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« Jolly green giants toppled | Main | Déjà vu - Josh 364 »

Sea ice holds firm

This morning's story appears to be the hoary old "Arctic sea ice in freefall" one.

The Arctic is in crisis. Year by year, it’s slipping into a new state, and it’s hard to see how that won’t have an effect on weather throughout the Northern Hemisphere,” said Ted Scambos, lead scientist at the Colorado-based NSIDC.

As usual on these occasions, I take a quick look at the Cryosphere Today anomaly page, where I find the sea ice apparently still stuck firmly in "pause" mode.

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Reader Comments (278)


How appropriate your suggestion of a climate change prediction award is. Part of the lyrics of "Any dream will do" are so so relevant to the"pause"

The world and I, we are still waiting,
Still hesitating,
Any dream will do

For "dream" read "model".

Apr 9, 2016 at 4:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Kendall

Alan Kendall, I am not convinced that any of us are ever likely to see Michael Mann being awarded an Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat Award for Climate Science. I don't think he really has the legs for such a flowing garment. There is also one problematic line in the song:

"I look handsome, I look smart, I am a walking work of art!"

One out of three ain't good.

Apr 9, 2016 at 9:34 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Re: Alan Kendall Apr 8, 2016 at 12:10 PM

I'll have you know I look nothing like Chucky. If you don't believe me, here's a video recording revealing how I met my Prince Charming!

What do you suppose would happen should Snow White kiss that frog?

Apr 9, 2016 at 10:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterJim Hunt

Back to that graph thingy. Looks like its trending down to me. Not seen anything amongst the largely irrelevant comments here that suggest or prove otherwise.

Apr 9, 2016 at 11:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterOnbyaccident

Doesn't seem to look like a 'Death Spiral' or anything else remotely worth worrying about. Just another of climate science's failures, being supported by the Hockey Team, and their faithful cheerleaders.

1840s history repeats itself, and some people don't want to see it.

Apr 10, 2016 at 12:34 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Re: Onbyaccident Apr 9, 2016 at 11:57 PM

You are evidently not suffering from the "snow blindness" that seems to afflict so many of the Bishop's acolytes.

Re: golf charlie Apr 10, 2016 at 12:34 AM

A reminder for students of the history of Arctic exploration in the 1840s and 50s that the past and future of the Northwest Passage is being debated with words, images, music and moving pictures over at:

The Northwest Passage in 2016

In the months leading up to our own expedition, it seemed absurd, one of those conundrums of history that let us look back at the arrogant blindness of Victorian explorers with a sense of superiority and power. And yet, here we are, in the very same place, succumbing to the same thing: Franklin’s error. We should have known better.

Apr 10, 2016 at 9:25 AM | Unregistered CommenterJim Hunt

Mr Hunt: I am not sure to whom you are referring to with your “snow blindness”. Could it be those who have assured us that the Arctic would be ice-free by 2013 / 2014 / 2015 / whenever? All that most are pointing out is that, though the ice extent might have diminished since the end of the “We are heading for an ice age!” scare, it does not appear to be quite as dramatic as many insist that it is – or do you not consider the use of phrases such as “Arctic death spiral” or “the Arctic is screaming” to be dramatic?

Apr 10, 2016 at 12:45 PM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

Re: Radical Rodent Apr 10, 2016 at 12:45 PM

I first used the term "snow blindness" regarding one "Paul Homewood":

Gross Deception About DMI’s “Missing Graph”

I also once interviewed Mark Serreze of the NSIDC about assorted utterances frequently attributed to him in the cryospheric blogosphere:

Mark Serreze and the Arctic Sea Ice Death Spiral

Mark told me that he still stood by his 2030 estimate for the onset of a seasonally ice free Arctic, although "most models say more like 2050."

Apr 10, 2016 at 3:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterJim Hunt

hi jim, you think mark would want to bet on that :)

Apr 10, 2016 at 5:55 PM | Unregistered Commenterbit chilly

Hello again Chilly. Long time no see!

I didn't ask Mark if he's a betting man, but if he is I'm sure he'd go for it. My money's on 2022 after all, and ShelterBox's money is as safe as houses!

We're you as miffed as I was when your kind words about yours truly were unceremoniously [snip]ped over at WUWT at the end of February?

