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Neven: I came here as soon as I saw the ASIF was not available. If it's a hack, it's evil. People have been relying on the hurricanes thread to know when to evacuate, where to go etc.

Just while the ASIF is unavailable I am inviting all your ASIF hurricane contributors to make use of my blog to post updates.


I hope this helps you, your contributors, and above all: the people in harm's way.

John Christensen

Thank you for a great update Neven!

It has been an amazing melting season so far given the extreme low max numbers on area, extent and volume that we saw in April.

To the point that the cloudy and cold summer weather could be a negative feedback let me add a couple of observations in support:

1) In 2013, 2014, 2015, and now in 2017 there is a very visible temperature drop in the DMI 80N chart ( http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/meant80n.uk.php ) during May, where the cyclonic weather pattern gets in place - also slightly visible in 2012, but not in 2016.

2) At Summit in Greenland a record low temperature for July was reached in 2016 (Since 1981) and it was broken by a new record low recorded early July 2017.

Research indicates that cyclonic weather patterns are most common in the Arctic during summer months, so this is not a new phenomenon, but it may be that the heating of surrounding continents and reduction in permafrost areas contribute to isolating the northernmost Arctic region, with higher difference in temperature compared to land masses.
The above normal snow coverage could have assisted in enhancing this effect.

If this negative feedback is in fact in play, then we will probably continue seeing mild winters combined with below normal summer melting - until freak weather patterns result in a repeat of 2007, which the Arctic sea ice will be much less likely to survive in coming years.


Patrick, thanks for the link. As far as I know so far, it's a possible hack. Maybe it isn't. If it is, I don't know if it's by someone with climate risk denier sympathies, or a Russian spambot, or whatever. We'll have to wait and see, and hopefully the ASIF can go live soon.

John, I agree.


Neven: if your contributors sign up, if only temporarily, they will be able to post images etc.

Folks like Sigmetnow were doing such a grand job keeping bang up to date with info. If it was a hack, I hope you nail the b$%$%.

On topic: be ready for your words about upturns to be misused by the usual suspects. Oh yes, isn't the trend line the straight one and not the squiggly one? ;-)

"Of course, the trend line on the PIOMAS sea ice volume anomaly graph has shot up some more:"


You would have to say a negative feedback mechanism is kicking in.

People certainly mentioned the term snow a lot but this may turn into water just as surely as the multi-year ice has vastly changed its form.

We are watching incremental change in sinusoidal form but certain change it appears to be...

For instance: there are real fears over the cyclones in America and insurance is starting to become a factor... meaning market forces may start getting serious about further investigating the science which means different indicators may come to the fore and so reveal worse things than we previously thought possible!

On topic: be ready for your words about upturns to be misused by the usual suspects.

I try not to care too much about what the usual suspects do, because then I have to think about how I say things, thinking in gotchas and maximum effect. Before you know it, I'm a usual suspect myself. ;-)

I'm just calling it as I see it, and try to be clear about my biases and motivations.

If people then still want to hack the blog/forum I set up in my spare time, so be it. I think that in the long run they only hurt themselves, because being able to do such things, sets you up for lots of personal misery. Life is short and very easy to screw up.

But again, I don't know whether the ASIF is hacked for real, and if so, by whom. People are looking into it.

Oh yes, isn't the trend line the straight one and not the squiggly one?

The squiggly trend line is the anomaly trend line, the straight one is the linear trend.

Cato Uticensis

Thanks Neven for this fantastic contribution, intellectually honest as usual and rich of food for thought. I can just fully agree with you on what you have so clearly illustrated.
Personally I'm impressed by the difficulty in making forecasts on complex systems like arctic ice, for all the possible feebacks, positive and negative, intervening and contributing to the final outcome in terms of ice volume and extension.

To which extent do these feedbacks oppose the "natural" decline of ice extension and volume due to global warming? And is it possible that the Arctic ice will be able to find a new equilibrium where ice does not totally disappear in spite of temperatures increasing globally? And what is the influence of El Nino events on the Arctic ice? Is it possible, for example, that it took a couple of years for the Arctic to manage the excess of heat coming from the latest Nino, thus possibly contributing to the current rebound?

Too many questions, I know. I just reckon this system is probably much more complex than I myself liked to imagine it.

