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Kevin McKinney

Nice! And very well-deserved. It has been truly inspiring and amazing to watch (and even better and more amazing, participate in) the development of this online community.

Minor note: in the first sentence "slay" should take an irregular past tense--"slew." A bit like His Lordship's peerage... ;-)

Bob Bingham

A well deserved article. Yours is one of the clearest and well presented web sites on the Arctic and a canary in the cage for climate change. I hope the popularity does not attract the wrong type of contributor.


A celebrity in our midst! Sweet!

Seriously, though, I second what Bob said. The ASI Blog is an excellent resource, and far above-average for a "non-expert" website. Keep up the good work...


This will depend on the sea ice, Bob. If the minimum stays above 2007/2011 levels I expect a couple of WUWT-heroes will try and come to wedge their Gish Gallops on non-Arctic sea ice-related themes into the conversation, and start a classic troll-chain reaction. Of course, you don't see them when the extent/area is low.

Unfortunately I already had to ban two or three commenters who sabotaged the atmosphere. I just don't have time for stuff that has been rehashed a million time on the Internet before.

Shared Humanity

I just finished reading the Guardian article and came here to congratulate you, only to discover this post. This is well deserved recognition. I've been visiting for a little over a year and you are doing all a service.



Kudos. A well-justified piece by John Abraham. One climate hero salutes another.

PS There would be a usual Gish Gallops no matter what the minimum is.


Thanks, toby.

There would be a usual Gish Gallops no matter what the minimum is.

That's not entirely true. This blog has been practically troll-free for three years. Also notice how little fake skeptics have been talking about Arctic sea ice in the past two years, except for the most rabid disinformers.

But hey, it's an honour for the ASIB to be mentioned on the Guardian by someone like John Abraham, so let's not focus too much on the negative side of the climate debate. Sorry, my fault, shouldn't have gone into it.

What we or fake skeptics do or say, is irrelevant. The Arctic will do as it pleases, and it will be reported as objectively as possible by all of us here on the ASIB.


@ Kevin: sorry, your comment was in the spam bucket.

Minor note: in the first sentence "slay" should take an irregular past tense--"slew."

Much nicer, I agree, and I do try to go for UK English spelling (and 'slayed' is mainly used in the US). Fixed now, thanks.

Kevin McKinney

"Unfortunately I already had to ban two or three commenters who sabotaged the atmosphere. I just don't have time for stuff that has been rehashed a million time on the Internet before."

Thank you, thank you, thank you...

Doug Lofland

Neven, well deserved! Hopefully your followers will soon break 200, then add some zeros soon.

Doug Lofland

And thank you for Gish Gallops, I needed to add that to my vocabulary. Had been looking for that word per some present dealings with a coal miner.

Tea Potty

Given the current state of disinformation, I am very grateful we have this great forum to simply discuss and learn from the observations and each other.

Thank You :)


Very nice & very much deserved.

Pete Williamson

Congratulations, it must be hard to be in the same room as your ego ATM!

Just to massage it more, I was totally unaware you had no background in climate science. You write with a clarity that belies that. I think I prefer citizen scientist over armchair, the later suggest a passivity that seems to be non-existent in all the individuals that are doing this sort of work.I have a friend who is recovering from a brain tumour who, when she has the energy, goes out to the local wetlands and counts dragonflies.There are probably issues on which we disagree when it comes to environmentalism, but I can't critise the fact she's out there adding to our understanding of ecology.

it must be hard to be in the same room as your ego ATM

Yes, we had to open the windows. ;-)

You write with a clarity that belies that.

That's because instead of having to stoop down to the level of non-experts and try to explain something on that level, I'm actually reaching up, just like everyone else. And so what I do, is I try to find out things or show things that I would want to read about if I were a reader of this blog, and then try to convey what I've learned.

The upside is that everyone gets it, the downside is that I lack the skills and knowledge to go really deep and produce results that improve the science. But anyway, in the end I'm more interested in the implications of Arctic sea ice loss (and trying to be as transparent as possible about that) than the science itself. Although cryospheric science is pretty awesome. If I were just 16 right now...

Jai Mitchell

Have just been reviewing the recently released study on Fox News and Climate Skepticism hmielowski 2013 An Attack on Science? it shows how exposure to non-conservative biased media has helped to slow the observed growing distrust of (science) scientists in America.

This blog is part of a greater crowd-sourcing-toward-truth experiment that is much more than science. It is also communication of both science AND reality. This subject is of the utmost importance to the survival of future generations.

The well-funded propaganda scheme that has worked to indoctrinate a coal-miner to regurgitate a "gish gallop" of lies as though they were truth is actually caused by a contravention of humanity's survival, disguised as a defense of "free-market" principles.

