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Neven: I came here as soon as I saw the ASIF was not available. If it's a hack, it's evil. People have been relying on the hurricanes thread to know when to evacuate, where to go etc.

Just while the ASIF is unavailable I am inviting all your ASIF hurricane contributors to make use of my blog to post updates.


I hope this helps you, your contributors, and above all: the people in harm's way.

John Christensen

Thank you for a great update Neven!

It has been an amazing melting season so far given the extreme low max numbers on area, extent and volume that we saw in April.

To the point that the cloudy and cold summer weather could be a negative feedback let me add a couple of observations in support:

1) In 2013, 2014, 2015, and now in 2017 there is a very visible temperature drop in the DMI 80N chart ( http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/meant80n.uk.php ) during May, where the cyclonic weather pattern gets in place - also slightly visible in 2012, but not in 2016.

2) At Summit in Greenland a record low temperature for July was reached in 2016 (Since 1981) and it was broken by a new record low recorded early July 2017.

Research indicates that cyclonic weather patterns are most common in the Arctic during summer months, so this is not a new phenomenon, but it may be that the heating of surrounding continents and reduction in permafrost areas contribute to isolating the northernmost Arctic region, with higher difference in temperature compared to land masses.
The above normal snow coverage could have assisted in enhancing this effect.

If this negative feedback is in fact in play, then we will probably continue seeing mild winters combined with below normal summer melting - until freak weather patterns result in a repeat of 2007, which the Arctic sea ice will be much less likely to survive in coming years.


Patrick, thanks for the link. As far as I know so far, it's a possible hack. Maybe it isn't. If it is, I don't know if it's by someone with climate risk denier sympathies, or a Russian spambot, or whatever. We'll have to wait and see, and hopefully the ASIF can go live soon.

John, I agree.


Neven: if your contributors sign up, if only temporarily, they will be able to post images etc.

Folks like Sigmetnow were doing such a grand job keeping bang up to date with info. If it was a hack, I hope you nail the b$%$%.

On topic: be ready for your words about upturns to be misused by the usual suspects. Oh yes, isn't the trend line the straight one and not the squiggly one? ;-)

"Of course, the trend line on the PIOMAS sea ice volume anomaly graph has shot up some more:"


You would have to say a negative feedback mechanism is kicking in.

People certainly mentioned the term snow a lot but this may turn into water just as surely as the multi-year ice has vastly changed its form.

We are watching incremental change in sinusoidal form but certain change it appears to be...

For instance: there are real fears over the cyclones in America and insurance is starting to become a factor... meaning market forces may start getting serious about further investigating the science which means different indicators may come to the fore and so reveal worse things than we previously thought possible!

On topic: be ready for your words about upturns to be misused by the usual suspects.

I try not to care too much about what the usual suspects do, because then I have to think about how I say things, thinking in gotchas and maximum effect. Before you know it, I'm a usual suspect myself. ;-)

I'm just calling it as I see it, and try to be clear about my biases and motivations.

If people then still want to hack the blog/forum I set up in my spare time, so be it. I think that in the long run they only hurt themselves, because being able to do such things, sets you up for lots of personal misery. Life is short and very easy to screw up.

But again, I don't know whether the ASIF is hacked for real, and if so, by whom. People are looking into it.

Oh yes, isn't the trend line the straight one and not the squiggly one?

The squiggly trend line is the anomaly trend line, the straight one is the linear trend.


Thanks for the update. From Wipneus' anomaly chart, it appears that August accounts for much of the rebound when comparing to the seasonal progression of recent years. That implies PIOMAS volume has tracked the slowdown in area/extent losses, and bottom melt hasn't had much effect on the trend recently. Different than what I would have guessed.

Cato Uticensis

Thanks Neven for this fantastic contribution, intellectually honest as usual and rich of food for thought. I can just fully agree with you on what you have so clearly illustrated.
Personally I'm impressed by the difficulty in making forecasts on complex systems like arctic ice, for all the possible feebacks, positive and negative, intervening and contributing to the final outcome in terms of ice volume and extension.

To which extent do these feedbacks oppose the "natural" decline of ice extension and volume due to global warming? And is it possible that the Arctic ice will be able to find a new equilibrium where ice does not totally disappear in spite of temperatures increasing globally? And what is the influence of El Nino events on the Arctic ice? Is it possible, for example, that it took a couple of years for the Arctic to manage the excess of heat coming from the latest Nino, thus possibly contributing to the current rebound?

