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Jenny E. Ross

Regarding the isolated collection of small, fragile, wispy floes remaining in the Beaufort: From an ecological standpoint one can only hope that they don't melt out completely. If there are polar bears onboard that ice, they are very likely to drown if the floes disappear. That ice is almost certainly too far from land and too far from other ice for even the strongest adult bears to be able to swim to either location. Cubs would unquestionably be doomed.


I believe the Prince of Wales Strait east of Banks Island is capable of taking large ships - maybe not the biggest, but definitely serious shipping. As this appeared passable I would certainly say that the North-West passage technically opened - but perhaps only technically, unless it stays open for another week, since it ought to be open long enough to actually make the passage for a more genuine opening.


Thanks for another great post, Neven, in particular the reminder of the effect of a Beaufort high on timing of the minimum (extent?). I doubt this year's will be as late as in 2010 (sticking with my earlier prediction of 14th Sept) - but hey, if I'm wrong, that just makes life more interesting.

Minor point, for the NOAA/ESRL/PSD/NCEP surface air temperature map I suggest using the 7- or 30-day anomaly, which would be more consistent with other elements of your update than the 1-day.

Kevin McKinney

Indeed, a very nice and very timely summary. Thanks once again, Neven. It has been interesting to watch the late season 'surge'. I for one was not particularly expecting it, though I believe some here did.



[there's always room for a bit of trolling, but this is just plain childish, zero points for creativity; N.]


Cryosphere Today shows 6 years where the NH ice reached lower levels than this year. Antarctic sea ice has now reached an all time record high. This was after reaching an all time record high anomaly earlier this year. The global sea ice anomaly looks like it has spent more time in the positive anomaly area than in the negative for the past 3 years.

So is it natural variation, and if so, can we explain and scientifically quantify that natural variation. Or is it the beginning of a change in trend.


Au contraire, "Et tu, Gaia?" is creative, Neven. You're just grumpy because your raison d'etre has vaporized again in what will be a yearly event. What was it you said last year when the ice started increasing in August: "I don't know if I can go on like this" or some such. Well, this blog will be your greatest test of fortitude -- not what you envisioned at its inception, hey?

Au contraire, "Et tu, Gaia?" is creative, Neven.

Okay, that's true. I'll give you 1 point then and let your second comment stand! :-B

You're just grumpy because your raison d'etre has vaporized again in what will be a yearly event.

I'm not that grumpy, tired rather, and if I am grumpy it's not because of Arctic sea ice, but because of an impossible kitchen design.

This blog is not my raison d'être either, although I do see it as a sort of community work (which is also partly selfish), and it's also good for my English, which is useful as I'm a translator by profession.

Due to personal circumstances (yes, still building) it was more of a strain to blog in the past two years, but it's also fun, interesting and useful. I wouldn't be doing this if it weren't. Life's too short for doing stuff out of sheer fanaticism.

In fact, 2012 consumed a lot more of my energy, so despite my personal wish for the world to end, it's rather convenient that the Arctic death spiral has been put on hold for the time being. :-P

But the last six words in that sentence intrigue me: "what will be a yearly event". Why do you think it will be so? And how can you be sure?

Minor point, for the NOAA/ESRL/PSD/NCEP surface air temperature map I suggest using the 7- or 30-day anomaly, which would be more consistent with other elements of your update than the 1-day.

Maybe the 7-day anomaly, but 30 days is a bit too long for a bi-weekly update, and makes it hard to compare. All three graphs are represented on the ASIG, though.


In reply to your question, Neven, I'm hardly going to give a tour de force here, but in brief you are worshipping false gods. Rather than encompass everything, I'll give you two pointers:

(1) You probably subscribe to the "tipping point" notion of climate, that with sufficient human input, the global climate will "tip over" into another, less desirable state. Well, that isn't possible. In the 500 million years of Earth's oxygen-bearing atmosphere, any tipping has already been done. The final stability is this one, ice ages included. Per force, any perturbations will be met by counter perturbations, so for example, increases of CO2 must be met by offsetting water vapor changes. If it were not so, Earth would have tipped somewhere else long ago when CO2 levels were much higher. So the notion of climate tipping points, e.g., the runaway greenhouse effect, are totally wrong headed. A false god.

(2) You are much concerned with little variations in lots of ice-x-time charts. You should know that all those bumps are well within the error bars of those charts, by which I mean that actual error is about twice of estimated error -- which is a rule of science which has been honored for always and nowadays also. Furthermore, satellite data takes a lot of preparation and calibration, which provides for a great deal of Bayesian input. You are reading other peoples' wish lists, Neven, and you think it's science. Charts like PIOMAS don't even pretend to be factual (if you read their fine print) but are treated here as that anyway. You are worrying about the desk chairs on the Titanic -- which says nothing about the boat.

And that's about it, I guess.


As the 2014 melt season draws to a close, it may be of value to re-visit a 2012 analysis performed by Steffen Tietsche of the Max Planck Institute: “Initialization and predictability of Arctic sea ice in a global climate model” (http://www.mpimet.mpg.de/fileadmin/publikationen/Reports/WEB_BzE_115.pdf).

A GCM is initialized with an ice-free Arctic at summer’s end on a variety of dates. Subsequent simulations show that the ice recovers to the long-term down trend “within typically two years”. The model employed does not display evidence of a non-linear threshold beyond which ice loss is irreversible, however “sea-ice predictability decreases as Arctic sea-ice cover becomes thinner”.

On face value, Arctic ice behaviour since 2007 suggests parallels to the Tietsche paper.


Cin, you demonstrate a very little knowledge of geologic history. The Permian extinction, the worst extinction event in the past half billion years, was triggered by huge increases in CO2 that happened when the massive Siberian Traps eruption ignited huge amounts of coal.

More recently the PETM had high rate of extinctions when a sudden warming happened after a large natural release of methane and CO2.

There are many, many more examples in the geologic record. Climate is sensitive to changes in GHG levels no matter what causes them.



The usual fake skeptics banter rings excessively hollow, in particular demonstrates a staggering level of ignorance.

Particularly with respect to 2013, a cloudiest Arctic summer, it had nothing to do with cooling, something as simple as sun rays reflected by clouds over a long term causes cooling, this was 2013.

Despite a cloudy summer start going on till beginning of July, 2014 has now huge areas of open water surrounding the remaining pack, a key feature of a great melt. It does not look like a recovery at all, except 2014 followed 2013 the partially melted in place sea ice pack season. If there is any sign of actual cooling it would be seen with sst's and surface temperatures, the latter in August was #1 warmest globally, the former is excessively warm.

One would expect some contrarians to posit some semblance of reasoning which may prove their heresy against proper science, but they have nothing but childish bragging often repeated as a tool o fool themselves.


I am fascinated by those that are convinced ( or are just pretending to be so as a way to try to intimidate others) people who consider that CO2 may cause serious impacts due to global warming are part f some sort of religious fanaticism.
I do encounter some environmentalists who are all doom and gloom and refuse to accept any contrary evidence. But almost all the people I see discussing the issues related to CO2 are rather reasonable and willing to consider any actual scientific research that suggests there will be less problems than some previous research suggested. I know no one that is angry that Lovelock has recanted his view that human civilization will have ended by mid century. I know no one who attacks a person for saying sea level rise may be less than a meter by centuries end, or that we can keep global temps from going past 2°C this century if we engage in increasing efforts to mitigate carbon
On thios blog, I see no gnashing of teeth that 2 years have seen SIE back to being just above 2006 levels. Non of the behavior that committed ideologues actually engage in.
whereas among those that beleive CO2 is of no consequence, I see all sorts of distortions and repetition of easily dismissed arguments


I am especially pleased that Julianne Stroeve's prediction may turn out to be the closest one of the bunch! ( if things keep going down for another few days)


I'm going to reply here, rather more to illustrate why the poster's assertions are incorrect than anything else, but a modicum of annoyance will no doubt leak through.

