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It is correct that more energy will be absorbed. However, open water will be subject to evaporation and radiative losses as well. It's all about "how much".

What happens in the transition to "winter" is the interesting question. If we observe a lower maximum, as we seem to be experiencing now, is it the result of that excess accumulated energy (the net, due to the increased insolation, minus losses), or to "weather" bringing in warm air and water vapor?

You really have these two different mechanisms, which may be coupled to some degree as in the J Francis hypothesis, that have to be characterized.

My point being that extent, area, and volume, data are not going to resolve the physics involved in those phenomena.

For example-- you might just get more snow on Greenland.

Glenn Doty


It's true that there would be more evaporation, and hence some transfer of of energy from the sea surface to the upper atmosphere... But there's no way the scales should balance.

At ~3 C, the vapor pressure of water is still only 752 Pa.. so it's not like there will be a massive boil-off of the ocean. I cannot but believe that the amplification impact of reducing albedo from 0.8 - ~0.1 would far overshadow the energy loss from evaporation (more than half of which would be returned).

The presence of higher water vapor content in the Arctic atmosphere would then add more greenhouse forcing, and could lead to net higher pressure for the region keeping the skies clear in the summer.

I also cannot imagine how the possibility of increased snowfall in Greenland could outpace the increased melt-rate caused by waters that would absorb additional energy in the multiple EWh scale.. The increased attack on the foundation of the Greenland Ice shelf would lead to calving of ice masses that tower hundreds or even thousands of feet above the ocean. What is a few additional feet of snowfall going to do to compete with that?

Obviously, we don't know all things, and I know far less than many. I understand the physics well and the basic feedback mechanisms involved in climate change at large... and I'm struggling to understand the cryosphere - which I imagine most of the contributors here know far more than I.

But I cannot see any feedback mechanism within the cryosphere that can outpace the amplification caused by albedo loss from the disappearance of the ice. The vast majority of feedback mechanisms that I see in that area would only serve to further amplify warming even still.

I've lurked for quite some time, and am only now starting to post to seek answers for what I don't understand... So I'll welcome any additional knowledge or perspective and I don't claim expertise.
But I cannot see how the items you listed will significantly slow the runaway spiral.



On the previous thread I was trying to make the point to ER that the following two things are compatible, and we should not confuse or conflate them, as the Denialists often do. (I think Bill is talking about similar points in the preceding comment.)

-We can be very confident about longer term projections.

-We can't be very confident about shorter-term predictions.

So, to narrow down the physics here you have to be more definitive. For example: Are you talking about three days below the "ice-free" threshold, or three weeks, or three months?

As I've said previously, I think having this kind of discussion is a great educational opportunity, (for myself as well of course), but you have to pin down the first approximations before you can move on to more refined predictions.

And, to repeat: Just area, extent, and volume data are not going to tell us much about Greenland glaciers melting and calving.


There was a substantial increase in absorbtion in 1991 and 1992 which has some impact by flattening the trend line

Yep, Mt Pinatubo really skewed the figures. But we won't see that happening more than once every 50 years or so.

This week NOOA updated the CO2 Global figures.

2015 2.98
2016 3.36

2016 is provisional till mid next month when the December figures come in. However it's almost certainly going to be over 3ppm for 2016 even with the ending of El Nino and the roll on effects rather than the direct effects during it.

If you take NSIDC Chartic and remove everything but 2017 and 2007, you see a similarity. Looking forward, a 2007 style melt and export year with 2017 volume should be.... Interesting.


I found this as a resource for daylight hours: http://www.timebie.com/sun/janmayenno.php

(It had Jan Mayen and I thought that was pretty cool/I couldn't resist because I've heard of that thanks to this forum and blog and had to share!)

Is there a more appropriate resource for investigating daylight hours in the Arctic at any latitude one would care to choose?


Elisee Reclus

AbbottisGone wrote:

"Is there a more appropriate resource for investigating daylight hours in the Arctic at any latitude one would care to choose?"

The celestial navigation data page is an automated calculator which will give you solar elevation above the horizon at any lat/lon as a function of the date and Universal Time.

It is essentially an online Nautical Almanac.



"-We can be very confident about longer term projections.

-We can't be very confident about shorter-term predictions."

Hi Zebra

That is the most overstated nonsense well out there, not doing the science of predictions, or more fundamentally the basic understanding of scientific process. which is observe, evaluate and predict, any good.

