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Kevin McKinney

Rather intriguing. Will keep an eye out.

Thanks, Neven, you rock (as they say.)


Very interesting. That said, what exactly does GLOBAL ice area really get at in climate terms given the huge differences between the poles? What may be properly inferred? Except for the fact that I live in and maintain a sailboat in waters with lots of ice and icebergs in season and am personally very interested, this variable is so far from any actual expertise I have that I am completely ignorant.

Haven't seen any peer reviewed work on this point either. Looking at scholar.google.com, what I can find is focused on paleontological global ice volume not contemporary global ice area.

Rob Dekker

jgnfld, as Neven said :

As a statistic it's somewhat interesting, but it doesn't convey all that much information about the individual health of both polar regions, let alone their sub-regions.

It's like stating that because on average the human race decreases in weight, that therefor obesity is not a problem, and hunger is non-existent.

That said, what exactly does GLOBAL ice area really get at in climate terms given the huge differences between the poles? What may be properly inferred?

What Rob said that I said. :-)

Cryosphere Today is run by scientists from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and they have one of the longest running data sets for sea ice area. They calculate it for the Arctic and Antarctic separately, and then they simply add the daily numbers of both for a global measure.

As you can see in the small graph at the top of the post (or click the link to Skeptical Science), the trend in global sea ice area is already downwards, because Arctic sea ice loss is larger than Antarctic sea ice gain. This will most probably continue into the long-term future.

Not only will the thing causing summer ice loss in the Arctic become more and more pronounced during winter as well, but at some point Antarctic sea ice is bound to diminish as well, if AGW continues unabated under our current business-as-usual scenarios of economic and population growth.

That's simply because the reasons for the recent increase (probably a combination of changing wind patterns and/or ocean currents, increase in fresh water run-off from the mainland, ozone hole) will at some point be overwhelmed by the warming caused by greenhouse gas forcing. The Antarctic is able to fend that off for now because as a huge block of ice surrounded by oceans (in the Arctic it's the opposite) it's such a dominant feature in its region.

So, again, global sea ice area as a metric doesn't tell us all that much, but it's interesting statistically (like any race) and also because climate risk deniers have repeatedly used it to disinform people and downplay Arctic sea ice loss.

You won't see me using it as an argument for AGW, though. I don't need to, as the Arctic is the big story in this respect. Plenty of evidence-based arguments there.


By the way, according to the latest numbers, CT global SIA has gone up by 17K from 14.729 to 14.746 million km2.


Whilst I agree there is no need to use global sea-ice statistics to prove or disprove anything the very fact they exist beckons the need for its existence to be explained.

From a conservative pov we can understand why the mass population would require this. The sticking point is the explanation of the differing physics at the southern end of the world... It's much more difficult to explain and this battle for explanation is of course the war that needs to be own and in my opinion it's not for illegitimate reason at all.

Deniers, when you come to think of it, strengthen scientific method by seeking better and more concise explanation : it could even be postulated that some aren't deniers at all but simply like white-hat hackers seeking to constantly improve the system.


That's fine when we are talking about daisy petals or Cro-Magnon archaelogical finds, not when the lives of millions are at stake. Should we be happy that tobacco science has improved so much in four decades, or bewail the millions of shortened lives because of a conscious disinformation campaign?


Thanks. Yeah, I did do an analysis for myself a few years ago showing the arctic reduction was, I think, about 3X the antarctic increase. I know tamino did a more complete analysis around then as well. But it just seems like such a mushed together stat with a gigantic and quite complex seasonal component clouding everything.

Incidentally, and I hope not far off topic, there is a very large iceberg sitting not too far from me in northern Trinity Bay. Too early to be this season's berg. Must have been a trailer from last season just ahead of the freezeup to the north.

Have sailed that area in summer...very exposed to the North Atlantic and lots of rocks, but very beautiful. The berg may come by/near my house in St. John's in a week or so. Hope to get my own pics.

Picture here: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CZmLe9sUkAAleGx.jpg


Point taken.

John Christensen

Very nice berg and views, thanks for sharing jgnfld!


That's a very nice picture indeed, jgnfld. I first thought: Hey, that's a nice house. Then I thought: Hey, those are nice cliffs. And then I thought: Whoa, what's that behind the cliffs!? :-)

CT global SIA has dropped 35K to 14.711 million km2. Antarctic and thus global SIA is running one to two days behind Arctic SIA, and the latter has actually decreased a bit (4K from the 23rd to the 24th), so CT will probably report another decrease for global SIA tomorrow, depending on Antarctic SIA.


