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k eotw

On the NH graph Cryosphere Today shows 2014 about 0.5msqkm behind 2010, but when I compare the side by side images for this date it looks like 2014 is well ahead:

I realize eyeballing the maps is unreliable but 2014 seems so far ahead and yet is so far behind on the graph, what am I missing?


The Nares is clearly open now. Almost all the ice in the Nares has moved southwest in the last 24 hours. The AQUA MODIS Worldview image which is very clear over the Nares came up in the last hour showing the ice motion.

Agreed that the forecast weather changes will keep ice from flowing out of the Arctic along the east coast of Greenland. Melting will continue on the Siberian side, but I expect 2014 to continue to fall behind 2012 and 2010 because the Alaskan and Canadian side will continue to fall behind those years.

Chris Reynolds

k eotw,

A large element is likely to be differences in concentration. In 2010 compactness of the pack was far lower than this year.


I have been a party pooper from Day 1.

The bounceback is a reality.

It will continue.

We are at the bottom of the arctic ice and will be looking to start increasing.

There will be no summer without arctic ice in our lifetimes or in the experience of several generations from now.

The frozen Arctic Sea Ice will continue to exist as a result of temperatures below the freezing of water during large parts of the year for large parts of the northern polar basin.

Please deal with it.

Hans Gunnstaddar

"The bounceback is a reality."

Is that what happened after 2007's record low - a bounceback? Well yeah, but only for so long then there a new low 5 years later in 2012? The downward spiral of Arctic ice is an uneven decline and there will be another new low in years to come.

I predicted a rebound in 2013 (which was correct) and have predicted (in late
April on this blog) this year's to be close to the midpoint between 2012 & 2013 which so far appears to be a good estimate.


The bounceback of Arctic Sea Ice, Opus 1.




We have seen 18 years without a rise in global mean surface temperature.

Supposedly a measure of global warming.

But no more.

The goal posts have been shifted.

Now it is no longer global mean surface temperature, but global mean energy.

Too bad we have no good measure of this global energy.

We will have to guess.

Surface temperature for parts of the globe, minus the parts we have no idea about, times subsea temperatures for a couple of places underneath the sea, while we know nothing about the 99,99999 other places underneath the sea.

Well, seems like a perfect measurement of global warming, guys!



Oy. Surface temperature has been rising. Oceans have been warming. Oceanic heat content has been rising. The earth's energy balance measured from space has been increasing. We have good measures of all these things but some people chose to ignore the science and cling to perverse belief that the convergent conclusions of scientists from dozens of specialized disciplines can be disregarded.

Short term random variability is not a trend. The long term trend of Arctic sea ice decline is as clear as night and day.



That dealt with, while 2014 is not particularly catching up with 2012 and 2013 by NSIDC measures, it has been dropping fast. Daily measures since the last week of June for the most part have been consistently running close to the century mark, and in multiple cases well over. Weather is supportive of melting, and large areas of the high arctic are now showing signs of melt.

In another two weeks, we will reach a key bifircation in melt history. In 2013, it was here that a multi-week pause started which cause last year to fall back dramatically behind 2012 when previously it had been leading. It will be interesting to see which way the coin flips this year.

I like many others think we are going to see a year midway between 2012 and 2013. However, with heat and cyclone as was seen in 2012, the possibility we could still reach that level of melt still exists.

The higher the net heat in the arctic rises, the more fickle the ice's behavior will be.


Nares is still hanging in there but should be open in a day or two.
the ice is thicker assuming that PIOMAS is right but area is not playing ball at this point in the year. still tracking close to last year which was not significantly higher than the previous low years 2007 2011 and 2012. the big event still to come is what happens at day 205.http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/arctic.sea.ice.interactive.html
last year was clearly an outlier in that, that area remained basically static for ten days. by my eyes this has not happened before in the satellite era at this time of year. so unless we get another "outlier" year I expect this summer to follow closer to 2011 than 2013. I expect that the next record minimum will be in 2017 and probably not before that but maybe one year later. it is my opinion that there is a five to six year cycle in the minimum with a downward trend.

Rob Dekker

Ostepop said :

There will be no summer without arctic ice in our lifetimes or in the experience of several generations from now.

I wish I could share your optimism (or should I say opportunism?).

I'd be more comfortable with your projection (that "The bounceback is a reality" and "it will continue.") if our Arctic start showing the 6-7 million km^2 September minima that our models estimated for 2014.


even though these models still project ice free summers in our lifetime.


Ostepop, don't trigger my BS sensors too much by inserting denialist myths into the conversation.

You should also be careful with making such definite statements about the Arctic. The Arctic has the tendency to... put them in perspective.


My SIPN prediction, the lowest, is based on the thickness of the ice shown in the April PIOMAS data.

