. Ice that calves from the Antarctic continent makes Icebergs (of the distinctive tabular type that only exists around Antarctica). This is not the same as Sea Ice that forms in winter by the freezing of the sea. If those (currently) 7 million square kilometers around Antarctica consisted of icebergs they would take decades to melt, and we would probably have a full-scale Ice Age on our hands.

  213. MJH
    Posted May 7, 2008 at 9:41 AM | Permalink

    The debate is over; Global warming is causing global cooling.

  214. Phil.
    Posted May 7, 2008 at 9:56 AM | Permalink

    Re #209

    So like what model predicted this? After they are the oracles of all weather.

    They’ve been predicting it for several years, however the models were rather conservative, in this article the map for 2010-2019 was about what was achieved in 2007.

    This presentation indicated that the previous model predictions could be underestimates.

    Here’s some model out put with actual observations up to Jan 2007.

  215. Bob B
    Posted May 7, 2008 at 10:09 AM | Permalink

    So Phil, what did the models predict for the SH?

  216. Bob B
    Posted May 7, 2008 at 10:12 AM | Permalink

    Also Phil, what did the models hindcast for the 1930’s?

    http://wattsupwiththat.wordpress.com/2008/03/20/deja-vu-all-over-again-climate-worries-today-also-happened-in-the-20s-and-30s/

  217. Richard Sharpe
    Posted May 7, 2008 at 10:20 AM | Permalink

    The debate is over; Global warming is causing global cooling.

    Hmmm, isn’t it that the Science is settled; global warming is causing global cooling!

  218. Gerald Machnee
    Posted May 7, 2008 at 10:22 AM | Permalink

    Re #201 – see my post to this and the follow-up in Unthreaded #198.

  219. Phil.
    Posted May 7, 2008 at 10:50 AM | Permalink

    Re #217 & 218

    Who elected me your assistant Bob? Regarding the Antarctic perhaps you should ask William Connolley or Bob Grumbine.

  220. Bob B
    Posted May 7, 2008 at 10:54 AM | Permalink

    I did. But that does not answer the 1920’s and 30’s. I am sure CO2 was forecasted back then to make the Arctic sea ice melt to unprecedented levels in 1933?

  221. Sam Urbinto
    Posted May 7, 2008 at 10:55 AM | Permalink

    What I’d like to see is a model from 1980 that was correct from 1952 to 2008, both forecasting and hindcasting correctly.

    Seriously, talking about things that exist, this online book about oceanography might be helpful to what is “unprecedented” or not. And of course it covers our favorite subject.

    An interesting climate system cartoon originally from NASA (1988).

    Here’s a bit about the gathering of the anomaly and potential measurement errors.

    —————–

    Sources of error. Several sources contribute errors to the plot of earth’s surface temperature temperature.

    1. One important error is due to the large variability in the the land and ocean temperature from region to region and month to month. Temperatures on land vary up to approximately 15-20 degrees C during the day at mid latitudes, and by up to approximately 50 degrees C from summer to winter. Over the oceans, the range is much smaller, approximately 7 degrees C from summer to winter.
    2. The biggest error in the calculation is called the sampling error. We do not have enough measurements to determine if temperature is changing before about 1850, and we barely have enough even today. The error leads to some the year-to-year variability in the plot of global averaged surface temperature as as a function of time. Also read about the sampling error in oceanography (scroll down to find the box on sampling error.)
    3. Smith and Reynolds report that the 95% confidence uncertainty for the near-global average is 0.48C or more in the nineteenth century, near 0.28C for the first half of the twentieth century, and 0.18C or less after 1950.
    4. Instruments have some error. For example, water in buckets made of canvas used from 1900 to 1940 cooled off quickly compared with water in wooden buckets used before 1900. This introduced systematic, small errors into global averages of sea-surface temperature. See Box 2.2: Adjustments and Corrections to Marine Observations in measurements of sea surface temperature and ocean air temperature in Climate Change 2001.
    5. The urban heat island effect. Most measurements on land are made near cities. As cities grow, they heat the atmosphere over and near the city. This heating is due to the city, not to global warming. About 50% of the warming in the US may be due to heat islands and land use changes (Kalnay, 2003).

    —————–

    (Although I would contend that putting heat into the atmosphere anywhere is the same thing as putting it anywhere else; it is the atmosphere after all. So next, an illustration of that!)

    On another subject of discussion that has multiple answers:

    ——————-

    Earth with no atmosphere
    If earth had no atmosphere, if it had a land surface that reflected some sunlight like the real earth, and if it were in equilibrium with solar heating, the average surface temperature of earth would be -18°C (0°F), far colder than the average temperature of our earth, which is 15°C (59°F). Worse, the surface would cool down to around -160°C (-250°F) soon after the sun set because the surface would radiate heat to space very quickly, just as the moon’s surface cools rapidly as soon as the sun sets on the moon.

    Earth with a static atmosphere and no ocean
    If the earth had a static atmosphere with the same gases it has now, but with little water vapor and no ocean, the average surface temperature of earth would be 67°C (153°F). This is much warmer than our earth. The planet would be so hot because greenhouse gases in the atmosphere help keep heat near the surface, and because there is no convection, and no transport of heat by winds. Adding winds cools the planet a little, but not enough.

    Earth with an atmosphere and ocean
    Earth has an atmosphere and ocean, and the average surface temperature is a comfortable 15°C (59°F). Water evaporates from the ocean and land, cooling the surface. Winds carry the water vapor to other latitudes, and sometimes high up into the air, where heat is released when the vapor condenses to water.

  222. Posted May 7, 2008 at 11:43 AM | Permalink

    Here’s some model out put with actual observations up to Jan 2007.

    Uh Phil am I missing something or did you not turn off the /sarc tag….

    This thread is about the prevalence of sea ice something that your graph says is not predicted. Ditto the links.
    Ie:

    Today, global warming is causing the sea ice to melt and give way to open ocean.

    But at the top of the thread it says

    Four of the past 5 months are “all-time” records for Southern Hemisphere sea ice anomalies, “unprecedented” since the data set began in 1979 as shown below:

    Unprecedented in the other direction.

    your model shows numbers that go the opposite directions of the most recent observations. Maybe it’s a smoothing AlGoreythm issue, ;)

    In other news we set a record low in Winnipeg on Sat -9 degrees! Not sure why the arctic ice is melting if I live south of there and and we can’t keep the snow away,…

  223. Phil.
    Posted May 7, 2008 at 12:06 PM | Permalink

    Re #223

    OK here you are Sam.
    I apologize for the crappy graph, someone’s idea of art I guess.
    CCM3 runs at the low side (i.e. faster melting than the IPCC ensemble and so better matches the observations over the last few years. As shown above the range of the CCM3 ensemble comes close to the decline observed, judging by the shape of the curve we’re looking at a nonlinear process and the transition to low ice is occurring slightly earlier than predicted.

    Re #224

    I don’t know what you’re talking about perhaps a bit to subtle for me?

  224. MendoScot
    Posted May 7, 2008 at 12:16 PM | Permalink

    Re: 196

    Well there is another culprit to blame the Antarctic ice extent if the record is exceeded this year. The volcano in Chile

    Second one this year. Google “Llaima”.

  225. yorick
    Posted May 7, 2008 at 12:33 PM | Permalink

    I guess Phil’s point is that if the models are wrong, we should be even more scared, not, if the models are wrong, we should conclude that the medelers don’t know what they are talking about.

  226. Sam Urbinto
    Posted May 7, 2008 at 12:52 PM | Permalink

    Phil. #225

    Interesting paper. It appears the star now, and the observations red squiggle diverge low starting about 1970 and are now out of range.

    Now, if only arctic sea ice levels had a single variable, and were the only story and only thing involved. Plus of course, “unprecedented” is a relative term; unprecedented since when? “In observed history” That is all good and fine (more percise) but it’s still vague. The chart goes back to 1950. So what?

    The way to state it is “Our gathered data on Arctic sea ice extent give us a lower number than it has since the data started, in 1950.” Or whatever year. Don’t get me wrong; I don’t really care if it’s lower or higher now compared to whenever.

    But I was talking about a single model. And what I meant was it plugs in 1980’s reality and then tells us what the reality was in 1952 backwards running and 2008 forwards running and gets them both correct.

    I’ll even give you 2SD :D

  227. kuhnkat
    Posted May 7, 2008 at 12:53 PM | Permalink

    Phil #194:

    Your #9 includes “The animation does show the growback this winter and also the loss of multiyear ice via the Fram strait and extensive breakup of the ice pack in the Beaufort sea.”

    Nope, no mention of NASA claiming it is due to winds blowing the ice where the current can take ir through the strait, starting around 2000. That is, it has taken this new situation 7 years to reduce the multi-year ice to a record low, in addition to the TREND…

    Do you have any information on historic wind patterns which might help explain the change?? As the ice loss tripled due to the wind shift, the TREND would have taken another 20 years to accomplish the same reduction. It certainly does NOT appear to be due to AGW unless the warming can be blamed for the wind shift, which would take us back to whether the warming is mostly natural or not!!

    Context is important.

  228. Posted May 7, 2008 at 1:51 PM | Permalink

    Re #225 Zaphod /sarc

    I don’t know what you’re talking about perhaps a bit to subtle for me?

    Your Image shows Models predicting Ice coverage that goes in the opposite directions of the most recent observations. Yet they say we should trust them in 100 yrs when they seem hapless in the present.

    yorick 227

    I guess Phil’s point is that if the models are wrong, we should be even more scared.

    Since civilization kind of ends 3 hrs north of where I live I am “scared” of global cooling. You can drive more than 3 hours south of here and still find people in North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Mexico, Brazil,….

  229. Phil.
    Posted May 7, 2008 at 2:13 PM | Permalink

    Re #229

    Phil #194:

    Your #9 includes “The animation does show the growback this winter and also the loss of multiyear ice via the Fram strait and extensive breakup of the ice pack in the Beaufort sea.”