Too many questions, I know. I just reckon this system is probably much more complex than I myself liked to imagine it.

But again, I don't know whether the ASIF is hacked for real, and if so, by whom. People are looking into it.

Good news! It was a false positive, no hack. Forum is back up again!

And is it possible that the Arctic ice will be able to find a new equilibrium where ice does not totally disappear in spite of temperatures increasing globally?

Given that heat flows from the equator to the Poles (where most of it radiates back to space again), I don't think there really can be such an equilibrium as long as the atmosphere and oceans continue to warm up. At best, the Arctic becomes ice-free towards the end of the century after all, which would still be incredibly fast, in geological terms.

And what is the influence of El Nino events on the Arctic ice?

As far as I know, there is no proven direct link. But there may be indirect ones.


Complex dynamic systems are just what those words say - complex and dynamic. Various indicators of what the system is doing are useful. And these will exhibit variation that we can assess as uncertainty. The actual uncertainty in the system is in the chaos of natural systems, and the dynamics of the system. Those are too complex to sort out, so we are left using surrogates. Worse than that, we can never actually know all of the details of the real system. As a result, our models, no matter how detailed, refined and complex, will always be emulations.

All that being what it is, when we look a the variability in the system as it progresses, we have to expect that in any given period that the system is going to wobble about. Generally this will be within expected bounds. Sometimes it won't be.

That might indicate that we have missed something about how the system works, or about any transition it may be going through (e.g. eye wall replacement in hurricanes are a decent parallel).

Still, the general trend beyond the variability will continue.

It is all too easy to get sucked into short term oscillations in the system and jump to the conclusion that they indicate something about the system when in reality, we are looking in too tight of a time scale for the natural level of variability in the system.

All the same, it is still a good thing to consider whether such variations are actually indications that we have missed something important and to then go looking for what those may be. Whether we find something, or find nothing, the exercise is useful.

I would offer one other thing to consider. We seem to have a very large increase in atmospheric vorticity near the equator. This may be real, or not. It may be part of the variation, or an indication of some organizing principle that we have all missed.

My suspicion is that we can learn a good deal about what is or what may be happening by looking at other systems as they go to the low end of driving forces. Some examples of these are:

Streams: which meander more and more as the slope gradient driving their flow declines, and that also become more tortuous and variable as the load of fine solids increase.

Viscous fluids in pipes or troughs that develop odd behaviors before they stabilize into laminar flow.

Undoubtedly there is some tradeoff occurring between the strong driving force of thermodynamics in the temperature difference from the pole to the equator, and the coriolis and drag effects among many others. There may be cusps in the system were the result may be chaotic transition between competing states.

Just some things to consider.



To which extent do these feedbacks oppose the "natural" decline of ice extension and volume due to global warming? And is it possible that the Arctic ice will be able to find a new equilibrium where ice does not totally disappear in spite of temperatures increasing globally?

If you talk to old engineers at the library or wahtever they will tell you global warming is a hoax because everything follows a predator/prey relationship.... this is the main contention from the deniers! This is the main cause of 'pause button politics' because it's like disproving expanding earth theory: you need aeons of measurements to make some people accept reality etc...


Neven: looks like another bug at ASIF.

getting message on 2 or 3 tries with both http and https -

Your session timed out while posting. Please go back and try again.

If it's only me that sees the message I'll double-check my computer and web settings, but I can log in elsewhere, and here, with no problems.

Account Deleted

I have same issue as Patrick, both from Linux/firefox and iPad...

Also this and other sites work ok.


Have things improved? The ASIF is working for me. In fact, the https version should work now without browsers issuing security warnings.

Account Deleted

Same issue continues. Perhaps I should create new account...


I occasionally get that timed-out message too. What I usually do, is refresh the page and try to post the comment again. Of course, always copy your comment before clicking the post button.

Account Deleted

I have been a bit unclear, I cannot log in, when I input id and pwd, I get that timeout message... Perhaps last logout wenr wrong somehow. I rarely post anything, and IIRC I did not post anything last time... sorry for offtopic messages...


espens last post:


4,473,157 km2(September 10, 2017)up 932 km2 and 6th lowest measured for the date.

