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Can someone explain the small difference with 2011 please?

If 1.the extent is smaller than in 2011 and
2. there is less multi year ice
3. the winter was a lot warmer, then I don't understand the small difference.

Or is the volume of 217km3 a lot, even though it doesn't like that much to me?

Clueless FM

Thx for yet another brilliant and most importantly *fact–based* update, Neven! As you may or may not know, a certain professor of Doom & Gloom has gone on record stating that October added no sea ice volume, and recently that (late) December to March added no significant volume (see link below), which if you add up those two claims amounts to about 10,500 km³ of “not seen” Arctic sea ice volume increase over 4 of the 7 months of refreeze period.

And as the first week of July last year had about 10,500 km³ of sea ice, it makes one wonder whether or not this glaring blind–spot of his could explain why the good professor says “it would not surprise me at all if we had an ice–free or nearly ice–free Arctic in July”.

Whereas if he wasn’t so abysmally bad at even basic research, and his statements were indeed true that for the first time in human history October didn’t refreeze and Winter Solstice to late March saw no significant refreeze, hitting a virtually ice–free state even before July 1st, would be a walk in the park.

Ref: http://youtu.be/-xhhvNWxUHY

John Christensen

Thank you for a great update Neven!

You did leave out one key element though - the SSW event in late February, which I find is the main reason for the Arctic cooling during March.

Michael Mann said this about the SSW event:

“This is an anomaly among anomalies. It is far enough outside the historical range that it is worrying – it is a suggestion that there are further surprises in store as we continue to poke the angry beast that is our climate”


That statement is remarkable for a scientist, assuming he was aware that an SSW event took place.

The director of the Earth System Science Center at Penn State University would have been greatly aided by the excellent blog entry by R. Gates in January 2013, which explains causes of these recurring events:


Either way - and what I have not seen described anywhere - is that subsequent to these SSW events, which occur every 2-3 years, the polar vortex seems to solidify and cause Artic temperatures to drop sharply after the initial warming at surface level.

This effect is clearly visible in Zack Labe's chart above, in the DMI 80N temps, and in significantly higher sea ice accretion in following weeks.



The latest link in the news feed says that the difference between a 1.5C target and 2.0C target is as stark as whether (get it?!!?) we want AN ICE FREE ARCTIC ONCE EVERY 4 YEARS OR ONCE EVERY 40 YEARS!

Clueless FM

Several problems with that, I believe, AnotherJourneybyTrain.

1) Ice–free once every 40 years sounds nice, but how likely is that when A) we have global warming, and B) the ice–free state is a game changer on its own?

2) Global temperatures are never gonna stop at 1.5 or 2C, what will all the positive feedback loops humans have triggered.

There seems to be some idea in the media that we'll enter a "new normal", and then things are just going to be stable at a slightly lower level of Arctic ice — for instance 51 weeks of sea ice in one year, and then 52 weeks of sea ice the next 39 years, with a repeat every 40 years until the sun implodes.

While that sounds nice and all, I'm not sure it's the correct interpretation of what the relevant science reports say.


All winter long had 2 dominating main vortices within the Polar Vortex, the biggest most frequent one being the CAA relinquishing in an osclllating pattern dominance to the other roughly near Ohkotsk to East Siberian seas , until very end, when Novaya Zemlya Island Barents sea area had a very late smaller 'vortice'. This late arrival blocked incoming warm moist air from North Atlantic cyclones, which was happening throughout the past dark season, often ably pointed out by Jim Hunt.

The main feature of winter past was the size of the vortices within the Polar Vortex system. They wee smaller, made themselves vulnerable by radically injecting Northwards these especially moist warm cyclones from our main biggest oceans. Often the vortices migrated Southwards by their own feedback action, pulling cyclones up, broke loose smaller rogue vortices to disrupt a milder winter to the South.

As a result, the drying of the Arctic came extremely late, more than 3 months late, http://eh2r.blogspot.ca/2018/03/drying-out-arctic-ocean-atmosphere.html

Of which a complex just discovered feature was revealed, Neven's 925 mb
temperature map presented above, made CAA warmer in March that is correct, but only in the much lower atmosphere, ongoing vertical Sun disk captures, measured a massive cooling above that altitude, to date, 16th place coolest over the past 18 Arctic winters, smaller vertical sun disks imply massive cooling, because these measurements include extremely large atmospheric distances.

In other words, the dye is almost set , either there will be this Novaya Zemlya block twinned with massive CAA dominance pulling cyclones towards Southern Norway, making drier air over the Arctic Ocean more possible, or
the East Siberian 'vortice' will rise in prominence again, making warmer dryer air from Siberia devastating sea ice much further, either ways looks bad, but as I wrote the dye is not quite set, I will come up with my usual spring projection in a few weeks. A few weeks at this telling time of the year may provide certainty in the coming summer circulation patterns.

Kevin McKinney

"2) Global temperatures are never gonna stop at 1.5 or 2C, what will all the positive feedback loops humans have triggered."

Let's not go full-on-McPherson here. *If* emissions can be made to follow something like the 2 C trajectory, then yes, what we know says that temps will indeed 'stop' at something like 2 C.

And that's important, since if your statement were true the logical conclusion would be "Let's party like it's 1999."

james cobban

But Kevin, how confident can we be that "what we know says that temps will indeed 'stop' at something like 2 C"?

Yes, the IPCC reports do indicate that, but we also know that they rely on five-year-old data, so that when they publish their reports, the data is already five years out of date. The last report is now five years old, so it represents the state of play from ten years ago. We know too that the IPCC doesn't even try to incorporate well-known but difficult-to-quantify feedbacks like permafrost melting or clathrate release, and they always err on the side of caution, so it might be a bit optimistic to take their assessment at face value. I think we'll probably pass the 1.5 target with the next big el Nino in 5 or 10 years, so that target is certainly too optimistic, IMO.

