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Great update, and Larry's graph says way too much about the shaft we are in.

I've found the total sea ice with anomaly chart on CT pretty cool. In 1979, the twin peaks when Antarctic refreeze is yet to be overtaken by Arctic melt and when Antarctic melt is yet to overtake Arctic refreeze, are about equal due to a late Arctic Spring / early Antarctic Autumn. This could be the second time they are about equal due to such an unbelievably (except that it is happening) warm Arctic Autumn with a fairly typical Antarctic Spring.

Eventually we may see only a single peak followed by a little plateau and mole hill.


It ain´t over yet.

Just browsing the weather forecasts at http://www.wetterzentrale.de/topkarten/fsecmeur.html , I could see 72h into the future (Thursday this week). Take the JMA for instance. At 300 hPa it shows a 100 knot advection of warm air all the way from the Azores to the Kara Sea. At the surface on the controray, we will see strong winds blowing directly from NE Greenland to the Azores. It will be a fascinating battle to follow.

Greg Wellman

I looked at CT this morning and suspected this post might be coming :-) Wow, what a year.

Mary A Bein

Gee, I sure picked the right year to watch records come tumbling down. Now I get to watch the refreeze.

Fairfax Climate Watch

The melt since 2007 is now shown to be induced in large part from warmer southern air reaching the pole: http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2012/20121010_arcticwinds.html

Quantifying the physics of the melt, we can evaluate max energy transfer rates to the ice from: 1) direct ocean water contact; 2) sunlight/radiation absorbance; 3) rainfall/snowfall; and, 4) air contact. The air-to-ice transfer of heat is probably the most variable, and possibly the highest absolute contributor of direct ice melt. As atmosphere warms around the ice, the temperature difference between the two grows, and thus the resulting wind speeds can increase quite a bit. Faster winds = more heat transfer from air to ice.

To me, this appears to be the last nail (or close to it) in the coffin for the Arctic sea ice – and soon to follow, the Greenland ice cap.

The dangers posed by these changes are much greater than most people realize. James Hansen made his case very well in 2007 on this point: http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/2/2/024002/fulltext/

Fairfax Climate Watch

From that 2007 Hansen piece: An unusual weather event, analogous to the summer of 2003 in France, but rather in the form of heavy rains, perhaps of hurricane intensity, could have a huge long-lasting impact by “softening” the ice sheet and accelerating its movement and disintegration.


Apocalypse4Real has some problems with signing in, so he asked me to post this for him:

I have updated my methane website to October 10. However, Typepad is giving me errors to log on to post on the blog.

Here are the updated links.



Also the Met Office has finally fixed the data errors in the Arctic Ocean NCOF data, and I will have that updated from Sept 20 forward in a couple of days. I am also adding another page for the MMAB sea ice concentration imagery.


IJIS just had a double century and is just 103K below 2007. So unless Antarctic SIA is going to drop real fast there probably won't be a global anomaly record.


Update Oct 16, new low anomaly (-3k2):

2012.7781 -2.6094835 3.6361835 6.2456670
2012.7808 -2.6235602 3.7192922 6.3428521
2012.7836 -2.7054472 3.7270412 6.4324884
2012.7863 -2.7086544 3.8323770 6.5410314

r w Langford

The Victoria Times Colonist has a scary article regarding testing of iron particles in the ocean off Haida Gwai (Queen Charlotte Islands) north of Vancouver Canada. The Haida people there want to make money by selling carbon credits to industry and make lots of money for their people. Is this the tip of the iceberg for rogue states to sell geoengineering projects to unscrupulous business? The article is quite balanced and I have sent them a thank you note for presenting the whole case. Andrew Weaver, our local climate hero and Nobel recipient has replied.

r w Langford

Sorry, forgot the link.

L. Hamilton

CT global anomaly is just 30k above the 2007 record low.


. table year, contents(min anomalyG)

Year | min(anomalyG)
1979 | -.790716
1980 | -1.2455
1981 | -.774105
1982 | -.355303
1983 | -.531932
1984 | -.931061
1985 | -1.24603
1986 | -1.21653
1987 | -.625895
1988 | -.83842
1989 | -1.11141
1990 | -1.00393
1991 | -.845162
1992 | -.515435
1993 | -.671337
1994 | -.210319
1995 | -1.43027
1996 | -1.30478
1997 | -.860479
1998 | -.909107
1999 | -.839795
2000 | -.892581
2001 | -1.50205
2002 | -1.59449
2003 | -1.34699
2004 | -.629008
2005 | -1.61161
2006 | -2.04657
2007 | -2.47527
2008 | -2.23805
2009 | -1.92261
2010 | -2.36084
2011 | -2.3884
2012 | -2.44515


Whoa, that's a huge drop from yesterday's -2.296 million km2 anomaly.

