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Nightvid Cole

I see on days 4-6 (June 25th - 27th) a "reversed dipole" anomaly. I guess this means a "pause" in Fram Strait export?


Exactly, NC, no Beaufort Gyre, no transport of sea ice out of Fram. But conversely, large parts of the ice pack near the Siberian coast will receive and absorb a lot of sunshine.

Provided the forecast comes about exactly that way, of course.

Mitch Lyle

There appeared to be a breakup of the Mackenzie River ice dam last week. You can see lots of sediment now in the Beaufort sea near the mouth. This was a significant factor in warm water just east of Alaska.


Current LP system(s) will keep sun rays away. But they are pushing the MYI closer to those very warm waters of Chukchi Sea (and Beaufort too). That may help keep extent up in the short, but is bad for MYI in the long run. Meaning years.


I'd been thinking that Greenland melt looked like stalling again this year. Maybe not though, based on this forecast.

Nightvid Cole

Paddy, Greenland melt has *already* taken off:



It looks like HYCOM now has a completely different look/concentration than even their "actual weather" model run on 6/18:


Compared to the "actual" (from Chris's post):


Even today's (6/21) looks to be in better shape than either of the 6/18 ones Chris had posted:


I'm sort of new to this, so, am I missing something? How can the disparity be so great? Did they go back and recalculate ice thickness for a more accurate accounting? The only difference I can glean is that Chris' were 12Z and the ones I found were 18Z, and I'm not even sure what that means.



this was discussed recently at the arctic sea ice forum. The short answer is that you are comparing 2 different models, despite them being similar in their graphic output.

Kevin McKinney

Excellent, as always. Watching…

Pete Williamson

The issue I have is that roughly we at are at the stage where many of the ice metrics suggest the ice could quite easily follow a path to a low final ice extent or one similar to the recent rebound years. Also generally many of the 'weather' metrics seem to be relatively benign. I'm not seeing any reason to get over-excited by a large melt this year.

BTW I have a question about the 'HUGE' SST. With ice extents clearly low in recent years, compared to the 1980s and 1990s isnt it always going to be the case that the SST in area with open water is going to be higher than when its covered by ice, anywhere where there is anomalously low ice (such as Bering strait this year) is going to show as large SST anomalies. The phase change between ice covered and open water seems to make interpretation of those dark, pinkish reds problematic. For example the siberian coast this year would likely show as much colder SST because there is more ice there this year than compared to recent years except that it doesnt show because the ice covered area is screened out. This type of chart seems to accentuate the hot.


Pete, you just described albedo feedback very nicely

Excellent, as always. Watching…

Thanks, Kevin. I'm a bit afraid that I use too many words, and that this scares people off. But this is the only way I can write a comprehensive update with (almost) all the ins and outs.

I'm not seeing any reason to get over-excited by a large melt this year.

More is definitely needed, Pete. My main interest is in how well the rebound holds up.

WRT to the HUGE: I referred to the comparison with 2012, 2013 and 2014 around this time, not that anomalies are huge in general because where once was ice, now is water. Check those other years, and you'll see SSTs on the Pacific side are much, much warmer than those previous years.

2007 probably was similar, but DMI doesn't have a public archive for these images.

This makes me wonder whether that red blob and the ridiculously resilient ridge, etc., in the North Pacific may have an influence this year. Remember, ocean heat flux is one of those unknown known jokers in the deck.

And if that joker is being played (of which we know nothing, except perhaps after the fact), what will it do to the volume rebound?

Wait and see...


Thanks, stan! I must have missed it in the forums, but I'll go back and see if I can find it.

Pete Williamson

thanks Neven, I guess what I was saying ( badly) is that its actually unsurprising that the SST should be so high given that the Bering Sea had low ice cover and the strait has been ice free for long now than in recent years. I guess my point is there are other regions that maybe compensate for that region this year, such as the Siberian coast but that doesnt show up on this sort of chart because ice covered areas are masked out. I guess, for me, this sort of chart can be visually deceptive.