Clueless FM

James Cobban already said much of it, but I'll agree with Kevin on the *IF*s. There are 3 big IFs as I see it:

IF #1: If nations improve their game so UN modelled necessary emission cuts are met relating to "Paris" and "2C warming".

IF #2: If UN model blind–spot feedback mechanisms and time–lags do not really mean anything.

IF #3: If "terribly bad luck" weather-wise does not happen (think Blue Ocean events), and additional (yet unknown) feedback mechanisms or similar do not happen.

Somehow, I think these 3 big IFs indicate global temps are not gonna magically stop at 2C. Because, after all, what Kevin McKinney is suggesting, is that we could somehow stop global warming in its tracks, just by polluting the atmosphere a little less with fossil carbon than homo saps did for decades at the height of their folly.

John Christensen


The "we could somehow stop" combined with "their folly" sounds a bit schizophrenic, as I assume you are human, living in a house and have a computer.

Also, remember that burning of fossil fuels and cement production together is about 50% of the increase in radiative forcing of greenhouse gasses.

See changes in radiative forcing:


And the CO2 cycle:


John Christensen

Sorry, let me clarify further, as the 50% can be seen as misleading.

Percentage of increased radiative forcing of greenhouse gasses due to human activity:

- CO2 (Burning of fossil fuels): 44.9%
- N2O, O3 (Engine combustion, industry emissions, chemical solvents): 17.2%
- Methane (Various reasons, mainly human inflicted): 14.8%
- CO2 (Deforestation): 12.3%
- Halocarbons (Non-natural gasses from industry): 10.8%



Remember as well - if we could somehow magically cease all global warming gas emissions overnight, that the negative feedback from sulfates and aerosols would quickly be removed leaving the warming from CO2 and methane. Combined, these drive us over the edge.

How do we ever manage to back down from that?


John Christensen

Agreed Sam, and that was my point above that we should not look for external reasons - our existence is the main reason for increase in greenhouse gasses.

All significant human activities that have brought us from hunting nomad tribes to modern societies have caused an increase in greenhouse gasses, starting with land clearing (CO2), domesticating animals (Methane) and finally with the industrial age and the cheap energy supply from fossil fuels (More CO2 and other polluting gasses).

However, we see that CO2 emission per capita is declining (Here compared US and Denmark):


Because we are producing more efficiently, with less pollution overall, e.g. also with reductions in halocarbons (Again US vs. Denmark):



Sam, it appears that China is retiring some of the dirtiest coal plants and is on track to move away from coal for the most part. They are also moving away from ICE cars as well, thereby reducing emissions of sulfates and aerosols. Might this be one of the reasons for the refusal of global temperatures to fall very much since the last el nino?

How much do sulfates and aerosols affect temperature? I am thinking that incoming sunlight is reflected back into space by these substances before it reaches low altitudes thereby preventing some warming. Just how much effect they have is what I am not sure about.


It does not seem so many years ago that the scientific community were quoting 380 ppm of CO2 as the level at which the natural Carbon Cycle might be capable of re-establishing a natural equilibrium level if carbon emissions were quickly and significantly reduced. Carbon emissions continued to rise and 400 ppm was then held to be the 'point of no return'.

After a three year levelling out period, 2017 saw another rise in atmospheric CO2 and CO2e levels.

In November 2015 the CO2 level was 400 ppm, it has been above this level ever since and on the 10 April 2018 it was 409.56 ppm.

CO2 and CO2e remain in the atmosphere in various forms, acting as greenhouse gases, for more than a thousand years.

I beleived the scientists then and I beleive them now. 400 ppm was the point of no return unless carbon sequestration is deployed on a global scale to mitigate or defer global warming and avoid dangerous climate change.


Well, D-Penquin, 440ppm is locked in and that was known over ten years ago!

Al Rodger

Concerning this not-very-cryospherical discussion:-
The workings of the carbon cycle mean that were we to magically stop our CO2 emissions, the atmospheric concentrations would drop, roughly halving our contribution to atmospheric CO2, the other half being salted away in the oceans, most of in over a century time-scale. Thus stopping at 380ppm would have seen levels of 330ppm restored in coming centuries, stopping at 440ppm would see 360ppm.
Were we able to cut our emissions of other GHGs which have a shorter atmospheric life, this would yield quicker drops in climate forcing.
And mentioned up-thread, the SO2 emissions are very short-lived so drops in their negative forcing would quickly contribute a significant boost to AGW were they cut in a hurry. However, the cutting will not be immediate and so any significant boost could theoretically be mitigated by cuts in N2O or CH4 forcing as well as the more slowly falling CO2 forcing (when emissions are cut enough for that to begin).
There is, as well as the question of how long it will take us to actually cut our emissions, also the question of what the climate may throw at us while temperatures continue to rise under mounting AGW. The 2ºC now 1.5ºC limit attempts to bring some sense to mitigation polices and ensure such positive feedbacks (or the worst of them) will not kick in during the coming century.
Sequestration of our carbon polution can be wielded as a magic bullet and an excuse for us not to pursue the more radical mitigation policies, the ones that we should be pursuing. But it seems very unlikely that mankind will not be sequestrating carbon in future decades, hopefully with more enthusiasm than our current mitigation efforts.

Robert S

And continuing on the slightly off topic vein, just a detail on the emissions from cement manufacturing. About half of those emissions are recaptured within 50 years by the cement through carbonization... so we have some built in uptake there as well.


Al Rodgers

Are you suggesting that greenhouse gas emissions are solely of anthropometric origin?

