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William Crump


I am trying to contribute to the chip in. Is there a way to make the language come up in English?

I am guessing what the descriptions are, but so far it is not working for me.



Neven: belated congratulations on your guest post at Joe Romm's blog. You may not have noticed, but you are also live linked from Andrew Revkin's Arctic ice watch - NYT blog.

You have definitely 'arrived'. Well done - keep up the good work!

In some ways it will be a pity if the 2011 final figures don't show a new record: it will be hailed on the propagandist sites as 'proof' that ice loss has halted, or that global warming doesn't exist, or that Lord Monckton should rule the planet, or some such nonsense.

Since I have little energy these days, and since you are doing such a fine job -(where do you get the energy?)- I haven't posted a mid-month update. Instead, I've posted a potted history of Arctic ice observations. Far too many people think that we have no data on the Arctic before satellites and the internet. I guess they never heard of books. ;-)



William, I'm sorry about that. It's because I have an account at Paypal Austria, I guess.

You fill in an amount in the box under 'stückpreis' (1,000,000 USD for example ;-) ). You then press the button 'Summe neu berechnen'. You fill in your login data below, click 'Einloggen' and then there should be a confirmation button somewhere. It's just like English Paypal, but in German. It's not some sort of phishing scam, or perhaps I should say 'fisching'


Patrick, thanks a lot. My ego is jumping with joy at your compliments. :-p

To be frank, I don't have the energy or the time (can't wait for hibernation to start, which is perhaps subconsciously why I'm calling the minimum!), but it's so gratifying to be doing something useful for a change, that I want to do a proper job.

The champagne has indeed been uncorked in some quarters, which was to be expected. I'll have a post up tomorrow, expressing my gratitude to those quarters.

Thanks for the link to a fantastic piece. I wish I had the patience to delve into those historical details, like you do. Fascinating stuff.

William Crump

it gives me this message:

Sie haben einen ungültigen Betrag eingegeben. Überprüfen Sie das Format Ihrer Eingabe. Sie dürfen nur das Dezimaltrennzeichen und Ziffern eingeben. Bei einem Betrag von $5,00 USD geben Sie beispielsweise 5,00 ein.

I am trying to put in $150.00 is that too small?

Pete Mason

According to the NSIDC, the Bremen method "allows small ice and open water features to be detected that are not observed by other products". So I take it that the Bremen measurement of extent is essentially more accurate in the current conditions.

The NSIDC is valuable because it provides "longest time series of sea ice extent data, extending back to 1979."

William Crump

It would not take credit card, but Paypal worked.

thanks for all the good work.

Chris Biscan

Bremen and Jaxa showed large gains like the other poster said.

Except Modis aqua and terra both show the ice moving very little.

Chris Biscan

lol silly me, I get it now.


it snowed.


SIE up by 23 k on Sept 13.

Looks like the fat lady has been singing very loud and she started singing on Sept 9th. An early end to the melting season this year!

Chris Biscan


I think there is going to be some folks with there foots in there mouth who keep saying that.

having a snow storm in the Central Arctic is one thing.

but that is snow causing all the melt holes, large cracks and super thin ice...or ice that wasnt there until the snow helped form a super thin piece of ice.

Chris Biscan

but I will say if IIRC the waters should cool from storms pulling moisture out from dragging winds over water much warmer then the cold pool now over the ice.


I think there is going to be some folks with there foots in there mouth who keep saying that.


Happy to be proven wrong. I guess we might see [a few]more days with SIE decrease, but we are now 40k above the minimum reached on the 9th and that's a lot to make up at this time year.

Paul Klemencic

Chris, I have to agree, the fat lady is singing. Even if we do lose some low latitude ice in the E. Siberian, or Greenland, or Beaufort, the other regions are adding ice now across the board.

On a different note, I got an email replay from Ms. Fetterer at NSIDC, and she said:

Hello Paul, I'm the lead on the MASIE product. I have not had time to look into the issues you raised in detail, and I will as soon as I can, but my first look suggests the problem is related to the fact that we have occasional gaps in our record when the operational product it relies on is not available on the ftp site we pick it up from for some reason, so there is a gap in our record, and our code is not taking this into account properly. You are quite right - today's image for example says that DOY is 255 and that is 12 Sept, which is an incorrect conversion.

