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Jim Hunt

Thanks Neven. An intriguing set of preconditions for the forthcoming melt.

I've been taking a particular interest in the pink areas in the Eastern Beaufort Sea shown in your AARI ice age map for 2015. Here's how things had developed near the Mackenzie Delta by May 4th, as seen by Landsat 8:

Click the image for a larger version (and a subsequent one).

As far as I can ascertain such holes in the landfast ice are unprecedented at such an early date in recent history, and there also seems to be less snow blanketing the sea ice this year than last.

Perhaps warm water will get an early start on melting the multi-year ice in the Beaufort Sea this year?


Jim, A photo a photo , my curiosity wants a webcam on 2015A , because temperatures are reported to have nearly reached +4 C when surface temperature was a mere +.16 C. This is the most intriguing thing at present. I need to know if this is correct....


That's a beautiful image, Jim!

All the action is in the Beaufort currently, as the rest of the Arctic is anomalously cold.

Jim Hunt

Thanks Neven - That one is certainly prettier than yesterday's MODIS image, in more ways than one. The action along the Mackenzie reveals forecast highs for today of:

Fort Simpson, 21 °C
Norman Wells, 19 °C
Inuvik, 12 °C
Tuktoyaktuk, 8 °C

I fully expect that less ice and more water will be visible by the time today's MODIS images have arrived.

Jim Hunt

Wayne - The bare thermistors near Prudhoe Bay have indeed been reading well above zero Celsius recently. The latest profiles:

Click through the image(s) for a larger version.

At the same time as the top thermistor was reading 3.7 °C the air temperature sensor in its mini Stephenson screen at the top of the buoy was reading 0.43 °C. I can't conceive of a good reason for that apart from the effect of short wave radiation incident on the thermistor string rather than the snow and ice. Can you?


No, Neven, it's not anomalously cold in the Arctic. It's +0.06C above normal in the Arctic according to http://cci-reanalyzer.org/DailySummary/. The cold is limited to the tight area around the pole north of 80°N. Way above normal temps are found in the Kara sea and it's warm in the Beaufort. The GFS and the ECMWF have much warmer than normal temps forecast over the next 2 weeks in the Arctic especially the areas south of 80°N.

You might want to check out my recent post on El Nino. http://www.dailykos.com/story/2015/04/30/1380954/-Super-El-Nino-Likely-as-Huge-Warm-Water-Wave-Hits-West-Coast-Extreme-Marine-Die-Off-Developing

This year the jet stream is cranked up by the developing strong El Nino and its carrying ship loads of heat into the Arctic from the Pacific. The GFS and the ECMWF forecast a big melt developing N of Alaska in the next 10 days as a huge hot high develops from heat sent from the warm north Pacific into the Arctic.

The central Arctic is solid. The rest is toast.

-FishOutofWater aka George.


Quite impressive Jim. Almost +6 degrees per 2 meter adiabat at 10 00z, that is +3000 C/km lapse rate, a photo would have been grand. As if ice is a road. I agree with your point, the temperature differences are simply too huge to be an error unless the thermistors are black. . This means there is evaporation along with sublimation, first melt pond for sure if correct.

No, Neven, it's not anomalously cold in the Arctic.

I was basing myself on this image:

But you're right in that my observation is quickly becoming obsolete, with a lot of heat coming in via the Pacific, and the Kara region around Novaya Zemlya also seeing anomalously warm temps. I'm really curious to know what all this will do wrt melt ponds.

You might want to check out my recent post on El Nino. http://www.dailykos.com/story/2015/04/30/1380954/-Super-El-Nino-Likely-as-Huge-Warm-Water-Wave-Hits-West-Coast-Extreme-Marine-Die-Off-Developing

This year the jet stream is cranked up by the developing strong El Nino and its carrying ship loads of heat into the Arctic from the Pacific. The GFS and the ECMWF forecast a big melt developing N of Alaska in the next 10 days as a huge hot high develops from heat sent from the warm north Pacific into the Arctic.

Thanks for an interesting read, George. There's a great El Niño topic on the ASIF as well.


It will be really, really, really interesting to see what that combination of relatively warm temps and high pressure are going to mean for melt ponding on the Pacific side of the Arctic.

Chris Reynolds


In my second April Status post I have concluded that the export into Beaufort/Chukchi and towards the East Siberian Sea, is not likely to be as strong a factor as we saw in 2010.

Considering the following graphic, which uses PIOMAS sub grid thickness distribution(gice) for 30 April:

The two regions, peripheral and Central are shown in this graphic.

In 2010 the presence of ice volume over 3.3m thick was 2.81k km^3, by far the largest post 2007 volume for ice >3.3m thick. As we saw in that year it retarded the summer extent loss causing a persistent tongue of ice in September in the East Siberian Sea.

In the second half of that graphic it can be seen that in 2010 ice volume in the Central Arctic was very low for both greater and less than 3.3m thick bands. This was due to the massive export over winter.

This year in the Central Arctic volume of ice thicker than 3.3m thick is the highest for the post 2007 period. While thick ice volume is normal-to-low for the peripheral seas.

I had been watching this export over the past few months and had suspected that it would keep September extent up in Beaufort/Chukchi/East Siberian Sea. Having seen the PIOMAS numbers I now doubt that it will play a strong role. The export seems to be rather dispersed.

I'm changing my prediction method because the high volume in the Central Arctic had biassed my earlier prediction high. In mid March I predicted 5.20 million kmsq +/-0.63 million kmsq, that has now changed downwards. I don't want to make a firm prediction yet, that will follow later this week. But based on the range of numbers I'm getting, my expectation is for a minimum in September of mid range to low levels for the post 2007 period, uncertainty due to the unprecedented state in PIOMAS has widened my range. However as you say, weather is a major factor.


Jim, look at this 2015A sequence:

surfaceT, t1,t2,t3,t4,t5,t6,

16:00 UTC morning

0.16 , 1.32, 1.00, 0.56, -1.57, -3.58, -4.14

20:00 UTC almost noon

1.43, 4.57, 4.14, 3.82, 0.69, -3.01, -4.08

Thermistor 4 should be in water

Given a much simplified equation

.8 (deltaTa)=2(deltaTi) the temperature increase for ice to water should be about 1.32 C, Given the same Heat applied to t4, its temperature should read -0.25C , not turned into water.
(Ta is thermistor T3)

applied for 00z when said water is next to t5 in ice
4 (deltaTw)=2(deltaTi)

4(2.7)/2=2.7 C where as delta should be T5= 1.32, may be the equation needs be more complexed, but this simplification fails to replicate what is going on.

Failing photos we always have equations.

