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I find it interesting that the biggest anomaly looks to be around day 290, well after refreezing has begun. This means that refreezing rate is much slower than the mean. Has this date been getting later recently?


The date on which the melting season ends and the big re-freeze starts hasn't been getting later (last year for instance, was really early), but as you say the rate of re-freeze has probably slowed down compared to the past.

This has to do with the fact that waters become ice-free sooner and thus have more time to soak up solar radiation and warm up. Before these waters can freeze over again they need to release all their heat to the atmosphere. The warmer waters get, the more time it takes for them to start freezing over, the larger the anomaly gets in September and October.


I wondered whether you thought it was water, air, or even possibly increased CO2. Even though the north is settling into darkness I would think it would still radiate heat in the infra-red spectrum and CO2 would absorb more of this radiation than it used to.

Seke Rob

Mdoliner43, Day of year minimum are superimposed on the CTNHMn chart that Neven put in the topic post. Speaks fr itself on any trend [did an analysis and by 2023 it could become day 254 ;P when melt stops... at zero confidence interval.

From the other ASI(Update 8) thread, this is another stacked bar chart, depicting present day of year state of SIA of all prior years (orange top), the minimum the years reach (red top), and a rough division of In Progress, to see how far things could go [using dummy values].


This is a *rough* out, so ignore any "ThEn" if you see something (j)iffy ;>)

Watch out that today getting into a 'wet' T-Shirt contest, could actually get you 1st degree burns. Yesterday a Turkish truck driver [of a convoy of 17 moving a complete factory, to Bari, ferry to Greece and truck it on to Turkey], to put on me cap that was dangling off the backpack... it's worse than Scorchio here [very high UV].

Account Deleted

Results for July

year mo data_type region extent area
2007 7 Goddard N 8.13 5.03
2008 7 Goddard N 8.99 5.74
2009 7 Goddard N 8.80 5.77
2010 7 Goddard N 8.36 5.27
2011 7 NRTSI-G N 7.92 4.99
2012 7 NRTSI-G N 7.94 4.70

Espen Olsen

The Swedish Ice Cutter "Oden" is on her way to the Pole, on a Danish (claim underground) mission!

Espen Olsen

More about the Oden mission:

Espen Olsen

And "Xue Long" the Chinese Ice Cutter too:


L. Hamilton

A couple or three notes:

1) Some careless person put a subscript instead of a superscript to indicate km^2 in the "Cryosphere Today northern sea ice area anomaly" graph above, but he has since corrected it.

2) Switching back to 1st person, I updated my SEARCH contribution for August, and explored whether a multiple regression using July area & extent might do better than the stale old Gompertz curve I've been sticking with. But multiple regression gives almost the same prediction, 4.24 instead of 4.29, so I decided to hang on with stale Gompertz after all just to see it through.

3) However ... while Gompertz and multiple regression yield similar point predictions for Sep 2012 extent, they have quite different confidence intervals. My Gompertz approach gives a very vague +/-.9, whereas multiple regression gives a daintier +/-.35. Another dimension for comparison.



>"Give me the 17/50/83% data and can whip it out in a jiffy, but you surely would like that to be recomputed/chart updated daily/frequently... so let me commit to doing this, to prevent duplicate effort."

Thank you. :-)


Rows 41 51 57 62 and 73 have smallest 1/3 half 2/3 and largest.
Dates in row 39.

I think you should be able to copy that table and do relevant hlookups for the date in question.

Is that what you wanted?

One more suggestion if I may. Keep the stacked bars data then when you have several, a graph of those bars which will hopefully home in on where it is going to end up.


No surprise that PIOMAS is also lower than any year before. In other words July data is out!

Steve Bloom

That's the case, Mdoliner43, just as night-time minima are also going up globally, but the year to year difference from only a couple ppm CO2 shouldn't be noticable. But methane levels may be worth a look in this reagrd.


I've expected worse values from PIOMAS... I thought 25-30% less than last year, and now it seems to be just 10-15% less.


Day 212 5.777 0.73 below last years 6.507

5.777 is lower than minimum in any year before 2010

That is an 11% drop in volume compared to last year. Area is 8% down on last year. So a 3% decline in average thickness.


