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The AMSR2 graphic cannot be correct in the region at the head of the Nares Strait, see here:



And, slightly off topic, check out Greenland's west coast:


The AMSR2 graphic cannot be correct in the region at the head of the Nares Strait, see here:

Which AMSR2 graphic? The Uni Bremen SIC map? Looks pretty accurate to me, keeping in mind that it will never be perfect.


Concentration at the head of Nares Strait on the 18th was pitiful. SIC shows it in its heaviest color. Check the first link I posted. You can see that we have never had so little ice there.


TenneyNaumer wrote:

You can see that we have never had so little ice there.

Never!? We already have had severall years the Nares Strait was enterly open in the beginning of August. And by the way, do you realize the ice shelves blocking Nares Strait now are 10 @ 20 km across? No, Nares Strait won't become free this year.

John Christensen

Thank you for a great update Neven, I am in full agreement with status assessment and conclusion.

Regarding the forecast for high-pressure: After the next 3-5 days of relatively high-pressure, NOAA has forecasted a deepening of the high-pressure (negative AO index):


At this late stage of the melting season, this should be ideal in reducing winds (reduce ice/water mixing), keep the ice from compacting and allow more heat to escape.
We will see how far this goes as to slow down melting in the coming couple of weeks - interesting!

John Christensen

One note on the meaning of the DMI 80N temperature in the main melting season (Approx. days 165-230):

It seems that the 80N temperature is comprised of two main factors:

1)Actual heat transported into the central Arctic area, plus heat created in situ by radiation
2) Energy exchange between water and air in open water areas

Because we now have much larger areas of open water in the 80N area compared to prior decades, the energy exchange between water and air seems to reverse the overall temperature signal.

Let's consider 1967:
The Arctic region was dominated by low pressure areas in May, June, and July, but still the 80N temperature on multiple occasions was above the long-term average, which is opposite to what we have seen in 2013 and 2014 low-pressure summer months.

Compare with 2009:
Both June and July saw strong high-pressure areas across the Arctic, but the 80N temp stayed significantly below the long-term average for most of the main melting season.

I would speculate that the reason why the 80N temp in 1967 was high, was that the ice cover in the 80N area was complete/near complete, allowing very little energy/cold from the water to be exchanged with the air.

In 2009, on the other hand, the 80N temp stayed low. This was probably not because of lack of heat energy created above water level, but because the broken ice pack allowed a high level of cold energy from the water to be exchanged with the air.

The 80N temps in the main melting seasons of 2012, 2013, and 2014 stayed low for the same reason: Very broken and scattered ice packs in the high north allowed lots of cold energy to be released to the air.

In 2015, however, the ice pack in the 80N area has had less cracks and fewer areas of open water, resulting in the 80N temp again being able to spike above the long-term average, simply because the water/air energy exchange at least in this most northerly area has been reduced compared to prior years.



Out of curiosity, what is sandy-like?


Navegante: Hurricane Sandy took a sharp left turn towards NY/NJ.

FWIW, Eli has always thought that the amount of ice coverage outside of 80 N is a good indicator of the state of the ice.


MASIE dropped over 360,000km2 today the second time this month that there has been a drop of over 300,000km2. we live in interesting times.

Navegante: Hurricane Sandy took a sharp left turn towards NY/NJ.

That's exactly it. I wrote about it at the time, a couple of days before the storm made that crazy 90° turn.


I am not referring to the Nares Strait itself but north of it. The ice is just in a deplorable state. Did you notice the big melt off of such thin ice? Look today off Ellesmere -- this is by far the worst condition the sea ice has ever been in that region:



I notice that the press is full of the July temps being comprehensively higher than 98, finally putting to bed the whole denialist "pause" rubbish.

Given that this is also not a huge outlier year as 98 was, we should see these temps as normal by 2020.

It would be interesting to compare the 98 melt season with the 2015 melt season. Just to rub in what is going on and crush any last idiocy of a pause...