I had been watching this export over the past few months and had suspected that it would keep September extent up in Beaufort/Chukchi/East Siberian Sea. Having seen the PIOMAS numbers I now doubt that it will play a strong role. The export seems to be rather dispersed.

Indeed, it's clearly visible on the ice age and radar maps I posted in this blog post. And the subsequent cracks in the eastern Beaufort really stand out on the LANCE-MODIS satellite images.

What do you think the effect of this MYI dispersal could be in the coming melting season? Will the mix with FYI make the MYI more vulnerable? Or is it the opposite?

It's a stupid question because you've already answered it. :-B

I'm just curious that if it has made the MYI weaker as a whole, how exactly does this play out. Does the FYI melt first, and then the ocean warms up faster on the inside of the pack, and not just on the fringes? Or do the MYI floes huddle together like penguins, so that the current dispersal doesn't matter that much after all?

Jim Hunt

Neven/George - Here's the CCI(GFS) temperature anomaly forecast for midnight UTC, using a polar projection!

The North Pole's a lot colder than usual for the time of year. The Kara and Beaufort Seas however....

Regarding the forthcoming Beaufort melt, it will most certainly be interesting to watch! Surely everything still depends on the weather over the next few months? Will there be convergent or divergent winds for example, and when?

Jim Hunt

Wayne - I've updated the 2015A profiles at GWC

The air temperature (midnight UTC) is still rising, but the top sounder is still saying there's 20 cm of snow. Melt ponds seems unlikely?

I'll try to take a look at the diurnal variations later today (BST!).


Indeed , very unlikely, I missed that. This leads to questions about what bits of mass buoys data we should accept. Perhaps surface air
and thermistors in ice and in sea water. What is left out is very important, and refraction observations may help fill the gap. To be certain, must wait for 2015D to mach water when above ice thermistors indicate temperatures greater than 0 C.

Chris Reynolds


Not really a stupid question, and I am going off personal judgement, for all that my judgement is informed by data.

For ice to register as extent not a lot of ice is needed. For NSIDC (and the 'industry standard') it is 15% concentration. 1/6 is equivalent to 16.7%, so a sea region with only 1/6 of sea ice cover counts towards extent. That is very sparse.

The question then becomes whether there is enough MYI to keep concentration up to 1/6 over Beaufort/Chukchi and the East Siberian Sea (BCE area) by the coming September. There may be. But the last time we saw that very strongly was in 2010, and then the MYI export/presence was far stronger than this year. And in 2010 we saw very sparse ice over a large area that just didn't melt out. Ice many metres thick in April won't melt out unless it is dispersed in open water. Where it is surrounded by a mass of thinner ice it will be 'protected' by the sea surface temperature being pegged down to 'zero' by the surrounding melting first year ice. This acts to keep heat flux from ocean to ice down because it reduces the temperature gradient from ocean to ice. Of course, both MYI and FYI melt when they coexist, but MYI has a greater ratio of volume to surface area, and it is only through surface area that a heat flux can pass (this is why species spanning the mid lattitudes to the Arctic tend to be large the further north their range is - natural selection breeds for volume / surface area being large so they can keep warm in winter).

Once the surrounding first year ice melts in a dispersed field of MYI the ocean can start to warm under the sun (or backradiation from clouds) and then the mass of MYI can be more effectively attacked as the warmer ocean generates a stronger heat flux from ocean to ice.

While working out my prediction for this year I got distracted and did the groundwork for a blog post ready on the collapse of the Beaufort Gyre Flywheel.

Here is one of the graphics.

Blue and red are plotted on the left side axis (April PIOMAS volume km^3). They show volume for ice above and below 3.3m thick (PIOMAS gice). The green trace is plotted on the right side and shows September average extent (M km^2) for Beaufort/Chukchi/East Siberian Sea (BCE).

Bare with me, this is relevant to what I am saying.

The BCE region is the region into which the Beaufort gyre draws ice from the Central Arctic, in the 'old Arctic' it would cycle ice through those seas until the following winter when the ice would be drawn into the transpolar drift and returned to the central Arctic.

This plot shows the transition from the old Arctic to the new Arctic. As the volume of thicker ice declines due to thinning in the Central Arctic it reduces resistance to melt in the summer. So as the thickest ice volume declines it increases 'open water formation efficiency', which is why September extent tracks the decline in ice over 3.3m thick.

Meanwhile, first year ice (covered by the gice thickness bands under 3.3m thick) declines at a far more modest rate because it re-grows each season (Bitz & Roe).

So (IMO) what we see in the BCE region is a loss of protection from thicker MYI in the summer leading to a increase loss of extent, more open water, more ice albedo feedback and the further loss of MYI. The BCE region becomes a killing ground for ice exported out of the Central Arctic due to the Beaufort gyre, rather than an ageing and stabilising flywheel for the pack. This is of course a positive feedback.

This process has been accompanied by a decline in September average compactness. In the East Siberian Sea September compactness for the 1980s was an average of 0.720, compactess for 2005 to 2014 was 0.419. (For the lurkers - Compactness is Area / Extent)

Chris Reynolds


Regards the Beaufort warming. It is a shallow structure, anomaly (NCEP/NCAR) is limited to below 800mb, having the hallmark of heat release from the thinner ice in Beaufort as a result of the recent transport westward from Banks Island. It may be below zero but it isn't cold enough to have grown very thick ice and the ocean is venting heat.

This may also explain the whorl of warmth into the central pack, as there is an adjacent low.


Thanks for an excellent explanation, Chris. I'm glad I put this in the conclusion as one of the things to look out for this year (every year, of course, but this year's Beaufort dispersal is an extra element I haven't seen before yet).


...except that Chris's explanations are not, in fact, so excellent. Two points, one of which I've made before:

(1) The standard "15% ice concentration" benchmark, in practice, is used as follows: Areas of sea ice are approximated into percentage bands like 10%-20%, 10%-30%, 30%-50%, etc -- see, for example, the LEGEND box on http://pafc.arh.noaa.gov/ice.php?img=ice . The lowest figure of each band is the one used to determine if the *entire band* is considered above or below the "15% benchmark" - thus, 10%-20% and 10%-30% are considered to be below the benchmark, even though the average concentration of the 10%-30% is actually 20%. This statistical trick was used to establish the false record Arctic ice low of 2012, where large expanses of 20% ice (dispersed by an August storm) were deemed to be below 15%.

(2) The ocean in the vicinity of the ice pack is not "venting heat", rather, it is at the same temperature as the ice there, -1.7C or some such. That's called equilibrium.

This has been a public service posting.



First of all, you don't go into the gist of CR's excellent explanation, but nitpick something out of it that is irrelevant to the point he made. Second, you're making a fool of yourself (and I should know, because I am one myself).