Clearly what you say is right, although when I look at the 2012 chart you link to it looks ablaze everywhere except Bering and in that sense overall 2015 looks more like the rebound years ( ie regionally mixed) rather than the more consistent warm low year of 2012.


Thanks, Neven.

As you write, there’s a lot of melt ponding right now. Checking MODIS, a lot of signs are coming in that suggest this melt season is on the way to end the short series of ‘rebound’ years.

Just listing; Nares Strait is breaking up, plus a big crack through the Kane Basin ice. Kara sea ice is reduced as if it were ’07 or ’12. What’s left is blue from melt ponding. A broad swath based on the New Siberian Islands into the direction of the North Pole is losing concentration fast. Winds, relatively high temps and rain are hitting the ice. Soon, a firm basis for a ‘Laptev Bite’ will be laid. Compared to former years, the axis of the bite is more to the East now.
Fast ice in the Southern Laptev is breaking up, right in front of the Lena Delta and near Cape Buor-Khaya. All ice is heavenly blue.

Then the CAA. It’s ice is impressively blue. No big break-up yet, but a basis is laid. There are also signs that the Atlantic side will soon give in too. North of Zemlya Frantsa Yosefa there’s already a large icefree piece of ocean. What’s left to the South, in the Barentsz Sea, is thin and should soon pass.

Last but not least, the whole Pacific side looks well prepared when and if a significant Pacific Water influx should happen.
The present extent stall is a sideshow while all this is happening. If July and August present ‘normal’ weather, at least the volume uptick ’13-’14 could be ended.

Colorado Bob

Greenland melt graph headed straight up and just poked its head above the 2 SDs above the 1981-2010 average line.


Colorado Bob

Check out the Aqua/MODIS pass over Alaska yesterday:



"Recasting the Climate Debate: Feedbacks That Set the Time Scale for Irreversible Change Dissected with New Laser and Optical Technology" by James Anderson



I must admit I'm looking at the so called "multi year" ice in the Barents and it's quite literally going to pieces.

I remember Dr David Barber giving a speech about rotten ice and the impact it had on the ice around it. Such that the thin ice between the MYI created a bridge between floes of older ice and, over time, gave the impression that it was all solid MYI. Probably due to snow accretion and melting freezing. The ice would not be able to float lower once it was held fast between the older ice.

Until it melted.

I'm also wondering if these massive cracking events have their roots in the same thing.

It's all surmise, but I don't see any other way for high levels of MYI to suddenly become islands of floes with open water in-between.

Probably wrong, but there must be some explanation.


I wonder about the melt pond logic for one simple reason. When melt ponds form on floating ice shelves like the Larsen B they can grow to be a dozen meters deep before they breech and drain. On 3 meter thick floating sea ice it seems logical that cracks would allow drainage to occur before the ponds get very deep at all. If the ponds are always easily draining through cracked thin ice you won't get massive ponding even as the sun melts the ice from above.


My guess would be that by the time the ponds drain, the damage is already done.


Tanaka wrote:

... the Larsen B they can grow to be a dozen meters deep before they breech and drain

I'm afraid yo are underestimating what was once upon a time Larsen B. That shelf jutted about 50 m out above sea level, thus had a thickness of about 400 m [of which about 350 under sea level].
So a few dozen meters deep melt ponds never wouldn't have drained anything there. Remember, Larsen B split into pieces in about 24 h time, but that had nothing to do at all with melt ponds.

Other than that you have it right, indeed melt ponds on Arctic floes never go deep, as they survive only for a week, max two, as it has been seen each year hitherto.


The Ridiculously Resilient Ridge is firmly in place and is forecast to intensify and stabilize over the next two weeks with temperatures in Western Oregon valleys from 30 to 40˚C which is 5˚C to 15˚C above normal. To make matters worse there was nearly no snow this past winter so mountainous areas that would normally still have 2 or 3 meters of snow on the ground have been barren of snow for over 3 weeks.

It is highly unusual to have such a persistent heat forecast in place so early in the summer. Even late July into early August temperatures like these are unusual for such a long period of time. If this hot high pressure builds into Alaska and or the Arctic it would certainly affect the melting on the Pacific side.