CO2 and CO2e will continue to enter the atmosphere after the cessation of anthropometric emissions adding to the total of greenhouse gases already in the atmosphere and temperatures will continue to rise.

The Carbon Cycle may or may not stabalise the global carbon content over the millenia but in the meantime what stops the globlem heat/energy budget increasing along with global temperatures?

Is global warming that affects ice condions in the polar regions 'off topic'? If so, we are limited to comments on 'effects' and 'causes' are off limits. I know, the other site is available for 'wider' debate but I like this blog better. Of course if Neven decides this is too far of topic I will refrain from further comment.


Robert S

Any idea between the balance of cement production and uptake?

Concrete over all deserts and paint with light reflective paint to replace the lost albedo of melted polar ice AND sequestration of CO2 as a bonus.


Robert S

Sorry, your answer to my question is in your posting BUT concrete production still adding to greenhouse gases. We must think about an alternative to concrete for housing the billions still without suitable and sanitary accommodation.


I'm from the Southern Hemisphere in
Australia(Perth, Western Australia) but some of the news feeds are saying there is a delayed spring in the North: how true is this?

Al Rodger

Robert S,
Your "about half of those emissions are recaptured within 50 years" seems a bit optimistic. The values I see quotes have been mor like 25% in 100 years and taking 1,000 years to finish. Of course, the process is greatly accelerated by demolotion and breaking the concrete into tiny bits and values seen from such a process are perhaps approaching 50% in 50 years. But it still sounds optimistic.
Of course the chemistry of the concrete is a factor, there even being 'green' phosphorous-based concretes that emit no CO2 on calcination (or should that then be 'phosporination'?)

Al Rodger

Your comment that "CO2 and CO2e will continue to enter the atmosphere after the cessation of anthropometric emissions" presumably concerns the melting permafrost and may well also concern the potential for a couple of rounds from Shakhova's Clathrate Gun.
I would be the last to play down the evidential basis for the impacts of AGW but I do occasionally have the odd face-off with folk saying we're all doomed because AGW has or will have soon kicked off a game-changing feedback from GHGs pouring out of the melting cryosphere. It is true we have not begun to reign back on our rising climate-forcings driving AGW. It is true that when we do reduce those rising climate-forcing (which globally we have yet to start to reduce) to zero, as we must, the chryosphere will continue to melt. Indeed, this is one of the compelling reasons for the Paris 1.5ºC AGW limit.
So the level of GHG feedbacks from that future melting cryosphere are a concern and do need discussion (although probably not here at any great length).
So briefly, my own message is that the doom-laden melted-cryosphere message which evokes greatly significant levels of future CO2 and CH4 emissions from the cryosphere is not sustained by the evidence, that being evidence of the levels of such present-day emissions or evidence for future levels. But it must be stated that there are big question-marks hanging over this issue which continue to make it one of great concern for the future.
And how should we handle such a potential danger? Certainly the evidence needs improving. And our understanding of that evidence needs improving. But sadly, it is not the only ugly outcome that AGW could throw at us, outcomes which also require better evidence & understanding. And is 'panic' any better a response to AGW than 'denial'?
Bottom line - stick with the evidence.

Clueless FM

«stick with the evidence » — The official (United Nations) line is to just ignore evidence, innit?


Gentlemen, if you're going to take this route, I'd kindly invite you to come to the ASIF. That's a better place for bickering.

Kevin McKinney

AnotherJourneyByTrain asks:

"...some of the news feeds are saying there is a delayed spring in the North: how true is this?"

IMHO, it's a highly selective reading of the facts at best. It's true that the northern tier of the US has had something that might be called a 'delayed spring', but here in the South it's more accurately characterized as an 'unstable spring'. And actually, the most remarkable winter month in the US in terms of records set was February, for which something like 16 states in the East (including South Carolina, where I live) were record-warm.

Right now, the NH as a whole is 0.8 C--the same as the global anomaly--and western Europe looks pretty toasty to me, as does most all of East Asia and Northern Africa:


(Note: this page will update, so later readers of this comment will see a different picture, but my comments are/were accurate as of writing.)

Once again, though, there is a lot of cool territory in the US northern tier and in Canada. Somehow that region tends in general to drive a lot of comment/coverage... quite a bit of which tends not to reflect the rest of us in the NH at all.

Martin Bernstein

Hi everyone. I’m a longtime lurker and am hoping to get some help from the hive mind on something a tad unusual. It’s actually about Antarctic ice mass changes.

Back in 2015, Zwally’s study suggesting that Antarctica was gaining ice prompted this on the NASA site: https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/nasa-study-mass-gains-of-antarctic-ice-sheet-greater-than-losses

Well, earlier this year or late 2017 I’d swear I read a follow-up article, updating the 2015 report and saying that the ice mass balance had turned negative with, I believe, Zwally saying this had happened way earlier than he expected.

Problem is, I can’t find it now. It’s possible I’m misremembering, but I’m pretty sure I linked to it during a contentious debate on climate change on FT.com at the time. There are mentions of GRACE, but none have the quote from Zwally. In another climate, I’d just conclude I was misremembering, but these days I have to wonder if it was removed by the politically motivated in the administration.

Does anyone remember seeing this or know a way of checking? Thanks for entertaining my confusion!

John Christensen

On sea ice volume: DMI max SIV possibly reached April 16th slightly above 24K km3 near 2015 level and comfortably below 2004-13 average:




If I understand it well enough, the controversial bits with Zwally 2015 is 1) about the timescale of the observed volume increases in East Antarctic and 2) the different results of the Grace measurements.