The map you point to is - I think - another way of displaying regional sea ice concentration, mostly used for shipping. But that's not the way sea ice concentration based on satellite data is calculated, and by consequence is not the basis for all those sea ice extent and area maps out there. For that the whole Arctic is divided into grids.

These grids can differ in size (or 'resolution') from data set to data set. For instance, 25x25 km for CT sea ice area, all the way down to 3.125x3.125 km for the Uni Hamburg stuff Wipneus uses to produce graphs, maps and animations (see here).

It's quite simple. If a grid box is covered with 15% sea ice or more, the entire area of the grid box will be counted for sea ice extent, ie 100% (for sea ice area the exact percentage is used). If it's below 15% it's counted as 0%. No nonsense like "10%-20% and 10%-30% are considered to be below the benchmark, even though the average concentration of the 10%-30% is actually 20%".

No statistical trick whatsoever to get 20% sea ice covered grids below the 15% cut-off percentage. Mind you, that trick of yours would have to have been applied for weeks on end, as the storm occurred in the first half of August. Are you willing to accuse several scientific organisations with the best cryospheric scientists in the world of that level of fraud?

I don't know about your point 2), but I wouldn't be surprised if that isn't he whole story either.

Now, you can reply to this and try to explain it better, but only if you go into the gist of what Chris Reynolds has explained excellently: the 'old Arctic' where the Beaufort, Chukchi and East Siberian Sea were transit areas for thick multi-year ice to be returned to the heart of the Arctic via the Beaufort Gyre and Transpolar Drift Stream, has now become the MYI graveyard in the New Arctic, a positive feedback causing the ice to get thinner and thinner (as observed).

And/or you can give your opinion on how you view the MYI/FYI mix in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas that I've written about in this blog post, and what you think might happen to it and how.

If you're not able to do this, then please shut up and wait for the next high-quality WUWT sea ice update to share your SIE statistical trick drivel. People lap up that kind of smear there.


[Edit: I'm not setting an unfairly high bar at all. You disparage what Chris Reynolds writes and come up with nonsense, followed by more nonsense and no reply to my questions. Go to WUWT, where your nutty conspiracy theories, smear and lack of knowledge will be received as a brilliant contribution to the 'debate'; N.]

Kevin O'Neill

Cincinnatus is - as usual - wrong on both of his points.

On point one - the extent numbers that are commonly used are not calculated in the fashion Cincinnatus details. They are precisely as Chris Reynolds has stated. One need only read the NSIDC FAQ's on sea ice to find:

"Extent defines a region as “ice-covered” or “not ice-covered.” For each satellite data cell, the cell is said to either have ice or to have no ice, based on a threshold. The most common threshold (and the one NSIDC uses) is 15 percent, meaning that if the data cell has greater than 15 percent ice concentration, the cell is considered ice covered; less than that and it is said to be ice free. Example: Let’s say you have three 25 kilometer (km) x 25 km (16 miles x 16 miles) grid cells covered by 16% ice, 2% ice, and 90% ice. Two of the three cells would be considered “ice covered,” or 100% ice. Multiply the grid cell area by 100% sea ice and you would get a total extent of 1,250 square km (482 square miles)."

On point 2, the ocean is typically warmer than the ice. It shouldn't take a genius to figure that out. And not one of the CRREL buoys shows air temperature currently above -3.9C, while the one closest to the pole shows air temp at -20C (data from update 5-10-2015 at 3:49PM CST).

So once again we have Cincinnatus attempting to correct people when in fact it is he that doesn't understand what he's talking about. The Dunning-Kruger runs strong in this one and he just keeps on making a fool of himself.


Diablobanquisa has posted this animation consisting of ice age maps from the 2014 minimum to week 13 of this year:


[snip spin]

the animation directly above shows very little (if any) thickening of the MYI in the winter months - think about that. And what are those crazy straight-line boundaries between FTI and MYI in the vicinity of the pole? Think about that too.


No, you think about it, because you obviously don't have a clue what that map is showing. It's showing ice age, not thickness, dummy.

The animation shows how the ice from different ice age categories has moved around. Notice the mix of FYI and MYI that has moved all the way into the Chukchi?

That's one of the interesting aspects of the initial sea ice state that we're discussing here, not your sad attempts at misinformation based on blatant misinterpretation.

Kevin O'Neill

Cincinnatus writes: "BTW, the animation directly above shows very little (if any) thickening of the MYI in the winter months - think about that."

Considering it's an ice *AGE* map, there's very little reason to think about why it does (or doesn't) show any thickening. The *AGE* is in years, not meters - and it only covers 26 weeks. Duh! Should come as a warning with your posts.

Jim Hunt

I arrive to apologise to Wayne for the fact that I've found myself blogging about tropical cyclones for much of today to discover that I've missed lots of excitement!

If Cincinnatus had bothered to look at the graph I posted near the top of the thread it would have become immediately apparent to him that the sea ice in the Beaufort Sea is currently colder than the water upon which it is floating.

If he had even the vaguest idea what he was talking about he could have provided a link that is pertinent to this discussion. Here's an extract from a Canadian Ice Service ice development map for the Western Arctic:

Try clicking on it and then read all about "egg codes".

If anyone with reasonable bandwidth and a reasonably enquiring mind would like to see a range of animations of Arctic sea ice thickness and age try clicking on this one too.


"(2) The ocean in the vicinity of the ice pack is not "venting heat", rather, it is at the same temperature as the ice there, -1.7C or some such. That's called equilibrium."

What utter Dunning-Krueger charged nonsense.


I apologize for my misinterpretation of the animated chart above -- I thought the colors meant thickness in meters. In my defense, there is no label on the chart.

[Now this is rare, a climate risk denier admitting a mistake and apologizing. But your defence is weak, all you had to was read the text preceding the animation or the text preceding the images in the blog post above this comment thread; N.]



Jim states: "If Cincinnatus had bothered to look at the graph I posted near the top of the thread it would have become immediately apparent to him that the sea ice in the Beaufort Sea is currently colder than the water upon which it is floating."

However, my statement was: "The ocean in the vicinity of the ice pack is not "venting heat", rather, it is at the same temperature as the ice there, -1.7C or some such. That's called equilibrium."

At the ice-water interface, the temperature of both ice & water is at the freezing point, which in ocean water is about -1.7C. That's basic thermodynamics, and my plainly stated point was about the water temperature only, not the ice temperature at the air-ice interface.


I clicked on Jim's map -- in the lower left corner of the entire chart are some surface ice temperatures which currently read about 3C warmer than the normal. I'd like to give the thermodynamic interpretation of that in terms of ice melt.

