NSIDC July 17 Report

NSIDC reported on July 17 what we at Climate Audit have been noticing since the beginning of July – 2008 is way behind 2007. Their daily extent number is even further behind 2007 than the JAXA daily numbers that we’ve been following.

Despite the fact that they report over a million sq km more ice than this time last year, they note that “areas of low-concentration ice are also developing at unusually high latitudes” – though apparently not “unprecedented”. They also note that last year’s melt was very prolonged and that a prolonged melt may be possible this year. Here’s an excerpt – consult the link for a full report.

Arctic sea ice extent on July 16 fell roughly between the extent for the same day in 2007 and the long-term average. The spatial pattern of summer ice loss has evolved differently from last year; this reflects the prevailing pattern of atmospheric circulation. Areas of low-concentration ice are also developing at unusually high latitudes.

Arctic sea ice extent on July 16 stood at 8.91 million square kilometers (3.44 square miles). While extent was below the 1979 to 2000 average of 9.91 square kilometers (3.83 million square miles), it was 1.05 million square kilometers (0.41 million square miles) above the value for July 16, 2007 (see Figures 1 and 2).

18 Comments

  1. Daryl
    Posted Jul 18, 2008 at 2:08 PM | Permalink

    This is a setup piece…

    If they see rapid melting in the thinning areas they will say see we warned about the thin first year ice!

    If it does not melt and stays on the present course, then they can fall back on the spatial pattern of ice loss was different and unexpected so forgive us for saying there would be more melt, this year was unusual.

    This was a “hedge” against the fact the ice did not respond like in 2007 even though they kinda hung their “dangly bits” out on it being worse because of the first year ice worries they hilighted.

  2. Posted Jul 18, 2008 at 2:13 PM | Permalink

    For the record, CORDIS News (CORDIS is the European Community R&D Information Service) has an entry here entitled Arctic sea ice in 2008 likely to reach second lowest level ever, scientists predict. I wonder what “ever” means in this title. The origin of this story is the European Integrated Project DAMOCLES (see the link in CORDIS).

  3. Barclay E. MacDonald
    Posted Jul 18, 2008 at 2:50 PM | Permalink

    The conversion from sq. kilometers to sq. miles is a bit iffy.

  4. Posted Jul 18, 2008 at 3:18 PM | Permalink

    Following the links from DAMOCLES in #2 I found that in the June report of ARCUS more than 50% of the projections suggest “a repeat of the dramatic loss of 2007″ or “a loss even greater than that experienced in 2007.”

  5. Brooks Hurd
    Posted Jul 18, 2008 at 4:14 PM | Permalink

    It seems to have become axiomatic with climate science issues that you can make any claim regaardless of what the data shows, as long as you do not have to release the data. At some point, this will be exposed by someone in the news media who will understand the significance of what certain people have done to science.

  6. BrianMcL
    Posted Jul 18, 2008 at 4:37 PM | Permalink

    Surely some mistake? After all, this was first year ice and would melt very easily.

    Also, I believe that the starting base point for 2008 was lower than the 1979 – 2000 average so the resiliance of this year’s ice is probably even more impressive than they are yet prepared to admit.

  7. Mark T.
    Posted Jul 18, 2008 at 4:54 PM | Permalink

    At some point, this will be exposed by someone in the news media who will understand the significance of what certain people have done to science.

    Translated: we need someone with an actual scientific background to infiltrate the journalist ranks? :)

    Mark

  8. Hans Erren
    Posted Jul 18, 2008 at 5:03 PM | Permalink

    The dutch TV news NOS Journaal is sending reporter Marieke de Vries to the North Pole on a ship to give live coverage. Starting 21st of July.

    in dutch

    http://www.medianieuwtjes.nl/?p=6517

    NOS Journaal site

    http://www.nos.nl/nosjournaal/beeld_en_geluid/index.html

  9. Leon Brozyna
    Posted Jul 18, 2008 at 6:17 PM | Permalink

    I was struck by the appallingly disingenuous language of the NSIDC mid-month posting. This is not the language of science but that of a politician trying to cover all his bases. I was also struck by the undertone of the equivocations, as though still hoping for a period of accelerated melting.

