« 3rd CliSAP Workshop Arctic and Permafrost | Main | PIOMAS February 2016 »


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Jim Hunt

Actually "Snow White" has now received an response of sorts to her "Shock News!!!" from the "lukeskeptic" camp, but it's not a terribly convincing one:

This is what the official 'anomaly' graph looks like. Note 2013-2015 same as 1980

Ms. White's riposte?



Thanks, Jim, I've added your long-term graph to the blog post.

Ac A

For those interested in own interpretation/graphs, GSIA data can be downloaded here:


I have also put a graph on my blog in Slovak (showing the fraud of fake Steven Goddard):




Ac A

Just an easy number to remember:

World lost 80 km2 of sea ice/day since 1979.



David Appell

This isn't true with NSIDC data, though -- there the annual global SIE is, so far, only 3rd-lowest. And it doesn't look to be going much lower....

Ac A


but extent is different (definition) from area. Neven is not claiming, we have hit lowest extent. So the claim is OK I think...


This isn't true with NSIDC data, though -- there the annual global SIE is, so far, only 3rd-lowest. And it doesn't look to be going much lower....

CT SIA is better-known for its Global sea ice measure because the graph is readily available (as well as a Global SIA data file), but it's interesting to keep an eye on NSIDC Global SIE as well. I assume you base it on the addition of Arctic and Antarctic SIE data found here?

What makes you think it doesn't look to be going much lower? There's plenty of melting potential in the Antarctic, I believe (I don't know all that much about Antarctic sea ice), and the Arctic could stall again next week. Given the fact that 2006 almost went below the minimum set at the end of January 12 days from now, I wouldn't yet call it for NSIDC Global SIE.


Ac A...

Where is the readme file for the data you linked? I cannot locate it.

Jim Hunt

Thanks very much Neven.

Clive has finally laid his hands on all the CT data and will apparently complete his due diligence tomorrow. I'll let you know what conclusions he reaches!

David Appell

Alex: I'm referring to NSIDC data on extent, not area.

David Appell

Ok, I see, Neven is referring to area..... My understanding is that sea ice researchers consider extent to be more fundamental than area, due to melt ponds.



1) The Arctic is contributing more than 12 million km2 to the 14.365 million km2 Global SIA record minimum. I can assure you there aren't many melt ponds in the Arctic right now.
2) Area data sets are as useful as extent data sets when comparing years, as long as everything is done consistently. Extent is better for short-term accuracy. In fact, operational analysis is even better than satellite measurements (see this blog post).
3) Again, Cryosphere Today Global SIA is used most widely, because it has been around for ages, has a Global SIA map on its homepage, and a data file with Arctic and Antarctic SIA already added up. That's why climate risk deniers use it, because it's easy.

I'm not saying one is better than the other. I'm just as interested in NSIDC Global SIE. But it's CT Global SIA that broke the record.

Jim Hunt


One might well consider sea ice volume to be more fundamental than either area or extent when attempting to determine the "amount" of sea ice left. It's harder to measure than either area or extent though!

The NSIDC do say they have reservations about area in summer:


However in summer area gives a better feel for overall Arctic albedo than extent, whilst in winter it gives you a feel for how big the holes in the ice are!

As Neven repeatedly explains, the point at this juncture is that "climate risk deniers" are currently strangely silent concerning the "last refuge of the scoundrels".

Jim Hunt

Clive has spent most of today claiming to be "correct" whilst graphically demonstrating that he was unaware of the difference between sea ice area and extent.

At last he has seen the light, and admits:

Yes I confirm your data is correct using Cryosphere Today.


Peer review's finest hour?

Meanwhile global area has been creeping upwards again.


I would like to add that I find this statistic MORE than an interesting factoid:

The IPCC reports are conservative due to the fact all participating governments have to agree what goes into it. Now looking at this statistic--> this statistic is itself conservative,... but in some ways more robust. Sure, as for deniers being able to use it for their purposes neven has had this conversation with me but as for irrefutable proof when the statistic in question goes bad for the planet it speaks volumes. Just watch the deniers turn on a dime and ask why why why??

Rationale and the careful interpretation of statistics is always important, but sometimes patterns are seen graphically. What is this curve going to do next? I'm not sure I have the stomach for popcorn but I can only try....


@ Jim, when you refer to 'the last refuge of the scoundrels' do you mean this specific statistic of global sea ice?