    Nope, no mention of NASA claiming it is due to winds blowing the ice where the current can take ir through the strait, starting around 2000. That is, it has taken this new situation 7 years to reduce the multi-year ice to a record low, in addition to the TREND…

    Do you have any information on historic wind patterns which might help explain the change?? As the ice loss tripled due to the wind shift, the TREND would have taken another 20 years to accomplish the same reduction. It certainly does NOT appear to be due to AGW unless the warming can be blamed for the wind shift, which would take us back to whether the warming is mostly natural or not!!

    Context is important.

    As the perennial ice has gotten thinner (see SHEBA for instance) it’s more easily moved around by the wind both in the Beaufort gyre and the Fram Strait.

  230. Phil.
    Posted May 7, 2008 at 2:17 PM | Permalink

    Re #230

    Your Image shows Models predicting Ice coverage that goes in the opposite directions of the most recent observations. Yet they say we should trust them in 100 yrs when they seem hapless in the present.

    Hint the red line is the recent observations, they’re going down, as are the models!

  231. Phil.
    Posted May 7, 2008 at 2:26 PM | Permalink

    Re #228

    Now, if only arctic sea ice levels had a single variable, and were the only story and only thing involved. Plus of course, “unprecedented” is a relative term; unprecedented since when? “In observed history” That is all good and fine (more percise) but it’s still vague. The chart goes back to 1950. So what?

    That’s Steve’s title not mine, I told him it was a bad title right from the start, I notice that other blogs that referenced it changed the title along the lines I suggested.

    But I was talking about a single model. And what I meant was it plugs in 1980’s reality and then tells us what the reality was in 1952 backwards running and 2008 forwards running and gets them both correct.

    I’ll even give you 2SD

    That’s basically what CCSM3 does, see the article I attached in #225.

  232. Sam Urbinto
    Posted May 7, 2008 at 2:29 PM | Permalink

    Phil. #232

    A. How much do you trust the observations? How accurate are they? How well do they reflect what’s going on? Is this the best metric to tell us what we want to know?

    B. The direction is the same but they diverge.

    So, are the models “correct”? Depends on how much you like that error area and whatever it’s telling us.

    I have no real opinion.

  233. Dave Andrews
    Posted May 7, 2008 at 2:35 PM | Permalink

    I read somewhere that there are historical records of the Chinese “navy” circumnavigating the Arctic during earlier times. Is this true?

    Steve: There’s no evidence of this at all. Forget about it.

  234. MikeinAppalachia
    Posted May 7, 2008 at 2:53 PM | Permalink

    Re #147-
    There was no summer in 1949-50?
    Spring ice extent is sometimes greater than winter in the same year?
    Others?

  235. Posted May 7, 2008 at 3:27 PM | Permalink

    It appears that sea ice comes and goes.
    in 1943, a 103 foot long wooden hulled ship sailed from East to West, in open waters, through the Northwest Passage. In 1944, the same ship sailed East to West AND West to East through the Northwest Passage. The ship is on display in Vancouver, B.C. i believe. The ship’s captain received a very high commendation from the King of England for his achievment.

    So what’s the big deal? The climate changes and we can do nothing except harp on it.

  236. Phil.
    Posted May 7, 2008 at 3:58 PM | Permalink

    Re #234

    A. How much do you trust the observations? How accurate are they? How well do they reflect what’s going on? Is this the best metric to tell us what we want to know?

    The satellite results for sea ice extent seem pretty good particularly if you cross check against Quikscat.

    B. The direction is the same but they diverge. So, are the models “correct”? Depends on how much you like that error area and whatever it’s telling us.

    Looking at the CCSM3 and the others that contain the same mechanisms seem to do a good job, it’s important that the models be capable of rapid changes (see the paper I attached above). They still to be somewhat conservative but that might just be down to optimum coincidence of winds, ice thickness and temperature last year, what the models tell us is that the rapid changes such as last year aren’t reversed (not significantly anyway).

  237. Sam Urbinto
    Posted May 7, 2008 at 5:11 PM | Permalink

    Phil. #238 It looks like the farther you get away from 1950, the more observations depart from the models, and I’d expect that to continue. At the start they’re right at the mean, now they’re where the mean is “supposed to be” 40 years from now. What is the slope of linear trend lines for both? I can’t tell.

    The real questions are:

    A) Are the observations themselves giving the same answers now as they were in 1950?
    B) Has the extent ever been higher than 8 or lower than 4 in the last few hundred (or whatever) years?

  238. Sam Urbinto
    Posted May 7, 2008 at 5:28 PM | Permalink

    Phil. #233 The title? A little wry humor about “unprecedented” (in a milllyun years)

    The paper says it’s the lowest it’s been since 2005. “the preceding record low in 2005″ Yawn. What happened to 30 years, and a year does not a trend make? Ah, interesting.

    Then the models themselves (“future climate scenarios calculated with global coupled climate models”) With what results?

    The results of these experiments exhibit a persistent decrease of summer sea ice extent as seen in the ‘model ensemble mean’ of 19 climate models, i.e. the average of all 19 model applications (Fig. 1). However, after 1996 the observed sea ice extent curve lies outside of one standard deviation of the AR4 ‘model ensemble’, i.e. outside of the range in which 66% of all model realizations fall (assuming a Gaussian normal distribution within the ensemble).

    What if it’s not a Gaussian normal distribution? What if the margin of error is 5SD? And so on.

    But hey.

  239. DeWitt Payne
    Posted May 7, 2008 at 5:57 PM | Permalink

    Phil,

    The title of this thread is:

    Southern Hemisphere Sea Ice Reaches “Unprecedented” Levels

    [emphasis added]

    Please show us the equivalent plot using the same scenario and model for the Antarctic and/or global total sea ice. If it fits observations over the last 30 years, I’ll be considerably more impressed. I would also be interested to see if there is a trend in the ice limit, the southern latitude north of which one is unlikely to find icebergs. I would look myself, but you seem to be able to find stuff like this easily.

  240. UKJohn
    Posted May 7, 2008 at 6:07 PM | Permalink

    I thought the 2007 Artic summer record melt was caused to a large extent by record sunshine amounts 24 hours a day during June, July and August.

    The skies above the Artic were unusually clear of clouds, during this period. I don’t think anyone has tried to explain why. Is there a record of sunshine amounts or cloud extents that matches the sea ice area/extent records ? I would suggest the hypothesis that ice extents in summer will correlate quite well with sunshine amounts.

    When the Sun disappeared in October, the ice returned very quickly to much the same extent as the year before.

    I would have thought that if there was an AGW “signal” in the sea ice extent or sea ice area anomaly, we should most clearly see this signal in the winter when amounts of sunshine are not a contributing factor.

    The Trend for NH is decreasing amounts of sea ice and for SH the trend is increasing amounts of sea ice, this doesn’t seem to fit to current AGW theory from a simple logical view, but those who study these things tell us the ” AGW signal” is clear.

  241. Phil.
    Posted May 7, 2008 at 7:30 PM | Permalink

    Re #241

    The title of this thread is:

    Southern Hemisphere Sea Ice Reaches “Unprecedented” Levels

    Actually it really isn’t it’s ‘World Sea Ice…..’
    read the original post, Steve just changed the title ex post facto to tick me off!

  242. Phil.
    Posted May 7, 2008 at 7:40 PM | Permalink

    Re #239

    What about the concept of a record don’t you understand?

    There’s no way you’d use a linear trend for an obviously sinusoidal curve, more like a time constant of a logistic type curve

  243. DeWitt Payne
    Posted May 7, 2008 at 7:46 PM | Permalink

    Phil #243,

    Nitpick. My point is still valid. Your plot is Arctic Sea Ice not World Sea Ice. Show me that the modeled World sea ice extent matches observation, which I also asked for in #241.

  244. Posted May 7, 2008 at 7:53 PM | Permalink

    Hint the red line is the recent observations, they’re going down, as are the models!

    Sure they are going down except when there was a million km above the mean, but whatever….

    Clever of Steve to call NOAA and get them to post “unobserved” data 2008 data just for him.

    LOL

  245. Kent Gatewood
    Posted May 7, 2008 at 7:56 PM | Permalink

    How old does sea ice get to be?

  246. Raven
    Posted May 7, 2008 at 8:07 PM | Permalink

    How old does sea ice get to be?

    How old does sea ice get to be?

    Not very old. My understanding is the ice is constantly moving so any perennial ice will eventually move far enough south to melt. It is replaced by younger ice moving north that does not melt in the summer and becomes next year’s perineal ice. For this reason I don’t think the ‘loss’ of the perineal ice is much of a concern since it could easily recover over the next few years.

  247. SteveSadlov
    Posted May 7, 2008 at 8:30 PM | Permalink

    The meme regarding “old ice” is like “old growth” – the idea of a permanent “core” of sea ice that never melted during summer seasons …. until (scary music) … MODERN MAN. Phil reveals the meme with the notion (I paraphrase) that “now that the ice has thinned, it is mobile, but previously was not.”

    I ask, where is the proof of immobile, or poorly mobile Arctic sea ice, prior to some date.

  248. Phil.
    Posted May 7, 2008 at 9:01 PM | Permalink

    Re #247

    Back in the 80’s there would be a large proportion over 10 years old now there’s just a thin strip that age up against Ellesmere & Banks Islands etc. While you can lose 10 year old ice in a matter on months via the Fram strait for instance, during the winter it’s replaced by first year ice and the volume of ice takes much longer to rebuild.

  249. Kent Gatewood
    Posted May 7, 2008 at 9:10 PM | Permalink

    Raven and Phil,

    Thank you

  250. Posted May 7, 2008 at 9:19 PM | Permalink

    Phil 238:

    The satellite results for sea ice extent seem pretty good particularly if you cross check against Quikscat.

    That is because they are at least in part compiled from Quikscat data, which has it’s own known problems.

