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Wow, we are now in the middle of the 4th heat surge since the onset of the long Arctic night. This from cyclones from the Pacific heading towards the Pole. Literally Making North America warmer than Eastern Russia. Wait a few days for Southern Canada and Northern USA records to be broken all over the place again. Next sea ice maxima seems certainly for all time low extent record as well, but Siberia needs to be watched before making this pronouncement. Piomas seems off, the penetration of cyclones Polewards tend to suggest over all thinner ice.


The heat is astonishing.

However, I'm not prepared yet to predict a new "MinMax". Last batch of GFS model predictions suggested high pressure might actually get set up over the CAB. The chance exists it could cool things down.

That said, even with cooler conditions, temperatures still appear to be running well above normal. That won't prevent ice, but, I *do* suspect we'll see very little ice thicker than 2M formed by heat loss this season. Better Fram export than the last 3 seasons will also send a lot of that 2+M ice out of the basin to its doom as well.

With those conditions, one serious shock early in the melt season could send us spinning past 2012.

So too early I think to be able to say anything conclusively, but can say things have not gone well so far for the refreeze, and I do think the pack will be in a very vulnerable state come the equinox in 10 weeks.


The weather at global level is insane, global temps too and let us not forget ice extent is in historical minimum for the weather. Not unreasonable to expect completely uncharted stuff for 2016 since ... we are basically out of the chart.


If you see/hear little of me in the next week or so, here and on the ASIF, it's because of an emergency at our home (burst pipe because pressure reducing device didn't work properly). The floor insulation in about one quarter of our home is completely soaked. :-(

I'm hoping for above-freezing temperatures...


Neven, here in Minnesota we have a saying that is of little value and always applicable: It could be worse. At least it wasn't a sewer line that broke. Good luck with the cleanup.


Neven and all the readers of this wonderful blog,

I apologize in advance for a little mostly off-topic stuff, but I have just written three blog posts on climate science and its implications for global warming, mainly because I have been unable to find a similar comprehensive explanation elsewhere. However, I am not a scientist. I would appreciate anyone who feels competent going to waynekernochanblog.blogspot.com, reading Parts I and II of the three-post series (Part III does not depend on accurate descriptions of the science), and telling me where you believe it is inaccurate or misleading, hopefully citing chapter and verse. I can't promise I will incorporate your comments; but I can promise I will take them very seriously. Thanks in advance - Sincerely, Wayne


Slightly off-topic question: does anyone know where the IJIS data is now being posted? No 2016 data is posted at the link Nevin has had here for years.

Neven, here in Minnesota we have a saying that is of little value and always applicable: It could be worse. At least it wasn't a sewer line that broke. Good luck with the cleanup.

Thanks, Scott. It could definitely have been worse, but it's pretty effed up nonetheless.

However, I think I know how to solve it, so now it's just a lot of work. Luckily, nothing important has been irreparably damaged.

Slightly off-topic question: does anyone know where the IJIS data is now being posted? No 2016 data is posted at the link Nevin has had here for years.

Tim, it used to take a week or so, if I remember correctly, for IJIS to resume daily data updates. However, now that ADS-NIPR has taken over, I don't know how long it will take. Chances are that people in Japan have started working again this week after the holidays, so it should resume soon.

Jim Hunt

Tim - To the best of my knowledge the graph you seek should be visible at Neven's link, and the underlying data at:


but both have yet to acknowledge the New Year.

However the University of Hamburg has been processing JAXA's AMSR2 data. Whilst even Wipneus' "homebrew" graphs seem to have stopped updating as well:


his underlying data can be downloaded from:


Bill Fothergill

@ Neven,

We had a water ingress problem just over two years ago. Whilst the main remedial work has long since been completed, the people nominated by our insurers to finish off the internal repairs are still dragging their bloody heels. Let's hope you don't have the same difficulties.

Now for two comments lacking an obvious home...

1) Anyone inputting CT data into a bespoke analysis engine should be aware of a little problem they have had since the 2nd January. The date stamp 2016.0055 was temporarily omitted from their datasets, hence compromising the anomaly values. This has just been corrected in the last few hours.

