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Nightvid Cole

So we are 3rd place, after 2011 and 2007?


Nightvid Cole, according to my spreadsheet 2012 is in 4th place (CT Arctic SIA), behind 2005, 2006 and 2011.

2005: +186K
2006: +211K
2007: -178K
2008: -554K
2009: -293K
2010: -392K
2011: +62K

+ is more than, - is less than


Well I think I make it 5th place:

Year,,,,Min,,,,,,,,,,,,,more than 2012 by
2011 14.4116583 -0.3507328
2010 14.8799973 0.1176062
2009 15.1125431 0.350152
2008 15.579299 0.8169079
2007 14.634325 -0.1280661
2006 14.3918705 -0.3705206
2005 14.7323446 -0.0300465
2004 15.5976257 0.8352346
2003 16.2682018 1.5058107
2002 15.5054226 0.7430315

any advance on 5th? ;o)


I'm confused... :-P

By the way, I have a small blog roll on the right hand bar now, with a couple of Arctic sea ice related blogs. I was planning something bigger, but that was too much work. So this will have to do for now.


In case there is any confusion, Neven is doing Arctic, while I am doing global per post title. I am not sure whether Nightvid was thinking of Arctic or global area or something else.

Nightvid Cole

I was talking about global, as per the title of this post...


Looking at the regional graphs, I see Bering and Okhotsk going up, as well as Greenland, with Baffin going quite high compared to last year. On the other hand the Arctic Basin is going down again a bit (because of the ice pack opening up around Franz Josef Land, as Werther noted), Kara is still low, and Barentsz actually shows a steep drop.

Looking at the weather maps for the coming 5 days I only see conditions conducive to ice growth in all regions, except perhaps for Bering/Okhotsk (but only in the coming 2-3 days). I think that last bit of Kara Sea below Novaya Zemlya is going to freeze over completely (but will melt out megafast as well). It doesn't look like the Arctic record maximum will be broken.


Neven wrote:

It doesn't look like the Arctic record maximum will be broken.

You did mean "minimum record" of the (yearly) Arctic maximum extension, didn't you? :-)


Hehe. Yes, I mean lowest maximum Cryosphere Today total Arctic sea ice area.

You don't want to know how much time it takes me every time to get all those words in the right order. :-)


Neven wrote:

You don't want to know how much time

Actually I do know, as I am busy myself with a few activities like this one. Therefore I thought it would be a pity if all your efforts would be jeoperdized by a just little glitch. You know, "Feind hört mit".

Sans rancune. :-)


>"I think that last bit of Kara Sea below Novaya Zemlya is going to freeze over completely"

Not much that isn't red on today's mosaic 367 band.

I agree there is going to be lots of increases before arctic maximum. The highest of last 10 years patterns following 2005 pattern gives a projection of 13.64. Something near that wouldn't surprise me at the moment.


Hi all,

Newcomers here may not have noticed that English is not Neven's first language. (He made a spelling mistake sometime back last July or so.)

Some CT comparison maps of previous low-ice February years. Unfortunately, 2005 is not available:

2006 & 2007


2010 & 2011



idunnno and Neven,

The CT comparison that gets my attention is the 1979 vs 2012.


I wrote a piece for a religious publication recently that generated the expected "no climate change" responses. I think I will post this in reply.


That 1979 versus 2012 display just reminds us how things really have changed. Forget Svalbard and NZ for a moment, have a look at the Baltic and Okhotsk.


Neven wrote:

lowest maximum

Yes, indeed.

On the other hand, we can expect the Arctic sea ice extent in February 2012 average according to nsidc.org will be at a frightfully minimum record level, can't we?

Talking about nsidc.org, I would advise you all to block the script


IMHO this background image script is really joy spoiler.

You can block the script in an easy way with Addblock on SeaMonkey, Firefox, Google Chrome and Safari.

Dunno about the Internet Exploder.


The Barrow Mass Balance Site has been repaired. Current thickness 1.35 meters. Does anybody remember how the thickness this year compares to the thickness at the end of February last year? I know it reached a maximum around 1.7 meters in May of 2011.