First, basic thermodynamics: take a block of ice, and apply heat until it is exactly at the melting point. Now apply heat until it is exactly melted -- note that the temperature does not change, but it took X amount of heat to melt it. Now let's apply that same amount of heat, X, to the freshly-melted water. You'll find at the conclusion that the water is now at about 70C -- that's how much heat it took to melt the block.

So if the ice temperature is (as on Jim's chart) about -8C, then it will take 78C worth of heat to melt it. But that's true if the whole ice is at -8C -- in fact the ice is warmer at the base where it is at -1.7C at the ice-water interface. The actual variance from the "normal" of the ice temperature is not 3C but only 1.5C or even 1C because the temperature at the base is unchanged from the "normal" conditions. (this calculation assumes the same thickness of ice this time around as at the "normal")

With 78C-worth of heat required to melt this ice, and a total 1.5C variance from the mean, the total difference in heat required is 2% -- that is, 98% of the heat required to melt this ice in "normal" times, is still required to melt this ice. And that's the total thermodynamic impact of the ice being 3C warmer than normal, at the air-ice interface.

Don't say thanks or anything.

[Thanks for an oversimplistic explanation coming straight out of your belly; N.]


Instead of posting a buoy vs refraction dissertation (thanks Jim) , I think that buoy thermistors have likely a serious problem above top of ice, It is kind of redundant to try explaining possible profiles from doubtful data. So what really happens above sea surface when ice forms? I have done first expose on thermal flux interpretations as revealed by the shifting Arctic horizon:



Neven, you wrote: "And/or you can give your opinion on how you view the MYI/FYI mix in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas that I've written about in this blog post, and what you think might happen to it and how."

What I think will happen, as I said before, is that this year's melt will proceed to Wrangel Island and then stop. And there will be weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth in this blog, but the ice will not melt north of Wrangel. And come September (if you haven't banned me) I will come in here and jeer jeer jeer at you poor poor alarmists, let down by Gaia yet again, oh why, oh why, Et tu Gaia?!? (remember that?)

[Thanks for reminding me to ban you. After you apologized for your massive stupidity wrt the ice age map, I thought there was hope and you would tone down the trolling, and I went to bed. To wake up this morning to more drivel and childish insults. I don't have time for this, and the serious commenters around here certainly don't. But I congratulate you on knowing exactly how everything is going to play out. The Arctic holds no secrets for you; N.]

As for how/why, this relates to another thing you said in this blog post, Neven:
"The only possible reason for the North Pole to be covered with first-year ice, is the Transpolar Drift Stream pushing the ice away from Siberia...".

[Snipped the rest of the smear.

There we go again, accusing scientists of fraud. You have no idea what you're talking about, but are obviously greatly bothered by the rapid rate of Arctic sea ice loss, and so you have to lie and misinform. A cowardly thing to do, hope your grandchildren never notice; N.]

And that is the other "possible reason". See, there was more than one. Go ahead, banish me for speaking the reality, it's the alarmist way in this enlightened ultra-PC era of intolerance. Cincinnatus.

[So long and thanks for all the tolerance. I'm sure we'll see you try and troll again under a different name if there's another rebound, but not if there isn't, of course; N.]


Cincinnatus, to understand heat transfer mechanisms in the Arctic, you could do worse than to start here:


However, you really need to go a great deal further. That's just an initial sample of some of the ground you should cover.

You really don't understand what you are talking about, and are really wasting everyone's time with multiple posts which strike me as a combination of sophomoric personal insults wrapped around appalling logic.

You should be asking more questions and making fewer proclamations.

Kevin O'Neill

Cincinnatus writes: "With 78C-worth of heat required to melt this ice, and a total 1.5C variance from the mean, the total difference in heat required is 2% ..."

I'll assume he's taking 1.5 divided by 78 to get 2% -- which means he has little concept of how this should actually be done.

Our friend C really can't post anything without including a gross error. Not sure if it's funny or sad.

Climate Changes

Winter analysis:

Is like watching a terminal patient on a life support machine. All you can do is watch the displays as the patient deteriorates further and little else. The outcome is already unavoidable.


2015D top of ice data may be judged more realistic at present because solar rays are no as strong, as with buoys further South,.D is much more in line with refraction observations under similar conditions. Sea ice appears to melt and refreeze which is reminiscent of weather, cloudy or sunny. While with temperature isotherm immediately off surface appears to help warm the lower part of the ice column. Which seems pretty much how the bottom ice should behave when top of sea water thermal rays are 'blocked' from escaping to air. Buoys data should also be more studied during darkness, as the data seems much more in line with refraction observations; from buoy 2015G:

"02/24/2013 16:00"," 82.7697"," -134.4239","GPS"," -29.91"," 1027.67"," 0.35"," 1.89"," 0.00"," -1.89"," -30.30"," -30.30"," -30.41"," -30.62"," -29.45"," -26.32"," -22.03"," -19.30"," -18.02"," -17.03"," -16.03"," -14.99"," -13.98"," -12.88"," -11.86"," -10.12"," -9.06"," -8.00"," -6.95"," -5.88"," -4.75"," -3.68"," -2.64"," -1.70"," -1.58"," -1.63"," -1.63

There is an inversion, as always observed over sea ice in darkness (unless there is low clouds, a subject of steep interest). Say about .4 C/meter, which is 40 C/100 meters lapse rate, this would cause the horizon to be risen. AS the inversion likely continued further above and is maintained by about 50 W/m2 negative flux fueled by the sea. So Its better to compare model profile results (are there any?) with buoy data acquired during the dark season.


If anyone with reasonable bandwidth and a reasonably enquiring mind would like to see a range of animations of Arctic sea ice thickness and age try clicking on this one too.

Thanks for reminding me of those videos, Jim. I've added them to the blog post.


The MODIS for 5/10 indicate the sea ice extends less than 15 km beyond the terminus of Glaciers in Melville Bugt, including Steenstrup Glacier. Will we get more new islands this summer.

Chris Reynolds


Wrong. NSIDC Extent is calculated as being the sum of the areas of grid cells for which concentration (from satellite) exceeds 15%. The product I use is from Wipneus, who gives a regional breakdown using the Cryosphere Today regions, as I do for PIOMAS. Both of our independent calculations agree with NSIDC Extent and PIOMAS volume for the whole domains. I also have and use code to process gridded NSIDC Concentration data, so I am not about to take lessons from you, especially in view of how wrong you get everything.

Wrong. The ice state map you point to is a production of ice analysts, they may use cocentration from satellites, but they also use other products like MODIS. I struggle to see how that plot is at all relevant to your abortive criticism of me. Note that analysts findings tend to be conservative with regards ice state because they don't want to lead shipping into areas that are worse than what they state in their charts.