Based on this data, by mid June, 2014 had lost 11 cm less ice than 2012 and 8 cm less than 2011. As of 11 July it has lost 4 cm more ice than 2012 and 2 cm more than 2011. It remains 4 cm ahead of 2013. The 5 day average extent on 11 July was 200k km^2 less than in my prediction.

My view remains that a record is still highly likely. Almost all the extra PIOMAS volume appears to be in areas that will not melt out this year, so it is irrelevant to the final extent.

The end of this week should be the start of three weeks of rapid decline taking the extent well below 2012.


Arctic summer sea ice is disappearing fast, but can we rescue it?

Diminishing Arctic sea ice is perhaps the most iconic consequence of climate change. And there's a good chance we'll lose it in summer before too long if emissions stay high, according to a new paper. But its demise is not a foregone conclusion - with a swift peak and decline in greenhouse gases we could still reverse that trend, the scientists say.


Chris Reynolds


Crucial to any claim of a continuing recovery of sea ice is understanding what caused it to decline.

What do you think caused it to decline?


Meanwhile, the Andrew Stater model as collapse in the last few days!


Obviously, there is some surprise in reserve.

Hans Gunnstaddar

I know it's sourced from another site but the top, far right sea ice concentration map apparently went askew for 7/13.

Hopefully they will fix it soon.


Meanwhile, the Andrew Slater model as collapse in the last few days!

I expect/hope many of you might have thought this to be an error - it was. As noted by Hans, the NSIDC ice concentration processing had an issue this morning, but was later fixed ... my forecast is back to where it should be.



"We have seen 18 years without a rise in global mean surface temperature."

Speak for yourself. Where did you "see" it, and in what record?

I went here and did an estimate of global temperature trend since 1996.


It told me that the average rate of global temperature rise was 0.106C per decade.

If you are making expansive claims, cite your source.

Rob Dekker

Andrew, thank you for posting here.

In your submission to the June SIPN report, you mention that your method (using ice concentration maps) has skill over the 50 period projection time frame, but skill drops below 0 for the September outlook.

Can you please explain a bit more about the accuracy (and skill) of your method for periods shorter than 50 days ?

For example, does the skill of your method (using ice concentration maps) improve for shorter periods (such as 30, 20 or 10 days) and if so, what is the period for best skill of your method ?

And over that period, which 'sensitivity' do you find ? (How many km^2 of ice melt out over that period for 1 km^2 of reduction in ice concentration).


Rob, Andrew,

I put a thread upon the Forum to allow for deeper discussions of SIPN Predictions.


As you both have submissions perhaps a summary and discussion there would be a good idea.


Chris R:

"Crucial to any claim of a continuing recovery of sea ice is understanding what caused it to decline.

What do you think caused it to decline?"

First we have had warming over the last 100 years, which has obviously contributed.

But it seems obvious that there is a cycle between growth in the Arctic/loss in the Antarctic and vice versa, ruled by persistent cyclical patterns in ocean currents and pressure systems, as represented by the various pressure indexes like PDO AO, etc.

There's unfortunately no one number which has predictive value, there are too many variables, but I believe that at some point we will be able to find some natural relationships which have predictive skill when it comes to sea ice over the long term.

It also seems obvious that we have turned some sort of corner when it comes to Arctic sea ice, since we have seen the winter maximum stall already, and now the summer minimum has started fluctuating wildly and bottoming out.

I think that in the end we will see that natural variability has played a bigger part in the melting than we thought, which is a good thing, I think. It means our ability to wreck the planet perhaps is not as great as feared.

George Phillies

Antarctic ice cap volume is declining markedly. When the fresh water of the melt hits the Antarctic Sea, which is very cold, it tends to freeze, and about half the volume outflow shows up in winter as extra sea area...that will melt next summer. The exact details of the process have not been completely modelled...it mostly goes away in the summer...but the increase in antarctic winter ice volume is about a tenth the arctic volume loss.

The proposal that there is a simple cycle between the two hemispheres, or that Antarctic ice is progressively increasing in the last two decades, is dramatically rejected by the 2012 data, where ice coverage was remarkably low in both hemispheres.

Pete Williamson

Neven you made a passing nod but I think it's worth highlighting.

The Barentz Sea has been ice-free for much of this season and had one of the lowest maximum extents. Yet as you're SST graphs show the ocean surface temps are far, far lower this year than in recent years. Given that in the past an explanation for the hot temperatures was sun beating down on ice free ocean then what would be an explanation for these lower temperatures?

Chris Reynolds


"It also seems obvious that we have turned some sort of corner when it comes to Arctic sea ice, since we have seen the winter maximum stall already, and now the summer minimum has started fluctuating wildly and bottoming out."

