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R. Gates

Certainly the Arctic Basin SIA is the one to watch now, as it represents the bulk of what ice is left in the Arctic this year, and certainly all of the MYI that will remain into the winter. It is the anomaly graph from this Arctic Basin region that gives me the biggest clue that 2007 was the true "Dragon King" event versus merely a Black Swan, as we see that it was 2007 that really set the stage to the new regime trend that was to follow. This is all revealed in looking at the Arctic Basin anomaly. There was a precursory "preshock" or very short dip in 2006 in the anomaly, but 2007 was the real deal, and now of course, 2012 takes that downward trend into new territory as we head to the inevitable ice-free condition in the not too distant future.

Artful Dodger

Does anyone know the date in 2007 when Central Basin SIA reached it's minimum? Just wondering when freeze-up started, as a guide to the possible number of days more C.B. melt there might be in 2012.


Does anyone know the date in 2007 when Central Basin SIA reached it's minimum?

I was wondering myself and did some pixel counting:

1 year = 27 pix
the broad peak is 4 pixels wide @ 17-20 pix from the start of 2007.

That would correspond to days 230-270

End of September.



Current peak in 2012 is at pixel 17, in my calculation day 230.


Morning Lodger,
I could get an idea of the refreeze date through DMI mean temps N of 80dG.
In 2007 the last day on 273dK/0dC was 238. This year the mean is wobbling around zero since day 225. Mean refreeze isn’t far away.
From the graphs I could also compare length and intensity of melt on the near surface level of the troposphere. This year now has 82 days near, on or over 0dC, 2007 had 79 days.
On intensity: the graphical area of the curve above 0dC was 276 in 2007, 251 this year.
We could turn these DMI graphs into another domino. It may have fallen on length of the melt season. On intensity 2007 is still leading.
It is another bit of fact supporting ocean transmitted forcing as important this year.

OTOH, the near surface temps are held down by melting. Because this year’s melt is vast in the CAB, the DMI graph may not tell us much.
The temp anomaly on 850 Mb however, is large this year and is probably a better indicator of the exceptional transmittance of warmth to the ice.


PS last night I CAD-counted the 'mesh-area' in the CAB again. It has receded further, most in the r03c03 tile (N of the CA).
I get 1,04 Mkm2. Leaving the rest as patternless floes.
Much clouds on the Atlantic side...

Artful Dodger

Thanks, Wipneus. That estimate correlates well with the Aug 20, 2012 as day 233, but perhaps a little coarse for our tastes!

Goedemorgen, Werther. I wonder about the salinity effect on freezing point above 80N. If surface water is 30 psu, then F.P. could be closer to -1.8 C. I also like Neven's technique of watching for temperature spikes in the DMI 80N graph to betray the heat of fusion being released to the air.

I think it'll be a worthwhile exercise to eyeball some concentration maps from 2007. We should be able to guess within 3 days or so when SIC starts to increase.

Of course it's a different Arctic now, with a thin fragmented central pack. I expect SIE to continue downward long after SIA bottoms out, as compaction / advection occurs.

Espen Olsen

IJIS: 4,333,281 km2


I see that CT is still showing a 100k sqkm melt each day. Should this be repeated for the next 8 days, we will dip below 2m sqkm area. New territory indeed. Although it has often slowed rapidly in late august.

It looks like the water temp on the newly melted out sea is actually increasing in temperature rather than decreasing and also the water off Banks island is now up at 6C and off the Canadian coast is as high as 12C, although I'm sure it was higher before the storm.

The Barrow mass ice balance webcam gives us a temperature back in the 50's from mid 30's during and shortly after, the storm. Even though it's heavily overcast.

It doesn't look like it's about to stop any time soon.

Rob Dekker

There is not a lot of atmospheric heat left over to do serious damage, and in fact snow is no longer melting on the various webcams from the NP and Obuoys.

This means that (fairly typical for this time of year) bottom/side melt (by warm ocean releasing heat) and compaction seem to be the two remaining forces that could further reduce the ice area/extent.

For bottom melt, the GAC 2012 added the additional kick of bringing up salty warm water from below, which shifts the point where freeze takes over from melting. It's unclear how significant that effect still is by now, but ITP53 data still an "unstable" situation below the surface, of cool. fresh surface water on top of warmer salty water some 50 meter below the surface
which has potential to postpone the onset of refreeze.

For compaction, we have a dipole in place right now, which undoubtedly will cause some compaction in the days to come, while it lasts, possibly causing further nosedives in the various data sets.

What a mess. And it's not over yet.


CICE ice thickness and drift charts show that a lot of MYI is about to board the Fram Express to oblivion

Dan P.

CT area down to 2.782M km^2. As Sufferance indicated, -103k. Wow.

Dan P.

Rather, 2.742M km^2.

Chris Biscan

This HP is clearing out the skies over the ice pack.


area's especially along 80N are still getting healthy doses of solar insolation.

Dan, yeah pretty wild and that was from yesterday morning. Might drop below 2.7 mil km2.

Artful Dodger

s=l, CT

Artful Dodger

... SIA has averaged -46K over the last 8 days.


Rob Dekker,
It's unclear how significant that effect still is by now, but ITP53 data still an "unstable" situation below the surface, of cool. fresh surface water on top of warmer salty water some 50 meter below the surface

I think the bouy has stopped collecting data. See the link below which suggests the last data is from the 13th of august.



Rob Dekker,
Did you read the article by Krishfield et al (2008)? This is a quote from chapter 6a (Instrument performance):

When the ice velocity approaches 50 cm s-1, we observe that profilers have trouble climbing the inclined tether against the relative current, and at such times only partial profiles are occupied.