Without public discourse we will be left to the devices of climate skepticism which, as George Monbiot said in "HEAT",

"I have no evidence that Fred Singer or his organization have taken money from Philip Morris but many o fthe other bodies which have been sponsored by Exxon and have sought to repudiate climate change were also funded by the tobacco company. Among them are some of the world's best known 'think tanks': The Competitive Enterprise Institute, the Cato Institute, the Heritage Foundation, the Hudson Institute, the Frontiers of Freedom Institute, the Reason Foundation and the Independent Institute, as well as George Mason University's Law and Economics Center."

and then he goes on to state what is truly going on in political discourse today:

"I can't help wondering whether there is any aspect of 'conservative' thought in the United States which has not been formed and funded by the corporations."


Must thank the Guardian as well, there are only a few well read newspapers in the world which cover climate accurately. Only this one and perhaps the Capital Gang which also recognized Neven's contributions in the first place.

Its appropriate to add to Neven's take on 2013 melt. Although it seemed slow, it wasn't. 2013 shows the importance of compaction. Over the long night newish sea ice made from frozen over leads melted first. These had thinnest ice, these have all melted. But what has happened is the absence of directional synergy with especially the Beaufort Gyre. Time and time again a cyclone created winds against this important current. This caused dispersed ice pack instead of compacted. In turn more albedo cooled the surface air.

But at the real core of this all are these cyclones, which are born from adiabatic air, cyclones of any size are created by ascending air and the Coriolis effect. Some start small and become a Katrina.
Some seem to appear spontaneously or from spinning off a planetary wave. But at the core: no ascending air, no cyclones. Thinner sea ice meant a warmer frozen ocean surface, this automatically creates ascending air especially when the sun re- appeared. From these cyclones more clouds, furthering the cooling. Nevertheless there is a great deal of melt , perhaps more than ever, masked by statistical data gathering flaws. In a given extent grid, there can be 84% open water and it would be reported as 100% ice. So in essence 2013 is not comparable to previous melts given the scattering of its ice over a large chunk of the Arctic Ocean. If compaction had occurred, the blue ocean would have been vastly more prominent. Until the ice bunches up in a tighter pack, the analysis must be done with dispersion in mind. The propensity of many to say its a lesser melt is not quite a good simplification.

John Christensen


Sorry, not trying to pester you with feedback, but Arctic summer cyclones are very different from any 'normal' cyclone that is born in a wet and warm environment.

Arctic air being at least 20C colder than surrounding continental air masses does not really rise - it is rather the continental warm air that rises. When this happens on main continents while the water is ice cover it creates the summer cyclones.


Congratulations Neven,

Well deserved.

I hope this means you and this blog will be taken even more seriously by even more people.

I did respond to the Guardian piece this morning. Looking back on it I feel uncomfortable mixing with the people that fill those blogs there with such carefully crafted nonsense.

Again there is reference to "the world hasn't warmed for 15 years" (actually 15 years doesn't work now because the cherry-picked start of 1997 is necessary).

Does anyone know what happened to that video based on Foster and Rahmsdorf that addressed this? It was on Climate Crocks. It no longer works.

Was there a problem with it?


A sincere congratulations to Neven. I am always humbled by the amount of thorough work everyone does here and am glad it has reached this amount of acclaim. Well deserved.

Geoff, I think I've heard it all. No warming since 1998, 1997, 1995, 2002... They trip on themselves with this kind of inconsistent and malevolent misuse of statistics, but are so steeped in willful ignorance, I doubt any dose of reason can cure them.

As soon as we get another record hottest year, they'll just reset the timeline, or fish around for whatever obscure month-to-month trend fits their immature storyline.


2012 was the outlier year as evident from the graph of Septembers. That was primarily caused by very strong prevailing patterns causing record Bering Strait ice, see http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=77461 Obviously that was at the expense of ice that could last through the summer of 2012, particularly the Barents Sea.

2013 is merely a continuation of the same downward trend shown in blue. MIght even come in a bit above the blue line, but it won't change the slope.


The well known anti-science saboteurs at DMI seem to think the sun has quite a bit to do with Arctic climate and ice. Of course IPCC AR4 dismissed the sun and ignored published research attributing solar effects when L&F put the "final nail" into the solar coffin to satisfy their political masters. Since 2007, there have been dozens of peer reviewed papers concerning solar influence on climate, completely debunking L&F (it didn't take much to do that).

Multi-decadal variation of the East Greenland Sea-Ice Extent: AD 1500-2000

Are you going to ban me Neven?

[Well, if you're asking me so politely. Have fun in your parallel universe. Others: don't respond, it's not fair, he can't reply; N.]