2) I seem to remember that around November or December, someone asked how long ago was it that GCMs started to make predictions about increased Antarctic Sea Ice. Rather annoyingly, I recalled having read something on that topic a few months earlier, but could not recall where. However, whilst rereading Richard Alley's book "Earth: the Operators' Manual" it came to light - Footnote 16 of Chapter 14.

A Google search along the lines of "manabe transient responses of a coupled ocean-atmosphere model" should turn up a few hits. Suki Manabe was author/lead author for a number of papers from the late '80s and early '90s on this subject.



I read Part 1. I think that there are a lot of problems with it. Here are a few that I can explain briefly:

The main reason that Mars is cold is that it is further from Sun.

The main reason that water doesn't escape into space is that water molecules don't tend to reach the escape velocity. However, hydrogen gas can escape into space.

Greenhouse gases act primarily by absorbing and re-emitting radiation, not by reflecting it.

Half of a given substance is gone after one half-life, but it isn't all gone after 2 half-lives. 3/4 of it is gone after 2 half-lives.

"underwater volcanism" should probably be replaced with just "volcanism".

Regarding point 2 about the Milankovitch Cycle, that yearly variation is not part of the Milankovitch Cycle, but those distances can change because of the Milankocitch Cycle, as mentioned in point 3.

Bill Fothergill


Additional to what D_C_S has said ...

1) The two main constituents of the atmosphere are Nitrogen (~78%) and Oxygen (~21%) - not Oxygen and Hydrogen, as stated in your Part I.

2) You don't appear to have mentioned the greenhouse gas which currently contributes the most warming to the overall greenhouse effect - namely, water vapour. However, as the vapour pressure of H2O is highly dependent upon temperature, it is considered as a "condensing Greenhouse Gas", as opposed to things such as CO2 & CH4 which are in the category of non-condensing GHGs. That is the reason why, when considering radiative forcings, the contribution from water vapour is usually treated as a feedback, rather than a forcing in its own right.

3) The temperature you give for a hypothetical Earth lacking any atmosphere is out by a considerable amount. Try doing a simple zero-dimensional radiation balance scenario. Start with a Solar Constant of ~1.36 kW/sq metre and an albedo of ~0.3 for the incoming side of the equation, plug in the Stefan Boltzman relationship into the outgoing side, and then solve for temperature.

Alternatively, do a Google search on "bare rock model". There will be many sites that walk through this process.

4) I recommend you read up on the Carbon Cycle - in particular, the huge time scale range upon which different aspects of this operate.

5) Current thinking is that major glaciation events are triggered by cool Northern Hemisphere summer temperatures, not cold winter temperatures as you have suggested. The sweet spot is reckoned to be about 65N

I'm afraid that, until such time as you have nailed the basics, there's not much point yet in reviewing Parts II & III.

Wayne Kernochan

Briefly, since this is off-topic, thanks for all the points, especially those that cite referenceable sources. I will be responding only via changes to the posts. If you wish to make further comments later, please use the comment feature of my blog, and I'll respond via that comment feature.

Colorado Bob


A hurricane is headed for Greenland :

Alex Becomes the Atlantic’s First January Hurricane Since 1955


Jim Hunt

Bob - FYI see also http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,1377.msg68308.html#msg68308 et seq.

Colorado Bob

Jim -
Dr. Masters says it's going to be 35 F degrees above average in Southeast Greenland when it arrives.

Strange days have found us
Strange days have tracked us down
They%u2019re going to destroy
Our casual joys
We shall go on playing
Or find a new town

Jim Hunt

A trifle off topic perhaps, but in the absence of an "Open Thread", perhaps I should point out that the National Hurricane Center are currently forecasting that Hurricane Alex will carry his hurricane strength winds virtually all the way to Greenland:



Reposted from James Wilt at Vice as excerpted on daily kos:

"Of all the climate change issues that have been melodramatically dubbed a "carbon bomb" in recent years—tar sands projects in Alberta, catastrophic wildfires in Indonesia, holes in Australia's seagrass meadows—it seems the thawing of permafrost in the Arctic is most likely to live up to the hype. There's a staggering amount of methane and carbon dioxide, like hundreds of gigatons worth, trapped under the permanently frozen layer of soil and rock in the form of ice crystals and biomass.

If released due to the ongoing crescendo of warming in the Arctic, it could trigger a global feedback loop and burn us all to a f*ing crisp. Yet there's another very real issue associated with thawing permafrost that's received far less attention outside of industry circles, perhaps because of the lack of a catchy apocalyptic phrase to accompany it.