In the Beaufort Sea region, these times are rare: fewer than 4% of the scheduled profiles attempted by ITPs 1 through 6 (6620 total as of January 2008) failed to sample at least 700 m of the water column, and less than 1% (only 41 profiles total) sampled less than 10 m of the water column.

The velocity reached at the time of the storm was above 70cm/s.

Rob Dekker

Thanks, facebook.com/profile.php?id=687386516.
You are right. ITP53 stopped reporting 8/13.
Rats. That was the last operational buoy around in the area most affected by the storm.

Artful Dodger

Daniel Bengtsson, thank-you for your constant vigilance on Arctic Buoys. We need all the eyes we can get, because it's a mighty big Ocean... :^)

Espen Olsen


Is now spot on : http://www.sailwx.info/shiptrack/shipposition.phtml?call=SMLQ

Espen Olsen


P II 2012, just avoided Hans Ø and is now passing the island :


Two days ago I sent this message to Dutch KNMI:

´Good evening Sir, Madam,
With this message I would like to ask your attention for the rapidly deteriorating situation of sea and land ice around the North Pole. As professionals you follow this process undoubtedly with equal interest, like me as an amateur. It would give me confidence when you on behalf of your Institute and with your resources would like to give a public reaction on the developments.
My involvement in all this may emerge from my contribution on the site dedicated to ' Arctic Sea Ice ':
You are of course welcome, where that seems important, to respond on our input with your professional insight.
' Werther '

Though I haven’t yet received a reply in my mailbox, today they published this:

"Ever less ice on the North Pole"
22 August 2012
Everything indicates that we are heading in the next week for a new minimum ice coverage at the North Pole. The previous minimum dates from 2007. The last 30 years, we see that the average ice coverage subsides each summer with a surface of twice the Netherlands.
Global warming leads to a shrinking Arctic icevolume. The sea ice is thinner in winter and covers an ever smaller surface in the summer. The U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center at Boulder gives the most comprehensive analyses of sea ice and also gives out expectations. The expectation is that the sea ice minimum of mid september 2012 will be under four million square kilometres, while the average around 1990 was eight million square kilometres.
The International Panel on Climate Change was expecting in 2007 that there would be an ice-free North Pole for the first time in the summer around 2100.
Sea ice reflects 80 percent of the sunlight back to space, while seawater absorbs 90% of solar heat and thus greatly contributes to the further melting of sea ice. Sea ice is further driven apart by the wind and sea currents and carried away. This leads to variations in sea ice cover from one year to the other with about four percent.
This summer a low-pressure area settled in the Arctic in early August and the associated wind led to a temporary doubling of the melting of the sea ice.



They did an excellent job in reporting the facts. You did an excellent job in prodding them.



I heard a radio interview of one of the KNMI people on the Dutch radio about this. I went something like this:

Q: what is causing this melting of the ice?

A: the obvious cause are the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

Q: Oh come on. We have heard about greenhouse gases for years now. What is different this year?

From there it went rather downhill. You could leave with the impression that is was all about some natural fluctiation.



"Global warming leads to a shrinking Arctic icevolume. The sea ice is thinner in winter and covers an ever smaller surface in the summer."

Yesterday, the Romney (USA Presidential aspirant) platform on energy was revealed, and it basically pulls out all the stops on fossil fuel exploitation and development. It is 180 degrees from what is necessary to counter global warming, and, as has been happening in the campaign, can only serve to pull the other main candidate in that direction.

L. Hamilton

DMI drops another -133k this morning, now 165k below the earlier record from Sep 16 2007.


Hi Sup,

In the Netherlands we're in for parliamentary elections within three weeks.
Most players only mention growth as a means to get through the debt crisis.
We know what spurs growth....

Kevin McKinney

'Oden at 90N'--I was going to ask, naively, "So, it this the first time a cruise ship has attained the Pole?" But I remembered to follow the Roberts Rule (search once at least before you ask) and became slighty less naive:


Dang, it's hard to keep up. 10 years...


Werther - On the other hand the Chinese just announced a new initiative to spend $372 billion in three years to cut emissions.


Kevin McKinney

...And the Oden is a research vessel. Don't know why a cruise site came up...

Wiki says:

"By September 2007 the North Pole had been visited 66 times by different surface ships: 54 times by Soviet and Russian icebreakers, 4 times by Swedish Oden, 3 times by German RV Polarstern, 3 times by USCGC Healy and USCGC Polar Sea, and once by CCGS Louis S. St-Laurent and by Norwegian Vidar Viking.[43]"


In regards to sea ice concentration and thickness, here is the latest Godiva2 maps.


While concentration seems up, more thinning continues.




Another result of what we are observing is that the reality of not meeting the 2C temp target is a foregone conclusion (it is "out the window." The thinking is we may see 5C increase in global average temps:


The Arctic impacts are assumed severe.

Kevin McKinney

Hey, some rare good news, apocalypse--thanks for that. And on this side of the world, there's this (I deliberately linked from a 'conservative' source, to catch any negative spin, but the report seems pretty straight from AP or UPI, as I saw a nearly identical piece on the Canadian Broadcasting Corp webnews):


Nice to see Fox quoting Michael Mann with a straight face and no smear...

Money quote from the story:

The International Energy Agency said the U.S. has cut carbon dioxide emissions more than any other country over the last six years. Total U.S. carbon emissions from energy consumption peaked at about 6 billion metric tons in 2007. Projections for this year are around 5.2 billion, and the 1990 figure was about 5 billion.