Given this PIOMAS update I think we can expect that 2012s record won't be beat before 2020.

(DMI temp for Sept. 11 is looking interesting, however.)

...unless we can seriously come up with a good explanation for PIOMASs weird behaviour I think we have to trust in it's predictive behaviour that we won't see a sub 4Mkm^2 arctic sea ice before 2020.

This would mean Trump won't act: I was always of the opinion that he would act to win his second term iff the numbers pointed him straight to the naughty corner.

I think Trump just hit the jackpot!


Jaxa extent is also above it's 2010s average.



Neven: just to clarify - I can't log in at ASIF. I have tried now a number of different times, always get 'timed out' message. Has my session timer somehow defaulted to a low seconds value, or zero?

Just when I have the spare time and energy to contribute, I can't log in.

btw, Although I now rarely log in here, in this blog, I do lurk a lot just to keep up to date. I need to thank you and all your contributors for doing such a marvellous job.


Patrick, thanks for clarifying. I will ask Fred to see if he can solve this problem.


Here's one tip from the ASIF that might be a temporary solution:

I have the same thing - at least when I try to log in from the main page.

Clicking through to the actual login page first, that works though.


Speaking of ice thickness, the US Navy is deploying new Arctic Ocean buoys with the assistance of the Danish Air Force.


Susan Anderson

@Sam, thank you very much for your interesting excursion into the bigger picture. I don't think the Arctic's tale this year is quite told. Being an amateur ("jack of all trades, master of none") with broad interests in the earth's circulatory system I see similar human tendencies in the Arctic and hurricane communities, where we are eager to identify specifics and trends although reality is more complex.

In this case, my broader interests overlap. European winter storm Aileen, the first of the season, included an unusual stream from the Arctic (Svalbard region) almost straight south to Europe and a similar stream running north from the Atlantic pushing up past Greenland (roughly). We don't often see these forces going straight north/south; they are more often spirals.

It is the nature of cyclones to vent excess energy northward, and given this rather spectacular season (we USians are disgustingly prone to narrow focus on ourselves, but the Pacific is also active) I think there will be a further contribution with warmer waters being pushed north. I know the complexity of land narrows the space for this transfer, but it's there if you look; this updates but currently it shows what I'm talking about:

Susan Anderson

Had no trouble going straight into the forum (2009 Macbook, Firefox); I have my password somewhere but it let me straight in like usual. OT here: new pic of Larsen C A68 now it's in daylight: http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,1175.msg129074.html#msg129074



I have been watching those (both the linear high pressure zones, and the interacting lows) and been fascinated by them. I have wondered too how they will interact with the Arctic ice and the thickness of the ice - the topic of this thread. I have been loathe to comment on it here or in the ASIF, as it doesn't seem to directly relate, though as you note it no doubt does. You can get an idea what this all looks like from this speculative projection from windy.


And with that, I will leave it, as this seems to be off topic.


Susan Anderson

This time of year this spot used to buzz with information about the minimum; perhaps that has migrated to the forum? Anyways, I was looking at my usual:
And saw warm air pouring past Svalbard in quantity, and some other incursions. Meanwhile we're having the worst Atlantic hurricane season and Japan is being hammered, with much churning in the Bering/Chukchi area.

I'm not holding my breath, as it looks like the minimum could be just now, but these incursions ...

Anyone care to point me and any passers-by at a link for wherever people are discussing the minimum on the forum? Ah, that was just lazy of me, would this be it? I found 3 related posts with recent entries.

Hans Gunnstaddar

Best, latest minimum extent estimate from that link is 4.47 which is close to 1 million less than the vaunted Rob Dekker's prediction (5.4), but 2 million above mine, so looks like you get the nod, Rob, but still in the 'happy medium' - lol.


Rob Dekkers pred is for Sep NSIDC right? Itll be much, much closer, prob some around 5 mill, which sort of feels as the weather caused another rebound, given the state of ice in April, i think?
For us to be engaged in observation a lil longer.
So Rob, pretty much nailed it, pointed in the right direction again. The high latitudes' cold and late spring


Hans Gunnstaddar

"Rob Dekkers pred is for Sep NSIDC right?"

