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Jai Mitchell


My disregarding Walsh 2013 stands alone and apart from his previous work. I cannot abide when people put up faulty information in their presentations because it doesn't support their current theories.

He should have included an additional data point on future projections except the most recent data did not support his paper's premise on multi-decadal variability based on AMO(AMV).

That being said, the observation of cyclonic activity in the arctic also stands alone as a trend that is part of a global phenomena and not exclusive to the arctic.

Colorado Bob

Posted by: Jai Mitchell |

" 800 millibar altitude south-east Asian sulfate emissions drifting down to pacific tropics and rising into the upper Stratosphere where they cause an anomalous cooling effect "

This comment reminded of the Aqua pass from 2 days ago :
Fires and smoke in eastern China

Chris Reynolds


The lesser Greenland mass balance loss indicated for this summer is indeed due to the failure of the summer pattern, see Hanna et al 2012 "The influence of North Atlantic atmospheric and oceanic forcing effects on 1900–2010 Greenland summer climate and ice melt/runoff."

Rob Dekker

Chris, thanks for the Hanna et al paper.

Their correlation analysis between the Grenland Ice Sheet mass balance using the GPH index over Greenland (the GBI) is interesting, although not surprising (high GPH over Greenland leads to low precipitation in winter and warmer summers).
Once NCEP/NCAR is back up and running, we should compare 2012 and 2013 for that index...

But what I find even more interesting are their conclusions regarding multi-decadal temperatures around Greenland :

Multidecadal variations in Greenland coastal surface air temperatures (especially in west Greenland) during summer are significantly related to the AMO on an interannual timescale during two periods of the twentieth century, coinciding with the 1920s–1930s warming, and the more recent warming – especially in west/southwest Greenland.

Here, they seem to fall into the classic AMO trap, so often used by blogosphere climate confusionists.

For their AMO definition, they are using
North Atlantic monthly SST averages from the dataset of Kaplan SST V2 dataset.

The problem is that the Northern Atlantic SSTs are heavily contaminated by the global warming signal.

Tamino did an excellent post on this issue here :

So, when Hanna et al conclude that Greenland's air temps in summer are significantly related to the AMO, they really are saying that Greenland's air temps in summer are significantly related to global warming signal.

Which is interesting and imho important to note.

Chris Reynolds


I'm in two minds about dismissing the AMO, the detrended dataset, which offsets AGW does seem to show a cycle (1930s, and until recently being the two peaks). But I remain suspicious of the repeated finding of two cycles one peaking in the 1930s one recently (the recent stadium wave paper being a case in point). Time will tell if these cycles are misinterpreting the AGW signal.

Henk Knevelbaard

My first post, hope it's appropriate: can you tell how the AMO does relate to the post of DocMartyn, 21 of May 2013, where he describes also a periodic change of SST and takes AGW based on CO2 levels in his model?

Chris Reynolds


Sorry but I haven't a clue who DocMartyn is, can you give a link?


Hi Chris,

DocMartyn here


This postb from Andrew Freeman has a clear chart of the decadal average global surface temperatures.


The second comment echoes my thoughts;

Was it brought up on the “Decadal average surface temperatures.” graph that there seems to be a 30-40 year pattern of drops and rises? One thing to note from that 30-40 year pattern is that the rises are getting bigger and the drops are getting smaller.

Rob Dekker

Chris, idunno, let me take this one.

Regarding the DocMartyn post at Curry's site, I have a couple of questions for Henk, and I can assure you it's not going to be flattering :

1) Why do you bring this guest post at a blog site up 5 months after it was published ?
Why not respond right there and then at Judy's post ?
Or even at R.Gates's post here at Neven's which mentions DocMartyn's curve-fitting ?
Why bring this up in an open thread on the freezing season here and now ?

2) Why do you think that the AMO relate to DocMartyn's guest post, when DocMartyn does not even mention AMO in his post ?

3) Did you notice that DocMartyn's graph on the plain relation (without his "adjustments") between CO2 and temperature increase suggest a Climate Response of some 2.8 C / doubling ?

4) Did you notice that DocMartyn simply postulates a sine graph over the modeled temperature response, without actually giving ANY physical explanation, and with no other validation than that "appears to be cyclical" ?

In short, why would anyone pay attention to DocMartyn's curve-fitting exercise and even more baffling, why wouldn't anyone who was intrigued enough to bring this post up half a year later not be able to ask these critical questions themselves ?

It's not that you did not have enough time to find the answers...

Rob Dekker

Sorry, Henk, I realized that my response to your question was harsh.
If your inquiry was genuine, then the answer is simple : No, DocMartyn's post at Curry's site has nothing to do with the AMO.
DocMartyn's post is one of thousands of blog posts trying to create doubt about human's influence on climate.
And that's it.

Chris Reynolds


I've been a major critic of the extrapolation of volume used on this forum (with or without adequate caveats). Physics beats curve fitting for me.

I expect that autumn ice production will probably temper sea ice loss and could mean a long(ish) tail of sea ice, not a rapid crash to zero.

There is only so long that internal climate dynamics can overcome the warming driven by the increasing planetary imbalance. Ocean heat content continues to increase, and that is the most important indicator of energy imbalance. And despite the levelling of surface warming since 2002 (anyone who says 1998 can't read graphs, period), the impacts on weather and Arctic sea ice have continued.

DocMartyn's curve fitting is unscientific messing around, and is no more likely to provide the right answer than naive extrapolation of sea ice volume is likely to gives us the right answer about the fate of sea ice.


Right, I'm with you Chris. What was your drink tonight? Ardbeg? I'm on a good old Port. Sorry for the inconvenience.
But did you just dismiss some of our friends' work?
BTW I did a superficial comparison to last year on ASMR-2 UniBremen. Haven't checked the hard numbers. But that's not the sole channel of comparison.
What stands out is the relentless refreeze on the Sib side. OTOH, on the Atlantic side the sit is about 250K worse than last year!
We're seeing large regional noise....

Henk Knevelbaard


Thanks for answering my question.

Chris Reynolds


No alcohol, I only drink a bit at Christmas (some years). My vice is cigarettes. ;)

I don't get the reference to dismissing 'our friends work'.

Do you mean ice extent in the summer? As with many recent years the Atlantic sector was low, I think this is mainly due to Atlantic inflow being warmer and melting the ice. Despite the fact that it failed review, see the reviewer's comments before using the paper, I still think the Alexeev paper makes a reasonable case.

Whereas the Siberian melt has played a large role in the Spring melt, and seems to be largely driven by ice dynamics - thinner ice -> more open water -> stronger ice/albedo feedback. This year with a slower start to the melt season Siberian sector melt couldn't catch up. And also suffered from colder temperatures through much of the summer - I'm not convinced the cold was all due to lack of ice melt like Wayne seems to be (hope I've not mis-remembered his argument there).

Chris Reynolds


No problem.


Oh! I just 'got' the 'our friends' reference. I'm not dismissing Wipneus, he includes the caveats including the one about past behaviour not necessarily being a good guide to the future. But no, I am not convinced by statistical extrapolation for anything but the short term when underpinned by physical argument.


No worries mate! I think the physical world is in fact too complicated to fit into curves anyway. That´s what defines it´s beauty. That´s what´s at stake, too.
When it all boils down, it´s a matter of art. No matter if it´s good or bad...


BTW My father invited me for a French evening in a restaurant coming week/end. At least... he´s recovering!


Physic Today substantial article on the Arctic's new normal;



Chris Reynolds
Hope you are watching Arctic Temps, Don't forget my prediction of Average to just below temps in the Arctic for the winter. Has not happened in a while but this winter I do feel it will. Lag time is ending..

Above 80 N temps.. http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/meant80n.uk.php

My feeling is Temps and sea ice has mostly due to that Sun of ours and that 1 to 2 annual % in my theory.

Most up to date longer TSI data chart (Solar Flux)

Hope all is well


Rob Dekker

NJSnowFan said

My feeling is Temps and sea ice has mostly due to that Sun of ours

No doubt there. This last solar maximum is very late and very low. The PMOD data from the woodfortrees link you provided suggests that our Sun is now emitting more than 1 W/m^2 less than it would have if it would have followed the pattern from the past 30 years.