A very early update from CT today:

130k drop

3.79M total

2.05M anomaly


Account Deleted

Look at the regional graph for the Arctic basin. Roughly 300K lost in the first few days of August. I hope things slow down soon.


As idunno has noted, CT is out with another big drop, for a three-day decrease of nearly 450k, very respectable for this time of year.

Also as he pointed out, the SIA negative anomaly is back over 2 million (for only the 57th time on record).

2012 is just 882,458 km2 away from a new record. According to the chart I created yesterday, 30 of the 32 years in the record had a post-.5836 that would result in a new record minimum if repeated this year.


30 of the 32 years in the record had a post-.5836 that would result in a new record minimum if repeated this year.

It's good to keep in mind that all those years had a lot more easy ice to melt. But still...

CAPIE is coming awfully close to a record low now (58.56% vs 57.39%). That record fell on August 12th of last year. One big SIA drop combined with a slow SIE day, and there will be yet another record. The ice pack is being diverged big time.

Never wrote: It's good to keep in mind that all those years had a lot more easy ice to melt.

Certainly. That chart doesn't necessarily imply what's still to come; it's just showing the historical possibilities. It's entirely possible 2012 could hit the floor in the next week or two a few hundred thousand square kilometers short of a record. But the way I look at it, since the overall trend is for ice to go away faster, earlier, and deeper, perhaps those prior years can still be a valuable tool in helping to predict what's still to come this year.

As you said: but still...

Kevin McKinney

And for a little light reading in between watching graph lines tank--I had promised to update the blog when my "summary review" article on Dr. Mann's "The Hockey Stick And The Climate Wars" was back up.

As you may have guessed, it is back up (certified as 'original', despite the lack of response so far from the unauthorized reposter who ripped it off.) It's here:



Per Steve Bloom's comment regarding the influence of increasing methane emissions in the arctic regions, Dr. Yurganov from the Joint Center for Earth Systems Technology has just posted the CH4 contentrations for July 2012. There is a visually obvious difference between July 2012 and the July concentrations in any year dating back to 2002. I've made a comparison chart to show the change from July 2011 to July 2012. I will send the picture to Neven since this is my first post on typepad and not sure how to do everything yet. Note to Neven, this chart has the corrected color scale legend per our e-mails last week.


Never wrote: It's good to keep in mind that all those years had a lot more easy ice to melt.

Would not the low average thickness this year as given by the Piomas/CT ratio imply that there is even more "easy ice" this year to melt, even recognizing that some of it will be at relatively high latitudes?



No wonder someone stole it!



Ecojosh, things could definitely be cancelling each other out.

Oldleatherneck, thanks for the update on methane. I've made a quick and dirty panel for comparison with previous years. 2012 definitely looks on the high side of things, but not as high as 2009 (luckily). Remember, Chris Reynolds updates videos of these graphs on the Dosbat blog.


Neven, thanks for the link to the videos. This blog is such a valuable resource to anyone seriously interested in how the rapidly changing arctic will impact weather patterns globally.

Greg Wellman

Kevin, that's a very engaging review you wrote.

I found one tiny factual mistake you might want to correct - in the caption of the photograph of Barry Saltzman. Barry Saltzman died in 2001, at the age of 69, not in 1969.

Bob Wallace

If multi-year ice is thicker ice then there's less hard-to-melt ice now than in earlier years. We've gone from an Arctic where ~50% of the ice was 4 years old and older. That number was down around 10% last year. About 75% of the sea ice is two years or less old.


Seke Rob

Same chart as yesterday in this thread, with a 3rd segment added to the stacked bar chart of CT daata, in blinker version, visualizing "What a difference a day makes" (Eartha Kitt).


- Orange bars, the amount still to melt for the prior years from last data update point.
- Red bars, the amount that 2012 is already below prior years minima.
- Blue bars... never mind... they will turn for a substantially part red in the next 4-6 weeks, they picture throwing the question: With what 2007-2011 still had to melt, how can 2012 not surpass that? Miracles!

