This year's ice

19441832_1489695317762063_2716283952301840816_o On hot days like these an old man's thoughts turn to the eternal mysteries of sea ice. Someone - it might have been CR - drew my attention to PIOMAS a week or two back; but I can't find whatever was said now, so I'll look for myself. Before looking at the sea ice, I found the temperature anomaly, which is rather interesting.

So having been ridiculously warm all winter, suddenly we're back to normal, or a fraction below. This is Daily Mean Temperatures North of 80 degree North, red is the operational model, the green average is reanalysis. Arguably there's a degree of pining-to-zero around now, but there wasn't around day 140 when it was clearly below average.

Greenland melt index shows something similar. Anyway, having seen the temperature let's move on to ice extent. Uni Bremen sea ice extent; I would stay faithful to Jaxa but their server seems slow today.

So, meh, it is low but not lowest. It clearly won't be a good year but it is unlikely to be a disastrous one. I doubt anything is more bettable than it was in May.

piomas-trnd4 And lastly the PIOMAS ice volume which could be considered the reason for this post, since we're just about crossing from record lows into no-longer-a-record. Again, the obvious but uninteresting projection is low but not a record.

Has anyone else had anything interesting to say about sea ice for a while? If they had, I've missed it.


* A quote from the declaration of independence.

More like this

This is the headline on a press release from the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) at the University of Colorado at Boulder. They are one of the goto sources for data about sea ice, either arctic or antarctic. The final extent of arctic sea ice melting this year, as in any other single…
Time for another look at sea ice. Here is the familiar IARC-JAXA plot: And we see: well, it is looking low, and has been consistently all winter. Not record-breakingly, like it was last December, but even so. Interesting. This year, I'm not planning to run a book, unless anyone offers to make a…
This year's story so far: in May, I accepted some bets but was still trying to come to terms with Rob Dekker. In the comments there we came to agreement on the following: If both NSIDC and IARC-JAXA September 2016 monthly average sea ice extent report are above 4.80 million km^2, RD pays WMC US$ 10…
NCSIDC has it's monthly analysis for September done and as expected, it ain't pretty. Arctic sea ice extent averaged for September 2012 was the lowest in the satellite record, and was 16% lower than the previous low for the month, which occurred in 2007. Through 2012, the linear rate of decline for…

Well, Antarctic sea ice extent is at a record low for its date.

Long-term trend is still very much positive, though, but dropping.

By David Appell (not verified) on 24 Jun 2017 #permalink

PS: So is global sea ice extent at a record low (where the long-term trend is very much negative).

[Ah yes perhaps I should have mentioned Ant / Glob; I was thinking of Arctic because we're coming into summer. has nice pix; Global extent is still at a record low, though it looks like it briefly went above 2016 a month ago -W]

By David Appell (not verified) on 24 Jun 2017 #permalink

Started reading after you made your famous bets(?).
Seems there was a bit of an Obama effect now followed by a Trump effect.
Different to the Gore effect which goes counter to one's desires.
Seems there is an Arctic basin and an outer Arctic sea ice extent which is important at times.
Basically the Ice in the basin which remains all year and some people keep predicting will go soon has resisted melting as much as usual so when all the bits that usually melt away by Summer are gone earlier it is only the bits that cannot melt away that count.
Hence the PIOMAS "increase". It has not really increased, just the bits that count have not melted.

One thing you can count on as reliably as death and taxes is for angech to be completely wrong.;topic=119.0;a…

By the numbers, comparison to 2012 for May 31:
Beaufort -187 km^3
Chukcki -589 km^3
ESS -417 km^3
Laptev 220 km^3
Kara 243 km^3
Barents 184 km^3
CAB -838 km^3

And the updated mid-month values for June 15th:
Beauf 73 km^3
Chukc -496 km^3
ESS -293 km^3
Laptv 310 km^3
KaraS 233 km^3
Baren 125 km^3
CAB -598 km^3

From this it can be seen that the opposite of what angech believes is true: the ice that typically resists melting - specifically the CAB (Central Arctic Basin) is the LARGEST region below the record low year of 2012. And the Arctic Ocean - not the peripheral seas, has almost all of the losses whereas almost all of the gains are on the fringes.

angech, where DO you get your information from?