For decades, mine operators in Northern Canada have stored waste rock and tailings waste—the "pulverized rock slurry" byproduct of mineral processing that's filled with skeevy chemicals like arsenic, lead, and mercury—in frozen dams reinforced with permafrost, an option far cheaper than constructing artificial structures to house the goop. But if such walls thaw, allowing air and water to interact with the highly reactive tailings, widespread "acid mine drainage" (AMD) could occur. Such a process can generate sulphuric acid and result in the leaching of heavy metals into nearby soil and water sources.

"Permafrost degradation is going to affect everything," says Magdalena Muir, research associate at the University of Calgary's Arctic Institute of North America. "When you have frozen infrastructure, you don't have to build an artificial structure and probably get used to not having to worry too much about breaches. But as soon as you have soil that behaves just like any other soil, you have all the issues you'd have in southern Canada."

The Canadian mining sector produces around one million tons of waste rock and 950,000 tons of tailings per day. As a result, the prospect of widespread AMD could be disastrous for the Canadian North: such scenarios would obviously be nightmares to contain, with the remoteness and cold climate seriously impeding cleanup. Think the Deepwater Horizon of the Arctic, except not nearly as visible and minus the dead dolphins to draw attention to the disaster. And like methane bubbling out of the permafrost, the situation only gets worse as it unfolds. [...]"


Minor distraction from topic - ARCUS is presenting seminars over the next few days (Jan 15, 2016 on) covering recent Arctic research.


Jim Hunt

Another minor distraction?

NASA/NOAA are holding a joint press briefing on "2015 temperatures" during a media teleconference at 11 a.m. EST Wednesday on January 20th


This is how things worked out last year:

Was 2014 Really “The Warmest Year in Modern Record”

NASA/NOAA seemed to think so, but The Mail on Sunday begged to differ!


On ADS-Vishop Japan and after another 'smallthick' on the 15th of January the year 2016 landed again at the bottom, 12,91 million square km, against 12,92 million square km for 2007, the second lowest.
Incidentally, for sure 2016 was already deep at the bottom in early January, but as we all know, our Japanese friends weren't yet pronti.

Jim Hunt

My "Snow White" alter ego has been bringing the attention of the Mail on Sunday's leading investigative climate science reporter to that very fact Kris:


Kevin McKinney

Sorry to hear of the hassles you're having, Neven. Best...


Looking for insights regarding interesting developments noticed by Tenney in Disko/Uummannaq Bay this week.



had a look at the PROMICE data from 10-17 Jan 2016.

It appears that you have been looking at the wrong station and the wrong climatic elements. If you plot the Upe-data (Upernavik upper and lower stations) and select the relative humidity and the wind speed, you will see a fine example of a typical Föehn situation over 12-15 Jan driving the ice out of the fjords. The dry Föehn winds (which are also right now hurling through Neven's flooded house in Austria I presume) may have been caused by some of the harsh lows surrounding Greenland this winter.

Sorry to hear of the hassles you're having, Neven. Best...

Thanks, Kevin. Things are under control now. In two weeks or so everything should be back to normal.

The dry Föehn winds (which are also right now hurling through Neven's flooded house in Austria I presume)

Yes, they are, caused by electric hot-air blowers, total capacity of 3500 Watts. Luckily we have clear skies and the solar panels are compensating a lot of the power consumption. :-)

One positive consequences of all this is that we found out some compartments in the floor hadn't been filled out properly with insulation materials (some places just 25%). The company will do that for free now and our house will have the intended insulation standard.


I realize there was foehn and I was look at the Kan stations because they provide a longer term temperature record for perspective. The post indicates foehn conditions.



sorry to come back to you, but I am absolutely sure these references to Föehn winds were not there an hour ago. This just illustrates the difference between your blog and Neven's blog. In my view, it is about integrity, authencity and honesty.

Neven, at some time in the near future, the global energy bill for drying out flooded houses may exceed the energy bills for heating and cooling our homes. Apart from the sad story about the guy who cheated on you with the missing insulation under your floor, this also shows that despite all your good intentions - and having solar PVs to help you dry out your house - this cost should be covered in full by your insurance company.