Of course, it's an accidental result; the U.S. was not 'trying' in any greatly meaningful way to do this; it's the result of fracked natural gas being really, really cheap, and replacing coal. (According to the report, coal has dropped from 50% of the mix to 34%.)

But the atmosphere doesn't care about intentions, so it's still good news, as far as it goes. Now if only sanity could prevail at the political level...



2012.6356 -2.3587317 2.7419870 5.1007185
2012.6383 -2.3013968 2.7927916 5.0941882



Recovery? Deep sigh!



I read the Reuters article you referenced. They state: "However, greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise, and according to a recent report, China's carbon output grew by 800 million tonnes to 9.7 billion last year, or 29 percent of the world's total CO2 emissions.

Government officials said they expect China's greenhouse gas emissions to peak around 2030."

Now, while any decrease in fossil fuel use is to be lauded, we need to place these numbers in perspective. I have appended a summary of my views on climate change, which are written in email format. China's peak CO2 emissions in 2030, if in fact they can peak by then, is far too late, and will probably be far too high at present rates of increase, to contribute to the two degree global temperature increase ceiling.

I came across some interesting papers that do an excellent job of combining the science and necessary policy for climate change. Anyone interested in a realistic assessment of the probability of serious climate change would do well to read the author's papers or see his presentations. Kevin Anderson, ex-Director of the Tyndall Centre, Britain's leading climate research institute, and presently a Professor at University of Manchester, wrote some recent papers and gave the following presentation


laying out what needs to be done to possibly dodge the climate change bullet. David Roberts wrote a more readable two part series to summarize Anderson's main points



The main thrust of the analysis is to identify the allowable temperature increases over pre-industrial values for life on Earth to survive with some semblance of where it is today, and then identify CO2 emission reductions required to maintain the temperature limits. Years ago, a temperature increase of four degrees C was considered a reasonable target to dodge the major climate change bullet. While there would still be serious impacts from such a substantial temperature increase, it was believed that such an increase could be maintained stably, and not lead to runaway temperature increases due to synergistic positive feedback loops.

In the first decade of this century, two degrees was considered a more reasonable target, as four degrees now appeared to lead to almost guaranteed runaway temperature increases from positive feedback loops. Science in the last few years has questioned whether two degrees can be maintained stably, and has shown that one degree is perhaps a better target to avoid serious consequences. We are now approaching one degree, and are already seeing some ominous consequences, especially in the Arctic. Not only are melting observations exceeding model projections, but increasing methane releases may signify the start of a positive feedback loop: (1) increased methane releases due to higher temperatures 2) increase methane concentration in atmosphere, which 3) traps more heat, 4) raises temperatures higher, and 5) releases more methane, ad infinitum).

Diplomacy does not always keep pace with technology. Because international agreements are still fixated on the two degree target, Anderson looked at carbon emissions reductions required to limit the temperature increase to two degrees. He initially examined uniform global emission reductions, then later assigned different emission rate reductions to advanced countries and developing countries. He looked at emission reduction rates as a function of emission peak years; we stay on our present trajectory of emissions to year x, then reduce emissions thereafter. For example, if the peak year for CO2 emissions is 2020, then the world would have to reduce carbon emissions on the order of ten percent per year for decades.

Roberts places this level of carbon emissions reduction in context, as follows:

"Just to give you a sense of scale: The only thing that’s ever pushed emissions reductions above 1 percent a year is, in the words of the Stern Report, “recession or upheaval.” The total collapse of the USSR knocked 5 percent off its emissions. So 10 percent a year is like … well, it’s not like anything in the history of human civilization.

This, then, is the brutal logic of climate change: With immediate, concerted action at global scale, we have a slim chance to halt climate change at the extremely dangerous level of 2 degrees C. If we delay even a decade — waiting for better technology or a more amenable political situation or whatever — we will have no chance."

Given that most of the economies in the world today are in trouble, and the remedy they all seek is enhanced economic growth, how consistent is that with the level of carbon emissions required to maintain two degree temperature increase? To paraphrase Anderson, 'the developed nations need to exchange economic growth for planned austerity'.

I see absolutely no way the politicians would recommend reducing economic growth in the time frame of interest and adopting austerity. I see no way the fossil fuel resource owners (read, energy companies) would write off the 80% of the ~thirty trillion dollars of fossil fuel reserves (that are on their books) necessary to keep the CO2 emissions constrained, as McKibben said is required in a recent article (http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/global-warmings-terrifying-new-math-20120719). I see no way that most of the electorate would support the austerity and economic depression that would accompany this level of reduced fossil fuel use, or that most of the electorate would be willing to make the personal lifestyle sacrifices that huge intensive energy use reduction requires to achieve the desired emission rate reductions. It completely goes against historical trends; we have been increasing CO2 emissions for many decades, and presently are hovering about 5% annual global increase. Anderson's realistic assessment implies there is no credible way out of a climate catastrophe, other than the emergence of a miracle.

I also have the uneasy feeling that the situation is even more dire than described above. The governing process is driven by nonlinear dynamics, where many of the drivers are part of positive feedback loops, and essentially all of these loops are synergistic in one direction only. In nonlinear dynamical systems, small changes in the spatial and temporal boundary conditions can result in large changes in the solution space. From what I have read, the fully integrated models don't contain all the known phenomena, like the methane feedback, or many others I have seen mentioned. How can we forecast the magnitude of the changes if critical terms are omitted from the nonlinear models, and we know these omitted terms are only driving the results in one direction? Is even a one degree increase maintainable?

