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Thanks for the update! I'm very grateful for all the work you do to maintain this blog.


Thanks, ljgeoff. Unfortunately I haven't been able to blog as much as I wanted to or should have in the past two years, but we have finally reached the final stage of building our house (my wife and I are doing everything ourselves), so I'm hoping to have more time in the near future again.



In case you missed this.


I see a definite warming trend this year around the periphery.

I had a look at the Uni Bremen AMSR2 image

I noticed the Baltic up north at the Arctic Circle. Normally this would ice be half way to Stockholm by now.

Then I went to check out the current temp in Stockholm and the 14 day forecast. Currently it's 3C. Something which is not unknown, but not really that usual at thist time in January. -10 would be more common than 3c.

Normally it should average out in January as -1 high and -5 low. In fact the 14 day forecast averages at 1.9 high and -1 low.

This is a trend I've noticed in Stockholm over the last 10 years. The only exception being the two years at a 100 year solar minimum.

I'm watching the Cryosphere Today figures right now. Area has crashed and is not growing. Another week or two and it will be in record low territory for the time of year.

Of course it could just suddenly jump back up as it has done so many times before. But that's half the fun of watching the Arctic do what you expect, immediately followed by something totally unexpected...


Ah, Maslowsky, Novastellar! We often discussed his estimations on the blog.

But that link is on an article more than one year old. A lot has happened since. Sea ice volume as depicted by PIOMAS has rebounced to 2006 ranges. Nevertheless, I still stick to what I posted on the 'First ice free'-thread on the Forum. Based on ice quality and ongoing forcing any year now could be the timespan for a 'black-swan' event. I supposed '17 to be a possible year.
But it could be '16 after all.
Like NeilT describes above, winter power seems to diminish each new season. And, how high I esteem the work by the PIOMAS-team, based on six years of ice-watching through MODIS I still think the volume doesn't represent the actual state of the ice.


Ah, I did not notice that it was a one year old article. My bad. I suppose I'm glad I'm not depending on forecasting the Arctic for a living. There are just too many variables and too little resources to create a perfect model. '17 is as good a guess as any. I suppose random variations in melting conditions could throw off any precise prediction. I'm really curious if the Arctic would be passable to cargo traffic in another 20 years. Or would it be too rough when the ice is gone?


Did anyone else notice that Climate Change was the front page story on the New York Times?



Interesting comment by Kevin Cowtan (of Cowtan and Way [2014] fame) on SkepticalScience:

"One other feature of interest: Arctic temperatures (and hence the Arctic contribution to coverage bias) have largely stablised since 2005. The big change is from 1997-2005. From this and from looking at similar behaviour in climate models, I do not think that we should assume continued rapid arctic warming, or an early disappearance of Arctic sea ice. My currect working hypothesis is that the models are right when it comes to an ice free Arctic."



NASA also reported 2014 as the 6th largest average temperature anomaly in the Arctic with 8 of the 10 average largest anomalies occurring in the last 10 years.

Continued high temperatures over the next two years should lead to a rapid decline in Ice volume, extent and area.

Chris Reynolds

Thanks Tony,

I've noticed this behaviour of temperature but find it a puzzle. The time period is short and it is possible that the rough 2005 start to the levelling is two years within the range of variability around the trend, followed by a temperature response after 2007.

What I'm thinking is that a lot of the warming is actually a response to the loss of sea ice, rather than the cause. From this perspective the larger open water after 2007 might cause warming in autumn and winter.

Against this view is the apparent jump in 2005 to a new warm level. I've not had the time to properly get to grips with the issue yet.

My view that the models are broadly right (although I expect regular virtually ice free conditions in the 2030s, not as late as the 2050s), but it not related to temperature considerations.

Chris Reynolds

BFraser, DavidR,

I did some calculations last night. The 1975 to 1998 warming trend is greater than the 1975 to 2014 trend (about 0.016 vs 0.011degC/year IIRC). However when one treats 1998 as an outlier then the 1975 to 1997, and 1975 to 2014 trends are very similar.

Sorry, I didn't keep the spreadsheet as I'm concentrating on something else right now, and by the time I get tround to blogging on other matters this will all be old news.