Espen Olsen

Gratulerer og velfortjent og til resten av teamet for den saks skyld.


Arctic sea ice extent is the highest since 2006, with temperatures near the pole already close to -5C.

Looks like the party is over for Arctic alarmists.

[I can't answer for others, but if the alarming trend in Arctic sea ice loss is reversed and as a consequence AGW poses no threat whatsoever, the party will start as far as I am concerned. Farewell to you too, and let's hope you're not dancing on a volcano; N.]

Espen Olsen

Nope! 2009 was higher!!

Timothy Chase

Congratulations, Neven, to you and your blog's community of regular commenters. Like many no doubt, I rarely have something to add, but I visit almost daily during the melt season and intermittently throughout the rest of the year. Like a great many, no doubt, I consider this the first resource to turn to if I want to know what is currently going on in the Arctic or wish to check on the latest papers. Here you will find essays that integrate the latest news, seek to explain various trends and phenomena, the latest imagery, charts, links to the official websites with the latest news, and in the comments a diversity of often very well informed views. I am glad to see that the blog is getting the kind of exposure it deserves.

Espen Olsen

A we reached the 200 followers mark!!!


Kudos Neven! You ROCK! And I must say that I agree with Pete Williamson and also favour the term "citizen scientist" over the sometimes demeaning "armchair scientist". Just my 2¢ there...

IMO one of the strongest points of this blog is the willingness of the commenters to hold themselves to the rule of logic and debate issues without much personal prejudice. When someone is shown to be wrong, they frequently state that they accept being corrected. This is one of the marks of a true scientist... to be in it for the information and what that information means. A good scientist does her/his best to be egoless in their quest for understanding.

And then there are the occasional trolls & gish gallopers. Often I see their logic as that displayed in the Monty Python Holy Grail scene: "We found a witch! Lets burn her!" They are worthy of being banned.


Charles Craver

i concur, well-deserved.

This blog has been practically troll-free for three years.

well, it helps that you keep the site clear of drive-bys etc. nothing worse than seeing a good discussion site get mired in responding to consistent trollery.

Charles Craver

speaking of trollery!

Arctic sea ice extent is the highest since 2006

2009 aside, the good thing about the chart above is the trend line is easy to follow. if extent this year turns out to be 5 million km^2, it'll be right smack on the trend line, which anyone can tell is going down, down, down.

Hans Gunnstaddar

From the Article: "It is refreshing to see people engage in polite yet candid discussions of various views of our Arctic."

This is by far the best website in my opinion for informed exchanges on this topic. Really a pleasure coming here to find out the latest on Arctic ice melt.

Neven wrote: "Unfortunately I already had to ban two or three commenters who sabotaged the atmosphere. I just don't have time for stuff that has been rehashed a million time on the Internet before."

I would change 'unfortunately' to hip, hip, hooray!! The same old tired denial routines have been done ad infinitum. Let's hope it can remain much like it is today. Congrats Neven.

Espen Olsen

Petermann Glacier:

A small fringe calving:



Van harte Neven, meer dan verdiend!


Neven has certainly brought attention to the declining Arctic Sea Ice and the global implications of this decline. I also hope that the many contributors and readers of this blog are as generous with their euros as they are with their compliments. The ,"DONATE" button is at the upper right corner of this page.

L. Hamilton

Skeptical Science has posted this good story as well:

Wayne Kernochan

Another de-lurk to say: (1) @Neven, I think you're selling yourself short. You have in a short space of time assimilated a lot of the science, to the point where it's clear that you can perceive the flaws in scientists' comments when these are not dealing with various facts they should be considering, like the relevance of Arctic sea ice volume and observations of large methane bubbles. As a result, you ensure that not only us non-scientists but the scientists I see on the site "keep their eyes on the prize".

(2) Remembering what things were like 3 years ago, I want to echo Kevin McKinney -- thank you, thank you for sparing us.


Well deserved credit Neven!

Sometimes the maths here is hard for me to follow :P but I try because I trust your contributors and I trust you

And the sheer amount of information you provide is amazing!

Thank you!

r w Langford

Neven. I add my thanks for your time, effort and good manners to those already expressed.

Crozet Dutchie

Wayne wrote: "Must thank the Guardian as well, there are only a few well read newspapers in the world which cover climate accurately. Only this one and perhaps the Capital Gang which also recognized Neven's contributions in the first place."

I cannot be sure but have been alerting the Capital Weather Gang of the WaPo and andrew Revkin of the NYT about the existence of this great blog on several occasions. Hope that helped to spread the impact.

Crozet Dutchie

And of course I join the chorus: Congrats Neven! Job well done but not finished...