But again, I don't know whether the ASIF is hacked for real, and if so, by whom. People are looking into it.

Good news! It was a false positive, no hack. Forum is back up again!

And is it possible that the Arctic ice will be able to find a new equilibrium where ice does not totally disappear in spite of temperatures increasing globally?

Given that heat flows from the equator to the Poles (where most of it radiates back to space again), I don't think there really can be such an equilibrium as long as the atmosphere and oceans continue to warm up. At best, the Arctic becomes ice-free towards the end of the century after all, which would still be incredibly fast, in geological terms.

And what is the influence of El Nino events on the Arctic ice?

As far as I know, there is no proven direct link. But there may be indirect ones.


Complex dynamic systems are just what those words say - complex and dynamic. Various indicators of what the system is doing are useful. And these will exhibit variation that we can assess as uncertainty. The actual uncertainty in the system is in the chaos of natural systems, and the dynamics of the system. Those are too complex to sort out, so we are left using surrogates. Worse than that, we can never actually know all of the details of the real system. As a result, our models, no matter how detailed, refined and complex, will always be emulations.

All that being what it is, when we look a the variability in the system as it progresses, we have to expect that in any given period that the system is going to wobble about. Generally this will be within expected bounds. Sometimes it won't be.

That might indicate that we have missed something about how the system works, or about any transition it may be going through (e.g. eye wall replacement in hurricanes are a decent parallel).

Still, the general trend beyond the variability will continue.

It is all too easy to get sucked into short term oscillations in the system and jump to the conclusion that they indicate something about the system when in reality, we are looking in too tight of a time scale for the natural level of variability in the system.

All the same, it is still a good thing to consider whether such variations are actually indications that we have missed something important and to then go looking for what those may be. Whether we find something, or find nothing, the exercise is useful.

I would offer one other thing to consider. We seem to have a very large increase in atmospheric vorticity near the equator. This may be real, or not. It may be part of the variation, or an indication of some organizing principle that we have all missed.

My suspicion is that we can learn a good deal about what is or what may be happening by looking at other systems as they go to the low end of driving forces. Some examples of these are:

Streams: which meander more and more as the slope gradient driving their flow declines, and that also become more tortuous and variable as the load of fine solids increase.

Viscous fluids in pipes or troughs that develop odd behaviors before they stabilize into laminar flow.

Undoubtedly there is some tradeoff occurring between the strong driving force of thermodynamics in the temperature difference from the pole to the equator, and the coriolis and drag effects among many others. There may be cusps in the system were the result may be chaotic transition between competing states.

Just some things to consider.



To which extent do these feedbacks oppose the "natural" decline of ice extension and volume due to global warming? And is it possible that the Arctic ice will be able to find a new equilibrium where ice does not totally disappear in spite of temperatures increasing globally?

If you talk to old engineers at the library or wahtever they will tell you global warming is a hoax because everything follows a predator/prey relationship.... this is the main contention from the deniers! This is the main cause of 'pause button politics' because it's like disproving expanding earth theory: you need aeons of measurements to make some people accept reality etc...


Neven: looks like another bug at ASIF.

getting message on 2 or 3 tries with both http and https -

Your session timed out while posting. Please go back and try again.

If it's only me that sees the message I'll double-check my computer and web settings, but I can log in elsewhere, and here, with no problems.

Account Deleted

I have same issue as Patrick, both from Linux/firefox and iPad...

Also this and other sites work ok.


Have things improved? The ASIF is working for me. In fact, the https version should work now without browsers issuing security warnings.


Same issue continues. Perhaps I should create new account...


I occasionally get that timed-out message too. What I usually do, is refresh the page and try to post the comment again. Of course, always copy your comment before clicking the post button.


I have been a bit unclear, I cannot log in, when I input id and pwd, I get that timeout message... Perhaps last logout wenr wrong somehow. I rarely post anything, and IIRC I did not post anything last time... sorry for offtopic messages...


espens last post:


4,473,157 km2(September 10, 2017)up 932 km2 and 6th lowest measured for the date.

Given this PIOMAS update I think we can expect that 2012s record won't be beat before 2020.

(DMI temp for Sept. 11 is looking interesting, however.)