Are we suppose to believe that in climate science we are incapacitated in the short term domain from some strange nebulous reason? Not at all, we confuse weather chaos with climate very easily, but even the weather prediction domain has made huge strides in success within the last few years, by the predictions most GCM models are recently calculating spectacularly. Hurricane Sandy for instance.

With sea ice we confuse very easily extent with compaction, melting with scattering, but the end product has been extremely predictable, yearly daily average extent numbers always give a downward death spiral, easily understood by numbers, not always so by the "looks".

Unto this we have the "dumb dumbs" as I call them, mostly bright people, who choose to lobotomize introspection just to play dumb for the sake of their polluting beliefs. They mock reality like Trump grasps reality, they pounce AGW at every cold spell, they laugh at how hysterical "alarmists" are correctly portraying the sequence of events leading our planet in rather a sad state.

I do believe we can predict in the short term just as much as the long term, but the resources to do 15 days in advance are simply enormous, but as computer memory and processing speed grows, GCM's will surprise some folks even further.

The basic argument 'dumb dumbs' always fail to achieve, is what they call sea ice "recovery" , again and again their long term predictions, supposedly easier, of such events have always failed. Need we remind their claims does not apply to correct science work but to themselves and their adherence to faulty methods disrespecting the basic precepts well integrated in the models.


The greatest question about 2016 melt season was why it was so strong?

It was, as many have written, quite a cloudy summer. There is a very good AGU paper published 2015 which has confirmed many of sea ice horizon refraction observation. They found the intriguing fact that sea ice albedo changes with clouds redirecting thermal rays more vertically, this was actually observed regularly:


Refraction observations, I dare say, are cheaper than the equipment they used, but I can confirm their work as they confirmed mine, fun! But the science conclusions also include thinner sea ice albedo, which was found to be between .17 and .21, remarkably low.


Yo, Wayne,

And I thought I was a master of understatement! :-)

I am perfectly happy to discuss shorter-term projection (not prediction) as long as we maintain some first-approximation rigor.

So, I asked Glenn the obvious question:

Is your proposed outcome (e.g. greater Greenland SLR contribution) based on being below the "ice free" threshold for

-three days
-three weeks
-three months


For me, that's where you start-- properly stating the question you are trying to answer. What often happens is that you see the answer right away and move on to a more interesting hypothesis.

So far, I don't know what the death spiral actually means in the shorter term. As I said previously, we have the (real scientific) debate (between actual scientists) about cause and effect:

Are Arctic conditions leading to more intrusion of Tropical systems, or are increasingly energetic Tropical systems overwhelming the protective vortex? (Or, of course, some combination.)

The timeline is important here. Also, the actual configuration of the "end state" that you are imagining. For example, Greenland surrounded by the last vestiges of sea ice is not the same as the last vestiges lurking in some other locale.



"So far, I don't know what the death spiral actually means in the shorter term. As I said previously, we have the (real scientific) debate (between actual scientists) about cause and effect:"

In this case it literally means a spiral to which an end will eventually arrive. It is calculable as some have done estimates based on available extent numbers, a mathematical result from the actual thermal balance machinations produced by Earth itself is available to all to review.

"Are Arctic conditions leading to more intrusion of Tropical systems, or are increasingly energetic Tropical systems overwhelming the protective vortex? (Or, of course, some combination.)"

That is correct, the polar vortex, the entire vortex consists of vortices, usually 2, rarely up to 5 or 6 at times, When the 2 main vortices are huge it is because it is a very cold winter. If they are much smaller, in yesterdays case, there was barely one on the extreme Norther Ellesmere edge on the North American side, warm cyclones have an easier ride Northwards.


Is your proposed outcome (e.g. greater Greenland SLR contribution) based on being below the "ice free" threshold for

-three days
-three weeks
-three months

From everything I've read, that is far too narrow a definition.

Greenland SLR is three things.

A consequence of the climatic change which is destroying the sea ice
A disruptor of Arctic sea ice melt due to sea desalination locally
A long term consequence of the loss of albedo due to the long term loss of sea ice.

Personally I think it's daft to try and allocate blue ocean at the pole, in terms of weeks, as to Greenland SLR. Greenland is _already_ massively impacted just by the ice loss to date and will only be impacted _more_ and more rapidly by increasing sea ice loss.

