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Josh Cryer

And if this Arctic cyclone happens: http://arctic-news.blogspot.co.nz/2012/09/arctic-cyclone-warning-for-september-7.html

Just, no words, really.



This is your VACATION - we will survive;<)

We know it's your baby, and wouldn't let harm befall her.


Artful Dodger

Thanks for this quick update, Neven. These are historic times, during which the last feeble, hand-waving arguments in support of the status quo were stripped bare and melted.

We know that you're doing this because you love your family, and want to protect their future. Each of us has a role to play, and should all be thanked for thrusting this important event into the public eye.

Cheers, and enjoy a chicken and rice holiday!

k eotw

People are still clutching at straws imagining they can deny away what's happening. How long can this kind of attempt to sow doubt really last?

Jim Williams

Bus-man's holiday -- go out for a drive.

Josh Cryer, what a cheery prediction! Wish I was convinced he was wrong.

Kevin McKinney

The season continues to amaze.

What dismays, is the relative lack of attention in media. Yeah, pieces are up online, in print and on air, but I have yet to see a real 'buzz' about this.

Espen Olsen


I think the reluctance of the press is based on the fact that they can not get the "experts" to quote them with "bullets" only some vague statements like "we are in for a record low extend".


The MET/Godiva2 Sea Ice Concentration and Thickness maps for 090312 are posted - and kmzs.


Also, is anyone tracking the low over the Bering and its forecast track?

R. Gates


Many of us are at a loss for words, what sort of "buzz" would you expect from the media? This is beyond words because it is outside our range of experience. You can only use the words "record low" and "unprecedented" so many times. What will happen though is the weather effects will be reported for years and years but of of course the connection between the two will be mostly lost on the mainstream.

k eotw

wait for NSIDC etc to call the minimum, there'll probably be a relative surge of news stories then.


The thing that always frustrated me about the CT charts is the anomaly. It is calculated on a mean which includes 20007. Had we seen this kind of melt in 2007 the anomaly would be much bigger.

People like Watts USE this to spread disinformation. I think the NSIDC comparison of up to 2000 is much more apt in determining anomalies outside the general trend.

@k eotw (September 05, 2012 at 13:06): People are still clutching at straws imagining they can deny away what's happening. How long can this kind of attempt to sow doubt really last?

Denialists, such as the particularly vacuous one to which you linked, will never stop. Never. Such folks simply plow ahead in their staunch beliefs, impervious to reality, and blissfully unencumbered with critical thinking skills. To them, the status quo will be maintained into infinity: it's always been this warm, there's always been disappearing ice, CO2 concentrations have always been this high, the oceans have always been this acidic, heat waves and flooding rains have always been this frequent and severe. To them, the 40 trillion liters of CO2 we humans pump into the atmosphere each day have had, are having, and will continue to have absolutely no effect whatsoever on the planet or the people that live upon it.

Artful Dodger

Hi A4R,

Check out ECMWF weather forecasts (click on N-Hem. and then 500 hPa)

There you can select daily forecasts for the next 10 days (240 hrs). Keep in mind, the models aren't especially accurate out past 3 or 4 days.


Andrew Borst

The CAB and the Hudson Bay are roughly the same area at 4 km^2. I am trying to come to grip with map distortions and throwing that tidbit out there for you all. It may look like there is relatively half the ice left in the Arctic but that is far from the truth.

Frank Pennycook

I've been wondering too why there isn't more "buzz" or maybe "shock and alarm" would be more appropriate!

I think it is because the chain of causation is too long, for most people. The press has to communicate to a public which really requires a glaring fact. When you can get on a ship, in spring, and look out across the undisturbed waters of the Arctic Ocean, then we'll be able to comprehend, "Oh, the ice is gone". Too late.

Until then it is graphs and statistics, a language that to a great many people is terrifying mumbo-jumbo, which is what the FUD tactics of the deniers exploit.

Jdean Dingler

I had an idea (based on no evidence) that if the rate of melting from the churn during the storm were increased, then the heat in the Arctic water would be decreased a bit. This would lead to a partial refreeze after the storm passed, as equilibrium is reestablished.

Then the trend would catch up again and we'd see the ice loss continue.

