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Nice work, Jim.

To draw out the contrast between weaker blues and background white, I exponentiated the palette using a command over in ImageJ2, as explained in that developer forum.


Jim Hunt

Thanks for showing those videos here Neven. There is in fact a trilogy, now also including the Northern Sea Route hot from the GWC animation studio:


Thanks A-Team - My current image processing pipeline uses solely ImageMagick. Can ImageJ2 likewise be used in "batch mode"? Doing everything manually would take until the proverbial hell freezes over.

Or until the Arctic is no longer frozen over. Whichever occurs sooner.


Thanks, Jim. I've added that third video to the blog post.

Jim Hunt

For those interested in "the fetch wave-ice fetch feedback loop", my initial report on the unanticipated break up of the Norwegian Young Sea Ice 2015 camp northwest of Svalbard on June 22nd or thereabouts:

R/V Lance Encounters Another Energetic Wave Event in the Arctic


Great report, Jim! Very interesting to see the winter conditions & hazards, then a very different set of warm(er) months hazards!

From Jim's report:

"When a light swell comes in the 5km sea ice floe we’d been working on broke into pieces not more than 30m [across] in an hour..."


"My image processing pipeline uses ImageMagick. Can ImageJ2 likewise be used in "batch mode"? Doing everything manually would take forever"

Yes, ImageJ has a macro recorder. So you just walk through enhancement steps one time and save as a menu tool. Then just apply the tool to a target folder, no need to open all the files, no need to learn or view a scripting language. See the ImageJ forum http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,165.msg57298.html#msg57298

However ImageMagick surely has this too, perhaps less conveniently. It also has the particular 'exponentiate image' command I used on the U Hamburg images (and much more, see http://www.imagemagick.org/script/fx.php).

The issue here really is what overall enhancements are fit for purpose. Here 'exp' works to exaggerate the low end of AMSR2 ice concentration. It's far from a unique way of over-weighting weak pixels but does not destroy pointwise data integrity the way contrast enhancement would. It's harmless in the sense of being invertible by 'log'. Both exp and contrast are fit for purpose if that is education or early alert to change.

However exp is also suitable for building a tool that detects and measures swell damage to Beauford sea ice. That is, most of the time there won't be a research ship stationed there so we have to work with online products.

WaveWatch III provides swell and wave data north of the Bering Straits while nullschool and others provide wind and cyclonic pressures, what's left is to determine the aftermath. Since that is initially floe size reduction, to the degree that shows up at all, it will be in more faint blue pixels of the Hamburg maps on the windward side. With an event strongly suspected, it is then feasible to dig into their raw x,y numbers.

You have a good start on this at http://greatwhitecon.info/2015/07/rv-lance-encounters-another-energetic-wave-event-in-the-arctic/ and associated links.

Wade Smith

What is your opinion of the new computer model of the Solar cycle, which predicts a new Maunder minimum starting in the 2030 to 2040 decade?

According to papers by Judith Lean in 1995, 97, and 2000, the flux difference in the previous Maunder Minimum was between 2.8W/m^2 and 3.3W/m^2.

Naga5000 on Wunderground claimed it would only be 1.5W/m^2, from a source he cited, and using the Earth's cross-sectional area divided by surface area, and reflectiity of the atmosphere, he then reduced this to only 0.26W/m^2 of average global negative forcing (this would be ignoring second order feedbacks).

I used the numbers given by Lean et al and got 0.49W/m^2 of negative forcing, again ignoring second order feedbacks.

The computer model "post dicted" past solar cycle behavior with a precision of 97%, and it predicts the lowest of the activity will last between 20 and 30 years, so apparently if it started in 2030 it could last to 2060 with those conditions, for example.

Its a good thing we put all that CO2 in the atmosphere, else we'd have problems of the Mississippi completely freezing over to the mouth, like it did in 1912.


Or, on the other hand, the ice could just melt in the most unexpected place

Can't get on the Bremen site on my work PC, that 8084 port just gets blocked.

However the melt off Banks Island is a bit dramatic one day to the next and looking at the mosaic which is still building, it's not going to be improved tomorrow.

I'm glad CT is back up again as I think tomorrow is going to see a bigger departure towards the lower years of the post 2007 era...

I must admit I'm wondering which trend we will be returning to? The overall trend or the post 2007 trend??

The next 6 weeks will tell us that.


What is your opinion of the new computer model of the Solar cycle, which predicts a new Maunder minimum starting in the 2030 to 2040 decade?