Also looking at the Arctic water temperature anomaly maps I cannot remember when there has been such a large anomaly over such a wide region around the periphery of the ice. That looks like an interesting predicament.


Literal an example of what the Dutchman use to call Noorderzon (= midnight sun). Enjoy and/or download.

Shared Humanity

Kris wrote:

"Remember, Larsen B split into pieces in about 24 h time, but that had nothing to do at all with melt ponds."

I have to disagree. When those large melt ponds drain they slice through the shelf to the sea underneath, compromising the strength of the shelf. These melt ponds had been forming and draining for a number of years prior to the abrupt collapse and the shelf was covered with melt ponds when it collapsed. The melt ponds and draining had to have contributed to the shelf collapse.

Shared Humanity

The Rediculously Resilient Ridge has been a persistent anomaly for the past several years, weakening and then restrengthening. It has been causing very warm Alaskan winters and periodic intrusions of warm air into the Arctic. It has also been a significant cause of the drought on the coast which has now spread north into Canada. I fear that this phenomena will be with us from now on as a result of the loss of Arctic sea ice. I hope I am wrong.

George Phillies

For those of you not watching the Point Barrow camera feed, over the last few days the ice in front of the camera


mostly went away. There is now some ice right at the shore, and liquid water out to what appears to be the horizon. The change was very dramatic.

Jai Mitchell

The Ridiculously Resilient Ridge is characterized by a negative Pacific North American index value as shown in the historic trend here:


current projections are that the PNA will be in a positive phase for the next week or so.


the warm front moving up into the pacific northwest is consistent with a push of high pressure air associated with the observed expansion of the Hadley Cell. It should be noted that recent papers are indicating an Strat. ozone depletion (methane leak result) fingerprint on this expansion: https://agu.confex.com/agu/15chapman2/webprogram/Paper37443.html

a recent hitorical analysis showing much greater expansion than predicted in the climate models: https://agu.confex.com/agu/15chapman2/webprogram/Paper37465.html

A good discussion of the Hadley Cell expansion on the tropics and mid-latitude drying/desertification as well as why the models are underrepresenting this effect is found here: http://www.researchgate.net/profile/Rong_Fu/publication/273522332_Global_warming-accelerated_drying_in_the_tropics/links/5518c7190cf2d70ee27b7431.pdf

Espen Olsen

Zachariae Isstrøm update.

Heavy calving activity at Zachariae:



George, I watch it almost daily at this time of year. It had been 58F for a protracted period so not surprising. It's currently 43F with all that rain.

24th June is fairly early for the 2000 -2010 timeline. The breakup forecast has not been active for quite a while so hard to compare recent years but I think it's pretty early.



Could this Pacific warmth affect the methane hydrates in the East Siberian region at all?

Bill Fothergill

Could this Pacific warmth affect the methane hydrates in the East Siberian region at all?

I think the definitive answer could be ... "Who knows?"

The mainstream view is that there is little immediate concern about any significant clathrate melting.

However, people such as Peter Wadhams and the Arctic Methane Emergency Group beg to differ.


There will be another Anticyclone blitz soon, making the Wrangle an Island again, R.I.P. 'annoying Cincinnatus' prediction or rather bragging at the time when he reasoned nothing about less spring sea ice in Bering Strait. If we only had a list of contrarian prediction failures, no one would bother reading them. That is indeed the problem with freedom of speech, not enough people participate, and not enough people keep tabs on predictions people make. Therefore a fake skeptic has more than 9 lives,
and may reappear to irk or destroy really interesting discussions.

NW passage looks apt for early opening, earlier than NE, just like some guy wrote :) .


It would have been nice to get a comparison for this chart. I didn't look hard enough earlier.


The Barrow landfast ice was gone on June 24th. WAY below the average for the 2000's right up to 2011.

In fact it was earlier than 2004. It would have been nice to know whether it was insolation or some other factor.

John Christensen


It is hard to predict - especially about the future.

Check out these recent predictions, which were not made by 'annoying' or 'contrarian' people, but very nice people of scientific reputation, who have promoted these predictions at conferences, senate hearings and many other forums:

Professor Wieslaw Maslowski (2007): Ice-free Arctic by 2013


"A US-based team has told a conference in California that the northern polar waters could be ice-free in summer by 2013."