By Kevin ONeill (not verified) on 24 Jun 2017 #permalink

The trend .
You would have to have a questionably grasp on reality to not consider this year to be an ominous warning as to the direction of Arctic sea ice and the Arctic climate.
The Antarctic?.
Noise not signal..
Weather patterns drive seasonal ice offshore or coast ward.
More interesting is the behavior of the Continental Ice.
Will Larsen C recover from losing 10% of its mass or is it doomed?

[Even the Granu doesn't seem worried at this point -W]

Arctic climate and Antarctic climate seem to be anti-correlated. So if the past positive trend of Antarctic sea ice extent is really reversing, then I would not be surprised at all to see the negative trend of Arctic sea ice slow or maybe even reverse.

By Phil Hays (not verified) on 25 Jun 2017 #permalink

One of the interesting things to watch this summer in the Arctic is the delayed onset of melt ponds. This is likely attributable to the increased snow seen over much of the arctic this past winter/spring.

There is a relatively good chance now that the snow is disappearing it's going to reveal an ice pack much thinner and more easily broken up than in past years. This could result in accelerated melt in July and August. Wayne Davidson has been predicting this for some time now. Wayne posted this back on May 2:

"Sea ice "First Melt" (FM) day the latest since observations began

Spring First Melt occurs when Sea ice horizon goes down to the Astronomical Horizon for the first time since it formed, the air temperature immediately above becomes isothermal, air layers right above this isotherm may be warmer causing some illusions.

2017 April 25
2016 March 9,
2015 March 26,
2014 April 10,
2013 March 23,
2012 March 17,
2011 April 15,
2010 March 19.

But with the thinnest sea ice ever, the meaning of 2017 "First melt" has been hijacked by too much snow on top of sea ice, much more than 2016, more or less double. Snow replacing sea ice giving dissimilar optical effects is a new feature, from the unusual flood of snowflakes stemming from warmest winter in Arctic history. What we know about FM predictive power is related to the start of the melt season, since too much snow halted accretion for more than a month, the melt season also was delayed but from a thinner point, when this snow disappears in June, there will be huge water ponds, the ice will vanish extremely quickly then after. So the later first melt date would have significance if the sea ice thickness was more average in thickness. Otherwise, on a larger Arctic Ocean scale, if thick snow is laced all over the Arctic as it appears to be so, the illusion of a normal sea ice melt rate will last until severe sudden disintegration. "

Wayne has followed up the May 2nd post with a review of his predictions: Almost everything predicted for 2017 is turning out

By Kevin ONeill (not verified) on 25 Jun 2017 #permalink

Hold on O'Neill.
Or Kevin.
Science is science, not what you "want" it to be.
Feel free to pile on the insults but try to argue the science properly.
First up there is no point changing the ground rules when they do not fit your narrative.
First melt is first melt whether it snows or does not snow. You have it as a figure. You assign values as to its meaning.
The fact is, correct me whenever you scientifically can do so, first melt has a traditional scientific relationship with the amount of sea ice present to form a horizon?
" Spring First Melt occurs when Sea ice horizon goes down to the Astronomical Horizon for the first time since it formed".
Nowhere is there any mention of the amount of snow on the ice, correct?
So you can speculate about the effect of the extra snow, or the thin ice til the cows come home but your speculations have no relevance to the predictive power of first melt, which is the subject you chose to raise.
Points to consider.
No one has an algorithm that works early in the season to accurately predict the later sea ice September minimum, lots of egg on face at WUWT and Neven in the past.
You would be the first and only which would fill me with admiration at your skills.
Sea ice is always thin at the periphery , sad but true.
PIOMAS shows, will show, see Jim Hunt's latest comments, that the ice is currently thickening up nicely contrary to your opinations.
Or to be more accurate thinning out more slowly so that the thickness anomaly is improving.
I will consider the accuracy of your first comment facts and comment shortly to agree and apologise if they are correct and the conclusions drawn from that are correct.
Have a good day.

angech - I posted the PIOMAS volume numbers that clearly show the CAB and Arctic Ocean are the areas *below* even the record 2012 year. The peripheral seas are the areas that are above recent normal. This is the opposite of what you claimed.

Try reading harder.