Greenland is also massive. So any impact will be delayed by that mass. The rapidity of ice loss will be felt years after the fist blue ocean event and then will mount up more and more rapidly thereafter.

One of the reasons climate scientists have been clamouring for people to listen now and act NOW. Because once you can prove the impact it is far, far, too late.


I'd have to agree that we have already entered the age of the 'blue Ocean climate Disruption' as it does not demand a technical ice free ocean but a long period of open water throughout the basin as we saw last year. If this years ice is so weakened as we believe then this year will also be plagued with open water throughout the season. I fear the paid deniers will play games with a technical 'ice free' definition whilst Rome burns?


Thank you so much Elisee.

I don't think the deniers will be able to play simple definition games if 'The Blue Ocean Climate Disruption' eventuates.

To me the rates of change of important indicators will indicate the event itself and simple false dichotomies surrounding semantic arguments will find it hard to combat the assumed quantitative argument.

Jim Hunt

From the darkest depths of Soggy South West England comes the latest news concerning the Trump administration's "Alternative Facts" assault on NOAA:

"Climategate 2 - Episode 3 of David Rose's Epic Saga"

Let’s see if we can discover if Peter Stott has any recollection of being interviewed last week by the Mail on Sunday and/or The Mail’s leading fantasy fiction writer shall we?...

Do you suppose that David [Rose] & Judy [Curry] have another “whistleblower” embedded deep within the Hadley Centre?


Hi Jim,

It came to my attention that David Rose timing is simply off,


When set hard to mislead, timing is key, 10 days ago NYC got a taste of the NWWO, the New World Weather Order, darn , fake skeptics should at least watch the weather Networks. They predicted this warming days ago.

I did write, in this New World of Weather


things change fast, ahead of when it indeed changed fast, happened exactly as expected. Unlike Rose who can't know anything about the future since he can't get a solid grasp of the past! Accusing the met office of a cover up is like denouncing Hitler to be a pacifist. Therefore a firm shaky denial of reality is based on wasting time on false flags operations at the met office cafeteria table next to the washroom door. The perspective of a fake skeptic is based on reinforcing to self that science has trouble with 1 week ahead predictions, can't be good for next month or 10 let alone 100 years. That is because as we learn, they can't get their facts strait, yes the strait of reality, a narrow passage of facts enforcing cognition to strive, evolve and make great things, like Leonardo's Mona Lisa, Einstein's greatest equations and brilliant sketches by most 5 year olds you can find at any Kindergarten.

But why does anyone must endure, the dizzying backwards cats endlessly chasing their own tails? Is it because it is funny?


Marcus Rex and Polarstern want to do Nansen with modern equipment:


Brilliant! Fantastisch!

Except they will need to keep pace with the faster drift, otherwise a shorter journey ahead...

Jim Hunt

Wayne - David Rose was apparently able to predict the HadCRUT4 numbers for January 2017 before they were published by the Met Office. He possesses a most impressive "crystal ball", I'm sure you agree?

Regarding the future MOSAIC expedition, don't forget that Tara did something similar not so very long ago. DAMOCLES!


Robert S

Wayne: Love it. Just one minor correction: those dizzying backwards cats are being endlessly chased by their own tales, not vice versa, and not tails. Somehow a very apposite image for the Trumpian worldview...

Elisee Reclus

Dear AbbottisGone

The Celestial Navigation calculator I mentioned at


provides not only solar elevation and azimuth but corrections for refraction which can be pretty substantial. The extreme temps and pressures at high latitudes can further exaggerate refraction, this might alter estimates of insolation substantially.
Also don't forget to correct for dip (height above sea level) if you are working on the Greenland icecap.

The sun is often visible long before it has actually risen due to this refraction! Since the sun's path will be almost parallel to the horizon for long periods of time during the polar day, you might want to allow for these effects. They may turn out to be significant.


Genius correction Robert S! Love it.

"a most impressive "crystal ball", I'm sure you agree?"

Opaque Bowling ball Jim,

With out of control bad reporting spinning towards the dark ages of ignorance, in the right lane for a ' pin head' science correspondent job at FAUX news.


3...... Pathetic.... So far 3 important but short lived anticyclones this Arctic Ocean winter, the latest one a "bridge" of clear air formed between land based Northeast Siberia and NWT Canada, Forecasted to last , alas, less than one week.

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