Jim Williams

I guess you could say there's some ice left in the Archipelago, but the only real ice left other than in the Basin is that flowing out through Fram Strait. The Greenland Sea is happily "normal."

Seke Rob

Re Andrew Borst | September 05, 2012 at 15:04

MASIE measure, has Hudson max out in winter at about 1.26 million km^2 and the CAB at 3.25 million. Atmos/CT uses a different division for the CAB, around 4 million.



Thanks for the link.

If the NH forecast holds true, we have double surface lows on opposite sides of the Central Arctic Basin driving ice through the Fram from 0907-0910. See the USN ice motion forecast for impacts.

Seke Rob

Re NeilT | September 05, 2012 at 14:47

Anomalies are a fantastic playground for deniers... pull the base forward as much as you can. Dr. Roy [Spencer] is one such example of running his anomaly on a base through 2010 [maybe 2011 now]. So then he goes chirping that his UAH-MSU *only* has a 0.3C over base, and the igknows parotting, without looking back that 33 year curve, when that demonstrates it's been 0.6C in that period it got warmer (put coffee way back from keyboard and mouse): http://www.drroyspencer.com/latest-global-temperatures/ Those lovely lead lines he puts in are of course not for those who understand and read the accompanying text, rather for those who only get to see the chart, offered the illusion that the polynomial implies it's a normal up and down oscillation.


The media won't say much of anything unless there are multiple cataclysmic events--sort of like in the movie "The Day After Tomorrow."

To the media, less ice in the Arctic is yesterday's news. In Europe they are all focused on Greece, the economy, etc. In the US it's the presidential race and the economy. Nothing else matters.

The media generally has the attention span of a newt, and most journalists don't understand science well enough to do more than regurgitate a press release from UB or NSIDC.

Frank Pennycook is right, that the chain of causation is too long. Which is why less and less attention is being paid to the Arctic and other evidence of climate change. It's just not news.


Andrew Borst

Thanks Rob. You are correct about the area of the Hudson Bay, I had glanced at Wikipedia and the 4 million km^2 number was for the Bay and the surrounding area.

Seke Rob

Rescaled the CAB Y-Axis for the MASIE chart... dropped another 90K. All told, the deviation from last year is now -998K Km^2. http://bit.ly/MASIEA . This [double blank] domino got to have fallen by now.


Can anyone say what mean Geopot(gpdm) there? http://www.wetterzentrale.de/topkarten/fsecmeur.html Is it geopotential? Than it is changes?

Bob Wallace

It seems that when this melt season is finished the ratio of smallish pieces broken ice/slush to larger sheets is going to be very skewed in favor of small pieces. At least compared to the past.

Will these smaller pieces get pushed into thicker ice along the CA edge as efficiently as larger pieces do? The small pieces won't form ridges, there's nothing to tip on its side.

Will the pieces/slush pile on top of itself or will their buoyancy along with wind and wave action cause them to spread out further than large pieces of ice would do?

Seke Rob

At the opposite spectrum of small, something on when concentrations are over 95%: http://www.astr.ucl.ac.be/users/fichefet/articles/2011_Girard_et_al_AnnGlaciol.pdf

A new modeling framework for sea-ice mechanics based on elasto-brittle rheology


The current Bering Sea SLP moves into the Arctic Ocean above CA as a 984 mb low on 0906 by 10 am. The other interesting piece is that at 850 mb the air temps are forecast to be above freezing.


In the Bering it is generating 20-40 kt winds and 2-3+ meter seas.



@Seke Rob | September 05, 2012 at 15:54

Roy Spencer and his colleague John Christy, two deeply religious Christian believers from the Bible Belt of the USA (Spencer believes in Intelligent Design, Christy was a Baptist Missionary and has a Master of Divinity degree from a Seminary), have been trying to "prove" the climate is just fine for about 30 years.

Not only did Spencer screw up the satellite temperature measurements of the troposphere for decades (which had to be fixed by outside scientists, finally), but he used his errors as the basis of lucrative speaking-tours and book deals to preach to the climate change deniers.