Prof. Waslowski elaborates on that:
"So there is a feedback loop that may accelerate this harder (phonetic) in a linear sense. Mainly they're forcing from the atmosphere, forcing from the ocean. The ice will Albedo effect which is simply where you remove ice, you heat, you warm the ocean, which can melt more ice even further, and those kind of feedbacks are actually in place in Arctic right now, which is possibly causing this accelerated melt."

Professor Peter Wadhams (2011): Ice-free Arctic by 2015

"It is really showing the fall-off in ice volume is so fast that it is going to bring us to zero very quickly. 2015 is a very serious prediction and I think I am pretty much persuaded that that's when it will happen."

Professor Wieslaw Maslowski (2013):
Ice-free Arctic by 2016 +/- 3 years


"Given the estimated trend and the volume estimate for October–November of 2007 at less than 9,000 km3, one can project that at this rate it would take only 9 more years or until 2016 ± 3 years to reach a nearly ice-free Arctic Ocean in summer"

As we need to assume both professors know their field of science quite well, it seems like they have taken on a political role, trying to influence the political discussion even if this means stretching to the fullest what can be predicted out of the scientific data, they have available.

I could have included an equal number of quotes or estimates from the other side of the political spectrum, which are equally ignoring the scientific reality and believe we are having no measureable impact on the environment.

This is personally why I am interested in this field; I am skeptic of environmental messages and predictions, as they have a political bias and it is very hard to distinguish the scientific content from that political bias.


Very nice to read you back John,

Yes, sea ice is very hard to predict, but none of the gentlemen or group you cited are openly advocating stupid predictions, like sea ice is recovering, up coming ice age etc. I personally focus on the North Pole, truly the gateway event for Arctic Ocean becoming eventually ice free. This said, all who predict wrong must re-evaluate their understanding of the physics of Arctic sea ice. It is easy to predict anything, being correct should merit respect, especially if one is being correct many times.

With respect to ASI over the main pack, I have changed my techniques to project, because I was wrong, it is essential to admit failure, this way I can find a better method. Remember we are dealing with a subject with threshold limits of days, i.e. make the summer longer by 2 weeks, and 2014 and 2013 would have been just as bad as 2012. It is the evaluation of how much "cold" the sea ice was at maxima which matters, but not uniquely. So far this season offers no great expectation of Arctic Ocean being totally ice free, again its the Pole which matters, there is no doubt this year is similar to great melt seasons. In as much as one strong Cyclone or two, lingering over the Gyre may disrupt a melting trend quite a lot, and this has nothing to do with cooling, So in recent years we have learned met dynamical impacts are very important with respect to ASI. And we are nowhere near a totally free ASI season, but there is no sign of true cooling, which is what matters most.

AS far as the guys you cited, they should admit failure, and especially why they think they failed, otherwise they are not practicing science. If willing to predict, one must show the reasoning behind before, during and after the event has passed.


Hi NeilT, "In fact it was earlier than 2004. It would have been nice to know whether it was insolation or some other factor."

Well this is indeed a very interesting subject. Barrow was kept open mainly by NW winds and a winter without great snowfall, a dry winter, snow usually helps the formation of sea ice.


By the very mega-system heat engine covering 2 continents, cooling North American Eastern coast, during past winter, which effects are still felt if you go for a swim in any lake, particularly the great lakes brrrrrr. Interesting to note, that much cooling in some region of the world does not equate any global freeze,, and may even give more open sea water!

John Christensen

Hi wayne - yes, it has been a while, probably nearly a year since my last comments.

I am researching papers on oscillations and these days I am inclined to consider the AO as the main oscillation impacting the Arctic - and I admit it is not very inventive to pick this one.. ;-)

The AO standardized index for January-March shows how the Arctic region during winter months was dominated by high pressures and presumably less humidity and lower temperatures from around 1950 - 1987. Then for 1987 - 2010, winter months had a significantly lower air pressure regime, which should result in more winter-time moisture and higher temperatures = less ice-building potential.
From 2010, this has reversed again with a trend towards a winter-time Arctic high pressure regime, which could possibly explain the ice 'recovery' and certainly should explain the winter-time cold spells in the US and North Western Europe that follow a negative AO.
I do not see this changing the long-term trend of Arctic ice decline, but is helpful in understanding year-by-year changes.