P-Maker thanks for your insights. I called for them and got them and updated the blog post as I said I would to reflect them. I did not have foehn listed initially, nor did I say that I did. I suspected that was the case but waited for a comment from Ruth Mottram before adjusting. I also received input from Jason Box suggesting the opacity is from aeration. I am sure I will get more good feedback and will update the blog accordingly. This was a search for an answer . Notice the conclusion in terms of why this is important I have added. That is melange removal from in front of glaciers does impact velocity and calving rates as Moon et al (2015) observed. http://blogs.agu.org/fromaglaciersperspective/2016/01/17/what-is-up-in-disko-ummanaq-bay-greenland-this-week/


Hi Jim,

David Rose career is doomed, but fortunately not with Boss Murdoch. However, he can't distinguish between El-Nino 97-98 with more sea ice than El-Nino 15-16! Such a rudimentary mistake should make hard core denialists avoid the subject all together.

There are some other larger differences between the said El-Ninos, one is found in Global Circulations. The 2 El-Ninos in question say are identical in thermal strength, why is Global Circulation so different?

Most people reading this blog here know why. We should redirect Mail On Sunday readers here as a measure to be well informed . Dealing with facts or reality is far more interesting than misdirected pseudo science fantasies. But attacking scientific search for truth is popular. Now I know, the only reason why people read contrarians is because their stance is interesting like Basil Fawlty, its fun to watch a delusional rant.

Rob Dekker

Kris said

Incidentally, for sure 2016 was already deep at the bottom in early January, but as we all know, our Japanese friends weren't yet pronti.

IJIS caught up, but what is happening in Denmark ?
It's now Jan 18 and we still have no North-of-80 temps from DMI



It’s quite simple. We had a new government last year in June. It is now a new budget year and so apparently the service level goes up. You now have the following options:

Please contact:

email: [email protected]
t: +45 93 51 73 57

email: [email protected]
t: +45 39 15 72 67

email:[email protected]
t: +45 39 15 72 77
m: +45 51 34 61 11

email: [email protected]
t: +45 39 15 73 44
m: +45 24 24 35 78


email: [email protected]
t: +45 39 15 72 10

if you can figure out what you really need. I’d bet they play really nice music in your ears, while you wait for your services…

Jim Hunt

P-maker - Just to set the record straight, I often call DMI, I've never heard any canned music, and they've always been very helpful.

On this occasion I am reliably informed that:

1) ocean.dmi.dk is not an "operational" site

2) They had a computer crash earlier in the year.

3) The guy whose "best efforts" maintain the temperature data has been out in "the field" for a couple of weeks. He was due back last Thursday, but what with one thing and another is not now expected until this evening

4) Expect normal service to be resumed RSN!


Wayne, I'm pretty sure the available research on permafrost carbon does not say we're going to burn to a crisp.

Colorado Bob

In Greenland, a climate change mystery with clues written in water and stone

“You’d pay a million bucks for a view like this,” says Gordon Hamilton, from the University of Maine by way of Scotland. “Pretty nice breakfast buffet, I guess, for sitting out here next to the ice sheet.”

Hamilton, Detective No. 1 in our Greenland mystery, is sitting on the rocky rim of a glacier. Kind of figures. After all, the man is a glaciologist. But this isn’t just any glacier. It’s the Helheim glacier, one of Greenland’s biggest, a three-mile-wide river of mottled gray, whites and stunning blue ice that flows into Sermilik fjord on the island’s southeast coast.

We’re on one side of that fjord. Across, on the other side, is what drew us here — a horizontal stripe running the length of the fjord, about 600 feet above the ice.

“Everybody who’s come here with me has said, ‘What’s that line over there?’” Hamilton says. “And I say, ‘Well, that’s where the glacier was in 2003.’ It’s kind of like the signal clue that something really big had happened.”


Wayne Kernochan

oh ghu, bobcobb. Please dont confuse me with that over-the-top guy. The reason I quoted it verbatim was that he raised a question about pollution from containers using permafrost as walls, and I wanted to see if anyone could provide further info, pro or con, while recognizing that he himself was not a trustworthy source.