Chris Reynolds

M. Owens,

That story is based on the recent Overland paper that I've blogged on in my Summer Daze posts, here.

The situation is actually characterised by a persistent high pressure anomaly under a geopotential ridge over Greenland. So it argues against an increase in rainfall over Greenland.


With the Arctic anomaly dropping 3K since yesterday, a drop of 27K in the Antarctic SIA anomaly (one day behind Arctic) will be enough for a new global SIA anomaly record. It can be done, even though now I jinxed it.



A series of maximum temperature records at Greenland's East coast.

Nuuk 13th October
Nuuk 14th October
Nuuk 15th October

Ilulissat 14th October

Not really die-hard official records, but a self respecting record-lover can't be picky, can he?

Nevertheless, on the 15th of October at the 2 Ilulissat webcams we could see a gigantic chunk calved from the glacier there.

So, whether official records or not, at Baffin Bay and Greenland's East coast the far above average temperature is a big deal.

Fairfax Climate Watch

Chris, the maximum direct energy input of rain/snow has a maximum much lower than for air-to-ice energy transfer. Keeping that in consideration, the dynamics of the precipitation can influence melt rates more drastically indirectly: by altering the physical properties of the snow cover (up to the point of washing it away entirely). Pure ice after all, has a very similar albedo to water. So, turning the snow to ice has obvious consequences.

Although high pressure inhibits precipitation, the increase in atmospheric temperature causes an exponential increase in maximum carrying capacity of water by the atmosphere (warm air can hold more water, and the relationship is exponential). So whenever the new high pressure system breaks down or shifts offshore, the precipitation should be a much higher intensity than under past conditions; and, the precipitation’s temperature should be higher.

So, I'm not sure if the net change would be positive or negative in terms of absolute precipitation. In other words, would the less frequent but more intense storms cause higher or lower total precipitation? Research has suggested a higher total precipitation over Greenland in the last 50 years, with a big spike in the most recent decades; but these investigations mostly do not cover the recent period of time when this high pressure system has been noted to have emerged (mostly since 2007). Most recent precipitation estimates are based on altimetry readings, which measure the height of the ice sheet, and do not examine the physical layers to confirm that other factors are not lifting the sheet’s surface higher.

But, I do think the net change in temperature of the precipitation will be positive (warmer precipitation). The consequences of this change will cascade through the mechanics of the ice system by causing albedo shifts in ice cover, ultimately leading to rapid surface ice melt of astounding proportions.


Stupid me wrote:

at Greenland's East coast.

That should have been of course at Greenland's West coast.

Ducking head now..


Jaxa IJIS more than 5 centuries in two days:


150K over 2007 now (5643906)


CT area update: anomaly +35 k

2012.7836 -2.7054472 3.7270412 6.4324884
2012.7863 -2.7086544 3.8323770 6.5410314
2012.7891 -2.6732688 3.9772735 6.6505423

Global anomaly, very close (3k5 short):

2012.7836 -2.4451456 18.6875896 21.1327343
2012.7863 -2.4717197 18.7637539 21.2354736


Apocalypse4Real still can't login via Twitter (more people are having trouble, I apologize on behalf of TypePad), so he aske dme to post this for him:

The NOCF Artic Sea Ice Concentration and Thickness imagery is updated through 15 October.


I have added the MMAB ice concentration imagery (12.7 km resolution) as well, from August 31 through October 15.


From here on updates will be posted every 5 days to follow the refreeze. The next update will be for October 20.

L. Hamilton

Regarding the sign-on problem: I encountered that several times, logging on from Typepad using IE. Annoyed, I switched from IE to Foxfire which seems to work fine.

Regarding sea ice area, here are today's northern and global anomaly graphs:




idunno calls in to let all of us know that NSIDC has an extra report out.

Chris Reynolds

M Owens,

Yes, it may be a case of less likelihood of precipitation events, but more heavy precipitation when those events occur. As for the warming, that should trend with climatological warming under low pressure synoptic situations. We'll have to see what research throws up - but given the summer dominance of high pressure, and the fact that it's only in summer that it's warm enough for rain; I'm not expecting the Hansen scenario.

The Overland work stems from earlier work by Hanna, who's team seem to have incidentally found the pattern around the same time I did. What they were studying was Greenland ice sheet run off. They found the the high pressure dominance after 2007 was associated with higher run off, probably due to clear skies and increased insolation.


