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Hans Gunnstaddar


viddaloo, article at that link with info. on recent ice extent with graphs.


Now, I know I'm just an amateur ice blogger. But when I draw up the sea ice extent like this, in annual averages, the major plunges of the heaviest melt years — 2007, 2012, 2016 — stand out as something that demands an explanation. Of course, I get the point that such an explanation may not be very simple, or attributed to the same thing working on the ice in each case.

Yet when you see the greatest of all plunges lasting from July to November of 2007.... I get the feeling this is a self–sustaining plunge: The plunge initiation being sustained for 4 months like that, seems self–sustaining. To a degree it's even self–reinforcing, as you see the plunge going steeper further down.

I also know that theoretically you could have an initiation that just goes, say, 500 k lower than the previous year, and then you'd have a plunge lasting for 4 months just because of that, if, again theoretically, the year would only from then on increase or decrease in daily ice deltas exactly like the previous year.

In any case I see these plunges as interesting riddles to be solved. Any help here is much appreciated!


Can we put a more positive spin on this? People are starting their Christmas preparations.

Make no mistake: 2016 is lowest ever for Arctic sea ice Extent, Area and Volume. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. This current October—November plunge is record–breaking, in terms of its severity and its record–low starting point of less than 10 million km². This dramatic collapse of the ice is a direct result of global warming engineered by human activity.

Click for blog post & full size graph.


Has anybody considered that an 'ice free' Arctic Ocean could occur during an Arctic winter?

The Arctic summer and autmn reduces the thickness and condition of the ice. The Arctic winter subjects the ice to storms of increasing frequency and intensity that flushes the fragmentd ice into the Atlantic and the remaing ice falls below the 15% threshold.


I am inclined to the view that the first 'ice free' event will be recorded and determined by a single forcing factor (winter storms) leading to mechanical destruction and dispersal of the ice rather than a combination of forcing factors (summer tempetatures) leading to ice melting and dispersal.


"I was doing some checking on the NOAA site for CO2 trends."

Neil, I have spent some time looking at the NOAA CO2 website and things look even worse than you mention.

At the end of 2015 CO2 equivalent was 485ppm of CO2. Global Radiative forcing was nearly 3 W/M^2.

You are right about the rate increasing. The protocols the world is putting into place should be causing a decline in the rate increase, right??

NOAA has a nice chart that shows the numbers back to 1979:




simply signing a protocol doesn't change anything, and, I would add, probably never will. Danish papers, for instance, this morning report that the government's put the so–called Green Transition on pause.

Polluticians lie. It's a fact of life. Get over it.

John Bilsky

D... Several years ago I seem to remember posting something here along the lines of your thinking and I called it The Belmont Lake Effect.

The Origin of TBLE: It was a mid-spring day and the ice on Belmont Lake was rotten but still covering the entire lake save for plenty of room along the shoreline for a row boat. Dad wanted to go fishing in the worst way. Well, to make a long story short, the wind kicked up, started to push the ice around and within 20 minutes we witnessed 2 miles of 6" thick rotten ice get smashed to oblivion. It was literally all gone when it piled up on the far end of the lake. Obviously the Arctic is just a wee bit larger than a several hundred acre lake ... but the PROCESS has to be the same. Mechanical destruction & dispersal after a major weakening spells "doomed" in my estimation. Sure, the scale is different but both RC airplanes & jumbo jets fly because of the same principles. My 2¢ and I'm sticking to it. LOL :)


There was a saying which I read here, "the more the open water at minima the more ice will reform quickly" , this we can comfortably confirm no longer applies, 2016 771K less sea ice than 2012. There was also the AO- , in place since October 11, which coincides with a definite slowdown in extent rate gains, that theory or practice to explain how sea ice behaves has failed miserably as well (again!).

What we are actually witnessing is a glimpse of the near future, warmer surface temperatures, much cloudier from cyclone encroachment driven Arctic Ocean, and warmer sea surface temperatures all combine to dwindle the presence of sea ice in extent or volume. A feedback loop which favors
warming already strong getting stronger. From this it is possible to foresee
a furtherance of a decrease in sea ice in proportion to the warming, and darkness albedo, clouds reflection heat back to the ocean.


Looking at low Arctic and Antarctic numbers it would be interesting to see the global graph, unfortunately it does not look like CT is ever coming back:


Is there another similar resource? I'm thinking this metric would be doing some unusual things in current conditions.