By Kevin ONeill (not verified) on 25 Jun 2017 #permalink

My comment above
"Basically the Ice in the basin which remains all year and some people keep predicting will go soon has resisted melting as much as usual"
was an explanation to June 24 post
"So having been ridiculously warm all winter, suddenly we’re back to normal, or a fraction below."

I made no comments about how the ice this year 2017 melted related to previous years, just an observation on its current state of meltedness which defies Kevin's Wadham desire for it to melt away as soon as possible
Obviously the ice did melt initially with the hot spell.
Obviously after 3 good years of recovery we have had a year of ice behaving badly.
Tossing statistics around about stuff I never said is bad enough.
Tossing insults based on your imagination of what I said is sadder.
But tossing statistics around without defining them in your own debate , not mine remember, is even worse when your very claims lack rigour.
Try Inner Basin Volume from your graph referral Orren I believe.
"Reasoning for my choice of inner basin, and a couple of charts.The only seas with significant volume are: CAB, CAA, ESS, Greenland Sea, Laptev, Beaufort, and Chukchi (only in July). All the rest tend to melt out relatively early and almost completely, and I expect them to do the same in 2017. So I prefer to focus on these "significant" seas, minus the Greenland Sea, when trying to assess volume situation and outlook for September. I'll call this "Inner Basin" here and in future charts.
Regarding Greenland Sea, its ice is a result of constant export, meaning current ice is not the September ice - that will be mostly new ice coming along later in the season. So I prefer not to lump it along with the others, although it will surely have ice in mid-Sep.So looking at low-volume years, inner basin only (CAB, CAA, ESS, Laptv, Beauf, Chukc), "
We have you referring to a select subgroup of the Arctic Ocean to make a claim about the Arctic Ocean which excludes relevant areas in your claim.
Say no more.

angech writes:"We have you referring to a select subgroup of the Arctic Ocean to make a claim about the Arctic Ocean which excludes relevant areas in your claim."

LOL. Go look at a map, angech. The CAB, CAA, ESS, Laptev, Beaufort and , Chukchi basically ARE the Arctic Ocean.

By Kevin ONeill (not verified) on 26 Jun 2017 #permalink

#12 Please do keep posting a link to that graph as the melt season continues.

By Phil Hays (not verified) on 26 Jun 2017 #permalink

Phil, I will be happy if we just have monthly PIOMAS updates for the next 3 months. Perhaps we will all learn something about Arctic ice and its vagaries.

"But with the thinnest sea ice ever, the meaning of 2017 “First melt” has been hijacked by too much snow on top of sea ice, much more than 2016, more or less double. "
The trouble is that the extra snow cover is not just on the ice but on the land around the Arctic, this leads to albedo increase and a much higher presumptive sea ice extent in September, this may be part of the missing explanation.
"May left the highest snow cover since 1996, an astonishing 4 million km^2 more than last year."

Thanks, Crandles.
There are competing hopes and science observations here.
The facts are nobody knows which of the competing postulated forces will win with sea ice.
I happen to like the extra snow cover theory (totally biased) but look forward to strong if Kevin's hypothesis comes true.
Nobody can really explain the extra heat in the Arctic over the last 6 months, satisfactorily that is nor why it did not melt more ice than it did.
There is a postulated Arctic cyclone now that may break up the ice, there are cold currents coming in which may slow down its melt.
Lots of fun.
I think that the concept of the central basin extent, ignoring the peripheral seas that always melt away completely, is one of the keys to better assessment of the true minimum extent and that Kevin and Jim could extract real value from a closer perusal of this value (values).
PIOMAS in 1-2 weeks and in 5-6 weeks will confirm a point of view .

"The CAB, CAA, ESS, Laptev, Beaufort and , Chukchi basically ARE the Arctic Ocean."
No, they are only part of the Arctic Ocean.
So in your view the Greenland sea isn't?
Or the Kara?
Cherry picking is very satisfying but not good science.
Good science does not leave out those seas that disagree with your argument.

angech - Your point was that the areas that resist melting every year are behind in melt -- the Kara and Barents are both peripheral seas and basically melt out every year now (< 100k km^2 at minimum).

The Greenland Sea is not only a peripheral, but it's a killing zone for sea ice. It gets the exported ice from the Fram. Ice that gets sent to the Greenland Sea has been handed its death warrant.