Hi Chris,

I read all your comments and your blog with respect and interest. But when you situate your well-wrought but still amateur views on a level close to that of people like Overland or Hanna I get a little weary. It could occur to you that other amateurs had a same hunch like you in what was going on over Greenland at the time.

I have to restrain myself too, FI when I keep bavarding on my “Kara Bulge”. It might not even show up this season!

As for this year’s repeated stalling of a ridge over the formidable Greenland ice barrier, which juts so intriguingly into the mid troposphere: it happened in ’05 and ’07 too.
It could certainly play a role in a more regular pattern, so pronounced that we now refer to it as the Arctic Dipole.

But the influence of last summer’s events on the GIS was a firm standard deviation stronger than before. While it didn’t promote the Dipole as strong and often like in ’07 (lucky enough).

Let’s take care not falling in the trap of simplifying what’s going on to a grand scheme.

For the rest, I learn through what you do, but I’d rather see FI Chris Biscan over here torching every now and then than you getting trapped… harff harff…

(I hope Neven doesn’t count this as ‘ad hominem’?)


Regarding the sign-in issues, in case it may help: It have been able to sign-in using TypePad directly, but was not seeing the "Post a comment" box. This was the same with FF, Chrome or Safari.

I have just noticed that if I check the "Remember me" box, the "Post a comment" box is now visible. I don't ever recall having to check that box before.

I just confirmed this, and it is still the same.

Just wanted to share this info in case it is relevant, or helps anyone else get signed on and posting.


Hey! Thanks BlackDragon!

Err, nothing else to report, except I haven't seen this box for two days. Nice weather we've been having...


Don't let Chris Reynolds fool you -- he is no amateur. I'm in a good position to recognize professional having co-authored six *cover articles* in PNAS/Science/Nature in the last 8 years -- more than the lifetime total of Hanna + Overland. Chris is doing this on top of a day job, or at least on an unpaid civic basis which by itself is extraordinary (like many of you).

Chris revises his position from time to time (who doesn't?). I see that as a good thing: reach exceeding grasp. I read the blog to find the reliable data sources and see thought-provoking analysis -- right or wrong, just not nutter. If something seems not quite right but I can't pinpoint exactly where it went off the rails, that's not a problem for the post but an opportunity for me to look deeper.

The risk I see with Chris is in the near future, he will skip the educational posts to the 'rest of us' and start burying his insights and analysis within peer-reviewed journal articles, with their attendant secrecy, six month delays, explanatory compression, paywalls, and lack of interaction with readers. Partnering up could be seductive, for example in terms of computer resources to expand geospatial data into empirical orthogonal functions (eg the arctic dipole as it is scientifically defined).

Priority claims/male egos bore me to tears. I could care less whether Chris was the first, second or 100th to independently recognize the Greenland high pressure anomaly. He is definitely out front in thinking about its coupling if any to sea ice loss and its ramifications for the future. If you would care to read the relevant sections in Overland 2012, it's actually no better that what you see from pooling non-specialists on this blog. That's because the sea ice blog is a successful large-scale colloborative process -- it's just not possible to duplicate a hundred experiential lifetimes with its crowd-sourced expertise with a narrow group of academics. That's why you see journals moving (slowly) to crowd-sourced peer review.

While I myself wouldn't bet the farm on melting from the Greenland high being the next downstream headline in Holocene climate collapse, it might very well be. It's part of a much bigger picture of radically changing the energy budget of the Arctic and with it, the planetwide couplings.



Thanks so much!!!

Suddenly lost the comment box & had no idea how to proceed.

Had to login with Facebook, setup a Typepad password, logout, set "remember me" then log in through Typepad.

PITA- but it works.



A-team, thanks for stepping in.

I didn't know Chris was into this on a level like you describe. As I would be very interested in his contributions, I've randomly looked for it on Nature.com. Of course, it would be far more polite to ask Chris.
So, Chris, could you show me?
Meanwhile, my little digging got me this free out of Nature:
"Sea surface temp variability SW trop Pac since AD 1649".
Tonight, I'm going to read it in the hope it's one of these pearls you get out of what A-team calls our 'collaborative cloud'...