Colorado Bob

On the atmospheric response experiment to a Blue Arctic Ocean
We demonstrated atmospheric responses to a reduction in Arctic sea ice via simulations in which Arctic sea ice decreased stepwise from the present-day range to an ice-free range. In all cases, the tropospheric response exhibited a negative Arctic Oscillation (AO)-like pattern. An intensification of the climatological planetary-scale wave due to the present-day sea ice reduction on the Atlantic side of the Arctic Ocean induced stratospheric polar vortex weakening and the subsequent negative AO. Conversely, strong Arctic warming due to ice-free conditions across the entire Arctic Ocean induced a weakening of the tropospheric westerlies corresponding to a negative AO without troposphere-stratosphere coupling, for which the planetary-scale wave response to a surface heat source extending to the Pacific side of the Arctic Ocean was responsible. Because the resultant negative AO-like response was accompanied by secondary circulation in the meridional plane, atmospheric heat transport into the Arctic increased, accelerating the Arctic amplification.



"Because the resultant negative AO-like response was accompanied by secondary circulation in the meridional plane, atmospheric heat transport into the Arctic increased, accelerating the Arctic amplification."

And Colorado Bob's reference now lays it out in black and white.

It may be over except for the shouting.


Correct VaughnA the protocols the countries have signed are "politically" stated as a requirement to reduce CO2 levels.

In fact they start out as scientific assessments, on which an action is required. By the time they have been through the political mill, the end result is that the signed protocol will only reduce the decadal increase, not any headline CO2 levels.

These last two years have been heavily affected by the huge Nino. I expect the increase to settle down and drop a bit come 2017 onwards.

But the trend is simple. Any huge Nino increase becomes the baseline within two decades or so. However we're even reaching the stage where interannual increases are so high that a huge Nino is not going to stand out that much.

I have long given up on any possible action which will even slow down what we are going to see. Let alone mitigate and reduce it.

I just pop up and mention it from time to time.

It is, after all, a rather inconvenient truth.


vindaloo, unfortunately you did not recognize my sarcasm about the protocols/ politicians/"Politicians" as you put it. BTW, I am a long term lurker and have read this blog long before you started posting. I occasionally post when I have something to add.

My point was about the table of the various greenhouse gasses that NOAA has documented since 1979 which have left us with a carbon equivalent of 485 ppm as of the end of 2015. That is considerably worse than the 402 ppm of CO2 being tossed around now. I am not sure most people think about the other greenhouse gasses although I believe most people on this blog may be aware of methane, nitrous oxide and other gasses.

NOAA: http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/aggi/aggi.html


John Bilsky - The Belmont Lake Effect TBLE

Your descriptive analogy of the mechanical destruction and dispersal of rotten ice on Belmont Lake perfectly encapsulated the thoughts that I expressed in my previous posting on the process leading to a blue water event in the Arctic Ocean.

Maybe your inferred doubt related to 'scale' is not such an issue if the 'increasing frequency and intensity of Arctic storms' replaced the 'wind got up' and the Canadian Archipeligo' replaced the 'far end of the lake'. Perhaps the two events would scale-up to a good match.

Thank you for sharing the memory of your dad and his fishing escapades...who knows, maybe a future headline will read:-



Climate Change - Protocols

I find it very difficult to understand why so much time, effort and expense should be comitted to this subject. The forcing patterns of climate change are established and intensifying because of greenhouse gases already present in the atmosphere; it is not necessary for additional greenhouse gases to enter the atmosphere for the present state of affairs to continue and accelerate.

If the emission of greenhouse gasses ceased today the Earth would continue to increase in temperature and this will probably lead to a catastrophic or cataclysmic event. Reduction of greenhouse gases is an option that is already 'out of time'.

Surely the debate should be the methodology to sequestrate greenhouse gasses from the atmosphere and to create solar shade for the planet.


May I ask: "What is 'rotten ice',?"


Anotherjourneybytrain - Rotten Ice

Ice that retains little structural strength caused by melt and mechanical breakdown; ice that is in poor condition; similar to the condition of large extents of ice at the end of the current melt season in the Artic Ocean. A comparision might be rotted wood, though still wood it retains little strength by comparision to its original state.