If so, i agree: the denialist story has to do some type of funky aikido to encompass these numbers,... let us hope the trend doesn't continue or we will have resource bottlenecks and 7 billion people panicking!!


Just an easy number to remember:

World lost 80 km2 of sea ice/day since 1979.



@ Alex: how can we say the above?


..finally, well done Jim!

Jim Hunt

Thanks very much for your kind word AiG, but it is of course the feisty little Ms. White who deserves all the accolades!

You (and Clive, and even Neven) will no doubt be overjoyed to learn that you have all just been Storified:


Jim Hunt

I just had a nice chat with Benny Peiser of the GWPFs.

He assures me that he will personally investigate my reservations concerning his organisation's recent Arctic sea ice reporting.


Ok, well accolades must go to your wife then: but you made me feel like Jimi Hendrix!

Yeh, it's pretty cool- cheers!

http://tidido.com/a35184372148411/al5601adefe7c622686ad58529/t5601adf0e7c622686ad58602 (my favourite!!)

Jim Hunt

Snow is not my wife AiG. The shock news is that "she" is actually yours truly all dolled up in a pretty white frock!


If you're into guitar heroes perhaps you could give us your opinion on this compilation album:


Turn your volume up to 11 before clicking the link!


Alright,... um,... oops!

Back to the real stuff of guitars!! Cool!!!

Bill Fothergill

@ AiG & Snow White

However, Jim does look rather fetching in that outfit.

Sorry, that should have read "retching" rather than "fetching".

@ AiG and the 80 sq kms per day drop.

OK, it's time for Excel 101...

Copy the CT SIA daily values from 1st Jan 1979 up until the latest available date into, say, Column B.

In Column A, put the number 1 on the same Row as the actual daily value for 1st Jan 1979. Put a number 2 (no smirking please) below the number 1, and then use Autofill all the way down to the latest available date.

In, for example, Cell D1, insert the SLOPE function.

In the Arguments box marked "Known Y's", select the entire range of daily SIA values.

In the Arguments box marked "Known X's", select the entire set of incrementing numbers ranging from 1 to, currently, somewhere around 13,552 and then click "OK".

As the Y axis values are in millions of sq kms, and the X values are incrementing on a daily basis, the value for SLOPE will be in millions of sq kms per day.

At present, the result of the SLOPE function comes out at about 0.0000805, and that equates to approximately minus 80.5 sq kms per day.

I hope that explains where the number came from.

Bill Fothergill

Typo alert!

The value returned for the SLOPE function is, of course, minus 0.0000805

Colorado Bob

I am not going to lose the Earth to greed, low information voters, human folly, or my own failings. I’m going to carry on. I owe it to the cave painters.


Hear Hear !

Now we move our eyes to the Arctic and keep an eye out for the upcoming maximum.

Well, IJIS SIE has just dropped 141K in two days. When last year a drop of 161K occurred (around Feb 14th) it was the earliest and lowest max on record. The same thing happening again this year, would be crazy.

John Christensen

The same thing happening again this year, would be crazy.

Yes, the extent drop has been very sharp indeed.
For now, I stay optimistic that king Winter still has strength for another comeback in the next few weeks..


Yes, perhaps, but to be honest, I had expected more of that negative AO.

John Christensen

IMO the negative AO in January (and the current one) have been too short and much too late to have much impact for this winter season, especially for the max area and extent numbers, which depend on the weather in peripheral seas.

The overwhelmingly positive AO from late October to early January caused the jet stream to traverse the seas of Okhotsk, Bering, Gulf of St. Lawrence - Nitpicking here, evidently.. ;-) - and much of the Barents Sea.
The storms in these seas in lieu of more quiet weather under a negative AO regime in the first months of winter, caused heat loss to be very limited, and the peripheral seas will have very low ice cover as a result.

Jim Hunt

I've made a modicum of progress in my attempts to bring the "Shock News!" about global sea ice area to the attentions of Messrs Monckton & Watts:


Benny Peiser still hasn't got back to me however.

This isn't true with NSIDC data, though -- there the annual global SIE is, so far, only 3rd-lowest. And it doesn't look to be going much lower....

David, are you still watching?

