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The only mild suprise is that 2007 does not hold the record.


Hi all,

This measurement of temp North of 64 degrees is quite different to the DMI measurement on the Daily Graphs page, which describes temp North of 80 degrees.

The DMI track for 2012 seems to be among the highest ever for January, and through most of the month, temperatures seem to have been very high between Svarlsbard and Severnaya Zemlya and the Pole. The ice in this area also looks less than solid on the Uni Bremen maps.

Rich and Mike Island

The BBC had an article about the freshwater bulge in the Arctic Ocean yesterday:



DMI north of 80N is a much smaller area than north of 64N so we should expect it to be much more volatile, as it is:

I'd say 2006 had warmest Jan 80N and above.
2000 puzzles me as it starts so hot when 1999 didn't end so hot.
1977, 1990 and 2012 look like 2nd, 3rd and 4th warmest to me (eyeball v1 may not be perfect though).


I had noticed last summer on the DMI 80N temperature graph that the trend at the start of many years doesn't start where the trend of the previous year ends. I always thought about writing a short post about it, but didn't deem it interesting enough.

2012 looks like 2006 in many ways: positive AO/NAO, not much ice around Svalbard and in the Barents Sea, etc. Interesting.


>"2012 looks like 2006 in many ways: positive AO/NAO, not much ice around Svalbard and in the Barents Sea, etc. Interesting."

Does that mean 2013 ice free conditions? ;o) (I know, nothing is certain)

Hot January conditions - some possibilities

1) More leads and polynyas allowing heat from deep to escape to atmosphere. The heat from deep therefore does not build up under thick ice to cause melting so the effect is thicker ice.

2) Stong winds bringing heat from lower latitudes causes high temperatures. While much of this heat will be lost to space, until that happens heat flow though ice is reduced which reduces ice thickness.

3) Higher temperature above ice and warmer water (eg inuit hunters finding seals stomachs have warmer water creatures) combine to reduce the equilibrium maximum freeze thickness.

4) Ice was thinner at start of freeze season. This means more freezing of water to move towards equilibrium maximum freeze thickness. This releases heat which together with heat from deep water travels through the ice and warms the atmosphere.

So a mixture of cause and effect: In 1 leads cause high temperature and thick ice. In 2 and 3 high temperatures cause thin ice, and in 4 thin ice at start of freeze season causes high temperatures which in turn must have some effect as in 2 and 3 of reducing ice thickness.

For this year I think we could well have a mixture of all of these. For 1990 and 1977 I am inclined to think mainly 1 and 2. But I could well be missing important alternatives or messing up this analysis in other ways.

Hans Verbeek

Is it just GISS that claims this new record?
I would like to see it confirmed by other data.

GISS is still adjusting temperature-data from the 20th century: especially in the Arctis region.

It makes me wonder why all these adjustments are necessary.


It makes me wonder why all these adjustments are necessary.

Why, to convince the sea ice to disappear, of course. ;-)

Andrew Xnn

Thought it would be interesting to re-draw the Arctic Temperature Anomaly graph in Fahrenheit and base lined to 1880-1899.

Looks like 5.7F of warming (3.2C).

1998 does not stand out as a particularly warm year in the Arctic.

Standout years include
2005 & 2007

michael sweet

Why wonder about the adjustments? All of them are fully documented in writing. Look up why they have been adjusted and see for yourself why the adjustments were necessary. I never see people who challenge the adjustments themselves, only people who say "I don't know why they made this adjustment and I doubt it" like you.

Did GISS make the adjustment or GHCN? your source suggests it is GISS but it is not clear. It appears to be an attempt to smear GISS.

Please provide a peer-reviewed reference for your wild claim that the adjustment was not needed. The adjustments were peer reviewed.


Just for fun, here is the BEST analysis (based on preliminary data) for the North Pole:


It seems to be in broad agreement with GISS analysis for the Arctic.

Like GISS, BEST has released the code that does the "adjustments". Insinuations of special treatment of Arctic stations should be based on that.

Kevin McKinney

Hans Verbeek's link is to a pure denialist blog. Most revealing, to me, was the post breathlessly reporting that (paraphrased as closely as memory allows) 'current warming takes place from the coldest point in the last 10,000 years.'

It's probably basically correct, since the place of reference is Nuuk, Greenland, which has not warmed much in the 20th century (if I recall correctly), and since 10,000 years ago would put us right smack in the middle of the Holocene climatic optimum.

What it ain't, is news.

What it is, is misleading.


The 15% extent is such a misleading and poor standard.

It's possible for ice area to decrease by a factor of as much as 6.6 without the 15% extent changing at all.

The 15% extent will collapse very, very rapidly once the area and volume fall below a certain threshold.