Cheers D.

So, if the multiyear sea ice largely disappears and is replaced by salty first year ice that, according to wayne, melts much more easily we could then say that the Arctic is 'rotting'?

(My base argument is that 'salty ice' = 'rotten ice' for all intents and purposes.)

Hans Gunnstaddar

"Surely the debate should be the methodology to sequestrate greenhouse gasses from the atmosphere and to create solar shade for the planet."

Exactly my sentiment as well, D. The one that gets me is the idea there is a carbon allowance of X billions of tons that we can continue to spew into the atmosphere this side of 2C. Uh, you people ever heard of thermal inertia?

The one that gets me is the idea there is a carbon allowance of X billions of tons that we can continue to spew into the atmosphere this side of 2C. Uh, you people ever heard of thermal inertia?

Exactly, Hans.

Which I guess is why I call the whole Paris Protocol horse–and–pony show a 'horse–and–pony show'. Clearly, this is what Cæsar would have called Bread & Circus?


Vaughn, not that easy to detect sarcasm in text and from someone you do not know! :)

This may not be the perfect timing for it (I'm usually a bit of an early bird), but I have a question for everyone reading this blog:

How is it that a scientist who said this was going to happen, was derided as an alarmist, still is derided as an alarmist and will probably go on to be derided as an alarmist even after he passes away? If we look in the dictionary, an alarmist is

"One who causes others to become alarmed without cause."

Are we seriously suggesting there was no reason whatsoever to be alarmed by a near–term sea ice collapse and subsequent societal collapse? How about saying umm, we were wrong, guy wasn't an alarmist after all? He was in fact right.


The bread and circus show consisted of death and the alluded to satisfaction of death.

No one is satisfied these days: that is the difference! Revolution is afoot and Governments cannot but heed that ill and heady feeling!!


I always thought the Bread and Circus show was two fold, feed the people to keep them more content and give entertainment to keep them docile and not thinking about how bad things really were.

Sounds about right.

On the sequestration front, we already know one of the very best ways of sequestering CO2 and it's self regulating and maintaining. Plant forests. Well, to be accurate, plant a couple of Amazon forests. But the point is quite simple. Plant the trees, ensure they have enough nutrition and water and they will do the job for us.

Of course to do that people would have to give up land. At which point we get back to geo-engineering.

I must admit that every time I hear geo-engineering I think "We have been doing that, flat out, with every person on the planet contributing, for 150 years; how much more effort could we put in and how would we do it when everyone is still continuing down the CO2 expansion track? We would need to have an engineering project fully twice what is needed to sequestrate what we have emitted because we'd also have to absorb what we are currently emitting too."

Even if we engaged on a project which were to absorb 4ppm CO2, every single year, it would take us a century to get to a level which had a hope of even staving off the short term impact and we're much more likely to kill ourselves off fighting wars over migration due to lost land and drought and desertification than we are to find a simple way out of this.

Hence I believe that Bread and Circus is very accurate. Although our Circus, today, is Reality TV, Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram and Twitter.


Bread and Circus - I don't think there is *only* intention, likely most is genuine desperation by the few in the ruling elites that really know.
As a hint to few issues involved by hypothetical and partially ongoing shift of the energy paradigm towards renewable energies, I can humbly propose a reading of one of our latest works https://arxiv.org/abs/1610.07298 "The energy-population conundrum and its possible solution" (modified version currently under peer review). Who should decide to read, will find how stringent are requirements for sources candidate to replace oil in the energy mix, as well as the possible role of biomass along a novel emerging approach.


Anotherjourneybytrain - Rotten Ice

The multi-year ice has already mostly disappeared from the Arctic Ocean.

The following links to an animation by NOAA Climate.gov team, based on research data provided by Mark Tschudi, CCAR, University of Colorado:-


The animation graphically demonstrates loss of the multi-year ice.

The explanation by Wayne that new ice is less resistant to melt than multi-year ice is correct.

Your analagous equation that 'salty ice = rotten ice' is not quite scientifically correct because when 'seawater' freezes it expresses the salt content to become 'freshwater' ice. However you are correct in assuming that 'to all intents and purpose Arctic Ocean sea ice is now significantly 'rotten'.