There is a good reason why the winter volume maximum has stalled: Most of the loss of volume has come from loss of multi year ice (thinning). That process is now coming to an end, and winter maximum volume within the Arctic Ocean is becoming dominated by first year ice, with winter volume tending towards that dictated by the thermodynamic thickening of first year ice.
More here:

"There's unfortunately no one number which has predictive value, there are too many variables, but I believe that at some point we will be able to find some natural relationships which have predictive skill when it comes to sea ice over the long term."

This is not correct.

Notz & Marotzke looked at four possible indices that might affect sea ice loss.

In a similar manner I have plotted the AMO and sea ice extent:

Changes in irradiance (from the Sun) are in the wrong direction, the clustering suggests a relationship of more sunlight leading more ice, this is obviously incorrect. The Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO), Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) and Arctic Oscillation (AO) show little relationship. Other indices are discussed in Notz & Marotzke and are not likely candidates.

However CO2's correlation is good as can be seen in the scatter plot.

This doesn't prove that CO2 is causing the sea ice loss, however it does direct the intelligent, open minded, invesigator to put CO2 at the top of the list of possible causal factors.

Models, despite their problems with regards sea ice, show a consitent pattern across a variety of different models.
In that graphic the red trace is observed September sea ice extent. Coloured traces are model projections of sea ice loss with natural and anthropogenic factors. In each panel the grey traces are projections with natural forcings. Despite the differences between the various models the common qualitative conclusion is that without anthropogenic forcings (CO2 being the largest single such forcing), CO2 does not decline, with anthropogenic forcings the sea ice recedes.

The indidual causal pathways through which anthropogenic global warming affects sea ice are complex. However the scatter plot relationship, and the results of numerical models present a clear case that it is humanity that is causing the decline of sea ice. Our CO2 emissions are not going to decline, sea ice is not going to recover. As others have pointed out, you could have played the same game in 2008 and 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 would have proven you wrong.

Chris Reynolds

Correction, end of penultimate paragraph.

"without anthropogenic forcings (CO2 being the largest single such forcing), CO2 does not decline"
should read
"without anthropogenic forcings (CO2 being the largest single such forcing), sea ice does not decline"

Chris Reynolds

Apropos the claim "We have seen 18 years without a rise in global mean surface temperature."

It has moved me to publish a post I wrote some time ago.


Very well-put, Chris Reynolds.

I think that in the end we will see that natural variability has played a bigger part in the melting than we thought, which is a good thing, I think. It means our ability to wreck the planet perhaps is not as great as feared.

This would be fantastic news, but personally I won't even consider removing that little metal foil off the champagne bottle, let alone uncorking it, until extent, multi-year ice fraction and volume have returned to pre-2005 levels. Or start moving that way, which, despite last year, isn't the case. Volume-wise everything was back to zero (ie no increase) at the start of the melting season. And even though volume currently is higher than the past 4 years, it seems that a lot of the thicker ice has already been moved to Beaufort (correct me on that, Chris R., if necessary), where it can function as a record minimum preventer, but is very vulnerable at the same time.

And so it's all about risk management. Do we want to gamble that it's all natural cycles and human civilisation won't be wrecked by the potential consequences of Arctic sea ice loss, and AGW in general?

I knew the answer after the 2007 melting season. 2012 should've answered that question for a lot of people. But sometimes loss just ain't enough.

The Barentz Sea has been ice-free for much of this season and had one of the lowest maximum extents. Yet as you're SST graphs show the ocean surface temps are far, far lower this year than in recent years. Given that in the past an explanation for the hot temperatures was sun beating down on ice free ocean then what would be an explanation for these lower temperatures?

Good question, Pete. It has to do with how much heat is brought North through ocean flux.

From this blog post I wrote two years ago:

We start with the Barents Sea, which of course is of interest because of the cutting-edge research with regards to the influence of warm waters in that region on weather patterns during winter (see WACC overview). The Norwegian Atlantic Current (NwAC), a branch of the North Atlantic Current (itself a continuation of the warm Gulf Stream), splits up into a western and eastern part. The western branch rejoins the West Spitsbergen Current (WSC) further up north, whereas the eastern branch, known as the Norwegian Atlantic Slope Current (NwASC), follows the Norwegian coast, and transitions into the North Cape Current as it passes the Barents Sea Opening (BSO), a 400 km wide passage between Bear Island (Bjørnøya) and the North Cape (see this map from Arctic.io). This is the main source of Atlantic Water (AW) to the Barents Sea, 1.8 to 2 Sv with large interannual variations. It is accompanied by the Norwegian Coastal Current (NCC) which brings in aprroximately 2.6 Sv of water from the Baltic Sea, the North Sea and Norwegian fjords and rivers, that is colder and less salty than AW, but warmer than the Arctic waters. After passing through the BSO a fraction of the inflow from the NwASC recirculates along a short pathway and exits through the BSO again. This is a lot of info, but the images below give an idea of how it works (found here and here).