You need to think.

By Kevin ONeill (not verified) on 28 Jun 2017 #permalink

The Greenland Sea is not only a peripheral, but it's a killing zone for sea ice. It gets the exported ice from the Fram. Ice that gets sent to the Greenland Sea has been handed its death warrant.

I understand that in years of high Fram export there may be less sea ice extent but whether there will be high export is current and wind dependent.
I understand your comment to imply that the Kara and Barents seas did not use to melt out completely in the recent past.
I cannot predict that there will be another 3 years of PIOMAS increase, too many variables, ocean heat in Pacific up a little after the big drop. Last of the El Niño heat reaching the Arctic and dissipating. I would like to but I cannot.
Looking for signs of AGW when it is too early to seperate them from natural variation is very tempting and no doubt needed for believers.
Calling every act of warming a sign eventually debases your currency.
Better to focus on the CO2 increase and ways of sorting out its cause and consequences.

angech - you are familiar with 'arctic amplification,' aren't you? You are familiar with paleo-climate data, aren't you? So why would you expect this time to be different?

The arctic will have lost 75 - 80% of its sea ice volume by the September minimum compared to the pre-2000s. If anyone is ignoring data and the science it's the person you see in the mirror each day.

By Kevin ONeill (not verified) on 29 Jun 2017 #permalink

" If anyone is ignoring data and the science it’s the person you see in the mirror each day."
A very apt comment.
I have been grumpy lately but not your fault.
The arctic will have lost 75 – 80% of its sea ice volume by the September minimum compared to the pre-2000s.
Dissect .
You only have a 38 year old satellite record from 1980 on so you have no idea what the Arctic has gained or lost in the pre 2000s.
Using a different data serpent like Maisie for instance might not support that estimate.
Using a data set like total global sea ice extent you could find a month 2 or 3 years ago where the value was the highest recorded in that 38 years. Just to emphasise that with only 38 years you have no idea of how much natural variation is possible.
Using older records of the pre 2000's before 1980 some people claim the loss was just as severe as today in the last 100 years.
Could this be true?
Happy with a yes or no.
Finally September minimum is a Cherry pick.
A yearly average decline would be fair and still show some decline
Or a month with the least percentage decline to compare Cherry picks.
Both would still support your argument.
Could you put them up in the interest of fairness.

angech - Masie is NOT recommended for year to year comparisons and has a much shorter history than the satellite record. Do you always contradict yourself so quickly?

By Kevin ONeill (not verified) on 30 Jun 2017 #permalink

angech – Masie is NOT recommended for year to year comparisons and has a much shorter history than the satellite record.
Stop it.
I said nothing about the length of MASIE history, merely that it provides a much different picture of ice loss to your choice.
Interesting how a data set compiled by people on the ground (at sea really) which states that it is more accurate on a daily basis (this is correct right?) is somehow forced to state that it , the more accurate record, is not good enough for yearly comparisons.
Why? Because it disagrees with the warmist model projections.
You need to think?
applies very much to Maisie and satellites.
A shame that every time I make a genuine argument you deflect with, what is the word, dogma. Not quite the right word but close to the right meaning.

angech - you complained about the length of the satellite record - then suggested a measure that is even shorter. And one that the people that put it together *specifically* tell you that it should NOT be used for annual comparisons. It has nothing to do with dogma (the typical denier cry), but the way it is assembled and the fact it is not based on consistent data sources day-to-day, much less year to year.

Your so full of it you probably don't even realize MASIE is at a record low - unlike other measures of extent that have 2017 at 3rd lowest. Duh.…

By Kevin ONeill (not verified) on 30 Jun 2017 #permalink

Kevin, you cannot win we are at a point of inflexion where Arctic sea ice measurements are going upwards (well you could win if the trends change and go downwards.
One of the exciting things at times of change is the shrill ness with which the previous regime is defended , even as it unmelts before your eyes.
PIOMAS a massive increase in one month in the amount of ice not lost, have you seen it.
Maisie northern hemisphere is not the same thing as Maisie centrally. Watch the (hopefully) slow melt this year even Neven and Jim are writing about now.
I can usually tell if PIOMAS is going to improve, the result comes out late.