In reply to your question, Neven, I'm hardly going to give a tour de force here, but in brief you are worshipping false gods. Rather than encompass everything, I'll give you two pointers:

Fatuous and insulting. You'd do well to trim back your ego a tad.

(1) You probably subscribe to the "tipping point" notion of climate,... A false god.

As D correctly pointed out, you are both missing a lot of understanding of geology, and have a very narrow and incorrect interpretation of what constitutes a "tipping" point. No one here speaking sensibly believes a "runaway greenhouse" is probable, or even possible. Wrong orbit, wrong chemistry, wrong most everything, and its not the type of tipping point we are concerned with. There are *many* places in the geologic record where we can see tipping points over the last 500 million years - places where climate shifted sharply from regime to a new one. Permit me to expand on D's list:

1) The Glaciation of Antarctica starting about 35MYBP
2) The start of Northern Hemisphere glaciation, 5MYBP
3) Paleocene/Eocene thermal maximum, following the Chicxulub strike, starting 55MYBP
4) Climate events surrounding Ordovician/Silurian mass extinction (collapse of atmospheric CO2)
5) *any* of the interglacials that occurred during the last 2MY of the Pleistocene

I could go on, ad nauseum, but my point is, saying we have not experienced tipping points in climate for over 500MY is utterly fallacious.

(2) You are much concerned with little variations in lots of ice-x-time charts....You are reading other peoples' wish lists...

Insulting diminunitive? Reading other people's wish lists? Besides noting the smug the self-inflation via gratuitous, inaccurate characterization of other people, I will point out that your interpretation of those uncertainty bars is more than a bit wrong. You miss that the uncertainty applies to the individual measurement, not the ensemble. Taken in whole, even with uncertainty, statistically, they demonstrate a trend, which is more reliable in indicating change than any individual set of measurements.

Consider it via this metaphor. You have a medical test which 50% of the time is correct. You run it once, if it is positive, you have only 50% confidence the measurement is accurate. You run it again, and it is positive. The individual test still has only a 50% confidence level, but the probability of *both* being incorrect is only 25%. Add a third, fourth and fifth positive test, and your confidence for a positive result rises to over 95% - far and away a high enough number to be considered statistically significant and indicative of a trend, even though each individual measurement has only 50% confidence.

So obviously, the nature of measurement and the assemblages provided by the NSIDC, IJIS/Jaxa, etc. have a higher degree of complexity, and are more nuanced than a test of a simple binary condition. However taken as a whole, they indicate strong trends which are far more skillful than any individual measurement. To judge them individually and extrapolate a conclusion from single events is faulty logic.

So, as I've said to others previously. Please do your homework, better.


Thanks for the projection and the strawmen, Cincinnatus, but you didn't really answer my question:

Why do you think that from now on the 2013 and 2014 rebounds will be a yearly event? What will cause this? Something like the AMO? Or is because of offsetting water vapor changes? But how does that work exactly with regards to Arctic sea ice recovery? What's the mechanism?

And if it's a yearly event, when can we expect the first year with a minimum that will not make the top 10? When will the Northwest Passage and/or Northern Sea Route not open?

Last, but not least, how can you be sure? Is your (false) god telling you this? :-)


Well, that isn't possible. In the 500 million years of Earth's oxygen-bearing atmosphere, any tipping has already been done.
Lol, that is such a ridiculous statement. Where did you read that, in a sacred revelation document, or maybe you hear an oracle? And you talk about worshipping false gods?
D and jdallen are plain right


My god is the null hypothesis, Neven. It delivers. When houses of cards are built, the null hypothesis says they will fall. And AGW is just another house of cards, built on false premises and bad science.

I will however share a small crystal ball with you. In 1972 I bought 2 books one day, one was Ehrlich's "the limits of growth", the other was a book on cycles of nature -- the title escapes me. In there was a graph of CO2 increase plus solar cycles. It wasn't a hysterical presentation, just a matter of fact graph which projected the 1980-90s warming and 2010-20s cooling. It was just another cycle of nature for the author. I've never seen anything to disbelieve that simple graph -- wish I still had the book but the spine disintegrated a long time ago.

So you could say that's my other god. If it pans out, you warmists are in for a rough ride. Have a nice decade.

John Christensen

Thank you for another great update Neven! - and your perseverance in spite of all the distraction above.

I just had one note to your comment on the DMI 80N:

"And even though temps are now dropping on the DMI 80N temperature graph, we're not yet seeing the upward spikes that usually indicate that the Arctic Ocean is massively releasing its heat so that it can refreeze"

You are correct, but that is a good thing (from the ice/polar bear perspective): We are not seeing the spikes yet because the ice condition near the Pole has slightly improved since last year this time, and improved a lot since two years ago at this time. The temperature could drop just a bit more, before the spikes start occurring - which they certainly will given the immense Laptev Bite this year.

Remko Kampen

"I've never seen anything to disbelieve that simple graph" - explains the ignorance. Bad eyesight. Cincinnatus should kindly ask others to see for him, instead of projecting ire over his handicap.

Wot cooling. http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/09/15/3567464/nasa-hottest-august/


So, may be a good start for a record growth in oktober and november? The Atlantic side of the Arctic is allready on schedule and the Eastern Siberian Sea is mostly a piece of cake....

Climate Changes

And that's about it, I guess.

Good, now bugger off to WUWT to fantasize there. I come here to follow the ASI melting season not to bump into a concerned troll post.

As it stands 2014 ASI melt does not show a true recovery just as 2008, 2009, 2010, & 2011 didn't. Now if we get an ongoing increase in volume, area and extent for 10 years in a row then we can talk.

Climate Changes

"But almost all the people I see discussing the issues related to CO2 are rather reasonable and willing to consider any actual scientific research that suggests there will be less problems than some previous research suggested."

@tony, that is your opinion until you can provide any sort of scientific research taht support your opinion. I sure would like to read it...


[Snip. Sorry, no UHI BS that's been debunked about a billion times; N.]

Is the past two years of ice melt action an anomaly or natural variation, or is it simply lagging the surface temperature trend. If it is the latter, then we can reasonably expect the summer time shrinkage of the ice sheet to also stabilize.


Vsaluki, it's already been done. Didn't you hear?

When all the "questionable" records were removed, the temperature gradient went UP, not down.

The study was part funded by the Koch brothers, no doubt convinced that they would, at lasts, get one single shred of real scientific evidence to make their claim that CO2 is not bad for the environment.

The leader of the study, honest leader, had to step down from his previous assumption that the records were faulty and had to bless the work done by GISS and others.

Judith Curry on the other hand had conniptions when her study did not produce the result she had staked her career on. She lambasted the project leader, called it all a fix and disowned her own work. All because the true and unbiased science did not fit her picture of the world.

That is the difference between true science and the fairy stories being bandied about by the denialist crowd.

So please take your observations about the GISS record set and fit them in whichever orifice hurts most. Because 1.5 billion temperature records, correctly analysed, do not lie.

If it pans out, you warmists are in for a rough ride. Have a nice decade.

If AGW turns out to be no problem whatsoever, that would be fantastic news. I'll gladly accept any personal rough ride for that to be true. I'd go out dancing naked in the streets.

If fake skeptics are wrong, on the other hand, not only will they be wrong - a huge blow to their old, white male ego -, but this also means that AGW will have serious consequences, and a lot of them have actively participated in the disinformation campaign to prolong business-as-usual.

Now, that is what I call a rough ride.


Neil, nothing has been done. Go review what Berkley did, then we can talk. For now you are simply repeating all the alarmist talking points about Berkley and that is a waste of my time.

For example, go look at the effect of UIH that Berkley came up with and then look at this NASA report,



Where is the Arctic Urban heat Island ? Seriously, I wonder if contrarians went to secondary school?