OHF-3This warm Atlantic Water keeps large parts of the Barents Sea from freezing over during winter. This also means that almost all the heat, 67 of 73 TW delivered (Smedsrud et al. 2010), is lost to the atmosphere, and most of the AW leaving the Barents Sea into the Arctic Ocean via St. Anna Trough, east of Franz Josef Land, is already cooled to temperatures below 0°C. In 2010 a positive trend was reported in the temperature of the relatively stable NwASC volume flux, corresponding to a linear increase of 0.5°C in 1992–2009, whereas in the Barents Sea Opening, a temperature increase of 1°C over the period 1997–2006 (to values above 6°C) was reported. A modeling data assimilation study provided estimates of BSO inflow of 3.2 Sv, recirculation in the northern BSO of 1.5 Sv, and the outflows between Novaya Zemlya and Franz Jozef Land and through the Kara Strait of 1.1 and 0.7 Sv, respectively, similar to available observations.

Now I don't know why less heat is transported northwards, could be because of some atmospheric pattern. It's also possible that heat is transported, but doesn't show up on the sea surface because of some atmospheric pattern.

Chris Reynolds


We'll know by late August whether the MYI transport into Beaufort/Chukchi has impeded ice melt - I'm in no position to correct you or anyone else on that point at the moment. :)

I've said it before, but it's worth repeating. Anyone curious about the effects of the warming of the North Atlantic on the Barents Sea need only compare historic sea ice early the last century with recent summer levels.

The decline really is remarkable.



Those historic ice charts are incredible. Thanks for sharing the link.


does the skill of your method improve for shorter periods

Using a skill metric similar to Schroder et al., (2014) over the period 1995-2013 for looking at Sept. mean ice extent, the skill of my method improves from near zero at about 100 days lead time to above 0.6 at 50 days lead time in a rather linear fashion. I expect skill would improve further as lead time gets shorter - the influence of initial conditions is greater the shorter your lead time.

I have put in a pure model result (90 days lead time) for the July SPIN; it should be out soon.

I have not looked at sensitivity to change in area as my result depends to some degree on where the ice concentration has changed.

Steve Bloom

ICYMI, two recent expert reports from the NAS that just came to my attention:

The Arctic in the Anthropocene: Emerging Research Questions

Linkages Between Arctic Warming and Mid-Latitude Weather Patterns, Summary of a Workshop

These contain lots of material of interest to readers here.

Steve Bloom

Please to fix that first tag. TIA.


Link fixed. Thanks for the links.

Rob Dekker

Blizzard_of_Oz, thanks.

I think your method (using ice concentration) is important and interesting, especially for short-term (<50 day) forecasts, but most of all for the insight it gives on the effect of melting ponds and fragmented ice in the melting ice margin.

Especially, I found the lower-left graph in your poster intriguing:

 photo Slater2_small_zps1c222a0d.jpg

Your graph suggests that there is a 50% chance that a pixel with 62% ice concentration on July 27 will reduce to 15% ice concentration by September 15.

I may be going our on a limb here, but I think that tells something about the ice thickness in the ice margin.

62% ice concentration on July 27 means 38% 'dark' area within the pixel reduced to 15% by September 15 means an average 'dark' area of (85+38)/2=61.5% 'dark' melting out 85-38=47% of the ice in place.

From July 27 until September 15, that pixel will receive something like 300 MJ/m^2 of solar energy (ask me about that).

61.5% of 300 MJ/m^2 is 185MJ/m^2, which then melts 47% of the ice. With energy to melt 1 ton of ice set at 330MJ, the ice in the margin that melted out must have been about 185MJ/330MJ/0.47=1.2 meter thick on July 27.

More importantly, your graph suggests suggests starting concentration in 2002 of 55% (instead of 62% in 2012), which implies (85+45)/2=65% 'dark' area melting 85-45=40% of the ice (0.65*300MJ)/330MJ/(0.4)=1.48 meter in 2002.

With all the inaccuracies of this 'back-of-the-envelope' calculation, these numbers are consistent with PIOMAS and other estimates of ice thickness such as Neven's volume over area, so it seems to me that there is a case to be made that your graph adds evidence to reduced (mostly FYI) thickness.

Specifically that ice in the margin (mostly FYI) reduced in thickness from 1.48 meters in 2002 to 1.2 meters in 2012...

Or am I way off now ?

Colorado Bob

Put the black carbon in your models because, the boreal forests are really burning now. And that matters .

19:25 UTC

Fires and smoke in northern Canada

04:20 UTC

Fires near Lake Baikal, Russia


Today's pass over Russia -

04:05 UTC


To quote Bob Dylan :
you don't need a weather man to know which way the wind blows.