Roy is convinced that his good buddy, Jesus Christ, would never allow something really bad - like ruining the Holocene climate in which Civilization developed - to happen to him. Therefore, there must be Good News in the data somewhere - perhaps the clouds will save us (he actually wrote a book arguing this)...

Note that John Christy is the guy referenced in Neven's article:

People like Spencer and Christy will never look at things objectively, because their "feel good" religion requires them to believe it can't possibly be as bad as it is.

Espen Olsen

If you want to make a lot of money, you should go for either FATE (religion) HOPE (gambling) or LOVE (sex), and of course the business of denial which is a sub-religious branch!

Seke Rob

Don't mind so much their "supernatural" believes. Inherently our genes have this inbuilt to offset the fear factor. The illustration of what he does with the baseline and the stories he tags on just tells me he's just not worth to even for a second to be trusted to tell the untainted truth and facts. But, I'd like to comment this: Think a number of critical environmental/globe affecting researches in the US landed in the wrong hands... the approach being: "Long as we do it, we can steer the output and take out anything too inconvenient." Call it science infiltration. Heck, the Vatican is vastly more open and honest about what the science tells us... the Big Bang really happened... the universe we can see is just shy of 14 billion years old.

Dan P.

Lanevn, I assume you're referring to maps like http://www.wetterzentrale.de/pics/Rhavn061.gif

The "geopot" are geopotential heights. Very roughly this is the elevation you need to be to have 500 mb pressure. If it's higher than average, that represents a high pressure area. Thus in geopotential a "ridge" really is a higher location and a trough a lower one.

"gpdm" means "geopotential decameters", so the color representing 540 means 5400 geopotential meters. If I understand correctly, this is not exactly the same as a height of 5400m, because the geopotential heights are technically defined to take into account air density, centrifugal force, etc. I understand that it's simpler for the atmospheric models to work in these units than more obvious ones.


Rob, I noted that Spencer specifically uses the word Departure to hide his meaning.

I didn't need the coffee away from the keyboard. I have no illusions as to what I will see on Spencers site, Watts quotes him far too much for that.

Timothy Chase

Lanevn wrote:

Can anyone say what mean Geopot(gpdm) there? http://www.wetterzentrale.de/topkarten/fsecmeur.html Is it geopotential? Than it is changes?

As I understand it...

HectoPascals is used to measure air pressure, and air pressure drops roughly as an exponential function of altitude. It has often been easier to perform measurements and calculations in terms of local air pressure rather than altitude. Even today, satellite instruments that measure atmospheric composition, such as the Atmospheric InfraRed Sounder, which measures carbon dioxide concentrations to within 2 ppm based on its signature reduction of thermal in different parts of the spectra, will often measure air concentration and temperatures at a given air pressure rather than at a given altitude.

Anyway, I found the following that actually references the site you were looking at, so it might help:

Surface pressure is about 1000 hPa (1000 mb), this is the total force (weight) of the atmosphere. The height at which the pressure is 500 hPa roughly divides in half the atmosphere vertically, half the mass of air being above and half below that height. In terms of height, 500 hPa is about 5,500 metres (18,000 feet) above the ground. The top of that part of the atmosphere in which our weather is formed is known as the tropopause and is at about 11,000 metres (35,000 feet). The 500 hPa level is, thus, effectively half way up the atmosphere as we know it.


And since I mentioned it, for those who might be interested in the AIRS instrument and how it is used...

M.T. Chahine, et al. (2008) Satellite remote sounding of mid-tropospheric CO2, Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 35, L1707,doi:10.1029/2008GL035022

Chahine, M., C. Barnet, E. T. Olsen, L. Chen, and E. Maddy (2005) On the determination of atmospheric minor gases by the method of vanishing partial derivatives with application to CO2, Geophys. Res. Lett., 32, L22803, doi:10.1029/2005GL024165.

Way above my head, but some might like it.



I wish it were just a matter of Bible bashers. I am currently witnessing a heated argument on AmWx between working meteorologists (whom I would normally consider serious, informed people) about whether the AMO is contributing 40% or 50% of the variability required to account for sea ice loss. It's as if that's all that mattered.

This seems surreal to me, but it is everywhere. Lots of people, many of whom know better, are doing lots of little things to keep from having to look directly at this particular oncoming train.