I don't recall. My post was in reference to discussions Rob and I had early in the melt season, particularly as it pertained to the comment 'happy medium' - an inside joke he would get. That's why I put lol, as in let's have a laugh over it.

(Disclaimer:) But that isn't to say the topic of what is happening in the Arctic is laughable, on the contrary it is very serious.

John Christensen

I would agree with navegante that Rob normally makes a prediction for the NSIDC average Sept ice extent, which certainly is higher than the daily minimum.
The NSIDC average Sept extent should be around 4.9-5.0 mill, unless we see strong spreading of the ice in the coming 10 days.

Hans Gunnstaddar

At say 4.9 a prediction of 5.4 is off by 1/2 a million square kilometers and that's keeping in mind it was a prediction for the average of Sept., which is much more forgiving than a prediction of the minimum, whatever date in September that happens to land on.

Let's say we're determining if a prediction is accurate by way of using the Sept. average, but since that is more forgiving, let's say the range of accuracy needs to be within .25 million square kilometers, then .5 is double that standard and thus inaccurate.


Hans I don't know why you guessed so low (and would genuinely like to know why if you don't mind) but there are people in very high places that were really concerned at the start of 2016 that that year could be the end of the multi-year sea ice in the Arctic.

Your opinion of real concern about the Arctic sea ice is reflected in the highest levels of government departments worldwide as we speak but your reasons as to why you guessed so low I would be interested in hearing.

Even Donald Trump knows it's on like Donkey Kong: he's just playing games to get the economy back on track and saving dry powder for the campaign to get re-elected.

They all know: it's just pause button politics like it always has been. Gore told us years ago that it would take a long time because there are economies at stake who have been built up around subsidies. The more a government intervenes in to the market place the harder it is to remove that government intervention: this is year 11 economics.


A-Team had a really cool animation on the forum here, Re: IJIS
« Reply #4982 on: September 20, 2017, 09:40:04 PM »(IJIS thread), but I didn't understand it.

Was it relevant? What did it even try to say?

(DMI temp. for Wed September 20 doesn't look too askew.... )

** Neven, this is an honest quest for truth!

Susan Anderson

AnotherJbT, why not give us the link? [I clicked on "re:IJIS" at the top.] Here:

It would make more sense to ask your question there, instead of this relatively inactive blog post.


It's easier for him to ask here than on the ASIF, because he's been banned from the ASIF for asking so many questions, interspersed with idiosyncrasies like "people in very high places that were really concerned".

I'm putting up with it because the blog is quiet now (due to my sabbatical) and I have a cold, and I think he means well. But not indefinitely, of course.

Anyway, A-Team is doing high-level technical stuff on the Forum, the details of which are very interesting to people who know about these things, and the images are enjoyed by everyone. If you don't dig/understand it, that's your problem. If you want to criticize it anyway, your contribution to the ASIF and citizen science in general needs to be much, much larger.

Jim Hunt

News from the Antarctic just for a change.

The Pine Island Glacier has calved a big one yet again:


Jim Hunt

Susan - You could try:


67 comments so far, and the "discussion" is heating up even as the Arctic slowly cools down.



This article explains the interaction of Arctic Sea Ice Loss with the weakening of the polar vortices.

It goes on to say that the 'Warm Arctic, Cool Continents' theory still has a lot to prove by way of hard numbers and evidence but the concepts are explained for those wishing to catch up on such ideas.

(It also promised to explain how the two (stratospheric and tropospheric) vortices interacted but didn't... such is life!)

Rob Dekker

Hans said about my (5.4) prediction of the average NSIDC September extent :

Let's say we're determining if a prediction is accurate by way of using the Sept. average, but since that is more forgiving, let's say the range of accuracy needs to be within .25 million square kilometers, then .5 is double that standard and thus inaccurate.

You are right that my prediction is not accurate.
In fact, it will probably be more in the range of 4.8 - 4.9. We will see at the end of September.

Note though that this was a June prediction, and the standard deviation of that prediction is about 350 k km^2.
So 4.8 - 4.9 is still well within the 95% uncertainty margin.
Also, there is an identifiable reason why my prediction was too high : My method does not include ice thickness, which was low this year due to the anomalously warm winter.
Lewis did a good piece on that :

Either way, I do think my prediction method is not good enough yet.
And I'm looking for better early indicators that can improve the model.

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