That's a reduction in radiative forcing of 0.25 W/m^2, which way more that the 0.18 W/m^2 increase in RF that the increase in CO2 caused over the past 10 years.

So it looks like we are going back to the '90s now for overall RF. So it would not surprise me if this winter will be cold and harsh.

Did anyone publish a paper outlining the influence of the very low activity at the Sun over this last solar cycle ?

Rob Dekker

Sorry for the html typo in the previous post.

But the implications of the low solar activity over the past decade are quite interesting.

If we have reached a solar maximum now, then solar output will decline even further over the next 5 years, which puts the deficit of solar activity well below the increase in RF caused by GHG increase for more than 15 years.

This does not only seem to explain the 'hiatus' in global warming, but also makes us wonder what would happen once the Sun starts up again...

Dan Ellis-Jones

Rob Dekker (and all those who agree with the 'hiatus' hypothesis)

Please see my post earlier on this thread (Sorry don't know how to link to it!)

I really don't think that there has been an unusual 'hiatus'. As I said, if you either disregard 1998, or smooth it to something more reasonable, due to it's outlier nature, then you'll see that the increase in temps in the 90's is not that different to increase in the 2000's. If you take a trend line from further back, it still fits.

Sorry, I know this isn't on-topic!

Rob Dekker

Dan Ellis-Jones, thank you for your response.

For starters, I agree with you that if we look at the long-term temperature record (and disregard the 1998 super-El Nino) then the trend is up, as it should be because we are emitting 2 ppm/year CO2 into our atmosphere.

But at the same time, we cannot disregard solar activity. If the PMOD data from the woodfortrees link that NJSnowFan presented is correct, then really currently our planet has less radiative forcing than it had during the 90's.

That means that the radiative forcing has not been increasing over the past decade, and thus we should not expect the atmosphere to warm up further.

So, I don't dispute that there is a 'hiatus' in warming, but I do dispute that this 'hiatus' is not explainable.

I would be surprised if the significant reduction in solar output (at least 0.25 W/m^2 according to PMOD) over the past decade would not have any influence on radiative forcing and thus global warming.

Especially since this drop in solar forcing seems to exceed GHG forcing over the past decade.


As Svalgaard among others have shown the trend in PMOD is due to sensor degradation, his recommendation is:
"“What I would do is to use PMOD until 1996 and then calculate the quantity D = – 0.002836 t + 0.00093266 t^2 – 0.00010134 t^3 W/m2, which is the degradation of PMOD where t is the time in years since 1996, then calculate PMOD(t) – D(t).”

If you do that the significant reduction in solar output goes away.


Colorado Bob

Posted by: idunno |
Thanks for that link :
The Arctic shifts to a new normal

Tipping point for polar ice cap may have come in 2012

Colorado Bob

William Connelly's comment on Wyatt/Curry is priceless :

Note: the copy of W+C I started writing this from which I found at Curry’s site offers graphics of truely outstanding industrial-strength awfulness. Really: if you don’t believe me, go look. Most of them are completely unreadable (you need to go about half way down the comments at Curry’s before you find anyone who notices this, strongly suggesting what the comments there also suggest: that few have troubled themselves with reading the paper).



Gov is back up and running but most data is not on Sea Ice, Snow cover as of yet.

I am glad other sites like DMI exists because it will be not easy to change/tweek the data.
Hope all comes back on line and BS password access is removed/not required.


Arctic temperatures of late have been remarkably warm:


Last 30 days NOAA (they are back!) temp anomaly says it all.

Quite the opposite of what one might think all this sea ice "recovery " has done. Again greater cloud extent has been greatly responsible along with frequent cyclone incursions to the Arctic.

The course for a warmer Arctic winter is set, especially considering El_Nino showing up its warm face, the South of the equator La-Nina behavior seems to be waning:


It looks like a Warm winter for most, wet more watery and with wet snow as well. www.eh2r.com ( I explain more ENSO's importance)

Rob Dekker

Phil, thanks for the Svalgaard remark. Exactly where did he make that remark ?

AR5 has a short discussion on PMOD and presents Figure 8.10.

PMOD team itself has a much more detailed discussion here :

and presents a graph :

as well as PMOD data :

Incidentally, in this graph/data the drop over the past decade is less than woodfortrees presents. NJSnowFan, do you know which data set woodfortrees used ?

Although less than woodfortrees, but both the AR5 graph and the PMOD graph/data above still suggest quite a significant 'late' and 'low' drop on TSI over the past cycle. In fact, TSI is about 0.8 W/m^2 lower now than 12 years ago. Which would suggest an RF drop of 0.2 W/m^2 which is about the same as GHG RF (for CO2) increased over that time period.

That still suggests that overall RF remained pretty flat over the past decade, which could explain a reduction in warming over this solar cycle.

I find this very interesting, and still am very surprised than no papers appear to discuss this issue, leaving the press open to propose an unexplained 'hiatus'.

Neven, this issue about how much the past decade's solar (in)activity may be contributing to slower global warming, is going a bit off topic for this thread.

Should I take this discussion to the forum ?

Chris Reynolds

NJSnowfan said:

Hope you are watching Arctic Temps, Don't forget my prediction of Average to just below temps in the Arctic for the winter. Has not happened in a while but this winter I do feel it will. Lag time is ending..

I'm not a man given to baseless assertions made without looking at the data. In this matter I don't need to formally look at the data, I'm familiar enough to know this talk of a solar role is tosh.

But as baseless claims are being made, and some agree with them...

Using NSIDC Extent, specifically the daily minimum value for each year 1979 to 2012.

Using Wang/Lean/Sheeley Total Solar Irradiance series.

Using NCEP/NCAR October surface air temperature for the Siberian sector (70 to 90degN, 30 to 190degE). I've used this because it's to-hand, NCEP/NCAR is down right now and I can't put my hand on a wider-Arctic dataset right now (it's on my PC somewhere.

Here is the scatterplot of surface air temperature in October as a function of TSI.

Note that the trend has a very low R2 - in other words the linear trend explains very little variance. But what trend there is... well it's negative, in other words, the more TSI the cooler October surface temperatures are. The opposite of what is being claimed, assuming temperature and sea ice are related as 'more sea ice for cooler temperatures'. But as I say the R2 is tiny so -no relationship is the conservative conclusion.

Perhaps more telling is that unlike certain denialists, I've left the solar cycle in the TSI data, it's actually the raw data. The solar cycle is manifest in the most recent years (warmer - less negative temperatures at the upper portion of the plot). The solar cycle appears as left/right slewing of the plot, it becomes apparent because the warming draws the plot out upwards.

The take home message is - there is no clear relationship between TSI and Arctic temperatures.

Now let's take sea ice extent at the end of the melt season, using the NSIDC daily minimum for each year.

Here there is a clear relationship, as the ice recedes so October warms significantly. The R2 is 0.634, well over half the variance of temperature is explained by the recession of sea ice. This strong relationship is due partly to such a relationship in the pre-2007 data, but a large part of it is the warming following unusual open water after 2007.
The reason for this warmer water is simple, the Arctic is venting heat from the ocean before the ocean surface can cool enough to freeze.

Once NCEP/NCAR is up and running, and I've got the time, I'll be blogging about the relationship between ice thickness and warming over winter.

Is there a point to this? Well in wasting the last hour gathering the data and doing the graphs to state the bloody obvious, my hope was never that NJSnowfan would perhaps look at the data before coming up with a statement. I understand that would be too much. It will also be too much to expect that this evidence will deter future utterances of bollocks from this poster.

Take this for example,

am glad other sites like DMI exists because it will be not easy to change/tweek the data.

You have to be rather whackadoodle to think that this is a reasonable statement. You have to be looking at whackadoodle in the rear view mirror not to appreciate how others will see it.

My real target audience are the lurkers and those expressing sympathy with the notion of a solar role in current events in the Artic. I trust I have been able to add some context to the sporadic whackadoodle utterances of this blog's pet denialist, and to the un-evidenced claims of a significant role for solar forcing in current events in the Arctic.

If anyone still prognosticates a solar role the correct way to start is by finding the role in past data and posting a reply.


Take the latest ENSO map:


and compare with displays on my blog:


There is definitely a warming South of the Pacific equator which will tip the tendency towards an El-Nino.....