In the line graph, 2012 looks, well, nosediving: http://bit.ly/CTAR01
(maybe we can all pitch in to offer the WUWT purveyor a parachute, commando type... the landing is looking to be very hard. )

Kevin McKinney

Thanks Terry, thanks Greg! (And the error is fixed--extra thanks for catching it.)

Patrice Monroe Pustavrh

Tamino has posted some animations too. The story is very visible:

Account Deleted

I think it is now on the cards for a new annual minimum record before the end of august.

Artful Dodger

Hi, Seke Rob

Just a quick note to remind you that CT labels Jan 1st as Day 0 in their interactive SIA chart. So the value 3,79 is actually for Aug 1st, rather than July 31 as shown in your bar graph




Apologies for being OT as usual, Neven,
But something's missing. I can't contribute anything clever like you all are doing here. It's marvellous, even I can follow the elegant graphs & explanations contributed here. So here I am glued to my front row seat & wanting to pay something for my ticket! But the Tip Jar isn't back this year, YET. I hope you will reinstate it soon please.


Arctic 1 August parade is updated now.

Or take it from here.

Seke Rob

Re comment Artful Dodger, plz tell me which date the first CT SIA record represents denoted with 1979,0027? Lest you can convince me it's not Jan 1, I'll stick to 1980.0000 as representing Dec.31, at 23:59:59 (00:00 is always so arbitrary).


Look at the following picture:


Exercise 1: Look at the temperatures for Germany, or Britain

Exercise 2: Look at the temperatures for Greenland and the coasts and islands of the Arctic Ocean


The only year in recent memory that has had a similar drop this late is 2008.

On day 210 the ice was at 5.11656, and by day 215 it had gone to 4.37505 for a total drop of 740,510 and an average of 148,000 per day. The ice that year bottomed out at around 3.00356 on day 252, so between day 210 and day 252, the ice lost 2.113 million square kilometers.

If we were to lose a similar amount of ice this year, we'd be left with 2.12287 million square kilometers, or roughly a third less than the all time low. (Not to mention slightly more than a third of the ice that we had up there in the summer of 1980.)

To put it another way, half of what's up there now could be gone in 6 weeks.

I'm not saying that it's GOING to happen, but it totally COULD happen.


Ah well, they updated - temperatures look more normal now (especially Greenland looked off). I'm mostly relieved - but especially around the Beaufort Sea and the Taimyr Peninsula the weather stations had reported temperatures above 20C several times this year already.

Peter Ellis

DMI looks pretty grim today


Not as grim as the ECMWF weather forecast. If the forecast for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday doesn't change tomorrow, I'm issuing a cyclone alert.

We have seen a similar thing last year around August 22nd: Flash melting.


CT notes another century break for SIA. Anomaly now -2.12 million km2. New record for CAPIE.

Holiest of holy crap, things are going fast right now.

Seke Rob

Soon the OP title needs revision:

2012.5836 -2.0483260 3.7871964 5.8355227
2012.5863 -2.1160057 3.6595285 5.7755342



So here I am glued to my front row seat & wanting to pay something for my ticket! But the Tip Jar isn't back this year, YET. I hope you will reinstate it soon please.

Thanks, Clare, I really appreciate that. Lately I've been thinking about what to do after this melting season. Of course, time is an issue. And time is money, so maybe I'll put a tip jar back up or something. But anyway, more on that in September. There's a couple of things that need to be done/written first.

L. Hamilton

After a flat period, DMI 30% extent dropped 330k in the past two days, setting a new low for 8/3.


L. Hamilton

And CT:



L. Hamilton

That third CT image link should have been this one:


If today's CT concentration map is correct, concentration is starting to go down *north of Ellesmere Island*... one of the last areas of which that could be expected.


Is there any theory as to why the holes in the "tongue" that extends from the Central Arctic to East Siberian sea opened up where they did? Or is it just the effect of weather patterns. I tend to think that when this area melts out every year, as it did in 2007, the end is nigh. The reason is that I think that this is the only area where first year ice is still surviving to a second summer.


Mdoliner43 asked:

Is there any theory as to why the holes in the "tongue" that extends from the Central Arctic to East Siberian sea opened up where they did?