Apr 10, 2016 at 9:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterJim Hunt

Jim Hunt, I hope you won't be too disappointed if the sea ice fails to disappear.

Apr 10, 2016 at 9:29 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Skeptics point out that the predictions of doom regarding sea ice have proven incorrect and the true believers go wild with their defenses of their faith. The predictions were not only about Arctic sea ice, but about Antarctic ice as well. That of course is not a topic the faithful can revisit unless they revise their stories. And part of the Arctic ice predictions was that the ice would be gone by now, during summer. That of course our true believers must sort of skip over. And the pesky consistency of papers showing that Arctic sea ice has in fact been highly dynamic in extent over climatically significant periods of times...well that requires their faithfully moving on to other things. But what is most interesting is how the faithful grasp at the graph of the satellite trend as proof that everything they believe is correct
Despite the failure of the things predicted to be caused by their falsely alleged unique Arctic sea ice situation.

Apr 11, 2016 at 12:01 PM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

Re: hunter Apr 11, 2016 at 12:01 PM

Please provide link(s) to one or more of those "predictions of doom regarding sea ice" to which you refer. The usual "skeptical" suspects need not apply!

Re: golf charlie Apr 10, 2016 at 9:29 PM

I'd be delighted if the sea ice fails to disappear. So would Chilly's chosen charity (CCC for short)!

Apr 11, 2016 at 1:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterJim Hunt

Here is a cursory list from mainstream sources.

Apr 11, 2016 at 8:08 PM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

Hi Jim

from the last -
"The perennial ice cover is that which survives the summer melt and consists mainly of thick multiyear ice floes that are the mainstay of the Arctic sea ice cover. "Since 1979, by using passive microwave satellite data, we've seen that Arctic perennial sea ice cover has been declining at 9.6 percent per decade," said Joey Comiso, senior scientist at GSFC."

For the perennial ice to recover, sustained cooling is needed, especially during the summer period. This has not been the case over the last 20 years, as the satellite data show a warming trend in the Arctic, and it is not likely to be the case in the future, as climate models predict continued Arctic warming.

"Even if sea ice retreated a lot one summer, it would make a comeback the following winter, since temperatures below freezing generally cause at least a thin layer of ice to form," explains Florence Fetterer, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Program Manager at NSIDC. "But in the winter of 2004-2005, sea ice didn't approach the previous wintertime level."

Patterns of natural variability play a part in Arctic sea ice decline. Scientists believe that the Arctic Oscillation (AO), a major atmospheric circulation pattern that can push sea ice out of the Arctic may have contributed to the reduction of sea ice in the mid-1990s by making the sea ice more vulnerable to summertime melt.

"Sea ice decline is likely to affect future temperatures in the region. Because of its light appearance, sea ice reflects much of the sun's radiation back into space whereas dark ocean water absorbs more of the sun's energy. As sea ice melts, more exposed ocean water changes the Earth's albedo, or fraction of energy reflected away from the planet. "Feedbacks in the system are starting to take hold," says NSIDC's lead scientist Ted Scambos."

"There are many factors driving changes in the Arctic, and a longer record of data will help scientists better understand the remarkable changes they are now seeing."

so man made CO2 covers all this change ?

Apr 12, 2016 at 12:03 AM | Unregistered Commenterdougieh

More problems being highlighted with satellite data, at WattsUpWithThat

"More satellite problems with Arctic Sea Ice measurement"  April 11, 2016

I wonder if it is not worse than previously thought possible

hunter 8:08, the comments on that Guardian article were 'interesting', as doom-mongers tried to discredit anyone who failed to share their vision. Somethings in climate science don't seem to change.

Apr 12, 2016 at 1:14 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

golf Charlie,

followed your comment about looking at the Guardian's website coverage on this subject. I wish I hadn't. It's absolutely appalling. People echoing vacuously slogans and only partly understood facts. Nothing of any length or any real substance. Challenges made to "deniers" to explain themselves - as if that crowd would stop their parroting and listen. Compared with that site, this one is a paragon of intellectual expertize. A veritable powerhouse. In future I'll read with greater respect the contributions posted here of even those with whom I disagree.