  251. Phil.
    Posted May 7, 2008 at 9:33 PM | Permalink

    Re #249

    The meme regarding “old ice” is like “old growth” – the idea of a permanent “core” of sea ice that never melted during summer seasons …. until (scary music) … MODERN MAN. Phil reveals the meme with the notion (I paraphrase) that “now that the ice has thinned, it is mobile, but previously was not.”

    I ask, where is the proof of immobile, or poorly mobile Arctic sea ice, prior to some date.

    Well why don’t you go and prove me wrong Steve snip

    Start here

  252. kuhnkat
    Posted May 7, 2008 at 9:54 PM | Permalink

    This includes a chart of the sub data from 50’s thru 90’s. It was written in 2001 and revised 2003:

    http://www.planetwater.ca/research/sea-ice.htm

    Gives a very interesting view of the Arctic ice loss to that time.

    Reference to a paper are at the bottom of the page.

  253. R John
    Posted May 7, 2008 at 10:23 PM | Permalink

    Phil – I’m not sure what your link to that abstract proves – can we have the full article linked? snip

    I would question your reliance on the CCSM model as the track record for ANY modeling of the daily weather and climate is very poor. I think this is Sam Urbinto’s point and I would concur. As an example, NOAA predicted that much of the country would experience an above normal Dec-Feb this past winter. Boy were they wrong – it seemed like winter would never end here in the Midwest. If the models can’t do more than guess out to three months at a time, then how can we expect a sea ice record to be predicted out to 100 years with any accuracy?

    Given the La Nina and the cooling we have seen in global temperatures since last fall, I’m willing to bet that Arctic sea ice WON’T reach last falls low levels. In fact, I would say it will be 20 – 30% higher from Sept 07 to Sept 08. Only time will tell.

  254. jeez
    Posted May 7, 2008 at 10:26 PM | Permalink

    kuhnkat 254–interesting maybe, reliable maybe not.

    http://adaptation.nrcan.gc.ca/projdb/pdf/73_e.pdf

  255. Eric McFarland
    Posted May 7, 2008 at 10:46 PM | Permalink

    Shouldn’t they be putting up headlines saying yeah this happened but we told you that it would years ago.

    Has Hansen not always talked about the impacts of El Nino and La Nina? This “debate” is turning into a school yard nanny-nanny-boo-boo fest.

  256. Phil.
    Posted May 7, 2008 at 11:14 PM | Permalink

    Re #255

    Phil – I’m not sure what your link to that abstract proves – can we have the full article linked? I personally don’t trust anything that comes from NASA or NOAA anymore as they have too much at stake to maintain their funding

    It’s a starting point for Sadlov, I don’t see any point in posting that material given your bias

    I would question your reliance on the CCSM model as the track record for ANY modeling of the daily weather and climate is very poor. I think this is Sam Urbinto’s point and I would concur. As an example, NOAA predicted that much of the country would experience an above normal Dec-Feb this past winter. Boy were they wrong – it seemed like winter would never end here in the Midwest.

    Firstly we’re not talking about weather, secondly adopting your regional viewpoint NOAA were obviously right since in NJ winter never really happened!

    If the models can’t do more than guess out to three months at a time, then how can we expect a sea ice record to be predicted out to 100 years with any accuracy?

    Again we’re not talking about weather and it isn’t going to take 100 years.

    Given the La Nina and the cooling we have seen in global temperatures since last fall, I’m willing to bet that Arctic sea ice WON’T reach last falls low levels. In fact, I would say it will be 20 – 30% higher from Sept 07 to Sept 08. Only time will tell.

    Hint, there’s one place that didn’t particularly cool this winter. Good luck with your bet.

  257. Larry Huldén
    Posted May 7, 2008 at 11:27 PM | Permalink

    Phil. said: “All the penguins! The original penguins were the Great Auk which were rendered extinct by humans by 1852.”

    Great Auk was not a penguin. It was not even distantly related to the penguins.

  258. Phil.
    Posted May 7, 2008 at 11:41 PM | Permalink

    Re #259

    Great Auk was not a penguin. It was not even distantly related to the penguins.

    The Great Auk (Pinguinus impennis) was originally known as the penguin, the southern penguins were so named because they looked like the original.

  259. Larry Huldén
    Posted May 8, 2008 at 12:00 AM | Permalink

    Unfortunately Wikipedia gives a very variable quality of information. Great Auk had many different common names. Nobody mix that name with penguines today.
    The ecology of Great Auk was very different from the penguines. In the current topic on southern hemisphere climate it is important to keep these birds apart.

  260. Phil.
    Posted May 8, 2008 at 12:25 AM | Permalink

    Re #261
    Nothing to do with Wikipedia, read the entry in Birds of America by Audubon for example. The first post was a joke about a TV program that showed penguins supposedly at the North Pole.

  261. Larry Huldén
    Posted May 8, 2008 at 1:13 AM | Permalink

    “The first post was a joke about a TV program that showed penguins supposedly at the North Pole.”
    That’s why it is important to be consistent when using names which the audience may mix up.
    A similar joke could be about Al Gore showing “Thompsons” curve supporting hockey stick. Now people generally thinks that it really was Thompsons curve.

  262. Posted May 8, 2008 at 1:19 AM | Permalink

    Phil,

    One need to take (all) climate models with a grain of salt. Including ice cover models for the Arctic. That some models include the current trend may be right, but that is partly coincidence, partly parameterisations, which are aimed to cover the past trends.

    All current climate models cover and/or underestimate ice loss in the Arctic, but for the wrong reason: they are completely wrong about seasonal cloud cover, which is far higher in summer (thus reducing warming) and far less in winter (thus increasing cooling) than the models predict. That the ensemble average is about right for the yearly averages, only shows that the parameters were adjusted (including temperature results and ice cover) to match the observations…

    From the ACIA ( http://www.cicero.uio.no/fulltext/index_e.aspx?id=3277 )

    There is a significant deviation between the models when it comes to cloud cover, and even though the average between the models closely resembles the observed average on an annual basis, the seasonal variation is inaccurate: the models overestimate the cloud cover in the winter and underestimate it in the summer. The average extent of sea ice varies greatly from model to model, but on average the models show a fairly realistic ice extent in both summer and winter.

    Thus while one of the models seems to be right on track, it may be for the wrong reasons and probably not at all representative for reality.

    Clouds play an important role in the recent Arctic ice cover trends, as winter freezing is near as high as summer melting. This leads to the observation that winter ice cover decrease is far less than summer ice cover decrease. In how far the recent switch of the PDO (and AMO/NAO?) to negative will play a role in heat transfer to the Arctic remains to be seen in the coming years…

  263. Andrew
    Posted May 8, 2008 at 2:19 AM | Permalink

    263 (R John): Perhaps you should have avoided mentioning John Stossel, becuase I suspect that you will fall totally and mysteriously off Phil’s radar now (given how he treats Sadlov).

    Is it just me, or does Phil get really cranky when the topic is sea ice? He also doesn’t like people crticizing Connolley, or trying togive the Frecnh credit for British discoveries.

  264. Bob B
    Posted May 8, 2008 at 4:12 AM | Permalink

    #249, you are correct and Phil is wrong. There is no “proof” the the very recent Arctis melting is out of the ordinary:

    http://wattsupwiththat.wordpress.com/2008/03/20/deja-vu-all-over-again-climate-worries-today-also-happened-in-the-20s-and-30s/

    Climate models are now becoming a joke to any serious scientist or engineer outside of climate science.

  265. Bob B
    Posted May 8, 2008 at 4:24 AM | Permalink

    We are all going to die I tell you. It must be so because some climate modeler has told the press:

    http://wattsupwiththat.wordpress.com/2008/05/07/climate-models-fail-at-antarctic-warming-predictions/

  266. Filippo Turturici
    Posted May 8, 2008 at 5:11 AM | Permalink

    #269: indeed the melting in the European and West Canadian basins of Arctic Sea is not anomalous compared to ’20ies-’30ies-’40ies. Even, we can say that ice around Greenland is a bit larger today then 70 years ago (when actually Greenland recorded its record high temperatures).
    But, what was really anomalous and abnorme (for last years too) was the melting that took place in the half of Arctic Sea in front of Alaska and East Siberia, where between August and September ice disappeared for thousands miles away.

  267. Posted May 8, 2008 at 6:43 AM | Permalink

    Re: #256
    Interesting link. My understanding is that the technology for measuring ice thickness from the underside changed significantly between the first submarine jurneys 1958 … 70 and the latter ones. The difference is that the first measurements 1958 to ca. 1970 used a fairly wide sonar beam that measured essentially the bottom peaks of the ice. More recent measurements use narrow beam sonar that have a better resolution allowing the sonar to see in between dips in the ice. Thus the change in ice thickness may at least again be a result of technology change and “estimates” on how to correct for the differences. In practice this would mean that the old technology measured essentially the envelope of the deepest ice peaks downward. The newer technology measures a mean of peaks and dips.
    The result would then be that changing from wide beam to narrow beam would be seen as a virtual decrease of ice thickness (where the actual change is smaller or non-existent).
    Any comments on this?

  268. Phil.
    Posted May 8, 2008 at 6:54 AM | Permalink

    Re #252

    “The satellite results for sea ice extent seem pretty good particularly if you cross check against Quikscat.”

    That is because they are at least in part compiled from Quikscat data, which has it’s own known problems.

    I was comparing the daily NSIDC images based on passive microwave imagery with Quikscat which is produced by radar scattering, by comparing the results from two different methods you can compensate for instrument problems, for example when the NSIDC satellite drops some data.

  269. Hoi Polloi
    Posted May 8, 2008 at 8:24 AM | Permalink

    The Great Auk (Pinguinus impennis) was originally known as the penguin

    The Great Auk was the Great Auk or Garefowl. The word “penguin” is itself derived from the Celtic name of the Great Auk.