CT Arctic SIA has dropped some more, 35K. So when Global SIA is reported for January 25th the contribution from the Arctic will be -39K. The daily Antarctic SIA decrease since January 1st has been -94K, but for the past week it was -63K. Let's say that from the 23rd to the 25th it loses 120K (two times 60K). That's -160K, rounded off.

Right now the difference with the 2006 record minimum is 320K. So, this difference could be halved in the next two days to 160K. That would put 2016 in 3rd position.


Instead of going down 120K, Antarctic sea ice lost 'only' 70K, and so Global SIA is at 14.602 million km2, or 211K from the 2006 record.

However, Arctic SIA (running one day ahead) has dropped yet another 25K, so that will come on top of the next Antarctic SIA decrease that will be reported tomorrow.

Either way, 2016 has already overtaken the 2007 minimum of 14.634 million km2, so it's now third lowest in the 2005-2016 period (and probably overall since 1979, but I haven't checked). A further decrease of 191K is now needed to overtake 2011.

Jozef Kmeť

Of course, the global sea ice area as an indicator, has a climatological significance: the impact of the global albedo.


Hi, Jozef.

Of course, the global sea ice area as an indicator, has a climatological significance: the impact of the global albedo.

Yes, up to a point perhaps. But it would then be better to have a global sea ice area that is seasonally synchronous. Winter albedo is negligible because the poles are usually very dark in winter, so it would have to be a global summer sea ice area calculation (which I'm sure someone like Tamino has done).

Imagine for example Arctic sea ice area going really low in summer, but at the same time on the Southern hemisphere where it's winter Antarctic sea ice area is really high. This could lead one to conclude that nothing much is happening albedo-wise.

The NSIDC FAQ page alludes to the same thing:

Why don’t you publish a global sea ice extent number?

The combined number, while easy to derive from our online posted data, is not useful as an analysis tool or indicator of climate trends. Looking at each region’s ice extent trends and its processes separately provides more insight into how and why ice extent is changing. Sea ice in the Arctic is governed by somewhat different processes than the sea ice around Antarctica, and the very different geography of the two poles plays a large role. Sea ice in the Arctic exists in a small ocean surrounded by land masses, with greater input of dust, aerosols, and soot than in the Southern Hemisphere. Sea ice in the Southern Hemisphere fringes an ice-covered continent, Antarctica, surrounded by open oceans. While both regions are affected by air, wind, and ocean, the systems and their patterns are inherently very different. Moreover, at any point in time, the two poles are in opposite seasons, and so a combined number would conflate summer and winter trends, or spring and autumn trends, for the two regions.

Jozef Kmeť

Hi, Neven
Consent. Regarding albedo, the global area of floating sea ice as a single number is a very rough and ambiguous estimate. This should be integrated in part with regard to the angle of incidence of sunlight. And of course, cloudiness, which is related to vapor and unfrozen sea surface temperature is more variable and has a greater impact on albedo.


Killed two birds with one stone yesterday at ADS-Japan. A small downtick [minus 8488 km2], and 2016 again in bottom position.

Looks like the situation will remain like that for at least a week as according to Reanalyzer.org the Arctic will remain "overheated" for at least a week.

Moreover, we are at less of a month from the 25th of February, the date at which in 2015 occured the maximum extent [accrding to NSIDC.


Well, it looks like I was wrong to assume a daily 60K drop for Antarctic SIA, as CT has just reported a meagre drop of 11K. So, the difference with the 2006 minimum is now 175K, and for Arctic SIA an increase of 31K was reported (which will be added to the Global SIA number reported tomorrow).

A record doesn't look likely now, as the increase in the Arctic can't slow down much more (never say never) and Antarctic SIA doesn't seem to go down fast enough.


According to the data 2016 is already 4th lowest at 14.73 million km2, just behind 2007's minimum, and almost 350K behind 2011 and record holder 2006 (14.39 million km2, the grey trend line just below the 2011 green trend line).