Crozet Dutchie

Jai Mitchell wrote: "Among them are some of the world's best known 'think tanks': The Competitive Enterprise Institute, the Cato Institute, the Heritage Foundation, the Hudson Institute, the Frontiers of Freedom Institute, the Reason Foundation and the Independent Institute, as well as George Mason University's Law and Economics Center."
The "think" tanks share all in common that they are ALL bankrolled by the same billionaires who own Koch Industries: Charles and David Koch, sons of the notorious John Birch Society co-founder Fred Koch, the ultimate Fascist movement that still runs strong in the USA and morphed into the current Tea Party wing that took over most of the Republican Party today. The Koch brothers and their cronies are virtually in control of policy making in many USA states that are in control by the Republicans now.

Jeff Poole

Congratulations Neven!

The First Great Melt of 2007 turned me on to the simple fact that we have now broken the climate system beyond repair and I've been learning all I can about the ice caps and their effect on weather ever since.

This blog has been an island of sanity and interest for this grizzled old climate campaigner. I've been lurking and enjoying the debates and flood of new information about the cryosphere almost since the blog's beginning.

Now that you're known to the MSM prepare yourself for the tsunami of anti-science trolls...

With deep respect and admiration



May I add my compliments to the chorus!

Haven't had time to participate actively this year as things have got too exciting in my own specialty for me to do much else (I went from crazy uncle in the attic to respected authority on tau protein secretion over the space of few months, which has been a bit dizzying as well as not really deserved). But I come and visit here every day in rather fearful anticipation of the day when nobody lives long enough to worry about getting AD anymore.

The things that are discussed so intelligently here matter more than anything else I can think of to humanity, whether they know it or not.

Neven (and all of you) are a wonderful resource for the interested but non-expert. Congratulations again on getting recognized for your work!

Kevin O'Neill

Let me join the chorus and congratulate Neven on keeping this community of train-wreck watchers together. For many of us it's the closest thing to a home we have on the internet.

I think we'd be remiss though, if we didn't recognize the governments and organizations that had the foresight to put these satellites into orbit, fund the numerous researchers we read and quote, and especially to the researchers themselves who have provided us with a window into the arctic (with our noseprints smudged upon it).

Unfortunately, here in the USA, that funding is being whittled away year by year by people who prefer to stick their heads in the sand and deny reality.

Susan Anderson

Neven AND Abraham! My cup runneth over. And keeping the discussion between interested people and on point, an artist's artist, so to speak.

As to armchair, I'm a bit armchair myself, but Neven has understood so much and communicates it well, while remaining humble. I just mostly keep my keyboard still (aka mouth shut), but visit at least once most days.

Everywhere else there is conflict, but here, apart from the subject matter which is a war for survival, all is harmony - of the polyphonic sort.


An outstanding effort Neven - and kudos to your contributors Jim Pettitt, Wipneus, and Seke Rob for their first rate graphical presentations (and to commenters who have made this a regular stop for me).


Congratulations and Thank You! Nevin and thanks to all the contributors as well.


Congratulations and lots of thanks from another train-wreck-watcher. Special thanks for your efforts to keep the trolls out.

As the train is still gaining speed, your (and the contributors) efforts will become even more valuable.


Really terrific news about being in the NEWS, Neven, like OLN says a reminder to all re. the donate button top right, and to paraphrase Doug L "Neven, well deserved! Hopefully your followers will soon break 200, then add some $$$$ soon."
Must be time for another front row "movie' ticket for the show, looks like it's shaping up to be a long late melt season this time.

Artful Dodger

The stone age didn't end because the world ran out of stone, and the age of denial won't end because the world runs out of stupidity. It will end when people are too busy dealing with the consequences of climate change (or burying their dead).

A Facebook User

Interesting Guardian article, marred only by their increasingly ruthless level of censorship. The posts that have been blocked may be trolls, but if they are there seems to be a huge amount of them and I would occasionally like to see what is so horrendous about what they say. The majority of the first posts were all censored which is getting a bit dysfunctional. As a life long Guardian reader it saddens me to see free speech being so ruthlessly curtailed, it's getting worse than Skeptical Science, I wonder if there is some sort of connection?
The other issue that was flagged up is the apparent complete difference in the conditions in Arctic compared to Antarctic. I agree, they are poles apart , but sometimes I believe the similarities are overlooked.
If we take the Greenland ice cap as a mini-conitinent serving the role of the Antarctic continent, we see that it has a permanent (more or less) ice cap which extends out across it's adjacent ocean each winter, and melts back towards the coast in the Summer in the same way as Antarctic sea ice. Obviously the Arctic sea ice does not completely melt in the same way as the Antarctic sea ice (at least not yet!), but sees a similar process. I'm aware there are substantial geographic differences, but we should beware of continually dismissing them as having nothing in common.