So, the predictions I have seen are, in my estimation, very conservative. Now, maybe the researchers are 'gun-shy' after years of assault from the 'denier' community, and are only willing to offer the most conservative and unassailable predictions. Or, maybe they and the government sponsors and the politicians are concerned about what would happen if the hard truth were to be released to the public. I will have a better estimate of the magnitude of these effects after I complete my study on climate change, but my intuition tells me we will be facing severe problems, and sooner rather than later.

Aaron Lewis

OK, it is time to say the unthinkable.

We have altered the weather machine so that we can expect some Arctic sea ice melt each year as long as the atmospheric concentration of CO2 is above ~390 ppmv.

Such sea ice melt and resulting water vapor in the Arctic will change the atmospheric circulation patterns from what they were when the Arctic was substantially frozen.

And now the bad part: Our agricultural practices are closely tied to the old atmospheric circulations patterns, and any change will be detrimental.

Just as we need to accept that Arctic sea ice is not likely to go back to its fully frozen state until we reduce atmospheric concentrations of CO2. Atmospheric circulation is not likely to return to its old patterns until the Arctic is frozen year-round once again.

People claim that the extraordinary weather that has damaged crop yields is rare and unusual and it an extraordinary result of natural variation. I claim that baseline that says this is extraordinary weather was recorded when CO2 levels were lower. In a time of AGW with higher CO2 levels, the Russian heat wave, the Pakistan Floods, last year's drought in South America, Hurricane Irene, and this years drought in North America are the normal weather for an atmospheric CO2 level of 393 ppmv.

I doubt if industrial agriculture as we now know it can cope with such weather.

Just as the Arctic is not going to refreeze until we bring CO2 down, our weather, and hence agricultural yields are not going to improve until we bring CO2 down.


Here some photos from Oden that are nice:

1st of August

Ice at 88°14,3´N 037°55,4´W

Tracks at 85N 5E

Seke Rob

NSIDC SIE now 1 away from becoming record year... needing 129,921 km square to make 2012 the new de facto lead over, what else, 2007: http://i137.photobucket.com/albums/q210/Sekerob/Climate/NSIDC_SIE_Annual_MaxMin.png

Jim Williams

I'd have to disagree on one point Aaron. There is no such thing as normal while a dynamic system is undergoing reorganization. You can have drought one year and constant rain the next.

(I'm also of the opinion that we're currently seeing the effects of the Industrial Revolution in the 19th century, but that is a different subject.)


I was going to write a piece in response to Aaron, but that ended up way off topic. In short I believe 2 things. 1) Concentrating on just CO2 is a mistake, because if you observe nature at all, it is the combination of everything that makes things happen. Ergo the entire chemical soup we are generating everyday. 2)I am convinced that the tipping point for what is happening happened in the 80's (usually man only sees the results well after things are really bad) and that what we are seeing this year is evidence that natural feedback loops are starting to become fully engaged. That is way beyond time to try to ovoid disaster and right now all we can do is massively change how we do things to minimize the disaster.
That is a whole different topic.


In point one I should have included terraforming (strip mining city building, damming.....)

Noel Ward

I think Superman and Aaron Lewis said it well. While they describe "the unthinkable," it is also what we are seeing in the Arctic and in the weather.

At least in the U.S., people (especially politicians) refuse to think. They are willing to attribute big shifts in weather --heat, drought, storms-- to natural variability, and can't see much beyond a couple of seasons, so the impact of greater change is pretty much unfathomable.

Until it happens. Then they want instant fixes, easy solutions, money from the government, etc. This reactive mindset is every bit as pernicious a problem as rising CO2 levels and increasing temps, because it breeds inaction. Climate change is basically not covered by the sound-bite-driven world of media, with the exception of a few stalwarts like Andy Revkin. And the mainstream media doesn't even know what questions to ask someone like James Hansen.

The U.S. might very well be deluged with rain next year, have great crops. And people would think it was fine, believing it proves things are OK.

In talking with people, I continually find that lacking any education about climate and the importance of the Arctic, they don't care, and think the changes are too far in the future to affect them. And very few will make any changes in their lifestyle to do more than adapt to a warmer world.

Sadly, it means we're going to have the climate we're going to have, and not much will be done about it.

Quoting Noel Ward: "In talking with people, I continually find that lacking any education about climate and the importance of the Arctic, they don't care, and think the changes are too far in the future to affect them. And very few will make any changes in their lifestyle to do more than adapt to a warmer world.

Sadly, it means we're going to have the climate we're going to have, and not much will be done about it."

What is beginning to disturb me as much, if not more so, than the Denialist Industry are those people who actually believe in AGW but have no clue about how imminent and severe future climate changes will be. The other day, I had dinner with some of my most politically active liberal friends. When I mentioned to them what I had been observing and learning about this years events in the Arctic Regions, I was met with blank stares.... the proverbial "deer in the headlight" look. If we can't inform, educate and motivate our only allies we will never see action.

Espen Olsen

It is not every day I receive an email from the Pole, but I will share this pleasure with you guys!

Hi Espen,
We have just passed the North Pole and sailing along 135Ø. Here the ice is typically one meter thick, but there is a part fitting, which are considerably thicker. Just around the North Pole
we came through the Pole with screw entries that hampered progress. Otherwise, Oden had not significant problems with getting true. As we have moved north (south E.O.) of the Pole concentration of glacial lakes has decreased from 20-40% to 15-30% and are now

Sincerely Rasmus DMI
ODEN Lomrog2012
The North Pole


Bob Watson reported on the Beeb.