Current global at an annual low of 14.57


Here's an animation of CT Antarctic sea ice concentration between the 23rd and the 28th:

Clear changes only to be seen in the two larger white circles, not that much elsewhere. Unfortunately, I know too little about the Antarctic regionally and local weather to pinpoint the exact influences, let alone forecast what may happen in the next few days.

Colorado Bob

Record permafrost erosion in Alaska bodes ill for Arctic infrastructure

The record erosion German scientists have been measuring in Alaska probably hasn’t been making the headlines because it is happening in a very sparsely populated area, where no homes or important structures are endangered.

Nevertheless, it certainly provides plenty of food for thought, says permafrost scientist Jens Strauss from the Potsdam-based research unit of the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research (AWI). He and an international team have measured riverbank, erosion rates which exceed all previous records along the Itkillik River in northern Alaska. In a study published in the journal Geomorphology, the researchers report that the river is eating into the bank at 19 metres per year in a stretch of land where the ground contains a particularly large quantity of ice.

“These results demonstrate that permafrost thawing is not exclusively a slow process, but that its consequences can be felt immediately”, says Strauss.


Colorado Bob

An article in German with pictures of the area in question -

Rekord-Erosion durch tauenden Permafrost
Itkillik River in Alaska frisst sich pro Jahr 19 Meter tief in das Ufer


Jim Hunt

On the Arctic side of things CT area has now joined JAXA/ADS extent in the "lowest ever for the date" category:


By my calculations the current 2016 CT global minimum area is 14.58 million square kilometers following an uptick, still with 14.39 to beat.


Indeed, Jim, Global SIA went up by 5K, increasing the difference with the 2006 record to 180K.

And Arctic SIA just went up another 32K, which probably won't be compensated by Antarctic SIA tomorrow.


Well, well, a somewhat larger drop of 61K was reported for Antarctic SIA. This puts Global SIA at 14.541 million km2, which is exactly 150K from the 2006 record minimum (130K from runner-up 2011).

But another uptick of 34K was reported for Arctic SIA, so that will have to be compensated again by Antarctic SIA tomorrow for Global SIA to go lower still.


Hi all,
I have been lurking on this blog for years but have never posted a comment. Neven I really appreciate the Arctic Ice Sea Graphs site, I visit it almost every day. Apologies for the off-topic post but I didn’t see an open thread. Several week ago there was someone that asked for opinions on a blog post that he had about climate change. Several of you were gracious enough to respond with some very helpful insight. This really caught my eye because I too had started a similar outline just about a week before his post. I am concerned that the compelling evidence on climate change is not being communicated well to the general public. I do not feel that I am a good writer or communicator however if I can put this thing together, I would like to submit it to an NPR show called RadioLab. These guys know how to tell an interesting and compelling story.
This is a very rough draft. I just wanted to put some thoughts down and try to get from beginning to end to see what I have. I would appreciate any comments that you have as continue to work on this.


P.S. If you have never listened to a RadioLab podcast, I would suggest the episode “Desperately Seeking Symmetry” or the one on CRISPR genome editing.

Rob Dekker

D-Luke thank you for that entry.
I love RadioLab, and it would be great if they would do a piece on climate change or the great Arctic meltdown that we are witnessing.

Maybe apart from the theoretical arguments, it would be good to include a concrete example of what is really happening. Today.

Such as this :
which shows that there is a place north of Svalbard, where we can sail to 83 deg North, without encountering ice.

In the dead of winter.

Did that ever happen before ?


Rob Dekker asked:

Did that ever happen before ?

Yes, it did.

Do compare:

1st of January parade


1st of February parade

And do keep in mind the UNI-Bremen charts are reducing any concentration below 15 % to 0 %.
Meaning to sail or to kayak in such a -15 % environment could be a very tricky business. :-)


Thanks, D-Luke.

Did that ever happen before ?

Yes, it did.

I was about to say 2006, Rob, because someone asked me the very same question a couple of days ago. 2006 was quite extreme too.

Rob Dekker

Thanks guys.
Yeah. 2006 seems to have been pretty bad too.
Yet that "double pincher" move around Franz Josef Land appear unprecedented.
Either way, are there higher resolution images of Bremen's AMSR recordings ?


Rob, here you'll find links to all archives. Here's Feb 1st 2006. I've just compared it to the latest UB SIC map, and you're right, the ice edge is even further North than in 2006. I'll post an animation later on.