I therefore do not follow why Dr Jennifer Francis isn't investigating the interaction between the AO and the jet stream bulges, as this is a known relationship (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arctic_oscillation), or at least work scientifically to show that the jet stream is bulging, while the AO is positive (Arctic low pressure/high humidity due to melting and open water), which is what she basically is postulating.

I will go back to lurking..

John Christensen

Sorry, missed to include the AO JFM trend for reference:




I think in similar ways, however AO is way to large in size. The jet stream is a creature of contrasting atmospheric densities. Many describe it as the causation, but is merely formed at the junction of cold and warmer air. Namely, the jet stream happens to be a symptom of geo-density dynamics. Therefore is not the cause of extreme weather, but rather an indicator of weather patterns. In this warming world, the jet stream will become more prevalent where it was not.  Because there is less cold air, and with smaller cold air masses a more pronounced or irregular stream should prevail.


[I'm removing the big strawman filled with conspiracy theory fluff. There's an inkling of truth in everything, but an inkling will always lack nuance. For instance, 'we need to understand how our planet works, because we're conducting an uncontrolled experiment on a planetary scale'; N.]

Chris Reynolds

Osteopop's back, and channelling James Delingpole. Again...

"Anyone fancy a pint?"


Hi Chris, well said, anyone here avoid Ostepop unless you have lots of time to waste. Or a contrarian flag should appear every time he posts. That is a suggestion well worth considering.


Ad hominem.


[First we troll, then we whine about ad hominems. Please take WUWT tactics elsewhere; N.]


We have had already some suspicion, but now it's clear, a first melt pond visible at the washington.edu cam 1. Do look to the middle right.
At the washington.edu cam 2, to the right too, the “depression” the buoy is in is half filled with water.


The deletion of my two entirely reasonable posts

[snip; They were not reasonable posts and neither was this one. This blog is not a conduit for one-dimensional and irrational conspiracy thinking. Please, go find an echo chamber where you feel more at home; N.]


"Please, go find an echo chamber where you feel more at home; N.]"

Thanks Neven, I appreciate your promptness to keep this under control.

,,,Meanwhile The Ridiculously Resilient Ridge continues. Thanks for the links explaining the causes/effects etc. I am reading these as I can get to them. Very interesting the changes in the Hadley Cell.

Jim Hunt

Kris - What's more IMB buoy 2015D, visible on the left of the NPEO webcam 1 image, shows 4 cm of surface melt, plus many more cm of ice in bad shape:

Click the graph for a closer look


wayne, quoting your "AS far as the guys you cited, they should admit failure," I wonder, why?

Of the two researchers JC was highlighting, Wadhams seemed to only be giving a tentative opinion, not what I would consider an actual prediction: "2015 is a very serious prediction and I think I am pretty much persuaded that that's when it will happen."

As for Maslowski, he certainly made something that could be considered a quantifiable prediction, i.e., "2016 +/- 3 years;" (and, as I recall, that was qualified as a 95% likelihood)... i.e., the data indicated to him a 95% chance that the arctic would first become "nearly ice-free" at some point in the melt season, in at least one of the years from 2013 to 2019.
Why should that be considered a failed prediction? If 2019 should indeed bring the first year that the arctic becomes nearly ice-free at some point, would you still consider Maslowski's prediction to have been proven wrong?

L. Hamilton

@John Christensen
Check out these recent predictions, which were not made by 'annoying' or 'contrarian' people, but very nice people of scientific reputation, who have promoted these predictions at conferences, senate hearings and many other forums:

Your two examples, Maslowski and Wadhams, made outlier predictions, but that in itself does not make them political.