As expected Arctic SIE isn't increasing very fast right now. In fact, it went down 186K in the past two days. The Antarctic added another 27K, and so Global SIE currently stands at 16.827 million km2, which is just 61K above the 2006 record minimum (and 38K above runner-up 2011):

This means that it will have its first shot at breaking the record tomorrow. Somehow I don't think it will, but it very well might in the next couple of days.

Jim Hunt

Intriguingly, particularly to Snow White, Clive has now reproduced their Twittering conversation using his own humble organ:


You will note from that archive that my recent helpful comment is currently still invisible. As Clive himself puts it:

The temptation of those who want Arctic warming to appear dramatic will tend to use area. This realisation of this tendency only resulted after a twitter exchange with @GreatWhiteCon and his supporters. As a result I will use extent data from NSIDC for the rest of this post.

Rob Dekker

Is it just me, or is sea ice extent going crazy ?
I mean, 13.46 M km^2 on Feb 12 and still going down..
That's insane.

Jim Hunt

It's the "weather" that's insane Rob, not you.

For further details see the "freezing season" thread on the ASIF:


Therefore the temptation of those who want Arctic warming to appear dramatic will tend to use area.

Wow, this is such utter nonsense. If there is a long-term difference between satellite area and extent data, it's very small, because they're both produced consistently.

This guy obviously started thinking about sea ice yesterday, and now thinks he knows it all. It seems he read David Appell's comment here as well.

On-topic: JAXA reports another drop in SIE (the Arctic max is getting very, very interesting now), so let's see if the NSIDC reports a drop as well and what that means for Global SIE.


We're also discussing it in the comment section of the second Global SIA record minimum blog post, Rob. Someone brought up the fact that the NSIDC Global sea ice extent record minimum wasn't likely to be broken and that this somehow meant that a Cryosphere Today Global sea ice area record minimum didn't have any significance. But the NSIDC Global sea ice extent record minimum might well get broken too in the coming week, or perhaps even today.


Oh right, we're there already. Never mind! :-)

Rob Dekker


This guy "Clive" states on the twitter thread

This is what the official 'anomaly' graph looks like. Note 2013-2015 same as 1980

You have got to ask yourself the question :
Is this guy a "professional denier" ?
You know, somebody who gets paid to cherry-pick data just to deny that climate change is happening ?
Or is he just some guy who is ignorant of how our planet is changing due our own emissions ?


As you can see in the animation below not that many changes in the Antarctic (considering the images are 6 days apart):

But still plenty of melting potential with all that loose ice. Right now the Arctic is causing the drops in the Global SIE data, but if the Antarctic joins in with a couple of big drops...

Jim Hunt

WUWT in their infinite wisdom have still failed to publish a previous comment of mine about global sea ice area. They have nonetheless now published a riposte from a certain "Monckton of Brenchley" to my previous gentle probing! Read all about it at:

For Life on Earth, Ice is not Generally a Good Thing!?


That viscount is right on not putting much weight on a single record of an statistics that, he is right, doesn't show a clear negative trend (though he admits the last three records happen on 2006, 2011 and 2016, which is revealing).
He is also ignorant and unempathetic, by saying that a little of ice lost is good for living beings, and by arguing that this happens for a few months a year, without any consideration to why that happens and to the ecosystem disaster it brings about. Which to me it says: is it good to stress facts such as this record to this kind of people that fool many with seemingly reasonable lies?

Jim Hunt

Perhaps you'd like to read last night's addendum to my article Navegante?


On January 19th 2016 the Watts Up With That blog published an article by one “Christopher Monckton of Brenchley” entitled “20 false representations in one 10-minute video“.


Well, it seems CT Global SIA is going for the double dip. It dropped 134K yesterday, but is still 104K above the previous dip of 14.365 million km2. However, yet another drop of 73K in Arctic SIA was reported. So, if a drop of more than 31K is reported for Antarctic SIA tomorrow, the record will go a bit lower.




"Grown-ups determine trends on multiple data points."

Did you just make the poor bloke attempt a dive into a tailspin with this comment? "Grown-ups determine trends on multiple data points."


If i may,

"A century or so from now, based on current trends, today’s concentration of carbon dioxide in the air will have doubled. How much warming will that cause? The official prediction, 1.5-4.5 degrees Celsius (2.7-8.1 degrees Fahrenheit) per doubling of CO2, is proving a substantial exaggeration."

This is the opening stanza of a Watts article: "The Profiteers of climate doom" (http://archive.is/SLzIB#selection-595.0-595.292)

It's insane from the opening statement.