Repeating talking points from Denial Depot is not serving you well. You need to remember that Denial Depot is a satire blog, not a real source of accurate science.……

,,,,and ignoring all the advice you've had over at ATTP's about formatting your posts is also not serving you well. Although to your credit, making your comments less readable makes it less likely that people will read it and realize that the content isn't worth the effort.

By Bob Loblaw (not verified) on 01 Jul 2017 #permalink

Brief Communication: Newly developing rift in Larsen C Ice Shelf presents significant risk to stability
D. Jansen1, A. J. Luckman2, A. Cook2, S. Bevan2, B. Kulessa2, B. Hubbard3, and P. R. Holland4
Abstract. An established rift in the Larsen C Ice Shelf, formerly constrained by a suture zone containing marine ice, grew rapidly during 2014 and is likely in the near future to generate the largest calving event since the 1980s and result in a new minimum area for the ice shelf. Here we investigate the recent development of the rift, quantify the projected calving event and, using a numerical model, assess its likely impact on ice shelf stability. We find that the ice front is at risk of becoming unstable when the anticipated calving event occurs.

>"PIOMAS ice volume which could be considered the reason for this post, since we’re just about crossing from record lows into no-longer-a-record."

"The gridded thickness files where updated. The official volume numbers not yet, what follows are my calculated volume data calculated from the thickness.
Volume on day 181 is about 12.163 [1000km3], that is 0.18 [1000km3] below 2012's volume. IOW the volume gap (barely) survived.",119.msg118837/post=1192…

Doesn't mean we won't 'cross from record lows into no-longer-a-record' just we haven't yet and maybe it isn't guaranteed that we will?

Crandles, you are right . I live in hope
angech July 1, 2017 at 8:10 am
"With the current low rebound only of Pacific temps plus the pleasing slowdown in PIOMAS loss I am expecting a very sharp fall in UAHv6."
Good things happen, usually when you do not expect them.

Tipping point or topping point?
Approaching now.
Thin ice and low winter extent presage complete melting of the Arctic.
Or not.
One ice graph with a nice uptick in the last week. Will there be more?

Couple of nice graphs:;topic=119.0;a…;topic=119.0;a…

showing PIOMAS still persists in being at record low for time of year to 22 July and more area in the thin categories this year compared to 2012 which, if correct, could mean more area melts out. OTOH there was the Great Arctic Cyclone in Aug 2012. OTTH perhaps that just melted out what was going to melt out anyway. ....

[The second - the area per thickness category - is interesting. I wonder if I can convince myself it shows the thinner ice stabalising? -W]

>"I wonder if I can convince myself it shows the thinner ice stabalising?"

I have no idea how good you are at kidding yourself. ;)

If it was the thick categories showing that pattern, then that levelling out pattern may well be good evidence of a stabilising. However....

Surely you would accept that it is the thin ice that is likely to disappear rather than the thick ice? If so, how is more thin ice that is likely/susceptible to disappear a stabilising?

[My thinking was that the thin ice is less interested in long term trends, since it is ice that reformed last winter. This isn't a properly thought through thought -W]

Of course the thickness is only modelled and might not be correct. If PIOMAS has got the thickness too low and is modeling areas melting out but they haven't so they are kept in the model at a thin thickness this perhaps could explain a large area of thin ice this year which wouldn't then suggest a record low volume and area. Relying on that seems a bit like a prayer to the god of the gaps though.

Weather can also play important role. Also different techniques not using PIOMAS volume seem to suggest this year won't be particularly low, see SIPN forecasts.

Certainly no guarantees of what will happen from this.

But I struggle to see evidence for stabilising. If it was on a date in September, that might allow different conclusions to be drawn. For July 22, it seems to me to be showing that more of thick ice is thinning to dangerously thin levels. Still it could be me that is confused, particularly if you feel like explaining where I am confused.

Neven wrote on his blog a month ago
“Dr David Schröder from the University of Reading modelled melt pond distribution maps for June. Based on melt pond fraction in May+June we predict a mean 2017 September ice extent of 5.1 (4.6 to 5.6) mill km2 (within the range observed during last 4 years). The likelihood for a new record minimum is below 1% [my emphasis; N.]”
Fingers crossed he is right.