I guess it's me you're addressing. I'm not an astrophysicist, but I figure this tweet from Gavin Schmidt makes sense (posted by someone on the forum):

"A period in the late 17th C (the "Maunder minimum") had very few sunspots, smaller amplitude 11-yr cycles & perhaps reduced irradiance. Combined with an increase in volcanic activity, these natural drivers are implicated in the relative coolness of the 'Little Ice Age'. The result being discussed is a statistical prediction of a '60%' reduction in the magnitude of the next few solar cycles. For context, climate forcing over a solar cycle is about 0.175 W/m2. Current forcing from CO2 is more than 10 times larger. 60% reduction in solar cycle magnitude wld be a climate forcing of -0.1 W/m2. Equivalent to a decrease of 8ppm CO2 (~3 years worth). Thus, at max, the predicted solar cycle change will slow GW by about a few years, and has no chance of causing a 'mini ice age'."

Like you say, it will last between 20 and 30 years. What happens after that? Most probably accelerated warming.


I remember Gavin writing that.

Lest we forget, the current solar cycle started with the lowest minimum seen for 100 years and the cycle itself was approximately half that of the last cycle.


During the last solar cycle there was only one year which equalled 1998 in Global Heat. If you look at the cycle 22/23/24 chart, we see


That cycle 22 _might_ have explained the heatwaves of 88/89. But the start to cycle 23 does not explain 98. Neither does it explain the tie with 2005 and 98. Nor does the cycle 24 output explain how 2014 became the new warmest year on record.

Nor the current happenings in the Arctic.


All in a low cycle year.

Should we experience another maunder minimum in the next 15 years, Atmospheric CO2 will already have overwhelmed any cooling response it may have. On the current trajectory, we will be at 430ppm to 440ppm CO2 in the atmosphere and that's without a sudden decrease in Ocean CO2 uptake.

And if we don't see the minimum?

Perhaps dress code will become much more interesting. Although I'll be almost too old to appreciate it....



@Wade Smith: I think there is a very good and documented answer to the "question" you are asking (but your last paragraph is not a question anymore, to say the least):
It is an article written by Dana Nuccitelli in the Guardian http://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2015/jul/16/no-the-sun-isnt-going-to-save-us-from-global-warming and mentioned on the site SkepticalScience http://www.skepticalscience.com/no-sun-isnt-going-to-save-us-from-global-warming.html

I'm just a lurker going back lurking, but I wish to thank you a lot, Neven, for this very important blog !


Thanks, D.


"Nor does this explain current happenings in the Arctic."

I re-processed the 19 Jul 15 Bremen AMSR2 that NeilT mentions above ... it's instructive what all poleward incursions into sea ice concentration are there but cannot be seen in the original.



Yes Wade we are saving the earth. One thing for sure, after your Maunder minimum years, you and I we'll be feeding worms.
Man you have kids or nephews? They forget to put flowers over our graves all the time, but we love them just the same.

Back to your maths, sounds reasonable. Hope it made a nice fun afternoon. Life is made out of small happy memories. I still remember the day I made my first C program, a ping pong game. And the day I met my wife. Then the rest was fuzzy, with my wife I mean.

I am kind of tipsy. Please, Neven, dont ban me, yet.


"Else we'd have problems of the Mississippi completely freezing over to the mouth, like it did in 1912."

Actually in that year it didn't. Nor in any other year in recorded history. The surface froze down to the mouth of its confluence with the Ohio River in Jan 1912 which is still a thousand miles (1600 km) north of the mouth of the Mississippi River at the Gulf of Mexico.

Downstream ice jams are not unusual at bridge pilings and piers at the latitude of St. Louis. This ice originates far to the north, not locally; the river continues to flow underneath.


Eli Rabett

This year, the Northern Route and Northwest Passage may open before Hudson Bay completely clears of ice. Astounding

Also, Lean 2000 is 15 years ago. There have been major changes in interpretation of solar insolation back to Maunder, and also TSI as measured by satellite



Bremen maps are showing that the Northern Sea Route will open in the next few days to a week, depending on weather.

The NW passage is now showing almost 50% concentration over most of the ice. Could be melt ponds but doesn't look like it won't open now.

More interestingly is what is happening off Banks Island and the Canadian/Alaskan coast. I'm assuming the massive change to 50% concentration is partly driven by melt ponds, but a quick look at o-Buoy9 tells the tale of what is going on.