Wrong. The Drift Age Model, the animated gif of ice age, tells you nothing at all about thickness! That model parcels up ice into grid boxes, tracks the movement of ice as dictated by winds, and assigns an age to a grid box as the oldest age of ice exceeding 15% area of the grid box. It is not a model like PIOMAS, it does not contain ice physics, the ice in the model neither thickens nor thins.

Wrong. I used NCEP/NCAR reanalysis to examine Jim's statement about Beaufort, averaging over 1 to 7 May 2015. For that period the average temperature over Beaufort is between 260 and 270 Kelvin, 273 Kelvin is approximately 0 degC, 271.2 Kelvin is -1.8degC, which is the freezing point of sea water assumed in sea ice modelling papers like Thorndike 1975. The average air temperature in NCEP/NCAR is below that of the ice/ocean interface. The ice is thin enough to allow a potential heat flux through (e.g. HYCOM Cice, and my previous calculations on the issue). However that aside, fundamentally; as the air/ice(or snow) interface is colder than the ice/ocean interface net heat flux is from ocean to atmosphere.

Wrong. Your pompous, self-regarding explanation is crap. Surface atmospheric temperatures in Beaufort are below freezing, therefore aside from the continual melt/freeze on a local scale at the ice/ocean boundary, there is no melt happening.

...Which leads on to clear evidence that you don't even know what a temperature anomaly is! Jim's map shows an anomaly of 3degC, yes? Going back to NCEP/NCAR, the climatological average temperature (1 to 7 May) for that region is of the order of -10degC, a +3 degC anomaly gives -7degC. As -7 is below -1.8 there is no melt. I'd draw you a picture, but I doubt it would help

Alarmists? Wrong again!!! You've used that smear before. I assume you mean it to apply to everyone commenting here, myself as well. Yet I have done a series of blog posts on why it is not likely that we will see a rapid crash to zero of Arctic Sea ice, but we will instead see a long tail of sea ice and a slow transition.

I have also been critical of those claiming we face an imminent methane catastrophe.

So in implying that everyone here is an alarmist, you are wrong. Demonstrably so.

If you disagree with my analysis of PIOMAS gice, fine. The raw data is available here:
When you have done your own analysis let me know what you find. Without such a retort you have started up a smokescreen of fallacies because you don't like my conclusions, this is infantile.

In my recent post about ice state in April I concluded that finding this MYI export amounted to little in PIOMAS was a surprise to me and forced me to change my opinion about its importance.

Your response to the same evidence was to throw a hissy fit.


Your response to the same evidence was to throw a hissy fit.

Which is why Cincinnatus is banned. 12 hours too late, for which I apologize. Some of the things he said, were useful to debunk. But there's a limit to everything. A well-intentioned person would have toned it down after the incredibly dumb ice age 'misinterpretation' (those bloody scientists frauded him into it), but climate risk deniers know no shame, even though they know everything.

I want everyone to know that I won't allow any of this BS during the melting season. This was just an exception.

So, back to the melting season. Kara and Beaufort still warm, the rest very cold:

Chris Reynolds

Good call Neven, Keep the signal to noise ratio high.

People might find this of use.

"An Early Warning for Summer Sea Ice Crashes?"

"If June 10 to 30th average compactness is around 0.7 for a given year, a large summer melt can be anticipated, but is not guaranteed, over the following summer."

Chris Reynolds

PS, Neven, coincidentally three days ago I had to ban one from my blog. Must be the state of the moon or something.

People might find this of use.

"An Early Warning for Summer Sea Ice Crashes?"

That's a great post, Chris. I want to try and nail this 'melting momentum' thing this year.

PS, Neven, coincidentally three days ago I had to ban one from my blog. Must be the state of the moon or something.

Nope, it's an expression of the wish by climate risk deniers to apply the hiatus-tactic to Arctic sea ice loss, like David Rose has been doing for two years now on behalf of his GWPF banker masters.

If this melting season ends outside of the top 3, let's say on 6th or 7th spot, like the two previous years, there will be much cheering and jeering. Even though it will take much, much more to get back to the average.

Arctic sea ice loss is a huge, huge problem for climate risk deniers (one of the reasons I started this blog) and so I'm sure their hands are itching for applying their spinning and disinforming talents to it, like they did after 2007.

But the Arctic will decide in the end. Remember who lied to you, everyone.


I am a neophyte about arctic ice, but I have been lurking here for about 3 years. I'm here to learn about what is happening in a changing world. I found C's posting to be exceptionally distracting from the atmosphere this blog and its contributors has.

I applaud Neven's decision and I deeply appreciate the hard work you all have done to make this a special place.


"I applaud Neven's decision and I deeply appreciate the hard work you all have done to make this a special place."

Stan, I lurk a lot too and post occasionally. I also appreciate the collective intelligence on this blog and thank all of those who post informatively.

It was definitely time for "C" to go for reasons others have already stated.

Bryant Morganelli

While George's prediction regarding huge melt in the next week or so is somewhat true according to the latest NSIDC numbers, I think his prediction is a little bit premature considering the uncertain nature of the Arctic. Your thoughts, Neven?

Bryant Morganelli

I have a question for ChrisReynolds. If there's a strong El Nino this year, what does that mean for the September minimum? Does that mean it will be in the lower range, and if so, in a record low?


If El Niños are key, and looking at the plot of El Niño/La Niña year intensities, this years melt may be epic. In the recent past 2007 and 2012 do at least on first glance appear to correlate to intense melts.




Oh also, this years El Niño is shaping up to be a monster.

More than that, the blob in the eastern pacific is developing a swooping tail. This pattern is also beginning to show up in other ocean basins.

At the same time, the polar and mid latitude jets are becoming rapidly more confused and chaotic, especially over Asia.

Some years ago I asked how close we might be to an atmospheric reorganization from a three cell system to a single cell system. That resulted in some fascinating discussions and a first order thermodynamic analysis that suggested that we are very close.

I am curious, does anyone here know if that work has been extended and refined to get some idea what conditions may trigger the reorganization? Is the chaos we are beginning to see the first signs of that, or is it something else?

Will the first years of ice free arctic summer be enough? Or will it take perennial I've free conditions to trigger it?


Bryant Morganelli

According to the NSIDC data from the years 1995-2001, the period of time around the last monster El Nino, the minimum didn't really deviate from the long-term trend of decline. Take that for what you will, but the epic melt is uncertain I think.