@Werther, No worries mate! I think the physical world is in fact too complicated to fit into curves anyway.

@ Garethman Lovely quote, Must remember it, very reassuring for the extreme subjectophiles like myself. I shall reflect with an Askraig with just a drop of water.

I am glad other sites like DMI exists because it will be not easy to change/tweek the data.

I'm also curious as to what you mean by this, NJ. Could you please explain? Do you believe cryopsheric agencies are tweaking the data?


Chris Reynolds,
I do feel there are many puzzle pieces to why the Arctic sea ice has trended down over the last 30 years in thickness and area.

TSI is just one puzzle piece,and never said it is the entire puzzle.

Here is an older good article on PDO And AMO. Another puzzle pice I do feel is a factor to minimums and maximum when it comes to Arctic Sea Ice.
I like to look at all aspects that effect our climate and what is effecting Arctic Sea Ice, Man made and natural.


Neven, Yes to your question.

Almost daily there is a new articles. I do like to read both sides of alarmist and deniers articles.


But you don't mean they are wilfully fudging data because they have an alarmist agenda, right?


Phil, thanks for the the Svalgaard remark. Exactly where did he make that remark ?

Numerous places over the years, the following is a presentation he made at a conference.



The role of the Sun has been subject in virtually endless research, discussions, observations. It is boring to keep repeating inaccurate statements on that role.

Neven’s ASIB holds a standard on science and logic, though most of the contributors are amateurs. Being amateur, it is unavoidable that this standard cannot always or immediately be held (that goes even for professionals, I guess). But there’s a high willingness to learn.

For me personally, it is important not to restrain within the boundaries of a/the scientific method. I’m not even competent because I haven’t been trained. I permit myself to reason not just within what I perceive as science, but to venture also into what I’d more generally describe as The Arts.

When looking back on what is known about our biosphere, there’s enough scientific truth at hand to make justified notions.

Looking forward, all means at hand to make justified statements have their limits. Even a scientific method. I have no objections to speaking out the mind, even when the content has an artistic component.

If one supposes FI that the coming Arctic winter will be normal to cold, temperature-wise, that’s perfectly OK. It doesn’t have much value.
When that statement is made in the context of proof that “It’s the Sun”, if the winter indeed turns out to be anomalously cold (compared to the climo 1980-2010), you’re leaving not only the scientific method, not also an artistic field of value, you’re into ‘Alice in Wonderland’.

There are a lot of Alices. I’m not judging them. I guess they act out of their wish to live on like they did before, or to get attention or maybe just amuse themselves. So be it.

When they start to overwhelm the blogs’ standards, please ban ‘m.


Neven, I would hope not but sometimes money/greed and power make people do foolish things.

Colorado Bob

Oct. 17th 2013 -
Not one station in Alaska is reporting a below freezing temperature .

It's 43F degrees at Aanktuvuk Pass on the Dalton Haul Road. The top of the Brooks Range.


Rob Dekker

OK, NLSnowFan, now you are being silly.
Before you elaborate on your conspiracy theories, can you please tell me which dataset woodfortrees uses for the PMOD graph you presented ?
Because that graph does not match with the official data set as published by PMOD.


Colorado Bob, the 14 day forecast by the Climate Prediction Center http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/predictions/814day/index.php
forecasts warm and wet conditions for Alaska for the next two weeks. The West Coast of North America is now warm ad dry again with temperatures up to 75F by Portland OR. These conditions are forecast to continue due to a strong blocking high pressure.
If this becomes a persistent condition this winter it will be interesting to see how much ice forms in the Bering Sea this year.

Chris Reynolds


Rob Dekker

Chris and Werther,
Both of you guys are of course right that it is (what Chris calls) 'whackadoodle' to 'predict' any year in the Arctic (let alone one area during one season of one year) based on solar irradiance numbers.

But, over the long run (a decade, or two) solar irradiance differences MATTER.
To ignore that would be to ignore RF from GHG increases, and thus the concept of RF as a driver of temperature changes over our planet.

Now, that said, please take a look again at the PMOD TSI composite over the past three solar cycles :

Isn't it clear that there is a significant reduction in solar output over the past cycle ?

Now if it is true that RF due to that TSI reduction is similar in magnitude to the increase in RF that we caused by emitting 2 ppm / year in CO2, then RF is now similar to what it was a decade ago.

And if that is true, then why would we expect the temperature of the atmosphere to rise further than it was a decade ago ?

And similarly, is it not plausible that with an unchanged RF and unchanged global temps, that the speed of ice cover reduction will also reduce and come to a halt after some lag time ?


Hi Rob,

I’m more a cartographic interpreter than a number cruncher. But I owe you my opinion, even when I don’t see myself as a competent mediator of RF calculations. I have a hunch that you’re better prepared. So correct me if I’m noodling.

Yesterday I went over some Real Climate threads on the Sun. And I did some Wiki-info. I checked ESRL CO2 data.

Basically, I stumble upon a lot of remarks that the Solar Irradiance is too constant to be a major factor in GW. But I see that’s not the point here. The AR5 graph on RF quantifies the different forcings in W/m2. It sets the mean for Solar on +0,05, for GHG’s on +1,68 against a benchmark 0f 1750 W/m2.

 photo AR5forcinggraphsmall_zpsa8a209db.jpg

The Sun seems to produce about 1360 W/m2 mean. It wobbles between 1320-1400. So I can imagine when it is on the lower bound for an amount of time, it will have an impact.
For GHG’s, I’d simply reason like we added about 110 ppm CO2, delivering the 1,68 W/m2 now. Since 1998 the growth was about 33 ppm, corresponding to 0,5 W/m2.
In itself, this is BY FAR the largest gamechanger. This is a factor like “rust never sleeps”. It works day and night. Summer and winter.

What I don’t know is whether the Solar Irradiance is given as a mean for all of the Planet’s surface and constant in time.

What also keeps me busy is how the transfer of heat into the deeper ocean layers (Balmaseda ea) fits into this. If this draws on the input of heat transferred through the atmosphere and the upper ocean layer, this sure gives the impression that warming is in fact continuing.

- if there is a hiatus in warming, measured mainly in the lower atmosphere/boundary layer
- when the weakened Solar Irradiance (mean 40W/m2)is occurring
- this weakening has a temporary but strong effect on total forcing ( 2% less?)

Then why is the hiatus not much stronger?
GISS shows several years near or even a tad warmer than 1998.
Is the climate sensitivity larger than we suppose?

While it lasts, thank Ra for allowing us some time…


As Solar is one of my tracking series for my interests in the heat balance of the planet and the impact on AGW, I have a few points to make.

When we hit the cycle 23/4 minimum and cycle 24 looked like it was either going to drop into a Maunder type minimum or be a very slow start, Hansen and some others sat down and worked out what it would mean.

They came up with a figure. 8%. That would be the impact in s/sqm hitting the surface of the planet for the next 100 years if the sun continued at minimum instead of moving to a normal cycle.

Then they worked out the impact of CO2 from AGW. I believe that they calculated that the CO2 signature would overwhelm the reduced solar output long before 2050. In fact I believe it was <2030 but I just don't remember.

So, given that cycle 24 did restart and is running at about 50% of cycle 23, then it is very little surprise that we have seen years like 2012 in the Arctic.

The most joined up thinking I have seen to date, links Solar output, CO2 Levels, ENSO state and volcanic activity.

When they are all put together, I believe, the current Arctic situation is easier to understand.

What I also believe is that the solar output will rise again and the CO2 continues to rise.

There can only be ONE result of that.


Just found and read the full paper from Li et al. Apparently, Dr Jianping Li is an IPCC lead author, so...

I hope this link works...


Otherwise, follow the pdf download from...



[1] The twentieth century Northern Hemisphere mean surface temperature (NHT) is characterized by a multidecadal warming–cooling–warming pattern followed by a flat trend since about 2000 (recent warming hiatus). Here we demonstrate that the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) is implicated as a useful predictor of NHT multidecadal variability. Observational analysis shows that the NAO leads both the detrended NHT and oceanic Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) by 15–20 years. Theoretical analysis illuminates that the NAO precedes NHT multidecadal variability through its delayed effect on the AMO due to the large thermal inertia associated with slow oceanic processes. A NAO-based linear model is therefore established to predict the NHT, which gives an excellent hindcast for NHT in 1971–2011 with the recent flat trend well predicted. NHT in 2012–2027 is predicted to fall slightly over the next decades, due to the recent NAO weakening that temporarily offsets the anthropogenically induced warming.