...unless we can seriously come up with a good explanation for PIOMASs weird behaviour I think we have to trust in it's predictive behaviour that we won't see a sub 4Mkm^2 arctic sea ice before 2020.

This would mean Trump won't act: I was always of the opinion that he would act to win his second term iff the numbers pointed him straight to the naughty corner.

I think Trump just hit the jackpot!


Jaxa extent is also above it's 2010s average.



Neven: just to clarify - I can't log in at ASIF. I have tried now a number of different times, always get 'timed out' message. Has my session timer somehow defaulted to a low seconds value, or zero?

Just when I have the spare time and energy to contribute, I can't log in.

btw, Although I now rarely log in here, in this blog, I do lurk a lot just to keep up to date. I need to thank you and all your contributors for doing such a marvellous job.


Patrick, thanks for clarifying. I will ask Fred to see if he can solve this problem.


Here's one tip from the ASIF that might be a temporary solution:

I have the same thing - at least when I try to log in from the main page.

Clicking through to the actual login page first, that works though.


Speaking of ice thickness, the US Navy is deploying new Arctic Ocean buoys with the assistance of the Danish Air Force.


Susan Anderson

@Sam, thank you very much for your interesting excursion into the bigger picture. I don't think the Arctic's tale this year is quite told. Being an amateur ("jack of all trades, master of none") with broad interests in the earth's circulatory system I see similar human tendencies in the Arctic and hurricane communities, where we are eager to identify specifics and trends although reality is more complex.

In this case, my broader interests overlap. European winter storm Aileen, the first of the season, included an unusual stream from the Arctic (Svalbard region) almost straight south to Europe and a similar stream running north from the Atlantic pushing up past Greenland (roughly). We don't often see these forces going straight north/south; they are more often spirals.

It is the nature of cyclones to vent excess energy northward, and given this rather spectacular season (we USians are disgustingly prone to narrow focus on ourselves, but the Pacific is also active) I think there will be a further contribution with warmer waters being pushed north. I know the complexity of land narrows the space for this transfer, but it's there if you look; this updates but currently it shows what I'm talking about:

Susan Anderson

Had no trouble going straight into the forum (2009 Macbook, Firefox); I have my password somewhere but it let me straight in like usual. OT here: new pic of Larsen C A68 now it's in daylight: http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,1175.msg129074.html#msg129074



I have been watching those (both the linear high pressure zones, and the interacting lows) and been fascinated by them. I have wondered too how they will interact with the Arctic ice and the thickness of the ice - the topic of this thread. I have been loathe to comment on it here or in the ASIF, as it doesn't seem to directly relate, though as you note it no doubt does. You can get an idea what this all looks like from this speculative projection from windy.


And with that, I will leave it, as this seems to be off topic.


Susan Anderson

This time of year this spot used to buzz with information about the minimum; perhaps that has migrated to the forum? Anyways, I was looking at my usual:
And saw warm air pouring past Svalbard in quantity, and some other incursions. Meanwhile we're having the worst Atlantic hurricane season and Japan is being hammered, with much churning in the Bering/Chukchi area.

I'm not holding my breath, as it looks like the minimum could be just now, but these incursions ...

Anyone care to point me and any passers-by at a link for wherever people are discussing the minimum on the forum? Ah, that was just lazy of me, would this be it? I found 3 related posts with recent entries.

Hans Gunnstaddar

Best, latest minimum extent estimate from that link is 4.47 which is close to 1 million less than the vaunted Rob Dekker's prediction (5.4), but 2 million above mine, so looks like you get the nod, Rob, but still in the 'happy medium' - lol.


Rob Dekkers pred is for Sep NSIDC right? Itll be much, much closer, prob some around 5 mill, which sort of feels as the weather caused another rebound, given the state of ice in April, i think?
For us to be engaged in observation a lil longer.
So Rob, pretty much nailed it, pointed in the right direction again. The high latitudes' cold and late spring


Hans Gunnstaddar

"Rob Dekkers pred is for Sep NSIDC right?"

I don't recall. My post was in reference to discussions Rob and I had early in the melt season, particularly as it pertained to the comment 'happy medium' - an inside joke he would get. That's why I put lol, as in let's have a laugh over it.

(Disclaimer:) But that isn't to say the topic of what is happening in the Arctic is laughable, on the contrary it is very serious.

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