Yes, all forecasts of sea ice extent in September based on conditions in early May are speculative. Not only is there a strong El Nino developing (the Australian Bureau of Meteorlogy just declared El Nino and showed model outputs forecasting a very strong one) but the stratospheric conditions this May are pretty much the opposite of what they were in 2013. This year February and March had a very intense polar vortex that spun up extremely intense storms off of Greenland and pulled cold relatively fresh water out into the Labrador Sea and then into the deep ocean below 1000 meters depth. The Mercator Ocean model shows that this march strong deep convection cooled and freshened the 1000m layer in the Labrador sea. It also shows a pulse of warm, salty water pushing into the Laptev sea at 300m deep.

There's a lot to look at from the stratosphere down to the deep ocean to understand what's happening to Arctic sea ice.

Bryant Morganelli

D, if a strong El Nino does take effect, that obviously means the minimum will be on the low side. But I wonder if that's enough for a record. It seems like a crapshoot. Would you agree?

Account Deleted

I have not commented for a few years but I have been reading. Calling Chris R an alarmists made me laugh out loud. For a long time Chris has been the most conservative commenter here.

Thanks, Neven, for shutting down the Cincy noise. No signal there.


I don't believe there's a correlation between ENSO and Arctic sea ice, let alone a causation. At least, not in the short term.

As for what next week is going to bring? I wouldn't know. IJIS SIE is lowest on record right now, so one would expect things to level off (perhaps later melt onset in Hudson Bay, which was very cold this winter). At the same time, something wild could be going on in the Beaufort and Chukchi.

Jim Hunt

Something wild in the Beaufort Sea?

Temperatures along the Mackenzie River yesterday:

Fort Simpson, 27°C
Norman Wells, 14°C
Inuvik, 10°C
Tuktoyaktuk, 3°C

Hamburg University AMSR2 concentration:

ACNFS sea surface temperatures:

Click the images for many more charts.

Something wild in the Beaufort Sea?

Yes, wild. :-)

And forget that I said this:

(perhaps later melt onset in Hudson Bay, which was very cold this winter)

Perhaps large amounts of snow dampened ice growth?

Jim Hunt


My curiosity wants a webcam on 2015A

Your wish is (almost!) my command. I'm sure you'll be interested in taking a look at the IMB 2015B webcam:


and I am reliably informed that 2015A will also be available real soon now.

Ghoti Of Lod

As Jim suggested the IMB detailed buoy pages now include webcam images and links to the latest.

This is the link to the IMB 2015A photo:

Bryant Morganelli

I would say a leveling off makes sense considering the NSIDC numbers currently have 2015 ahead of 2004 and 2006. And that Minnesota article on a new low is misleading, failing to take into account that minimums really are not connected to maximums. We indeed could get a record low, but to say that is certain is unwise at this point.


Many thanks Jim and Ghoti,

We figured out no water on 2015A a few days ago, but seeing is double believing. Someone very smart is reading Neven's great webpage.

What is more fascinating , the refraction method is also confirmed and may be used as one of the most potent methods to analyze sea ice thermodynamics over huge areas at once.
There was great deal confusion between what I saw and what some buoys data were suggesting. Now is a matter for those doing
buoy work to come up with something better, or at least in the mean time posting a warning that strong solar short wave radiation
affects top of ice thermistors.

Furthermore, of great scientific interest, a reasonably good webcam from the coast of Alaska towards 2015A would evaporate many thermal flux mysteries. Especially before melt ponds season.


Some may have surely noticed:

10/02/2012 04:00"," 85.3482"," -142.8109","GPS"," -22.93"," 1016.58"," 0.18"," 1.41"," 0.00"," -1.41"," -23.10"," -23.10"," -23.05"," -22.94"," -22.32"," -14.84"," -6.60"," -3.53"," -2.50"," -2.41"," -2.16"," -1.86"," -1.65"," -1.54"," -1.54"," -1.54"," -1.51"," -1.54"," -1.56"," -1.57"," -1.52"," -1.53"," -1.56"," -1.58"," -1.54"," -1.54"," -1.54"," -1.54"," -1.56"," -1.58"," -1.51"," -1.58"," -1.52"," -1.52"," -1.53"," -1.51"," -1.54"," -1.58"," -1.55"," -1.54"," -1.50"," -1.56"," -1.55"," -1.54"," -1.61"

It was twilight while ice camp 40 buoy 2012G recorded the above. Of interest, the ice was not so thick, the thinner, the better, because something absolutely interesting was observed by horizon studies. There was an inversion from surface of ice to mini weather station thermometer. This inversion has been seen many times with the thinnest ice imaginable. This thinnest layer will be the subject of my next post out this weekend.

Susan Anderson

Another lurker thanks you for returning to topic without the distraction, though I would wish y'all would leave the insults to the wrong guys (was about to trip myself up with "bad guys", hah! - easier said than done), as it makes it so obvious who is working with learning and exposition tools and who is not.

However, I'd beg to differ, slightly, on the heat transfer northward. I like to look at this, and we've just had Noul, now Dolphin, due to expire in the west Pacific, and impinging on the fringes of the ridiculously resilient ridge.


It is my understanding that those tropical whirligigs are mechanisms for transporting heat, and I think they do push quite far north. Now that we're having a bombardment of Category 5s in the western Pacific (though many are south of the equator) I think this does affect the global circulatory system and move the patterns around in a mixed up way.

Happy to be corrected, but I do think it has at least a small impact on the bigger picture.

Thanks particularly for FishOutofWater DailyKos post, too, though it is out of direct frame as well. Still, we only have one ocean.

John Bilsky

So happy to see that "C" was put to sea. I've posted here a few times but prefer to lurk and learn. Distractions of an illogical nature certainly hinder science. Good job Neven. Thanks.

Bryant Morganelli

I fully agree. Reasonable discussion of what's going on is paramount.

Chris Reynolds


I have been looking at that Beaufort situation in a hopefull sort of way. But checking Beaufort extent, the open water there is not without precedent, and although I haven't done the numbers, looking at a plot of extent, early season open water has no relationship to the state at minimum.

I was wondering about an early season open water leading to ice abedo feedback - like we saw in Laptev last year. But it seems the dominant issue in Beaufort is MYI - not a factor in Laptev.


Not sure about unusual heat transport at present (I must revisit the El Nino - Arctic issue again). But what Fish Out of Water article at Daily Kos?


Talking about wind, a nice example of a combined wind-melt-evaporation action at Obuoy 12 - the pressure rifs still had raisor sharp edges merely a week ago.

Jim Hunt


There's certainly a lot of weather to come between here and September! However personally I am wondering whether a combination of things might lead to an abnormally rapid start to the melt in the eastern Beaufort. Have you been following the 2015 melt discussion on the forum? If not what do you make of this snippet?