Peter Ellis


A rough eyeball says that 2009/10/12 were all between 1m and 1.1m, so we're considerably thicker than usual this year. That's consistent with the cold winter they've had there: it'll be interesting to see what that does to the breakup date.


RunningInCircles- wrote:

I know it reached a maximum around 1.7 meters in May of 2011.

1,70m ? No way. It was at it's max. at 1,42 m begin Juin 2011.


Usually the thickness there reaches 1,30 m in the beginning of May to around 1,40 m in the first weeks of Juin.

Today the thickness is already at 1,36 m, thus there is an already bigger ice layer now as usually in the beginning of May.

Whether this would have an influence on the breack-up is hard to say. For instance a day of rain could have disappeared the ice in a couple of days.

Nevertheless the actual situation is exceptional.

Well, 2012 seems to develop into the year of anomalies, isn't it?


No record Arctic SIA lowest maximum this year. It jumped up to 13.1459837 million km2.

Lord Soth

I can't get excited about sea ice maximun, as the sea ice maximun is determied vastly by variations in weather, and not climate.

What ever ice forms now, will surely melt just as quickly.

What wories me is the North of 80 Climate stats for the last 3 1/2 months. Not once has the temperature above 80 North drop below average during the dead of winter.

In fact the North of 80 temps have been on average 6-7 degree's celsius above average for over 100 days now.

Since it is the ice in the high arctic that will determine if we reach a new minimun; not the ice that melts every year anyways; things do not look good with the obviously thinner north of 80 ice.

The DMI North of 80 temperture graph can be found on Neven's Daily Graphs Tab.

Also, a big factor im waiting for, it the NSIDC March-April graph of how much Multiyear ice remains in the Arctic, and how much got pushed out.

There, I have waken from hibernation on the day when the average daily climate maximun goes above freezing, in Halifax, Nova Scotia


Good morning, LS!

I can't get excited about sea ice maximun, as the sea ice maximun is determied vastly by variations in weather, and not climate.

Of course the maximum is only interesting for statistical purposes. And it marks the start of the melting season.

So far we have seen what is happening on the North Atlantic/Siberian front. That was pretty spectacular. I have a hunch that it is offset on the other side of the Arctic. First of all it was mighty cold over there almost all of winter, so the ice should be quite thick (more or less corroborated by the current Barrow ice thickness). We saw the news about the freshwater bulge in the Beaufort Sea, and freshwater freezes better than saltier water. There was a lot of ice expansion in the Bering Sea, which will take maybe some more time than usual to melt. Because of the positive AO a lot of the thicker ice north of the Canadian Archipelago has been transported to the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas, again forming a barrier against warm Pacific waters when all the sea ice in the Bering Sea has melted out.

So all in all we have another interesting melting season ahead of us. I'm quite certain there will be new records if conditions are similar to those of 2007 (especially towards the end of the melting season), but other than that I have no idea what to expect. More info is welcome, such as the MYI graph/map mentioned by Lord Soth.


Hi all,

Now that speculation over the possibility of a minimum maximum is over, here's a possibility for the next poll:

In recent years the shape of the extent/area curves seems to me to have changed. Whereas in the past it looked more like a sine curve, in several recent years, there has been more ice than the overall decline in March and April, as in:


... so that the curve looks more like the profile of a wave moving from left to right.

If this is actually the new pattern, the same thing can be expected to happen this year. In which case, the interesting question, for me, is on what date does WUWT inform us all that Arctic sea ice is clearly growing?


Hi all,

Pray silence for:

Idunno's North Polo Hypothesis

Over the course of the last several months, there seems to me to have been an awful lot of DMI weather temp maps that looked very similar to today's:


To summarise; a quadrant of much warmer air between the Greenwich meridian and approx 90E, extending North as far as the North Pole. This seems to have been stationary for months. It encompasses the Kara, Barentsz seas, the Eastern side of the Fram Strait and a large segment of the Arctic Basin.

In the Arctic Basin, today's Bremen map shows lots of less-than-100% ice coverage:


I can see a possibility that, if this central area continues to thin, we may even end up with a "North Polo":


Early in the melting season, when Northern Canada/UK, Siberia and Greenland are still very cold, they should act as giant ice cubes and cool the air above them, and thus the sea adjacent. The Centre of the Arctic Ocean is much further from these continental influences, as is more influenced by purely marine factors. If the marine factors promote enough melt, it should perhaps be most expected to happen right in the middle of the ocean. Hence, the possibility of a "North Polo" - (maybe more of a horseshoe than a proper doughnut, but what the heck.)