Here's the animation:

- 2016 ice edge slightly closer to the Pole, maybe half a degree
- 2006 large polynya east of Franz Josef Land and smaller ones east of Severnaya Zemlya
- 2016 small polynyas south of Novaya Zemlya
- 2016 double pincher, as Rob says, a two-pronged approach ;-)
- Both 2006 and 2016 maps show orange/yellow smudges (we're discussing the current one over the ASIF)
- Both 2006 and 2016 very extreme


WRT close to the Pole, 2014 also had a big Atlantic bite (based on Kris' 1 February parade). Here's a 2014-2016 comparison:


Again, Antarctic SIA manages to compensate the Arctic SIA increase and then some. A -69K contribution (remember, Arctic SIA was +34K for the 29th) means Global SIA is now at 14.506 million km2. That's 115K shy of the 2006 record, and within 100K of second-placed 2011 (95K to be precise).

We're slowly approaching the moment when an unexpected decrease in Arctic SIA combined with a large one in the Antarctic could make for a new record.

But as for now, another 24K uptick is reported for Arctic SIA. We'll see whether Antarctic SIA can compensate for that again tomorrow. Average daily decrease for the past 7 days is 43K, so it should be possible.


Here's another Antarctic SIA animation:

Changes are more visible now, with the ice edge retreating practically everywhere. A part of the sea ice in the Ross Sea has detached itself, and there's still plenty of ice in the Weddell Sea that can melt out.

Still, I had a quick look at the stats. If we assume that Antarctic SIA hits the minimum three weeks from now, it will probably lose 600K at the most (if it keeps close to the 2011 trend line as it has done for the past few weeks).

During those three weeks Arctic SIA increased by 542K on average in the 2006 period. The 58K difference won't be enough to break the record, unless a freak day occurs, which in my previous comment I described as "the moment when an unexpected decrease in Arctic SIA combined with a large one in the Antarctic could make for a new record."

On the other hand, last year Arctic SIA only went up by 306K in those three February weeks, where 2011 went up by 614K. So, no way to tell, really.

All I can say that increasing Arctic SIA seems likely in the coming week because of winds pushing the ice edge towards the Atlantic, and a cold anomaly (finally!) in the Sea of Okhotsk. So perhaps a new Global SIA record minimum is more likely to happen near February's midpoint. If it does at all.


Thanks for the feedback Rob,

I would like to stay away from anything that could be construed as cherry-picking data. I could include long running phenomena like the Peterson Glacier or the Larson Ice-shelves collapsing. Picking out one instance from this year might send eyes rolling (for fence sitters anyway).


Something a little more on-topic. Does anyone here keep a regular watch on the ENSO? This must contributes to the global sea-ice minimum as stored energy in the ocean is released into the atmosphere. CPD just updated the Temperature Depth Anomaly animation. ENSO is supposed to be dissipating by now but this beast is coming back to life. If you look at the 850hPa wind anomaly, this thing is set to keep rolling.

Now has THIS ever happened before?



There's a very good ENSO thread over on the Arctic Sea Ice Forum, D-Luke.


Well, so much for being on-topic.

Thanks Neven.


It is a very hot year isn't it?
There should be a direct effect on the latitudes the ice is capable to reach. I would be surprised the recod is not broken. The Winter global extent is máinly affected by direct warming of the Earth and seems less variable and "easier" to predict, while the Arctic summer albedo feedback plays an amplification role more difficult to predict and more affected by weather.
Disclaimer: these are all my own speculations based on what dictates intuition more than anythin else. :-)

Rob Dekker

Neven said :

All I can say that increasing Arctic SIA seems likely in the coming week because of winds pushing the ice edge towards the Atlantic, and a cold anomaly (finally!) in the Sea of Okhotsk.

Agreed. Seems like things are getting back to normal in the Arctic after a number of freek storms.
Even DMI north-of-80 is returning to more 'average' temperatures :


Rob Dekker wrote:

Seems like things are getting back to normal in the Arctic ...

Nevertheless, a tiny downtick (minus 10.000 square km2) yesterday at ADS Japan. And according to Reanalyzer.org indeed there could be some cooling down in the Bering Sea and Chucksi Sea zones, but from the 8th of februari the 'heating up' would restart again.

Thus, as 2006 in this period began a steep climb up, it looks very much 2016 will keep firmly it's bottom position till the point of return ...