All this carbon is headed north on to the ice.

Steve Bloom

Yesterday a location in BC got over 40C and 35C+ temps were registered in the NWT, this because of the current wacky jet. I'm starting to wonder about short-term fire-induced landscape type conversion of the boreal forest. Conversion to what, though?

Colorado Bob

This are epic fires, as the models said we would see. And their black carbon is being spread over every white place in the North.

The South, has very little of this black carbon feed back . I am wondering if this increasing dipole event will have some feedback we never dreamed of.
One is so warm so fast, and one is so cold with its mass.

If one thinks of a battery. this could get really violent. Like an electric spark from the poles . One is still so cold , one becomes warm over night. (In Earth time)

Things could get really out hand , much faster than we ever dreamed .

Colorado Bob

Steve Bloom -

You have watch fire , as well as ice.

Colorado Bob

Steve Bloom -

I love this thread, and what Neven has done .

But, you all have tunnel vision , as I read the thinking . It's all based on a view of the Earth that is behind what we are seeing.

This sea ice betting is really stupid.

We are living through one of the the most dramatic , and fastest events in the geologic record . And all you guys still plot like it's 30 years ago .

When we melt out the Arctic, no one will come here for the correct forecast.

This thing is a lot faster than this thread can see.

No offense , just saying what I think.

Stop watching the ice . watch the fires just south. I've at it for years. The fires are our real problem.

Colorado Bob

If one's ice field is covered with soot , it makes no difference what the models say.

When the Sun shines, it will melt.

Colorado Bob

I'm not being jerk , I just what you all to look up. And see future.

Jai Mitchell


How do those fires compare with previous years?

while it is important to quantify what the effects of these are, it is unclear to me just how much of this soot penetrates into the arctic.

simply recognizing a feedback mechanism doesn't show how much of an effect it has.

Colorado Bob

Everyone here seems to think the tiga is not burning 6 feet into the ground.

Well it is , and that means combustion products like the world has never seen .

The fires in Canada. are burning 6 feet into the the ground. We have seen this before.
When the fire passes. and the land still burns for weeks we never grew up with this.

Russia 2010 . Nearly 60,000 people died .

Breathing smoke from peat fires burning 6 feet deep ain't good for anyone anywhere.


Hey CB, have you got a link to a ref for this?

"The fires in Canada. are burning 6 feet into the the ground. We have seen this before."

I'd really like to see it, thanks. :-)


Tracking the breakup of Arctic summer sea ice

As sea ice begins to melt back toward its late September minimum, it is being watched as never before. Scientists have put sensors on and under ice in the Beaufort Sea for an unprecedented campaign to monitor the summer melt. The international effort hopes to figure out the physics of the ice edge in order to better understand and predict open water in Arctic seas.


Jim Hunt

Boa05att - See also the data from the Marginal Ice Zone Program.

Steve Bloom

Bob, how extensive are peat deposits within the boreal forest?

Landscape type conversion isn't a small concern, BTW.

If I had to point to one thing, it would probably have to be ocean acidification, although that priority may change once the yedoma melts and dries out enough to burn extensively. Rainforest loss and conversion to savanna (with fire a big factor) is probably third on my list. Loss of the boreal forests might be fourth based on present evidence, but there are some other possibilities, in particular loss of shallow Arctic methane clathrates.

All of that said, Indian monsoon failure and Chinese desertification would be huge geopolitically although arguably small relative to the global climate system.

Steve Bloom

The thing to remember about soot in the Arctic is that the effect of any increase will be sharply limited by fresh snowfall. If the snowfall is reduced, though...


Soot superaggregates from flaming wildfires and their direct radiative forcing

Scientific Reports 4, Article number: 5508 doi:10.1038/srep05508
Received 20 March 2014 Accepted 09 June 2014 Published 01 July 2014


Hans Gunnstaddar

From your link quantumfhear:

"On a global scale, wildfires emit approximately 34% of total atmospheric soot mass, while in certain regions such as southeast Asia and Russia, these fires contribute as much as 63% of regional soot mass emissions1.

In the context of climate change, soot emitted from wildfires and biomass burning episodes contribute to one of the largest uncertainties in current estimates of radiative forcing2. This large uncertainty is due to poor understanding of the microphysical properties of wildfire-emitted soot and their parameterizations in models and satellite retrieval algorithms2, 3."

Not addressed in that article is the pertinent question posed by Jai; "How do those fires compare with previous years?"

Steve Bloom

This is very interesting indeed. Collapsed pingo or not, I've never heard of such a thing before. It's located in the Yamal Peninsula, which IIRC is not part of the yedoma region since it has some history of glaciation, and as the report says there'a lot of gas there that could have had something to do with this event.