A valuable lesson learned, but a distasteful one

Apr 12, 2016 at 9:24 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Kendall

Re: hunter Apr 11, 2016 at 8:08 PM

From the BBC in 2007:

"Dr Mark Serreze was asked to give one of the main lectures here at this year's AGU Fall Meeting.

Discussing the possibility for an open Arctic ocean in summer months, he told the meeting: "My thinking on this is that 2030 is not an unreasonable date to be thinking of."


Re: golf charlie Apr 12, 2016 at 1:14 AM

Satellite Problems With Arctic Sea Ice Measurement

Due to the previously reported problems with one of the channels on SSMIS onboard DMSP F17, OSI SAF is now working on replacing DMSP F17 with DMSP F18 in our sea ice products.


Apr 13, 2016 at 12:40 AM | Unregistered CommenterJim Hunt

Jim Hunt, yes correct, it is demonstrated that sea ice data from satellites is not reliable. Strange that the custodians of the data failed to tell anyone, until it was pointed out.

Alan Kendall, that is why I am inclined to trust historical evidence and actual real archaeology about Franklin's doomed trip to find the North West Passage. The Arctic ice is smaller now than at the start of the satellite record, but there is no logic behind arguments claiming it is unprecedented. Some of the comments at the Guardian tend to place more faith in evidence from models based on computer models derived from theories. Real evidence must be demonised at all costs, along with those that mention it.

As you may have noticed over the last few days at this blog, anyone who dares to point out a few inconsistencies with the 'Settled Science' of AGW, has to be attacked, by any means! Some are very professional and aggressive in their persistence. I hope you and Paul continue to post! I am sure I could identify at least 40 regular posters who would state that 97% of readers appreciate your input.

Apr 13, 2016 at 2:05 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

A common tactic of grafter prophets is to move the date of doom.
Another common tactic of grafter prophets is to make the prediction after the event.
Another favored tactic of grafter prophets is to make a prediction about something far away in time and/or distance that no one can easily check.
The climate obsessed social mania that you are part of relies on those three tactics frequently.

Apr 13, 2016 at 5:20 PM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

Charlie, instrumentation on satellites fail. Guess you now can toss UAH into the crapper.

Apr 14, 2016 at 4:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterEli Rabett

Re: golf charlie Apr 13, 2016 at 2:05 AM

The "custodians of the data" told some people on April 6th. I guess you're not on their mailing list for some reason?

The "historical evidence" about "Franklin's doomed trip to find the North West Passage" is accumulating in your continuing absence:

The Northwest Passage in 2016

Re hunter Apr 13, 2016 at 5:20 PM

Another common tactic is to accuse Arctic scientists of "mov[ing] the date of doom" when they haven't!

Apr 14, 2016 at 9:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterJim Hunt

Posting a link to your blog as evidence is only evidence of your own self importance Jim.


Apr 19, 2016 at 2:58 PM | Unregistered Commentermailman

Re: mailman Apr 19, 2016 at 2:58 PM

In actual fact your comment is only evidence of your own self importance.

If you clicked the link to my blog and then explored a few more you might learn something. If you don't you won't.

Apr 20, 2016 at 11:16 AM | Unregistered CommenterJim Hunt

Golf Charlie: it is curious how people seem to be convinced that satellite data of the Arctic only goes back to 1979. Have a look at this NOAA publication, and you will see, on page 61, that it goes back as far as 1973. Why should we not start our measurements from 1974? Or, if you want to make it a circa 30-year period, say, 1984? Certainly, 1979 seems anomalously high, thus making it a curious time to start.

Apr 20, 2016 at 12:21 PM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent


That would take your readership to 1.


Apr 20, 2016 at 5:58 PM | Unregistered Commentermailman

Please don't go all slippery and sketchy on this. If there is no Arctic doom, then why in the heck would it matter?
You climate kooks do this time and time again: The world is coming to an end due to CO2, and then when skeptics point out that it isn't, you climate kooks claim to have never promoted the idea of doom.
Can you please give some serious insight on this, since you are now practicing it.
Thanks in advance.

Apr 20, 2016 at 8:12 PM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

Watch out Hunter. Jim will post a link to his blog as evidence if something or another. Then you will be doomed.


Apr 22, 2016 at 9:01 AM | Unregistered Commentermailman

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