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Thanks for the update! I've been checking this site daily for a while to see when the update would come. Glad to see this year continues to be good for ice making.


What a thrilling post: it was worth the wait ;>


cool graph Neven

Cryosat may not worry too much about snow cover North of Greenland, I don't think there was any as much as preceding 3 seasons, the circulation of cyclones was blocked most of winter to date:


The Cryosat thicker sea ice gains North of Greenland and Ellesmere Island seem realistic, equally so the loss of accretion over Beaufort sea area. Which I have been observing indirectly since the start of winter. Word of caution if cryosat animation is correct, as it seems so, there was a lot of open water in the area appearing to have gains. There was , for those who read this site, a lot of open water where never there was, this open water made out to be very thin sea ice eventually surrounded by multiyear packs. One would think , the adjoining surrounding multiyear may accelerate the accretion of the thinner, but that is unlikely, the thinner has more warm sea water under it because of the multiyear thicker insulation, expect the North of Ellesmere and Greenland waters to return, despite favorable weather conditions for freezing. This means that PIOMAS is overall correct in estimating thinner over all sea ice in the same area. Both PIOMAS and Cryosat are in agreement there.


You can use your mouse pointer and determine whether the jet stream "moves Arctic air" or the coldest atmosphere creates the jet stream:


Is much better to state: The reason why there is more frequent extreme weather events is because the coldest atmosphere areas are shrinking...... Than to say it is because of the jet stream moving things around.


Certainly, it's a recovery year unlike any other: this creates interest like no other, however, because no single statistic can be 'the one'.

(Bring on the multi-year ice stats I say... ha ha!)

Jim Hunt

I've jumped head first into the chilly deep end of the Arctic Ocean and called the 2019 Arctic sea ice maximum extent:


Have I been overly hasty?


Jim, I think your idea can be corroborated by the fact in the last few days the ASIC Graphs page have been flashing red for all 3 anomalies: those being the 1-day, 7-day, and 30-day averages!

I was calling jackpot that day(why!??!, Um,.. lol) but you cashed the chips by backing yours up with words and numbers and stuff: I congratulate you sir if this bears out as fact!

**** God I love graphical information ;>



Plus, given the forecasted temps, your theories have more than a decent chance of staying true.


...lol: just checked dmi temps... so these dmi temps seem to follow observation of other conditions somewhat, I'm guessing, yes????

(Meaning that when it starts shooting up- given the season/particular day number of the year- it keeps shooting up?!!? IS THAT THE SORT OF PREDICTION WE'RE LOOKING AT???)


- If Feb. 22 held as max. ASI extent, how would that rank vs. other years? From your 2012-13 thru 2018-19 graph of AMSR2 Extent, it looks like Feb 22 2019 would be 1st or 2nd earliest date vs. those years, but not necessarily the larger set of years.
- Counterintuitive (for me at least)that recent years have hit the maximum later than the 1981-2010 avg. date even though at lower Extent. Seems like with more warming and less growth of Extent, the maximum would be reached at an earlier date while also reaching lower value.
- The 1981-2010 max does have a broader "top", with decline after maximum in recent years starting earlier, as I would expect. But I don't see why would the maximum would occur later in a declining trend.
- Something tells me this is forehead slap simple (as in Homer Simpson "Doh'"), but I don't get it.

Jim Hunt

Neven has graciously allowed my "2019 melting season" thread to run its natural course on the Arctic Sea Ice Forum. It's not "sticky" just yet though!

@AJbT - Would you bet your shirt on it?


@gkoehler - Here's the backdoor into my "private wire to the Arctische Pinguin":


Saves eyeballing spaghetti graphs!



2019 Maximum is a bit complex because a lot of latest new sea ice is very thin, just formed within the last few weeks especially sea of Okhotsk. I rather believe this maximum is on par with with the lowest extent maximum, as it was close to # 1 not so long ago. Due to a departure in recent years atmospheric circulations, North of Beaufort sea Gyre region was of a most interest for months , even more now:


Alaska region and Bering Strait was unusually warmish most of winter 18-19. It should be the signature area of the coming melt season.

I'd say the maximum occurred in February if we impose say a 50 cm minimum sea ice thickness as a rule.

Jim Hunt

Hi Wayne,

I'm sure your right with your final point. There was a "flash melt" in the Bering/Chukchi region, followed more recently by a "flash freeze", as well as more freezing in the most "peripheral" seas.