Maslowski's analysis was reacting to the dramatic decline of 2007; that was outside of historical experience and people had different ideas about how the system would go from there -- runaway albedo feedback being one hypothesis, more extreme than what most scientists believed, and we now know did not happen. His initial 2013 (and perhaps also the later 2016+/-3) predictions were wrong in one direction. The IPCC guessing late in the 21st century was probably wrong in the other direction.

I think Maslowski is a bit rueful now about his early prediction, while seriously working to do better.

As for Wadhams, he remains an outlier still -- that's his contribution at lower left in the box plot for the June 2016 SIO report just released last week:

Jim Hunt

Larry - I've had a fair few "debates" with skeptical sorts about precisely what Wieslaw Maslowski said, and it certainly wasn't what the BBC (or the Mail on Sunday!) said he said:


Do you think I should now be a bit rueful about my "projection NOT prediction" argument?


Thanks RealityBytes and L. Hamilton. As far as we know for ASI to melt completely, at least at this stage of Global Temperatures, dynamical weather must "cooperate", i.e. very cloudy Arctic winter, and relatively clear summer weather with nearly constant hovering anticyclones over the Arctic ocean Gyre area, favouring huge insolation and compaction.

If the current prediction does not recognize that sea ice melt is highly
susceptible to dynamical meteorology, I doubt its a projection based on current prognosis of the cryosphere.

This said , dynamical weather of before 1990, did not do much to alter the massive presence of thick sea ice. The state of the cryosphere is now dependent on weather conditions -the dynamical meteorology period- , state of affairs not directly proportional to Global Temperatures yet, but close to it.

Runaway albedo feedback requires a certain seasonal cloud coverage variations at this point, but there will be a time when clouds won't form as easily when GT's will be too warm. There is also a new player on the block, strong and lingering summer cyclones, they introduce cloudier and ironically colder weather by their very anti insolation nature, along with stopping or reversing the Gyre.

When the North Pole becomes ice free regularly, its the start of a new era, when GT's would be more and more influential, to the point leaving behind dynamical meteorology, just as it was in the times when ice was very thick and expansive, the more open Arctic Ocean will likely not be changed much by weather.

Chris Reynolds

L Hamilton,

I was initially confused by what Wadham's was doing. Now I think the clue is in the explanation of method.

"The uncertainty (large) concerns to what extent the area returns to the trend line,
having made positive excursions in 2013 and 2014."

Which makes me think the purpose of Wadham's prediction is more to set a test of how far off the 1979 to 2012 trend we will be this September, rather than being an actual prediction.

This interpretation may of course be clouded by my not expecting a 'fast crash' and expecting a comparatively slow transition over the next 20 years or so. But I find it hard to believe Dr Wadhams is seriously suggesting 1 million this year.


IIRC, Maslowski's projection for an effectively ice-free state around 2016 (2013-19) was in a May 2006 presentation (to the AMS? the link I had is now stale) and therefore was not in reaction to the 2007 melt, or even the 2006. Subsequent media reports are mostly asking whether the projections are on track or not.

It's perfectly human to be impatient to see the results come in, I'm certainly prone to that myself. Every crash makes such predictions seem prescient, every rebound, panicky.

Objectively, two of the seven candidate minima are now known. There's plenty of time to have at least one more crash and rebound before October 2019 is over. Even if one suspects the projection will fail (I don't - I simply don't know which way it will go), scientifically, one shouldn't declare it failed until the results are in.

Jim Hunt

Only marginally off topic, The Lancet have recently published the results of their commission looking into "Health and climate change: policy responses to protect public health"


Numerous PDFs are available in exchange for an email address, and there's video too:


The effects of climate change are being felt today, and future projections represent an unacceptably high and potentially catastrophic risk to human health

The implications of climate change for a global population of 9 billion people threatens to undermine the last half century of gains in development and global health. The direct effects of climate change include increased heat stress, floods, drought, and increased frequency of intense storms, with the indirect threatening population health through adverse changes in air pollution, the spread of disease vectors, food insecurity and under-nutrition, displacement, and mental ill health.

A reader elsewhere comments:

The Bell Tolleth. This should resonate every bit as loudly as the Pope's encyclical, but will not.