'Professor Sir Robert Watson said that the hope of restricting the average temperature rise to 2C was "out the window".

He said that the rise could be as high as 5C - with dire consequences.

I've met him and corresponded with him a few times and thought he preferred to work behind the scenes. So it must be serious. Sadly the article also says

Professor Watson added that deep cuts in CO2 emissions are possible using innovative technologies without harming economic recovery.

This suggests to me that the forces of evil and stupidity have him boxed in. But he may not know that Job creation doesn’t need economic growth.

Patrice Monroe Pustavrh

Geoff, your first link is broken, correct is http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-19348194


Thanks Patrice


Unfortunately most I am closest to are either pure denialist or bent that way because after all you can not harm the economy on a theory or naturally occurring climate rhythm (can not seem to understand the economy will implode something bad for decades if nothing done) or the very polite ones who seem to agree with everything I say and you somehow think that what you are saying comes less then taking a leisurely swim in sulfur water on their list of important things to worry about.


What is beginning to disturb me as much, if not more so, than the Denialist Industry are those people who actually believe in AGW but have no clue about how imminent and severe future climate changes will be.

You've worded my thought exactly. This is a huge problem. People think a) that it is far off and/or b) that it can be mitigated by making things 'green' or 'sustainable', no systemic changes needed. And it's all someone else's fault (mostly politicians).


When a denialist insists that warming is the result of "natural cycles" why not ask him what he thinks is the cause. After all, natural cycles such as ice-ages and El Nino have causes too. Denialists think that their claim of "natural cycles" lets them think warming must be causeless.


Since Anthony Watts and Steven Goddard are the only truthful scientist out there (all the rest are conspiring together for the precious grants, hmmmm think I saw that in the Globe magazine at the same time as that 2 headed pig giving birth to a 20 yr old genius a few yrs ago), we need to convince them. Any bids as to when that will happen?


Yeah, politicians of all stripes should shoulder the majority of the blame. For instance on my side of the Pond, they promised the "Greenest Government Ever", ... until they got into power. Thieving lying bastards the lot of them.

But, have you ever thought of what change requires? How investment, profits, pensions, wages, etc are intertwined?

Assume you want to phase out oil. And replace it with solar? Where do you get the panels, how do you pay for them. Who is going to do the buying? Where is the storage technology? Who owns that?

Whilst I have no sympathy for politicians, they do at least hold Damocles Sword should they chose to use it. And its about time some of them did.

Peter Ellis

What about the ones who are afraid it's already too late, and feel kinda stupid piddling around with energy-saving lightbulbs and cycling to work instead of driving? Any hope you can pass on to them?


Hope in this deep and powerful sense is not the same as joy when things are going well, or willingness to invest in enterprises that are obviously headed for early success, but rather an ability to work for something to succeed. Hope is definitely not the same thing as optimism. It's not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out. It is this hope, above all, that gives us strength to live and to continually try new things, even in conditions that seem as hopeless as ours do, here and now. In the face of this absurdity, life is too precious a thing to permit its devaluation by living pointlessly, emptily, without meaning, without love, and, finally, without hope.

Vaclav Havel

Bob Wallace

"But, have you ever thought of what change requires? How investment, profits, pensions, wages, etc are intertwined?

Assume you want to phase out oil. And replace it with solar? Where do you get the panels, how do you pay for them. Who is going to do the buying? Where is the storage technology? Who owns that?"

Change requires that we do more of what we are already starting to do, but do it faster.

If you live in the US did you notice when wind started supplying 4% of your electricity? Did your lifestyle change?

Solar installations, first quarter 2012 were up 85% over first quarter 2011 in the US. Notice a difference at the outlet?

If you got in your car tomorrow and drove the first 40 miles on electricity would that change your lifestyle? (Other than taking minute to plug in/out and stopping less to buy gas.)

Businesses change constantly. People used to work for slide rule companies and invest in adding machine companies. New tech came along - work and investment shifted to the new tech. We'll lose coal mining jobs and create wind farm jobs.

Power generation will become, is becoming, a bit more diversified than in the past. None of us was likely to run a small coal plant in our backyard, but millions of us will generate extra electricity from our roof panels and sell it back to the grid.

Storage is a problem we will need to solve in a decade or two. Right now the existing grid could be shifted to 25% to 35% renewable generation without needing more storage. EVs on the grid will let that percentage go up roughly 10% (35% to 45%).

There are some very promising battery technologies being developed. And, worst case, we could use some natural gas as fill-in around variable renewables while we get better storage solutions.

We've also got several hundred existing dams which could be converted to pump-up storage. And there is closed-loop hydro storage.

Overall our electricity will become cheaper. The cost of driving will drop significantly.

It's a bright future, energy wise, and we should move to get there faster. And in doing so we can cut CO2 emissions faster.


"What about the ones who are afraid it's already too late, and feel kinda stupid piddling around with energy-saving lightbulbs and cycling to work instead of driving? Any hope you can pass on to them?"

As you can gather from my lengthy post, I think it is too late realistically. Take a look at today's article in Salon titled Carmaggedon, by Will Doig. He points out that even though there are relatively few cars per capita in China, India, Brazil, compared to the USA, their cities are already experiencing massive traffic jams. More disturbing, the dream of the average resident is to own a car, and increase to the USA in per capita car ownership.

Given where the real world is heading, which I believe is reflected in Doig's article, and given where it needs to be headed to avoid the climate change bullet, as reflected in the Kevin Anderson analyses excerpted in my large posting, I see no realistic way of getting where we need to be.