Arctic Warming and Increased Weather Extremes: The National Research Council Speaks

"A new report from the National Research Council (NRC) details the findings of recent Arctic research: Arctic sea ice in all seasons is declining and the rate of loss is increasing. Multiple lines of study show this is impacting weather outside of the Arctic. Increased energy (heat) in the Arctic is slowing the progress of the jet stream around globe, allowing weather systems to linger, increasing the risk of severe weather happening more often in any one place. Increased warmth also means increased moisture in the Arctic - which increases the amount of snow, which in turn causes the jet stream to concentrate winter weather in North America and Eurasia."


Jim Hunt

Steve - See also the conversation on the ASIF about the "giant hole in the permafrost": http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,416.msg31390.html#msg31390


Found a recent study about Arctic fire prevalence.
Article on it. http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/arctic-forests-are-on-fire-now-more-than-at-any-point-in-the-past-10000-years-17175680/
PDF study. http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2013/07/19/1305069110.full.pdf+html
So the big question is not whether it actually is increasing. The big question is how bad it will get. How many hydrocarbon seams are close enough to surface that once a fire starts will burn for years? Could the tundra dry out enough and have enough built up vegetation that once a fire starts could burn for years such as has happened in Irish peat bogs? Can trees grow back fast enough to replace what has been burnt to hold soil and water before it turns to desert? Lastly can human based infrastructure depended on permafrost as foundation be replaced fast enough before an ecological catastrophe happens as there are a lot of pipes up there? The last question is somewhat of a side issue, but currently the ecosystems in the north are very fragile and damaging that has huge ripple effects on what happens potentially to ice and snow. It would also make it harder for new flora and fauna to establish itself.



"The amount of acres burned in the Northwest Territories is six times greater than the 25-year average to-date according to data from the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Center."

And these size of fires are unprecedented in 10000 years,


Is it me or are all these weather extremes, forest fires, melting getting a bit scary?

Number of extreme has basically at least doubled since the 1970's in all areas around the earth.

The drought torn, conflict induced middle east?

Permafrost melting more and more rapidly and burning as peat exposed.

Wonder what things will be like when we reach 1.5C?


Sorry LRC linked to same paper as you just meant to link to the large fire occuring now.


I just noticed that nsidc has posted a mid-month update:


Robert S

On the subject of boreal fires burning six feet into the ground: actually, in areas without permafrost, that's not that uncommon. I was a firefighter in the boreal, and we often spent ten times longer fighting the "ground fire" - burning organic soils and peats - than we did the canopy fire, and had to be careful not to fall into underground voids caused by the fires. The change is the extent of the fires, and the retreat of the permafrost.



I'm embarrassed to admit that I have just read the reply from AbruptSLR to a letter from the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change that I posted on the ASIF last December.

The reply points to a thread AbruptSLR provided early last year. http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,41.0.html

There are three postings about wildfires.

There is also a thread on the ASIF that I started about missing feedbacks in the CMIP5 computer models. https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,610.html

This starts ...

"I have been asked to provide information on missing climate feedbacks to my MP. I hope this a good place for to compile a list. Please help. Starting with a

more forest fires
melting permafrost
increased decomposition of wetlands"

The thread ends with an acknowledgement by the UK Parliamentary Office Of Science and Technology ...

"Some commentators suggest the uncertainties in our knowledge of carbon cycle and physical feedbacks may mean the Earth will warm faster than models currently estimate."

I suppose I will have to find the energy to do battle with them again ... more pings with no echoes - depressing, very depressing.

Shared Humanity


"the ecosystems in the north are very fragile and damaging that has huge ripple effects on what happens potentially to ice and snow. It would also make it harder for new flora and fauna to establish itself."

The northern ecosytems are fragile but the earth has a remarkable way of quickly reclaiming an altered landscape. Leave a large parking surface untended and in just a few years you will have bushes and trees growing through it.

New flora and fauna will quickly establish in this dramatically altered landscape. I just don't know what the succession would be. It certainly will not look like the existing ecosystem.

Shared Humanity


"Wonder what things will be like when we reach 1.5C?"


Shared Humanity

If we do want to gain some sense of what the emerging landscape will look like, we should start by looking at existing areas that are adjacent and/or just south of areas that are currently permanent permafrost.

I would imagine that an area of continuous permafrost that is transforming into discontinuous permafrost will begin to resemble these ecosytems. While fauna can migrate quite quickly to colonize adjacent areas, flora can't just pick up and move. Since the fauna will be constrained by the slow pace of flora migration, there will likely be large areas of damaged ecosystems that will take decades, perhaps hundreds of years, for an effective transition.

I actually believe that we will be forced to engage in efforts of large scale terra forming as we work to effect a quick transition to this transformed landscape. This will look like seeding the emerging landscape with the appropriate flora to allow it to colonize the altered landscape more rapidly.