Click the image to see the whole thing.

I assume Susan is referring to this article upthread.

Jim Hunt


For an A/B comparison see:



Chris Reynolds |wrote:

But checking Beaufort extent, the open water there is not without precedent .

As already has been told 2007 was a precedent, as well as 2003:

1st May parade.



You called the Beaufort one of the killing fields of MYI, so, something has to kill the ice.

Susan Anderson

Sorry, Chris Reynolds, just saw your question. George aka D aka FishOutofWater posted his article here on May 10, in the post referenced by Jim Hunt. I like the way he presents current material of this nature. However, here's the link direct.


Leslie Graham

"I won't allow any of this BS during the melting season."

Praise be. I don't know how you found the patience for as long as you did.
I have only posted here once or twice but I have been reading this blog almost every day for years and I was beginging to despair that the comments section was heading the way of almost every other climate blog.
Thank goodness we can now get back to informed and rational discussion without the distraction of irritating, ignorant and infantile nonsense.
Keep up the great work Neven - your blog is literaly the best on the web for Arctic info.
Back to lurking now - but much happier.


This year warmer than normal water is found far north in the Pacific and Atlantic and Barents sea. El Nino has intensified the jet stream, the opposite of what happened in 2013 when the jet stream collapsed around the Arctic ocean keeping warm air out.

Wayne has correctly noted warm humid air entering the Arctic. This year El Nino combined with the exceptionally warm waters to the north are providing prodigious amounts of water vapor to the Arctic atmosphere. Water vapor is a very powerful GHG. Thus water vapor amplifies the warming. Early warming, likewise is amplified when it reduces sea ice extent because water adsorbs heat that would have been reflected by ice.

My prediction of a record low sea ice extent this September is based on continuity of the present trends, not a detailed computer model of the physics.

Note that it was cold over the Labrador sea this winter but the sea ice extent there is now back to normal and open water is present in the north. Note also that ice is breaking up on the northwest side of Hudson's bay. Canada's snow has melted back to well less than normal for today's date according to the Rutgers web site.

Warmer than normal spring weather has undone most of the effects of the cold winter in Canada. The eastern Canadian archipelago, however, remains very cold.

Bryant Morganelli

Don't you think it's a little bit early to predicting a record minimum? I think it's better to wait until June or July when we have a better idea of where the summer trend is going. Right now 2015 is on pace with 2004 and 2006, and as Neven said and the NSIDC trends from 1995-2001 indicate, a strong El Nino doesn't necessarily mean a huge drop in minimum. This is not to say I necessarily disagree with you that a record minimum is a distinct possibility, but it's too early to make predictions now. If these trends are still going on in late July, then I will fully agree with you on a record minimum. But right now it's uncertain.

Jim Hunt

Bryant - I agree. Amongst other things let's wait and see where and when the melt ponds arrive before jumping to any hasty "predictions".

Mind you, I reckon the landfast ice around the Mackenzie Delta is turning distinctly blue-ish? And the delta itself is turning brown-ish. See:


Then scroll back a few days and/or years. Here's a much closer look, courtesy of Landsat 8:

Click the image for the bigger picture!

Don't you think it's a little bit early to predicting a record minimum?

It's never too early to predict something. That's what's predicting is all about. :-)

Bryant Morganelli

Mind you, I reckon the landfast ice around the Mackenzie Delta is turning distinctly blue-ish? And the delta itself is turning brown-ish.

Jim, what are you implying?


It's definitely too early to predict a record minimum. For the past 5 years, I admit, I was continually surprised by the Arctic weather and sea ice. I'm sure there will be surprises this summer for all of us. Because I realized I was pretty much clueless about critical details, I didn't make any definitive forecasts.

But this year the amount of heat flowing into the atmosphere, particularly the Arctic atmosphere, from the oceans is stunning. This will be the warmest year on record as El Nino comes on strong. All the long-term models bake Alaska this summer. We started with record low snow in Anchorage and other parts of Alaska and it's heating up very early and very fast. Warm water is already flowing into the Arctic ocean from the Pacific and free water is showing up on the coast of the Yukon.

On the other side of the Arctic, check out the DMI SST anomaly in the Barents sea. Look at the shattered ice flowing out of the Laptev sea. The sea ice carnage is already going strong on the edges of the Arctic ocean and it's just the middle of May.

It's going to be a wild ride this summer. -George


For us in the Arctic 1998 was the beginning of something powerfully different. It was the fall when wide open water was seen by mid-October. Sea ice usually set mid-September. It was the first bleeding of the multi-year ice to water. El-Ninos afterwards were never as strong, In fact immediately after there were La-Ninas, which eventually made 2001-02 look somewhat like pre 1998.

If this year has an El-Nino like 97-1998 it will shred any advances
made by the dynamical melt of 2013, when ice melted in place without compaction and caused a respite from 2012 wide open Arctic Ocean.

Predictions are part of science, like estimating what gravity will do if you drop two balls having different weight. If our understanding of climate science is advanced, we should be able to predict not only how massive each years melt is , but also
caution caveats about the variances caused by weather. Comparing a prediction with actual observation reveals either the perfection in the model used, or its flaws needing improvement.

Any one can practice science, but must be ready to explain
a forecast, not only throw a number out and wait for the result, Similar to guessing what card will come out next during a game of blackjack.

The annoying guy who predicted no melt further past Wrangel Island because the ice is really "thick" will hopefully realize that Pacific water is nearing this Russian Island now, It was the last standing place of Woolly Mammoths, a place when elephant sized animals used sea ice as a road. Wait a bit longer and see the road vanish to blue.

Jim Hunt


If you look at the "true color" images from MODIS "blue-ish" coloured ice instead of "white-ish" implies melt ponds are forming.

Similarly when the land turns "brown-ish" instead of "white-ish" it implies the snow cover has melted.

Chris Reynolds

Jim, Susan,

Thanks I will read FOOW's article next.


As you're doubtless aware Vidaloo 'persuaded' me the forum just wasn't fun any more, I've not been back since.

That Mackenzie River flow is similar to what data I've been able to find for the Siberian Arctic. Thanks for that graph. It is worth noting however that even 2013 and 14 had large flows in that plot, although this year looks like an early start.

If you have river temperature data then temperature X flow might be more useful, degC m/s.


Thanks for that page.


Indeed I have said that, but I think it is mainly the whole Beaufort/Chukchi/ESS region.

Relevant here is one approach I looked at for using April volume to predict September extent, looking at regional and sub regional relationships. Looking at Beaufort shows a very variable progression of volume loss, and a very poor linear fit to September extent. This is because Beaufort is the outflow of winter transport of thicker ice out of the Central Arctic. The variability of the Beaufort high imprints itself onto the transport of MYI into Beaufort, this in turn impacts September extent by affecting summer open water formation efficiency. So yes Beaufort has turned into a killing zone for MYI, but not every year is a masacre.