Moving out of record territory with a double century increase:

==> timeseries.anom.1979-2008 <==
2012.7836 -2.7054472 3.7270412 6.4324884
2012.7863 -2.7086544 3.8323770 6.5410314
2012.7891 -2.6732688 3.9772735 6.6505423
2012.7917 -2.5461109 4.2070270 6.7531376

==> timeseries.global.anom.1979-2008 <==
2012.7808 -2.2963457 18.7694035 21.0657482
2012.7836 -2.4451456 18.6875896 21.1327343
2012.7863 -2.4717197 18.7637539 21.2354736
2012.7891 -2.4114048 18.9068203 21.3182259


Yes, I think we can now forget about a global SIA anomaly record.


...and 2012 is now is second place, with 0.0013 more ice than 2007.

The final nail in the coffin for AGW?


Neven and Idunno

I am not so sure if records have not been broken for either Antarctica or the Arctic. First off , in the Arctic ice is being reported with sst's at -1 C, Higher resolution sst maps much match ice with -2 C stt's.
There is doubt if NEW ice is displayed with -1 C or warmer temperatures, ice doesn't form at -1 C. It is likely snow, yes snow doesn't melt after an intense snow shower and drifting from land. So I believe that sst graphs are important in differentiating snow from sea ice. In particular off Wrangle Island and Arctic coast lines. Antarctica should have the same rule. More on my blog http://eh2r.blogspot.ca/



I was signing in with Facebook, but the comment box wouldn't come up. I discovered my account by clicking Followers, set a password and now can use TypePad directly with my email address. It worked for me without even signing out.

I never have been able to find good weather data for the antarctic, but I have noticed major shifts in CT area around the maximum, which I figured were weather related, such as a couple hundred thousand km over a couple of days. From what I recall, the latest trends for the antarctic sea ice have been once the melt approaches the average, it follows the melting average rather closely.


Hey guys, really glad that helped!

Espen Olsen


Did you read this from Kris:

Stupid me wrote:

at Greenland's East coast.

That should have been of course at Greenland's West coast.

Ducking head now..

That is a record to noted!

Chris Reynolds


I wasn't 'grandstanding' when I said I found the pattern independently of real scientists. It's simply a matter of fact and of public record. When I said in comments on my blog that I felt like Shrek I meant it, publicity is the last thing I want. But if I stumble upon things I think are important, yes, I'll shout it from the rooftops. Anyway, here is the evidence for my claim.

Last year I wrote a post about the Central England Temperature record indicating cooler summers, so supporting my hunch that summers since 2007 had been cool and wet. Link

At the time I was rather new at using NCEP/NCAR so didn't know the page I could use I could use to investigate further. I found what I needed and cracked on with the job. I found a pattern post 2007 and compared it with previous years by subtracting equal length sets of years. What I found staggered me - there had been a shift in polar circulation unique since 1948 (when NCEP/NCAR starts). Link

Since then I put that matter on the back burner.

Earlier this year I was asked to help some people out with interpretting gridded PIOMAS data. That lead to my new obsession - the volume loss of 2010, and atmospheric changes that seem to follow that year. While searching for papers that might throw light upon it I came across a reference to an unpublished paper on which Dr Jennifer Francis was a co-author, the paper was entitled "The Recent Shift in Early Summer Arctic Atmospheric Circulation." I wondered if 'recent' referred to post 2010 - so I emailed Dr Francis to ask what period they were referring to. Dr Francis was good enough to reply promptly with a copy of the abstract.

When I read the abstract I got back to Dr Francis linking to my original Summer Daze post of 21/9/11, as it seemed I'd found the same thing. In the discussion that ensued it turned out I had independently found the same pattern Dr Hanna had published on earlier in 2012 - that being the first publication in the literature mentioning this pattern directly, although another paper alludes to some impacts but doesn't follow the matter. That paper was Ogi & Wallace 2012 "The role of summer surface wind anomalies in the summer Arctic sea ice extent in 2010 and 2011", they find an increase in anti-cyclonic winds post 2007, but merely note: "It is not clear why anticyclonic wind anomalies have been prevalent in recent years." That's it, I have been unable to find further reference in the literature or in the blogo-sphere. If you can find someone finding this pattern earlier, feel free to educate me.

Team A,

Please don't heap praise like that on me, it makes me less likely to blog because I'm daunted by the high standards it demands of me. I'm an engineer by profession, this remains a hobby and I have no intention at all of publishing professionally. I'll continue to spew my thoughts, some will be crap, but at least it should provoke thought. Nobody reading your comments should accept anything I have to say without critically examining it and making their own minds up. Intelligent people can and do disagree - except on the issue of anthropogenic causation (anyone doubting that has a double figure IQ).