The "tongue" is, or better was an anomaly of it's own kind.

In autumn 2009/winter 2010 a mass of multi-year thick ice had been moved by means of a strong positive oscillation to the Beaurt Sea --> Chucksi Sea --> and finally the East-Siberian till the New Siberian Islands.
Thus "the tongue" we saw in 2010 and 2011 was a result of the multi-year ice not yet melted completely away.

As the situation is now, we fairly can assume any remnant of it will completly vanish away this year.

You can find the whole store at NSIDC.org in one of the 2009 and 2010 reports.

I don't have the time to search for it now (the lady wants me to prepare supper). If you wouldn't find the subject, wecould talk about it later eventually.

Meanwhile you could run the 1 september parade. Which clearly shows "the tongue" has solely been a 2010 and 2011 phenomena.

Seke Rob

The 2012,5863 day anomaly has sunk below the 3 standard deviation mark... There's not many days that had this. Except for the continuous series from Oct4-28-2007 and Oct15-22-2011, it's now *In the thick* of the melt season, rather than during the refreeze [as was earlier observed]: See http://bit.ly/CTAR02



Yes, I was afraid of that. The tongue is really a weather phenomenon and does not indicate any first year ice survival, but older ice blown around and made thinner. I did look at the 1 September parade and thought maybe some first year ice was surviving here. Since most of the peripheral areas go to zero now routinely we can be sure there is no first year ice anywhere except, possibly, in the central arctic. I just think it's so warm now that the chance of survival of much first year ice, regardless of conditions, is very small.


It's interesting that by knowing that no first year ice can survive a summer we can say that the amount of ice can no longer increase. The years where the minimum seems to recover do not indicate that there is more ice, but are artifacts of what we measure. Obviously extent can grow without any new ice, and so can area if old ice breaks up into thinner pieces. Even volume is inaccurate because the same volume of ice can be hard and dry or like a snow cone. But what cannot rise is the actual mass of ice that has actually frozen and absorbed the heat of fusion. And that is pretty much a game-ender. When a year propitious to melting comes along it lops off big chunks of old ice which can never recover.


The area at minimum has always been larger than the area of multiyear ice, so some first year ice always survives, at least so far. So I don't think we can claim "no first year ice can survive a summer".

However, it appears to me that the volume of MYI is declining, ie we are always melting more volume of MYI than the volume of surviving FYI.

Sometimes the % of ice area that is MYI increases. Recently this is normally only a recovery from the 2007 exceptional year. If the % increases but the area has gone down, this might be increased or decreased area. However, the reason I am convinced that the volume of MYI is declining, is because the ice is getting so thin at minimum.


I would guess some first year ice survives because the currents carry it into the main pack where it is safe. But the same currents carry other, multi-year ice out of the main pack to melt.


Sounds like we are back to

Where A is entrance to safe zone B but the exits C,D, and E are rather larger than A.

There is some first year ice mixed in B and close to B.


How can that area in Beaufort be second year and older ice? It's all cleared out already. Does that much old ice drift in there?


Yep, it drifts there from the safe zone B.

It used to manage to drift round the Beaufort Gyre ie through E, Chukchi, East Siberian, Laptev and back to A. but now it melts out.

Similar image from last year:

but better is a long animation of 1981 to 2007:


Crandles wrote:

... it drifts there from the safe zone B

The whole store is here.

Last winter, the wind patterns associated with the negative phase of the Arctic Oscillation transported a great deal of multiyear ice from the coast of the Canadian Arctic into the Beaufort and Chukchi seas.

They should have added the East-Siberian Sea too.

And I should have written "negative phase oscillation". My misytake, apologies.