I don't mean to 'rain on anyone's parade' so to speak, but the GFS model forecast for arctic storms over the upcoming 2 weeks are not unusually strong in intensity or frequency for this point in the season. Real-time, full 384hr GFS forecast charts are available at: http://mag.ncep.noaa.gov/NCOMAGWEB/appcontroller

Just click on the model and the projection you want (GFS and Polar, for example) and then pick what forecast paramaters you want to see.

High arctic basin SFC temps are already running around -1 to -3 degC, and SEP 15-22 appears the most likely time frame for when ice extent will bottom out. If it does occur later, it will almost certainly mean that sub-surface water temps are in fact much warmer than 'normal'.

Roman Polach


"Arctic ice melt like adding 20 years of CO2 emissions"


Thanks a lot.

Doug Bostrom

Anybody here happen to know the aviation maintenance/safety enhancement know as "HUMS?" Among other things HUMS captures recordings of nominal dynamic behavior of aviation machinery so when things begin to go weird they'll be noticed before parts start to fly off.

Imagine if the Arctic basin plot Neven posted was a helicopter rotor harmonic plot and the mechanic responsible for the machine was routinely reviewing HUMS data for signs of trouble. Business as usual? Doubtful.

Ideally we'd be using our instrumentation systems as an alarm source. Of course, that's axiomatically "alarmist" so no can do.

Rob Dekker

Very balanced artice by Gwynne Dyer about the "unknown unkown" that lays ahead of us

Chris Biscan

The weather models continue to trend toward a warmer compaction solution that could potentially send SIA even further into the tank down to 2,000,000km2 and Jaxa down to 3.3 mil km2 or so.

It's interesting. The arctic has so much open water, and while most of it is near freezing slightly below or slightly above. There is a lot of it running 2-4C or more. But what is important is that yes that is not very warm. But without the ice pack to coincide with the dwindling solar insolation, there is almost certainly going to be a lag in the cold pool growing.

It will also be much easier for warmer air to pool around the arctic over the land/water that is 4-6-8-10C still.

Solar insolation between 60-75N is strong for a while. The heat left over is like a runway for more heat to go poleward that otherwise may not go poleward or may be weaker than it is now.

Either the 00z GFS is in and there won't be a minimum until the 13-15th if it's right.

Seke Rob

Latest CT-SIA for Arctic:

2012.6740 -2.3895028 2.3765626 4.7660656
2012.6768 -2.3920436 2.3635330 4.7555766

'bout -13K

Seke Rob

And that was a new [for now] record minimum.


Jim Williams

Is it normal for the central ice pack to be opening up new holes like this near the end of the melt?


Artful Dodger

Hi Jim,

It's not normal for holes to open inside the main pack at ANY time. That's why it's called pack ice!


Jim Williams

Hi Lodger,

Here I am looking for when the edges start to firm up a little and instead I see lot's of 100% turning into 90%. It just doesn't seem right somehow -- but I must admit I've never watched this closely before.


Seke Rob

What *was* normal no longer exists. There's been a regimen change and we're all learning from new observational impressions. 20 years of CO2 equivalent kicked in the windows and the insurers have not determined what the lasting damage is needing to be calculated into future premiums.


The September 4 Arctic Ice Concentration and Thickness are posted with kmzs.




In regard to extent and area, the double lows and high pressure ridge whiplash the ice over the next five forecasted days.

Look at the 090512 1800 runs:


Also see the Polar Met animation for SLP and temps:



Doug Bostrom,

"Anybody here happen to know the aviation maintenance/safety enhancement know as "HUMS?" Among other things HUMS captures recordings of nominal dynamic behavior of aviation machinery so when things begin to go weird they'll be noticed before parts start to fly off.

Imagine if the Arctic basin plot Neven posted was a helicopter rotor harmonic plot and the mechanic responsible for the machine was routinely reviewing HUMS data for signs of trouble. Business as usual? Doubtful.

Ideally we'd be using our instrumentation systems as an alarm source. Of course, that's axiomatically "alarmist" so no can do."