Temperature changes are misleading and weighted downwards, since much of the excess heat is currently going into the Heat of Fusion of water for phase change for ice all over the world.

Once most of the ice is gone, the rate of temperature increase will go up much faster, especially for continental atmospheric temperatures.

See present departures from average over the U.S. for an additional nightmare: positive albedo feedback. Weak snow season, fast melting snowpacks, equals more sunlight absorbed, means even more heat and weaker snow season still.

If monthly and seasonal temperature departure predictions hold true, I think 2012 will end up being top 5 hottest years on record, if not THE hottest.


Overnight lows for much of the U.S. have been higher than the day time highs are supposed to be for about two weeks now.

Apparently, the trend is supposed to continue for at least another two weeks for most of the nation.

My God, we used to wear long-johns and pants with a sweater and jacket on the coldest days of winter 20 to 25 years ago. No joke. Wasn't just us kids either. It was the adults too.

Now it's a wonder if you even need pants and a wind breaker when a COLD FRONT comes through.

Shorts and short sleeve shirt and you sweat walking outside. From now to February 11 is supposed to be the coldest part of the year, but it looks like April came 3 months early.


>"It's possible for ice area to decrease by a factor of as much as 6.6 without the 15% extent changing at all."

Just because this is possible doesn't mean that it is happening. Area record looks pretty similar to extent record to me. You therefore appear to be looking at the worst possibility to dismiss the extent record without considering whether it really is bad in that way nor whether there is any benefit.

A more balanced view of disadvantages and benefits might be that we are probably more interested in area than extent but that doesn't cause much of a problem. However if you want a long record then extent information extends back much further with less error then extent may well suit the purpose better.

If you really want to attack extent then it is better to also attack area by saying it is the volume we should really be interested in. The thickness is clearly decreasing so the volume is declining much faster than extent or area.


>"See present departures from average over the U.S. for an additional nightmare: positive albedo feedback. Weak snow season..."

Yes but are you sure that weak snow season is not just random variation? Canada and Alaska have had a very heavy snow season. If the Arctic sea ice melts then there is more open water for evaporation and snow over land that cools down faster.

Perhaps a link to a paper like:

Arctic warming, increasing snow cover and widespread boreal winter cooling:


Chris Reynolds

Thanks Crandles,

I've been wondering when that paper would be published, I blogged about the pre-print version.

Figure 2 tells a very interesting story.

Andrew Xnn

Northern Hemisphere Snow anomaly for December 2011 was actually below average.

While 2009 and 2010 were both well above, this year is not following that trend.

Hopefully, nobody is reading about that town in Alaska that got buried and drawing conclusions for the entire continent.


Ok, grass is green outside in January. Thats a simple fact.


I was probably a little out of date badly remembering something like:

"Typically by November, much of Scandinavia is already covered with snow, but maps from the Rutgers University Global Snow Lab show that snow cover levels were anomalously low over Scandinavia and northwestern Europe during November. Below-normal snow conditions were also evident over most of the continental United States, except for the northern Rockies

The overall Northern Hemisphere snow cover was more extensive than normal this November, with most of the extra coverage in Canada and Russia, putting November 2011 into the record books as having the fourth most extensive cover in the past 46 years of satellite-derived snow cover records."


So, thanks for the December update.

Rich and Mike Island

Here in south Georgia (USA) it has been a very mild winter, but I don't consider a mild winter to be indicative of a trend. The last 2 winters were quite cold. But our summers were so extreme the last 2 years were warmer than normal anyway.

When the revisions for 1981-2010 averages were released vs the 1971-200 averages, our winter was about 0.3 degrees colder, and the rest of the seasons were warmer, and the annual average temp rose about 0.4 degrees for my location. That's in degrees Fahrenheit.

The point is that a mild spell in the winter doesn't show global warming is real (which it is). It's the trend of the seasons and climates for everywhere around the world that shows global warming is a reality. And the deterioration of arctic sea ice is just one part of that.


Hi Rich, Mike...
To me, the deterioration of arctic sea ice is not just one part, but an active driver of what's going on right now.
Since 2007 it has become a feedback on the 'global warming show'.
It influences weather patterns all over the Northern Hemisphere, as Wayne Davidson calls it 'warping the Hadley cells'.


Neven, - Thanks for including the cool video for Russian rivers putting fresh water into the Beaufort Sea. H'mnn fresher water freezes at a higher temperature than saltier water. Reason and logic to some things.

Also, of related noteworthiness is "The ARM"
extending into the East Siberian Sea. Virtually enclosed by the counter clockwise circulation on it's way to Beaufort Sea.

Some things we discussed - admired - wondered about - noted a couple of years ago were worthwhile - at least to me.

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