Consider 2014 sea ice withdrawing from 71 degrees to 85 degrees North a net 840 nautical miles lost, with wider open water about in longitude, and they trumpet their "its a recovery" sound only not drowned because they count on people not having the time to look at a map. Shameless behavior reveals their intent to disarm reality, to render i acceptable and dumb.


The heat island is in the oceans. Both the north Atlantic and north Pacific are over a degree C above normal today. NH SSTs are 1.35 deg C above normal.


That's not exactly an island, is it?

Climate deniers sound like alcoholics denying that they are alcoholics. They have an excuse for anything. No evidence and no logic will convince them that they are alcoholics.

There's no chance the deniers are right because so many different lines of scientific evidence converge to prove that anthropogenic GHGs are changing the climate. The scientific debate is about how high and how fast temperatures will rise.

Jai Mitchell


Your assertion that there were more bouts of sunny weather simply does not pan out in the video record from the buoys. Do you have comparative annual cumulative insolation data?


note that the correlation to temperatures and cloud cover match very well to the observations from the forum (including the opposite shift on June 15th which led to a period of sunny skies and warmer temperatures).



Jai, it was my impression that there were more periods of high pressure dominating than last year, but I admit that I don't take the time to keep an eye on the buoys.

I don't know how 2014 relates to previous years, but like Blaine wrote in the PIOMAS thread:

Incident sunshine was quite high in 2014, probably even over the 2007-2012 average, although below 2012. Certainly, looking at the pressure pattern over the Arctic this summer, I would have predicted much stronger melt than actually occurred. During this summer, the pressure over Greenland was slightly lower than the 2007-2012 average, and the pressure over the Laptev Sea coast also was slightly lower. The pressure over the rest of the Russian coast was, however much higher. In other words, we had much lower heat transport from land into the sea ice near the coast than in other recent years.

K Z.

Hey all,

I've enjoyed the replies in this thread. No question who comes out as more persuasive (and it's not Cincinnatus).

Neven, don't feed the trolls--not worth it. I really don't think you needed to bring race and gender into this when you disparagingly brought up "old, white male ego."

There's no reason that you should care, but that kind of comment really solidifies opposition belief that being concerned about the environment is linked to being a progressive/leftist/etc. In other words, that the climate is a plank social wedge issue rather than a scientific one.

I said it before (when I posted within the last week or so), but I'm a big fan of non-insulting, calm, and collected replies. The worst trolls don't even warrant a response (since trolls feed on Internet rage).

And btw, I've seen several mentions of "fake skeptics." What does that mean?



I talked about the shore ice effect at the poles before Neven decided that he couldn't have any truth on this forum and deleted most of my post.


[You're on an alarmist watermelon CAGW blog, what do you expect? That I'm going let regurgitated disinformation stand? No, it gets snipped. Please, go back to WUWT to converse with the scientifically minded elite; N.]


D, what does a day of NH SSTs have to do with anything?

Neven, don't feed the trolls--not worth it. I really don't think you needed to bring race and gender into this when you disparagingly brought up "old, white male ego."

Thanks for your concern, K Z. My experience is that most fake skeptics are male, white and old, and heavily influenced by the Cold War era, still fighting the commies. Maybe it's the pictures I saw of Heartland conferences.

And btw, I've seen several mentions of "fake skeptics." What does that mean?

I don't want to use the word "denier". Although it is the correct description, it opens the door to victim bullying and concerned comments. That's why I use "fake skeptics".

A fake skeptic is someone who poses as a skeptic, but is the exact opposite. I see it as someone who is 100% certain of something, for instance that AGW cannot possibly have any negative consequences whatsoever.


By the way D, while you were telling us about the Arctic having a +1.35 anomaly, did you notice that the Antarctic had a minus 2.84 C anomaly.

[Snip. Last partial snip; N.]


Neven, thanks for proving that you do nothing but run an echo chamber for sycophants here.

Anyone with a shred of honesty would have dealt with "disinformation", even NASA "disinformation", by countering it, not deleting it. The fact that you deleted it proves that you cannot counter it and you are afraid that your regulars cannot either.

Thanks for showing the true colors of yourself and your blog. Censorship is and will always be the only way that alarmists can win arguments.

[Sigh. I don't have the time or inclination to counter fake skeptic stuff that has been countered countless times already, especially if it's not related to Arctic sea ice, you know, the subject of this blog. Read the comment below; N.]


I have a final announcement to all visiting skeptics, fake or real:

I'm not interested in general AGW stuff, there's plenty of space for that elsewhere on the Internet. The triumphant tone also gets tiresome very fast, with the 2012 silence in mind.

The only thing I'm interested in is your perspective on this second rebound year, if there is anything in particular that caused it, and if it is the start of a great recovery (just like last time), by what mechanism exactly? No ice age cometh BS, UHI nonsense, hiatus hype, etc.

The ASIB is more than open to any seriously thought through theory (Chris Reynolds' Slow Transition is a prime example), but not to 'because AGW is a hoax!', 'because the AMO!' or 'because the null hypothesis!'. Explain.

If the bar is set too high, then why not leave the silly alarmists and go back to your own echo chamber?

Jai Mitchell


Apparently the insolation intensity of late spring and early summer periods are the dominating factor determining the rate of latter year ice melt.

This came out yesterday.


This study demonstrates that absorbed solar radiation (ASR) at the top of the atmosphere in early summer (May–July) plays a precursory role in determining the Arctic sea ice concentration (SIC) in late summer (August–October). The monthly ASR anomalies are obtained over the Arctic Ocean (65°N–90°N) from the Clouds and the Earth's Radiant Energy System during 2000–2013. The ASR changes primarily with cloud variation. We found that the ASR anomaly in early summer is significantly correlated with the SIC anomaly in late summer (correlation coefficient, r  ≈ −0.8 with a lag of 1 to 4 months). The region exhibiting high (low) ASR anomalies and low (high) SIC anomalies varies yearly. The possible reason is that the solar heat input to ice is most effectively affected by the cloud shielding effect under the maximum TOA solar radiation in June and amplified by the ice-albedo feedback. This intimate delayed ASR-SIC relationship is not represented in most of current climate models. Rather, the models tend to over-emphasize internal sea ice processes in summer.

you may notice that the majority of the anomalous injection of pacific water vapor took place between May 10th and June 13th.


I am not familiar with Blane's work. Is he a researcher? is he working from observational data or pressure charts? I just watch the buoy videos and notice almost no clear sky days until June 20th. Fog and high clouds are the overwhelmingly dominant condition until then.


Neven, no one gives a rats behind about melting Arctic ice. There are peer reviewed scientific papers that claim the Arctic sea ice melted completely as little as 6,000 years ago. The only reason that Arctic sea ice is of any significance at all is because it supports the larger AGW narrative. But the question then arises about what happens when it no longer supports that narrative.

[Snip. I'll let the rest stand, because it's interesting (see comment below), but you clearly haven't visited this blog a lot, since your simplistic characterization doesn't do the community here honour; N.]

The only reason that Arctic sea ice is of any significance at all is because it supports the larger AGW narrative. But the question then arises about what happens when it no longer supports that narrative.

We're not quite there, are we? Or does a second rebound year in a row (which, history shows, has almost always happened after every record), that still finishes around 6th/7th spot on record, negate the overwhelmingly negative trend?

In other words, you're running ahead of things.

Neven, no one gives a rats behind about melting Arctic ice. There are peer reviewed scientific papers that claim the Arctic sea ice melted completely as little as 6,000 years ago.

OK, just to see how much you really understand of all this. What caused the Arctic to go ice-free or almost ice-free (no one knows for sure) 6000 years ago? And is that same thing causing the Arctic to go ice-free this century (mainstream opinion is somewhere in the 2030's)?