Robert S

I can't entirely agree with the "bread and circuses" characterization of the Paris and other climate agreements. It is clear that the planet will keep warming for a while even if we turn off the GHG tap entirely... which we're not going to do in the short term, nor could we. However, when you dig into the actual actions which are proposed at the national level, many countries are focusing on exactly the kind of biological carbon removal actions which are being mentioned here - reforestation, sequestration of carbon in soils, etc. Having written global standards for how these carbon sinks are accounted, I can say that there is a lot of work being done, and a lot of potential for real removals of carbon from the atmosphere. Will the combination of emission reductions and increased sinks avoid "climate catastrophe"? Depending on how you define that catastrophe, probably not... but catastrophe is not a binary event. Everything we are doing, everything proposed in the Paris Accords, can at least make it a smaller catastrophe rather than a larger one - like the difference between a 7.0 and 9.0 earthquake... which is a very significant difference! While I, like everyone here, am watching the arctic sea ice because it is such a clear canary in the coal mine, I can live with an ice free arctic better than the starvation of billions of people, so I will continue to believe that everything we can do to make the disaster "smaller" is worth doing.


If you think this looks bad, keep in mind annual average extent is only 1.3% lower than the nearest competition (2012). Similar deviation for volume is 6.8%.

Click to view full graph & blog post

Colorado Bob

Here’s how much of the Arctic you’re personally responsible for melting



Cheers D, my idea was basically that the more salty ice there is the more chance the multi-year ice pack will itself become compromised and all the more likely to be inadvertently thrown thru the garlic press and the global economy will be looking at a phase-change-event sooner rather than later.

I'm just trying to back it up with shared logic!!


Thanks for this wonderful blog Neven and everyone who contributes.

I fear this alarming slow refreeze is the beginning of the death throes fpr the ice, though I'm just an artist lurking around. I'm painting some Goodbye Waves(thanks Wayne) from satellite imagery to try to helpspread the word

It appears on my blog at http://name-of-liberty.blogspot.com/2016/10/wrangel-fingers.html - thanks again and I'll go back to lurking

I'm just an artist lurking around

Liberty! So nice to have a fellow artist onboard! PS: From my ice blog description:

Writer & Graph Artiste
While I, like everyone here, am watching the arctic sea ice because it is such a clear canary in the coal mine, I can live with an ice free arctic better than the starvation of billions of people, so I will continue to believe that everything we can do to make the disaster "smaller" is worth doing.


I agree with you that Arctic sea ice collapse is a proverbial canary in our esteemed coal mine, however I fail to see how that final collapse of ice floating in an ever warmer Arctic Ocean can in any way save billions of people from starvation, resulting I presume, from crop failure.

Not sure you can really say one is better than the other, if the very loss of Arctic sea ice will result in global crop failure further down that road?


Very nice, NOL!


Very nice! Just like what we find in any modern Art Gallery, Liberty

For other Artists seeking inspiration and also create more awareness by their art, please go to NASA EOSDIS


Goodbye Waves are what is left of sea ice just before it disappears to the darker sea. Look for them especially in Fram Strait, Beaufort Sea and everywhere next to the sea ice shorelines between June and September. They will become more numerous and impressive each coming summer's melts. Sea ice always goes away with style.

Robert S

Vidaloo. You're absolutely right that the collapse of the arctic sea ice will in no way prevent mass starvations - if anything it will exacerbate albedo and other feedback effects. My point was rather that everything we can do to reduce the CO2e content of the atmosphere at least reduces the risk of ever more dire outcomes. 3 degrees warming is catastrophic... but 4 would be apocalyptic.


"I can live with an ice free arctic better than the starvation of billions of people."

Robert, An ice free Arctic will likely directly cause the starvation of billions of people. If not for lack of food, then things like flooding, fires, political unrest, etc. will lead to tremendous turmoil.

As a gardener/horticulturist I see many more destructive insects after a warmer than normal winter. Some people may like the feel of a warmer winter, but when they are starving it will be too late to do anything about it.

Hotter summers will kill many crops. During the daytime 30 degrees C is the generally accepted temperature of the maximum photosynthesis rate for C-3 plants. C-4 plants like corn and many tropical plants tolerate temperatures a few degrees warmer. Above 36 degrees C many/most C-3 plants are respiring faster than photosynthesizing so they starve to death. Warmer nighttime temperatures cause plants to respire faster at night as well, thereby leading to their starvation even faster during hotter weather.