Jim Hunt


Vid was banished from the forum some time ago, so there are now fewer distractions.

I'm intrigued by your Siberian researches. Have you uncovered live data, or any data at all for that matter? The Mackenzie data I'm looking at include air temperature, but not water.

Flow is now up to 18,000 or thereabouts.

Chris Reynolds


Vid's gone? I've just logged in and can see he's no longer a member. Thanks, I shall resume commenting at the forum.

I've been too busy today to give your offer of a bet at my blog consideration. I'll ponder tonight.

Try Arctic-GRO
The data is a bit patchy, and doesn't go back very far, but covers the main rivers seen in the graphic at the top of that page.

That's a climatology of river discharge. See this abstract:

Unfortunately due to the sparse data and lack of coverage before 2007 I haven't been able to do anything really useful with it.

Sorry, no live data for Siberia, as far as I have found.

Jim Hunt

Chris - Thanks for the Siberian info, such as it is. The Mackenzie flow is now over 20,000.

Re my Arctic sea ice wager, the cat has now released the tongue of the original proposer, so that spot looks like it's taken once again.


I have however also discreetly enquired whether the Mail on Sunday's leading Arctic investigator is similarly willing to put his money where his employer's mouth is.


Jim, The Gyre is in full in synergy with a stable anticyclone pushing along ice in its normal course, since Banks and Victoria is land, water shows in wake of the circulation about the Beaufort area.
The sat pics also look "dry" for this time of the year, there is a lack of fog, which is an indication of heat making temperature to dew point spread too wide. Its by far starting period melt with the most warming inertia closely looking like 2012 and 2010 even though general circulation is similar o 2007.


The Climate Reanalyzer with the GFS is now showing temperatures in the Beaufort, Chukchi and into the Arctic Basin above freezing in the forecast in about 5 to 7 days. This is a few days out, but if it holds true, melt ponds will likely become widespread in those areas.



VaughnA wrote:

... melt ponds will likely become widespread in those areas.

Not really a pond, but Obuoy 9 which already stumbled into it's own depression is now dangerously close to a brand new lead . And remember, it's in the middle of the Arctic there.

Jim Hunt

Wayne - I've been having a chat to the CRREL about 2015A, amongst other things. They tell me:

The top temperature sensors are indeed heating up from the sun. If you look at it closely - you can see that they track the air temp, very well most of the time. These readings are every 4 hours. And if you look closely you can see that each day, the 20:00, 0:00 and 04:00 readings are always higher than air temperature and also would correspond to when the sun is beating down on that side of the buoy.

A more detailed report is available on the forum at:


Jim Hunt

Interesting Kris, thanks. However that lead isn't exactly "brand new". Here's how things looked on July 31st last year:


Chris Reynolds


Regards a bet. Rather than blather I'll simply say I'd rather not take your money, although I am happy to fleece denialists.

However, if you want to 'test my mettle' with regards my confidence in a long tail. I would suggest:

Your proposition is that CT Area will drop to below 1M km^2 on any day before 2022.

I challenge this proposition, 2 exceptions: 1) Days with data coverage problems that could feasibly affect the outcome are excepted.
2) Force majeur is excepted, by this I do not except unusual weather (whether provably related to AGW or not). Should you choose to imply this provision in the event of exceptional weather related loss of ice, I leave to your discretion.

So as a test of my confidence:

If your proposition succeeds I owe you £1000.00 to be paid within one month of the day in question.

If your proposition fails you owe me £1.00 which you can pay to the charity of your choice.

Monetary values are the value of pound sterling as of the date of settlement.

This asymetric bet is merely intended to indicate my confidence in my previously asserted position (That we face a long tail, not a fast crash).

Jim Hunt

You're on Chris, assuming that you're happy with "below 1M km^2 on any day before December 31st 2022".

"Chilly" will no doubt be pleased to hear your analysis. You may wish to contribute to our discussion about the "small print" of the wager. I cannot help but feel that you have a better appreciation of some of the subtleties than him.

Win or lose my charity of choice is ShelterBox, who are (unfortunately) currently in the news again:


I haven't heard anything back yet from either James Delingpole or David Rose. Perhaps I should try and find out if Christopher Booker fancies a flutter next?

Chris Reynolds


"You're on Chris, assuming that you're happy with "below 1M km^2 on any day before December 31st 2022"."

OK, but to be clear, were I to see a sub 1M km^2 in December when it had been higher in September, my first thought would be that force majeur may need to be invoked. That would be beyond 'unusual weather'. Maybe we need to add a 5 standard deviation level as a demarcation between 'unusual weather' and force majeure. That could be tricky though so would need to be discussed.


Jim , very helpful CRRL person to acknowledge this flaw. Which brings up a question if top of inside ice thermistors may be equally affected with very little snow on surface? Perhaps much less affected but warmed nevertheless.

Reading night time data confirms refraction method where there is always an inversion even when cloudy. So for people here studying sensible thermal fluxes, 08 to 12Z readings are best where you can realize there is practically always an inversion which likely means ice formation at bottom. When surface temperature
is equal to op of ice, melting takes place at bottom along with latent heat warming of the ice column. There are complexities here amongst these complications. Refreezing of bottom releases heat which should add to the ice column warming. The ice column warms gradually day by day depending on cloud coverage (precluding above 0 C heat waves).

The Arctic always has huge cloud cover from April to about July, once removed there is a great melt no matter how thick the ice is. This melt season has had very little fog , now is the time when fog kicks in from ice fog laced with ice crystals. But a few % less RH will make sea ice much more vulnerable.

Chris Reynolds


You'll find this amusing.

I think I stumbled on that site via one of your comments.


Thin sea ice, however trivialized, has one important feature, it can almost give the same thermal profile as with older ice: But for different reasons.


I guess my dissertation explains why recent winters can be just as cold although short lived. But for the greater part a refreeze after a minima of 0 extent may not mean the planet would warm much faster instantly, at least for the first few years.

Jim Hunt

Chris et al.

Hopefully you'll find this amusing too:


The Great White Con meets WUWT in an unfair fight! Episode 11/n. Archived for posterity.

Jim Hunt

Neven - Any chance of a monthly "Open Thread" again this year?

Chris et al. - After a long winded and extremely unfair fight between Snow White and Willard Watts all her words and moving pictures of wisdom are now simultaneously available via both ATTP & WUWT!



Jim, I'm going to post ASI updates every two weeks (starting tomorrow). These will function as open threads.

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