I have noted that 2014 greatest positive temperature anomalies were in the Arctic, which seems a bit of a contradiction since sea ice extent at minima did not repeat 2012. But it does make sense, given that more open sea water causes more clouds, these clouds are a direct result from a greater adiabatic nature of the lower atmosphere. There should be greater cloudiness until temperatures increase even further making the cloud formations more difficult. The way to judge this is to look back at 2012 rapid sea ice extent growth after minima, or the yearly quick Hudson Bay ice growth especially after a warm summer (especially fall 2014). Convection plays a significant role in cooling the surface by exchanging heat adiabatically. There is of course deviations from this obvious course, which slows or reduces cloud formations during spring or summer. When these happen a greater than 2012 melt is possible, 2014 had a later sunshine favorable event which amazed in melting sea ice North of Alaska. If sun shines earlier right about the solstice onwards over the same area 2012 will no longer be prime.

So far I observe great injections of heat from the South creating
a large warm and smaller cold polar zone. The warm zone being practically the entire Arctic Ocean and the cold zone being Hudson Bay centered
cold temperature North Poles injecting steady cold flows Southwards to the West of Hudson Bay and warm currents Northwards to the East. With particularly warm areas North of Alaska (influenced by record warm North Pacific sst's) , and warmish Northern Siberia. With very frequent injections of Souh Atlantic heat by cyclones to the far North Atlantic.

This is setting the stage for 2015 melt, any
period of prolonged sunshine in the said warm areas would obliterate 2012 record easily. So it is a matter of knowing whether
it would be cloudy or not. This may be known come April, after the return of the sun spins a clearer circulation image.


Wayne, et. al.

I think the 250KG gorilla in the room is the Arctic Ocean (all oceans in fact) itself.

My sense is looking at numbers over time is that the "pause" has much more to do with oceanic uptake of heat, than any change either in delivery of heat to the system.

I think over the next decade, it will be almost impossibly difficult to skillfully determine how the melt season play out. Weather - short term influences over temperature - via changes in albedo (clouds, particulates on ice, what have you), influxes of heat from lower latitudes, mixing from depth - will play a significant role in how high or low the extent, area and volume numbers play out. I think this influence will be greater than any time prior to 2007.

My admittedly amateur opinion is, that where the *trend* will most clearly be signaled is in the Maxima. The annual ice volume loss will vary by several 1000KM3 per season depending on weather. I think we will see the recovery will not, and that we will see a steady decrease in maximum volume over time.

Once that volume maxima drops below a point were it is equal to the minimum melt season loss is where we will consistently see end of season extent of less than 1 million KM2 (or less than 1000 KM3)



"I think we will see the recovery will not..."

I mean to indicate with that, that the annual loss of heat from the system out of the arctic during winter (and attendant re-freeze and increase in ice volume) will not be as variable as our melt seasons uptake of heat. I think it will be more predictable, and, if anything be reduced rather than increased by changes in weather.

In short, its maximum value is more predictable.

Jai Mitchell

It is clear to me that the 1940-1975 arctic temperature response to global sulfate emissions indicates a much stronger response (cooling) effect than the global average.

This also plays out in recent research regarding aerosol interactions with clouds in Barrow Alaska.

The post 2005 change in temperatures shows a similar response to South East Asian sulfate emissions. If this hypothesis is true then we should see a return of temperature trends.

I Ballantinegray1

I begin to think that some of the surface warming we currently have been seeing across the N.Pacific is down to reductions in emissions from China as they struggle to reduce low level pollution across their cities?

Unlike us, when we faced similar issues, they have access to tried and tested technology and so their 'fix' will occur far faster than it did for western europe/USA ?

If we are to see China 'clean up' its act then we will see it occur very quickly and the impacts assert themselves just as swiftly?

Jai Mitchell

I believe that the recent Negative PDO can be attributed to increased SO2 emissions from southeast asia, though I have not seen any peer reviewed work stating as much.


The latest Northwards Cyclones have had less MOJO compared to santa storm high energy event.

I have clearly documented 2 more approaching cyclones not shining the High Arctic twilight as much as Christmas past. These exciting discoveries prove the possibility of cataloguing Cyclonic Intensities
by how bright they are next to a darker cooler zone. So far on a scale of 1 to 10 I classify santa storm as a 10, to be beaten in brightness on one of those coming storms.



The Arctic winter has started very mild temperature wise especially in the Alaska-Siberia regions. The coldest weather again
lingered at the 65 North degree range approximately at about Hudson Bay Hudson Strait areas. Now the sun's return will make its mark, especially on the lands with very low snow cover, the dynamics of this will set the stage for the entire year.