Jai Mitchell

note here: It appears that the author of the article have their signs wrong, correlating high cloud cover to HIGH top of atmosphere absorption, (as opposed to high albedo and LOW absorption). So the paper indicates a high negative correlation to CLEAR skies and SIA not the opposite.


And is that same thing causing the Arctic to go ice-free this century (mainstream opinion is somewhere in the 2030's)?

If you are going to talk about the cause of the Arctic going ice free you will have to snip yourself in order to be consistent.

[I'll take that as 'I don't know'. Thanks for pointing that out. Now, please go back to your own echo chamber, and believe whatever it is you want to believe; N.]


Jai, I read about this paper yesterday.

Can we see this paper as an addition to the Schröder et al. paper on melt pond cover fraction that stated that the beginning of the melting season largely determines the outcome of the melting season?

Jai Mitchell


we can only do that if a correlation study is found to indicate high positive correlation to TOA absorption and melt pond area.

Somehow, I have a feeling that this correlation exists. . . (if high absorption = high insolation and not the opposite as the science news article states)


Jai, I admire your stamina during these difficult times.

You showed elegantly ( see http://earth.nullschool.net/#2014/05/12/0300Z/wind/isobaric/850hPa/orthographic=-166.96,64.74,560 ), that from the 12 May 2014 (and throughout most of May and June) advection of massive amounts of latent heat (at 850 hPa) started from the Northern Pacific across the Arctic Ocean all the way to Denmark.

You also took the time to show us the accompanying surface video from Buoy 10 (see http://obuoy.datatransport.org/monitor#buoy10/movie ). Apart from the wall to wall cloud cover, I also noticed a continuous supply of ice needles from the sky and constant snow drifting on the ice surface. These signs bear witness that condensation took place aloft and surface temperatures were well below 0 C, as also shown by the DMI 80N+ graph.

In another thread, I alluded to the unusual dewfall over Denmark during this same time interval (see http://neven1.typepad.com/blog/2014/09/piomas-september-2014.html?cid=6a0133f03a1e37970b01b8d067e45e970c#comment-6a0133f03a1e37970b01b8d067e45e970c ).

Apparently this advection of moisture across the North Pole was the main explanation for many of the phenomena observed this summer.

Finally, you came up with a fine link to a new Korean study, which clearly shows that extensive cloud cover in May and June is preserving the ice over the summer. The only critical thing is, that apparently the climate models have not yet been able to pick up this idea...


Short intermezzo: ECMWF forecasts a very large and intense high taking over almost all of the Arctic. Clear skies and not the right winds in the right places will probably mean the 2014 melting season has turned the corner, but perhaps IJIS SIE can drop just a few thousand km2 more.


The rising heat content of the northern hemisphere's oceans is what's driving the changing NH weather and the Arctic sea ice area/extent/volume. The heat capacity of air is tiny compared to the heat capacity of water.

The interactions between the weather and the oceans are quite complicated. The most obvious factors are El Nino and La Nina. The super El Nino of 1997-1998 was a quantum jump in the climate system to warmer weather. It also brought heat to the north Atlantic and eventually the Arctic as La Nina followed with strong trade winds and expanded subtropical highs that pushed warm water further north.

One of the factors that affects sea ice is water vapor. The advection of water vapor in the late spring from the Pacific to the Arctic can hold in heat if the clouds are thin or it can reflect heat back to space if the clouds are thick. Stormy late springs like 2013 are keep the Arctic cold and cloudy, preserving sea ice.

There's a huge mass of ice in the Antarctic that's melting from below around the edge of Antarctica. The glacial weight has pushed the continent down over 100 meters below sea level. So there's a freshened layer around 100m depth that is impeding the Antarctic half of the thermohaline circulation. Thus Antarctic ice is expanding in winter. Ultimately this means that less warm salty water moves south and more moves north towards the Atlantic and the Arctic.

So, it's good to get a short term recovery in Arctic sea ice but the long term prognosis continues to be poor. If we build a clean economy based on renewable energy and warming slows down, we will still all benefit. If the Koch brothers and their hired hands are wrong we are all up the tar sands exudate befouled Athabaska river without a paddle.


I have posted on here only once before and under another name as I cant remember my old password. I love this site as it brings in so many diverse opinions and expands my knowledge. I dont comment technically as I have no new info, and bow to the greater knowledge of others.

However I am fascinated by this site because there is still a missing link that has scientists hypothesising in both camps but still unable to prove theory by events.... the climate has a habit of not doing as expected.

I havent read or heard anybody correctly predicting what will happen next. what I do know is that annual weather, melt ponds, ocean passages opening and closing are all rather a distraction and are not the driving force behind climate change or oceanic change. There are rhythms deep below the earths crust we dont understand, there are rhythms within the solar and lunar cycle we know but dont yet understand and there is anthropological influence on the earths climate that we are as yet unable to quantify the effects.

When the current trends go outside of recent (lets say 10,000 years) variations of the trend line that is when I will start to worry about the future of the Arctic. Until that point I have no idea what is going to happen and I really dont think anybody else does either.

Neven this is a great site I just wish that both your supporters and detractors would desist from name calling. Can we cut out the warmist and denier/sceptic guff and ignore the trolling - its boring, very unscientific and a great shame


Are these contradictory or complementary observations?
@ Blaine (in the PIOMAS thread)
"Incident sunshine was quite high in 2014, probably even over the 2007-2012 average .... we had much lower heat transport from land into the sea ice near the coast than in other recent years."

@ Jai Mitchell
"Apparently the insolation intensity of late spring and early summer periods are the dominating factor determining the rate of latter year ice melt."
"you may notice that the majority of the anomalous injection of pacific water vapor took place between May 10th and June 13th."

It sounds like Jai is talking mainly about latent (rather than sensible) heat advection from lower latitudes. Whereas Blaine (and I) may be influenced by recency effect, with more high pressure and insolation later in the melt season - but with circulation patterns that tended not to pull heat into the Arctic.
Reconciling the two would reinforce and add detail to Neven's earlier conclusion about the importance of early conditions to the melt season as a whole.
Jai also mentions fog cover; there was some earlier discussion on the forum (unresolved AFAIK) about how much impact this had on surface temperatures and melt pond formation.

Colorado Bob

Slate Exclusive: Why Greenland’s “Dark Snow” Should Worry You.

Jason Box knows ice. That’s why what’s happened this year concerns him so much.

Box just returned from a trip to Greenland. Right now, the ice there is … black:


Colorado Bob

The "Dark Snow project found "Black Snow".

These pictures should scare every reader here, he's working upstream of the Jakobshavn Glacier.

Colorado Bob

Greenland's fastest glacier reaches record speeds

February 3, 2014
European Geosciences Union (EGU)

Jakobshavn Isbræ (Jakobshavn Glacier) is moving ice from the Greenland ice sheet into the ocean at a speed that appears to be the fastest ever recorded. Researchers measured the dramatic speeds of the fast-flowing glacier in 2012 and 2013.


Jason Box has come back with pictures of the ice that feeds this beast, and they are all black , and broken-up into weird shapes, that cold ice does not form.

These are worst climate change pictures you have ever seen to date.

Colorado Bob

Jason Box does lead the "Dark Snow Project" anymore its "Black Snow Project" now.

Maybe we rename Greenland to Blackland .

After all Greenland was a Viking land hustle, after they found "Ice Land" , are you going to find a bigger "Ice Land"

No , we call it Greenland . As far as I can tell Greenland is the first land swindle in history.


IJIS SIE hasn't reached the minimum yet, but decreases are very small now.

Lynn Shwadchuck

Thanks, Colorado Bob for the link to Box's exclusive on Slate. If this isn't a nasty feedback, I don't know what is!

'Box’s findings are in line with recent research that shows the Arctic is in the midst of dramatic change.

'A recent study has found that, as the Arctic warms, forests there are turning to flame at rates unprecedented in the last 10,000 years. This year, those fires produced volumes of smoke and soot that Box says drifted over to Greenland.