Rob Dekker

Even in the face of extensive warmth in the Arctic
it is important to note that winter temperatures relate to ice thickness in a Square Root function. That means that even if the temperature would be cut in half, ice thickness reduces only by 30%.

This is a negative feedback that should make us think conservatively about what is happening in the Arctic right now.


Where do we find such a fact from?

Jim Hunt

AiG - http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,933.msg32305.html#msg32305


2016.0986 -1.5609524 14.3651371 15.9260893
2016.1013 -1.4567810 14.4637003 15.9204817
2016.1041 -1.3401810 14.5634079 15.9035893
2016.1068 -1.2670890 14.6249723 15.8920612
2016.1096 -1.2674983 14.6272812 15.8947792
2016.1123 -1.2934796 14.6033812 15.8968611
2016.1151 -1.4321671 14.4693680 15.9015350
2016.1178 -1.5083036 14.3738375 15.8821411

Less than 9k higher than record of one week ago. With Arctic gaining just 14k a new record is within reach again.

Less than 9k higher than record of one week ago. With Arctic gaining just 14k a new record is within reach again.

Yup, just a drop of 23K for Antarctic SIA tomorrow.

Rob Dekker

Regarding the square root dependency between temperature and ice thickness, AbbottisGone said :

Where do we find such a fact from?

There is this presentation by Eicken from the University of Alaska which presents a simple ice growth model :
which is a GREAT read for anyone interested in the physics of ice growth.

On page 16 you will find the result of the model, which is something like this :

H = SQRT( 2 * C * T * t )

This formula is using the following parameters to determine H (ice thickness in meters) :
t is time (in sec) since ice formed
T is the temperature difference (Twater - Tair).
C is a constant : lamba/(D*L) with D density of ice [kg/m^3]. L the heat of fusion of ice [J/kg] and lambda the conductivity of the ice/snow pack.
Lambda is 2.0 for clear ice, but with snow on top, a more reasonable value is around 0.8 [W/m^2/K], which matches well with ice growth measurements. This leads to a value of C=2.7*10^-9.

With this formula, it is easy to calculate the effect of ice thickness for a range of scenarios.

For example, DMI temperature above 80 deg :
shows that since Jan 1, temps have been about 7 K higher than normal.

7 K over (273 - 243 = 30) is about 23 % higher temp than normal.
If we plug that into the formula above, and we assume that the temperature stays 23 % higher than normal for the remainder of the freezing season, then we will get SQRT(1-0.23)=0.87 ice thickness, or about 13 % less ice volume at the end of the freezing season.

13 % less volume is not insignificant, but it may very well disappear in the wild variability of the melting season.

That (SQRT) function is why the minimum in September is not to sensitive to the winter temperatures.

Rob Dekker

And note that that 13% reduction in ice volume is only for FYI.
For MYI, the influence of winter temperatures is even less.

Bill Fothergill

Without having used the same terminology, the concept which Rob has introduced can also be thought of in terms of "Freezing Degree Days". The NSIDC has a simple description of this in their "All About Sea Ice" section. See here ... https://nsidc.org/cryosphere/seaice/processes/thermodynamic_growth.html

The formula contained therein differs slightly from that given by Rob, in that one has an exponent of 0.5, whilst the other has 0.58

As the ice thickens, its thermal resistance also increases, so it should be intuitively obvious that the value of the exponent is certainly going to be less than unity; however, it is far from obvious by how much.

As explained in the NSIDC text, these are examples of what are known as "empirical formulae". An empirical formula is characterised by the fact that it is arrived at numerically from direct observation, rather than being derived mathematically from first principles.

For example, if one wishes to calculate the distance (s) travelled in time (t) by a body possessed of initial velocity (u) when subjected to a constant acceleration (a), then, as everyone who has done some physics can state in their sleep...

s = ut + 1/2 a(t squared)

If any text book produces a different formula, then it is wrong, plain and simple. (Any student being asked to prove this formula in an examination should offer up a silent payer of thanks for the gift of some easy marks.) However, that is not the case with empirical formula. One might be more skilful than another during early stages of ice formation, whilst the situation is reversed for older ice. Likewise, one could be better than the other in an area of rough seas, but not in areas where the waters are calmer.