As a fan of puns, I emphatically applaud 'North Polo'!

Wayne Kernochan

I am sorry, Neven, that new arctic area figure is very suspicious. Has anyone else noted that it appears remarkably similar to (pi) with a 1 craftily moved to the front? Thus: 3.14159 -> 13.1459. Obviously, the work of a climate change denier. Probably one who has not yet figured out that pi are round, cornbread are squared.


Thanks for the reply and the link to last years data.

Nightvid Cole


The actual data for average temperature from June 1 - July 31 can be viewed at


Clearly the land masses are warmer than the nearby oceans, not colder. The only exception is Greenland, but air coming off Greenland will be warmed by compression since the altitude of the interior of Greenland's ice sheet is substantial.

Unfortunately, I cannot accept your 'North polo' theory for this reason.


The land masses are warmer in summer but colder in winter. While the warmer helps melt ice in summer, the colder in winter means thicker ice. Is it sufficiently thicker to delay melting of outer seas until after centre has melted? AFAICS The best way to answer this is to see what has happened in the past; it has always melted Russian shores before centre.

So it doesn't seem very likely but could be possible in some unusual circumstances....

Perhaps speculating on possibility of large ice islands that did not form close to shore nor near pole/centre of basin might be more plausible?


Phil263 had some problems getting this posted here, so I'm posting on his behalf:

I found a very interesting paper on global temperature trends published by Cohen et al which i recommend to the readers of this forum. The paper is titled " asymetric seasonal temperature trends"; the gist of it can be summarised as follows:

1-Positive global temperature trends have become small or insignificant in the past decade. However this is not inconsistent with a warming planet and it is not unexpected. Longer periods still indicate a significant warming trend.

2-The main reason why the tend has become flat in the past decade, is because temperature in WINTER in the NH show no warming. In contrast, the trend is significant for all other seasons.

The " summary and conclusion of the paper is reproduced here :

Analysis of monthly and annual temperatures over the past decade shows that the positive global temperature trend has become insignificant and small. Based on previously reported analysis of the observations and modelling studies this is neither inconsistent with a warming planet nor unexpected; and computation of global temperature trends over longer periods does exhibit statistically significant warming. However, upon examining the trends seasonally, more interesting and significant findings are discovered. In examining the NH extratropical landmasses, the biggest contributor to global temperature trends, we find substantial divergence in trends between boreal winter and the other three seasons. A statistically significant warming trend is absent across NH landmasses during DJF going back to at least 1987, with either wintertime near-neutral or cooling trends. In contrast,significant warming is found for the other three seasons over the same time period.Based on current literature and our own examination of the latest coupled climate models, the lack of a significant warming trend in winter spanning nearly three decades is not likely or expected (less than 10% of the ensemble members analyzed in this study predicted no warming in winter). Therefore, we argue that any attribution study on the recent cessation of global warming should explicitly explain the seasonally asymmetric nature of the temperature trend. For example, studies that attribute the recent cooling to

diminished shortwave radiation at the surface are at a great disadvantage since their influence is maximized during boreal summer and minimized during boreal winter,

opposite to what has been observed.

There are theories that argue for recent cooling that is limited to the winter season.One theory is known as ‘warm Arctic cold continents,’ where a warmer Arctic and

declining Arctic sea ice are contributing to colder winters across the NH continents [Honda et al. 2009; Budikova, 2009; Francis et al., 2009; Overland and Wang, 2010; Petoukhov and Semenov, 2010; Serreze et al., 2011]. A second theory is that increasing fall Eurasian snow cover that may also be related to a warming Arctic is forcing a negative trend in the winter AO [Cohen and Barlow, 2005; Cohen et al., 2009; Cohen et al., 2012]. As Figure 3b

202 illustrates, the observed winter temperature trend spatially resembles the pattern of temperatures associated with the negative phase of the AO. Therefore, the inability of the models to simulate the observed trend in the AO (Fig. S4), may partly explain the poorly simulated DJF temperature trends.