'In total, more than 3.3 million hectares burned in Canada’s Northwest Territories alone this year—nearly 9 times the long term average—resulting in a charred area bigger than the states of Connecticut and Massachusetts combined. That figure includes the massive Birch Creek Complex, which could end up being the biggest wildfire in modern Canadian history. In July, it spread a smoke plume all the way to Portugal.

In an interview with Canada’s National Post earlier this year, NASA scientist Douglas Morton said, “It’s a major event in the life of the earth system to have a huge set of fires like what you are seeing in Western Canada.”'

Wade Smith

I am pleased to see this year has truly been a rebound year for Arctic Sea Ice in virtually every meaningful metric. It looks at this time as though the "exponential" trend we thought might exist previously was just a blip. hopefully this is the case.

We can always hope that these past two years represent some sort of significant pattern change favoring rebuilding ice, but I suppose it would take another 5 to 10 years to verify that if it were the case.

As noted by Neven, previous consecutive rebound years, such as 08 and 09, haven't always been indicative of a rebound period or stall.

Two years ago, the best fitting curve was a steep exponential, and extrapolating lead to the conclusion we'd have no ice @ minimum within just a few years. With these two solid rebound years, we have some assurance that things might not be that bad so soon after all.

Also of note to me is the fact Global Sea Ice area is in about the upper 1/3rd of the modern record data set, which is encouraging from an albedo feedback point of view. I'm not so optimistic about Antarctic Sea Ice volume, which I'm pretty sure is still decreasing on average, with also several collapses of ice shelves.

Greenland surface melting was also not nearly as bad as in previous years, but I have not done any real analysis in terms of the whole trend in volume.

Last year's winter in the U.S. saw some freaky freezes in the Gulf South, with two consecutive hard freezes of the type not seen since the late 1970's or early 1980's. This resulted in 2 of the 4 most extreme freezes I've seen in my 33 year life happening within 10 days of one another; With 12 in long, inch thick icicles forming in my back yard, for example, and gold fish pond freezing over.

The other two happened, I think, In 1989 and 1994? respectively, where in the first case ditches froze over hard enough for 9-13 year old boys to walk on, and in the second case a 60ft diameter pond froze over hard enough for a cat to walk on the ice.

While those are "local" events, it does encourage me somewhat that the "weather" within this "climate" is still capable of producing similar winter results to 30-40 years ago, which means that the proposed "bifurcation" event has not yet happened.

Good year IMO. Few Hurricanes in the Atlantic, not significant damage.

Pacific season is less than several recent years.

Good year for both weather and climate, overall.


It is hardly a rebound, is more like a dynamic meteorological reshuffle of the deck of sea ice. Each melt season has the potential to become a 2007 or 2012 . Strait off stats don't express morphology or compactness, is just a number, a variant amongst many others. Sea ice is far more complicated than an existential one, if an analyst doesn't even consider the shape of the summers melt footprint, the analysis would be close to meaningless. Its not black and white, ice or water, a given year stat should be looked at in a sequence of stats, that is better, this graph for instance:


flatly denies a recovery especially with respect o maximas not at all jumping up and down from the zero line.

Minimas must be judged especially by shape and compactness,
there is ample evidence of an extremely fragile state, about 14 days off from the right "dipole" weather to become an all time low area record. But not reaching the minimum extent doesn't mean that next year will be even better, in fact before 2012, 2011 had stronger ice morphology than 2014. 2006 minima was much more
expansive and much healthier than 2014:


So it is not a matter of simple ice thickness, (by the way good luck if you can calculate it right, because of tides and other physical variables, over all ice thickness is a very difficult measurement, PIOMAS is a nice try) its a matter of knowing how the sea ice behaves, shifts, coalesces, merges, ridges, how much snow on top, how fast the winds, clouds at all times, direct sun exposure and general atmospheric and sea circulations in 3D!

But overall this year was a great melt with a very late thaw flavor, as today's Jaxa attests, there is some freezing overwhelmed by continuous melting. This is a presage for next season, the potential for all minima is kept well alive, despite a blink of the eye analyst may reveal wrongly.


Wade Smith:

Using September arctic sea ice volume data up to 2 years ago (including September 2012), cubic, hyperbolic, arctangent (rotated), and hyperbolictangent (flipped) fits are each better than an exponential fit. (Volume has dropped faster than area or extent.) A hyperbolic fit has the rate of decline approaching a constant instead of having an accelerating rate of decline as with an exponential fit. Arctangent and hyperbolictangent fits eventually show a decelerating decline.

I'm not sure that there is much of an albedo change issue for the antarctic because most of the sea ice there melts in the summer anyways, and of course when the sun is down or low it doesn't matter much, plus the recent trend in increasing sea ice there has been relatively slight compared to the trend of summer arctic sea ice decline. Which year is the record year for most antarctic sea ice depends on which record one is using. The commonly used 1979-2014 record shows 2014 with the record most, but including data from an earlier satellite shows 1964 with the record most (last I heard).

Reduced arctic sea ice might be contributing to more common arctic air outbreaks in places like the eastern US, even as the planet as a whole warms.

Connie Quirk

"...With these two solid rebound years, we have some assurance that things might not be that bad so soon after all."

Don't want to rain on your good feelings about this year, but no, we really don't have any meaningful assurance of any such thing. 2005 was followed by 2007, and that, in turn, was followed by 2012. And in between, 'recovery' was touted.

While this has been a surprisingly good year, there is as yet no reason to think that the long-term trend has altered one bit.

Dr. Maslowski's 'ice-free by 2016, +/- 3' projection was always aggressive. But it could still come true. Five years is a long time, and the Arctic can pull out surprises with no warning at all.


I'm not sure which planet Wade Smith is on but saying this has been a good weather year just ignores all the extreme events that have been happening almost non-stop around the globe, with some causing loss of life in the many hundreds. Extreme heat, droughts, storms, floods. Just because the Atlantic hurricane season has been fairly subdued this year and Arctic sea ice is only just a bit below last year, suddenly everything is hunky dory. Nothing to see here, folks, just move along.


Jai: I'm to sure if it's clear in the partial quote or even whether I was was sufficiently clear in my original statement, but the statement Neven quoted was intended was intended to refer to JJA average cloudiness. This is not extremely inconsistent with your statement of of limited sunlight prior to June 15, which of course constitutes only approximately 1/6th of the period I intended that statement to cover.

There are groups which are actively compiling computerized point-by-point visible-satellite cloudiness records, and I consider these the gold standard for cloudiness data. Unfortunately, I don't yet have access to their results for 2014. I was primarily basing my statement on the observed surface pressure pattern and personal observations of many days of visible satellite data.

It being noted that outgoing longwave (IR) radiation is commonly used to observe cloud cover, seasonal average longwave IR may be used as a reasonable proxy for cloudiness. This comparison shows that in incident sunshine JJA 2014 was reasonably comparable to the 2007-2012 average or to 2012, and, on the entire Canadian side absolutely blows away 2013, which was, incidentally, not particularly cloudy on the Russian side. Even May 2014 was not all that much more cloudy than the 2007-2012 average.

Climtaologically, the western Beaufort shows an extremely sharp increase in cloudiness as you move northward, even in based on a the 2007-2012 climatology. Your observed cloudiness levels at obuoy #10, near 77 North, while somewhat more cloudy than the 2007-2012 norm, do not in fact indicate terribly much less sunlight. Perhaps you are confused by comparing this camera to other cameras in other locations.

Farther south in the western Beaufort, this has indeed been a very cloudy year, in way linked to PNA activity as you describe. However, I had already noted a PNA-linked lobe of low pressure in this area in earlier posts. No recent year is free of particular points of unusual cloudiness, so I don't see a cloudy video from an area which I had already acknowledged as being a surface low pressure center this year as particularly disproving my observations. 2012, for example, had some extreme positive cloudiness anomalies in the Chukchi region.