2) is targeted in "Alba Martin-Español et al, Constraining the mass balance of East Antarctica, Geophysical Research Letters (2017). DOI: 10.1002/2017GL072937"

See also https://phys.org/news/2017-05-growth-east-antarctic-ice-sheet.html


We investigate the mass balance of East Antarctica for the period 2003–2013 using a Bayesian statistical framework. We combine satellite altimetry, gravimetry, and GPS with prior assumptions characterizing the underlying geophysical processes. We run three experiments based on two different assumptions to study possible solutions to the mass balance. We solve for trends in surface mass balance, ice dynamics, and glacial isostatic adjustment. The first assumption assigns low probability to ice dynamic mass loss in regions of slow flow, giving a mean dynamic trend of 17 ± 10 Gt yr−1 and a total mass imbalance of 57 ± 20 Gt yr−1. The second assumption considers a long‐term dynamic thickening hypothesis and an a priori solution for surface mass balance from a regional climate model. The latter results in estimates 3 to 5 times larger for the ice dynamic trends but similar total mass imbalance. In both cases, gains in East Antarctica are smaller than losses in West Antarctica.

1) The time period of the volume increases has implications for the density,thus for the mass increases (Zwally 2015 argues a density close to solid ice, other researchers assume a much lower density closer to fresh snow).

Schröder et al have a paper in The Cryosphere Discussion. Discussion started March 19 and is open until May 14, no comments yet. This paper user observations over a much longer time span (1979-2017) and find a significant acceleration of the East Atarctic ice sheet volume. That (IMHO) makes is much more likely that the volume increases are mostly from snow, thus of low density.


We developed an approach for a multi-mission satellite altimetry analysis over the Antarctic Ice Sheet which comprises Seasat, Geosat, ERS-1, ERS-2, Envisat, ICESat and CryoSat-2. In a first step we apply a consistent reprocessing of the radar alitmetry data which improves the measurement precision by up to 50 %. We then perform a joint repeat altimetry analysis of all missions. We estimate inter-mission offsets by approaches adapted to the temporal overlap or non-overlap and to the similarity or dissimilarity of involved altimetry techniques. Hence, we obtain monthly grids forming a combined surface elevation change time series. Owing to the early missions Seasat and Geosat, the time series span almost four decades from 07/1978 to 12/2017 over 25 % of the ice sheet area (coastal regions of East Antarctica and the Antarctic Peninsula). Since the launch of ERS-1 79 % of the ice sheet area is covered by observations. Over this area, we obtain a negative volume trend of −34 ± 5 km3 yr−1 for the more than 25-year period (04/1992–12/2017). These volume losses have significantly accelerated to a rate of −170 ± 11 km3 yr−1 for 2010–2017. Interannual variations significantly impact decadal volume rates which highlights the importance of the long-term time series. Our time series show a high coincidence with modeled cumulated precipitation anomalies and with satellite gravimetry. This supports the interpretation with respect to snowfall anomalies or dynamic thinning. Moreover, the correlation with cumulated precipitation anomalies back to the Seasat and Geosat periods highlights that the inter-mission offsets were successfully corrected and that the early missions add valuable information.


Schröder, L., Horwath, M., Dietrich, R., and Helm, V.: Four decades of surface elevation change of the Antarctic Ice Sheet from multi-mission satellite altimetry, The Cryosphere Discuss., https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2018-49, in review, 2018


John Christensen

The Centre for Ice and Climate at Cph Uni has a nice overview of densification of ice caps:


Based on this, I agree with Wipneus; the mass gain in Eastern Antarctica is of relatively low density - unless the areas have been impacted by above freezing temperatures during SH summer.


Al Rodger

I do not presume the release of clathrates in my assessment of future CO2 and CO2e atmospheric concentrations if all emissions from fossil fuels, cement and land usage ceased immediately.

1. Forest wild fires increase in size and frequency, the arboreal forest retreats, the savannah changes to scrub land that in turn reverts to desert.

2. The oceans are warming and the water/surface air flux changes, moving in a negative to positive direction.

1. and 2. These changes are happening now with the current greenhouse gas level and adversely affecting the Carbon Cycle. There are many more current factors adding to the increase of greenhouse gases and reducing uptake. In addition, the significant loss of global ice cover reduces the albedo effect. The result is increasing global temperatures.

The global heat balance has already 'locked in' a CO2 level of 450 ppm and there can be no greater illustration of the heat balance change than the graphic at the top right of this Blog!

In a radio interview Neven gave the analogy of Arctic sea ice loss as 'watching a train crash in slow motion'. The prediction of deaths and injuries would be impossible to calculate before the event. The analogy holds for AGW and I think our children and grandchildren will say 'you could see it was going to happen and you did not do enough to stop it just because your scientists could not prove it, where was your commonsense and humanity?'

For the reasons above, it seems commonsense to me that, cessation of carbon emissions is critical but alone will not be sufficient. Sequestration and carbon storage will be an essential component of reducing and stabalising the CO2 and CO2e levels of our atmosphere until once again the Carbon Cycle can cope with the impact of humankind.

It is not all doom whilst we can do something about it. Vigorous and informed debate is required beyond the cessation of carbon emissions. It is now time for technology and engineering to move into the void left by science and the IPCC.


Hi Martin,

I don't know if this helps any but I found this on DiscoverBlog:


Is Antarctica Gaining or Losing Ice? Nature May Have Just Settled The Debate
By Eric Betz | May 16, 2017


'Zwally still stands by his 2015 study, but in an interview last week, he said nature has recently changed the equation. His team is crunching numbers from the past two years, looking at ice melting and snowfall rates in Antarctica. And they found something startling.

The melt rates in West Antarctica just increased significantly. His calculations now show that the continent is in overall balance. The findings haven’t been peer reviewed yet, but he plans to present them at a science conference later this year.

“In our paper we said that might happen in two to three decades,” Zwally says. “Well, this is an unpublished result, but now we’re very close to the zero line.”'