Marginally off topic too, but to whom it may concern:

About a week ago the so called ZeppelinCam vanished into the High Nirwana. Called 'ZeppelinCam' because it had been installed on a mount called 'Zeppelin' at Svalbard's island Ny-Ålesund.
Albeit cunningly being hided it is fortunately still available at the following address:


Bottom line, 'current.jpg' has been renamed to 'zeppelin_12.jpg' onto a different address.

By the way, another cam nearby is available at the following address:


So, the 'zeppelinCam' resides high in the mountain on the right of the previous image [airport.jpg].

L. Hamilton

IIRC, Maslowski's projection for an effectively ice-free state around 2016 (2013-19) was in a May 2006 presentation (to the AMS? the link I had is now stale) and therefore was not in reaction to the 2007 melt, or even the 2006. Subsequent media reports are mostly asking whether the projections are on track or not.

Thanks, I wasn't aware that Maslowski gave a 2006 presentation mentioning the "2013" projection. The earliest I noticed was his 2007 AGU talk, but reading again I see that he did base it on pre-2007 data. As reported from AGU by the BBC in December 2007:

Summer melting this year reduced the ice cover to 4.13 million sq km, the smallest ever extent in modern times.

Remarkably, this stunning low point was not even incorporated into the model runs of Professor Maslowski and his team, which used data sets from 1979 to 2004 to constrain their future projections.

"Our projection of 2013 for the removal of ice in summer is not accounting for the last two minima, in 2005 and 2007," the researcher from the Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California, explained to the BBC.

"So given that fact, you can argue that may be our projection of 2013 is already too conservative."

L. Hamilton

@Chris Reynolds
But I find it hard to believe Dr Wadhams is seriously suggesting 1 million this year.

Yes, Wadham's 0.98 projection is hard to figure out. As the June SIO report by SIPN nobserves,

Given current central basin sea ice conditions and the lack of a projected atmospheric activity in the central basin (such as a high sea level pressure dipole pattern seen in previous years that is conducive to sea ice loss), there is no a priori information that would support record sea ice loss for summer 2015. Furthermore, for the September sea ice extent to fall below one million square kilometers would require over 100,000 square kilometers of loss each day from June 16th (when the information for this report was collected) until mid-September. Based on actual loss rates from the index of daily sea ice extent for 2007-2014, the likelihood that the next 90 days could sustain such a high rate of loss is less than 1 in 10 million.

L. Hamilton

@Jim Hunt
Do you think I should now be a bit rueful about my "projection NOT prediction" argument?

Well no, a similar discussion has gone on within SIPN. The initial idea for SIO was that all of these contributions should be explicitly viewed as "projections," meaning if...then statements that trace the implications of specific inputs and modeling methods. So they aren't claimed as "predictions," meaning what we think is going to happen. Two things work against that scientific distinction, however:

1) Many of the contributions are statistical rather than model-based, and in statistics "prediction" has a more general meaning, basically the calculated values on the left-hand side of your equation, as in a regression prediction;

2) Scientifically declaring these are "projections not predictions" will probably get lost in general discussion, because as one SIO founder put it, "If it walks like a duck...."

Susan Anderson

Jim Hunt, thanks for that Lancet extract. I kind of knew about it, but a closer look was a very good idea.

I'm sure Dr. Wadhams means well, but he has been a bit over the top lately, so I tend to go elsewhere when I see this stuff. However, I do worry about "barking mad" kinds of geoengineering which are getting heavy advocacy from that quarter.

Chris Reynolds

Larry, Jim,

I agree with Larry, and whoever said 'If it walks like a duck...' Whilst there are various individual motivations for SIPN predictions it should be borne in mind that the driving force of the project is to improve prediction, hence I guess the cocentration on modelling rather than statistical approaches. Modelling being more likely to be amenable to substantial improvement.

Those using trend extrapolation of volume loss to reach the conclusion that sea ice free state is imminent may be couching the statements in terms of 'if... then...'. But it is naive to expect lay people not to take them as predictions.


Now for what I came on here to say...