Now, you ask about hope. Let me give an analogy. If a person has Stage 3 or Stage 4 cancer, they have many options, but let's identify two extremes. One is they can accept their fate, go to a hospice, and they will be gone in a few months. The other is they can decide to fight, do all that is possible, enroll in some radical treatment like Gerson Therapy, and follow the rigorous lifestyle that may result in a turnaround. Some have, in fact, overcome the disease this way, but in their descriptions of the therapy they rigidly adhered to the protocol and toughed it out.

That's where we are with respect to climate change, and those are our options. The Gerson Therapy equivalent for climate change, essentially some protocol like Kevin Anderson's to control CO2 emissions drastically, would require drastic changes in lifestyle. I grew up in the USA before and during WWII, and the strict cutbacks on energy use and other materials that were mandated are along the lines of what we need now. Obviously, it was doable, and it was in fact harsher in many other countries, but people were willing to make the sacrifices because they believed it was for the larger good.

I don't see that same sense of urgency today, the same sense of sacrifice. Posters on these blogs believe we can somehow transition to a much lower CO2 emissions lifestyle, and hardly be affected in everyday living. People have gotten much more addicted to intensive energy use that only fossil fuels can supply, and I don't see them giving up that addiction.

So I, and others who recognize both the seriousness of the problem and the insolubility of the problem in the real world, have effectively entered the climate change hospice. My guess is we're in Stage 3 or Stage 4, but like a lung cancer patient who continues to chain smoke, we know what's coming.

Bob Wallace

"People have gotten much more addicted to intensive energy use that only fossil fuels can supply"

We can do almost everything with renewable energy that we now do with fossil fuels. And we can do it cheaper.

Peter Mizla

Bob Wallace- question is-

We can do almost everything with renewable energy that we now do with fossil fuels. And we can do it cheaper.

If so then why are we not doing it?


Hi all,

(I may reserve the right to get too pissed to be able to contain myself, but...)

Let's keep our eyes on the ice.


WUWT has been reduced to running a vile series of smears against Michael Mann, desperately scanning through old emails, picking over the bones in the search of any red meat to throw to the mongrels.

No mention of the Arctic for 10 days or so. Despite the fact that this is now headline news...

Denialism has a problem. Arctic Sea Ice. Keep your eyes on the ice.

There are numerous other forums on the internet, (and the real world) where the socio-political implications of all of this can be debated. I would greatly encourage anybody here, having studied the data examined here, to avail themselves of lots of these platforms.

BUT I do not think that this is an appropriate forum for the airing of every single tangential subject/solution.

Perhaps in November, it might be appropriate to open a wider discussion here, but for now, being but of but little brain, I am finding it hard enough to keep track of the unpredictable behaviour of a suddenly quite wilsome ocean...

For instance, I see that open water is now within around 200 miles of the North Pole...


It would IMHO be a shame if we missed documenting this, to have a long discussion about windmills.

Keep your eyes on the ice. Hold on.

r w Langford

I have posted before regarding my belief that significant action will not take place until too late. I see that many people now tend toward that belief too. Having this belief does not mean that I do not do my small part to educate and warn others and to write articles to the papers and converse with like minded people. Nor does it mean that I do not have hope. My life experience has given me the conviction that people individually and in groups do not change their beliefs or actions until some significant amount of emotional or physical pain is applied to each of them by a force greater than themselves. In AGW the pain comes from drought, famine, flooding, heat, fire etc. Sometimes a lot of pain is needed to move people as we see in the US drought which is seen by many of the affected people as part of a normal cycle.
AGW has so much energy and power building up that not one person will be able to escape the pain that will be inflicted on us. That sounds a bit like a biblical rant doesn't it. Being part of the web of life on this planet we have evolved to change direction like all other animals when some force of pain is brought to bear. Why should we be different.
All living animals move away from pain. Our species will too. The lag between cause and effect is the conundrum that we face today.
The sooner that everyone understands the pain that is coming the sooner real change will take place.
This blog provides a huge window for people to see what is happening. I am really very angry that the professionals are almost entirely absent from the educational process that should be taking place. The term "ivory tower" is as valid today as it was two hundred years ago. Why are they not on every street corner shouting their lungs out.
Ahh that feels better.


I'd suggest a read of the recent IEA report begging countries to create the political will and capital to avert global catastrophe.



Hi rw,

Sorry, but you have illustrated my point perfectly. (I suspect our posts crossed in the mail.)

At this moment, I strongly suspect that the proponents of the illegitimate rape of the Arctic do not much care about your feelings, and will have little difficulty in dismissing them.

OTOH, there are certain streams of data, which have been well recorded and diseminated from here, which are harder to dismiss.

Lets try to keep our eyes on the ice.



Couldn't agree more. Anything else almost seems like one of the professional denialist schemes where diversion is the goal.

"Keep your eyes on the ice. Hold on."

In spades.



Anyone else looking at the IJIS graph and silently screaming "Pull up! Pull up!", like some kind of air disaster movie where the radar trace of the plane inexorably drops to the ground?

I keep expecting to see a significant slowdown, but this year the decline is quite remarkable. What's left is to wonder if we'll have a relatively sudden reversal like 2008or 2011, though we're even faster than both those years (10 day average of 80,000sq km/day rather than 65,000sq km/day). i dread to think how the ice will look if we have a late minimum this year.