Chapter and verse over at:


Here's a close up of high res AMSR2 area:


Indeed Jim

There is great momentum afoot in the A.O. gyre area , along with no sign of major circulation change (which has not changed in months), top that with El-Nino about to break? These combinations are lethal for sea extent during the melt season. The whole outlook is not good as usual, how bad it will be is a matter of about 1 month analysis, the current end of winter beginning of spring season.


El-Nino breaking to La-Nina, but it has been topsy turvy remote sensing very difficult to judge whether it will be so, very few horizon high cloud streaks tend to suggest a turn to La-Nina, this is one reason why we need 'bout a month to detect a trend, current sun disk measurements suggest a cool Arctic Archipelago sky, first sea ice under-melt is not apparent yet.


Well, nothing left to say but that DMI Temp makes it look like it's a definite recovery year. (It's weird because Nares straight seemed to be so dodgy etc...)

Jim Hunt

I'm forced to quibble with "it's a definite recovery year"!

Meanwhile "Snow White" has definitely called the 2019 maximum:


UH/Wipneus AMSR2:
13.89 million square kilometers on March 12th

14.27 million square kilometers on March 12th

14.78 million square kilometers on March 13th



Correct to posit Jim

I see no evidence of recovery, just the same old confusion about sea ice, like comments precluding how much thin sea ice just formed, mixing +1.5 meter
with less than 50 cm. Facts about this is simply amazing:


Case in point, open water mixed with much older sea ice at previous minima date just did not got compressed but rather froze , remained much thinner than new sea ice plains, because surrounding older sea ice keeps under laying sea water warmer, a main component of accretion.


Any prospects of an update on February.


Yes, sorry about that. I'm so busy right now getting prepared for a new gardening season, and building a big duck house, that I'm too tired in the evening to do the PIOMAS update.

As it's too late now anyway, I promise I'll do the next one on time.

Jim Hunt

@Ammacro - There's a bit about the mid month PIOMAS numbers, amongst lots of other stuff, over at:



I think the Global Sea Ice figures will prove to be one of the main indicators we look back at as a species to say that we saw it coming and it was all on the internet.

Obviously I believe the multi-year sea ice figures in the Arctic are of a prime importance but if anything where to challenge that significance it would be the eerie signal given by the global sea ice graphs.


3 cheers to Gerontocrat for his endlessly updated hardwork on the forum. The Artic could be heating up over the next week big-time apparently!

Jim Hunt

Wipneus' high resolution AMSR2 Arctic sea ice extent metric has plunged 425 thousand square kilometres over the last four days:



Thanks for keeping the thread alive Jim.

Climate Reanalyzer temperature forecast indicates Arctic sea ice could take a beating in the next 10 days.

Wipneus Sept. minimum ASI volume linear projection shows 2019 at just a whisker above 4M km3, only 3M km3 above the arbitrary 1M km3 threshold for "mostly ice free" Arctic Ocean.

The Wipneus residuals plot shows 1982 with almost a -4M anomaly. Thus, while extremely unlikely (and well below 95% confidence interval) it would not be unprecedented for ASI to fall 3M below estimate and reach 1M km3 this year. In any case, linear trend crosses 1M km3 only ten years from now in 2029.

The continued decline in old thick ice shown in the Great White Con link Jim posted above suggests that the remaining ice is increasingly vulnerable to summer melt.

Meanwhile, here are excerpts from U.S. Senate speech on March 26. Worse than his distortion of the Green New Deal is the last 4 minutes mocking climate change as a physical reality, culminating in his insane solution. 1 min. highlights:

The highlights reel is not a hack job distortion. Actually, the full 13 minute speech is even worse. (to reduce your time spent with an idiot, it is still understandable at 1.5X)

Doc Snow

Hoo boy--Climate Reanalyzer has the Arctic at a blazing 7.1 C anomaly this morning! If this keeps up for a bit--and the outlook maps say it will--that's going to be an early boost to the melt season.


Today # 1 lowest extent again Jim

No surprise at all, it was lingering about # 1 all the time (precluding thin new sea ice) , thinner sea ice doesn't take much to disappear. There is evidence of a strong favorable for further melting circulation to continue well onto July... Will have more about this soon. First sea ice horizon melt happened about the 20th and the Cold Temperature North Pole has been shrunk well different than preceding few seasons.

Jim Hunt

Which metric are you looking at Wayne? I ask because I just wrote "2019 [is] currently in 3rd place by a whisker":


That's based on JAXA data.