Well deserved praise from this Guardian article. Well done! This site is a great source knowledge and I particularly appreciate your balanced open-minded approach to the current Arctic situation.

As you rightly say even if 2o13 is not as dramatic as 2012, it is equally interesting and probably as important. It also teaches all of us that humility and caution are fundamentally required attitudes in scientific observation and research.


It's well deserved praise, Neven. As a long time reader, it's been a pleasure to follow a mostly troll free forum.


Hi Neven, you may remember me from the 2008 sea ice discussion at RealClimate. To quote from you back then: "I’m not sure about Chris’ motives either, but it’s always good to have someone with a different perspective to further a discussion (and Chris’ asides show he’s not 100% denialist or anything). Myself, I’m a 100% alarmist layman and I enjoy reading all comments here. If it weren’t for Chris this comment thread would probably have died off silently, and where would I go then?..." (http://www.realclimate.org/?comments_popup=594#comment-98636)
A blast from the past!

I have read your blog quite often in the last couple of years and I agree that it is impressive. You've certainly solved your problem of where to go to discuss sea ice if there's not much going on at other blogs haha.

This is my first comment on a climate blog in years. I'm not even sure what I want to say really. But I'll try. For starters, I'd want to differentiate between fact and opinion. Your blog is excellent for presentation of data, and for posts/links/discussions providing starting points to engage with many issues relating to Arctic sea ice. Your blog also provides much in the way of opinion: I think you yourself are open about being opinionated towards the 'alarmist' side of the spectrum, and it certainly it seems fair to say that the vast majority of your commenters are either as opioniated in that direction or more so.

I can't really criticise you for opinions, or for providing a forum for others' opinions, considering you are so open about it.

At this point I'm already conscious that some might have issues with my use of the word 'opinion' so let me clarify before going on. Here's what I would call a more neutral point on the spectrum, for reference: http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/news/releases/archive/2012/sea-ice-minimum
I know you've discussed these sorts of press releases, and whether scientists are being too cautious etc so I won't add any commentary of my own specifically on that link.

But I would make the following more general point. If the met office are projecting that the arctic will be ice-free in summer roughly mid-century, then what is an 'acceptable' range of opinion. You have given airtime on this blog to at least one person who has been dead sure that the arctic would be ice-free this summer. (C.f. http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201012/cmselect/cmenvaud/1739iv/120314.htm Q115 Chair: You would rule out an icefree summer by as early as 2015, for example?
Professor Slingo: [head of Met Office, March '12] Yes we would...")
Does this mean that it should be similarly acceptable for someone at the other end of the spectrum to argue with the same conviction that the sea ice will definitely not disappear in summer before 2090, and indeed this may never even happen (at least during a timescale that matters).

So I'm starting to realise that the only message I'd really like to get across, is that it is possible for a reasonable (and intelligent) person to see and understand the same facts as others do on this blog, but have a very different... and still informed... opinion. It would take a painstaking trawl through all the relevant issues to demonstrate this properly, and I can't do that now, just like that, especially as I have work to do, and am already thinking it would have been a lot easier to just stay lurking.
So my final comment will be that the true goal of anyone serious about these issues should be to put opinion, politics and confirmation bias to one side, and understand as objectively as possible what is really going on. One way I do this is by trying to read this blog (and Tamino's etc) regularly with an open mind. As well as skeptical/'lukewarm' blogs insofar as these can can provide balance, albeit many can be very hit-and-miss... like the pseudo-science of the more extreme alarmists. And of course I try to keep up with papers and more in-depth analyses. (I do have a combined meteorology/climatology Masters (MSc) degree - just to point that out for what it's worth... though I decided afterwards to work in a completely different field).

I appreciate that most readers are probably thinking at this point, how patronising, of course we're all trying to be objective, keep an open mind etc. Well, provided you (i.e. anyone reading this) really are trying to engage with issues from all angles, properly listening to different points of view, and constantly on the lookout for subtle bias in yourself and others, then that's great. I respect your point of view.

Chuck Yokota

A Facebook User,

As far as I can see, the Guardian article does not mention the Antarctic at all. This did not strike me as dismissive, but rather the simple fact that the article is about the Arctic, and one cannot put everything into a single article.

I don't see folks here dismissing the Antarctic, either. There is a whole section devoted to the Antarctic over in the Forum. But again, the primary subject of the blog and forum is the Arctic.

Yes, there are some similarities between the two poles. They are both warming up faster than the lower latitudes, and both Greenland and Antarctica are losing hundreds of cubic kilometers of ice every year. Both are the subject of scientific study, measuring and understanding the effects of the warming.