Remko Kampen

Better not bet on that, NeilT. Climate revisionism is already preparing for another 'hiatus' because of this year. And, of course, 'Ice Age cometh', the latter meme will revive hugely by November.
And it still works perfectly. This year some more governments got couped by fossil fuel industry. Spain, who actually punishes solar panel use. Holland, where percentage renebables is less than half the EU average and dropped second year in a row. Canada, burning books. Ireland, who just got a secretary of energy/climate who works for Shell and is actively killing renewable initiatives there, subsidies down the drain. Australia whose subsidies to Abbott of Big Coal amount to almost 2% of Australian GDP this year. Forget it - gloat when Florida gets removed from the map thru SLR plus hurricane, because that kind of thing is the planet's only chance now.

Remko Kampen

Meantime's climate revisionist's strategies focus on 'the numbers are fudged' or, well, El Niño 'so of course it's a hot year' never mind past Niño years that weren't that hot - they conceal trends which looks stupid to us but is simply smart because they are believed.


NeilT wrote:

It would be interesting to compare the 98 melt season with the 2015 melt season.

We even can do better and include the “accident-years” [as deniers use to call it] into a comparision. The “accident-years” being 2002, 2007 and 2012. Note there seems to be a 5 years space between each “accident”.

Just click onto this link: NSIDC semptember comparison. 2005 which was a minimum record year too is included too.

To compare other months, just change the month selection and click onto refresh. And of course, you can include other years too if you would like it to do so.

Hans Gunnstaddar

"I notice that the press is full of the July temps being comprehensively higher than 98, finally putting to bed the whole denialist "pause" rubbish."

Until 2016 is 'cooler' than 2015 (because warming is uneven year to year, yet spiraling higher), then they will claim the planet is getting cooler just as they did after 1998.

For whatever reason, whether it is denial or just plain obstinate, unless the temps are consistently increasing in a 'linear' fashion over a long period of time in which each successive year is obviously greater than the previous year and there are no deviations to that rule, denialists will continue to remain in that state.

That same situation is true of Arctic ice. Even though September 2012 hit a shockingly low all time record minimum, once 2013 & 2014 rebounded somewhat higher, the denialists became convinced it can all be chalked up to natural fluctuations, missing completely the overall undulating downward spiraling trend.

It's also possible that being in denial is simply no different than not caring. A lot of people (myself not included) just don't care about anything except themselves, so if they think it won't unduly affect them negatively within their lifetime, they simply don't care. Otherwise why would they fight the idea of global warming so hard? They fight it out of a fear their lives will have to change if there is a threshold acceptance of global warming, and instead of having a giant internal combustion truck gurgling and popping down the street they have to switch to a silent economy electric vehicle charged by PV panels. They want hardwood floors from illegally cut wood out of South America. They want fuel from any source including arctic oil.

Bill Fothergill

NeilT wrote:

It would be interesting to compare the 98 melt season with the 2015 melt season.

Kris supplied a very interesting link to NSIDC's BIST tool. However, if anyone is unfamiliar with this, it might be easier to start with this unparameterised link...

(Or simply use the Search function on the NSIDC website with the string "Browse Image Spreadsheet Tool", and pick up BIST from the obvious result.)

When it is initialised with certain preset parameters, it can be difficult to get BIST to access all the functionality contained therein.

For example Neil, if you select the "Extent & Concentration Trends" option, then chose 2 columns and 12 rows - with one column set to Conc and the other to Extent, the 12 rows will populate automatically for each of the months.

Alternately, for a possibly far better comparison, use the NSIDC's "Charctic" tool to compare Extent values. If you deselect everything except 1998 and 2015, the comparison is stark in the extreme.

One can repeat this for SIA using CT's interactive visual tool...

It's a bit more clunky on CT, as I've yet to find a "Select All or Deselect All", and therefore each year has to be turned on/off individually.

Hope that helps


For some reason I can never remember if Positive or Negative AO is the one that encourages more ice to flow out through the Fram Strait. Thus I don't know if the building negative AO value will increase the transport rate or slow the transport rate down to a lower value.

Right now the current 2015 CIA reading from the Cryosphere Today web page is below the seasonal minimums for all years before 2007 as well as 2009, 2013 and 2014. The next records to be passed will be 2010 with 3,072,130 km^2 and 2008 with 3,003,560 km^2 I think it is highly probable 2015 will pass both of them in the next 20 days but I am not a climate scientist, just as interested observer trying to figure things out with the data available for free online.