The USA military developed a similar approach to HUMS called Condition-Based Maintenance. The main driver was to do periodic maintenance of plants and machinery based on the operational condition of the machinery, not rules of thumb for maintenance intervals. It is important to insure that all phenomena are modeled, and it is important to have myriad sensors on the machinery to identify deviations from the norm at the most nascent stages.

But, for operational machinery, the military wanted to minimize operational costs and maximize safety, and CBM appears to be able to accomplish both objectives. Both the military and civilian community are on-board with these objectives.

For climate change, the situation is the opposite. The energy consumers are comfortable with the intensive fossil fuel use that feeds their lifestyle, and are not interested in hearing about the downstream consequences. The fossil fuel resource owners and distributors are making a bundle off the status quo, and don't want the downstream consequences to be known. The fossil fuel workers are comfortable with their fossil fuel employment, and are not interested in hearing about the downstream consequences. And the politicians, who understand that none of these constituenciss want to alter the status quo, are not about to charge off on their own and raise the alarm.

Chris Reynolds

Latest CT Area data, day 247.

Continuing the previous year's profiles of loss from this date gives records as below.

p2007 2.3025 -20.7%
p2008 2.2018 -24.2%
p2009 2.1632 -25.5%
p2010 2.2868 -21.3%
p2011 2.2625 -22.1%

The percentages are percentage losses from the previous year's record of 2011 at 2.90474. By CT Area, 2007's record was 2.919439, 2006 was 4.091798, that was a drop of 27.3%.

If this year's date of minimum is typical of previous years then the record will be set between 8 and 11 September.

So in percentage terms the 2007 record will very probably remain. Furthermore this year's volume loss does not approach 2007. PIOMAS volume loss day 246:

And the three previous years calculated thicknesses (PICT) are all in the same ballpark.

2010 1.43m
2011 1.40m
2012 1.43m

These are for day 246, which is slightly after the August/September local minima for calculated thickness.

Seke Rob
Furthermore this year's volume loss does not approach 2007. PIOMAS volume loss day 246:...

Not following. In the PIOMAS thread I posted http://bit.ly/PIOM05. In 2007 the volume loss from max to min was 17407 cubic km, in 2012 so far 18,523, the only one in the way of breaking the single year volume loss record being 2010, which is I think going to stand... and then we're still probably ending way below any previous year in remaining volume:

Year minimum
2007 6458
2008 7072
2009 6893
2010 4428
2011 4017
2012 3407 (so far)

Chris Reynolds

Sorry, should have been more clear, volume loss on previous year.

Despite most massive annual range in area - broken on 20/8/12, and second greatest percentage area drop on previous year. Volume loss from last year has been big, but not as big as the two crashes, 2007 and 2010.

Rob Dekker

Jim Williams said :

Is it normal for the central ice pack to be opening up new holes like this near the end of the melt?

Not really, but in this case, you may be looking at a "known" hot-spot, which Neven called the "Laptev bite".
This year it showed up in June already, as Lars K reported here :

This area of sea ice along the Siberian side has long been recognized as "vulnerable" to melt.

Not quite clear why that particular area is vulnerable, although most theories hint at the deep warm Artic ocean current source that dives underneath the Arctic ice (from the East Svalbard current), then gets trapped between the Siberian continental shelf and the Lomonosov ridge and has no other way to go but up, and thus surfaces around the area called the "Laptev bite".

APL actually has a good summary page of what may be going on there :

If that theory is correct, that upwelling ocean heat (warmer ocean water) from the Atlantic causes "bottom melt" in the "Laptev bite", more than in other places of the Arctic.

Data from a Ice Mass Balance buoy in the area (CRREL, US Army) buoy 2012J seems to confirm the theory that ocean heat upwelling is the cause of the Laptev Bite :

This buoy shows that in the last two weeks alone, ice around the Laptev bite has still been melting quite rigorously (20 cm bottom ice loss suggests 55 W/m^2 ocean heat flux), even though atmospheric temperatures dropped well below freezing. So the heat must come from the water.

Unfortunately, there are no Flux or ITP buoys currently in that area that measure the water temperature and salinity at depth and at the surface. Without more buoys in that area, it would be difficult to estimate how strong that "hot-spot" is, and if it's ocean water indeed originates from deep warm Atlantic ocean water or not.