More heat causes more evaporation so soils dry out faster. Change in rainfall patterns does not help either.

Things do not look good with an ice free Arctic.


I have a slightly different risk scenario for the temperature rises.

I see 1.5C as apocalyptical, 2C as species limiting and 3c and above as species survival challenging.

Let's be honest here about protocols and reducing CO2 emissions.

Between 1980 and 1992, the year of Kyoto, CO2 levels rose 17ppm.

In the following 12 years after the ratification of Kyoto, CO2 rose 21ppm

In the 11 years following that, CO2 rose 24ppm and by next year we will add 2016 and that 12 years will probably be in the 27ppm bracket.

The CO2e figure is significantly worse than that.

Any hope that we will reduce temperatures below 1.5C or 2C over pre industrial is not just a hope, it is a flight of fancy waiting to be crushed by stark reality.

Let's face it. Millions won't starve, Billions will.

We have been skipping this by the skin of our teeth. Disastrous harvests in Australia offset by bumper harvests in Canada and Argentina. Fires in Russia offset by recovering harvests in Australia and bumper harvests in Argentina.

But this can't last. One of these years we're going to have drought in Austrailia, disastrous harvests in America, fires in Canada and Russia.

Then what are people going to eat?

I watched the trains in France when Russia was burning. Old, rusty, rarely used, wheat transport cars were travelling all night every day of the week. EU grain stores (usually used to keep the price artificially high), were being emptied to fill the gap. Nobody was talking about it but it was there for anyone to see who had their eyes open.

This kind of stop gap fill in will only work for a while.. 3 globally reduced harvests and people are going to be looking for bread and flour and finding nothing. Even in western countries.

The Arctic is the canary in the coal mine. Sadly those who should be responding to it are not those who are going to die when the environment explodes on us......


Present extreme volume loss rates (205 km³/month) not likely to be sustained for longer periods, or at least I hope not, but I thought I'd mention just the same that we crossed a milestone on Thursday, where all of the annual sea ice in the Arctic would be gone in less than 5 years at the present pace of monthly (30–day) annual average volume (AAV) losses.

Or, to be more accurate:

To get to zero km³ AAV by Nov 3 2021, every day starting Nov 4 2020 would have to have an Arctic sea ice volume of zero km³.

So –205 km³/month pretty much spells the End of Ice in 4 years, rather than 5.

However, it likely won't be sustained, as –205 km³/month implies daily sea ice volume 2494 km³ lower than the same day of the previous year, on average for 30 days.


Robert S
Protocols - Consequences

Your reference to 'much work being done'.
The deployment of any new technology will almost certainly be 'out of time'. Time is of the essence.

I find it difficult to imagine how a catastrophic event can now be avoided and the question on my mind is whether or not a catastrophic event will trigger the necessary global response to avert a cataclysmic event.

In the context of this discussion I would suggest the following definitions:-
Catastrophic: A severe global dislocation of all systems that support life as we know it today.
Cataclysmic: An extinction or near extinction event.

I am 72 years old and do not expect my children and grandchildren to enjoy such longevity of life. I desperately hope that I am wrong but unless there is an unforseen interceding event I fear the worst.

A Prediction from a peer reviewed scientific paper I read some years ago...'The Arctic Ocean will be ice free at a point in time in 2020 + or - 4 years'.

I fear that what is about to happen and the consequencies will not play out over a couple of lifetimes.

Rob Dekker

Temperatures above 80 deg N are really extraordinary :


Looks like some 15 C above normal.
I wonder when it starts freezing up there...

Robert S

Basically, I agree with all of you on the dire situation (although I think that there is some reasonable chance that 1.5C won't be apocalyptic). But at the end of the day we have to do all we can to try to at least slow the run away train. Sitting on our hands just isn't an option - we should at least die clinging to the brake...

That being said, I'm not convinced that 1.5C and an ice free arctic necessarily implies mass famine. Global warming does not impact evenly - there will be places where food production goes up. On the other hand, 3+C is almost certainly a mass population crash. And as for the idea that anything short of falling into the sun will cause human extinction... no way. We're way too nastily persistent for that.

Meanwhile, the temperatures in the Arctic Basin... and for that matter across the Canadian Prairies... continue to amaze.