However, the dominant geographical factor in the Antarctic is the continent itself, while in the Arctic the dominant geographical factor is the semi-enclosed sea at the pole. This sea is undergoing the most dramatic change, as millions of square kilometers of sea change from perennially ice-covered to seasonally ice-free. This can greatly affect the climate of the Northern Hemisphere, where more than 90% of the human race lives.

In the Antarctic, starting from a much colder state, has displayed the effects of warming quite differently. It has been warming up to where there can be sufficient water vapor in the air to increase snowfall. The fresher meltwater from the continent has counterintuitively caused the Antarctic sea ice to increase. However, this increase occurs in the winter, when it does not cause much albedo change in the polar winter, unlike the sea ice changes in the Arctic summer.


Neven, A+++ and just to join in the congrats on a blog which has all the information and simply says it the way it is.

Keeping the DenailTrolls out helps too.

I've been watching and surfing and trying to make sense of what is going on for so long now that I forget just how hard it was to find the sources of information in the first place (96 and onwards).

For those who are new to trying to get to grips with the science, the impacts and the future consequences, I can't think of a better single source of information that this site.

Especially as politics stay out of it. I used to go to Joe Romm's site and look for information but it's so politically driven now (probably a consequence of the political struggle on climate science in the US), that it is not so good for getting information. Although it is Very good for getting excellent cartoon images which make a point.

As for the Guardian? I don't generally like the politics of the paper, however their climate coverage is the best in the UK and also, politics aside, the most faithful to the science.

I don't usually bother with following anyone as I don't use the dashboard, but, just for stats, I added myself to the roll.

I'd also missed the donate button. Must do something about that.

Perhaps it's time for an article on solar/ice dynamics. The real story. Where CO2/thin ice dynamics take over to become a larger influence on ice than the cyclic solar. Comparing the flux and sunspots in cycle23 with the flux and spots cycle24 and the massive difference in ice loss in all areas between the two cycles.

That, I believe, is a good article to have and one to point to with regularity.

Glenn Tamblyn

"except for the most rabid disinformers."

Oh stop being so nice to Steve Goddard.

Nevertheless, well done Neven. The Arctic Sea Ice is just one narrow vein in the gold field of Climate Science. But you and a small cohort of diligent compatriots are sure mining that vein deeply!

When someone in the distant future writes the history of the Climate Wars, with the wonderful wisdom of hindsight, many unexpected names will stand out.

Take a bow!


Neven, your persistence, skill, determination, and last but not least your strength of character have provided us with an amazing resource. We are all so glad you do what you do.

Also, hats off to the many amazing contributors here!

[FT, take a little bow and pour a glass!]

Lynn Shwadchuck

Neven, congratulations on getting some recognition. When I mention this blog to others I mention the civil tone in debates. The community you've gathered here is what many bloggers hope for, but the urgency of the topic and the thoroughness of your posts take it to the top of the form.

Glenn Tamblyn

Wow. You even rated a drive by from Steve Goddard.

Anthony Watts will be here next. Maybe ClimateAudit will audit you. Or Chris Monckton will teach you some Latin.

You and John Cook might want to compare notes on how much fun it is watching all the Wicked Witches trying to launch their Flying Monkeys against you.

Welcome to the Big Time Neven.

Best buy some popcorn. Sometimes the circus is really fun to watch.

John Christensen

Yes, it is a very well-deserved recognition Neven!

Andrew Dodds

Congrats Neven..

Arctic sea ice is fascinating in itself, there is an addictive quality to checking today's sea ice area (or is it just me?).

I think you are right to ban the denialists, it's not as if they have a spotless record.

Eli Rabett

Heck, even Eli behaves here:), must be the frigid atmosphere.

A well earned congratulations from all at Rabett Run


Thanks for the compliments, everyone, my ego has just attained supernova-status. And sorry about the spam filter, it seems it's running amok a bit again.

Let's see what else we can do with the blog, as I don't think it has peaked yet (although this is dependent on what the sea ice does, of course). I hope to have more time next year.

But hold on, that sounds as if this melting season is already over! It isn't! :-)


No Andrew,it's not just you. I discovered that if my morning and evening ritual of checking is delayed by more than one day, I get quite annoyed at anyone or thing distracting me until I'm done catching up.
And some days missing a day has a large recovery time. Addicted covers it I believe :-)
As I started my search for truth here and the discussion afterwords was just as interesting as the article, I presumed other published information and their resulting discussions should be that way too.
Shock, anger, and huge fear for mother earth is the result of that learning experience. So Neven, thank you from the bottom of my addicted to truth heart. Never feel bad about saving us all from those idiots. The only thing to change their mind is, as someone mentioned here yrs ago, the insurance Co. And my renewal info says they are definitely not wanting to pay for our stupidity. ( collective mankind)


Chris wrote:

you may remember me from the 2008 sea ice discussion at RealClimate.