Any thoughts on whether the fact that the mean ice edge is closer to the Pole might mean for a sooner end to the decline (ie more like 2008/11 rather than 2005/07? Top melt is obviously slowing down now, and compaction/bottom melt is dominant in melting, but perhaps the initiation of the surface freeze-up will reach the ice edge sooner this year than in previous years? Even if true, it's just papering over the cracks, but it will be academically interesting to see if there is a change in pattern because of where the freeze up has to start. But not comforting, in the slightest.

Bob Wallace

"We can do almost everything with renewable energy that we now do with fossil fuels. And we can do it cheaper.

If so then why are we not doing it?"

We are doing it, converting to renewables, but we're going way too slow.

We're going slow because fossil fuel interests have fought the change, no need to point out why. They have engaged in a great campaign to spread disinformation and "bought" elected officials via campaign donations.

We're going slow because it will take some investment up front go get the systems in place. Wind farms, when up and running, produce electricity for far less than fully-priced coal plants but someone has to cough up that capex. And coal is not getting charged for the damage it costs.

Solar is just now reaching grid parity. This is a very new development and installation of solar is soaring.

EVs/PHEVs are just now coming to market and their manufacturing volume is not yet bringing their price down to ICEV levels.

The state of the economy isn't helping. Investors are unusually risk adverse. Governments don't have lots of money to put toward helping renewables.

And natural gas is temporarily very cheap. We're busy closing coal plants and replacing them with gas plants. Since 2007 US coal use is down 14% and natural gas is up 13.4%.

Economies will improve. The cost of natural gas will increase. More people will get concerned about climate change and insist on cleaner energy and transportation. The cost of electric vehicles will drop. Batteries will improve.

The scary thing is, we're playing a great big game of chicken with runaway climate change. A few think we've already lost the game, I'm not willing to go there. IMO it is best we assume we still have a bit of time left and start moving away from fossil fuels much faster than we now are. Present speed is too slow, I fear.


When will the information from the Oden be available for public viewing? I am still expecting the ice volume to be 2.7-2.9 at minimum. To get there I need bottom melting to keep thickness at about 1 meter. If there is substantially thicker ice, I will need to adjust my volume estimate.


In honor of idunno, this will be a brief OT:

Auperman and aaron, thanks for your extended comments, we share similar sentiments.

Now, back to eyes on the ice:

The August 22 maps are posted:


The thicker (4-5 m) ice entering the Fram has low concentration.

As noted - we do have open water within 200 miles of the NP. Espen's post from the NP supports the thinner (1 m) ice in a large area as the Godiva2 data postulates.

There is alot going on with ice - and more to come!

Account Deleted

R.W. I think this is a bit harsh

I am really very angry that the professionals are almost entirely absent from the educational process that should be taking place. The term "ivory tower" is as valid today as it was two hundred years ago.

We do get some arctic/glacier researchers dropping-in and making comments from time to time on Neven's blog. Many of these researchers also have their own blogs/have sites that make this data available to the public and in my limited experience are also great at replying to emails/answering question from people interested in their data/methods.

I wish my area of research (tropical conservation) had this level of public interest/accessibility and a blogger/community that puts as much time reworking data/making it more accessible/understandable as Neven and others on this site do.

Account Deleted

Back to the ICE - it looks like Neven can go on well deserved holiday with the IARC-JAXA domino down as well

Yesterdays JAXA was 4,333,281 km2 (August 23, 2012) - so only a few thousand Km^2 left to go.


I am no expert, but although the SST's are still on the warm side it looks more to me right now is that the ice being as thin and broken up as it is, is heading for Frams just as fast as it can go. This will compress the ice on the far side to an extent, but until something gets the ice moving in the opposite direction, we are still going to lose a lot of ice. The reason being, there is nothing blocking it. And even when things start freezing up, that ice can not grow fast enough to stop that train.
The other issue, and I am no weather map reader either, if we get another big storm before what ice is there gets locked together, the max extent may look great in Feb. but the ice will be so thin and broken. Lets not think about that now.

Rob Dekker

Idunno said :

For instance, I see that open water is now within around 200 miles of the North Pole...

MSM and the public at large is not going to be interested in that until the North Pole is open for the first time.

When that happens for the first time, it will only be one story in the evening news.
Fox will point out that Santa, his elfs and the reindeer are alright, since an American oil company was willing to shelter them on their nearby rig until the pole freezes over again in October and Santa can go back home.

And life goes on....

Rob Dekker

Sorry that I came across a bit negative here. But the point is most people are more susceptable to act on emotion than on facts.

That's why Al Gore's movie had such an enormous impact, and that's why the propaganda machine of the fossil-fuel funded confusionists is working in stuffing that genie back in the bottle.

Espen Olsen

Petermann 2 2012,

Is travelling at about 12 nautical miles per 24 hrs, just passed Franklin Island, if continuing at this speed Petermann II will enter Kanes Basin in 4 days and Baffin Bay in about 15 days, wonder where it will rest for the winter?

Roman Polach


DMI continuing free fall...

David Sanger


The latest value : 4,189,375 km2 (August 24, 2012)

Peter Ellis

IJIS currently showing Friday as the day of the new record, with a 4,189,375 preliminary. Old record is 4,267,656 so it would need an upward revision of almost 80k to not be a new record.

Rob Dekker

NSIDC shows a daily extent drop of 400 k :
2012, 08, 21, 4.33137
2012, 08, 22, 4.29062,

which is increasing it's lead over the 2007 record to date to 600 k :
2007, 08, 22, 4.89048

If the difference holds till Sept 14 (2007 minimum), we will reach a 2012 daily minimum below 3.6.