Hans Gunnstaddar

"And as for the idea that anything short of falling into the sun will cause human extinction... no way. We're way too nastily persistent for that."

In my opinion, although a die off of a majority of people is possible, I agree R.S. on your point of extinction being unlikely. We are very good at assessing situations and making quick changes and or moving. Even if we had to live underground to even out temps and or grow food & breed livestock in specialized structures, a certain percentage are bound to scratch out an existence long enough to make it through a bottleneck. Keep in mind the earliest small mammals survived the extinction of the dinosaurs.

It would also be great if there was an opportunity for a very hard lesson to be learned to move consciousness to a higher level of understanding and balance with our environment.


When we talk about impact I think we're talking about two different metrics.

I believe that when others talk about catastrophic or cataclysmic, they are talking about purely natural impacts.

I, on the other hand, factor in the two legged catastrophe into the picture.

There is a school of thought that the Arab Spring resulted from a rise in the cost of Flour and the availability of Flour and Bread, as a result of the Australian droughts and the Russian forest fires.

Personally I believe this.

So when we look back at 1999 with 0.9C warming over pre industrial and 6 billion people on the planet, that gives us one impact.

When I look to 2016, with El Nino pushing temperatures close to 1.5 and the world population at 7.4 billion, I see a catastrophe in the making.

Another .6C warming (Global Average) and another 2 billion people on the planet (from 1999), by, say 2026 and I see a powder keg simply lying open and waiting for a spark.

We have to remember that we have three different graphs going here.

One is the temp curve
The other is the sheer number of mouths to feed
The last one is the ability of the biosphere to continue to produce even the current levels of nutrition.

Add on top of that humanity's inbuilt ability to make the worst of every situation and...

If that isn't species challenging I don't see what is.

I know that half the people who look at this situation don't even realise what is going on right now. Our western press is doling out ongoing, constant, drivel about people escaping "war and poverty".

Yep I can understand the war thing to some extent. But the poverty that they just so calmly stick in? There's a billion people in Africa living in "poverty". What are they going to do when they get to the west and we can't feed them either???

There are scientific and social demographics here and the politicians and press are addressing neither.


Robert S; Hans Gunnstadder; NeilT
Protocols - Consequences

I agree with everything you say.
My definition of cataclysmic; an extinction or 'near' extinction event and thereby allowing for the possibility of continuation of the human race albeit under extreme and changed circumstances.
Dune 2...Maybe! (From fiction to reality).


Protocol - Consequences

FAO: Neven1
I am aware that my postings have perhaps veered somewhat 'off topic' but I beleive that we are beyond 'graphs and charts'. This is an excellent blog site that I have enjoyed following for a number of years although I have only recently posted contributions. I hope that you will continue to allow the odd contributions from the 'geo-political' side.


Hi Rob,

"Looks like some 15 C above normal.
I wonder when it starts freezing up there..."

There is an inescapable conclusion to draw at present, the greater sea ice field is badly broken up, worse shape ever, even in darkness with lesser cloud cover the heat persists. Leaving mainly one heat source , the Arctic Ocean. Advection from Cyclones contribute to slower consolidation of open water, which multiple thousand leads act like a heat exchanging membrane:



Here is a question that has troubled me. Water has a much lower Albedo than ice, and so open water will absorb more heat during the sunny summer supplying a positive feedback. But in winter this dark water radiates more heat. So the extra open water during the dark period this winter is a negative feedback allowing more heat to escape from the arctic. Is this significant or isn't it?


Thanks Wayne and Viddaloo,

Goodbye Waves is a very apt term - they were everywhere in September when I looked at the ice with Wprldview

The natural world is beautiful, but it depends on the context and vantage point. Tropical cyclones like Haiyan also are beautiful, from space. But the more rapid intensification and greater magnitudes of cyclones are alarming, and the disappearance of ice even worse, presaging dangerous changes in the climate like Robert S mentioned

The slow refreeze the astonishing and makes me wonder how many decades the winter ice will last - and how rapidly that will impact on Greenland

John O'Driscoll



You might think that but the heat escaping actually invites cyclones and general advection of atmospheric heat into Arctic.

At the equator the atmosphere is most important for heat transer and at the poles the ocean becomes more predominant for heat transfer.

