That's it, all the daily sea ice records (area, extent and volume) that I know of have been broken (see the ASI Graphs webpage). The last one is of minor importance when it comes to monitoring sea ice, but is interesting nonetheless as it was used as a last-minute straw that fake skeptics grasped when one record after the other was being smashed.
I'm talking about the Interactive Multisensor Snow and
Ice Mapping System (IMS) from NOAA's National Ice Center:
As the trend line on this graph was slow to go below the other trend lines, fake skeptic Anthony Watts all of a sudden decided that this was the best and most trustworthy graph out there, calling all other products that measure and calculate sea ice cover into question. Watts' posts on sea ice are usually very short and mostly consist of copypasted material from the NSIDC, with hardly any analysis or mention of what is actually going on the Arctic (like that big summer storm, that ought to have been interesting to a weather man). It has been thus since 2010, when his and Steven Goddard's boisterous and blusterous announcement of a recovery of sea ice at the end of the 2010 melting season didn't pan out.
But in this lengthy post, riddled with mistakes and implications of deliberate fraud, Watts goes out on a limb and soon finds himself on his ass on the slippery ice. Again.
Take for instance this:
Note that we don’t see media pronouncements from NOAA’s NATICE center like “death spiral” and “the Arctic is screaming” like we get from its activist director, Mark Serreze. So I’d tend to take NSIDC’s number with a grain of salt, particularly since they have not actively embraced the new IMS system when it comes to reporting totals. Clearly NSDIC knows the value of the media attention when they announce new lows, and director Serreze clearly knows how to make hay from it.
But then, as usual, Dr. Walt Meier from the NSIDC shows up in the comment section and patiently explains it all:
I’ll make a few points for clarification on the post above. First, MASIE and IMS are the same product. MASIE is simply a repackaging of the IMS data in easier to use formats. IMS is produced by the National Ice Center (NIC), using similar sources and methods as they use for their daily interactive maps. So all three of the examples provided are closely related and not independent measurements.
The passive microwave estimates all show a record low for the Arctic. These aren’t completely independent either – they all measure microwave emission, but there are difference sensors (SSMIS, WindSat, and for the first time AMSR2: http://www.eorc.jaxa.jp/en/imgdata/topics/2012/tp120825.html, which is pretty exciting), and there are different processing methods as well. There can always be potential errors in data, especially in near-real-time, so having multiple sensors showing consistency provides confidence that one sensor doesn’t have an error, which has happened from time to time. When it does, we go back and reprocess and correct the errors.
I worked at the National Ice Center for a couple years and have collaborated with them many times since, so I’m familiar with their methods and their focus. Their mandate is to map as much as ice as possible as accurately as possible each day and week in support of ships (particularly DoD ships) operating in and near ice-covered waters. They work hard on getting today’s data analyzed and then tomorrow they start over. They are not concerned with the past. If they can detect more ice today than yesterday, then they map it. If they lose a sensor, they do the best they can with what they have left. If they make an error, they don’t go back and correct it -it’s on to the next day. NIC doesn’t discuss climate or climate change because that is not their purpose and from my experience working there, they just don’t have the time – they’re focused on the here and now.
The charts are produced manually, so there is subjectivity in the analysis that we don’t have in our fully automated processing. This means that there can even be inconsistencies in adjacent regions if they were analyzed by different people.
They have created an archive of their weekly ice charts, which is archived at NSIDC: http://nsidc.org/data/g02172.html. There was some attempt to homogenize the charts (at least remove regional discrepancies) during the production, but they do not produce a consistent timeseries. MASIE, though it only goes back to 2006, has similar issues of consistency.
The folks at NIC do a great job at what they’re focused – navigational support. MASIE is an excellent data set and we at NSIDC find it very useful looking at specific details about the ice (e.g., is the Northwest Passage open or not), but the NIC products are not applicable to studying climate-scale changes.
As usual, no text amendments, further explanations or apologies from Anthony Watts. Instead, a week later, we get another short "sea ice update" that shows a couple of selected graphs showing the melting season is about to end. I guess some people want it to end very badly, because it is so destructive to their position and PR efforts. And of course, the IMS sea ice extent graph, that has also reached a record low (again, meaningless, as this product is for navigational purposes and ship safety, and not climate research), is nowhere to be seen. How very surprising.
My advice to Anthony Watts: either you stop denying the seriousness of the disappearance of Arctic sea ice, or you just shut up about it. Because if you keep digging a hole in ice, you'll get wet and cold. My respect for you would increase tenfold if you'd decide to do the right thing. From the position you're in, it would take a lot of guts to do so.
In the meantime we await the confirmation of the new record for September sea ice extent, which will be announced by the NSIDC in October. There will probably be some other minor records as well (CT SIA anomaly, Global SIA, PICT). And then it's onto winter and its weird weather, followed by melting season 2013, which I'm not particularly looking forward to.