Jim Hunt

The Great White Con ice mass balance buoy maps now include freezing degree days, based on -1.8 Celsius. There aren't many reporting reliably this winter, but here's 2015F:


which currently reports:

Pos: 82.05 N, 159.64 W

Air Temp: -30.98 C
Air Pres: 1040.63 mb

Snow depth : 17 cm
Ice thickness : 163 cm
FDD: 2908

Bill Fothergill


A quick question regarding the above info from the COREL IMB for you. At that latitude, what would one typically expect the pressure range to be?

If memory serves (although that's increasingly unlikely these days) 1040.63 hPa is about 27.38 hPa above the Standard Atmosphere. However, I've no feel for the size of swing one might get between a typical High and a typical Low way up there.

Bill Fothergill

The much-anticipated "double dip" has happened, with today's CT global SIA figure of 14.359 (rounded) million sq kms just squeeking below last week's short-lived record of 14.365 million sq kms.

Counting upwards, that's positions 1,2,3,5 & 6 all happening this year. (Are you watching, Mr Monkton?)

Possibly more akin to a "dead cat bounce" perhaps?

Bill Fothergill

The previous post has just demonstrated why I'm going into hospital in about 6 weeks. Hopefully, the operation to remove a pterygium that has been growing across my right eye for some years will prevent such cock-ups in the future.

Reading data from Excel is proving increasingly difficult, and the 6th lowest value on the CT global SIA dataset was from 2011, not 2016, as I wrongly stated.

mea maxima culpa

However, as the Arctic SIA has just dropped another 14k, then who knows...


And the record could go even lower, Bill, as a downtick for 14k was reported for Arctic SIA today (which will be added to the Antarctic SIA number tomorrow).

Bill Fothergill


you should reread my last paragraph. Perhaps eye problems are capable of being transmitted via the internet.


BTW, the RSS, UAH and Gistemp numbers for January are just as depressing as the equivalents for October, November and December.

NCDC numbers are due tomorrow, and then the BEST and HadCRUT January figures will appear whenever they appear. Apart from the obvious differences owing to differing baselines, I don't think anyone is expecting surprises from these three.

you should reread my last paragraph. Perhaps eye problems are capable of being transmitted via the internet.

It was more a case of typing a comment, taking a whiz, and then posting the comment. What a difference 2 minutes make. ;-)


In the meantime NSIDC Global SIE is now at 16.842 million km2, which is just 9K above the preliminary minimum reached 4 days ago, and 76K above the 2006 record minimum. Maybe a fluke could cause a new record, but I think it'll need at least two steps.

Jim Hunt

Bill - I have already attempted to bring the new record to the attention of Messrs Monckton et al. However, perhaps not unexpectedly in all the circumstances, my latest missive is now one of three remaining unopened in Mr. Watts' moderation queue. You can read all about it at:


I'll now go away and fire up my spreadsheet to see if I can answer your buoy question for you.....

Jim Hunt

If this works, here's the 2015F pressure history:

Maximum: 1044.58 on February 12th
Minimum: 973.58 on December 31st

Bill Fothergill

14.324 million sq kms Global SIA on Day 2016.1233

Or, as Freddie Mercury might have put it...

Dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb
Another one bites the dust

(The drum into is dedicated to another Mr M.)

@ Jim - thanks for that additional info.

Jim Hunt

My pleasure Bill. You beat me to it on the CT area:


Where's the NSIDC extent today though?

Mr. M is still strangely silent, and Ms. W's comments are still strangely invisible.

Where's the NSIDC extent today though?

NSIDC Global SIE dropped another 8K (Arctic went down, but Antarctic went up) and is now 68K above the 2006 record minimum, but it has been breaking daily records for a couple of days now.


Yet another downtick at ADS-Japan, and again an important one [-55205 km2]. So it could be the max extent already is in the loop, all the more as according to Reanalyzer Org the Arctic will remain 'overheated' for at least one more week.

It's beginning to look very bad ...

Jim Hunt

Bill - A transcript of my recent conversation about Arctic sea ice with Dr. Benny Peiser, Director of the Global Warming Policy Forum, is now available online at:


Dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb?

For some strange reason Monckton, Soon et al. refuse to publish any further comments from yours truly concerning their most recent prognostications about climate change in general, and sea ice in particular.