Daniel Bailey

An open-copy of the paper can be found here:



Thanks for posting a link to the Cohen et al paper. I had some technical issues this morning. It's good reading even for non-scientists like me.


Cohen et al used CRUTEM3 and NASA MERRA for temp datasets. Isn't the first one going to be updated (HadCRUT) soon? If I've understood correctly, the new version will better reflect temps in the Arctic, where winters are anomalously 'warm'. Would that explain the perceived non-trend in global winter temps?


>"Cohen et al used CRUTEM3 and NASA MERRA for temp datasets. Isn't the first one going to be updated (HadCRUT) soon?"

There is a new version that does have more arctic stations included (as well as some more in other areas).

They specifically say "To check the robustness of this seasonal asymmetry ... we repeat the analysis ... using NASA MERRA"

Given the similarity of figures 1b and 2b, their following conclusions seem to me to be pretty robust to the update to HadCRUT.

"Land regions show similar robust warming annually and for all seasons but winter, the only season with no statistically significant warming for any period (Fig. 2b)."

"Staggering start and end dates by 1-2 years yields similar results for both NASA MERRA and CRUTEM3 (not shown). Hence, we confidently conclude that the cessation of global winter warming since 1987 is mostly attributable to neutral or even cooling temperature trends across the NH extratropical landmasses."

MERRA actually has more boreal winter land cooling in 2005-2010 than HadCRUT so that difference would be aggravated. But this is not at all statistically significant.

The statistical signficance of the warming for NH land 1979-2010 might be increased slightly. That might have a tiny effect towards suggesting that the lack of winter warming trend is a more recent event rather than potentially being a permanent thing.

Do people think it is likely that there is a limit to how far arctic oscilation is likely to go from a model predicted trend? (If it is an oscilation presumably there has to be some limit?) If so, should we expect winter warming to resume imminently or not for some time or is it just impossible to guess when?


Daniel 'The Yooper' Bailey asked me to post this (he's the second who's had problems with TypePad; I hope it doesn't last long):

CRUTEM4 will be out soon:


From the following:

Hemispheric and large-scale land surface air temperature variations: An extensive revision and an update to 2010
Jones et al 2012

"The inclusion of much additional data from the Arctic (particularly the Russian Arctic) has led to estimates for the Northern Hemisphere (NH) being warmer by about 0.1°C for years since 2001."

1. 2005 and 2010 are warmer than 1998 on the latest iteration of HadCRUT
2. 2007 seems to be the hottest year in the new record (then 2005/2010)


Hi all,

New info from NASA on multi-year ice thickness and loss rate:


Daniel Bailey

Lessee if Typepad will let me post now:



The NASA told:

accelerated during the last decade, in part because of the dramatic decreases of 2008 and 2012


2012? That should be an error, shouldn?t it?

Peter Ellis

Not an error, the study says "a time series of multi-year ice ... taken during the winter months from 1978 to 2011" - so it's the levels at the start of 2012, heading into the melt season.

The paper referred to is this one:

The data is in figure 7, and the legend shows that the figures are an average multi-year ice area for Dec-Feb inclusive. So (for example) the 2008 figure is for start-of-season 2008 and is the lowest on record, reflecting the massive melt in summer 2007.

The figure shows MY ice in Arctic ocean proper (including Beaufort, Chukchi et al) but excludes the Greenland Sea. In the printed paper, which was written in early 2011 and published mid 2011, they only had data up to the end(ish) of 2010. The final point in the printed graph is actually the figure for November 2010, standing as a proxy for the 2011 start-of-season figure. (Figure 5 shows that MY area in the central basin doesn't usually change much during winter, so this is valid.)

The animation (released on Feb 29 2012) appears to be current, has a corrected figure for 2011 and has had the 2012 figure added. It's a fair representation of how much MY ice we'll be starting the season with this year.


Hi all,

CT Arctic sea ice area has hit 13.231 - so I'm holding a losing betting slip, having plumped for 13.0 - 13.2.

Looks like the bookies are going to do well.

Account Deleted


"2012? That should be an error, shouldn?t it?"


"acquired November 1, 2011 - January 31, 2012"

See the picture:

This summer we will see a large melting!