Not sure if people have seen this - or simply don't think it's very good - but on the http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/
site, 4,difgferent forecast animations centered on the arctic basin became available this year, and I believe they are excellent. For example: http://globalweatherlogistics.com/seaiceforecasting/gfs.850mb.vectors.arctic.html

Chris Reynolds


Yep, I've been using them too, they are excellent.


Visually quite appealing, but doesn't seem to work all that well on my PC. I don't know if it's a hardware or Internet connection issue. Either way, I regularly watch the CCI ClimateReanalyzer site now.

Chuck Simmons

+SharedHumanity: The pine beetle infestation in the Western United States and Canada may offer insight into how rapidly flora and fauna re-establish themselves in areas offered gross insult.

"Forest structure (i.e., tree density and
stand basal area) should return to pre-outbreak levels within
80 to 120 years"

I would expect Colorado to be more resilient than the Canadian archipelago.

Chuck Simmons

"Yesterday a location in BC got over 40C and 35C+ temps were registered in the NWT, this because of the current wacky jet. I'm starting to wonder about short-term fire-induced landscape type conversion of the boreal forest. Conversion to what, though?"

Agriculture. With Chinese desertification and Indian monsoon failures, not to mention the permanent drought in California, Canada will come to the rescue and become the world's largest rice exporter.

Rob Dekker

In spite of record highs in BC and the Canadian NWT, with massive forest fires in Siberia, a strangely acting jet stream, which is causing a unique event which could be called "Fram import" (MYI from the Greenland sea blowing back into the Arctic Ocean), a Trans Polar drift going opposite direction as usual, and what appear to be sustained high density ice in the Arctic make me now think that maybe this is going to be a good year for Arctic sea ice !

I'd feel a bit more comfortable if the pattern this year can be explained as a 'return to trend' rather than a fluke weather event...


This graphic from this, article,

Derived from this paper,

Looking at how CMIP5 models with La Nina trends from 1998-2010 tend to reproduce observations in terms of temperature,are in the 5-95% range and the cooling seems to be due to a PDO pattern.

"he models in phase with ENSO (Fig. 5a) exhibit a PDO-like pattern of cooling in the eastern Pacific, whereas the models least in phase (Fig. 5b) show more uniform El Niño-like warming in the Pacific."

And the first graph in the figure is the PDO run and the paper shows that internal mechanisms can cause warming slow downs even with a strong forcing.

Sorry I know slightly off topic however,

However the second graphic is interesting and is actual observations, and what the anomalies are is the rate of warming per decade (K/Dec).

It seems looking at it that the NH has continued to warm rapidly especially in North Pacific and Arctic, and that the SH has cooled, and seems a reasonably distinct north south divide.

Just wonder if anyone here could shed any light on why this North warming South cooling is occuring?

Has the AMOC sped up due to polar shift in SH westerlies pulling the Agulhas current around the horn of Africa and draining the Southern oceans of heat?

Has the AMOC just sped up? but recent papers seem to suggest the opposite, although the warm water do seem to be penetrating further north.

Just quite striking north south heating cooling divide and was just wondering what people's thoughts are, as sea ice south has increased and sea ice north as we know in rapid decline, so does have some relevance to cryosphere.

Anyway if any has any suggestions or knows of papers that explain it thank you in advance.

Philip Cohen

Does anyone else find it striking how the 2014 SIE trend line in NSIDC precisely hugged the 1981-2010 average -2SD line for all of July before lagging the last couple of days? Yeah, I don't see how it could mean anything, but it's a remarkable coincidence, and the longest straight-line drop on the graph.


Speaking of smoke and soot, the latest sat pics from west coast Greenland are looking a little dark. Is that what I think it is?



As Sea Ice Area is much more accurate than Sea Ice Extent, why is SIE even used?


Kate - Yep, that probably is what it looks like... soot on snow.


That's a lot of dark matter :(


As Sea Ice Area is much more accurate than Sea Ice Extent, why is SIE even used?

Hi, RenewCP. SIA is actually considered less accurate, because satellite sensors can be fooled into thinking that melt ponds are open water, for instance. Or clouds, etc. They are both useful in their own way, and a lot also depends on what satellite sensor, resolution, algorithm, etc is used.

Jim Hunt

RenewCP - The sea ice extent metrics are based on determining the boundary between sea ice and open ocean. A handy thing to know if you're in the business of navigating ships in the vicinity of that boundary.


Chris Reynolds:

-"There is a good reason why the winter volume maximum has stalled: Most of the loss of volume has come from loss of multi year ice (thinning)."

I wasn't referring to Arctic sea ice volume.