I am now getting pretty confident that we won't see a crash this year. In both CT Area and Wipneus's calculation of area the June anomaly 'cliffs' have been muted and have been followed by a levelling. I have previously shown that Late June Compactness in the peripheral seas of the Arctic Basin (Beaufort through to Laptev) 10 to 30 June average compactness dropped to 0.7 in 2007 and 2012. And that this might therefore be used as an early warning of impending large summer losses.

Now, with three days of data to go, this late June average compactness is 0.74, 2013 was 0.77, 2014 was 0.77 for the same period. Both 2007 and 2012 were 0.70 for the same period.



"However, I do worry about "barking mad" kinds of geoengineering which are getting heavy advocacy from that quarter."

Same here, I once knew an old lady who swallowed a fly...

Susan Anderson

Seriously worse OT, but Chris, you got me going:



Chris, I bet Laptev makes for that extra compactness wrt 2007. That is on thin ice.

I don't expect a crash either. If weather favours melting during July, it comes two weeks late for a crash.

Otoh big surprise if it ends above 2014.

In any case it will be far worse for MYI than previous years. MYI is in such a nice location to be severely decimated ...

Robert S

The role of early (May/June) melt ponds to advance arctic ice melt ("pre-condition") seems to be supported by ongoing observations, as well as by the basic observation that ice with melt ponds has a lower albedo than ice without, along with some other effects. A hypothesis: Heat import due to arctic lows drawing in air from surrounding land masses is a more important driver of May/June melt pond formation than direct insolation. If this hypothesis is correct, frequent cloudy low pressure cells over the Arctic ocean, combined with higher pressures over the land masses, as we've had over the last few weeks, would set up the melt, and if that was followed by high July - September insolation, ice melt would be increased.

I haven't done thorough retrospective analysis yet to support or disprove this hypothesis, but wanted to put it out there for comment.


1st Century this year:

9,731,983 ---> 9,627,576.

Or do have a look at

Jim Hunt


Andrew Slater's "probabilistic" 50 day "predictions" have been pretty good the last couple of years:


His methodology is currently hinting at an "August cliff"!

Click the image for a larger version.

Chris Reynolds


Yes, we're probably not going to have a repeat of 2013/14, but I'm not persuaded that a re-run of the 2012 crash is likely. I think that at best we could get close to 2007/2011, but in the context of the post 2007 period neither of those are crashes.


The compactness isn't compared to 2007, the figures I give are for average compactness from 10 June to the latest data.

In terms of anomalies...

Laptev compactness is average (for 1981 to 2010).

ESS compactness has been rising from low levels on 19 June to near average on 27 June. In comparison 2007 and 2012 were falling through the floor at this stage.

Chukchi compactness continues to fall.

Beaufort compactness continues a modest fall.

Note that where anomalies fall losses are greater than average, level anomalies means average losses, rising anomalies mean losses that are less than average.

I too would be surprised if we end up above 2013 or 2014.

Robert S,

Simmonds et al "Dramatic interannual changes of perennial Arctic sea ice linked to abnormal summer storm activity."

"Strong relationships are revealed between the September sea ice changes and the number of cyclones in the preceding late spring and early summer. In particular, fewer cyclones over the central Arctic Ocean during the months of May, June, and July appear to favor a low sea ice area at the end of the melt season. "

Low pressure dominance during the months around the peak of insolation makes for cloudy weather that shelters the ice from direct sunlight. Thus reducing initial thinning of the pack.

Low pressure dominance at the end of the melt season, August/September, provides low clouds, enhanced back radiation, which makes up for reduced insolation as September approaches and the sun sets. This enhanced back radiation acts to melt ice. Also storms will act to vertically and laterally mix the ocean bringing warmer water into contact with the ice.

Chris Reynolds

PS Robert,

See page 16, figure 2 of this presentation.

Bill Fothergill

Chris wrote...
"I once knew an old lady who swallowed a fly..."

Brilliant analogy about the dangers of geo-engineering. Until now, I've tended to use Australia's ill-considered introduction of rabbits to emphasize the point, but I'll use this as well from now on.

Of course, the real sting is in the tail of the tale "... perhaps she'll die."

cheers bill f

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