  270. Phil.
    Posted May 8, 2008 at 8:53 AM | Permalink

    Re #271

    Yes the Great Auk was variously known as the Garefowl (nordic origin) and Penguin however the idea that the name derives from celtic is probably mistaken, Pen gwyn in Welsh (very similar in Breton) means ‘white head’ whereas the head of the Great Auk was predominantly black.

    Steve: Enough already.

  271. Kenneth Fritsch
    Posted May 8, 2008 at 9:01 AM | Permalink

    Bob B: @ #267

    That picture is worth a thousand words in describing what this thread is essentially about. There are those who would speak of Antarctica Penisula warming and ignore the inland cooling and then there are those that would do the vice versa.

    I recall that a Gavin Schmidt coauthored paper recently had a model that claimed to explain some of the warming/cooling differences in the Antarctic. My problem with that was that a model that essentially restricts its reach (and evaluation as I recall) to a regional climate and done after the fact that the global models do not explain it are subject in my view to overfitting. Anyway the differences where ascribed essentially to the prevailing circumpolar winds. As I recall DeWitt Payne had some informed comments on the model.

  272. Bob B
    Posted May 8, 2008 at 9:09 AM | Permalink

    I think the “Climate Modelers” have to be challenged more and called to account for their silly proclamations:

    http://climatesci.org/2008/05/08/when-will-lake-mead-go-dry-a-new-paper-that-uses-multi-decadal-global-models-for-regional-predictions/

    This is beyond publishing a paper in a journal and getting university funding. It has come to a point of major policy decisions being made off of models which can not be verified or validated.

  273. Bob B
    Posted May 8, 2008 at 9:23 AM | Permalink

    Steve, could I make a suggestion for another blog subject? I think it would be great for one clearing house site where all the different model forecasts are located with a score card for their predictions. I seem to remember an Oregon U paper on the imminent drought in the Sierra Nevada mountains just as they were receiving record snow. Roger Pielke is posting some on his WEB page, but I think your site would be better since you are open to comments

  274. Steve McIntyre
    Posted May 8, 2008 at 9:43 AM | Permalink

    Hee’s an interesting image of the RSS trends in TMT showing the N-S difference

  275. Phil.
    Posted May 8, 2008 at 9:54 AM | Permalink

    Re #277

    The caption would be handy, here it is:

    Figure 4. Color coded map of decadal trends in MSU/AMSU channel TMT (1979 – 2007). Data poleward of 82.5° are not available and are shown in white.

  276. Posted May 8, 2008 at 9:56 AM | Permalink

    Phil #272 writes re Hoi Polloi #271,

    Yes the Great Auk was variously known as the Garefowl (nordic origin) and Penguin however the idea that the name derives from celtic is probably mistaken, Pen gwyn in Welsh (very similar in Breton) means ‘white head’ whereas the head of the Great Auk was predominantly black.

    Klein’s Etymological Dictionary of the English Language gives

    penguin, n. — Compunded of W. pen, “head” and gwyn, “white”. The name orig. denoted the garefowl (also called the great auk, in allusion to the large white patch between the bill and the eye of this bird, now extinct.

    See illustrations at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_auk

  277. Sam Urbinto
    Posted May 8, 2008 at 10:03 AM | Permalink

    269 Lars “Any comments on this?”

    I was wondering when this would come up. :) Even if the method hadn’t changed (which of course it did) since circa 1960, the technology has, as it has for everything. We get more resolution. Then adjustments (or not) that may or may not be totally correct. Heck, we even have to guess at the margin of error. (Although going from 8 million to 4 million is large enough to not worry about that, perhaps.) It’s complex and sea ice extent (anywhere) is only part of the story in that particular place, much less compared to everywhere.

    244 Phil “What about the concept of a record don’t you understand?”

    That sea ice in the Northern Hemisphere is at lower levels than it was in 2005, the lowest since readings began. The point is 2 years (or 50) is hardly a record to get excited about. Why is it melting; higher temps, faster winds, more disturbed water, chemical balance of water, particulates on the ice, in a down cycle, cloud cover, balanced by SH, etc etc etc. What’s the lower bound on sea ice extent in the Arctic?

    “more like a time constant of a logistic type curve”

    Whatever kind of trend on the observations versus the models. They use linear for the anomaly, I’m just used to writing ‘linear trend’. Take your pick, logarithmic, moving average, exponential, polynomial, power. What’s the trend since circa 1960 however you want to do it.

  278. beng
    Posted May 8, 2008 at 10:08 AM | Permalink

    Phil., your posts on this thread all seem to have the underlying notion that more ice is good, less ice is bad. How do you figure that? If I were a Gaia-worshipper, ice-loss would open up more ocean to sunlight & increase biologic productivity (phytoplankton) & in general boost the local food-chain.

    And please, don’t run to the Polar bears.

  279. Larry Sheldon
    Posted May 8, 2008 at 10:19 AM | Permalink

    Who is “phil” and why does she drive the conversation here?

  280. Phil.
    Posted May 8, 2008 at 10:21 AM | Permalink

    Re #278
    This subject has taken on much more of a life than I expected! That reference gave the Welsh derivation much more certainty than it deserves, the following is more typical”

    “This name was originally applied to the great auk of the North Atlantic (now extinct). In the narrative of Hakluyt’s voyages, Ingram (probably writing in about 1582) remarked that this ‘seemeth to be a Welsh name’, and Celtic scholars have been very happy to accept this explanation (pen gwyn meaning ‘white head’ in Welsh), ascribing the name to Welsh (or Cornish or Breton) sailors. However, the great auk in fact only had a white spot in front of each eye; and it seems odd that English-speaking sailors should pick up a word from Welsh (or Cornish or Breton). (The great auk’s other English name, garefowl, is from Norse, a language much more associated with North Atlantic seafarers.) The name ‘penguin’ was first reliably reported from Newfoundland in a letter of 1578, also given in the account of Hakluyt’s voyages; but in Newfoundland the name is said usually to have been pronounced ‘pin-wing’. This accords with another theory, that the bird was originally called the ‘pin-wing’, with reference to its curiously rudimentary wings. It would also explain why, as early as 1588, the term was being applied also to the southern birds which we know as ‘penguins’ today, and which also have rudimentary wings (but not white heads). However, there is not much hard evidence in support of this theory either. A third suggestion, that the Latin word pinguis ‘fat’ is somehow involved, seems implausible on linguistic grounds, though it may have influenced the spelling of the auk’s Latin name, Pinguinus.”

    The reference to the ‘fat’ origin could have derived from the use of dried auk carcasses as torches, they were so fatty that they burned very readily!

  281. John M
    Posted May 8, 2008 at 10:31 AM | Permalink

    Phil.

    Re #277

    The caption would be handy, here it is:

    Figure 4. Color coded map of decadal trends in MSU/AMSU channel TMT (1979 – 2007). Data poleward of 82.5° are not available and are shown in white.

    I’m not sure what your point is. For what it’s worth, the Earth’s area north and south of lat 82.5 is about 1% of the total surface area. We were told back when the Y2K problem unfolded that the US (2% of the Earth’s surface, 6% of the Earth’s land surface) made the error insignificant.

    Is your point that RRS is suspect because it doesn’t cover the entire globe or are you surmising that both poles would be deep blood read if they were shown accurately?

  282. Phil.
    Posted May 8, 2008 at 10:32 AM | Permalink

    Re #280

    Phil., your posts on this thread all seem to have the underlying notion that more ice is good, less ice is bad. How do you figure that?

    I don’t, I just comment on the status of the ice.

    If I were a Gaia-worshipper, ice-loss would open up more ocean to sunlight & increase biologic productivity (phytoplankton) & in general boost the local food-chain.

    I think this might be a simplistic analysis, there’s a lot of biologic activity on the bottom surface of the ice and indeed in it, most of the concern from the ecological point of view seems to be that loss of ice might lead to a reduction in productivity but that’s not an area I’ve paid much attention to.

  283. Phil.
    Posted May 8, 2008 at 10:42 AM | Permalink

    Re #283

    Is your point that RRS is suspect because it doesn’t cover the entire globe or are you surmising that both poles would be deep blood read if they were shown accurately?

    Neither, it’s that in order to know what’s plotted we need a caption, which in this case tells us that it’s a decadal trend for the period 1979-2007. Don’t read into posts things that aren’t there.

  284. John M
    Posted May 8, 2008 at 10:53 AM | Permalink

    “Don’t read into posts things that aren’t there.”

    That’s why I asked. Mystery statements often need clarification.

  285. Phil.
    Posted May 8, 2008 at 11:09 AM | Permalink

    Re #286

    That’s why I asked. Mystery statements often need clarification.

    Where’s the mystery? Steve posted an image which lacked a caption so it wasn’t clear exactly what was plotted, so I supplied the original caption.

  286. Dennis Wingo
    Posted May 8, 2008 at 11:19 AM | Permalink

    (276) Steve

    That tracks almost exactly with what I have been noticing about the southern hemisphere cloud distribution.

  287. Robinedwards
    Posted May 8, 2008 at 12:42 PM | Permalink

    Many thanks to Steve for providing the Sea Ice data link. It gives us all the opportunity to do our own thing with the numbers – and here’s a part of mine!

    I’ll address only the Southern Ice data. First, my methods produced exactly the data plot that Steve provided, so I know I’m talking about the same values. The first task is to produce the cumulative sum plot for the de-seasonalised data. This operation is always worth while for a new data set. It gives an instant pattern or fingerprint, and with some practice can be immediately interpreted regarding the large scale properties of the time series.

    For these data the cusum plot is striking in its clarity. I hope that I’ll be able to import it. Am pasting in the GIF code without being sure about what might happen.

    Well, the Preview showed me it did not work. Advice, please?

    So I’ll describe it very briefly. The cusum plot consists of two completely distinct sections, each roughly straight. The intersection of these segment is at the end of 1993, and the difference in the slopes of the segments is about 0.28 units. Running simple regressions on the two segments shows that they both have non-significant trends, though the early segment has a slope of -0.0069 with a t ratio of 0.991, probability 0.323. The later segment is totally non-significant. The difference between the fitted linear plots at the inner ends of the lines is about 0.28, confirming the guestimate of the step change from the cusum plot.