Arctic Nev

But as for now, another 24K uptick is reported for Arctic SIA. We'll see whether Antarctic SIA can compensate for that again tomorrow. Average daily decrease for the past 7 days is 43K, so it should be possible.

But it's not. A small uptick of 9K is reported for Antarctic SIA, and so Global SIA went up by 33K and the difference with 2006 is now 148K again.

In the meantime an uptick of 38K is reported for Arctic SIA.

L. Hamilton

Following almost-stable N and 96k drop in S, global SIA on 1/31 is down to 14.48, now just 90k short of a record.

Jim Hunt

Assorted NH metrics are currently decreasing (slightly), and hence:

"Arctic Sea Ice Area and Extent Lowest Ever for the Date"

Following almost-stable N and 96k drop in S, global SIA on 1/31 is down to 14.48, now just 90k short of a record.

Indeed, the 96K drop for Antarctic SIA compensates yesterday's Arctic SIA uptick of 38K, which means Global SIA drops 58K to 14.48 million km2 which is, like you say, just 90k short of a record (and 70K short of the 2011 Global SIA minimum).

But you know what? That almost-stable N you mention is because of a -1K reported today, but Antarctic SIA for this date will be reported tomorrow, and so a drop of 89K or more will be enough to match/exceed the 2006 record minimum.

This one of those moments when - to quote myself from two days ago - "an unexpected decrease in Arctic SIA combined with a large one in the Antarctic could make for a new record".

Pretty exciting.


Here's an animation of Jan 31 - Feb 02:

It seems most of the action is now going on in the Bellingshausen and Amundsen Seas. That's the ice just above that big blob of sea ice in the Weddell Sea (here's a map). Not just on the outside, but I think I'm also seeing polynyas along the coast getting bigger, and a change in SIC colour. Could be more decrease coming from there.


2016.0876 -1.5149544 14.4531231

is now lowest ever for time of year
(being below
2006.0876 -1.4466151 14.5214624
2011.0876 -1.2477340 14.7203436 )

less than 62k more than lowest ever
2006.0850 -1.5731411 14.3918705


That's right, crandles.

Remember, a drop of at least 89K needed to be reported for Antarctic SIA to match the 2006 record minimum. A drop of 27K was reported, however, and so the difference with the 2006 record minimum is now 62K (42K needed to overtake 2011). First chance missed.

In the meantime an increase of 51K was reported for Arctic SIA, so Antarctic SIA needs to drop 113K (there's a 1 day difference between numbers reported for Arctic and Antarctic SIA) to break the Global SIA record. I'd say that's rather unlikely, but maybe it can get closer still, and position itself ideally for the kill. ;-)

John Christensen

A great entry by Jeff Masters (Wunderground) on the Arctic January ice extent and weather analysis:



Antarctic SIA didn't drop, but increased by 14K, so Global SIA now stands at 14.517 million km2, which is 126K above the 2006 record minimum, a bit too much for one leap.

But maybe it can creep closer again tomorrow, as a very small uptick of 5K was reported for Arctic SIA.

John Christensen

Finally, weather changes to a pattern, which is more conducive to ice formation on the Atlantic side:


The high in the central Arctic combined with the low in southern Barents pull cold air masses from northern Siberia across Kara, Atlantic parts of the Arctic Ocean and Barents.

DMI SIE as of 06.02.2016 has gone up significantly in the past two days (I believe there is one day delay so those two last days would be 04.02 and 05.02), most likely as a consequence of the change in weather on this side of the Arctic:


Jim Hunt

Wipneus' high resolution AMSR2 regional breakdowns show no sudden increase on the Atlantic side of the Arctic as yet:


They do reveal a recent jump in the Sea of Okhotsk however.


2016.0931 -1.5001982 14.4575024

66k above record and 4k higher than 2 days previously. But this time we have an arctic drop of 22k so antarctic drop of just 44k would be enough.

(Last day antarctic fall was 68k and typical fall for time of year is 42k. Looks possible bordering on probable.)


Yes, Global SIA gets its second chance at breaking the record, and like you say, because of a 22K drop in Arctic SIA (last time there was an increase of 51K), there's a reasonable chance of it happening this time. 44K to break the record, and just 24K to overtake 2011.

Here are the changes from Feb 2nd to 5th:

Ice getting smaller almost everywhere, with a piece detaching itself in the eastern Weddell Sea.