That's insane....

George Phillies

Indeed, while there are day to day wiggles and this first day issue, the slopes on dmi and ijis appear to be getting steeper rather than shallower,though not by a great deal.


First post from a follower of the last 2 years.

Ref the ice rather than its socio-economic implications (but certainly ref public understanding), you mght be interested in a video about the current arctic ice situation on the BBC weather website. It's a simple explanatory piece that was trailed on the main TV news broadcast last night. Not a bad job, it uses NSIDC graphics and ends with a 'watch this space' message so there may be more to come in the next few weeks. IIRC in 2007 Channel 4 news had someone stationed in the arctic for a week in mid September, doing daily reports, so you never know.

Dan Green

ps much kudos Neven and your regulars for what you've created here. A real community of learning and discovery and a place where each other's observations and theories can be robustly but respectfully tested. It's good to have somewhere that people manage to keep it classy!

Peter Ellis

Rob, that's 40k, not 400k...


JAXA is showing the sea ice image of the new
GCOM-W1 satellite:


(date Aug 23)

John Mason

JAXA update:

Yesterday - 4333281 km2 corrected today to 4337500 km2

Today: 4189375 km2

Another domino?


Wipneus wrote:

JAXA is showing the sea ice image of the new GCOM-W1 satellite

Yes indeed. And me thinks someone will be pleased to see "the hole" has shrinked considerably. :-)

And as it has alreaydy been reported on the same site the SIE latest value declared at 4.189.375 km2. Minus 144 thousand km² compared to yesterday 23/8!!!

Frightening it is.

Peter Mizla

Bob Wallace

The infrastructure to convert from fossil fuels to renewable energy is in its infancy. The world has become lazy and used to the burning of fossilized plants and animals. They are easily attainable (though new reserves of oil are becoming harder to locate and extract)Coal is very easy to extract- its supplies are huge. Natural gas is plentiful, though again the extraction methods are controversial.

We have until 2017 to peak our global emissions to 'prevent' a 2 degree C rise in global temperatures-after that date the so called energy 'infrastructure' will be in place for 450ppm and 2 degrees C above the PI level. . After 2017 we must begin to reduce our emissions by over 5% a year- if we wait till after 2020 its close to 10%. Can we begin that kind of draconian reduction and still have a strong economy?

If China says its emissions peak in 2030- ok- but at what level? If we wait till 2030 to begin a fair reduction in emissions, at a robust 4% a year- we will still likely pass 500ppm C02- and those nasty and unforeseen positive feedback's....? reaching 550-600ppm by 2070 seems very likely.

Renewable energy will indeed become a larger force as time proceeds- but fossil fuels by 2050 will still account for at least 70% of our energy so says the IEA.

Runaway global warming is hopefully a Science fiction movie. I feel we are smart enough to barely escape such a nasty scenario. Nonetheless we will still see a 3.5-4 degree C rise above the PI level- which will indeed remake our society in profound ways.

Artful Dodger

Hi Rob,

"If the difference holds till Sept 14 (2007 minimum), we will reach a 2012 daily minimum below 3.6."

Even more insane, NOBODY that participated in the 2012 SEARCH SIO predicted below 3.8 and the median was 4.3 even with revisions allowed up until Aug 1st...

Clearly, we need some CryoSat2 thickness data to update our reality.



Is it my idea, or AMSR2 data came on stream publicly, way faster than expected??

Espen Olsen

Joe Bastardi,

I think a member of Arctic Sea Ice Blog should call Joe Bastardi and ask him what natural causes is behind this Arctic sea ice behaviour, since his "studies" in September 2010 showed a recovery well above the point we see today?



Exercise for the crowd. Go to

and overlay Aug 22nd with Aug 23rd. There is a big open water hole right inside Windsat's NP hole.


The Laptev bite is ominous looking....


Did I already say that the resolution change is amazing!! Can't stop playing with the pictures....


I want to echo idunno's suggestion and ask everyone to keep their eyes on the ice (and that's including myself). There's a lot of traffic to the blog right now and long monologues about AGW in general are a distraction.

There will be a post on consequences soon, and after the melting season we can discuss what society needs to do and what we as individuals need to do (gardening of course ;-) ).

Keep your eyes on the ice.


Record dominoes 6: IJIS sea ice extent

Seke Rob

Did JAXA prelim pass the record minimum with 4,189,375 km square on the 24th, what we have seen for the 23rd is, that final was lower than prelim. As this is 65K lower, it could very well be a done deal.


Lodger the SEARCH is for the September monthly average not the daily.


Artful Dodger

Phil, I've got the umbrella.


In somewhat of a contradiction to myself, above, those interested in taking this outside the "ivory tower" may be interested in this:


Also see the separate story in that parish about GP occupying a Russian oil well.

(I prefer to think of this place more as a secret hiding place in the woods, rather than an ivory tower, but like whatever...)

And, in a feeble attempt to get back OT,

CT latest second ever lowest 2.75, with an anomaly of 2.33. The total fell 42k overnight, and the anomlay is dropping again.

Artful Dodger

Hi idunno,

"When he reached the New World, Cortez burned his ships. As a result his men were well motivated.

"The worry is the Americans. If we meet the right sort, this will work. We get some buckaroo..."

-- Captain Marco Ramius

500 years on, we are in sight of a New World. The Ship of State is burning, having been set afire by it's Masters. But far from being well-motivated, the crew is apathetic.

I believe this will change as the existential threat becomes widely known. It is already to late to steer the ship around hazard, but will the crew survive?

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