We will get a message up to users tomorrow warning them of these problems. I can't thank you enough for bringing this to our attention. I'll send a more fulsome reply as soon as I can.

OK, so that's that, so we can stop wondering what's up. But now I wonder how the data will sort out when they finish fixing the 'date problem'.

Also, I must say, ice scientists definitely win the best customer service award among climate scientists.

Rich and Mike Island

The increase in ice cover is good news (and very surprising to me, I thought ice extent would decline another week at least!)

Living on a subtropical barrier island, I would love for global warming projections to be wrong. For temperatures and ice melt to be slower than projected, for some big negative feedback to jump out like a jack-in-the-box and save us.

I really doubt that will happen though. Even though ice extent will not set a record this year, the sea ice we have this spring will still be thin and easy to melt---lots of one year ice. And even if we don't set a new record low minimum next year I believe the time is coming soon that we will.

There's not much to my comment, really. I wish that the projections of melting ice were wrong, but I am sure they are not. This year keeps the downward trend intact, even with the ice recovery these past few days. I'm sure Anthony Watts will be crowing, if he hasn't already. (I used to look in on his site occasionally, but his nonsense is so bad that I don't lurk there anymore)

Chris Biscan


that was today


that was yesterday.

that is a boat going through the arctic in the snow.


Chris Biscan




Again you can see ice swirls have expanded the last couple weeks..but most of those swirls developed when it was -12 to -14C there a few days back but it's been to cloudy to see them.

Last one in the beaufort.



Look I am not trying to say ice isn't forming out there. but there clearly was no big jump in ice. in fact you can melt talking place on all of those images.

Chris Biscan




RE: Paul Klemencic & NSIDC responses.

Just to reinforce Paul's words, over the last 6 months or so, I have dealt with 3 people at the NSIDC on a variety of queries I raised. Without fail, the response was rapid and effective.

Unsurprisingly - given the invective liberally expressed on certain sites - the people there get subjected to some pretty abusive stuff. However, despite the fact I was pointing out some errors on the NSIDC site, they remained polite and friendly.

Kudos to them.


RE: Chris Biscan

Chris has just posted a link to the work of an oceanographer - Victoria Hill - studying the mechanics of rapid ice loss.

This implicates algal growth within the ice as a factor, with alteration to the albedo leading to increased absorption of solar energy.

This article isn't really stating anything new, but what interests me is how this might get spun in the deniosphere.

Last year, a certain gentleman wrote a piece on his blog derived from an article published in Nature Geoscience. The original article related to modelled behaviour of soil microbiota, and our Anthony characterised this as "destroying a favourite AGW positive forcing theory".

(I learned of this blog piece when it was parroted virtually verbatim in our local magazine.)

As I freely admit to knowing diddly-squat about microbial behaviour, I had a quick look in AR4 to see what, if any, views the IPCC had to express on the subject.

Section 7.3.3 of WG1 AR4 begins with the words…
” The net exchange of carbon between the terrestrial biosphere and the atmosphere is the difference between carbon uptake by photosynthesis and release by plant respiration, soil respiration and disturbance processes (fire, windthrow, insect attack and herbivory in unmanaged systems, together with deforestation, afforestation, land management and harvest in managed systems). Over at least the last 30 years, the net result of all these processes has been uptake of atmospheric CO2 by terrestrial ecosystems (Table 7.1, ‘land-atmosphere flux’ row). It is critical to understand the reasons for this uptake and its likely future course. Will uptakes by the terrestrial biosphere grow or diminish with time, or even reverse so that the terrestrial biosphere becomes a net source of CO2 to the atmosphere?”

That hardly sounds like the description of some pivotal positive forcing cornerstone to me!

It will be interesting to see if history repeats itself yet again, and if we'll start getting opinion pieces claiming that it ain't CO2, it's algae.

(Sorry if that was a bit OT.)

Cheers Bill F


OT, but may be not so much off topic, it looks like La Nina may be returning by the end of the year.
I am not sure what effect a "la Nina" event in the Pacific region might have on the weather in the Arctic region, but I remember Wayne Davidson mentioning that it may have a delayed effect. May be this could be an explanation for the bad weather in the Arctic this Northern summer.


Sorry the correct link to the latest bureau update on ENSO is here .