    It is a pity that there are no diagrams :-(( They are really quite striking.

    I shall try again now, using the information at the top of the submission panel.

    A “naive” regression on the whole data set yields a highly significant positive trend, but it is, I fear, not the real story.

    Nope! I clearly do not understand what needs to be done to include a GIF diagram that I have made. I’ve plenty more to write about, but will stop now to post this.

    Robin

  288. Andrew
    Posted May 8, 2008 at 12:46 PM | Permalink

    The last word on Antartica models is apparently that the agree and disagree with the observations, depending on the time period!

    http://www.physorg.com/news129386161.html

    Now, I know of one way you could explain the pattern that works for all intervals:

    http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/physics/pdf/0612/0612145v1.pdf

    (BTW, it doesn’t have to be cosmic rays, just clouds in general).

  289. yorick
    Posted May 8, 2008 at 1:04 PM | Permalink

    “agree and disagree with the observations, depending on the time period!”

    And I can hit major league pitching, if you don’t count the time periods involved.

    Cold water is biologically richer. It can hold more oxygen and CO2. That is why the tropical oceans are so limpid. Not much algea.

  290. Andrew
    Posted May 8, 2008 at 1:07 PM | Permalink

    290 (Me): Opps, that should say “the latest word.” I don’t want people tinking I tink the science is settled.

  291. SteveSadlov
    Posted May 8, 2008 at 1:29 PM | Permalink

    Looking forward to seeing those CUSUMs.

  292. Dave Andrews
    Posted May 8, 2008 at 2:02 PM | Permalink

    Re#235,

    Thanks Steve, I will forget about the Chinese “navy”

    However, over the last 50 years several US and UK submarines have “surfaced” at the North Pole. Many times they have found open waters to surface in, other times they have had to break through the ice.(How much ice can a sub safely break through?)

    But the point is that the ice cover at the North Pole changes all the time and is this not true of the Arctic itself?

  293. John M
    Posted May 8, 2008 at 2:03 PM | Permalink

    Phil. #287

    Point taken.

    Robin #289

    Have you tried http://www.imageshack.us? You may have to play with the size. I usually do OK with 1024×768. Use the Link Quicktag and be sure to copy and past the link to the imageshack page that they suggest.

  294. Mark_T
    Posted May 8, 2008 at 3:47 PM | Permalink

    If I’m interpreting the following graph correctly, the largest ice increase since 1979 for the Antarctic occurred between 2007 – 2008.

    The source is of the graph is at:

    What bothers me now is that I recently read the following article and it pretty much convinced me that the Antarctic ice melting was accelerating.

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/01/26/MN50UM20C.DTL

    Mark

  295. Mark_T
    Posted May 8, 2008 at 3:53 PM | Permalink

    Corrections:

    The source is of the graph is at:

    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/research/2008/mar/global.html#seaice

    Mark

  296. Joe Solters
    Posted May 8, 2008 at 6:29 PM | Permalink

    RE:#281 Who is Phil and why does she take over the conversation here? My guess is that Phil is like Leif and beaker. For some reason they always end up supporting, the AGW view of climate science, never undercutting the CO2 conclusion. While their collective wisdom and tenacity is commendable, given the unprovable, highly conjectural current posture of climate science, especially models, it remains at least a curiosity that this ‘take-over’ trio never says a word which seriously questions the CO2 result. Short of knowing whether they have a financial (or career) stake in AGW, one can’t imagine why they do what they do.

  297. Sam Urbinto
    Posted May 8, 2008 at 6:41 PM | Permalink

    Joe #298 I don’t think any of them support in any major way (and have never seen them say anything like “It has to be all CO2 all the time and it’s the only possible explanation.”) so I don’t think that’s fair. It seems to me they are countering viewpoints they don’t seem are entirely valid, from various perspectives of theirs and others.

    Phil. seems clearly supportive of the “consensus view” by and large, but I never got the impression he was just parroting anyone in any way. I’ve never had any problems with his arguments, they normally seem pretty logical. (I don’t disagree with everything he points out, so I suppose I’m biased.)

    beaker has an opinion of how to properly do certain things, and I under stand mostly why he thinks like that (I disagree with him on SEM to SD only from the point that it depends on what you want to show and why, and about some order of things.)

    Leif is more of the opinion that people shouldn’t be running around saying “It’s the sun, it’s the sun!” all the time. I’d hardly categorize him that way. In fact, he’s a “solar theory skeptic” in his own group it appears.

    Like I was asked once: “Who died and made you god?” Of course my answer was “I don’t know who died or not, but I appointed myself.”

    Just rememeber, if you find yourself disagreeing or agreeing with anyone 100% of the time, something is wrong.

  298. DeWitt Payne
    Posted May 8, 2008 at 6:47 PM | Permalink

    Robinedwards,

    A quick primer on posting images. Register for a free account at a site like photobucket or flickr, there are many others. Paste a copy of your graph into Paint or some other program like it. Keep the image attributes to a standard size like 1024×768 or 800×600 and adjust the size of your graph to fit. Save as a JPEG. Upload the image to your account. Find and copy the HTML link to your picture. Insert it into the message assuming it’s in the correct HTML format. If you just have the URL, use the Quicktag Img button above the text box in Leave a Reply and copy the URL into the appropriate box. You can see the correct HTML format for inserting an image by using the Img button with no URL. The image will not show up in the preview pane, unfortunately. I find it’s also good practice if you have multiple hyperlinks in a message to add a space after href= so the preview pane displays correctly, but don’t do it for the image.

    Do a cusum for NoPol UAH LT temperature. You should see a break at the same point, about 1993. I don’t have a cusum, but here’s an EWMA ( I hope) of land plus sea with an alpha =0.08 (the data’s noisy)

  299. Larry Sheldon
    Posted May 8, 2008 at 6:55 PM | Permalink

    Just remember, if you find yourself disagreeing or agreeing with anyone 100% of the time, something is wrong.

    Sort of obvious–so much so as to be fundamentally content-free.

    I usually agree or disagree one thing at a time, I am not really sure what the point was supposed to be.

    I guess it could be said that some people here say something worth reading so seldom that automatic disagreement is more efficient, but I usually go a step farther and just not read them at all.

  300. DeWitt Payne
    Posted May 8, 2008 at 6:58 PM | Permalink

    I forgot to mention that the plot is current and that apparently there may be another change point in 2005 or so. The unsmoothed data is already close to the zero line. The EWMA will take a while longer getting there if the trend continues because it includes so much past data.

    So Phil,

    How about a temperature plot to go along with the ice extent plot, or a link to the data (surface temperature average from 60 N to 82.5 N, 1979 to 200x to be comparable) so I can construct an equivalent chart for the model data. Also, since you still haven’t responded to my request for model output regarding global sea ice extent, I’m assuming that the model that predicts melting in the Arctic also has melting in the Antarctic. Or if there is a model that correctly fits the Antarctic, it doesn’t fit the Arctic. No fair using one model for one and another for the other. Ensemble average or one model only.

  301. Joe Solters
    Posted May 8, 2008 at 7:15 PM | Permalink

    Sam#299. Appreciate your response and insights. I read these blogs with attention to detail primarily because of the current urgency to pass important, binding federal laws on AGW. This process will culminate in voting in 2009. Steve’s site is tremendously helpful providing technical facts and arguments to better understand the science or lack thereof. I hold nothing personal against the “trio”, but the trail through their commentary clearly leads me to the same place. At the same time, I think their positions are also very helpful in advancing understanding of this science.

  302. Mark_T
    Posted May 8, 2008 at 7:55 PM | Permalink

    Re: 300.

    Sorry I posted that big picture. On the web page, it’s shown as a small picture and I thought it was going to show us as such.

    Regarding photobucket, would I be allowed to copy the picture, shrink it, and save it in photobucket for posting in forums?

    Mark

  303. DeWitt Payne
    Posted May 8, 2008 at 8:20 PM | Permalink

    Mark_T,

    Photobucket has a resize function. I should probably use 640×480 myself.

  304. DeWitt Payne
    Posted May 8, 2008 at 8:23 PM | Permalink

    Which I just did. It even worked.

  305. Posted May 8, 2008 at 9:08 PM | Permalink

    Bob B 275

    Steve, could I make a suggestion for another blog subject? I think it would be great for one clearing house site where all the different model forecasts are located with a score card for their predictions. I seem to remember an Oregon U paper on the imminent drought in the Sierra Nevada mountains just as they were receiving record snow.

    indeed I got a chuckle the other day watching a movie that had the glo0bal warming bug problem is they got it years ago and listened to well who knows but the flooding was coming so theres this movie showing the city of London England flooded in the summer of 2008, LOL.

    And please, don’t run to the Polar bears.

    beng 280
    Ever Watch them eat? It’s kind of well, GRAPHIC WARNING, cuddly cute animals eating

  306. David Smith
    Posted May 8, 2008 at 9:15 PM | Permalink

    The far North Atlantic moves relatively warm water into the Arctic, as illustrated here . That affects ice extent, with a lag of months or years.

    A scatterplot of September ice extent vs the Northern Atlantic SST the prior autumn (Sept-Dec) is below

    It’s a decent correlation with a r-squared of 0.61

    I tested the correlation of September sea ice extent with the same-year Sept-Dec North Atlantic SST. For example, September 2006 ice extent versus Sept-Dec 2006 SST. The r-squared for this same-year comparison is 0.40, quite a drop from a lagged comparison.

    The red square along the x-axis is the Sept-Dec 2007 SST. If the correlation holds then the September 2008 minimum ice extent may be 0 to -20%.