If proven, much more significant for the prognosis for ASI than Wyatt et al, or solar cycles, AFAICT.


Temperatures hovering between 5-8 C in Inuvik today, which is a full 20 degrees above normal. No wonder why snow deficits in the Canadian Arctic are piling up. Meanwhile the missing cold seems to have ended up in the deep Arctic, around 80 N. Might just be temporary, but forecast seems to suggest a possible pattern change, which would be a little of the trend we have seen for the past years.

I've also been noticing the area of abnormally hot water west and north of Svaldbard appearing in DMI's SST models, which happens to be the northern most branch of the gulf stream. I can recall seeing something similar last year at this time, and I'm willing to interpret it as a sign of increased oceanic heat transport to the Atlantic Arctic during autumn months. But to what extent has there been done direct measurements of this part of the gulf stream that could signal to us how heat transport are being effected by the melting sea ice in the Atlantic sector? And could such a phenomenon potentially have any significant impact on future summer melts?

Ghoti Of Lod

I've been hoping to see Argo floats north of Svaldbard but it seems extremely unlikely to happen. There are a bunch deployed in the Fram between 65 and 75 degrees N but those seem most likely to drift south rather than north into the increasingly unfrozen waters north of the Fram and Barants Sea.

Chris Reynolds


The contention originally being made was that there was an Arctic cooling due to the sun, using current temperature. I showed that if we look at the relationship between October temperatures and both TSI and sea ice extent at minimum then TSI is shown to have negligible impact, while October temperatures are strongly infuenced by low sea ice at the end of the melt season (this holds for all autumn BTW).

So the claim that reduced TSI is causing the current cooling is wrong. We don't have October NCEP/NCAR data, but a cooling relative to 2012 is to be expected at present merely due to the higher levels of sea ice this year. The ice/ocean system has stored less energy this year, and had less open water at the end of the season, that is why the atmosphere is colder!

I recognise that perhaps I should have spelt this aspect out more directly.

Yes TSI has a role. But the current 'Arctic Amplification' of temperature is being driven by sea ice loss. e.g. Screen/Simmonds 2010, "The central role of diminishing sea ice in recent Arctic temperature amplification." and Serreze et al 2009, "The emergence of surface-based Arctic amplification."

The period of greatest loss of volume (PIOMAS) has been during a period of level global temperature (surface air temps), and in the lull between two solar cycles (the new solar cycle looking muted).
This is odd if one is expecting a direct link between GW, TSI and sea ice loss.

In Notz/Marotzke 2012, "Observations reveal external driver for Arctic sea-ice retreat." They ruled out self-acceleration as a driver for sea ice decline, a correct conclusion when only considering extent. However as they note volume shows a continual decline. When one ties volume to extent/area by considering the implications of 'open water formation efficiency' in my opinion it becomes apparent that there is an element of self acceleration in recent years. The volume reduction is driving the loss of extent/area, and the process is non linear due to the relationship between thickness at the start of the melt season and the percentage of open water likely to be opened up by the end of the melt season.

Average thickness of the pack has declined such that much of the ice in April is now in the region of the above graph where a rapid transition to predominant open water is implied. So I don't see the reduction in TSI as likely to stop the process, especially as it is happening against a background of increasing GHGs.

In "Global Dimming: A Review" (Wild 2009) evidence is presented of a 3 to 15W/m^2 reduction of surface incident insolation due to pollutant aerosols. Yet the Wang/Lean/Sheeley TSI index shows that the solar cycle is around 1W/m^2 and the TSI increase from the 1880s to the recent Grand Solar Maximum was of the order of 1.5W/m^2. Wild et al 2007 "Impact of global dimming and brightening on global warming" finds that despite the decrease of surface incident insolation there has been global warming over the same period, they conclude that "the overall temperature increase since the 1960s can be attributed to greenhouse forcing."

So personally I doubt that the reduction of TSI will reduce ice loss. Human forcing is now much stronger than during the period leading up to the 1980s, as the graphic posted by Werther shows.

A reduction in the rate of loss of sea ice volume is to be expected but this is, in my view, more likely to be due to autumn ice growth countering volume loss, e.g. Tietsche et al 2011 "Recovery mechanisms of Arctic summer sea ice.", and Zhang et al 2010, "Arctic sea ice response to atmospheric forcings with varying levels of anthropogenic warming and climate variability."

Chris Reynolds

At the risk of triggering the spam filter, I should clarify: The "3 to 15W/m^2 reduction of surface incident insolation" was from the 1960s through to the 1980s, surface insolation has risen since.


Thanks, Chris,

Your reply made me aware I have misinformed myself on the actual oscillation in TSI. I had 1320-1400 in mind, while your link shows 1360.1-1361.8.
That range nearly dismisses the relevance of TSI against the GHG forcing when contemplating ASI behaviour.


Whackadoodle says (how Chris Reynolds calls me in a childish way) when is the data going to start flowing again.
Data stopped the day of the shut down but is being delayed with the start up.

I am not posting on Nevens Blog to be calling anyone names or hope the same from other individuals and their views are their own.
Like I said Before TSI is one part of the entire puzzle.
Here is a link from University of Colorado at Boulder Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics that has interesting information how they reconstructed their long term TSI chart.

ABST. from their site.

Research and Applications

Measurements of total solar irradiance (TSI) are known to be linked to Earth climate and temperature. Proxies of the TSI based on sunspot observations, tree ring records, ice cores, and cosmogenic isotopes have given estimates of the solar influence on the Earth that extend back thousands of years, and correlate with major climatic events on the Earth. These estimates extrapolate many recent detailed observations to long-term observations of fewer (or even one) measurement. For example, accurate TSI measurements from the last 25 years are correlated with solar measurements of sunspots and faculae; these correlations can then be used to extrapolate the TSI to time periods prior to accurate space-borne measurements, since the solar records extend back 100 years for faculae and 400 years for sunspots. Over this extended time range, the extrapolated TSI record can be compared with longer term records, such as tree rings or ice cores, and correlation with these allows extension of the estimated TSI to more distant times, albeit with decreasing certainty. This extrapolation is important for understanding the relationship between TSI and the Earth’s climate; yet the extrapolation begins with the comparison of solar surface features to accurate TSI measurements, a record which is currently only 25 years long.

Someone asked where woodfortrees got their data to make their TSI chart, it is listed here on the bottom of their chart here http://www.woodfortrees.org/data/pmod

Neven, what type of windows are you putting in your new house. About 5 years ago I put triple pain windows in to conserve on energy.
Not sure of the exact Gas compound in them but it amazing how gas filled windows reflect so much heat.


Found the gas in my windows, Argon is the most commonly used gas, due to its excellent thermal performance and cost-efficiency in comparison to other gases. Argon gas reduces heat loss in double glazing by slowing down convection inside the air space. It is extremely cost-efficient, and works well with Low-e coated glazing. Argon and Krypton are colourless, odourless, non-flammable and non-reactive inert gases.
Other types of gases can be used (for example, sulphur hexafluoride,carbon dioxide to reduce sound transmission, but these gases do not offer the improved thermal performance of the inert gases mentioned above.


I thought 'whackadoodle' referred to the remark that agencies were manipulating extent and area data for Al Gore's one world government.

Triple glazing for me, too, NJ. These windows to be exact. I'm hoping that they and the rest of the energy concept will allow us to have a total residential energy use of 4000 kWh or less per year. That'd be really awesome (I'm a sucker for energy saving/efficiency).


Check these windows, BTW.

"This solution makes it possible, regardless of the significant thickness of the glazing, to achieve a Ug even lower than 0.05 W/m2K."


Doomcomessoon, glad you noticed the ultra warm Arctic. What this brings out is how? How does sea ice melt decrease as per last minima equates with warmer temperatures? More ice and warmer air is a contradiction, but there is no permanent cooling pause in the Arctic, there are natural variations caused by stable long lasting meteorological events. But over all, the new normal is warmer than baseline records, and colder occurring as an occasional anomaly. The melt of 2013 was greater than statistics reveal, after all Inuvik is right by the greatest rebound in sea ice extent perhaps in history, another contradiction! But a closer analysis makes it unlikely.