But either way, the "Laptev bite" now provides an opening to sail up to an astonishing 87 degrees North (some 200 miles from the North Pole), if you can find your way through 50% ice concentration (concentration is still falling, although not for much longer).

Chris Biscan


Today on Americanwx(I am frivolousz21) I couldn't as well as others duplicate Bob Tisdale's North and South Pacific sst's.

Not that I am saying he manipulated them, but can anyone help us out? Am I missing something or is the error on his part?

duplicate, just want anyone who can help see it, Neven, you can delete a few of these if you wish, but I'd appreciate it if you left them up for a few hours.

Seke Rob

Chris Biscan, the link goes to a "Sorry, we could not find that" and search gives "You do not have permission to use the search system". A secret society it seems.

Espen Olsen


Polarstern has probably been on Methan fact finding operation, that is a least my guess, they are little bit north of the Laptev Hole:


Chris Biscan

Damn, you gotta be a member, ok do this: use the same sst site Mr. Tisdale's graphs were created with and let me know if they match up.

North Pacific and South Pacific.


his parameters and graphs are here:


Chris Biscan

Both the Euro and GFS from 00z runs, exp the GFS this run are brutal. Very warm large ridges of HP dominating the next two weeks.

stay tuned.


New BBC article on sea ice melt and Fram strait findings:


"During a visit to the port, one of the scientists involved, Dr Edmond Hansen, told me he was "amazed" at the size and speed of this year's melt.

"As a scientist, I know that this is unprecedented in at least as much as 1,500 years. It is truly amazing - it is a huge dramatic change in the system," Dr Hansen said.

"This is not some short-lived phenomenon - this is an ongoing trend. You lose more and more ice and it is accelerating - you can just look at the graphs, the observations, and you can see what's happening."

Jim Williams

Rob Dekker I was referring to the central basin, mostly on the Greenland side, and it is sort of filling back in. I've decided it was probably mostly the wind -- not bottom melt. However, the ice must be rather thin up there since this was a large roundish area rather than a long thinnish area.


Domino +1, IMS sea ice, also fall down some days ago. I think it's worth a quick post when Neven finally comes back, especially as it was the last refuge of the deniers - the last nail in their sinking boat!

Rob Dekker

Jim Williams said

Rob Dekker I was referring to the central basin, mostly on the Greenland side, and it is sort of filling back in. I've decided it was probably mostly the wind -- not bottom melt.

I hope that my post about the Laptev bite (which is still open) was still usefull.


Hi folks,
CT just came in on 2.298210 km2 for yesterday.
Again minus 52K. causes start spooking through my head…
AB now around 1.75 Mkm2..

Seke Rob

The 2 last lines adding to Werther's post:

2012.6794 -2.3956523 2.3500910 4.7457433
2012.6823 -2.4353788 2.2982104 4.7335892

-2.43 *million* km square anomaly. We need an exorcist [for the spooks]


Causes? ...
At least, some effects are visible on MODIS.
Tiles r03c04 and r04c04, which have been quite blocked by clouds for days, now allow us to better assess the sit around the Laptev Bite/Fr Yosef - Severnaya Zemlya sector.
Grateful that summer will soon pass!
Tile r04c03 yesterday showed clear view north of the CAA. That is part of the 'surviving' mesh pattern sheet. See how it's leads are being stretched.
No wonder SIA hasn't stalled yet.


Needs new y-axis: anomaly has dropped on the floor:


Artful Dodger

Well spotted, Wipneus. The Central Basin is down again on the latest report, and is below 1.9 M km^2 as of Sep 8, 2012.

The low pressure system off E. Greenland is transporting sea ice into the E. Greenland sea, up ~25 K km^2 on Sep 8.



Jim Williams

2012 is proving to be a record year in breaking graphs too.

Alan Clark

The axis has been extended to encompass the new record anomaly, but only to -2.0 million. Will it be enough for this year?

Bob Wallace

Has someone actual numbers for the CB?

My eyeball estimate is that this year is about 30% lower than the average of the previous last five years.

And how about 'turnaround' dates? Setting new refreeze records?

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