And another 3K was shaved off CT Global SIA (now at 13.320 million km2) because an Antarctic loss of 38K compensated yesterday's Arctic increase of 35K. But for the latter yet another increase of 52K was reported today, which will be more difficult to balance for the Antarctic SIA.


Ladies and gentlemen, the NSIDC Global SIE minimum record has been smashed to bits:

The old minimum record was reached in 2006 and stood at 16.766 million km2. As of today NSIDC Global SIE stands at 16.707 million km2.

That's a 59K difference (and counting, given the Arctic forecast?).

Bill Fothergill

Re: GWPF f/b

Jim, when someone is incapable of answering a direct question, preferring instead to change the tack of the dialogue by asking one - or more - of their own, then you can virtually guarantee that they're up to no good. However, you may care to ask someone with a background in social anthropology what they make of the matter.

There is a well-known FLA (four letter abbrv.) that simply states ... RTFM (as in Read The F*&%ing Manual). Imagine if Mr Peiser was, say, planning to ascend in a balloon in the style of Felix Baumgartner, and intended to take some detailed temperature readings on the way up. If the manufacturer of the intended thermometer clearly stated that its use was not recommended at pressures below 800 hPa, but Mr P decided on using it anyway, what value could be ascribed to the results?

Reading the responses from Mr Peiser, I also wonder if the intention is to procrastinate sufficiently for you to lose your cool. He can then turn around and accuse you of resort to ad homs or some other trollish behaviour.

Jim Hunt

Would I lose my cool in such a situation Bill?

And Snow White is so cool it's against the laws of physics that she could ever lose hers!



CT Global SIA has gone up a bit again and now stands at 14.386 million km2, that's 66K more than the record reached a few days ago. This is because of Antarctic SIA, as Arctic SIA has been going down in the past 2 days. A drop of 40K was reported today, so if Antarctic SIA drops more than 26K (which could happen given today's uptick) the record might go a bit lower.

Could be the last opportunity for doing so. If Antarctic SIA goes up again tomorrow, Global SIA may have turned the corner.


CT's calculations can be re-engineered for the Antarctic ocean even better than for the Arctic. Main reasons, no pole hole end no lakes.

Calculating from NSIDC sea ice concentration data released today, I get the following value's for global sea ice area - calculated CT style - to be released the next few day's:

2016.1315 14.386568 (today's estimate)
2016.1342 14.307247
2016.1370 14.345857
2016.1397 14.395425

expected accuracy: a few k.

Jim Hunt

A new record is in the bag then. Wipneus has never been known to be wrong by more than "a few k".

More ammunition for "Snow White" :)


Thanks, Wipneus. A new record it is, and then it's probably over.

Bill Fothergill


As Jim says, the advance numbers from Wipneus are very reliable.

That said, the above figures would mean that, by 2016.1397 (20th Feb), there will have been a grand total of 12 instances in which the CT Global SIA has dropped below 13.4 million sq kms - with all except the one ranked 10th lowest having happened this month.

I wonder what Snow White will make of it all?

Jim Hunt

Shock News Bill! Snow White is psychic!!!


In some related shock news, not a lot of people know that Paul Homewood is suffering from acute snow blindness:


Jim Hunt

"Snow White" has proved to be an expert fortune teller:

The latest CT global number is officially 14.306 million square kilometers:


Should she gloat publicly, or merely maintain her current ice cool demeanour?

Bill Fothergill

@ Wipneus

Your first "prediction" for CT Global SIA ...
"2016.1342 14.307247"

Value as posted on CT today ...

Rubbish, you were miles out, but I guess a certain little lady by the name of Snow White won't complain overly.


Rob Dekker

Wipneus, compliments !
Great work, as always.

Rob Dekker

Neven said

A new record it is, and then it's probably over.

This year's winter is off the chards, so it's not over until it is over.
Seriously, looking at the Bremen ice concentration map,
you can sail to the north coast of Franz Josef Land, and encounter only a small patch of 50% ice.

And this is supposed to be close to the "maximum" ice extent ?


I was referring to CT Global SIA having reached its minimum, Rob. I don't think it will go much lower based on the numbers Wipneus has retrieved from his crystal ball.

Of course, now we start watching the Arctic SIE/SIA maximum, which is highly interesting and far from settled. A new record is definitely in the cards, but has it been reached already? Perhaps. :-)


Hi all,

(long time, no speqk)

The other record going uncommented-upon is that AFAICT, the current Arctic SIA anomaly is the greatest ever, not just for this date, but for any midwinter date.