One of the more interesting seasons. A quick check of the DMI SST tells another interesting story. Whilst the Anomaly is a good indication, because it only goes to 4+ it is not a very good guide of just how hot it is there. Last time I saw temps of Arctic water at 12C+, was 2012. Where the ice is melting, DMI is showing 12C, or more, water temps. That is not a coincidence and I don't believe it's melt ponds.

More interesting viewing again in the next week. Barrow is clear skies again and the temp is climbing....

Given the water temps I'm guessing that we really will see the outcome of Dr Barbers view on rotten ice. If it's that warm and the ice is really rotten, but showing on all reports as solid, then it won't be long for this world.

Eli Rabett

Just noticed today that there is melting just north of the Queen Elizabeth Islands/Ellesmere Island. QEI are in the mid 50s according to the weather forecast. This is like the most frozen part of the Arctic. Probably melt ponds but if it separates from the land the whole Arctic is adrift.

Jim Hunt

Hooray! Typepad is back in action after a none too brief "hiatus".

Eli - Please see the piccies at:


Jim Hunt

In yesterdays "Shock News!" the UK's Daily Mail has been promulgating porkie pies about Artic Sea Ice once again. We complain bitterly to all and sundry, including IPSO:

An Inconvenient Truth About The Mail’s Climate Coverage

Whilst searching [Rachel Tilling's] paper for the word “ice” returns lots of results a search for the word “cap” returns zero results, just like “recovery”.


Hmm, F5 to get the posting box. Just authenticating refreshed a page without the posting box.

I know I go on about the anatomy of a denier from time to time and the signs of how to detect them. But this one is a classic right our of Deniers 101.

PIOMAS is a Model. Just like all the Climate Models. It takes inputs and base data and then makes "assumptions".

The DM likes to trash the Climate models on the grounds that.... Erm.... They're just models and therefore can't be trusted.

Of course when it "Appears" to be going in the direction they want, then, apparently, a Model is OK.

It's looking like the top cap will be ripped off the ballon and all the hot air is going to rush out leaving a big saggy deflated argument.

But, of course, I thought that in 2006 as well at this stage and look where that ended up.

If, as I expect, we get a solid melt this year with extensive melt in the high density pack area; Expect PIOMAS to become a "Model" again and "Highly unreliable".

Such is the life of a Denier of Climate science...


The whole Arctic is adrift, Eli. MODIS images show the last large intact expanses of thick ice have broken away from the northeast Canadian archipelago. The 2 large blocks of thick ice are moving and the east block is shattering. There's going to be nothing left but shattered mobile ice. The thickest ice in the Arctic has been pulverized.

This doesn't bode well. One more hot summer after this one and little will remain in September.

-Geroge aka FishOutofWater

Andy Lee Robinson

Let's hope a storm doesn't come along and flush the lot down the Fram.
The graphs are looking ominous - I expect that this year's minimum will be among record lows again and slap the 'recovery' down.


Presto a cyclone will appear Andy Lee!

Scheduled to do a lot of mixing on July 31.


I had a discussion once with University Professor claiming that the coriolis effect scatters the ice more outwards, I countered the winds have a much stronger impact during a modest Cyclone. Now lets think a bit further, a strong very low pressure cyclone raises sea water, causing a sea level surge.
If the cyclone is very intense, the destruction of what is left of consolidated ice may be lead the way for more compaction later.


Hi Eli, there was little Arctic snowfall over winter just past:


I surmise its importance.


The blob of thick ice that seems to have detached from the Canadian Archipelago and started moving west. Normally this is the thickest patch of ice in the arctic and last bastion of safe ice. At 5m thick it will likely survive the summer, but once adrift in the Beaufort, it will eventually melt out (in 2016?), leading to a significant drop in volume. Another sign in my opinion that 2015 is preconditioning us for a bad year next year.

Check out the dark blob west of the 100 meridian: http://www7320.nrlssc.navy.mil/hycomARC/navo/arcticictn/nowcast/ictn2015072318_2015072400_040_arcticictn.001.gif

Colorado Bob

Wade Smith

Re the Maunder minimum -

New paper on volcanoes

Large Volcanic Eruptions Linked To Climate Variability Since Roman Times

A new study in Nature resolves those inconsistencies with a new reconstruction of the timing and associated radiative forcing of nearly 300 individual volcanic eruptions extending as far back as the early Roman period.