I was referring to Arctic sea ice extent, as prsented f.ex in this figure by Arctiv Roos:


As can be observed by viewing the figure, there's been a 10-year pause in the decline of the winter max.

Sounds familiar?

Also from the figure: the yearly mean is following suit, although lagging somewhat behind.

The yearly minimum is also following behind.

All signs that we have already passed a turning point in the dynamics of the Arctic sea ice.


I also stated in my comment that we in the future might reach a point where we will find natural relationships which have predictive value when it comes to Arctic sea ice.

You state that this is "not correct", citing a couple of published scientific papers on relatioships of solar irradiance and pressure whgich have found no such relationship.

Now, these papers may be totally correct, but still we can not rule out that important relationships between pressure systems, ocean currents, temperature, clouds,moisture, precipitation, etc, etc, etc, can one day in the future have predictive value regarding Arctic sea ice.

It is impossible ti rule out.

So your blunt comment that this is "not correct" based on a copuple of recent scientific papers, reveals a bit of bias in your mode of thinking, I think.

Steve Bloom

A pause? Srsly? Based on that graph? You're a fraud or deranged, Osty.


A lack of reduction then.

If it suits you better.



You will notice that looking at the same graph we can find multiple periods for the minimum, mean, and maximum during the record in which there was essentially no change.

For the maximum the periods 1979-1990 (12 years), 1984-1993 (10 years), and 1991-2003 (13 years) have virtually no change within those periods, yet the long term trend is down.

For the mean the periods 1979-1989 (11 years), 1984-1994 (11 years), and 1990-2001 (12 years) also have no notable change over them, yet the long term trend is down.

For the minimum the periods 1979-1989 (11 years), 1985-1996 (12 years), and 1990-2001 (12 years) show no downward trend, yet just like for the maximum and mean, the long term trend is most certainly down.

By your reasoning, scientists and the public back at the end of these example periods should have expected the annual extent values to flatten out and display no trend, yet those predictions would have been completely wrong.

The fact that the period 2003- or 2004- 2013 (10 or 11 years) shows no trend in the maximum, 2005-2013 (9 years) shows no trend in the mean, and 2006- or 2007- 2013 (7 or 8 years) shows no trend in the minimum is not even remotely unique. In fact, as I wrote above, you can find longer isolated periods of no trend for the maximum, mean, and minimum, so we could have another 2 or 3 years of no trend and it still wouldn't be anything special.

As an absolute minimum, there would need to be another 5 years of no trend, i.e., to 2018 inclusive, in addition to the recent periods I've denoted above before we could even begin to speculate a flattening of the trend. If this does occur then good on you for predicting it, but as of now there is no basis for what you are saying based on that data.

The point is that it's quite easy to pick a relatively short time period within the record with a flat trend and no change. What you've done is cherry picking, plain and simple, just like the people who during the late 2000's, and still to this day, said that the planet has stopped warming because they cherry picked 1998 as a starting year.




In regards to the possibility that in the future we may find natural relationships/cycles which can predict arctic sea ice, you are correct, but only because that is the nature of science. In science we do not rule out any possibilities for what we may discover in the future.

For example, it's possible, though unlikely, that we may discover some previously unknown natural process which can completely explain the warming the planet has undergone since the industrial revolution independently of GHGs, thus meaning that our GHG emissions have actually had no effect. We may also discover that quantum mechanics is not just incomplete, as previous theories were, but is in fact outright wrong. Or we may discover that conservation of energy and momentum is not a universal law, but is rather just something which happens to occur in most situations, though that is colossally unlikely.

Those things may all be increasingly unlikely, but it is the nature of science that we cannot completely rule them out. Thus, your statement is is basically irrelevant, and simply a cop out which anybody could use for any scientific argument.


Chris Reynolds


Yet during that ten years we have seen 2007 and 2012 both record crashes in summer extent - yet you prefer to ignore them. Now based on two year's weather driven behaviour of the pack you claim we have turned a corner and the ice is recovering?

We have various indices and only CO2 shows a linear relationship with annual average ice extent. Any moderately educated person would immediately put CO2 at the tope of the list of prospective causal drivers of the decline. They would then look at the prospects for CO2 decreasing and conclude that the prospects of ice declining are good as long as CO2 continues to increase.

Beyond that is a lot of detail, which is why I directed you to the models, which are tools for encompassing the detail.

Yes there is an inflection ongoing (IMO), but it will not lead to a recovery of sea ice. There's been an ongoing and lengthy discussion about this over at the forum.

Other factors have predictive values on various timescales. But the root cause of the long term decline in sea ice is anthropogenic warming, which is largely driven by CO2 - the largest single factor.

The only bias going on here is in your thinking. My thinking remains fluid, and able to be changed based on new evidence - as my recent claim of an inflection in volume loss shows.

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