Jim Hunt

idunno where you've been, but welcome back!

How did you work that out, and in particular how do you define a "midwinter date"?


Hi Jim,

A little loose on the definition - and just by eyeballing this...


...and comparing the likely suspects with the data.

2012 stopped having a bigger anomaly on day 320 (about 15 November), and the earliest I can find an anomaly greater than the present -1.450 is round about day 165 (about 15 May).

not over until it is over

Indeed, if my calculations keep being correct then this will happen:

2016.1370 +38.6 14.345857 (today's estimate)
2016.1397 +50.0 14.395875
2016.1425 -27.6 14.368256
2016.1452 -146.4 14.221825

all calculated from today's NSIDC sea ice concentration data and expected to be accurate within a few k.

Jim Hunt

Thanks very much for the update Wipneus.

Most interesting!


Whoa! No way, Wipneus! Thanks for this. :-)


Some people seem to be want to know, so I add the hemisphere's to my calculation results.

(NH, SH, global)

2016.1397 +65.30 12.603582 -15.3 1.792293 +50.0 14.395875
2016.1425 -42.90 12.560691 +15.3 1.807565 -27.6 14.368256
2016.1452 -113.6 12.447126 -33.0 1.774587 -146.5 14.221713
2016.1479 +33.30 12.480451 -4.7 1.769923 +28.7 14.250374

all calculated from today's NSIDC sea ice concentration data and only occasionally differ more than a few k from the final values.

Rob Dekker

Wipneus, you are amazing.
That 3-day lead time on CT numbers is really helpful.

Meanwhile, that new minimum showed up in Bremen's AMSR imaging :
We can now officially sail to the north coast of Franz Josef Land unimpeded by sea ice, other than a sliver.
I have not seen that in the ice concentration record at any time even remotely close to the sea ice maximum.

Another piece of evidence that this winter is off the chard is that snow cover is in uncharted territory for the time of the year :

Not to mention that since Feb was just about as warm as Jan, and we can thus expect a similar slowdown in sea ice Volume, there is a decent chance that the next PIOMAS update will break the 2011 record low for the daily Sea Ice Volume Anomaly in early March and start the melting season with the lowest sea ice volume to date...

We can now officially sail to the north coast of Franz Josef Land unimpeded by sea ice, other than a sliver. I have not seen that in the ice concentration record at any time even remotely close to the sea ice maximum.

Indeed, Rob. I just posted an animation showing this on the ASIF:

John Christensen

What a nosedive the CT NH area took today, amazing!

John Christensen

And as others have noticed as well, Barents currently has the largest negative anomaly in the CT area data history at -500K km2, roughly 74% below normal ice area cover.

Wayne Kernochan

If I am reading the animation correctly, we now have an area of less than 70% concentration within 3 degrees of the North Pole. Is that correct? - w

p.s. I have been having extreme difficulties with typepad lately.


my CT-like calculation results for today

(NH, SH, global)

2016.1425 -42.9 12.560691 +15.3 1.807565 -27.6 14.368256
2016.1452 -113.6 12.447126 -33.0 1.774587 -146.5 14.221713
2016.1479 +33.3 12.480444 -4.7 1.769923 +28.7 14.250367
2016.1507 +68.6 12.549091 +42.4 1.812297 +111.0 14.361388

All calculated from today's NSIDC sea ice concentration data and only occasionally differ more than a few k from the final values released by Cryosphere Today.

Bill Fothergill


Using the advance figures (above) for global SIA kindly provided by Wipneus, one can see that from the 17 lowest values in the CT dataset, one each dates from 2006 (14th) and 2011 (17th). No prizes for guessing which year the other 15 come from.

Does this still count as a single data point that can be simply dismissed?


In rare cases the NSIDC updates its daily sea ice concentration data more than once per day. It just happened, and my recalculated data for once differ more than a few k :( .

Only the last line that is, here are the updated numbers:

2016.1425 -42.9 12.560691 +15.3 1.807565 -27.6 14.368256
2016.1452 -113.6 12.447126 -33.0 1.774587 -146.5 14.221713
2016.1479 +33.4 12.480547 -4.7 1.769923 +28.8 14.250470
2016.1507 +138.5 12.619010 +37.2 1.807087 +175.6 14.426097

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)