Chris Reynolds

Whackadoodle is not a name, it's descriptive of a wack-job (Someone who is crazy and/or has lost their mind and acts like a damn lunatic). And yes it was aimed at the bonkers idea that scientists would manipulate data.

I'm not apologising for saying NJSnowfan is nuts for believing the scientists would manipulate sea ice data. It's beyond stupid.

Chris Reynolds


For context, here's the graph of TSI reconstructions from IPCC AR4.

The equivalent graph is Figure 8.13 of AR5, Chapter 8.

Rob Dekker

NJ, thanks for the link to the woodfortrees data.
From that I figured out what the issue was : woodfortrees uses an old (2011) data set from PMOD. The new one is in the same place, but is updated until at least March 2013:

Chris, Werther, NeilT,
Thanks guys, for your perspective and insight on TSI and solar influence on climate in general.

I re-did my calculations with a bit more accuracy, and my original concerns about the solar inactivity over the last solar cycle are a bit tempered now.

Here is my calculation on how much solar activity (on inactivity) over the past solar cycle relates to increase in radiative forcing by GHGs that we emit over that period.
If you find this boring, then just jump to the end. Otherwise, bare with me :

First solar activity. Solar TSI (Total Solar Irradiance) data, from PMOD, shows that the last solar cycle was late and low to start. Compared to the previous two cycles, I estimate a 0.8 - 1.0 W/m^2 reduced TSI over the past cycle.

Now, TSI is given in direct solar irradiance, (some 1360 - 1365 W/m^2 depending on which instrument is used). That means, that to get to RF (Radiative Forcing) we need to divide by 4, since RF is spread out over the entire planet's surface. So, that is a 0.2 - 0.25 W/m^2 drop in RF over the past decade.

Then, the albedo of planet Earth, as seen from space, is about 0.4. That means 40 % of that radiation gets reflected back to space, so we need to multiply by 0.6 to get to RF.
We are now at a 0.12 - 0.15 W/m^2 drop in RF over the past decade.

Then there is an argument that actually some 10-20% of solar irradiance gets absorbed in the stratosphere, where it is thermally isolated from the troposphere, and thus would not contribute to warming the planet itself.

If so, that reduces RF due to solar inactivity over the past decade to 0.1 - 0.12 W/m^2.

This range is consistent with what Hansen mentioned in a BBC interview, where he said that solar activity reduced 0.1 W/m^2 which "is not much, but it is still significant".

OK. Now GHG RF. Let me take CO2 alone for now, and let me take 12 years (solar cycle length) as the timeframe.

We are at about 400 ppm now, and are increasing concentration at a rate of 2 ppm/year.
Since RF follows a log curve, and RF for a doubling of CO2 is 3.7 W/m^2, the rate at which RF increases per year is :

2 (ppm/year) * 3.7 (W/m^2) / (ln(2) * 400 (ppm))

which is 0.0267 W/m^2/year, or 0.32 W/m^2 over the past solar cycle.

So Werther is right. GHG emissions (even from CO2 alone) are much larger than even this significant drop in solar irradiance that we see from the last solar cycle.

Ballpark, the reduced solar activity over the past decade may only have slowed down the rate of increase of global warming due to CO2 by about 30%.

Let me know if I messed up my calculations somewhere...


Hi Wayne,

I’ll wait a while for winter to progress into December FI. What I see happening is a couple of weeks with high temp anomalies over Alaska/Chukchi/Beaufort. Inuvik anomaly doesn’t really surprise me (>+6 dC max temp anomaly October). Look at the remnants of TC Wipha pumping in lots of warmth/humidity!
And in this ‘train’ TC Francisco is coming soon.

With NCEP/NCAR available again, I’ll start comparing to last years’data. For a starter, the pattern on 500Mb clearly supports 20 October days warmer than the climo for Chukchi – CAA. But also a colder anomaly North of the ESAS. That one probably reflects in the DMI dip through the last few days.

SST ‘s are high around Svalbard. To be expected having the ice boundary still 80-100 km further North than last year. My guess given salinity data seems to come true for the Kara Sea. That one ‘s really freezing up rapidly! Nevertheless, overall the refreeze seems to stabilize in line with the 2000’s mean from now on.
When this winter is well on it’s way in December, we’ll be able to see first sign of possible change.

BTW Thanks in advance, Chris, Rob. I haven’t much watched TSI until this discussion because I had assumed for years it wasn’t really important. I’m glad I have some background now!

(PS seen in that way, our Pazuzu’s have a function!)


My lords, ladies, gentlemen, and whackadoodle dickferbrains,

CT and NSIDC are up!

h/t Wipneus

@NJSF If you want to make snide accusations that hard-working, lowly-paid public servants are involved in a criminal conspiracy for which there is no evidence nor any conceivable sane motivation (the perfect crime - no evidence nor motive)then you really will have to expect that some people will reserve the right to call you an utter dickhead. To then get all missish about somebody calling you rude names is just comedy gold.


I agree that this has to be expected and accepted. This is the Internet, and it's very clear what this community is about. If you stick your arm in a cage and the bear rips it off, it looks a bit stupid when you get upset at the bear. :-)

Oh, and it's boring.


Neven, they look like good efficient windows. Just make sure they are insulated properly between the window casings and studs with a expandable insulating foam. My contractor that installed mine only stuffed in a little bit of fiber glass for insulation and I got real bad drafts on cold nights around the trim of the windows. I had to pull off the trim and use expandable foam to seal them properly.

Hope you install something like this in your new house, payback in only a few years and they work great for saving energy when heating water. I made one in my home where the main 4" sewer drain is and water that is already preheated and flushed down the drain. Cold water runs through the coil picking up heat from flushed pre heated waste water from shower, sinks dishwasher and even toilet water.

Hope you install something like this in your new house, payback in only a few years and they work great for saving energy when heating water. I made one in my home where the main 4" sewer drain is and water that is already preheated and flushed down the drain. Cold water runs through the coil picking up heat from flushed pre heated waste water from shower, sinks dishwasher and even toilet water. http://energy.gov/energysaver/articles/drain-water-heat-recovery

I'm still thinking about whether to buy such a warm water recovery system, because I'm annoyed at the idea of flushing all that warm water in the sewer. It's my heat, goddamnit! ;-)

But I'm not quite sure yet at what we're going to do with the bathroom, and do it as ecologically and energetically sensible as possible. That's something I'm going to start thinking about in November and December.


Neven, Yes it is your heat and you will be paying to heat that water, you might as well Reclaim some of it.

Puzzle piece Arctic Sea Ice is the AMO. AMO has been in warm period since the Arctic sea ice took a turn down when the AMO went positive.
During the 70's there was ice age scares and we had 1 low sunspot solar cycle and a very cold AMO.



I've always kept the AMO as a possible reason for a slowdown/stall/turnaround in the rapid downward trend, but never saw any convincing evidence. This is something I want to (finally ) look into more this winter and write about.


Can we stop with this invoking of denier talking points like the myth that there was an ice age scare in the 1970s?


As some have been talking about weather in Alaska did some snooping and came across this: http://weather.gc.ca/saisons/prob_e.html.
Not only does it give forecasts temp and precipitation of right now but how well they have done in the last 2 months. Do not know too many sites that would do that. That could also be helpful in giving potential trends that the models may be missing.
Just a thought.
As far as debate on solar influence. In my uneducated lurker opinion (meaning fascinated by many media forms of information but not exhaustive studying)I think the bigger influence now is becoming heat build up in the deep oceans and how that is effecting their currents. At this point the study of those layers are not that good because the difficulty of reaching those layers, but my reasoning is this. If the models are right in that CO2 and other pollutants should be causing x rise in temperature and it is not quite happening then a) the models are wrong or b) the oceans are hiding it at deeper layers then we think. It is my belief that it is more the b then a just as we are finding in the Antarctic that the ice IS melting very fast not from top down, but from bottom up. That is from Ocean heat


Name calling just shows the true nature of a person. I don't prefer to play that childish game.
We are all human beings and I would think civilized conservations can take place without the name calling.
Call me what you want if you want to play that game, I call my self a realist and someone that can view both sides of situations not only in life but with climate and weather. Guilty until proven innocent seems to be case with many people when it comes to C02. If C02 was the only cause to Arctic ice decrease in the last 30 years then why has Antarctica experienced the most ever sea ice extent on record and Sea Ice AREA is making new daily records for this time of year.