Back to lurkland.


I have been observing a steady especially significant cold zone for a month, not seen as cold since 2002. It has not really been measured by manned surface stations since it was in an area without people. The optical refraction method permits long distance observations determining air temperatures going as far as 160 to 2000 kilometers. The results will be given in my yearly spring summer winter projection, but in the mean time:


The Arctic Ocean Gyre current just got a major reconsolidation.

Rob Dekker

Regarding Antarctic ice loss, the GRACE satellites recorded the following :

Research based on observations from NASA’s twin NASA/German Aerospace Center’s twin Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellites indicates that between 2002 and 2016, Antarctica shed approximately 125 gigatons of ice per year, causing global sea level to rise by 0.35 millimeters per year.


Rob Dekker

To explain the difference between Zwally's assessment and GRACE observations, it is suggested here that Zwally assumed the increased snowfall over Eastern Antarctica to have the density of ice, while in reality of course the density of snow is about 1/3rd :


That would explain the difference between Zwally's assessment and actual observations (by GRACE) of the mass of the Antarctic continent ice shelf.

james cobban

D-Penquin said: There are many more current factors adding to the increase of greenhouse gases and reducing uptake.

Does anyone happen to know if there is a thread here or on the ASIF where someone has listed all those other factors? D-Penguin mentioned:
forest fires,
warming oceans leading to outgassing of CO2 and
albedo change due to loss of sea ice

I'd be interested to know what the full list was, including the possible feedbacks like clathrate release and methane release from melting permafrost, and things like bark beetle infestations (caused by a changing climate) that kill off whole forests.

Al Rodger

Martin Bernstein,
Additional to the references above, the latest word from Jay Zwally on the subject appears to date from December when he presented at the AGU Fall meeting.


James Cobben

The IPCC makes its 'pathway' and 'certainty' predictions based on science and rejects hypothesis because these are unproven. This is the logic of the lunatic asylum.

Consequently, the consensus of opinion is that cessation of anthropometric carbon will lead to temperature stabalisation and eventually lower temperatures.

This premise is misleading and dangerous. This is why there is so little debate about future 'feedbacks'. Science cannot prove a future event!

I have found no significant references on ASIF or in scientific papers relating to the question that you have posted. The start of the debate is long overdue.

Clueless FM

IMHO, this is what happens when you put polluticians in charge of scientists. Rejection of yet unproven scientific hypothesis about future feedbacks and future warming, truly is insane, and also indicative of the polluticians–in–charge paradigm that was chosen for the IPCC.

Science cannot prove a future event, and dismissing that event from being likely or possible goes against the much touted precautionary principle. During most of my adult life there's been a saying that when we positively know 100%, it'll be too late. You do the math, seems the IPCC was designed to be too late.


Clueless, the IPCC just reports the numbers. The precautionary principle also applies to talking nonsense.

Where would be the method in talking nonsense?



It is not correct to say the IPCC 'just' reports the numbers; it sets the criteria for acceptance of scientific papers and thereby drives the AGW agenda.

The objective of the IPCC is to deliver global guidance on the avoidance of dangerous temperature rises through global cooperation based on best scientific research.

The methodology employed has been to select various pathways of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere that will produce a pre-determined temperature over a given timeframe. The IPCC presents the pathways as a solution to limit dangerous or acheive managable temperature rises through a process of reduction in carbon emissions.

Without incorporating feedback scenarios into the methodology the IPCC presentations are, in current parlance, 'false news'.


All science papers need to meet criteria.

Science is necessarily political because the private sector doesn't raise funds to achieve social benefit. The reason the IPCC is more political than any other science body is because it is acting on the behalf of even more societal benefit.



Is this a possible solution to the Arctics woes in anyones version of reality?


Also, possible erratta?



RE James Coban on 4/21
Feedback list:
There must be lists in climate science textbooks.But here is an off the cuff attempt (corrections welcomed).

- Drought induced by climate change increases forest and peatland fires which increases black carbon (with direct heat trapping effect in atmosphere)

- Greenland ice darkening (from algae growth due to warming temperatures and nutrient/direct effect of black carbon and dust from nearby newly exposed areas) increases melt.

- Increasing Greenland melt due to darkening, increased air and ocean temperatures, increases fresh water flow into North Atlantic

- Fresh water input leads to AMOC slow down. Slowing ocean circulation reduces CO2 absorption.

- Slowed AMOC increases frequency of warm air masses parking over Greenland?

- CO2 and methane from permafrost thaw
(Methane increases from marine clathrate not yet documented AFIK, no historical data to compare high methane levels found over East Siberian waters against)

- Warming ocean absorbs less CO2

- Ocean stratification reduces ocean CO2 absorption, and reduces heat absorption by upwelling cold water?

- Reduced Arctic sea ice area / lower albedo / more ocean absorption of solar energy

- Thinner sea ice more vulnerable to storm waves, exacerbating ice area loss

- More energetic and frequent Arctic storms amplify Arctic Sea ice loss?

- More open water in Arctic Ocean increases water vapor as GHG in Arctic atmosphere?

- More water vapor over Arctic Ocean increases low-level clouds, reflect sunlight, acts a negative feedback. (Global increase of water vapor as GHG already built into the models.)

- Negative feedback from "Arctic greening" CO2 absorption is constrained by lack of sunlight even with warmer temperatures.

- Arctic greening may have net positive feedback effect because of decreased albedo.

- Desertification due to shifting rain patterns, esp. dry belt extending farther north and intensifying in Mediterranean and Middle East, and south of the Sahara) increases regional albedo and thus a negative global feedback?

- Reduction of fertilizing dust arriving on Trade Winds reduces Amazon growth?