  307. DeWitt Payne
    Posted May 8, 2008 at 9:39 PM | Permalink

    David Smith #309,

    So it’s likely back to more or less normal this year? That makes Phil’s recommendation to Larry in #9 a long shot. I’m assuming the point on the far right of the graph at -40% was for 2007 September sea ice. That point alone would cause the r-squared to change a lot when going from lagged to no lag, I suspect. What’s the no lag correlation compared to the lagged correlation if you don’t include it?

  308. Phil.
    Posted May 8, 2008 at 10:48 PM | Permalink

    Re #302

    How about a temperature plot to go along with the ice extent plot, or a link to the data (surface temperature average from 60 N to 82.5 N, 1979 to 200x to be comparable) so I can construct an equivalent chart for the model data. Also, since you still haven’t responded to my request for model output regarding global sea ice extent, I’m assuming that the model that predicts melting in the Arctic also has melting in the Antarctic. Or if there is a model that correctly fits the Antarctic, it doesn’t fit the Arctic. No fair using one model for one and another for the other. Ensemble average or one model only.

    How about this?

    Regarding the antarctic modelling while parts of the model have to be the same as the arctic some parts have to be different, there are different growth processes at each pole. The antarctic is mostly new ice which doesn’t grow by piling up against a coastline, as I recall it gets weighed down by snow, floods and refreezes or some-such. As I understand it a limitation to Antarctic models is the lack of good thickness data to work with.

  309. Phil.
    Posted May 8, 2008 at 11:00 PM | Permalink

    Re #309

    The far North Atlantic moves relatively warm water into the Arctic, as illustrated here . That affects ice extent, with a lag of months or years.

    But your map shows most of the flow coming out of the Arctic i.e. goes in via the Bering Strait so it’s not clear to me why that correlation is appropriate.
    Why not correlate with the amount of new ice in March for example?

  310. kuhnkat
    Posted May 8, 2008 at 11:45 PM | Permalink

    Jeez #256:

    depends on whether you believe their estimate that the ice which the subs couldn’t cruise under was as thick as they claimed. As you say, reliability may vary.

  311. kuhnkat
    Posted May 8, 2008 at 11:50 PM | Permalink

    Lars Silen #269:

    Nope, sounds like you know a lot more about the measurements than I do.

  312. kuhnkat
    Posted May 9, 2008 at 12:08 AM | Permalink

    Phil,

    in reference to the model outputs which somewhat track the sea ice loss in the Arctic, do you have a link to air/water temperature numbers that would go with them, especially the one that was closest?

    My point is to try and see how much the wind change did or did not come into the model results.

    Thank you.

  313. Geoff Sherrington
    Posted May 9, 2008 at 12:58 AM | Permalink

    Re Penguins & Statistics Larry Sheldon # 110

    Ref Monthy Python Fliyng Circus Episode 38

    Scientist: This theory has become known as the waste of time theory and was abandoned in 1956. (slight edit with jump visible) Hello again. Standard IQ. tests gave the following results. The penguins scored badly when compared with primitive human sub-groups like the bushmen of the Kalahari but better than BBC programme planners. (he refers to graph which shows bushmen with 23, penguins with 13 and BBC planners’ with 8) The BBC programme planners surprisingly high total here can be explained away as being within the ordinary limits of statistical error. One particularly dim programme planner can cock the whole thing up.

    CAPTION: ‘YOU CAN SAY THAT AOAIN’

    Hoad: These IQ. tests were thought to contain an unfair cultural bias against the penguin. For example, it didn’t take into account the penguins’ extremely poor educational system. To devise a fairer system of test, a team of our researchers spent eighteen months in Antarctica living like penguins, and subsequently dying like penguins – only quicker – proving that the penguin is a clever little sod in his own environment.

    (Cut to the scientist.)

    Scientist: Therefore we devised tests to be given to the penguins in the fourth set … I do beg your pardon, in their own environment.

    (Cut to a professor and team surrounding penguins standing in a pool)

    Professor: What is the next number in this sequence – 2, 4, 6. . .

    (A penguin squawks.)

    Professor: Did he say eight? … (sighs) What is…

    (Cut back to the scientist.)

    Scientist: The environmental barrier had been removed but we’d hit another: the language barrier. The penguins could not speak English and were therefore unable to give the answers. This problem was removed in the next series of experiments by asking the same questions to the penguins and to a random group of non-English-speaking humans in the same conditions.

    (Cut to the professor and his team now surrounding a group of foreigners who are standing in a pool looking bewildered.)

    Professor: What is the next number? 2, 4, 6… (long pause)

    Swedish Person: . . . Hello?

  314. kim
    Posted May 9, 2008 at 5:09 AM | Permalink

    303 (Joe) I couldn’t agree more, particularly with your last sentence. Whatever the motivation, all are genuinely curious.
    ==========================================

  315. MattN
    Posted May 9, 2008 at 5:53 AM | Permalink

    Phil, I got know: Why do you keep posting Arctic data, when the title of this particular thread is most clearly concerned about Antarctica?

  316. Phil.
    Posted May 9, 2008 at 7:34 AM | Permalink

    Re #319

    Phil, I got know: Why do you keep posting Arctic data, when the title of this particular thread is most clearly concerned about Antarctica?

    Because that was not the original title and the original post was concerned with global sea ice, Steve changed the title (see #42).

    Original title:

    World Sea Ice Increases to Levels “Unprecedented” in 25 Years

  317. David Smith
    Posted May 9, 2008 at 8:03 AM | Permalink

    Re #311 DeWitt, thanks for the comments. You are correct about the disporportionate impact of the 2006/7 data on r-squared. I did not catch that. Had I done so, I would not have conjectured about a sizeable lag in effect.

    On 2008 ice minimum, the loss of multiyear ice widens the range of possibilites. My only prediction is that the swings in the anomaly numbers will be large, probably driven by changes in Arctic cloud cover. Those changes are unknowable this far in advance.

  318. Phil.
    Posted May 9, 2008 at 8:07 AM | Permalink

    Re #316

    in reference to the model outputs which somewhat track the sea ice loss in the Arctic, do you have a link to air/water temperature numbers that would go with them, especially the one that was closest?

    My point is to try and see how much the wind change did or did not come into the model results.

    Here’s the original paper that the results came from:
    Holland M. M., C. M. Bitz, B. Tremblay (2006), Future abrupt reductions in the summer Arctic sea ice, Geophys. Res. Lett., 33, L23503, doi:10.1029/2006GL028024.
    Here’s the abstract, I won’t be able to get to the library until monday to check what detail it goes into:
    “We examine the trajectory of Arctic summer sea ice in seven projections from the Community Climate System Model and find that abrupt reductions are a common feature of these 21st century simulations. These events have decreasing September ice extent trends that are typically 4 times larger than comparable observed trends. One event exhibits a decrease from 6 million km2 to 2 million km2 in a decade, reaching near ice-free September conditions by 2040. In the simulations, ice retreat accelerates as thinning increases the open water formation efficiency for a given melt rate and the ice-albedo feedback increases shortwave absorption. The retreat is abrupt when ocean heat transport to the Arctic is rapidly increasing. Analysis from multiple climate models and three forcing scenarios indicates that abrupt reductions occur in simulations from over 50% of the models and suggests that reductions in future greenhouse gas emissions moderate the likelihood of these events.”

    Döscher et al in their commentary said:

    “For the aforementioned CCSM3 experiments Holland et al. (2006) report rapid sea ice reduction
    events to be dominated by thermodynamic forcing, strong ice thinning, active sea ice –albedo
    feedback and a strong role of northward ocean heat transport. While ice thinning, increased
    shortwave radiation and sea ice – albedo feedbacks seem to be important ingredients in the real
    2007 event, too, a dominating role for thermodynamic forcing without dynamic influences, or for
    ocean heat transports are not evident for the 2007 event. The mechanisms documented as
    dominant for the ice reduction events in the CCSM3 experiments therefore differ from the likely
    causes of the 2007 event. ”

    I think the effect of the wind is most likely to be apparent this summer following the large scale transport of multiyear ice into the Antarctic and the break-up in the Beaufort sea.

  319. Richard Sharpe
    Posted May 9, 2008 at 8:15 AM | Permalink

    Re: Phil (313)


    But your map shows most of the flow coming out of the Arctic i.e. goes in via the Bering Strait so it’s not clear to me why that correlation is appropriate.
    Why not correlate with the amount of new ice in March for example?

    From NASA: Arctic Ocean

    Water flows into the Arctic principally from the Atlantic as a warm, salty undercurrent. There are also smaller oceanic inputs through the Bering Strait and cold, freshwater inputs from many rivers, most significantly the Lena, Yenisei, and Ob rivers in Russia and the Mackenzie River in Canada. A large part of the outflow from the Arctic is through the Fram Strait between Greenland and Svalbard.

    I’m beginning to wonder if you ever engage your brain before firing off an objection.

  320. Phil.
    Posted May 9, 2008 at 9:19 AM | Permalink

    Re #323

    Sorry messed up tags the first time!

    But your map shows most of the flow coming out of the Arctic i.e. goes in via the Bering Strait so it’s not clear to me why that correlation is appropriate.
    Why not correlate with the amount of new ice in March for example?

    From NASA: Arctic Ocean

    Water flows into the Arctic principally from the Atlantic as a warm, salty undercurrent. There are also smaller oceanic inputs through the Bering Strait and cold, freshwater inputs from many rivers, most significantly the Lena, Yenisei, and Ob rivers in Russia and the Mackenzie River in Canada. A large part of the outflow from the Arctic is through the Fram Strait between Greenland and Svalbard.

    I’m beginning to wonder if you ever engage your brain before firing off an objection.

    You need wonder no more! Here’s the map that was quoted:

    See the references I cited in #216 for example.

    In particular Maslowski emphasizing the increased flow from the Nth Pacific and the progressive loss of multiyear ice from the western end of the Arctic basin and his comment that ” Atlantic Water entering through Barents Sea losses ~98% of heat to atmosphere” (flows over shallow ridge between Atlantic and Arctic basins). The deep waters of the Fram strait contain the outflowing ice/water from the Arctic.