L. Hamilton

With 2014 done I've updated the cycle plots of extent/area and volume by month. Sent also to Neven in case he wants these for the blog's longterm graphs page. You're welcome to borrow these for your own purposes if useful.



Also, a different rendering of 0-2000m ocean heat content, updated through 2014.


Kevin McKinney

Belated thanks for the updates, Larry!

Kevin McKinney

January update from NSIDC is out--3rd lowest extent in the record.

Arctic sea ice extent was the third lowest for the month of January. Ice extent remained lower than average in the Bering Sea and Sea of Okhotsk, while ice in the Barents Sea was near average. Antarctic sea ice extent declined rapidly in late January, but remains high.


Kevin McKinney

Also, BTW, an interesting discussion of variability in the Barents Sea in that NSIDC post.


Thanks, Kevin. This month's analysis at the NSIDC was indeed very interesting. I'm also very curious what the next PIOMAS update will bring, as we are now approaching the winter maximum. I will post a new update as soon as the data is released.

BTW, my wife, daughter and I have finally moved into our new home, after a couple of intense final weeks. Of course, it's not completely done (probably never will be), but we have everything we need and, thank God, no longer have to move around all the time, from the rental apartment to our house.

Now it's about finishing the details and improving/tweaking things. It's already looking like it's going to be a very energy efficient home, as we're heating the place with just 1000 Watts of heating capacity, with freezing temps outside.

I'll be writing about that a bit at the Forum in the coming week (here's a link to a comment I posted just before Christmas).

Jim Hunt

Kevin - Since you mention the recent rapid decline in Antarctic sea ice extent, now seems a good time to mention that the very first fruits of Wipneus' winter labours can now be seen over on the Arctic Sea Ice Forum:


Antarctic regional graphs of both extent and area, based on the high resolution 3.125 km AMSR2 data from the University of Hamburg.

Jon Hurn

Paywalled, but for those that can access it includes some interesting points about the differences between north and south ice masses - http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg22530060.400-thaw-point-why-is-antarcticas-sea-ice-still-growing.html
I'm not sure I agree with the line that the Antarctic is a more complex system than the Arctic - they are different systems with different inputs, processes and outcomes. The challenge for Antarctic analyses is, as suggested, scarcer observations.


The current low sea ice extent is a response to increased Cyclonic penetration from the North Atlantic, in particular the slow down in accretion right after powerful event of the Santa Storm. Only equalled
by the current 957 mb US and Canada Pacific coast cyclone, which appears from a great distance to shine light just as bright during Arctic Twilight. However this Cyclone is a great example of what winter Anticyclones do, as it crashes right on winter it will fade or dissipate. So its effect over sea ice will be much smaller. But nevertheless a true representation of winters of old stretched out
every where South of the Arctic, massive repulsion of warm cyclones. Now we have a smaller version not everywhere South of the panarctic.

And here I think we fail again to convey the most important news about sea ice: currently in recovery hey? We affix too much importance to year minima and maximas, without realizing that we are near all time low extent! Especially, after the fabulous recovery at September 2014 past minima, right? .... How quicka turn around ??? Underlies what Werther and some of us suspect. Piomas is not getting all right.
We will hover around all time lows in extent, apparently easier to measure than volume, for endless times to come. A roller coaster
for WUWT dumb dumbs.


Updated PIOMAS graph:


Jim Hunt

Wayne - Since you mention "WUWT dumb dumbs", now seems a good time to mention that I recently caught Anthony telling porky pies in public (PPP for short):

"Mark Serreze and the Arctic Sea Ice Death Spiral"

He eventually issued an "update" confessing the error of his ways. Make sure to scroll down and watch the highly amusing video!


PIOMAS has indeed been updated. I'll have a post up later today.


Nice job Jim,

Unfortunately, they have a huge double standard as well, they err almost industrially and they mock a scientist or an article when it appears to be wrong once. So it is good for us to set the record straight, a note to these who follow these clowns, there is better sources out there,
science may appear to be murky, complicated, and confusing, but
its because understanding complex mechanisms is a vocation, publicizing popular nonsense is entertainment. The writings
of contrarians will make people cry or laugh for centuries. That is if people are still around.

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