- Amazon dieback (water and CO2 cycling effects in addition to desertification?) Globally, rain forests have switched from net sink to source since 2003.

- Jet stream disruption bringing warmer air masses to Arctic, thus exacerbating Arctic sea ice and Greenland ice loss?

- Cloud effect a big factor and still not conclusively known to be a negative or positive feedback, but evidence is leaning toward net positive feedback.

- Increasing ocean anoxia and acidification will decrease planktonic CO2 absorption and removal through deposition onto sea floor?

- Tendency toward more frequent El Nino increases surface temperature warming (vs. heat sequestration in deep ocean).

- Aerosol reduction from reduced fossil fuel burning reduces current ~0.5C aerosol temperature suppression effect.

Wayne Kernochan

GKoehler: I'd add soot from arboreal-forest wildfires decreasing albedo, esp. affecting Greenland (observed)

james cobban

Thanks gkoehler, that's exactly the kind of list I was looking for.

There might be one more item to add, as I seem to remember that once CO2 levels climb high enough, plants actually grow less well, reducing the amount of CO2 they can remove from the atmosphere.

John Bilsky

James Cobban.... You are correct but I can't help you with finding the study. I read the same thing.


James, The maximum photosynthesis rate for most C-3 plants occurs near 30C or 86F. Most of the plants that grow in the world outside of tropical regions are C-3 plants. Cactus are an exception as they have a different metabolic pathway(CAM). C-3 plants have an enzyme, rubisco, which catalyze one of the steps in the photosynthesis/respiration reactions in chlorophyll. Tropical plants plus corn and some grasses are C-4 plants which have maximum photosynthesis at slightly higher temperatures and have better water retention as well.

For C-3 plants during daylight hours respiration rates increase above 30C and eventually when it is hot enough exceed photosynthesis rates. This means during hotter weather plants respire faster than they photosynthesize. The exact temperature where this occurs varies for different plants. See the following:




The two links above explain things pretty well. The bottom line is that during hot weather many plants are dumping carbon dioxide into the atmosphere instead of oxygen. They are also respiring faster at night dumping even more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. If the temperature stays too hot for too long many plants will eventually starve to death and die if they have survived drying out from being too hot.

This is a relatively complicated process so the above explanation is way oversimplified. So, in many parts of the world plants will not grow faster as the world warms, in fact, many plants could be killed by too much heat by drying out or simply die of starvation.


It has been a very busy data acquiring season, and there is a big surprise!
2018 will not be warmest year in history by a long shot. The CAA has had the coldest steady upper air since 2002, this will shape the entire melt season, not by what it infers, the Northern limit of the Northeast passage may be the North Pole! Because the coldest air is mainly in one zone alone affecting the weather for the entire Northern Hemisphere no less.


Two more parts . prognosis and discussion will come out soon as well. The sea ice is likely going to be crunched against the North American coast.

james cobban

Thanks for those excellent links Vaughn.


Mauna Loa Observatory, Hawaii (NOAA ESRL)

April 25, 2018: 411.92 ppm

The IPCC data is ten years out of date and ignores feedback factors. Can anybody please provide references to studies that incorporate these factors into projections of AGW?


I signed in in the usual way and the name changed from D-Penguin to D

The post
Mauna Loa Observatory, Hawaii (NOAA ESRL)
was by D-Penguin and not D

the same problem applies to this post. I am not D, I am D-Penguin.



PART 2 mainly deals with optical prognosis and the struggle to understand current Arctic coldest air zone which will dominate till it gets very cold again, in October.

I found again a huge causal link between sun refraction observations and ENSO. There is also extremely cool sunset pictures of seldom seen exotic events, never seen by 99% of all humans. Finally, despite significant cold zone the sea ice keeps on being thin!


James I also should mention that rubisco is a catalyst for both the photosynthesis and respiration reaction and depends on temperature to a fair degree as to which reaction it catalyzes at a faster rate.

So, when it is too hot the rate of photosynthesis slows and respiration increases. If it gets too hot rubisco changes shape and photosynthesis stops. The plants then are subject to death. Once they die they are still dead when it cools off. A good example is the European heat wave a number of years ago.

Ideally C-3 plants do the best with high temperatures near 30C and cool nights near 15C. Warmer temperatures at night mean a higher respiration rate so the plants use up more stored sugar at night under those conditions and respire more carbon dioxide. It is a myth that plants grow faster when it gets hotter. Yes, this is true to a point. Above this point plant growth slows or the plants just die.



The sunset pictures are incredible and probably not seen by all but a handfull of humans. I suspect 99% is a tad on the low side.

Could it be that the link between observed sun refraction and ENSO is related to higher levels of water vapour in the atmoshere following an El Nino event?

I do not understand your implied surprise that 'the ice keeps on being thin!' when the ice is melting with greater consistency from below than direct melting from above.


Hi D-Penguin

"Could it be that the link between observed sun refraction and ENSO is related to higher levels of water vapour in the atmoshere following an El Nino event?"

Sun disk refraction measurements through clouds largely do not show any dramatic change in size. The biggest vertical sun compressions of late occurred with moist and dry atmospheres. However moisture plays a huge role
with sea ice, in PART 3 I will present evidence that stronger Short Wave Radiation because of dry atmosphere effectively affects the energy balance on snow and ice surfaces. A moist atmosphere essentially reduces radiative heat on the ground.
This was observed many times at the sea ice horizon, in particular I refer you to First Melt 2018 which occurred in extreme cold clear air but very dry weather. and Precipitable Water analysis which does indeed affect the sea ice horizon because less energy reaches its hard surface:


"I do not understand your implied surprise that 'the ice keeps on being thin!' when the ice is melting with greater consistency from below than direct melting from above."