George Phillies

While we are focused on the Arctic, it is perhaps worth a mention that the Antarctic, on the Bremen graphs, is not doing a very good job of freezing this year. Of course, it has a while to go, but on current trends may be another spike in the denialist coffin.

Bill Fothergill

@ George P

Regarding the White Continent, CT SIA for Day 230 is nearly 1.5 million sq kms down on the equivalent date in 2014. When ranked, that puts Day 230 in the middle of the lower quartile.

Note however, that things can change very quickly given the circumpolar circulations down there. Between Days 239-261 last year, there was an upward hike of just over 1.5 million sq kms. Timed so close to the equinox, that was unlikely to be genuine freezing - more a case of spreading due to wind/wave action.


Regarding the comparison of things: I've found 2005 to be a possible tipping point. Does anyone else agree?


Interesting, cheers Bill. August and September trends were obviously worse but I felt like looking at June and July so ... I guess that itch has now been scratched ~#^>'///,<


NeilT wrote
"It would be interesting to compare the 98 melt season with the 2015 melt season. Just to rub in what is going on and crush any last idiocy of a pause..."

2015 and 1998 are NOT comparable. The El Nino we associate with 1998 started in 1997, setting a global temperature record, and then finished in April 1998, setting another record more than 0.15 degrees hotter than 1997. We never saw another year cooler than the previous record set in 1995.

If this El Nino finishes in April 2016 as expected we should expect to see a new temperature record in 2016. If that occurs it is unlikely that we will see another year as cool as 2014 in our lifetimes.


Bill Fothergill wrote:
"Alternately, for a possibly far better comparison, use the NSIDC's "Charctic" tool to compare Extent values. If you deselect everything except 1998 and 2015, the comparison is stark in the extreme.

If you compare 1983/1984 or 1998/1999 you can see what happens to the arctic the year AFTER the El Nino finishes (2017) and that should REALLY concern us.



You are saying the year after an el nino the sea-ice extent minimum in the arctic drops?!!?

You are perhaps also saying the maximum drops aswell!??!

(I'm just asking for the purposes of clarity!)

John Christensen

"a massive detachment of multi-year ice (I'll have more on that in a couple of days when all of the detached ice has melted out)"

The fate of this MYI detachment will probably be the cliffhanger exciting question for the end of this melting season.
I agreed back on Aug. 20 that this should melt out, but with the lowering of the air temps, the forecast, and the limited heat energy remaining in the nearby waters, I am no longer sure this detachment will be parting with us this year.

John Christensen


Great observation: I had never reviewed the year after a larger El Nino and so had not spotted this relationship.

Looking at 1983 (El Nino ends) and 1984, PIOMAS data shows that in 1984 after reaching nearly the same max. volume as the year before, the volume declined faster from mid-March to end-June compared to 1983, and freezing was also reduced in late-Sep/Oct. of 1984 compared to 1983.


The maximums are low but not necessarily records at the start of the year.

The 82/83 El Nino ended in Apr 1983 and SIE extent dropped 800K km^2 to a record low in 1984.

The 97/98 El Nino ended in Apr 1998 and SIE droppped over 600K km^2 to a record low in 1999.

This El Nino is predicted to end in Apr 2016, you can draw your own conclusions about 2017 but my even money bet says 'Record Low Year'


Thanks everyone for the suggestions. I changed jobs Fri/Mon and had a long weekend of travel and home stuff.

Still finding time to sort stuff out.


Interesting, thankyou DavidR.


Noteworthy, Baffin Island has regained his full status of island now (time being) as can be deduced from today"s Uni-Bremen map.
At the other end of the archipelago, shelves on the loose are more and more blocking the M'Clure Strait. Well, this year there is a record amount of shelves on the loose, isn't it?


with the significant uptick on CT area it suggests a curtailed melting season. similar significant disruptions to the curve have happened in the past in 1983 1994 and 2004 when with the brakes on the remainder of the final melt was between 200,000 and 500,000 km2. I therefore predict that the final figure will be between 3.05 and 3.4 million km2. a lower final figure now looks unlikely to me unless we get another significant weather event to disrupt the situation.

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