  10. Sean Egan
    Posted Jul 18, 2008 at 9:57 PM | Permalink

    The NSICD report is unusual in that it is mid month. I also note there has been ICESat pass so there are estimated drafts. I say estimated, as they have to guess how much of the thickness is snow and how much ice. If I remember right, they said in April they probably got this wrong earlier this year – there is more ice and less snow than first estimated.
    I don’t think there was a corresponding ICESat pass in 2007. That would be too easy. So they will need to warm up the models. I expect we will see a statement in the next monthly report that the ice volume is down on 2007.

  11. tetris
    Posted Jul 18, 2008 at 10:54 PM | Permalink

    Re:8
    Hans, [goede morgen/middag/avond, as the case may be]
    Would it not be interesting if Ms de Vries experienced something similar to what happened to some 100 polar eco tourists about 6 weeks ago, as reported in Canada’s Globe and Mail. To their complete consternation they got stuck for real for nearly a week on board one of the most powerful non-nuclear icebreakers in the world on a trip that was meant to go through the NW Passage West to East, which they had been assured would be opening up due to AGW driven melting of the Arctic ice. The Globe and Mail article makes it very clear that it took about 36 hours for the reality of the situation to sink in amongst these “bien pensants”, who by all accounts reacted quite petulantly. An interesting case of cognitive dissonance.
    Given that this year’s melt appears to be running a good 1,000,000 sq km behind 2007, let’s hope that the NOS, with its well documented pro-AGW editorial bias, shows Ms de Vries travels and discoveries unabridged.

  12. STAFFAN LINDSTROEM
    Posted Jul 19, 2008 at 12:27 AM | Permalink

    # 11 tetris , I REPEAT it … It’s all these powerful
    icebreakers that plow through the Arctic waters from
    the beginning of the melt season…Be there surfers,
    kayakers, enviros, scientists or just plain stupid
    tourists who want to see the last of arctic summer ice…
    I’ve read somewhere that some 50 vessels reached the
    North Pole from 1992-2005…I don’t think they tried
    in mid winter … So here is a little experiment you
    can do: Make 2 icesheets, 40x40cm in the freezer(s) Fill a
    bath-tub with 10C water 40 cm deep or so. Icesheet 1 is
    not broken so I guess it must be some 4 cm thick not to break
    easily by accident … Icesheet 2 is broken or cut into
    2 parts, you may of course also make one in 4 20×20 cm parts
    I’m sorry I cant do this myself…I DO have a freezer and I DO
    have a bathtub but the freezer is already in a BIG ICE AGE
    (BIA)…If you want to simulate seafloor volcanos use hot
    shower GWS…

  13. WhiteBeard
    Posted Jul 19, 2008 at 12:41 AM | Permalink

    #1 Daryl

    Please point to the place in the July 17th post at the NSIDC where they say anything to support your contention that “This update is a ‘hedge’ against the fact the ice did not respond like in 2007 even though they kinda hung their ‘dangly bits’ out on it being worse because of the first year ice worries they hilighted.”

    I read their statement to mean they continue to think the eventual surface coverage stands a good chance to reach an all-time observational low. Where do they state, infer, or hint that the “spatial pattern of summer ice loss has evolved differently” can be deemed “unexpected”?

    They do note that the average thickness for ice that formed this winter is thicker than expected. There is speculation for the cause of this.

    #5 Brooks Hurd

    What claim is made in the referenced post that is inconsistent with data or basic physics? Have you made any attempt to view the underling data, or may I safely assume any post you make is axiomatically the result of your blowing smoke up your own skirt?

    #6 BrianMcL

    Might you be counting your ice cures a bit prematurely? The rotund Gore is yet to deliver the final aria in this oater.