The below part is possible given a warm sea water under current. But here we have the ultimate complexity of sea ice, there can be no immediate apparent connection between surface air temperature and sea ice thickness, consider a great layer of snow just above it, snow is a proxy for sea ice, a much thicker carpet of snow reduces sea ice accretion. The weather may be extremely cold but sea ice may remain thin. The end result , the certain thickness may not be explained easily, because contributing factors change daily or hourly. , the final product, a certain sea ice thickness does not readily explain the winter just past.

Elisee Reclus

Dear Wayne,

Could you please define "refraction". I presume you mean the apparent shift of angular elevation above the horizon of an astronomical body caused by refraction of light in the atmosphere.

The Nautical Almanac publishes a table of first-order refraction corrections to be applied to sextant observations, but it is only an approximation. It is known that surface air temperature and barometric pressure also affect this measurement, and presumably, so does moisture content of the atmosphere, and that this effect can be quite severe at extremes of temperature and pressure.

I also understand that the degree of refraction is a function of the wavelength of the refracted light, and although this is of no consequence in navigation, does it play a role in this context?


Hi Elisee

"and presumably, so does moisture content of the atmosphere, and that this effect can be quite severe at extremes of temperature and pressure."

Moisture is not at all significant compared to density layers which comprise of mainly two elements , pressure and temperature. Since there is more pressure near the surface refraction is greater as seen by observer on the ground looking at either terrestrial and astronomical objects. Again from the ground, light rays or beams are bent downwards by refraction, the greater the density of the medium the greater the bending, such as a pencil place in glass of water. The closer the object is near the ground, the greater the refraction it may have, since we deal with Arctic Sea ice here , William Barents expedition of 1597 has observed the sun 3 weeks earlier than possible, this was a much debated
claim over several centuries till recently.




Part 3 of my annual projection, includes a look back at last years effort, was quite successful. Describes last seasons big discoveries, and a forecast towards summer fall 2018 main events for the Northern Hemisphere. As always, sea ice is the most difficult to foresee, the greatest challenge, but I finally understood the great summer persistent cyclones hovering the Arctic Ocean at mid-summer, so this year I may have better results.


"I also understand that the degree of refraction is a function of the wavelength of the refracted light, and although this is of no consequence in navigation, does it play a role in this context?"


I deal with visible light, but refraction happens at all wavelengths, however red light is less bent than blue, this can be seen as the upper limb of the sun appears green at times blue , and the lower limb always red , some examples may be seen here:

The vertical sun diameter above 5 degrees elevation is in fact directly proportional to the thermal gradient of the atmosphere, I use it as a means to determine the temperature of the entire atmosphere. Below 5 degrees , in particular below 2 degrees elevation, the sun may be distorted and reveal its atmospheric profile, either adiabatic/isothermal (rounder sun), or with an inversion called stable lapse rate, this kind of atmospheric profile may cause the sun to flatten considerably.


Wayne, thanks for your explanation of how refraction works...stuff I didn't even know that I didn't know. Very cool..


Your welcome VaughanA

You'd be surprised who doesn't know much about refraction. I have learned that even many highly educated people, guys with multiple degrees, engineers etc, did not know that the sun disk splits in 3 colors, red bottom, middle yellow and top green blue. I am currently, as far as I know, the only guy that does the work I do, is a lonely field but important, since I can pick up what remote sensing platforms miss. I think the satellites use surface data, like "skin temperatures" and calculate the rest of the data upwards through models, without really capturing the temperature profile of the air, they might use other techniques, but they definitely failed to pick up the current cold air vortex in the Canadian Arctic. We shall see if the consequences of not knowing, oblivious to vital facts not plugged in the system, whether the mainstream high speed computers projections will still forecast accurately , but I think
they will fail in some ways, because mr "AI" also does not know just as much as our best minds do .

I would like to stress the importance of Neven's and others works, it affects peoples we never really have in mind, we want their world's saved:


The plight of your people makes me work harder, Anote Tong....



I too offer my thanks. I cannot say I fully ‘gronk’ the meaning of your work, though it is clearly important information, and you clearly do get it.

I would add to your lament the near complete absence of recognition of the importance of the third dimensional movement of air and energy in the atmosphere. I have been unable to find detailed tracking of that anywhere. It is almost as if the folks studying the atmospheric movements decided that vertical movements were/are unimportant, when clearly they are hugely important.



Thanks again Wayne, I have seen the "green flash" once and have a little familiarity with that. National Geographic published some photos with some rudimentary explanations (compared to your explanation) a number of years ago.

I do have a Master of Arts in Teaching degree but that doesn't mean I know much. I mostly taught plant science and applied math to high school students in Washington State.

I have been reading Neven's Blog and "The Arctic Sea Ice Forum" since the early days of these being published. Both are certainly a wealth of compelling information. I don't comment very often because usually I don't have too much to add.

I think we are in big trouble with "Ma Nature" although most people I know are not as concerned as many commenters on this blog.

The graphs published here are about the best I have ever seen and they are here in one place. One type of graph I draw for myself are cause-effect "s" curves that illustrate delayed reactions on the same coordinate plane.

Keep up the great work,



Hi Sam.

"I would add to your lament the near complete absence of recognition of the importance of the third dimensional movement of air and energy in the atmosphere. I have been unable to find detailed tracking of that anywhere "

Very much indeed, at any given moment there is a great deal of energy in our atmosphere, especially at the end of winter, this energy simply does not vanish instantly, is like Lorenz Butterfly effect on a nuclear giga bomb scale, there should be some sort of quantification at each end of winter, may be in the future there will be...