Hot air doesn't actually rise. It does but through a complicated mechanism called 'floatation'. The reality is that cold air drops to the heat reservoir called the ocean surface and picks up energy which causes it to spread out. This allows more cold air to flow through it which picks up its share of heat energy from the ocean and spreads out in the same fashion.

This second packet of air hasn't had as much time as the first packet to spread out and thus density considerations mean the second packet 'floats' the first packet. This cycle continues as what is happening is a continuous relative vacuum is being filled, recreated and refilled and recreated.

The atmosphere doesn't distribute heat at the poles- the ocean does that but if that's not doing its job properly by turning into ice and rejecting salt to make the hot water dive due to density considerations(thermohaline cycle) than we're in big trouble.

(Nice question: I may not have explained the answer very well but trust me- you've asked exactly the right question!)(I wouldn't mind hearing the proper answer myself)

It's about a proper understanding of how the wind and thermohaline cycles work. Heat needs a medium in which to exist, etc...



((What has happened to Baffin/ Newfoundland Sea Ice Are?))


It is more like a much slowed refreeze of open water, which will eventually become solid. At this time, dispersion is happening on the Pacific side of Pole, which also helps sea ice formation. Radiation to space is happening but is largely compensated from Arctic Ocean heat with its remaining open water. This in turn encourages Cyclones to stagger about. The very white sea ice infrared signature zones happen
but never last very long, winter over the Ocean fails to gain strength and this is the largest invitation possible for warm air advection to continue,


As seen in the graph, annual extent took a stunning 101,404 km² monthly drop, the likes of which we have not seen since November 4th 2007. 100,000 km² is yet another milestone for 2016 sea ice collapse. How many monthly drops like this before it's all gone? Well, computers wouldn't be worth their salt if they couldn't figure that one out! Computer says 85 months, or December 2023. So there's a lag between our truly insane emissions of carbon and final collapse of the ice. Starting this november, all of these lag estimates will be assembled in the #lagcloud and presented accordingly.

Click to view full graph & blog post

Hans Gunnstaddar

"Dune 2...Maybe! (From fiction to reality)."

D, there will need to be a billionaire (so to speak for the times) who owns all the caches of water. The bottleneck survivors will pay for water with small lizards they catch in the desert using a thumper to draw them in (that runs on a small PV panel - remnant of the time of plenty).


Hans Gunnstaddar
'Dune 2...Maybe! (From Fiction to reality)

Loads of laughs Hans. I want to be with you as a bottleneck survivor. You seem to know the drill! I am too old to ride the thumper but I will beat out the ancient rhythm in the sand for you.


PIOMAS is in for October. What is pictured closely follows what is obvious through other data. Lowest ever for 31 October.


Wipneus predicted it, yay(....!??!)


Charctic shows Antarctic sea ice extent being record low for this time of year.

Colorado Bob

One of the key predictions of hypothesis , was an increase in extreme precipitation events, what is going on in Siberia now is clear proof of that very thing.

Districts like Abyisky and Srednekolymsky have faced five months of snow in just four weeks.


Hans Gunnstaddar

It will be good to have you on board D, as people with a sense of humor will be welcomed for such a period of perilous escapades.

Bill Fothergill

@ D_C_S
"Charctic shows Antarctic sea ice extent being record low for this time of year."

Well spotted! I thought 2016 might drop below 1986 levels a bit later in the month, but certainly not this early.

Around 8 weeks ago, I wrote something about the behaviour of Antarctic sea ice on the IJIS thread of the Forum (Comment #3143). The relevant bits include...

"Meanwhile, in a place quite literally poles apart from the Arctic, things are moving in the opposite direction - in every sense...

Anyone who has not recently clicked on the "Antarctic" button on the Region Selector part of the IJIS/ADS page may well be surprised if they have a quick look.


I think it's too early to say if this is purely down to specific weather conditions, or whether the sea ice in the Antarctic is starting to respond to climate change in an analogous fashion to its boreal cousin. However, a watching brief is definitely in order."

My views have not changed in the intervening period.

What is more striking is the numbers pertaining to area. In October, the monthly average for Antarctic extent was just 20k above the 1986 equivalent. However, since September, the monthly average for area has been lowest in the NSIDC database.

Now that I'm back from holiday, I'm planning on doing a write-up over the next few days relating to the Global sea ice position. It isn't going to be much of a spoiler to say that we're heading for the lowest annual average by a considerable amount. (As well as lowest minimum and lowest maximum.)