The sunlight this year was in deed somewhat back-loaded with August sunlight being particularly high, and May sunlight over the western Arctic Ocean being somewhat below the 2007-2012 climatology. I would indeed expect this to result in somewhat of a positive albedo anomaly, with somewhat less total absorbed insulation relative to the extreme 2007-2012 climatology. My point was that unlike in 2013, observed cloudiness doesn't come anywhere close to explaining the large sea ice volume increase.


As the increase in temperature worldwide is generally measured in annual increments of fractions of degrees (the 1990s El Nino aside) I cant see how this alone has much effect on such a massive anomaly as 2012. This has to be weather based rather than climate based.

So my question is what happens to cause these recovery years and what would be the circumstances for this to continue for a longer period and for the ice to return to more substantial levels. If such small differences in insolation and storms in the Arctic can produce such significant differences in ice coverage and minima then it will only take a small difference in annual weather patterns for ice recovery over a longer period (the converse is true also).

The jetsteam is wildly different to what it was just a few years ago (IMO) and I wonder if the Arctic is much more attuned to the movement of the jetstream. Much as I know that Piers Morgan of Weather Action takes an extreme position on global warming, his work and prediction on jetstream movement and its link to Solar and Lunar cycles should by now have interested the scientific community. I do wonder (I havent the resource to investigate) whether the Arctic sea ice extent and volume is directly linked to this hyperactivity of the jetstream and solar cycles rather than directly to very small annual increases in temperature caused by AGW.

Kevin McKinney

"I do wonder (I havent the resource to investigate) whether the Arctic sea ice extent and volume is directly linked to this hyperactivity of the jetstream and solar cycles rather than directly to very small annual increases in temperature caused by AGW."

Of course. AGW changes circulation patterns; that's well known. So it's not the change in global mean that has the biggest effect in the Arctic, or in any other given location; it's that plus the effect of those circulatory shifts.

For example, the expansion of the Hadley cell is likely to prove quite problematic for massive numbers of people over the coming decades. It's an *indirect* consequence of AGW.

There is some evidence that the expansion of the Hadley cells is related to climate change.[2] The majority of earth's driest and arid regions are located in the areas underneath the descending branches of the Hadley circulation around 30 degrees latitude.[3] Both idealised and more realistic climate model experiments show that the Hadley cell expands with increased global mean temperature (perhaps by 2 degrees latitude over the 21st century [4]); this can lead to large changes in precipitation in the latitudes at the edge of the cells.[3] Scientists fear that the ongoing presence of global warming might bring changes to the ecosystems in the deep tropics and that the deserts will become drier and expand.[4] As the areas around 30 degrees latitude become drier, those inhabiting that region will see less rainfall than traditionally expected, which could cause major problems with food supplies and livability.[5]


Kevin McKinney

I see that JAXA data showed a slight uptick yesterday. Could it be--?


(my apologies I meant Piers Corbyn - not Morgan - lack of sleep!)

Ok I understand the Hadley Cells, but could it not be that the earths balancing effect would be that an expanding Hadley Cell would increase the amount of cooling between the ferrel cell and the polar cell meaning greater cooling effects at the pole or would it mean that the larger Hadley cell would reduce the activity of the other 2, or perhaps if it should expand enough would it possibly reduce the N hemisphere to 2 cells rather than 3. The fact that warming may be man-made doesnt in my mind mean that the earth will not make changes that brings the system back in to stasis and I personally think that there is some mileage in the jetstream being affected by solar activity and the earths magnetic field.

I just dont think there is enough historical data to know whether this happens or not. Due to satellites there is now a wealth of data but all research seems to end in hypothesis, graphs and computer models because there is no historical data going back far enough to compare it to.

Kevin you say that scientist fear that there may be these effects - is there evidence that the Hadley cell is the one expanding - why not one of the other 2 where global temperature may have a greater effect


Mark, you seem to have missed some of the discussions taking place last year.

The first remark I would like to refer you to is from early August 2013. Back then I alluded to a specific situation, when moist air masses from the Mexican Gulf and the Eastern Pacific converged and rose over Mexico for an extended period of some weeks.


The flow of warm moist air aloft could be followed through the first (now obsolete) link. As described in the text, the stream of moist air took a course from the Caribbean to Denmark, where it led to unseasonably warm and moist weather.

The second remark stems from later in August 2013, when an “atmospheric river” ran all the way from the Caribbean to the Barents sea.


On that occasion, I tried to do a rough back-of-the-envelope calculation to illustrate the existence of a single temporary Hadley cell circulation at that time.

Please have a look at these events and try to explain how you wish to introduce solar cycles or magnetism in this new reality we seem to be facing.


What part have forest fires played in this years Arctic sea ice melt due to soot in the atmosphere blocking incidental solar radiation?

Meanwhile: The heat content of the oceans continues to go up inexorably - the variations year to year is ice are subject to weather, and atmospherics like the amount of soot. With certain weather conditions, it's apparent that the Arctic could be effectively free of sea ice in any given year. It's only a question of when this happens now.

Once long term sea ice is gone, the knock on effect year to year will dominate, leading to even greater likelihood of near ice free conditions during subsequent summer months.

We're looking straight at it; trying to pretend that a few years of reduced rate of reduction of Arctic sea ice is a reprieve is to deny all the data that's readily available.


IJIS SIE is going up now and needs a 43K drop to get to a lower minimum, which is highly unlikely at this late date. Furthermore, the DMI 80N graph shows a first uptick, which is a sign of refreezing.

So, I guess that was it for this year. Thanks for watching everyone. I'm looking forward to discussing the coming freezing season and the implications of this second rebound year (especially volume-wise).


@ Blaine
I'm impressed (if not entirely convinced) by your observations and conclusions based on OLR as a proxy for cloud cover. The points you and Jai bring up probably go a long way toward explaining seasonal and even interannual variability in ice cover. Good topic for a separate blog post or dedicated forum thread. My sense is that we will need to take a more granular look at both timing and location of water vapor incursion from lower latitudes, as effects cloud cover and particularly melt pond formation.


Temperatures variations in the Arctic are much greater than the Global average.
2010/2011/2012 were three of the five hottest years in the Arctic with an average temperature 1.90 degrees above average.
Comparatively 2013 was only the 10th hottest year being more than 0.65 degrees cooler than the hottest three years. and particularly cooler in Summer.

In one respect the reason 2013 and 2014 didn't have a big melt is easily explained by the relatively low temperatures, Partcularly in summer. However it must be kept in mind that only one year before 2003 was warmer than 2013. So 2013 was historically a very warm year.


one factor that hasn't been discussed yet played a major role in this years sea ice volume recovery. The very cold winter in the Canadian Arctic left very thick ice in the Canadian archipelago which was much harder to melt out than the ice in years with thin ice that followed warm Canadian winters. Therefore, less ice and meltwater pushed out through the channels into the Labrador sea.

A cold winter on the Canadian side of the Arctic promotes sea ice recovery the following summer. Note that the cold Canadian winter was linked to the development of an El Nino precursor Rossby wave pattern across the Pacific into north America according to a published report I have for which forgotten the reference. -FishOutofWater


My key point really is when does a recovery become a trend and how exactly do we know any minima or maxima is unprecedented as records as detailed and accurate (and lets face it widespread/global) have not been available over the longer climatic cycles.