    #9 Leon Brozyna

    From your post I conclude that you’d find hidden in the Gettysburg Address a politburo plot to add a beard and mustache to Washington’s portrait on the dies used to print the dollar bill.

    I didn’t find the link. For those interested in reading before accusing it’s at: http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/index.html

    I’d encourage following the link imbedded there to the images from the University of Bremen which resolves the satellite data to 6.25 km grid. That finer granularity makes the situation much clearer when NSIDC discusses the areas of thinning concentration.

  14. Brian Johnson
    Posted Jul 19, 2008 at 4:31 AM | Permalink

    Some UK idiot is going to kayak to the North Pole this August to “Stop Nations fighting over Arctic mineral rights etc” He is doing it while there is still some ice around as he says

    very soon the North Pole will be ice free!

    “I want to show world leaders what is happening,” he said. “It shouldn’t be possible to kayak to the North Pole.”

    I wonder if he has a support ice breaker just in case he finds too much floating frozen stuff?

    Well, the latest information on Arctic ice conditions is just in from the National Snow and Ice Data Center:
    Arctic sea ice extent on July 16 stood at 8.91 million square kilometers (3.44 square miles). While extent was below the 1979 to 2000 average of 9.91 square kilometers (3.83 million square miles), it was 1.05 million square kilometers (0.41 million square miles) above the value for July 16, 2007…

  15. ared
    Posted Jul 19, 2008 at 5:53 AM | Permalink

    Re:8
    Hans, being Dutch myself, I’m very curious to see how the NOS will spin this. I’m guessing they will start with a dramatic recap of the 2007 season and the dire predictions for 2008, probably mentioning the record melting this spring. Surely there will not be a single word on the Antarctic, not a single word about falling global temperatures, PDO shifts or multi-decadal oscillations. In stead, I’m guessing it will focus on the low concentration and area (as opposed to extend) this year and the conclusion will be that 2008 was very “lucky” with conditions, and that 2009 will be devastating. The moral of the stoy will be that big oil can’t wait for the damn thing to melt completely so they can start drilling for more oil to make AGW worse, with desastrous consequences for the poor Innuit and polar bears.

    At least, that is how I would do it if I was interested in bringing a newsworthy story without having to say that the recovery from 2007 has proved nearly all predictions by specialists wrong. We’ll see. Maybe they’ll surprise me.

  16. kim
    Posted Jul 19, 2008 at 6:49 AM | Permalink

    16 (STEFFAN) Volcanos? Let’s see the pictures of the clouds that obcured the surface over that Gakkel Ridge volcano in 1999. Were they clouds from open water? Or warmer, more rapidly sublimating, ice?
    ================================

  17. Daryl
    Posted Jul 19, 2008 at 9:11 AM | Permalink

    Re #13

    The opening clearly states and unusual and different scenario.

    You partially answered your own question. I never said that they changed their position or estimates, what I said is they included enough statements and information to allow a reference back at a future date.

    This is a “hedge” against a future outcome. You have to look at it in a overall and forward looking way but you saw part of it yourself.

  18. JP Rourke
    Posted Aug 3, 2008 at 11:26 PM | Permalink

    Daryl:

    Every ‘estimate’ can be read as a ‘hedge’.

    The only thing that cannot be construed as a ‘hedge’ is a definitive ‘prediction’, which is bad science, when it comes to climatology at this stage of the game. And indeed, bad scientists do exist that will obligingly predict everything from an open NWP to ‘an ice-free north pole (oft mis-quoted as ‘ice-free arctic’ – but either way, bad science).

    So, if they make a prediction, it’s called ‘bad science’ (and justly so).
    And if they don’t make a prediction, it’s called a hedge, and they are playing ‘politics’.

    There really is nothing they can say, scientifically, that will be acceptable?

    What WOULD you have them say? (…perhaps “We were wrong, it clearly is not a record low this year – in fact, it will be a record high over the past two years”?)

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