Wayne Kernochan


This is OT, but an entirely unsolicited and hopefully not annoying post of thanks. Best to all. - w

R. Gates

AmbiValent said:

"I would guess some first year ice survives because the currents carry it into the main pack where it is safe. But the same currents carry other, multi-year ice out of the main pack to melt"

Exactly. FYI mixes in with MYI in various ways, creating as some have called "rotten ice" in areas, with the overall churning mixing it up FYI with MYI, but steadily, with continued overall decline in average ice thickness and overall decline in volume on an annual basis. The continued forcing from greenhouse gases guarantee that this process will result in an eventual ice-free summer Arctic ocean, and thereafter, it will all be first year ice every melt season, and will melt away very quickly, with the ice-free condition occurring earlier and earlier in the melt season, starting first in September (during the first ice-free Arctic season, as the final MYI melts out) and then August, then late July, etc. There might be some minimum earliest date each season at which the future 100% FYI can melt out, but even that won't really matter as the FYI will be thin enough to be quite penetrable by even light ice breakers and all-season traversal of the Arctic will be common.

Artful Dodger

The salinity of first year ice is the key factor in determining the pattern of melt out. First year sea ice is still quite salty, and will melt much closer to -1.8 C than 3+ yr-old MYI at closer to 0 C.

So MYI sea ice which underwent brine rejection against the Canadian Archipelago was then transported in long thin wisps via the Beaufort Gyre to the Southern regions of Beaufort, Chukchi, and E. Siberian seas.

Meanwhile, younger saltier sea ice remains to the North. This explains the pattern of melt observed in Summer 2012.

Paul Klemencic

Storm already causing ice pack degradation

The low pressure system is moving into place but won't intensify greatly until Monday, with the most intense storms likely on Tuesday and Wednesday. But the icepack already shows effects of the gathering low-pressure system cyclonic circulation in today's Bremen map.

Ice in the East Siberian region seems to be suffering the worst so far, as it melts out and floes are pushed toward the Bering Strait. In the Chukchi and Beaufort the ice floes seem to be spreading out with reduced concentrations.  But the dropping ice concentrations around the periphery of the central Arctic basin is most important.

The most important color on the Bremen map is the green areas, because this indicates when the ice concentration level drops below 70%. Colors like yellow and lavender indicating higher concentrations come and go, but weak ice concentration areas indicated by green tend to stick around. There are now significant areas of green along the 80N parallel extending from Severnaya Zemlya to 180E and on to 150W.

Here is a link to the MASIE central Arctic Basin region.

As you can see, most of the Central Arctic Basin has ice coverage, with only the portion near Svalbard and Franz Joseph Land, and Severnaya  Zemlya, showing open water encroaching above the 80 N parallel into the CAB.

But now a large section of the periphery of the CAB region has ice concentrations falling below 70% nearby. And the east side between 15E and 90E has open water extending well above 80N. This opens up space for the central Arctic basin pack to fracture apart with floes moving into the empty space.

The Bremen map tomorrow should show this process continuing, and on Monday the process should accelerate as the storm strengthens.

The key question: How far will fracturing eat into the pack before the weather turns?


Another question: how strong will the Ekman transport caused by the cyclone be. The ice should be thin enough already to be broken apart...

Artful Dodger

Predicted wave heights in the Chukchi sea are 10-12 feet during the gale. That means about 30-36 feet of the sea surface layer will be churned by wave action. This will bring warmer, saltier water up from the depths and inundate the sea ice. All surfaces of the ice flows will be exposed to warmer water, and the fresh melt layer will be quickly and continuously washed away, preventing refreezing.
Look for massive loss of SIA, which may not be detectable until after the storm clears, due to the clouds masking the passive microwave satellite sensors.


You guys are going way too fast, I can't keep up. Try to preserve your best comments for the cyclone post I'll be writing today. :-)

Seke Rob
Just a quick note to remind you that CT labels Jan 1st as Day 0 in their interactive SIA chart. So the value 3,79 is actually for Aug 1st, rather than July 31 as shown in your bar graph
Did a hover on this even outside right of the where the lines end and it still shows day 364 on that chart, also suggesting that the first day on left is really day 365 [Jan 1, at 00:00:00]. Guess we never have this settled :D

Okay, cyclone post is up. Please post your best comments there now.

Seke Rob

CT (omitting day number ;):

2012,5863 -2,1160057 3,6595285 5,7755342
2012,5890 -2,0764983 3,6457851 5,7222834

Anomaly holding below -2M.


And looking for 0.24M Km^2 reduction to pass 2007

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