Not many weeks ago the discovery of the exploration vessel Erebus provoked the comment that the ice has receded so far that the vessel has been discovered. This brings 3 things immediately to mind however - (1) yes the ice has receded a long way for this area to become ice free. But (2) it must have been at least as free for the ship to have become stuck in the first place (a large sailing ship at that - which would need a lot of open water). (3) conditions must have been favourable for several years for the attempt to be suggested and then sanctioned - probably a process of several years. As the navy would have had an interest in protecting trade at the Hudson Bay company and with their long distance association with the aboriginal population, it is without doubt that a NW passage would have been deemed possible for them to even suggest it.

without accurate weather data from that period how do we know that any of the ice loss we are experiencing now wasnt experienced then. How great would that be to be able to make the comparison. The only difference now is the massive Ice Caps and Glaciers are a little further along with Holocene melting than they were 150 years ago


p-maker thanks for the links that 3 day progression illustrates the flows very nicely - shame I cant recover the data the 2013 post refers to.

It does make me wonder what effect a more permanent second jetstream would have - is that the balance I am alluding to - interesting. I wonder whether it is the start of a fourth cell or a result of a more vigorous Hadley cell bypassing the midlatitude cell. Would larger Hadley Cell cause greater tropospheric cooling and a colder airstream at the N Pole, or is it not possible to see it that way according to post weather patterns

Robert S

Mark: When the Erebus and Terror sailed into that area, they were not even sure that the North West passage existed, and they had little information on "conditions". The expedition was exploration in the truest sense. If you read the logs of the following expeditions who went to look for them, you can get a very clear picture of ice conditions and the state of knowledge at that time. The basic conclusion from studying those records is that at that time, in most years, the North West Passage would not have been open.


Mark there is no evidence that the ship sailed to that location.it is quite likely that it drifted there locked in ice. it certainly died there locked in ice. only fantasy writers think the NW passage was open in that era. If it had been open they would not have died.

Neven MASIE is still dropping as of day 262 dropped over 45,000 sqkm from day 261. almost 379,000 drop in the last 10 days.

Bill Fothergill

@ Mark,

Being as I'm still celebrating the result of the Scottish Independence Referendum, Robert and Philip had already replied before I was capable of coherent thought.

There are many sources for information about the ill-fated 1845 Franklin Expedition, including the fact that the British Admiralty was offering a £20,000 bounty for the first successful identification of a route through the fabled NW Passage.

The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute has a collection of small articles (with further reading suggestions) bundled together as the Beaufort Gyre Project. The timeline covered therein starts well before the Erebus and Terror set off on their final journey, and extends up to the Cold War period and projects such as the Russian drift stations and Camp Century. (Although Iceworm doesn't seem to get mentioned!)


One part you might find interesting is the story of the Jeannette and the way this gave Fritjof Nansen the idea about using drift. The wreckage of the Jeannette apparently managed to drift nearly 3,000 miles (from north of the Bering Straits to SW Greenland) in a period of just 3 years.

Perhaps after looking at this kind of material, you may wish to reconsider some of your views.


The find off King William Island does back up the accountas at the time taken from the innuit people, explorers of the time regularly used the Innuits for teams of dogs and sleds so the reports of the breaking up of a big ship off King Wiiliam isle at the time would be fairly reliable and the fact that the overwintered on Beechy island before the loss would lead one to thing this would be the place they were lost. They also found more than one encampment on the island one of which left a note saying they were heading South to find rescue - probably not the note you would leave anywhere other than the start of a mission.

Drifting ice could have moved the ships but i feel that considering other expeditions to the area were made 4 years later and for several years after that culminating with McClures finding of the NW passage from the West (albeit some of it over ice) I find it unlikely that the ice held on to the ships for long before relesing them to their fate - the find is in 36m of water which would leave the ice well above with some clearance - even the mastheads, which the ice would have snapped off anyhow on contact.

Are we forgetting too that Amundsen completed the trip in 1906. Looking at the way that area freezes now (JAXA) I would think that the explorers onward passgae was blocked to the west a little after Beechy island forcing them S towards King William Island and probably more ice S of Victoria Island. It must have been terrifying!

So, no I still think conditions have been similar before but we have no way of knowing to what extent as there is no accurate record of SIE before the modern period


Mark, you seem to be trawling right now.

First you were asking about historical facts. Then you were insinuating that solar and magnetic cycles were driving the whole thing. Now you even revert to questioning the details of an event which took place more than 150 years ago.

Why not come back to the present. Give us an estimate of the future based om your apparent knowledge – or please address the future consequences of our current misbehaviours – such at the dwindling sea ice.

When Viddaloo comes up with a diagrame like this:


it does not make sense to walk your way. Seventeen years from now, you may also face the brutal reality of your children or grandchildren: No more ice at all! No more seasons to enjoy! No more life to sustain. You should be a shame of yourself!


"Recovery" would mean that we're back to pre-80s levels... Not yet happening...

After each Bottom year comes a less-worse year... Who would expect each year to be worse, year after year after year ?

Bill Fothergill

Re: North West Passage

Mark asks... "Are we forgetting too that Amundsen completed the trip in 1906"

Well, no actually. However, when faced with such a non sequitur, one might be tempted to respond..."Are we forgetting too that Amundsen started the trip in 1903?"

Has it also perhaps slipped our minds that the Gjoa was tiny compared to Erebus and Terror. Including Amundsen, the ship's complement was seven. Unlike the more traditional exploration ships that had tried and failed beforehand, Gjoa had a very shallow draft and a rounded bottom. This design enabled it to "pop up" somewhat whenever encased in ice, thus helping to alleviate the pressure which could otherwise easily crush its hull.

As regards the comment about McClure's "finding of the NW Passage from the West", perhaps you might care to check up on the fate of the ship he was commanding, HMS Investigator? The ship that rescued McClure's party, the Resolute, was itself trapped in the ice over the winter of 1853, and did not escape until the following year.

In the finest traditions of the Royal Navy (rum, sodomy and the lash notwithstanding) McClure was immediately faced with court martial on his return to the UK. This, however, was a mere formality required on the loss of a ship, and McClure was not only acquitted, but promoted and knighted.

I was trying to be helpful when I suggested having a decko at Wood Hole's Beaufort Gyre Project, but I'm afraid this is starting to seem a bit like DNFTT time.

(As an aside pertaining to an earlier Independence Referendum, Amundsen was a Swedish subject at the start of the trip, but was Norwegian before he had reached Alaska.)


Mark : "But (2) it must have been at least as free for the ship to have become stuck in the first place (a large sailing ship at that - which would need a lot of open water)"

Oy mate, has Erebus and Terror gotten stuck in open water??? McClintock Channel ice was known since Franklin as fierce, un-penetrable. Even in 1903-06, but prior as seen by Hall (1869), McCintock (1854), James Ross (1835) and the ever so always present Inuit, who knew about it for thousands of years, not the least the Bowhead whales being distinct , blocked to swim freely by this ice, from North Atlantic to North Pacific for at least 100,000 years.

Going back towards present times, in 1848 , yes, the same year of Erebus and Terror abandonment, James Ross searching for Franklin earlier and first (The Scots cared about their cousins fastest of course) with no less HMS Enterprise, took a look at North Peel Sound and declared it un-penetrable. Shortly afterwards McClure got completely stuck North of Banks Island, had to abandon his ship rescued by another rescue team, who's Admiral leader decided shortly after to abandon their own ships 4 of them, all beset in various regions of the wide open NW passage of now a days. They jumped on the NorthStar a cargo ship moored on Beechey Island, which was then considered the safest point before no man's land barred by sea ice, from that time onwards until Amundsen squeaked by on the other side of King William Island.

All this history describes a very difficult NW passage, essentially impossible for commercial shipping. Again unlike today. Franklin's men were opportunistic and skillful, they were last beset
in McClintock Channel in mid-September, in recent years you could not get stuck in the same channel all the way past October! Often with ships Captains noticing not one piece of ice to see!

So Franklin crew slammed in the wrong ice, so thick and ridged it was a prison, all this ice came from the Arctic Ocean, as it was much thicker then, at least 3 meters thick all the way to Russia.

From that time on, information gathered from he most expensive rescue attempt in history, declared the ice of the NW passage as totally blocking the route, until now. Particularly since the late 90's.