You bet, you were one of the people who got me on this trail! Look what you made me do. ;-)

I agree with what you write except for the part where you say "You have given airtime on this blog to at least one person who has been dead sure that the arctic would be ice-free this summer". In the comments, yes, but otherwise, as far as I can remember, no.

But that's irrelevant. I try to be as objective as I can, but of course I do have a couple of motives for setting up and running this blog (as described in the Climate Disclaimer). Like I wrote on the ASIF yesterday:

When I was younger, I rented movies at a video store. I usually would ask the people working there for advice, register their opinions, watch the movie and then see if I shared their opinion. So sometimes there'd be a guy or gal who I would deem to not have a taste for good movies, and I would ask them about a movie. If they would say it's a great movie, I would not rent it.

So even if a source isn't trustworthy, you still can come away with useful information. But of course, it helps if a source tries to be consistent and is transparent about that.

That's how people should read me. If you're more alarmist than me, you read my info and shift it a bit more to the left or the right. The same for more conservative readers.

I have my own narrative (= there are limits to growth and we are bumping into them, see for instance Arctic sea ice), but I'm too lazy/weak to try to control it too much.

It's out of my hands. Let the beholder decide.

Allen McDonnell

Congrats Neven, let me just add to the chorus and say, cutting off the people who argue for the sake of their own doubts is a good thing. Anyone who wants to learn is gifted a great deal of information on the Internet as a whole. This blog has some of the best critical thinking applied to that information expressed in a way that anyone of average intelligence can easily understand.


I think there is a fully satisfactory range of views repesented here already without including insincere posts.

Trolls have no shortage of blog sites of their own where they are free to post without limit (but who is reading?).

Trolls today play their cards close to the chest initially but the common denominator here seems to be jumping in immediately on new threads with the goal of souring them, followed a high volume of unconstructive posts and tiresome denialist argumentation.

I favor cutting them off much earlier and deleting their entire post archive.

One easy-on-the-administrator approach might be auto-limiting everyone to three posts per thread. True, someone could be defeat this with multiple avatar commenting software but we haven't seen that so far.

Three posts gives everyone a shot at providing some resources and responding to misconceptions in previous posts while avoiding chat room discussions, squandering quota with empty posts, and thread re-directs.


Great article and congrats!

I mentioned in the new thread, but wanted to rehash in this one that I am NOT the same Henry that trolled this board over the weekend.

I put the "1" after my name so people don't get the wrong impression. This is one of the more valuable sources of discussion on arctic ice on the internet.

Andy Lee Robinson

Well done Neven!
Always great to see recognition rightly deserved.

John Christensen

Congratulations on the well-deserved recognition Neven!

Regarding the whole denialist/troll/alarmist topic, I have a couple of comments.

Some people change - and others don't.

I was a proud member of Greenpeace, until they produced the video with the baby seal being skinned alive. Maybe not a good reason to leave them, but I was disgusted by the 'aim justifies the means' approach.
I was overall alarmed by global warming and climate change, not knowing too much about this, but then I read Al Gore's book, and again I felt this was a one-sided political approach, so I became a skeptic - not really a denialist.

My first entry on this blog a few years ago was also skeptic in nature, questioning the retreat of the Jacobshavn Glacier, and the fact that this glacier had retreated since at least 1850.

If not labelled a troll, I was probably very close, but I was also given a lot of help from other commenters and slowly started to recognize the complexity of the Arctic sea ice response to climate changes.

Today, I realize just how many questions remain unanswered, while there is no doubt that we have a strong underlying warming trend, and I enjoy participating in this quest at least to try and understand the mechanisms at work.

Your blog is unique in this sense, and you keep a great balance of allowing diverging opinions while keeping away the very disruptive commenters, trolls, who are not interested in participating for the sake of enhancing knowledge and awareness of what is going on.


Congratulations to Guardian and ok, to you too, if you wish. But can't you see, what you do makes it harder for the international conspiration of scientists to impose Tatcherian climate laws for the benefit of renewables, because you expose all the things arctic! I wish the continuation of well-mannered discourse on arctic ice and other things in the forum, no matter how many denialists you have to block from access.


To be sure, I've only blocked around 5 people so far. I don't want people to have the impression that I'm continuously banning folks to keep our echo chamber clean.


Personally Neven I thought you have been quite even handed. People get a chance to ask stupid questions and get good answers.

One of the things I've been mulling on over the years is the whole "I'm entitled to my opinion" stance.