NSIDC roolz !
As it say in the banner over at my blog: "If you think my English is bad, you should see my math." :-)

Paul: kudos to you for your efforts. Real scientists always appreciate error correcting feedback.

The IJIS ice area graph is showing an uptick like the 2010 one. If that is followed by a 2010-like downturn we could still see a new record. As it stands, 2011 overtakes the 2010 3rd place with a solid 2nd place as far as extent is concerned.

The fat lady (Hattie Jacques?) may be singing, but she has paused for a quick gargle.

IJIS has just added new CLIM2 graphs to their 'portfolio'.



Congratulations PaulK on your work on MASIE, I'm sure they appreciate your diligence and attention to detail.



Does anyone have a good guess of how much sunlight/weather/SSTs relatively contribute to ice melt at different points in the season?
Or, put another way, how much of the variance in ice melt is explained by sunlight/SSTs?

I was under the impression that SSTs were more important at the end of the melting season. SSTs are still very warm this year. Unless they are always a small factor it seems strange that people are so confident this year's minimum has been reached.

Ucf Aeroengineer

Personally, I'm not cheering either way for one simple reason.. We are much too close to the 2007 records under conditions that were not as favorable to melt as 2007's were. The extent of that ice may be higher but the ice itself is a nightmare in progress. If we get a year like 2007 next year, it won't be pretty.

Bob Wallace

Let me echo Paul's and Bill's good experiences with ice scientists. Mine was at someone at CT who answered my question quickly and in a friendly manner.

And I'm with the others who aren't quite ready to throw in the towel, I'll do that only when we've seen considerable freezing. Ice is, IMHO, too thin and the water still warm. A good blow could spread stuff out where it might perish.


I am not even slightly convinced the fat lady is singing.
Dancing may be but not singing.

On 31 08 2011 the CT concentration map had the whole central Arctic at its darkest colour. clearly an indication that all the melt ponds had succumbed to the beginning of the refreeze.
As of today's ...13 09 2011 map this is clearly no longer the case. the concentration has dropped significantly. it is also obvious that this is not a return to melting conditions rather it is a movement of the ice. more than 25% of the central arctic now has a concentration of 85-90%. that is a lot of "missing " ice is it not? it clearly did not vanish did it?

If you move your furniture from one room to another you still have the same amount of furniture do you not? if you spread it out in one area and squeeze it closer together in another area you still have the same amount of furniture do you not? If you build an extension and spread the furniture out even further you still have the same amount of furniture do you not? all the maps are saying the same thing. the ice has moved from the central Arctic into the East Siberian sea. The SST's have not suddenly got freezing cold everywhere have they? Healy keeps finding water at -1.6C or warmer under the ice. is that cold enough to make more ice?
Where specifically are your ice generating weather conditions?
yes it snowed on Healy but all the melt ponds were already frozen anyway. we have seen that for the last week or more.

So why be so certain of an absolute up turn?

Predicting the turning point so close to when it happens isn't exactly a big deal is it?
Right or wrong it will happen in the next 2 or 3 weeks.

Seke Rob

Don't know who's fat lady sang but have yet to hear whilst looking at the last MASIE Spaghetti Chart. Got a really hard time making that 8th decimal call.

Paul K., goodoos to you to pursue your line and getting acknowledgment that something was evidently not right.


I wouldn't have called the minimum if the weather forecasts were showing a big high pressure area over the Beaufort Sea and a huge low between Laptev and Kara, but it's showing quite the opposite.

So we'll probably see more increases for the coming 3-5 days.

Look out for the big spike on the DMI 80N temperature graph. When that happens, it's a sign the water is releasing its heat to the atmosphere. Then it's truly done.


Nice work Paul! I always appreciate people who don't listen too much to the old boys in the "office". regards Espen

Seke Rob

Re: Chris Biscan | September 14, 2011 at 08:11

How that was phrased, another nail in the GW coffin... LoL... but to me fringe. What organics that comes from the rivers flowing into the Arctic is many times greater me thinketh, so much so that the Arctic Ocean is considered not to be a GHG sink of significance, if at all. The Geo.de Polarstern blog happens to have an interesting article on "Gasplant Sea Ice": http://www.geo.de/blog/geo/polarstern-blog. Good for a few nails being extracted again.