I stand corrected , thanks Jim

Thought I read otherwise and did not go back enough

I see 2nd place from 2017 by a mere 13K , on JAXA, and 3k more than 2006, essentially #1 lowest shared.

Must be shocking to those calling for a recovery, the proper analysis may take more effort, I would really like see 3 meter ice extent data over years. I am sure this is more telling, the nature of analyzing sea ice is a bit more complex than ice or none. The proper overview is like at least 8d chess: winds, sst, mean surface temperatures, snow cover, momentum, currents, thickness intermix, albedo ...... But all sums up as thickness, this simplest interpretation is essential to measure.


So... 2019 is running close to the all-time minimums for end of March Arctic Sea Ice extent and area. Volume as of mid-March was near the lowest in terms or year ranks, but about 10% higher than mid-March 2017.

Add to that -- DMI 80+N temperatures for the 1st 90 days of 2019 show that the positive anomaly is less this year than for most of the other recent years. Thus, low ice level despite not much push from Jan-Mar Arctic air temps. Then add Climate Reanalyzer shows high Arctic Ocean temps. for at least the next week. If the Arctic air temperature outlook is on the warm side for April-July 2019 as Wayne noted, that adds more credence to the high melt potential.

All of which has me suspecting this melt season could be setting up to reach low end Sept. extent/area/volume records.

But air temp history and forecast is only part of the picture. Is there a regularly updated chart of average observed Arctic Ocean sea surface temperature that parallels DMI air temps? (Or is ocean temperature measurement not feasible or meaningful when there is a lot of ice cover?). Likewise, is there an Arctic Ocean water temperature outlook?

The third major variable seems to be cloud cover and low pressure systems early in season to set up "melt pond momentum". Is there an accessible source that provide Arctic cloud cover forecast in context with likely impact on sea ice melt?



What is the relative strength of influence for air temp. vs. ocean temperature vs. cloud cover on resulting September area extent and volume minima? Are their relative influences different for extent vs. volume as end point measures? (Same questions apply to area, just trying to keep it simple).

Finally, extent is an easier to acquire but less informative measure than volume. As the absolute amount of ice shrinks, it seems that Extent would become an increasingly skewed indicator for volume. Is that correct?


I would say that extent becomes an increasingly skewed indicator as the absolute amount of sea-ice shrinks, yes!


Saying all that of course, I feel the urgent need to report that NSIDC shows that Artic Sea Ice Extent has just fallen below two standard deviations.
"Should I be worried?", is the question............

Jim Hunt

Perhaps we should all be worried AJbT?

Arctic sea ice extent is once again firmly in the "lowest for the date in the satellite record" category, whichever metric you care to choose:



Was a little ahead of my time! Jim,

Now why? Why is it hovering a lowest all time extent, is because it is thinning of course, but there is a feedback, the thinning gives a different atmospheric circulation, or as we say in these modern days, a different polar vortex shape:


Remember post 2012 greatest melt? The sea ice was very thin but 2013 minima was hailed as a recovery by the usual denial carbon loving maniacs,
that was because circulation was changed by the sea ice. 2019 has a different circulation structure which favors a greatest melt again.


March 31: Climate Reanalyzer showing temp anomaly of +7.5C.

The ice arches will be no more, soon, and the strait is open.

The SE Beaufort is pretty smashed up.



The Arctic Oscillation Index is currently very positive, meaning warm air is being sucked in via the north Atlantic; however, models say this index will reverse soon.

A positive AOI in the months of March through May means strong melting - the effect lessens in June.

The Navy's model shows we started out with almost no thick multi-year ice:



I thought Nares Strait had been open for weeks!??!

Jim Hunt

AJbT - With little interruption the Nares Strait has been "open" to sea ice traffic for many months.

Tenney - In this day and age there are "measurements" of Arctic sea ice thickness available as well as mere "models":



So, Jim, how unchartered (sorry, no pun intended) is this behaviour of Nares Strait?


Jim, did you also notice https://tinyurl.com/yyk5raa8 the piomas anaomaly graph has dropped quite markedly?!!?

Jim Hunt

Yes AJbT! No doubt Neven will be along soon with a "March PIOMAS" post, but in the meantime here's the latest from the PSC:


"According to the PIOMAS model Arctic sea ice volume has been flatlining for the last couple of weeks, and may even have peaked already!"

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