I will write a blog post about this tonight. Thanks for all the links.

Enno Zinngrebe

In the same current issue can be found this:


what does it mean? can someone explain it in layman terms? is it not relevant? For example:

"Furthermore, it is possible that surface anticyclonic differences over the Arctic contribute to year-to-year variability of summer Arctic sea ice concentration along the Siberian coast."

Or does that simply mean that sea ice melt depends on weather, which is a triviality?


Arcticicelost80 wrote:

See the picture:

Thank you!

Chris Reynolds

Crandles, Neven,

I've blogged about Dr Cohen's work and he's checked each post after publication.

The observed pattern of cooling is visible in GISS Maps. I doubt if there will be any sort of 'rebound' to a winter warming because: Cohen shows evidence suggestive of a role for reduced sea-ice in increasing Siberian snowfall advance via atmospheric humidity. Furthermore whilst the AO has been seen as a chaotic process, Cohen's snow advance index explains 71% of variance in the AO.

Furthermore there seems now to be a connection between the low sea-ice in the Barents Sea and the recent cold outbreak over Europe. This was not predicted by Cohen's snow advance index indicator. But is suggested by modelling research.

Has anyone read any research about massive losses of sea-ice volume in spring over the last decade?


Hi Chris. I've been following most of what you've written about cold winters. Great stuff. I still have to do a post on that and when I do, I'll definitely link to your posts.

Chris Reynolds

One thing I've missed out on at my blog is the low sea-ice in Barents/Kara 'coinciding' with the Arctic outbreak over Europe. I was too busy with other matters and the whole event passed me by. :(

No need to link to my blog, but in due course I would be interested in your opinion and the opinion of your commenters. I think we're getting closer to a coherent picture with Cohen, Pethoukhov & Seminov, Overland and Francis. One of my jobs for the Spring will be to re-read the literature on this matter. It's a very excting area, as the loss of ice continues it will become more interesting and relevant.


One of my jobs for the Spring will be to re-read the literature on this matter. It's a very excting area, as the loss of ice continues it will become more interesting and relevant.

Definitely. It's uncharted territory for climate/atmospheric science.

One thing I've missed out on at my blog is the low sea-ice in Barents/Kara 'coinciding' with the Arctic outbreak over Europe. I was too busy with other matters and the whole event passed me by.

I don't know nearly enough about the whole subject, but I thought the 'Snowmaggedons' of the previous two winters were caused by cold air spilling out from the Arctic directly. However, the recent cold in Europe (that gave us a 3 week winter after all) was caused by cold winds coming from the east instead of the north. This in turn was caused by a high pressure system that was stuck (blocked) over northern Siberia and pushed all the cold air from eastern Siberia and Kazakhstan towards Europe. And of course it was much later than the other two 'horror' winters.

But again, that's just my impression.


Neven wrote:

And of course it was much later than the other two 'horror' winters.

We just got in here the data about the 2012 meto winter (December, January, February). From Ukkel (± 250 km to the South of Amsterdam).

Afer all, the medium temperature has been quite normal, anzi normalissimo: 4,0 °C. [6,1 °C Dec - 5,1 °C Jan - 0,7 °C Feb).

To compare, the coldest winter ever has been 1963 [-2,0 °C], the second 1845 and 1891 [-1,4 °C], the fourth 1838 and 1947 [-1,1 °C].


No English text available, but it should be easy enough. Warmste = warmest, koudste = coldest, eerste = first, tweede = second and so on.

And there is always Google translator of course.

Mike Constable

The higher than average Antarctic ice areas are keeping the global ice area numbers up. The collapse of ice-shelves down south and the calving of giant icebergs has directly added thousands of cubic kilometres of ice to re-enforce the pack ice in the last decades. The collapse of ice-shelves has released the feeding glaciers to flow more freely into the sea to add more ice. Add to that the probability that the edges of the ice-shelves that remain have been breaking up more rapidly under the same influences that caused calving/collapse - a vast quantity of ice has been added to keep the ice count up.

Chris Reynolds


I agree that this wasn't the same process as 2009/10 or 2010/11. Because it's complex, and I should address this matter anyway, I've done a blog post which sets out my views.


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