Everony that believes C02 is the ONLY cause of Arctic Ice melt over the past 30 years is wrong with my findings. Like I have said before there are many puzzle pieces to what has been going on.
As many do know there are types of cycles with the sun, oceans and different patterns like the NAO, AAO , PNA and southern hemisphere AAO.

If it OK with NEVEN I would like to post a bunch of info and links that would show connection between the AMO and how it has played a roll in the decline in the Arctic sea ice since it went positive and has been is a warm phase since then.

If I am wrong about there being more then one puzzle piece to the Arctic sea ice decline then I will be happy to be called what ever you want.

[Okay, the game ends here. You're complaining about name calling, but don't have a problem with implying that hardworking scientists are manipulating data. How's that for 'guilty until proven innocent'? Provoking/trolling is one thing, but to then whine when people react to that, is really something I can't stand. The oscillation between being nice and inserting denialist talking points ends here.

You can send the links to my mail address, and I'll have a look to see if there's anything useful there. Links can be to untrustworthy sources as well, if you like.

So long and thanks for all the fish;



Hi all -1,

Ironically, I agree with a great deal of NJSF's last post, and spent an hour or so saying something similar on this forum thread;


Back on the ASI, my impressions are based on having missed my main source of information (Cryosphere Today) for around 8 months. I hope that some subjective impresssions may be interesting to others.

1. It's an odd sort of "recovery" if the ice is 1M below average.

2. 2 of the regional graphs really stand out, as they actually have less ice than 2012.

Greenland Sea


I think that this area is entirely different to all others. Ice in the GS has been flushed out of the Arctic Basin, and is heading South towards a watery grave. That means that the more ice in this area, the less ice in AB. Less is more and more is less.

Arctic Basin


Okay, its about the same, not less. Odd anyway that, when one of the most notable features of 2012 was the ice's ignoring the William Crump boundary lines, and penetrating right into the AB. And now after a very different melt, the same overall figure on this date.

Perhaps the two are related? Less ice in the GS alowing more surface Atlantic water to penetrate further into the AB.

I used to see this as the final fate of the icepack; that Atlantic water would flow across the surface, eventually to the Bering Strait. ChrisR has advanced sound reasons why this cannot happen, due to bathymetry, which convinced me that I was wrong.

This seems as good a place as any to note that the DMI SST anomaly charts are probably giving a false impression in this area. It is usually covered by ice at this time, and the average temp of the ice surface should be way below zero, minus 10°C, say; so open water at just above freezing shows up as incredibly hot. The heat flux to atmosphere, however, is much higher than usual.

Anyway, several years ago, I think 3, the most significant winter event was a January heatwave in the Labrador Sea; then, IIRC, we had a big lack of refreeze in the Kara and Barentzs 2 years ago; 2012 was presaged by a very eatly breakip in the Beaufort; and I shall not be amazed if the AB/Greenland sector is the most interesting bit over the coming winter.

Though, if I'm completely wrong, that's not going to be a heck of a shock either.


Hi Werther, the likely scenario is of a much weakened Arctic Cold base, it exists, but it is usually much smaller in extent, and is subject to rapid displacement according to the number of cyclones tracking Northwards. If the cold base was normal, as per early 80's and prior, a cyclone effect would have gave a few days of warming, which quickly got diluted by the overwhelming monstrous block of cold air present. Now a days, the cyclones not only penetrate the Arctic easily, but appear to push away the "cold zone" on to one side of the pole or another, making a cyclone track an alley way for more to follow giving an awesome very long streak of well above normal temperatures. The recent years dominance of open water over Kara, Greenland and Barents seas influence the very pattern of planetary waves for the entire Global Circulation pattern especially at this time of the year, it changes the weather everywhere.

I did expect some cooling due to lack of compaction of sea ice
over especially the Beaufort area, I didn't expect this warming right near it to be so strong. Of course fall cloud coverage has played a projected warming role, but it seems that this warming
rivals 2012 open water post minima weather, or it may be even stronger, because the pack at 2012 minima was really tight and this triggered a rapid onset of a stable anticyclone at its center.
There is a mix of rapid freezing of sea ice where it melted late, and also likely a palpable powerful presence of more heat by ice not so consolidated, but rather moving around releasing heat, freezing, moving some more, re-releasing heat in a wind driven complex system.


NJSF: read, study, learn:




The Judith Curry paper can be found here.

The NAO-autoenhanced deep convection of the North Atlantic, and particularly the Labrador Sea component is the largest time-dependent internal oscillation mode (EOF) of the Northern Hemisphere, and has sizable effects throughout the Northern Hemisphere. Most Northern Hemisphere significantly covary with it, when viewed with a proper time lag and smoothing. The AMO is mostly a lagged representation of it. The "Stadium Wave" analogy consists of an unsupported assertion that, like sports spectators, these other indicies vary mostly due to each other, and that the North Atlantic overturning circulation variation is not the dominant actor in their variation

We could apply the same logic to ENSO and refer to it as, "A coordinated dance of most of the wolrd's climate indicies, none of them particularly more importantly related to ENSO than any other," forgetting that ENSO is fundamentally a pattern of equatorial Pacific Ocean surface temperature gradient along the equator, and its self-reinforcing zonal equatorial wind pattern.

The determination of a correlation which is nearly a 70-year period sine-wave over a time domain of 100 years is necessarily an exercise in overfitting. All possible indicies will show a high degree of covariance when evaluated by the described method, provided that they have a large amount of low-frequency noise. These smoothed indicies are never shown for comparison. Instead only the described covariant mode is pictured, without noise. This amounts to showing the conclusion of the paper without showing the actual data.

The determined lags and correlation coefficients are actually rather interesting, but as described above, the short length of the observed record necessitates overfitting, so few conclusions about the significance of the correlations can reasonably be drawn.

The actual MOC shift is sharply nonlinear, and observation of it provides much better predictability than a 70-year period sine wave. See here for an overview of the nearly binary-mode Labrador Sea deep convection switching on in 1995, and here for the a recent data update. The sharp switching allows causality to be determined with a very high likelihood not provided by an overfitted sine-wave.

Given the lag of 10-12 years, the expected response of the Arctic sea ice to the MOC change is expected to be a nearly step-function warming near the Atlantic sectors of the Arctic Ocean around ~2005, which explains much of the recent trend acceleration. At some intrinsically unpredictable time in the future, it is likely that this convection will shut off again, resulting in a matching cooling.

Despite some recent stuttering of the Labrador Sea deep convection possibly due to the strong positive NAO from 2005-2012, as of a year ago it was continuing. Given the time lag, the associated cooling cannot occur before ~2023, so it cannot reasonably explain the change from 2012 to 2013.


Let's just face it guys:

Temperatures are not rising as expected.
Sea level is not accellerating as expected.
Arctic sea ice is not behaving as expected.

We don't know it all yet.

Never did. Never will.

Kevin O'Neill

idunno - thanks for the link to the Li paper.

Blaine, thanks for the AMOC links. I agree 100% with your assessment of the Curry/Wyatt paper.

Rob Dekker

Ostepop1000, you'd have to be a bit more specific about your assertions to be taken seriously here. Can you ?

Rob Dekker

NJ said "Guilty until proven innocent seems to be case with many people when it comes to C02."

This comes from the keyboard of the guy who stated "I am glad other sites like DMI exists because it will be not easy to change/tweek the data."

NJSnowFlake, your remarks are not helpful.

Please showing evidence where data "change/tweek" happened, or stop with your conspiracy theory remarks now turned hypocritical.

Rob Dekker

NJ, you were on the right track. You mentioned solar irradiance as a cause for Arctic temperature drops. I thought you had a point, and I worked out the math above, and concluded that solar inactivity over the past solar cycle could have caused a slowdown in warming of about 30 %.

