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There seems to be something wrong with the top graph. 2016 (red X) goes to December, and is identical to 2015.


Indeed, the crosses are wrong, but the red trend line is correct.

Andy Lee Robinson

Arctic Death Spiral shows January quite clearly. About the same as the minimum in 1979!

( http://haveland.com/share/arctic-death-spiral-1979-201601.jpg )


Thanks, Neven,
I know that you try to entertain us by pointing at the probability of rebounds…
But I’m not sure that the past week was really more conducive to ice growth:

 photo 1000Mb Temp ano 01 to 08022016_zps73xybyvm.jpg

Sunlight has reached a 100 miles N of Nordkapp, Norway. It has revealed the soon to pop up Mackenzie Polynia in the Beaufort Sea.
Winter has had its best time. Its ‘power’ hasn’t been what it once used to be…


>"Winter has had its best time."

Per a few sources like http://cires1.colorado.edu/~aslater/ARCTIC_TAIR/index_80_t2m.html
coldest time is mid Feb to mid March when ice extent is high and winds have to travel a long way over ice and snow if they are to bring warmth to Arctic. Doesn't this mean winter hasn't had its best time yet this year?

More unusually mild weather in next month would really eat into the remaining potential recovery time.



that chart only plots 1980-2010. One can look at the 'monthly data ranks' on that website and see how years 2011-2015 fared.

for instance, take March. the year that represented the 75th percentile for temperature was the year 2002, with a mean temperature of -25 C and change, compared to a median value of -27.5 C comparing the 1979-2015. Not only are the years 2011-2015 all above 75th percentile, but they represent 4 of the top 6 amongst the 37 years. eyeballing just those 4 reveals a mean of about -24.5 degrees compared to an overall mean of -27.5. Eyeballing this new mean of -24.5 for 2011-2015 puts it more in line with Mid April for the data set 1980-2010.

results are similar for Feb, with some variance.

So while its possible the coldest time of the year is late Feb-Early March which makes sense to me intuitively as a yeoman, albedo could become a factor when the sun rises in earnest in the periphery N of 80 degrees. I'm not sure if the resultant temperature increase would offset what would otherwise be gained by cooling vis a vis climatology. That's why other people make the big bucks.


apologies, the 2nd 'overall mean' I used in the post above is actually supposed to be Median. I don't know if someone could clean the first comment up and delete this one.

John Christensen

Hi stan,

I agree with crandles: If you look at ROOS data (http://arctic-roos.org/observations/ice-area-and-extent-in-arctic), you will notice that both area and extent average peak date over the past 10 years compared to the 1979-2006 average, will occur 1-2 weeks later.

The reason for the delay in the winter area and extent peaks, as most have speculated, is probably that it takes longer to cool down the Arctic top water layers caused by the increased water/atmosphere energy exchange resulting from reduced summer time ice cover.

As crandles also points out, the NH has cooled down, so even as the sun returns north bound moisture transport will cool down somewhat, before reaching the Arctic.


@ Werther,
I don't think Neven is trying to entertain us: he is trying to be conservative in his sum estimation of all events,... just like the IPCC.

It's simply called dotting your i's and crossing your t's. I'm sure you know this of course. (Words and communication are fun.)

Of course, Neven is entertaining however! (What did I just say?)



the link appeared to be broken for me, though it took me to arctic roos website. I tried poking around a bit, but I don't think I was quite able to find the dataset you wanted to show me.

A later than normal peak also makes sense to me intuitively, for the reasons you have given. But if temperatures above normal north of 80 degrees are still well below freezing point, are these mutually exclusive conditions?


Stan, re broken link:
To get to the page intended by John Christensen delete the ), that has been added to link by mistake.


I am still skeptical about PIOMAS being well adjusted with other sources of ice thickness or volume.

If you look at their graph:


2013 January had less sea ice than 2016 early February.

now compare with US Navy sea ice thickness:


February 8,2016 appears to have significantly less over all sea ice thickness than same date 2013.

and yes winter 15-16 is finally growing after many interruptions, But it will not be so big and fierce by the greatest interruptor of them all, the sun.


No clear trend yet for earlier winter maximums for volume:

"We may have already passed the winter max ice for extent, record early, as usual, but premature to call it just yet, before March 2nd, when we will know for sure. Extent has never come back to an earlier high after 22 days have passed, not getting back up there. For volume, the winter max happens in early March at the earliest, but with no clear trend, yet, towards earlier dates. Expect such a trend to materialise in the near future, but maybe not as early as this year?"


Al Rodger

I've not been monitoring it so I don't know how long PIOMAS has been showing February's value - possibly not long.
What I find mystifying is the monthly data has been updated to March. And more, it is giving a March figure 800k below the March record set in 2011. (As I lost the link to the daily data which doesn't appear for me on the PIOMAS site, I can't see what has happened there.)


It has just been updated, Al. I've never seen that file you link to before, but if you want the spreadsheet you need to scroll down all the way to the bottom of the page.

February saw the second lowest February increase in the 2007-2016 record, meaning 2016 is now lower than 2012 and every other year, just behind 2011. I'll have an ASIB post on this later today.

Here's a sneak preview:

Jim Hunt

Al - The daily data shows 20.660 for 2016 day 60, compared to 20.546 for 2011 day 60.

I parted with my email address to get it, although it looks like just pressing the "Send" button would work.

Maybe the March number you quote is an average for the month so far?

Al Rodger

Looking at the PIOMAS year-on-year graph, the 20,621k sq km figure posted on the monthly data page is almost certainly the last-day-of-February figure (which scales to 20,613k) posted by mistake.

Jim, thanks for that. Pressing SEND worked. I do wonder if my problem was that when I first encountered that page it wasn't up & running properly. This was a long time ago now, but having tried repeatedly submitting my e-mail, name, shoe size, etc & pressing SEND I never once got a link come up. So I haven't bothered pressing SEND since, not until just now.

Lawrence Martin

I am only a humble learner at ASIB & ASIF and have a sincere question.

Given what we know of past pauses in the decline of ice volume, is it safe to say that volume could be decimated if the Arctic is subjected to another “perfect storm summer” similar to 2012?

Jim Hunt

How do you define "decimated" Lawrence?

If it's "less than September 2012" that is certainly feasible given that all the sea ice metrics are currently lower than on the same day of 2012. Not by a lot though. What with one thing and another I have to admit that I haven't had a chance to compare snow cover yet though.

In addition the Beaufort Sea is lacking the thick ice of last year, currently at least. Nonetheless there's still lots of that north of Greenland and the CAA, which will take lots of energy to melt.

Why don't you try posing your question again in 3 months time?

    Given what we know of past pauses in the decline of ice volume,

Dear Lawrence, what do you mean by this?

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