Thanks so much VaughnA

You probably seen a green flash lasting a few seconds, they are observable up to several minutes long in the Arctic, enough to understand them more, but the actual sun disk size is of great value, ironic to use the sun which gives all our energy as a thermometer. If you live in the State of Washington by the coast, you could certainly witness many of them given time to do so, even especially amongst mountain valleys. However, if you really look closer at the horizon flat or high up, just like studying a painting by Van Gogh, you will find hidden in plain sight many signals from the atmosphere.

Clueless FM


«The CAA has had the coldest steady upper air since 2002, this will shape the entire melt season»

I'm wondering whether or not your report implies that inversion over the CAA is gone or about to be lost, as we've also seen over Svalbard. Inversion means lower air is colder than the upper air, and loss of this inversion is spreading in the Arctic, and is also one of the most powerful positive feedback loops in the collapse of Arctic sea ice.


HI Clueless FM

" I'm wondering whether or not your report implies that inversion over the CAA is gone or about to be lost"

There can be many inversions until the temperature profile maxima, that is the maximum temperature of the entire upper air, the colder the atmosphere there more inversions may be above,

lets look at this mornings temperature profile for Ny-Alesund Ii Svalbard:


it has a small , called weak inversion peaking at 238 meters

same station but February 15, 2018


colder makes for a stronger inversion to profile maxima. As a general rule, the colder the upper air the higher the altitude for the profile maximum,

But it is the lower inversions, the ones right off the surface that are changing as well. These are found just above the surface, over the years these are gradually morphing from inversion (stable) to isothermal to adiabatic (unstable) as the Arctic gets warmer. It is much like confusing a May profile with a January one, they look too much alike. The unstable lower profiles at the interface between surface and air transfer heat upwards, as opposed to stable.

In other words the lower temperature profiles averages in mid winter , particularly Svalbard can be mistaken for a late spring one say more than 10 years ago. Which is a matter of study.

Center of CAA , optically I see it happening as I write, over the last 10 years there has been a gradual change from mainly stable towards unstable.



    I dare say the DMI temp for Cinco De Mayo is next to unparalleled in the record:
...you couldn't possibly see a real-time visual representation of this happening on the ground as we speak, by any chance, could you?

Clueless FM

Thx, Wayne.

2018 seems to be the 2nd lowest maximum for volume, right? And the 13th earliest.

1 — 2017 20,756
2 — 2018 22,376
3 — 2011 22,677
4 — 2016 22,717
5 — 2014 23,115

1 — Day 92 | 1995
2 — Day 98 | 2007
3 — Day 92 | 1995
4 — Day 100 | 2010
5 — Day 103 | 2009
6 — Day 104 | 1991
6 — Day 104 | 1999
8 — Day 105 | 1988
8 — Day 105 | 1997
8 — Day 105 | 2003
8 — Day 105 | 2006
8 — Day 105 | 2014
13 — Day 106 | 1990
13 — Day 106 | 2018

Clueless FM

Sorry, 12th earliest, copyerror.

2018 seems to be the 2nd lowest maximum for volume, right? And the 12th earliest.

1 — 2017 20,756
2 — 2018 22,376
3 — 2011 22,677
4 — 2016 22,717
5 — 2014 23,115

1 — Day 92 | 1995
2 — Day 98 | 2007
3 — Day 100 | 2010
4 — Day 103 | 2009
5 — Day 104 | 1991
5 — Day 104 | 1999
7 — Day 105 | 1988
7 — Day 105 | 1997
7 — Day 105 | 2003
7 — Day 105 | 2006
7 — Day 105 | 2014
12 — Day 106 | 1990
12 — Day 106 | 2018



Al Rodger

I'm not sure where your 'DMI ... next to unparalleled' quote comes from, or if it is a quote at all, but the 5th May 2018 DMI80N temperature was "unparalleled." From the DMI graph, I scaled the 5thMay DMI80N temperature as 266.9K. Previous years of daily DMI temperatures are available from this on-line spreadsheet courtesy of an ASIF poster. Thus the daily DMI80N maximums for the beginning of of May are:-
1st 264.33K
2nd 263.73K
3rd 264.51K
4th 265.58K
5th 265.32K
6th 266.35K
7th 265.83K
8th 266.28K
9th 267.76K
10th 267.81K
So 2018 has broken the record for 5thMay that had been set in 2009, that 266.9K 2018 temperature arriving 5 days earlier than in any previous year.
The final point of the trace on the DMI80N graph is presently 6th May which I scale to 268.0K. This is another record for 2018 with the previous record 266.35K (again set in 2009, the top of that 2009 wobble) and the 2018 value not bested until 9 days later in the year by the maximum set on 15th May 1990.


Hi Clueless

The entire winter was mostly much warmer, so I expect the results you have posted, however there is something about post massive post El-Nino event which reverts to deeper cooling, at least in some bits of the Arctic, it is entirely natural, except that it is much smaller than Post 1998, which is not natural at all. So we have one sector , the CAA, having smaller but deep cold air mass which is bringing up the warmest circulation from the North Atlantic, basically all winter. The smaller deepest colder zone is fascinating, self sustaining and
should last (much diminished) to minima come mid September.

Hi Another Journey

"you couldn't possibly see a real-time visual representation of this happening on the ground as we speak, by any chance, could you?"

Sorry out of range, there has been some warming, but starting from the coldest point, it is still coldest... But that doesn't mean that the rest of Arctic isn't warm, I observe from within the coldest "vortice" of vortices found inside the ever so diminishing Polar Vortex.

Martin Bernstein

My thanks to all on the Antarctica ice volume controversy and my apologies for taking so long to respond. As always, the crowd here is right on top of things. The comment from Discover Mag is similar enough to my memory of a post about new results from Zwally that I am inclined to think it is what I was looking for, but I could have sworn that what I read was from the Nasa website. I can't dismiss the possibility that it was scrubbed... Thanks again!

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