Now, please argue with that.
You can argue that the albedo number I gave is too high, and thus that I underestimate the decline in solar RF over the past decade. Or that the stratospheric absorption factor I used is too high, or that it should not apply for whatever argument you present.

That would be a constructive scientific debate. Argue with the science and the numbers, and we will all learn something here at Neven's ASI blog.

Chris Reynolds

1970s cooling?

"The Myth of the 1970s Global Cooling Concensus", Peterson, Connelly & Fleck, BAMS 2008.

In this case, the panel concluded that the potential damage from greenhouse gases was real and should not be ignored. The potential for cooling, the threat of aerosols, or the possibility of an ice age shows up nowhere in the report. Warming from doubled CO2 of 1.5°–4.5°C was possible, the panel reported. While there were huge uncertainties, Verner Suomi, chairman of the National Research Council’s Climate Research Board, wrote in the report’s foreword that he believed there was enough evidence to support action: “A wait-and-see policy may mean waiting until it is too late” (Charney et al. 1979).

Clearly, if a national report in the 1970s advocates urgent action to address global warming, then the scientific consensus of the 1970s was not global cooling.

CO2 cause of sea ice decline is reasoned linkage, not a belief or suspicion.

From Johannessen 2008, "Decreasing Arctic Sea Ice Mirrors Increasing CO2 on Decadal Time Scale." https://bora.uib.no/bitstream/1956/2840/1/200806005.pdf
Their figure 2.

From Notz & Marotzke, 2012, "Observations reveal external driver for Arctic sea-ice retreat" http://www.mpimet.mpg.de/fileadmin/staff/notzdirk/2012GL051094.pdf
Their figure 4.
Also the same scatter plots with the AMO.
(My calculation)

And the relationships I described between temperature and TSI up thread (October 17, 2013 at 20:07). TSI shows a similarly poor relationship with sea ice loss.

So on the basis of simple searches for relationships between sea ice and other indices, only CO2 stands out as very strongly related.

Also for example, Wang & Overland "A sea ice free summer Arctic within 30 years?" shows a series of modelled arctic sea ice.
Paper summary:
Their figure 1.

In that plot red is observed, blue is modelled with anthropogenic forcings, grey is modelled without anthropogenic forcings. In all GCMs the sea ice decline happens when anthropogenic forcings are included.

No vagueness, no hand waving, no unsupported comments. A quick summary of the available science shows that CO2 is driving sea ice loss, this is supported by data and models.

Antarctic sea ice is growing.

Antarctica is irrelevant, the simple answer is that the Arctic is an ocean surrounded by land, whereas the Antarctic is a land surrounded by ocean, so only an idiot would expect identical behaviour. For more detail one might start with Zhang 2006, "Increasing Antarctic Sea Ice under Warming Atmospheric and Oceanic Conditions"

Enough of this boring mole-whacking!

Anyone want to talk sea ice?

Anyone got any ideas about how long the 2013 volume pulse will persist?


Just in case it wasn't clear: I blocked NJSnowFan from commenting, as the game was getting boring.

Rob Dekker

I understand, Neven.
Just in case he comments on the science with numbers, can you let that go through ?

[Sure; N.]

Chris Reynolds

Once again Neven I wasn't addressing the individual concerned, merely addressing those reading who may have thought he had a point.

CT Area and NSIDC now back on line. :)


# Chris Reynolds

No vagueness, no hand waving, no unsupported comments. A quick summary of the available science shows that CO2 is driving sea ice loss, this is supported by data and models.

@Garethman I certainly agree Chris that CO2 is driving sea ice melt, however ( I accept I met get shot down in flames by saying this) I believe that the CO2 effect on melting is indirect, i.e. a warming ocean due to GHG is melting the ice from below, despite the fact that the air temperatures in the Arctic have remained low enough most of the time to keep the sea ice intact according to the DMI data, so there is likely to be other factors than just air temperatures. http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/meant80n.uk.php.
With regard to the difference between the Arctic and the Antarctic, while you are correct of course, it is worth considering that the sea ice melts back to the permanent ice cap in the Antarctic, it also melts a long way back to the Northern permanent ice cap, Greenland. The last vestiges of ice once the Arctic ice melts will be in Greenland, the last in the South will no doubt be the high plateau's of Antarctica. So in some ways there are similarities, both have long term ice caps, and both have sea ice which melts back to the land based long term ice. I suspect the reasons for the expansion of Antarctica are unclear, but current direction and increased precipitation due to a warmer atmosphere carrying more water vapour are possible elements.


Thank you Neven. Unfortunately he represents the many that are still around. It is very hard to prove anything when one is convinced the evidence is all a lie, and that anyone giving the proof is either duped or part of a grand conspiracy aimed at inconveniencing them.
The 'stadium wave' theory could be true as long as everything stays the same. Example: In New Brunswick, Canada you get a tidal bore in the rivers. Hight is fairly predictable, but when you build say a causeway, then then river gets silted up, and the bore becomes just a fraction of what you had before, plus you get other problems developing because of that too. Ask the city of Moncton. In the case of ENSO and NAO I believe that you will find major disruption setting in the last 30-50 years in the wave patterns, because of AGW.
We do know that disruptions are going to happen, the question then becomes, when how much and what will replace it.

Chris Reynolds


A scatter plot does not prove causation. For causation you get into a stack of papers - Atlantic heat flux, loss of thickness in sea ice (preferential loss of thicker ice), the Arctic dipole and other atmospheric changes, infra-red heat flux due to increased water vapour (but driven by warming). All of which shows subtle linkages from wider warming to loss of Arctic sea ice.

I could hit people with a morass of complexity in detail that would mean little to most people. Or I could let one graph do the talking, e.g.

It would only be questionable if the wider evidence didn't support the shortcut.

That's why I also pointed out that the models include that level of detail, and despite their flaws they show what I outlined. Furthermore as the IPCC find - human activities is driving GW, the largest single forcing in that is due to CO2.

When I did my degree (Electronics) one of my lecturers would say at least once a season that he'd 'been lying to us'. It wasn't really lies, he had to give a simpler version of what was going on so we could get to grips with that level of detail before proceeding to the deeper levels of detail.

With regards the Arctic/Antarctic, as the behaviour shows, the differences far outweigh any similarities.


During the 70's there was ice age scares and we had 1 low sunspot solar cycle and a very cold AMO.

In popular magazines but the scientific consensus was more properly represented by H H Lamb in the summary of his book "Climatic
History and the Future":

"It is to be noted here that there is no necessary contradiction between forecast expectations of (a) some renewed (or continuation of) slight cooling of world climate for a few decades to come, e.g., from volcanic or solar activity variations: (b) an abrupt warming due to the effect of increasing carbon dioxide, lasting some centuries until fossil fuels are exhausted and a while thereafter; and this followed in turn by (c) a glaciation lasting (like the previous ones) for many thousands of years."


Thanks Chris, useful and striking chart. I wholly agree that human induced increased Co2 is driving climate change and the melting Arctic is a good proxy for that, the canary as it were. My point is that skeptics commonly say that the Arctics temps do not show a substantial increase according to some data, my point is that such issues are irrelevant because the Arctic is melting and thinning from beneath due to seas that have been warmed by climate change. I suppose we could have a situation where the ice reaches a normal extent, then completely disappears the following summer due to extensive thinning. Apologies if I am missing your point!

Chris Reynolds


Sorry, didn't credit that linked image, it's from Kinnard et al, Kaufman et al is also useful for temperature.

Kaufman et al, 2009, "Recent Warming Reverses Long-Term Arctic Cooling."

Kinnard et al, 2011, "Reconstructed changes in Arctic sea ice over the past 1,450 years."

As far as I'm aware temperatures are now high enough such that doubt about them being unusual is no longer sound. However some people persist in using old research (back in the 1990s it was a reaonable point).

For what it's worth, I've blogged on a disparity between NASA GISS and NCEP/NCAR Arctic temperatures here:

The volume loss is a crucial indicator of net energy gain of the air/ice/ocean system. I doubt if ice would be likely to increase to higher levels then suddenly drop out. There is a crucial relationship between thickness in April and the amount of open water produced by late summer. I expect that this years gain in volume means that next year will see higher area/extent at the minimum (without 2007 type weather), but not higher than 2013's minimum. If we see 2013's weather repeat in 2014 then I'll have a lot of re-evaluation to do.