Very interesting point Bill

The combined lowest extent from both Poles gives a lot to ponder about. On a Global scale, my immediate sense is that the stratosphere may respond differently because of albedo and general radiation feedback reasons. The other would be tropical storms from the lack of general circulation cooling.

Meanwhile back in the Arctic, the much thinned and less wide sea ice has been affecting winter in a predictable way, winter has started deep within the continents in greater night time darkness. In fact warming from the Arctic Ocean has boosted temperatures in some usually cold spots, in fact isolating winter. This makes general circulation quite wildly different and will lead to extreme warming and cooling bursts amenable to past 10 years. To make it simple, to the East of the coldest continental sectors mainly warming, to the West cooling. Northern Canada has not much cold to brag about , not as much as Central Siberia, sorry hey! Canadian winter for Eastern Europe! All this because winter is weak, as defined by sea ice:


John Christensen

The 'Siberian' cold actually stretches from Morocco to the West Siberian Plain and then again across much of eastern Siberia to Kamchatka.

And now the sea ice is causing this weather, not the AO. Great!

John Christensen

But yes; most of North America and the central Arctic very warm indeed:




AO is a pressure index! Wow keep digging its prediction/prognosis skill grave...., how does it cause this cooling on one side of the world and not on the other? Lol :)


A clue about why Inland Siberia is hitting it colder than North America, there is wee bit more land no archipelago surrounded by sea water not quite all frozen...


 photo 500Mb Geo ano 1509 to 06112016_zps59cfwdfm.jpg

In this discussion I’d like to point to the ‘reappearance’ of the ‘Kara Bulge’.
Some 5 years ago I commented a lot on that feature. It is back.


Viddaloo that 2029 extrapolation of yours hurts the eyes and the sensibility of any person with a minimum honest education in Science,...whether you are for serious or not.

Bill Fothergill

@ Wayne
"... This makes general circulation quite wildly different and will lead to extreme warming and cooling bursts ..."

Yeah, the changes up north (and, perhaps soon, down south as well) will, I fear, lead to some interesting times ahead. My thought train sometimes runs along the line of...

Reduced Arctic sea ice >> increased Arctic amplification >> reduced temperature gradient at the boundary of the Polar/Ferrel cells >> reduced velocity of the sub-polar jet stream >> meandering and bifurcation of said jet stream >> blocking patterns resulting in almost stationary ascending or descending lobes >> periods of extreme cold or extreme heat depending upon lobe direction.

In the UK, I can remember having 4 of these instances: in 1962/63 and 2010/11 descending blocked lobes led to severe winters, whilst in 1975 (I think) and 2003 ascending blocked lobes resulted in extreme (for us) heatwaves.

I think these may well increase in both frequency and severity.

Going slightly off topic, the WMO has just released a review stating that, globally, 2011-15 was the hottest such 5-year period on record.

Needless to say, 2012-2016 is going to be hotter still - probably by somewhere in the order of an additional ~ 0.08 deg C.

Still, if DJT gets into 1600 Penn, we can all rest easy. {sarcasm off}

that 2029 extrapolation of yours hurts the eyes and the sensibility of any person with a minimum honest education in Science

Not sure what you mean here. Navegante. 2029? I wish......

My vid's more like 2022–23.



I agree with your outlook, would add slower to the Poles circulation would increase heating of the Oceans, not to forget super heat waves in Australia, not that they did not have any lately, and of course on occasion mega tropical Hurricanes/Typhoons feeding on the boost to sea surface temperatures, already too warm. It will be pleasant for those in higher latitudes not liking cold weather, and bad where most of the people of the world live.


Well, this is really f**'d up. Trump means years in reverse in a crucial moment.



I understand your sentiment but Trump will make no difference ...unless, he changes his mind and sees profit in sequestration and solar shade. We need politicians who are not afraid to change their minds.

After all, what would Clinton have done...go along with the Paris Protocol (too little too late) to gain kudos on the global political stage?

Reduction or elimination of greenhouse gas emissions will not prevent the inevitable; it will not even gain sufficient time to prevent the inevitable. Observing the disintegration of the Arctic sea ice and speculating on its eventual demise is very interesting but in reality little more than a navel gazing excercise. I gaze at my navel a lot and it is very interesting!



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