    Watch the animation of last summer’s melt season at
    2007 movie
    you’ll that the retreat of the ice is predominantly from the Pacific side.

  321. Wondering Aloud
    Posted May 9, 2008 at 10:31 AM | Permalink

    What I want to know is why are people taking the graph of “data” in 133 seriously? For most of the supposed record any data for the sea ice extent beyond the edges does not exist and for the first 80 years of the gragh could not exist.

    Maybe Phil does have a sense of humor.

  322. Sam Urbinto
    Posted May 9, 2008 at 11:32 AM | Permalink

    301 Larry “Sort of obvious–so much so as to be fundamentally content-free.”

    Rather axiomatic, yes. But sometimes even the obvious needs to be stated; “Not everyone has the same POV.” No point otherwise. I like to keep the discussion on one topic (where participants may or may not agree or disagree 100% with the subject or the specifics) rather than a bunch at once.

    303 Joe “Appreciate your response and insights.”

    Sure, you’re welcome.

    I just don’t think that anyone is “controlling” or “taking over” the conversation. Anyone is free to contribute to (participate in) a particular (contentious) topic to the extent they add to it. As you have recognized and mentioned, they certainly do.

    But like you said in 298 “For some reason they always end up supporting, the AGW view of climate science, never undercutting the CO2 conclusion.” “it remains at least a curiosity that this ‘take-over’ trio never says a word which seriously questions the CO2 result.”

    The conversations don’t usually involve either “global warming” as an overall topic as far as I can tell, just aspects. So AGW and CO2 are not supported nor dismissed, they are non-issues. So why would AGW or CO2 even come up? I appreciate having discussions that focus in a single issue more narrowly.

    In this thread, Phil. has been pretty danged consistent in talking about the existing data from standard sources involving Arctic ice. Apparently not interested in Antarctica. Phil. has not said “less ice is bad” and has not said “global warming is causing the less ice” in this thread that I can see, so I don’t see what this has to do with carbon dioxide et al (AKA GHG). Certainly the observations since 1950 are down for Arctic sea ice, and we’re still within (almost) the IPCC Standard Deviation of Models. Top chart here: http://www.damocles-eu.org/artman/uploads/2007-record-low_sea-ice-event.pdf Now, what that means, that is a different topic. As is Antartica. And as we know, Steve changed the title, seemingly because Phil. was talking about the Arctic. :)

    My unappreciated :) suggestion to set a model run for Arctic sea ice with the actual observations of 1982 as initial conditions, and run the model backwards to 1950 and see if it matches. Then reset it to 1982 and run it forwards to see if it also matches to 2007. Me being interested in it; am I saying the sea ice is growing or not? No. Does that have anything to do with AGW or CO2 themselves? No. Curious if the model runs backwards and forwards and matches both 1892-1950 and 1982-2007? Yes.

    Another example, the discussion if we should use SEM to show it can’t reconcile ensemble/observations or use SD to show it proves you have great uncertainty. (“biased” versus “inconsistent”) I don’t see what that has to do with GHG at all or much less any major conversations going on linking them to the GMSTAT (Global Mean Surface Temperature Anomaly Trend, commonly mistakenly called global temperature) or talking about the trend itself. It was about the statistical method to be used when comparing models of the tropical troposphere to satellite observations of the tropical troposphere.

    And Leif is interested in solar matters. In fact he has clearly stated his viewpoint (Svalgaard #5, in post #6):

    …I do agree that it is not clear that human influences caused ALL the changes that occur. Certainly CO2 and CH4 and land-use cause SOME change, and maybe even the Sun. How much is a different matter, and can [or even should] we do anything about it is yet another matter. For the zillionth time, I argue that the Sun has varied less than thought and that people that claim they understand how all this hangs together take that into account and show me that they can accommodate a less-changing sun and all still makes sense.

    Kim 318 Exactly. I like the way they focus on an issue and keep things on track, and for the most part, have a consistent message. Although of course not everything gets answered, or answered in the way or to the extent the questioneer might wish. So I guess that’s how it stays on track. :)

  323. An Inquirer
    Posted May 9, 2008 at 11:47 AM | Permalink

    According to http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/current.365.jpg, the 2008 Northern Sea Ice levels are now down to the 2007 levels. (There could be an interesting discussion on Leap Year impact, but I will skip that.) Looking at the images (cyrosphere’s pictures) of the two years’ ice levels, I cannot see how the jpg chart is consistent with pictures, but I will defer to the computer-generated graph instead of trusting my eyes; but I would like to know why my eyes are deceiving me!
    Here is my main curiosity: I have also compared current 2008 levels to the “record” in 1980. It seems that in 2008, we are now even with — or even ahead of — 1980 levels except in two places. One area is the Sea of Okhotsk, and I wonder about the impact of China’s black soot pollution there. The other area is the Barents Sea west of Novaya Semlya, and I wonder about the AMO impact of warm ocean currents there.

  324. Mark_T
    Posted May 9, 2008 at 8:40 PM | Permalink

    Re: Error in #296

    The graph in 296 is for the month of March, not the year 2007 to 2008. My mistake…

    Mark

  325. Richard Sharpe
    Posted May 9, 2008 at 9:01 PM | Permalink

    Re: Phil (324)

    Phil’s goal seems to be to create an incessant and distracting whine:

    But your map shows most of the flow coming out of the Arctic i.e. goes in via the Bering Strait so it’s not clear to me why that correlation is appropriate.

    You attempted to distract us from David Smith’s very reasonable correlation exercise by choosing to misinterpret the diagram provided. Simply by knowing that the Bering Strait is only 85km (or thereabouts) wide, compared with the much wider (greater than 400km, see here), you would have been able to reject your faulty interpretation.

    The NASA article I pointed you at also tells us what the facts are. Please stop the distractions.

    While correlation does not give us the mechanisms, I think that David Smith’s point is a useful step in the direction of understanding what is going on with Arctic sea ice extents and anomalies.

  326. Posted May 9, 2008 at 11:55 PM | Permalink

    My favourite Nokia N73 Themes,
    I guarantee you like it~

  327. KevinUK
    Posted May 10, 2008 at 4:45 AM | Permalink

    #96 kuhnkat

    Thanks for that link and what a very interesting read.

    It gave me a feeling of deja vu in respect of what has gone on with the whole GW saga. All the same aspects of the GW saga are present in this article about the Ozone depletion story e.g. chartmanhship in the form of the suppression of the zero (re: use of anomaly charts rather than temperature charts because the ‘hockey stick’ doesn’t quite look as dramatic when shown in the form of temperature chart), non-verifiable totally useless computer model predictions which at least in this case can now be refuted thanks to the Crista-Spas Project (re: the IPCC’s reliance on GCMs) , Sallie Baliunas’s congressional testimony (re: Steve’s testimony), the closing down of the surface UV measurement stations because the data was embarrassing and contradicted the theory/computer model predictions (re: the significant reduction in the no. of surface temperature measurement weather stations and the NOAA relocation of many of them from rural to UHI infected locations) etc etc etc.

    Steve any chance you could start a thread that looks at the parallels between the ozone depletion saga and the global warming saga as there are clearly many that are worth discussing.

    KevinUK

  328. Posted May 10, 2008 at 7:16 AM | Permalink

    As Phil well knows, whatever is going on in the Arctic, regarding the reduction of summer sea ice, the culprit is not T2m, as it is well shown in the last figure (#15, pag. 25) of this paper.

  329. David Smith
    Posted May 10, 2008 at 8:06 AM | Permalink

    My conjecture is simply on the Atlantic inflow portion of the Arctic situation. There in indeed important inflow from the Pacific, as Phil. notes and which is covered in the literature, but my interest is on the other inflow.

    My interest in the temperature and behavior of the far Northern Atlantic Ocean has more to do with its possible impact on temperatures and weather patterns of northern Asia than with sea ice. “Warm” water entering the subpolar regions upstream (airwise) of northern Asia may inject important amounts of sensible and latent heat (water vapor) into northern Asia’s weather, greatly affecting its average temperature which in turn influences the global temperature anomaly. While working on that question I saw the sea ice data, plugged it in and offered the plot for comments. DeWitt correctly noted the problem with claiming a lag (one data point does not a correlation make!).

    I still wonder about the r-squared of 40% (which is respectable in the world of unsmoothed climate data) but I’ve put the matter of sea ice aside for now while I work on field experiments to collect data on the effects of concrete, trees, air conditioners, ground cover, etc on microsite temperatures. I hope to quantify some of the types of microsite problems Anthony Watts has documented, especially those which slowly change over time, like vegetation.

  330. Kenneth Fritsch
    Posted May 10, 2008 at 9:04 AM | Permalink

    DeWitt Payne @ Post# 300

    DeWitt Payne, you are to be commended in taking the time for delivering a complete primer on getting an image from your computer to CA. I have been doing it your way for some time, but I recall I did not receive much help when I first asked here. Not that I minded the challenge in figuring out for myself. To be completely fair, I believe it was Hans Erren who directed me to Image Shack.

    You presented a graph of the NH polar region, I believe, and asked about break points in the time series. I did some change point analyses for zonal regions of the globe by seasons and below are presented what I have for the NH polar from UAH 1979-2007. I used the change point method found here:

    http://www.beringclimate.noaa.gov/regimes

    And I should attempt other methods that deal with slope and mean of a time series regime change.

    I get a change point at 1994 for the annual series. The change points are noted by breaks in the graph connecting lines and the big round dots. I left the trend lines for the complete series in place and did not attempt to show separate trendlines for each regime.

    I find these regime changes in temperature anomaly time series interesting and many without published (that I have been able to find) expalnations.