Sorry, Neven, in case you planned a topic on this :O)

Janne Tuukkanen

Btw, does anyone know the name of the Russian ship recently headed to the Arctic to study methane leaks? Only Russian research vessel Sailwx lists is 50 Let Pobedy, and she she is not.


r w Langford

Paul: Thanks for your hard work and for sticking to it in the face of many obstacles. I have people say to me that I am talented with my music and art and I always reply to them that my only talent is perseverance. For me it took years to make progress which is now misinterpreted as talent. You deserve the perseverance of the year award.

Daniel Bailey

I echo the compliments on your tenacity and persistence, Paul. Well done!

And the offer is still on the table.

Steve Bloom

Janne, I wouldn't expect the boat to be Russian. NSF is paying for all of the fancy instruments and I suspect they'd want it on a U.S. RV. Canadian, maybe.

Good work, Paul!

NSIDC has been nice for years now (actually I think they have a public outreach budget, but that doesn't force the niceness to happen). FYI all of you noobs, my first contact with them was in July 2007. I say noobs in the nicest possible way, of course. :)

Chris Biscan


Please check out my analysis.

I think this post is gonna look pretty silly in a week if what the models show pans out.

We haven't seen any new ice out side of melt ponds and cracks/lakes in between the ice already there.

I was stunned to see the models pick up so fast on this new solution which will not only compact the ice one more time will blow in warm air directly from Russia, North Atlantic and the Barrents, not just a light breeze but a large connection.

we saw a week long blizzard pound the arctic and give the wrong impression.

I don't expect jaxa to hit a new min. But it will drop quite a bit looking at that

Chris Biscan

I told everyone here that it was snow, not new ice. that made it look like the ice pack was growing super fast.

I don't really understand why people are not listening. Every blog I go to it's the same.

that polynia in the Laptev is still there. The ice there is razor thin. 6-12 inches of snow will make the satellite think it's solid. Holy smokes.

the snow probably won't withstand the warmth.

And the sun hasn't set yet.


the areas of poynia are around 80N to 75N for the one in the ESB.

they still see good sunlight which will still aid in melting the snow since temps will be much warmer. Models forecast temps hitting the Russian side of the ice pack.


Interesting times ahead.

Chris Biscan

one more thing. IMS has a 4km grid and they are extremely deep with there analysis.

They go in and take out the snow pixels compared to the ice.


They have a different take on it.


more info:


a poster on Americanwx.com post the daily pixel count from IMS:


ICE PIXEL COUNTS (total yellow)
Yesterday: 1443
Today: 1429
One year ago today: 1644


ICE PIXEL COUNTS (total yellow)
Yesterday: 1429
Today: 1439
One year ago today: 1659


ICE PIXEL COUNTS (total yellow)
Yesterday: 1439
Today: 1430
One year ago today: 1646


ICE PIXEL COUNTS (total yellow)
Yesterday: 1430
Today: 1408
One year ago today: 1624

Bremen and jaxa both use the same temperature brightness from 89ghz which will mistake the new snow for new ice.

this link right here explains ASI 5.6 algorithm compared to the 5.2 one Neven links us too.


anyways enjoy the info and the next week


IJIS had another 65K uptick, almost 130K above the September 9th value now.

Seke Rob

Never seen this before... 3 revisions in a day on JAXA. MASIE just knocked off 95K to a new low for the year:

Date______ Total____ Change
08-Sep-2011 4498286 27066
09-Sep-2011 4490119 -8166
10-Sep-2011 4379016 -111104
11-Sep-2011 4340200 -38815
12-Sep-2011 4384418 44217
13-Sep-2011 4398320 13902
14-Sep-2011 4302978 -95342

Does the FL singing for JAXA need lessons?

Bob Wallace

Has anyone looked at the area maps on the Regional Graphs page?

What I'm seeing is that several (5) regions are still losing area and only one gaining.

The only rising area is the Baffin Bay and that is a small rise.

Why does area seem to still be dropping when extent seems to be rising? Is this a sign that some ice is being spread? Or do I just not understand the area/extent relationship?

Peter Ellis

...which will mistake the new snow for new ice...

I don't understand what you mean. Snow won't stay floating on water. If there's snow somewhere, it means there's ice under it - and also that the ice was there at the time the snow fell. How, therefore, can snowfall increase the apparent ice area/extent?