We'll see what happens tomorrow.

In the meantime, a nice Arctic Journal article some of you might appreciate on some Antarctic research done by scientists from the Alfred Wegener Institute:

Several metre thick ice cocktail beneath coastal Antarctic sea ice

Every winter in the Southern Hemisphere, the ocean around the Antarctic continent freezes. The “normal” sea ice formed on the surface of the Southern Ocean, however, is not the only ice that forms in the sea. During the same period, a remarkable habitat develops hidden beneath the solid sea ice cover: a several metre thick layer of loose ice crystals. Some areas underneath sea ice in coastal Antarctica then resemble a cocktail glass filled with crushed ice – the difference being that the crystals in this layer grow to disc-shaped, millimetre-thin platelets.


The researchers are convinced that platelet ice plays an important role in the ice regime of the Antarctic. After all, the seasonal sea ice in Atka Bay freezes to an average thickness of two metres in the winter. The platelet layer underneath, however, reaches an average thickness of five metres over the course of a year. In some places it was up to ten metres thick. This means that a significant amount of the ice exists in the form of platelets. "To understand the situation of the Antarctic sea ice and to assess a possible influence of climate change, it is likely that more account must be taken of platelet ice," says Mario Hoppmann.

It is not currently possible to properly assess the significance of the platelet ice across the Antarctic. The new findings give cause for hope that its distribution and therefore also its role will soon be understood to the same extent as its formation.

Platelets, which later accumulate in the platelet layer, form beneath the ice shelves of the Antarctic, those parts of the mighty ice sheet that float on the sea. The platelet ice cycle begins as salt-rich water in the coastal ocean sinks and slides underneath the ice shelves, which it then slowly melts. The result: The melted fresh water mixes with the salty ocean water underneath the ice shelves. On the surface of the sea, this water mix would freeze immediately, because its temperature is well below the surface freezing point. Because of the high water pressure in the depth of the sea, the mix initially stays liquid – physicists call this a "potentially supercooled" state.

Because this water mass has a lower density than the surrounding seawater, it slowly rises at the base of the ice shelves. The water pressure decreases and as soon as a critical shallower water depth is reached, tiny little ice crystals start to form. These then grow to form those delicate ice platelets that later accumulate as platelet ice underneath the sea ice at the surface.

Photos and video in the AWI press release.

Ac A

Hi Neven,

record of GSIA or not,

if we burn everything, we will melt everything:




John Christensen

NSIDC SIE and Daily Roos area and extent are all showing increases in the last two days, so Cryosphere seem to need an adjustment..

John Christensen

Hi Ac A,

Who made that documentary, it does not seem very accurate in a number of places.
About 7.30 into the movie, they state that Antarctica holds 70% of all fresh water on the planet.
Interesting, since about 70% of all fresh water is found in ice and snow in total.. ;-)
Next they show the 18-20 feet sea level rise as a consequence of melting the western Antarctic Peninsula, where I watched the entire peninsula of Jutland disappear, where hills reach about 500 feet.. ;-)
But yes, we would get the point even if they had made it more factual.


NSIDC SIE and Daily Roos area and extent are all showing increases in the last two days, so Cryosphere seem to need an adjustment..

First of all, Cryosphere Today doesn't need any adjustment if it does things consistently every year. Each data set is different because of differences in satellite sensor, resolution, algorithm, land mask, area vs extent etc, etc. There is no need for perfect synchronicity as long as the same thing is done consistently for each data set. Second, Cryosphere Today data is usually reported 1-2 days later than other data sets.

Either way, I've indicated several times that Arctic SIA is bound to go up a bit faster because of changing winds and temperatures in key areas like Bering/Okhotsk and Barentsz/Greenland Sea, so if a sufficient drop in Antarctic SIA to break the Global SIA record isn't reported today, there might not be a third chance.

On the other hand, it looks like there is quite a bit of melt potential in Antarctica, so who knows.

Not that this is important. Global SIA isn't a very useful measure. But records are always fun, and Global SIA is used by climate risk deniers as proof that AGW is a hoax. They'll probably be quiet until Antarctic SIA shoots up again, which it probably will after the El Niño is gone, because there seems to be something wrong with the southern system as well (and AGW may very well be the cause; think of changes in wind and ocean patterns, run-off from the continent, etc).