  331. Terry PS
    Posted May 10, 2008 at 12:03 PM | Permalink

    Even the Romans appreciated climate…..Marcus Terentius Variro (116-27 B.C.) On Agriculture Chapter II
    When describing Italy geographically, he wrote the earth is divided in two halves northern and southern.
    “For in the first place Italy is in Europe; secondly, this part of Europe is more temperate than the inner part, where almost perpetual winters reign. And no wonder, since there are districts between the Arctic Circle and the North Pole—the axis of the heavens—where the sun is invisible for six months together. They say, too, that in consequence of this, sailing even is impossible in the Ocean, owing to the sea being frozen. I say, said Fundanius, you don’t suppose, do you, that anything can grow there or be cultivated if it does?”

  332. Robinedwards
    Posted May 11, 2008 at 2:00 PM | Permalink

    In #300 DeWitt Payne provided me with information on how to post diagrams. Many thanks for that.

    I have not been able to try to the system yet but am hoping to do so early in the week.

    I hope to post again shortly.

    Robin

  333. UK John
    Posted May 12, 2008 at 7:38 AM | Permalink

    #312 Phil,

    Is there a similar chart for summer sunshine hours or year long cloud cover. I understood Artic summer 2007 was unprecedented for sunshine hours, clear skies 24 hour day after 24 hour day.

    With sunshine conditions like this the ice has to melt/evaporate.

  334. Phil.
    Posted May 12, 2008 at 7:39 AM | Permalink

    Re #333

    My interest in the temperature and behavior of the far Northern Atlantic Ocean has more to do with its possible impact on temperatures and weather patterns of northern Asia than with sea ice. “Warm” water entering the subpolar regions upstream (airwise) of northern Asia may inject important amounts of sensible and latent heat (water vapor) into northern Asia’s weather, greatly affecting its average temperature which in turn influences the global temperature anomaly. While working on that question I saw the sea ice data, plugged it in and offered the plot for comments.

    You may well be onto something here since as Maslowski (see presentation above) says ~98% of the heat carried in through the Barents sea goes into the atmosphere which would be very likely to impact N Asia’s weather.

  335. Phil.
    Posted May 12, 2008 at 7:56 AM | Permalink

    Re #337

    Is this what you’re looking for?

    This originally comes from NCEP via UIUC
    I’m told that the unusually clear skies persisted through the winter and spring this year, for example:
    “Arctic Ocean satellite pictures have been quite clear of clouds, compared to total overcast spring conditions so familiar every year past, especially South over the Archipelago. We are dealing with a different climate going along with a changed Arctic ice-scape.”

  336. Sam Urbinto
    Posted May 12, 2008 at 9:16 AM | Permalink

    So, do IR absorbing/emitting gases cause clouds to let in more sunlight too, besides all their other abilities?

  337. UK John
    Posted May 12, 2008 at 3:50 PM | Permalink

    #339

    Thanks Phil, is there anyone giving a cause or reason or hypothesis for no clouds.

    On a personal interest note my 83 year old father in law went on an Artic sea voyage last summer and got sunburnt! the skies were totally clear of clouds for 24 hour day after 24 hour day. The locals had never seen anything like it.

    I just noticed that when the Sun went away the ice just came back, so logically I thought air shade temperature or sea temperature was probably not a significant cause of the big melt, it was the energy from the sunshine.

  338. Jonathan Schafer
    Posted May 12, 2008 at 6:09 PM | Permalink

    #341,

    Don’t have anything on the lack of cloud cover, but I recall a small experiment done by someone at AccuWeather which may play a role. In this experiment, there was around a foot or so of new snow on the ground, and temperatures were quite cold. Then, old soot and ash from a fireplace was tossed onto some of the snow. Despite the sub-freezing temps, the areas covered by the soot and ash, as well as those nearby showed significant melting, while the rest of the yard showed no net melting. This was due to the IR absorption of the soot. I have read recent reports discussing soot and other particulates on the snow and ice in the arctic region, and in light of the anomolously cloud-free days, would not be surprised at the extensive loss of sea-ice during that period.

  339. SteveSadlov
    Posted May 12, 2008 at 7:08 PM | Permalink

    RE; #309 – I suppose it’s somewhat intuitive, but interesting that the extremes of SST anomaly result in stable low and high sea ice values, whereas the “neutral” SST arena seems to imply astable sea ice behavior. Like a digital circuit! Wild oscillations when the “inputs” are undefined / neither “high” nor “low” in the Boolean Logic sense. Fascinating.

  340. Posted May 13, 2008 at 3:38 AM | Permalink

    Re 341

    Maybe this is relevant:

    A climate shift in seasonal values of meteorological and hydrological parameters for Northeastern Asia

    N. I. SavelievaCorresponding Author Contact Information, E-mail The Corresponding Author, I. P. Semiletov, L. N. Vasilevskaya and S. P. Pugach

    Or maybe the Arctic ocean is short of hygroscopic nuclei.

    JF

  341. SidViscous
    Posted May 14, 2008 at 12:29 PM | Permalink

    The US interior department of the interior has listed Polar bears as an endangered species due to loss of arctic ice.

    http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=D90LJ4BO2&show_article=1

    Do I understand correctly from this thread, that there is little evidence that the ice loss is endemic (better word?) and as I understand it Polar populations, total, are on the rise.

    So a species who’s population is growing, is being threatned by an ice loss that isn’t happening, and also, from what I understand, lack of ice doesn’t threaten polar bear survival anyways.

  342. SidViscous
    Posted May 14, 2008 at 12:31 PM | Permalink

    Sorry just realized that this is a southern hemisphere thread, not northern.

  343. Phil.
    Posted May 14, 2008 at 1:52 PM | Permalink

    Re #346

    Don’t worry it’s a World sea ice thread not just a SH thread.

  344. SteveSadlov
    Posted May 14, 2008 at 5:38 PM | Permalink

    The value of the magnitude swing in NH extent from the 2007 min to the 2008 max was unnnnnnnnprecedennnted, since the beginning of the satellite era. As was the derivative of the global extent anomaly since about mid CY2007. There was some type of inflection point during 2007. Ironically, there was a PDO flip, and NAO started going negative during 2007. Unfortunately, the past two PDO flips (both the late 70s neg to pos and the previous pos to neg) were prior to the modern / “reliable” (post 1978) satellite extent record. And the last time we had both PDO and NAO going negative at the same time, was well before the satellite era, and surface based extent estimates from way back then are based on very incomplete data.

  345. Sam Urbinto
    Posted May 14, 2008 at 5:49 PM | Permalink

    Um, Phil #347.

    It’s a NH/SH discussion thread, since (as far as I know) there is no sea ice in the SH to speak of….
    :)

  346. Jake
    Posted May 20, 2008 at 12:35 PM | Permalink

    We caused global warming. jeez! STOP THE BLOOMING ARGUING!!!!!!!!!

  347. jeez
    Posted May 20, 2008 at 1:22 PM | Permalink

    Why pick on me?

  348. Lalase
    Posted Jun 19, 2008 at 4:41 AM | Permalink

    were these wind patterns affected by the 1951 erution of mt laming

  349. Phil.
    Posted Jun 19, 2008 at 4:43 PM | Permalink

    Re #135

    Let me restate, the anomaly FOR THE WORLD SEA ICE for May 07 was -1.66, the anomaly for Apr 08 was .89, care to take a stab forecasting a + or – May 08?

    Since the NH at this time of year decreases at about 2 million km^2/month and the SH increases at about the same rate I would expect it to stay about where it is now, 0.020. Of course this is subject to large errors since at such large rates of change a small hiatus (such as is occurring in the SH now) will lead to a big swing.

    It looks like I was on the money, it was actually slightly negative.

  350. bill
    Posted Nov 24, 2008 at 1:25 AM | Permalink

    people people wazup.
    U’all dont understand weather. We aint gonna effect and we gotta agree that it can only effect us so just live with it k. droughts, floods snow eferythin is blamed on human caused GW. Yes even hay fever. All i can say is I don’t reckon I could cause a whole polar cap to melt which is the size of like russia i may be mistaken sry. So, for some proof ask questions k? SEE YALL!

  351. Posted Feb 3, 2009 at 10:41 AM | Permalink

    Maybe this kind of changing in weather is like Earth’s cycle.. try to look at the history of the earth is flood’s global iceage lava went crazy etc….

  352. Posted Feb 12, 2009 at 12:16 AM | Permalink

    Long Live Ice Hockey

  353. Glenn Burns
    Posted Feb 24, 2009 at 5:52 PM | Permalink

    If you look at the arctic sea ice fluctuations over the past 100 years and compare that with the sunspot minimum, there is an exact correlation. This has been one of the coldest and snowiest winters in 10 years. There is a reason for that. It’s the sun! Currently there are no sunspots. Without sunspots there is a fraction less energy coming to the earth than at sunspot maximum. Why nobody can understand this is a mystery to many of us. Regarding climate change, if you put a piece of bread in the toaster over and it burned, would you blame the bread? The energy output of the sun and its cyclical variations continues to be buried.
    Glenn Burns
    Chief Meteorologist
    WSB-TV Atlanta

  354. Flanagan
    Posted Feb 25, 2009 at 2:35 AM | Permalink

    Hi Glenn,

    while it has been one of the coldest winters for you, the winter months were exceptionally mild in central and Northern Asia, and in Eastern Europe. On top of that, the global temperature anomalies jumped up in January and are back to the 2007 level.

    I really can’t see how this correlates with the sunspot numbers…

    • John M
      Posted Feb 25, 2009 at 7:32 PM | Permalink

      Re: Flanagan (#360),

      On top of that, the global temperature anomalies jumped up in January and are back to the 2007 level.

      Not quite.

      2007 Jan anomalies

      GISS 0.87
      NOAA 0.8412
      RSS 0.592
      HAD 0.632
      UAH 0.594

      2009 Jan anomalies

      GISS 0.52
      NOAA 0.5291
      RSS 0.322
      HAD 0.370
      UAH 0.307

      If you were George Will and I had an axe to grind, I might be inclined to call your claim a “howler”.

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