The study shows that 15 of the 16 coldest summers recorded between 500 BC and 1,000 AD followed large volcanic eruptions - with four of the coldest occurring shortly after the largest volcanic events found in record. This new reconstruction is derived from more than 20 individual ice cores extracted from ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica and analyzed for volcanic sulfate primarily using DRI's state-of-the-art, ultra-trace chemical ice-core analytical system. These ice-core records provide a year-by-year history of atmospheric sulfate levels through time.


There was more going on than just low spot activty , during the Maunder minimum .


Ecojosh - while significant, I think it is very easy to overestimate this event's importance. It is quite likely the ice will not migrate significantly, and later circulation will drive it back to the coast.

I think more important (and speaking to your point about preconditioning), the heat which has and will continue to be hitting the ice immediately north of the Canadian Arctic is significant.

I agree that 2015 may be preconditioning ice for a major melt next year. How that plays out also depends on winter temperatures and snowfall.

With a winter like that of 2014/2015, which lots of imported moisture (and lots of snow on the ice from early on), combined with imported heat (which reduces radiation out of the atmosphere) we will see an even lower maxima, and less volume recovery.

Jim Hunt

Further to my "Shock News" above I've been informed by a fellow complainant that the Daily Mail have replaced the word "decades" by "years" in the online version of their ludicrously inept leader.

Meanwhile I'm not entirely happy with BBC Radio 4's report on the same CPOM paper:

Inside the BBC’s Arctic Sea Ice Science

Arctic sea ice volume "is back down now". No mention of that by the Beeb though!


Ecojosh, totally agree on the preconditioning for 2016. That event predicted by HYCOM model (very unreliable nowadays due to an identified problem being fixed as we speak) was actually spotted in MODIS visual images. However it will take time to get transported into Beaufort.


On the other hand, 2013 was arguably very well preconditioned from 2012 for obvious reasons, but weather did not accompany. 2016 may be hot for Arctic, if El Nino effect on global temps translate into warmer weather for the Arctic

Bill Fothergill

@ Jim re: photos

A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned that, to my eyes at least, there appeared to be some open water forming polewards of Wrangel Island.

The photos on the link you posted now make that pretty unambiguous.


Jim Hunt wrote:

Hooray! Typepad is back in action

Sort of.

Nor SeaMonkey nor Firefox nor Safari still don't work properly, unless in the preferences you:

1. Uncheck “remember zoom level for this site”

2. Check to on “Allow site to use it's own characters”

Or maybe just one of both. It costed me !##&&#$! 3 days to sort that out. (-:

Allowing a site to use it own characters could be risk. Likely just a little one, but still ...


[A reply typedad induced belated]

NeilT wrote

More interestingly is what is happening off Banks Island and the Canadian/Alaskan coast .... but a quick look at o-Buoy9 tells the tale of what is going on.

Not exactly, as Obuoy 9 already has entered the Fram Strait and probably even already has passed Station Nord. Yes, Obuoy 9 travelled al the way from the East Siberian Sea to the Northern coasts of Greenland and so further on to the Fram Strait.

Meaning, what we see at Obuoy 9 is the Northern part of the Greenland Sea with it's large polynia visible at the UNI-Bremen maps.

Anyway, Obuoy 9 will show us unprecedented images from the Fram Stait as well as the Greenland Sea...

Jim Hunt

Bill - Here's the latest image from that section of the GWC resources. The "Laptev Bite" looks like it's back!

Click the image then the date in the caption for a much closer look.

Jim Hunt

Kris - Here's a recent image from O-Buoy 9:

Click the image then scroll down a bit for some unprecedented views of the North coast of Greenland!


Jim, if you look at Greenland from O-buoy9 picture perspective, it was warmer on the 9th rather 13th. Didn't go to their website to check. Am I correct?

Jim Hunt

You are correct Wayne:



Thanks Jim, these were impressive pictures.

Guess how I did this…..

or become state of the art refraction expert:



Yes Chris I noticed after I posted that 10/11/12 were much closer to the area I was talking about.

To me it's the same thing. The locations of all these buoys are supposed to be in very high thickness areas and they are melting faster than most.

But, thanks for the correction.


North West passage now more or less broken up from end to end we must be days away from transport.

Jim Hunt

By my reckoning there's now an "ice free" passage along the Northern Sea Route, albeit with a tight squeeze through the Vilkitsky Strait.

To celebrate this momentous event here's a bang up to date version of the NSR video above:


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