Colorado Bob

I’m wondering if Peter Wadhams, professor of ocean physics at Cambridge University was sailing on the Oden . Sure sounds like it .

Arctic ice cap is in a 'death spiral', claims leading academic

Peter Wadhams, professor of ocean physics at Cambridge University, said that the ice cap has now melted so much that open water is now just 350 miles form the North Pole.

This is the shortest distance ever recorded.

He added: "The Arctic ice cap is in a death spiral."

Professor Wadhams measured the thickness of the Arctic sea ice by sending a remote-control mini-submarine under the floes.
He said: "On average it was about 0.8 metres thick, compared with five metres when I first went in 1976.

"One or two warm summers could melt it away.


Colorado Bob

"One or two warm summers could melt it away.

"The evidence suggests that September will be ice-free very soon, and that ail increase so that within five years or so we could be seeing an ice-free Arctic for up to four months in the summer and much thinner ice for the rest of the year too."

Professor Wadhams will report back his findings to a special meeting of the Royal society, convened to discuss the issue.

John Christensen

Colorado Bob,

In all fairness, the statement from Professor Wadhams seems to be more political than scientific, leading up to the climate discussions taking place tomorrow.

PIOMAS has average sea ice thickness at around 1.40M, so it was not really "the Arctic sea ice" on average that was 0.8M, but probably the average in the area surveyed this summer by the Oden (which was near Laptev and ESS and not on the CAA side of the Arctic).

To note that Arctic sea ice in general could melt out in one to two warm summers, making this seem like a probable scenario, does not have scientific validity, as the chance of this happening must be very insignificant.

Professor Mark Serreze was included in the same article:

"Professor Mark Serreze, director of NSIDC – who will also speak at the Royal Society – agreed with Professor Wadhams that the ice cap was disappearing and added that it would eventually shrink below one million square kilometres (386,000 square miles), therefore reaching the definition of an "ice-free Arctic".

He did, however, add that he believed that this would take longer that Professor Wadhams predicted."

John Christensen

On Atlantic lows:

A significant Atlantic low moving towards the Arctic dumped a very significant amount of precipitation on Greenland yesterday, adding an impressive 12 Gigaton of snow (Corresponding to 12,000,000,000,000 liters of water in one day):


As you see on the "Accumulated" tab, the Surface Mass Balance has been positive since September 1st due to the above-normal level of Atlantic lows moving North along the east coast of Greenland. The same lows, which have extended the Arctic sea ice melting for another week this year.

John Christensen

Sorry, I should have simplified the metric:

One gigaton equals 1KM^3 of water, ie. about 1.1KM^3 of ice in a compressed state.

The 12 gigaton of precipitation therefore corresponds to about 13KM^3 added to the ice sheet, being 2% of the 530KM^3 mean growth for the entire freezing season (1990-2011 reference), and this low is likely to provide further accumulation as it moves North today and tomorrow.

To note that Arctic sea ice in general could melt out in one to two warm summers, making this seem like a probable scenario, does not have scientific validity, as the chance of this happening must be very insignificant.

At the same time only 10 years ago the chance of 2007, 2011 or 2012 happening was also deemed insignificant.

Volume has now increased so much that I also think that we won't be approaching ice-free conditions in coming years, but initial ice state conditions like we've seen in the past couple of years, combined with a year full of persistent freak weather, could do it.

That doesn't mean that if it happens 20 years from now, everything is just fine. That would still be inconceivably fast on geological timescales. And like I wrote in the conclusion:

The phenomenon of an ice-free Arctic isn't some sort of firing gun, after which the consequences of Arctic sea ice loss start running their course. They have already started and could become more serious in decades to come.

An ice-free Arctic only has real importance as an iconic figure, like that photo that was made of Earth by astronauts standing on the Moon. And it's scientifically interesting. But the consequences of the process leading to an ice-free Arctic are most likely already underway.


Wayne I am quite capable of reading and I do appreciate the fullness of your response. And p maker I did read your reference and a lot of others besides including the accounts of the explorers in the area at the time, I am not so sure that without the use of accurate maps and satellite images we would find the region any less impenetrable now. I too can speculate but I do not refute that the channel is becoming almost ice free. However as the satellite record barely covers the most recent of shorter climate rythms and the almost non existent pre Franklin record doesnt cover the longer ones can you be sure this didnt occur in the much warmer medieval period (a whole degree warmer for over 100 years) even if this is estimated from tree rings seeds and alluvial/ice cores etc.

I am not in any camp here and I would resent being categorised in any of them. It continues to surprise me the strength of opinion that so desperately wants to prove that the ice will disappear in the summer and never recover. I personally think it will but then will recover, but thats a personal hypothesis that has no more proof in fact than any one elses.

The fact that the earth has warmed is irrefutable, the fact that it has warmed before is irrefutable. The fact that it will continue warming is not proved by the last 14 years. I believe it will as we are not yet as warm as it was in medieval times. I am just trying to say that the present amount of warming is not without precedent.

On the matter of the jetstream and solar cycle links, I am not an Astrophysicist which is why I mentioned the work by Piers Corbyn on forecasting the track of the jetstream. I personally dont understand it and probably never will, thats an unfair point for anyone to make of me. However he has a track record of forecasting the changes to the jetstream that is far better than the met office here in UK or Nasa, which is why I made the comment. He believes the earth is cooling and so a lot of his site is dedicated to proving that, however where he makes money (yes its a business) is in his extreme weather predictions and he is particularly successful at doing so. Within that he is also successful in predicting the position of the jetstream several months ahead. I thought it may be of interest

I very tentatively post this ref to his site as I expect the more vitriolic on here to have a right go at me - http://www.weatheraction.com/docs/WANews13No43.pdf - I hope not.


Bill - thanks I do appreciate what you are saying and the time you took to post and I did read the site and used the named references to look further. Amundsens achievement in such a small even if reinforced vessel is remarkable and shows what an incredible explorer he was.


Mark, you should go to WUWT and see what they say about Piers Corbyn there.

(a whole degree warmer for over 100 years)

A whole degree warmer than what, and where?

John Christensen

Yes, I fully agree with you Neven.

Kevin McKinney

Mark, it is quite simply incorrect that "...we are not yet as warm as it was in medieval times."

The evidence strongly suggests that global mean surface temperature is warmer now than during the Medieval Climate Optimum (by whatever name it is called.)

See, for example:



It's interesting that Neven describes climate skeptics as "old white men".

But here is a clip of the New York climate protesters proving that the skeptics characterization of the alarmists and their motives is the correct one. By the way, note the old white men.




[Now, what did I say about not posting uncritically accepted, regurgitated disinformation? N.]


Neven - appreciated. I wasnt expecting to give Mr Corbyn a good press here but I was a bit provoked and for those that have the mind his work on this is worth a look at considering the results he gets, 'SLAT' would appear to have merit whatever WUWT have to say on the man himself. The climate change narrative however is the sort of opinion I was complaining about a few posts ago!

A Facebook User

Looks like confirmation of the end of downward drift. http://nsidc.org/data/seaice_index/images/daily_images/N_stddev_timeseries.png


Mark, Piers Corbyn is an absolute crank. I generally don't like to link to WUWT, but here's the piece on Corbyn. Don't be fooled (too much).


ok Neven point taken, what initially interested me though was the sunspot cycles being very close to the temperature cycle and initially google lead me to Weatheraction! the medieval Oprtimum as I understand it is N Europe as compared to average temperature since 2000 - its open to a certain amount of variation but most commentators I have read would still say it was warmer by @ 1 degree. However there is now a plankton present in the N atlantic that has been absent for 800 years - that could be indicative of a warmer flow through the NW passage but should also be tempered with increased shipping traffic as well.

You see Neven I just have an enquiring and difficult to convince mind even if not specifically knowledgeable. As it is I feel I am taking up too much space!! Hope you dont mind

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