"Anyone want to talk sea ice?

Anyone got any ideas about how long the 2013 volume pulse will persist?"

I would very much like to talk sea ice again Chris, and I have some vague ideas of how long the volume pulse will persist. My opinion is that the volume gap most likely will be closed by March/February, and the main reason for that is that the average thickness still is hovering around 2012 levels. The way I view it, you will need extra amounts of compacted +3 meter thick ice if you are going to see any long term volume gains, because the winter ice in CAB will freeze 2 meter thick anyway. In other words, it doesn't really matter to volume if the ice in the CAB were 1 meter or 0 at the end of the melt because it will end up freezing ca. 2 meter thick in the winter either way, and most the extra volume this year appeares to be rather thin ice. Maybe, we will even see thickness continue to follow the 2012 line so that volume catches up simultaneously with the extent (not impossible judging by the developement of some previous years), though, it didn't seem to me like the MYI core was dispersed and weakened enough for that to happen, but you never know.

Then you have the unknowns, such as weather and Farm export, but if I would make a conservative estimate of a catch up date, I would say 1 March 2014. Of course, my arguments are purely based on my own interpretation of various Arctic statistics rather than hardcore science, so feel free to strongly disagree with my reasoning.


I've been finding myself a bit irritated by words recently finding their way into climate discussions..."hiatus", "leveling" and "flat". Consider NOAA's 0-2000M ocean heat content graphs (#2):


Posted more succinctly on RealClimate


There is no such activity happening which lends itself to the use of those words, as regards global warming. I think it may be useful to consider atmospheric temperatures in the context of heat transfer TO La Niña waters, rather than the side effect of that measured by seasonal atmospheric temperatures. I think there was striking evidence of that transfer this year, with the massive retreat of ice from the Greenland and Barents seas (and including possibly Baffin Bay), resulting in open water well north of 80, despite much cooler temperatures.

I think this is also evident from salinity changes, as more warmer, saltier Atlantic waters continue to intrude north into the arctic basin. I don't see this constraining the refreeze, but will apply considerable increasing positive feedback to the melt.

Pete Williamson

Good to have US data back. Sans Barentz, it looks like the European side of the Arctic is going through something of a recovery. It'll be interesting to see if it can spread into Barentz Sea as well

Ghoti Of Lod

Thanks for that jdallen_wa. I also am frustrated by people ignoring that vast majority of the global heat content by considering only air temperature. That NOAA link is loaded with great data.


As to similarities between ice caps at Greenland and Antarctica.

Antarctica's land area: 14,000,000 sq. km

Greenland's land area: 2,166,000 sq. km

And, oh yeah, Antarctica is at the Pole.


I love how you choose your words.

It’s like I suggested having posted the salinity maps above; the Kara might freeze up fast. And it does.
Momentary, the overall extent is more like ‘09/’10. I discard the ESAS/Laptev, because open water out there is just a matter of two weeks difference this time of the year.

But with especially the Kara +480 K above last year, we see impressive difference.
Further, the Basin is at +100K, Beaufort at +196K, Chukchi at +24K (!), CAA at +50K, Baffin Bay at +17K, East Greenland Sea at -125K. Export through Fram is slowly gaining momentum.

What do you expect? With an October steering ‘dipole’ at 500Mb, a persistent anomalous low near Novaya Zemlya, sure the Atlantic front is at siege. Nevertheless, Svalbard is still circum navigable.
OTOH, the steering halts freeze at the Bering side, which seemed the most obvious region to go tight into the Bering Sea soon.

My guess is volume to join the trend ’10-’12 again late december, when the obvious refreeze has ended and weather patterns settle for the not-so-severe Arctic winter I would expect, given humidity, cloud cover, cyclone incursions and cold export to lower latitudes.

Rob Dekker

Thanks for the link to Li et al 2013, idunno.
I found the full paper here :

This paper predicts that Northern Hemisphere Temperatures (NHT) will fall slightly over the next decades, due to "the recent NAO weakening", temporarily offsetting AGW.

Now, as Bohr stated before : predictions are hard to make, especially about the future.

But at least when you make a prediction, especially one as specific as what Li et al does, there should be no doubt about the science underlying the prediction.

And that is where I think Li et al 2013 make some verifiably questional assumptions.
For starters, they base their prediction on the correlation between the NAO index and NHT, as well as the AMO index. Specifically, they find that the NAO index leads the detrended NHT and AMO index by some 15-20 years.

Now, the first question is about this "detrending".
Detrending NHT and AMO means that you assume that external forcing (such as AGW) is linear.
Over the timeframe that Li et al 2013 does detrending (100 years), it is very clear that AGW is NOT linear. In fact, even their figure 1a shows that CO2 concentration accellerated over the second half of the 20th century.

So it is somewhat bizarre that their figure 1b then shows a (linearly) detrended NHT and AMO. As Tamino has shown before :
the Northern Atlantic warmed up at the same pace as the rest of the planet over the past 4 decades.

Thus, why would Li et al assume that the AMO (or NHT itself) is positive right now, as they present in their figure 1b ?

If we adjust their figure 1b to take the non-linearity of CO2 increase (and thus AGW) over the past century into account, then all of a sudden their in no longer any correlation of 15-20 years between NAO and NHT or AMO, since there is no second 'peak' in NHT or AMO.

Even though Trenberth and Shea 2006 warned them, it seems that Li et al 2013 fell into the same classic AMO trap that many other papers seem to fall into. The question is, did they fall into this trap unknowingly, or did they simply decide to ignore that AGW has been non-linear over the past century ?

P.S. A thousand apologies for not talking about Arctic Sea Ice directly here. In my defense, Li et al came up a couple of times now in this thread, which is why I decided to read the paper and respond.

Kevin O'Neill

Rob, Li et al wrote:

"..detrending the NHT time-series using the best-guess radiative forcing due to CO2 and other well-mixed greenhouse gases gives qualitatively similar results (Supplementary Figure 3), implying this significant lead–lag correlation does not depend on the method of detrending."

I'm not sure what you mean by "...why would Li et al assume that the AMO (or NHT itself) is positive right now, as they present in their figure 1b ?"

The data only goes thru 2011, not 'right now.' The data sources are explicitly stated - do you question the data sources also?

The method they describe shows predictive value of DNHT based on the 11 year mean of the NAO from 16 years ago. They describe a physical process for why this happens. There's no dismissal of AGW, just a partial explanation of NH internal variability.

We know there's natural variation, but we don't understand the processes that cause it. This is just one step towards that explanation.

Jianping Li is an IPCC Lead author. Let's not assume he's a fool or an idiot.


As to similarities between ice caps at Greenland and Antarctica.

Antarctica's land area: 14,000,000 sq. km

Greenland's land area: 2,166,000 sq. km

And, oh yeah, Antarctica is at the Pole.

Posted by: TenneyNaumer | October 21, 2013 at 06:14

@ Gareth, thanks Tenney, I do not wish to give the impression that I believe the Arctic and Antarctic are the same, it's obvious they are not. I just suggest we should be careful about considering them as completely different in nature. This is why I pointed out they both have more or less permanent ice caps and sea ice that is likely to melt back to that ice cap in the near future, and refreeze the sea ice from that point. The poles have very different geographical natures but are governed by the same laws of physics and have certain similarities beyond the presence of sea ice despite their differences. By the way, most of Antarctica is not at the pole, just the bit in the centre situated at the pole as it were :)


PIOMASter Jinlun Zhang has a new paper out offering an explanation for Antarctic sea ice increase (link):

As the Arctic sea ice melt continues to concern many within the scientific community, it is an increase in Antarctic sea ice that has raised questions. UW research scientist and associate professor Jinlun Zhang recently released a study examining the reason for this phenomenon.

Although global sea ice is still in decline, certain areas of Antarctica have experienced an increase in sea ice thickness. According to Zhang’s research, this trend is due to an increase in winds in the southern oceans that decrease surface air temperature, causing the sea ice to ridge more often.

Chris Reynolds

Doomcomesoon, Werther,

Interesting points, I'll get back to you tomorrow night. Just watched World War Z and my mind's a bit blown right now. :)

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