John Christensen

Hi Neven,

Agreed, but one index cannot go down for long, when all other main indices are going up, I am not suggesting CT should change their numbers.

Then you said:

They'll probably be quiet until Antarctic SIA shoots up again, which it probably will after the El Niño is gone, because there seems to be something wrong with the southern system as well (and AGW may very well be the cause; think of changes in wind and ocean patterns, run-off from the continent, etc).

The Antarctic is such a challenging place, I agree, mostly because it seems we don't know too much about what is going on down there.

For the past few years the increase in Antarctic sea ice has been attributed to changes in wind and ocean patterns, and especially to an estimated increase in run-off from the continent. And these changes are then attributed to AGW.

I would therefore be cautious to speculate that AGW for this particular year still is the cause of the change, but that the change is reversed compared to prior years.
AGW is impacting the climate system for sure, but cannot be the mother of all change..


Very close:
2016.0959 -1.5473126 14.3929777
second lowest day ever after
2006.0850 -1.5731411 14.3918705

Just over 1k above, obviously not statistically significant difference.

Arctic rose just over 33k so need an Antarctic fall of 35K with the next datum.

Yesterdays Antarctic fall was 42k and typical for this day is 35k. So looks like an even better chance than today is coming tomorrow.

Ac A

hi John,

not sure which YT video you watched, but the link I indicated should lead you to a sequence of graphics showing disappearance of the Antarctica based on a paper by Winkelmann et al. 2015. For a popular summary see e.g. here:


Thats just tu put GSIA potential record into long term context :-)




Thanks, crandles. Just a 1K difference in 2006's favour. So, 2015 has now overtaken 2011, and there's a third chance of breaking the record tomorrow, the best so far.


It is very hard to visualize why PIOMAS makes the ice so much thicker than it should be. I have also confirmed US NAVY Ice thickness chart
depiction of our small part of the Arctic world with the horizon refraction method.


Al Rodger

With 2016 a pip away from the 2006 global SIA record, we are later in the year than the minimums of 2006 & 2011. Perhaps more telling, the Arctic SIA sits at the lowest level for time of year and there will need to be +800,000sq km added to SIA to prevent 2016 snatching 2011's lowest Arctic winter SIA record.


And there we have it, ladies and gentlemen, a new Global SIA minimum record at 14.365 million km2. :-)

John Christensen

Yes, the uptick on Arctic SIA came a day late, with 106K.

This is a significant milestone; a warming world means less sea ice.

John Christensen

Given the outlook, there seems to be a chance the record could be broken again 3-4 days from now..

Bill Fothergill

@ Jim H

Hi Jim, I've been away on a computer-free holiday for a few weeks and am trying to catch up, but here's another for your "lowest on this date" collection...

Using the CT Arctic SIA numbers, on Day 36, the y-t-d dipped below the previous record. This had been 11.905 million sq kms set in 2011, but a new figure of 11.896 was set this year. As of today (Day 37) the gap is 17k sq kms, and growing.

As you well know, y-t-d numbers do not bounce around as much as the daily figures, and as the daily value for this year is currently almost 300k below the 2011 equivalent, the 2016 y-t-d is going to be in lowest place for quite some time to come - irrespective of daily fluctuations over the next week or so.

@ John C "there seems to be a chance the record could be broken again 3-4 days from now"

Yep, when the Global SIA got to 1K above the 2006 record, I wrongly thought that was as close as it was going to get for this year. I don't even want to guess how it's going to pan out.

However, only 2006, 2011 and now 2016 have recorded global SIAs below 14.6 million sq kms. There have been, thus far, 46 instances of this threshold being beaten, with 24 happening in 2006.

I do suspect that there will be a few more clocked up this year.

Jim Hunt

Welcome back Bill! Seems like you have returned just in time to be battered by Storm Imogen?


"Down here on Planet Earth the count of WPD customers without electricity is rapidly approaching 20,000"

My good friend "Snow White" would have already reported on the (daily) news you impart, but BT have bolloxed up our broadband yet again:


She'll now add your new numbers to her to do list. Thanks!


New post is up to announce the record was broken. I trust Snow White will keep us informed if the GWPF/David Rose say anything about this?

Jim Hunt

"She" has asked the obvious question Neven, but thus far "no answer" has been the stern reply! See e.g.


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