Hans Kiesewetter

Well, if the CT global SIA anom record is out of reach (is it?) the last record (nr 13?) will be "the largest recovery". But this record is not something we will have to track. Others will do. ;-)


Thanks Chris,
I'm afraid I forgot your clever use of NCEP/NCAR and the sequence of your line of thinking.
One of the aspects I'm just beginning to see through is the statistical aspect of these climo comparisons. As a consequence I see I have innocently attributed words like "simplifying what's going on to a grand scheme" to your work. I'm sorry.
Your comparisons have isolated an important tendency in the circulation out of the complex weather noise.
Now I understand from what background you mentioned Overland and Hanna.

Chris Reynolds


No need to apologise, I now realise my original comment was superfluous in any case.


Hi Hans,

Be careful what you wish for:


(For those of you who don't like opening that site; they have really excelled themselves - the refreeze is the "fastest ever" only in percentage terms.)


Idunno, It is not surprising that an all time wide open Arctic ocean will eventually create an all time ice "recovery". The amount of incredulous dumbness exhibited by WUWT is only equalled with their total inability to predict anything right and their utter contempt to the scientific method, which includes the written language of successful science.

Back to reality, I am impressed by the very nature of sea ice pack, regenerating ice at its periphery in a quasi systematic way, at center of it is a High pressure, newly formed boundary layers, all around it, lows stream about (adiabats). This recovery will hit the wall of warmer water which looses its heat by adiabatic profiles, generating a much quicker exchange to the atmosphere. Thermal flux of the ocean has its limits as seen at the ice boundaries. But there is no doubt that winter is coming late, its spreading out from a much smaller area than ever.

Hans Kiesewetter

@Idunno: You need some humor to survive these times. Not knowing WUWT was typing their record-announcement when I was typing my comment. Their trick to use % to measure recovery is clever. This will give even higher records in the future. And after a few years when also winter extent has gone down significantly, this is probably the only way they can have a record.

But the bottom line is simple: You can only have a record refreeze after a record melt.


Another 200+k ice growth today has bitten further into the anomaly.

Also the Northern Sea Route is now closed.

As the latest growth spurt has come, among other places, in the East Siberian sea, then this may not set a record low anomaly this year:


OTOH, both Beaufort and Laptev appear to be on the cusp of record anomalies:





WUWT doesn't like that word denialist, even when you are using it in a general way, but calling me a warmist or warmista to my face is acceptable.

I tried to make the point that a rapid refreeze traps heat, but I couldn't get a taker.


Extremely rapid regrowth continues...

2012.7863 -2.7086544 3.8323770 6.5410314
2012.7891 -2.6732688 3.9772735 6.6505423
2012.7917 -2.5461109 4.2070270 6.7531376
2012.7946 -2.4165375 4.4330831 6.8496203
2012.7972 -2.3046687 4.6392512 6.9439197
2012.8000 -2.2490509 4.7940884 7.0431390
2012.8027 -2.2020888 4.9218674 7.1239562
2012.8054 -2.1510890 5.0834713 7.2345600

2012 is now in third place, behind both 2007 and 2011.


Mini domino, Beaufort SIA record anomaly:



Area anomaly still hoovering below the -2 Mm2 level:

==> timeseries.anom.1979-2008 <==
2012.8137 -2.0397418 5.4905262 7.5302677
2012.8164 -2.0389693 5.5911999 7.6301694
2012.8192 -2.0565376 5.6705956 7.7271333
2012.8219 -2.0134192 5.8012929 7.8147120
2012.8247 -2.0279787 5.8892322 7.9172111

Jim Pettit

Just to add to the excellent work done by Wipneus:

--CT SIA area increased by 203k km2 yesterday; that was the fifth double century increase this year, equalling the number of such days seen last year (three of which occurred in the first week of November).

--Area now stands at 6.19 million km2. That's more than 300k km2 less than last year on the same day, and nearly 50k less than 2007.

--Area has increased by 3.955 million km2 in the 47 days since the minimum was reached.

--SIA is the lowest ever seen on day .8301. 2012 has had the lowest daily area 139 times, or 45.4% of the year.

--The SIA daily average for October was 4.3076575 million km2, barely edging out 2007's 4.3089695 km2.

--The negative SIA anomaly fell below two million km2 yesterday, the first time it's done so since August 1. The anomaly had been greater than two million for 90 consecutive days, including the top three, and 12 of the top 20, largest negative anomalies on the record.

--Statistically-speaking, there's roughly one week left in which the largest daily SIA increases have been seen. The rate of increase generally tends to begin slowly flattening out after that as it moves toward the maximum in March or early April.


Thanks for the stats, Jim!

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