I guess if there was a melt pond that was being (wrongly) seen as open water, and enough snow fell to cover it over... but at this time of year the melt ponds have all frozen over anyway.

Lord Soth

"Snow won't stay floating on water"

Well in certain cases it will after a heavy snow fall; its called slush ice.

Regardless, it's over for another year.

Chris Biscan

@ Peter,

Because snows brightness temperature is off the charts.

It makes the sensors think areas of ice that were not being picked up before as high enough concentration(this is especially true on Bremens higher res stuff) have gone from either under 15% to above and in many cases from under 40% to over 80%.

I don't feel like breaking out the maps for this today.

You can use the regional maps on MODIS and the regional ones on Bremen and see the sea ice hasn't moved much or froze over.

Then snow storms rolled threw.

use the 3-6-7 channel image on the Terra Modis satelitte it picks u snow as peach and ice as red. The more snow the more whitish peachy the color.

you can cleary see a direct change on the bremen maps in regards to new snow on thin ice. Which gives the impression the ice went from either not reaching the 15% criteria and becoming over 50-80 percent in one day over a large area

Because of this, if this snow doesn't melt the min this year has huge error's with it.


they take out the snow that is on the ice. Read up on there products they are very consistent. They use a 4km grid res.

go compare there images from Sunday-Today with Bremen or Jaxa.

Then tell me the snow hasn't screwed the sensors which are calibrated with a temperature brightness mask that thinks the bright snow is 100 percent concentrated ice.

Chris Biscan

I will say the snow is fresh water and that will help the ice pack.

If 1.00 qpf in theory fell on 1,500,000km2 of ice how much over a 3 day blizzard.

How much extra fresh water was put into the ice pack.

Martin Gisser

Austrian Paypal no Englisch? Pitiable. (But, well, what to expect from today's programmers...) Austrians once were envied by us Barvarians for their english skills.

Note the decimal trennzeichen in German is the COMMA, not DOT.


Re "I don't understand what you mean. Snow won't stay floating on water."

This is all just wild speculation. I think it could be the concentration estimates as follows:

The temperatures are similar but reflectivity varies more so that is what is effectively measured. Ice is more reflective than water and fresh snow is more reflective than ice.

If there was no snow problem there would be a steady change in satellite readings with ice concentration and concentration could be estimated without ambiguity. Ambiguity arises between snow completely covering a small ice concentration (say 5%) ice cover which might be interpreted as 50% ice cover with little snow.

To minimise error what should the algorithm do? The answer may well be that fresh snow does not last very long particularly when ice cover is only around 5% due to waves, fresh snow becoming less fresh and maybe some spray whipped up by winds. So the algorithm tends to misinterpret 5% ice covered in snow as 50% ice with little snow. So the pixel area gets wrongly included in extent.

If that is what has happened, the extent increases would be expected to quickly reverse. No sign of that happening yet though.

As I said this is all speculation and the numbers used are just completely made up. So, is this what Chris Biscan is getting at?


Grüß dich, Martin! :-)

Note the decimal trennzeichen in German is the COMMA, not DOT.

Indeed. I wanted to alert William Crump, but he had already found out himself.

Kevin McKinney

Well, in my self-appointed role as Stater Of The Obvious, I want to acknowledge that Neven's call of the minimum--first one, AFAIK--looks pretty darn good at this point.

Nice job, mein host!

Chris Biscan

Prelim maps today show the warmer winds compacting the pack. These winds for the next 4 days will be twice as strong. Probably see the first drop in a while today with extent.


Nice job, mein host!

Danke! I'm starting to get the hang of this, although I never would have expected my poll entries (between 4.5 and 5 million square km for the daily IJIS minimum SIE) to come about. That is really amazing, as was this entire melting season. I can't wait for 2012 to start.

I'll be doing a few more posts before going into semi-hibernation, but my mom is visiting, so I won't be sitting behind the computer a lot.

Ah well, I called the minimum. Now I can just sit back and relax. ;-)


Extent now at 4.7 million. Up by 174k in 7 days. Has there been any other year when SIE increased this fast at this time of year? It looks like for the whole of September we will be looking at net INCREASE .

r w Langford

Neven. Nice job with running this blog and all your posts as well as somehow keeping this site idiot free. I look forward to following the unravelling of this world again next year as we all gleefully cheer for more records to be broken. Weird isn't it?

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