Yes, the available research on permafrost melting plus "business as usual" clearly says we are not going to burn to a crisp -- although in most lower-altitude areas, according to Hansen et al, it will be unsafe to be outside for more than a few minutes at a time during the summer. I also feel that Hansen et all overstated that: an average temperature at 80 degrees N or in Antarctica that is 50 degrees F warmer than it was in 1850 is still not going to be dangerously hot.


A quick note, at present 7 ºC at Illulisat, the previous record being 0 ºC in 2013. Can we believe that!?

John Christensen

Hi Rob,

While the guy maintaining the Arctic section of ocean.dmi.dk is taking a break, you can see the current and forecasted temps on this DMI site, which is still updated:


Select 'ice temperature' to get the best view in lieu of the DMI 60N weather and 80N temp charts.

It appears that a high is expected to arrive from northern Siberia, which will drive warm air towards Svalbard from the south, but ensure overall lower temps across the pack and ice convergence towards Beaufort.

Jim Hunt

I can believe it Kris. Not least because I've been blogging about how warm it's been in Southern Greenland recently!

By way of a slight change, here's the surf forecast for Greenland and Alaska, amongst other places:

Two Pairs of Hurricane Force Storms

Image redacted. Why is Typepad still so cr@p in this day and age?

John Christensen

Let me correct my statement above:

Looking at the Climate reanalyzer, it seems like a massive low is going to wrap itself around Greenland and then moving to the CAA, causing cold temperatures at the center of the CAA, but causing yet again lots of warmer, humid air to drive into the Arctic from the Norwegian Sea.


Hey, Jim: if you can believe Kris's comment why aren't you scared?

(OK, I suppose I'll have to read your blog to check out how scared you are or aren't!!)

John Christensen

Kris and AbbottisGone,

Regarding the warm temperatures currently on the Greenland south-west coast, you are taking these temps out of context, if you interpret these as being a direct result of AGW.

You need to try to understand the weather events causing these:

There is a significant storm centered just south of Greenland, which causes very strong winds and lots of warm, humid air to hit South Greenland from the east.
The precipitation (snow) from this storm is significant - and is what the Greenland ice sheet needs in order to survive.

See here:

However - and here is the trick - when the winds are very strong, the cold energy from the ice sheet combined with the fact that the distance from east to west of the high-altitude ice pack is much less in South Greenland, will only be able to take out a certain amount of heat from the heated air of the storm, so while air temps drop as the air climbs the eastern side of the Greenland ice pack, then the air temps will increase significantly again, when the air decends on the western side of the pack.
This is a normal phenomenon that you experience in alpine regions and is called foehn, mistral, etc. depending on the region.

If you are scared about the strong tropical storms, some reaching hurricane force, then it should be comforting that the Atlantic hurricane season of 2015 was below normal and that globally in 2015 the hurricane/typhoon activity level was the fourth lowest since 1970 (Only 2012, 2013, and 2014 being lower).. ;-)


John Christensen

AbbottisGone and Kris,

There is really nothing to be scared about with the high temps at Illulisat..

Check out the phenomenon of foehn and sublimation:

Here you see the foehn and how snow is accumulating on the east coast, while sublimation (and high temps at sea level) is visible on the western slope of southern Greenland:

And luckily we are not being overwhelmed with hurricanes and typhoons: 2015 had the 4th lowest level of tropical storm activity since 1970 measured by the ACE index:

The curious fact, which I have alluded to on another thread, is that only 2012, 2013, and 2014 had lower tropical storm activity - something few had anticipated with a warming and more humid atmosphere.

John Christensen

And Rob; ocean.dmi.dk/arctic is back online

Jim Hunt

AIG - See also my other blog. Maybe start here?


John - See also this forum discussion about mysterious recent events in Ilulissat Isfjord:


Let me try to insert an animated GIF....

Not too bad. See the lower right hand corner.

John Christensen

Hi Jim,

I have lurked a bit on the forum thread, but does not have the time.

However, for southern Greenland you see that this freezing season has seen a far higher amount of storms and resulting precipitation from the east, so that the foehn has been equally much higher than normal:

Rob Dekker

John said

And Rob; ocean.dmi.dk/arctic is back online

I noticed that, thank you John.
And the temperatures above 80 deg show clearly that the recent storms caused a whopping 10 deg C anomaly
and using the DMI predictions, there is more heat to come soon (Jan 25)
select "ice temperature" and "Arctic Sea".
Thanks for these links, John.

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