Yes, in politics, or economics, anyone is entitled to their opinion. However when that same "opinion" is used to deny clear science and research, then it becomes Dogma.

Dogma is not needed and destroys debate.

Crozet Dutchie

Maybe of interest if anyone has time and the means
Andrew Revkin (via Facebook):
The hashtag for questions on climate and energy policy for Chris Hayes, me, Joseph Romm, Kate Sheppard and others is ‪#‎politicsofpower‬. Google+ Hangout Thursday at 1pm Eastern



I'm late to the "Yay, Neven and his blog" party, darn! Probably even too much so to be very fashionable. :-\

But wanted to ad my voice to the chorus. You have built and presided over some truly awesome discussion space on a very tricky set of issues to discuss well, whether we're talking about the science, the day to day observations, the conjectures, or the implications. No easy feat to have mostly terrific discussions dominate this space, even while people often do disagree.

In my experience, when people disagree in good faith and are open to rethinking their own points of view before responding -- _response_ instead of _retort_, I guess, it's a lovely thing, and usually really helpful for all -- even if just in understanding various angles of the thing or in honing one's set of questions.

One of the things I really have admired about this space and the vast majority of its participants is that good faith that is generally present even in vehement disagreements.

Those who are here to argue in _bad_ faith are a waste of time. Repeating the same points over and over even when they have been well and thoroughly addressed is not good-faith disagreement. I'm often reminded of the Monty Python "argument" sketch.

Kevin McKinney

" I'm often reminded of the Monty Python "argument" sketch."

"No, you're not!"



Isn't the 2013 melt season just what you would expect from the natural setup ?

Record low temperatures due to negative PDO enhanced by low solar activity (+ 3 coldest summers in the last 5 years).
Very late melt on the Pacific side as well due to negative PDO.

Will we now copy post 1940 ?
PDO turned negative in 1940s stopping the melt. Did not refreeze a lot, however, as the data point for 1964 suggests (6.9 mill km2, and 1964 had probably more ice than some earlier years).

Big refreeze started only with AMO turning negative.

2 additional questions:

1). Are sea ice levels now so low, that again they can only recover after an AMO switch to negative ?

2). As late 1930s extents are now in the 2000s ballpark, and the 1920-1940 melt likely started with larger sea ice volume, hence may have melted about the same total volume, is there anything exceptional about the 1970s-today melt ?


I don't know, B S, did the Northwest Passage and Northern Sea Route open up 5-6 times in a row simultaneously in the 1920-1940 period? That's the first thing that pops up, but there are more things, like how do you know '1930s extents are now in the 2000s ballpark'? What do you base that on? Let me guess, anecdotal evidence from the Greenland Sea? I really believe that recent Arctic sea ice loss is unprecedented since the Holocene Climatic Optimum at least.

If the PDO has an influence it would have to be an atmospheric influence, causing more summer time cyclones in the Arctic. It can't have anything to do with SSTs, because when the PDO is negative there's just a small sliver of cold SSTs off the US west coast, the rest of the northern Pacific is 'warm'.

Given the warming of the Atlantic I also don't see how a negative AMO will cause a 'big refreeze'. Reducing the current - highly accelerated - rate? Sure. Big refreeze? Not so sure.

We still have to await what this will mean for volume (with the combination of PIOMAS, SMOS, CryoSat and IceBridge creating a reasonably reliable picture), but 3-4 seasons such as this one could well postpone an ice-free Arctic (below 1 million km2 area in August/September).


Thank you for the reply - interesting times.

Yes, plenty of historical evidence. I would not call old DMI maps just "anecdotal".

Certainly, ice volumes and extents have been lower post 2007 than in the 1930s, however the melt then likely started with more ice and there was less black soot.

1938 resembles 2000 ice extent

[link removed]

Plus, DMI maps appear to overestimate ice extent, because open sea behind ice barriers could not be detected and untravelled routes typically North of Canada appear to have been assumed ice covered.

There is also plenty of evidence for AMO as the main "driver". Temperature data of Greenland may be a good proxy for Arctic sea surface temperatures.


The 1940s peak was at about 70% of the recent peak, suggesting AMO contributes 70% to current Greenland warming and similar Arctic ice melt. However, current Greenland temperatures suffer from UHI - Anthony Watts has shown pictures of new Arctic airport temperature sensors (Greenland and Svalbard) which suggest significant UHI due to snow melt around the sensors even in Winter.

[links removed]

[please, try not to link to proven disinformation websites, can't run the risk of people being misled. Thanks, N.]

There is also plenty of evidence for AMO as the main "driver".

Replace 'AMO' with ocean heat flux and you're very probably right.

And be careful with extrapolating Greenland temperatures or anecdotes to all of the Arctic. It's a very, very big place.

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