One Down …

Many have been watching with interest the daily changes in Arctic sea ice, to see whether or not the year’s melt will lead to a new record low for sea ice area, extent, and/or volume. According to Cryosphere Today, one of those records has been broken, that for sea ice area. And it’s not even September for another 12 days.


Here’s the year-on-year area data with 2012 highlighted in red:

And here’s a closeup:

As for the record lows of extent and volume … time will tell. Soon.

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53 responses to “One Down …

  1. As a bettor in the WUWT sweepstakes, going below 3.0 square kilometers seemed like an extreme unlikely to be breached. Bad choice—now I won’t win the contest–dang! The very fact that this parlor game exists at WUWT at all is more than bizarre, IMHO.

  2. arch stanton

    How long will it be before the denialists post the “it’s just the wind” explanations?

  3. SIE from IJIS should break the previous daily low with the release of Friday, August 24th report.

    The question is whether the HP over Greenland and Canadian Archipelago, works with the LP located over Severnaya Zemlya, to push ice into the Fram, and fracture the ice pack up to the NP by this weekend. This could be a tough week for the ice “guarding” the eastern front of the NP pack, in the unrelenting war on the Arctic ice.

  4. Indeed. If it keeps going as it has I think that I might miss on all three measured that I listed in the ‘Sea Ice Poll’ thread – by over-estimating the minima.

    Still, barring catastrophic melt next northern hemisphere summer it should give the denialati a cherry with which to claim ice recovery in 2013…

  5. Reflections on the same topic:

    http://doc-snow.hubpages.com/hub/A-Love-Story-And-A-Clearance-Sale

    This is pretty effin’ amazing, this story, and not in a good way. Doubly so that it is being ignored by the politicians–including the climate ‘good guys.’

  6. Rob Honeycutt

    There is an aspect of the ice that doesn’t seem to be accounted for in the ice extent, area, or volume figures. That’s the ice quality. Dr David Barber talks about it in this video lecture here: http://video.hint.no/mmt201v10/osc/?vid=55

    The sense I get from Barber’s lecture is that the ice has been deteriorating faster than extent, area or volume would suggest.

  7. Linked from doc-snow — PIOMAS with an absolute axis. Is this reasonable? Neven doesn’t seem to cover volume much.

    https://sites.google.com/site/arctischepinguin/home/piomas

    • Hey, thanks for checking the link!

      Actually, Tamino had this on the topic a while back:

    • i have no idea why, but that actually graph manages to be *more* dispiriting than when it’s drawn with the truncated Y-axis.

      • It makes it hard to squint away the 75% gone. Or where it’s headed. I think at some point I got the “later this century” fixed in my head.

    • afeman,

      Funny you should say “Neven doesn’t seem to cover volume much”. The graphs you link to are done by a regular contributer to Neven’s blog, who posts under the hook “Wipneus”. Search for his posts and you’ll find plenty of discussion on volume trends.

      As it happens, the idea of compiling graphs of PIOMAS absolute values (rather than their published anomaly graph) was developed at Neven’s about two years ago, before PSC even released their data publicly, and Wipneus has been faithfully churning out his monthly updates ever since.

      There are a few reasons why its not discussed at length routinely, but mostly because Neven’s posters are all conscious of the fact that this is simple curve-fitting, and robust prediction requires better understanding of the underlying physics than any there would claim.

      So – even more than other metrics – the monthly volume vigil (and I use that term advisedly) is often confined to “Yep, still accelerating downwards. What else is there to say?”

  8. I do not know how to count it, but I guess some fancy image processing can calculate the fractal dimension of the ice pack… the lower the quality , the higher the fracturing and the ratio of (total icepack perimeter)/(total area) will increase and the fractal dimension will increase.

  9. A week or so ago, I saw one of the denier blogs was still offering a $1000 bet against a record in JAXA. (Can’t remember who.) I wonder if that bet is still open. I just checked the graph: it’s the lowest non-2007 extent on record and there are still 3-5 weeks of melt remaining. And the slope of the melt hasn’t begun to plateau.

    (Please tell me that someone took the bet.)

  10. @Jeffery Davis,

    That was Steve Goodard.

  11. should we keep this quiet, so the main stream media wouldn’t notice it? Anyway 2013 is supposed to be the minima of minimum (until 2014, of course) in predictions so this is not such a big deal, no?

  12. Steve’s now refusing to take a £50 bet on a JAXA minimum. Shame.

  13. Bet you volume’s the worst casualty. Thing is, the calendar window needs to be made longer because the curve looks like a slacker elastic with a weight on it. Restraining melt to a specific end date is an erroneous human construct which doesn’t really reflect what’s happening in nature.

    • The way I see it is that ice volume is a better indicator of the amount of heat in the ocean, so it’s bound to fall more strongly and predictably than area or extent, which take no account of volume.

  14. Goddard just banned me for the third time because I have been dogging him since March when he was crowing about SIE being “normal”. Peter and julienne Strove have been calmly correcting and questioning him, but I like to respond to his ad hominem and malicious posts with straight up sarcasm, and I think it really riles him.
    But I encourage people to go to his site and keep reminding him of his ridiculous posts throughout the summer, when a new SIE record low is set. He basically said it was impossible and taunted that warmists are dishonest because they don’t believe the lies they spew, which is why he offered a $1,000 bet, KNOWING That no one would take it.
    He banned me because I “lied” when I said he refused to make predictions. I meant predictions about SIE, and he linked to a blog where he predicted increase in 5 year ice and some other rather meaningless metric. I apologized in a comment that he of course would not post. I don’t think he understands the concept of apology. But I am pretty sure he just had to make sure he had an excuse so I couldn’t comment when the record is broken n the next 2 weeks or so.
    I think people should comment not to convince him, but to show any of the non true believing denialists that frequent his site that he is an ideologue uninterested in the truth.

  15. It’s usual to have to wait until after the annual Arctic sea ice minimum occurs, to find out whether the record has broken.

    This year I suspect that indication that the record has been broken will occur prior to the month in which the minimum value is released.

    • I think so… at Neven’s ASI blog, they are counting the record ‘dominos’ as they fall; latest is DMI extent. That’s the third ‘domino’ so far.

      http://neven1.typepad.com/blog/2012/08/record-dominoes-3-cryosphere-today-sia.html

    • It appears that I have to concede over-optimism with respect to my projection for the minimum 2012 Arctic sea ice area, if one goes by the data that Jim Pettit plots. I am almost certainly going to be smacked for over-optimism on sea ice extent too, and horror of horrors I’m wondering if I might even have been too optimistic about volume – another week or two will tell on that last score.

      It’s not a matter of ego though – I’m far more depressed about the degree to which ice has melted this year, than I am about being wrong in my estimates. I’m fervently hoping for a spectacular refreeze to commence in the next few days….

      And I’m now wondering at what point scientists come right out and tell the world that we’ve lost the chance to even fight the first battle because we were to cocky to bother to go meet the opposition on the field, and that all we can do now is to gather with our backs to the wall to defend what’s left of the castle.

  16. in the UK agw was expected to give us long hot summers but ice melt and its effect on the arctic jet stream seem to be having a greater effect on the course of the main jetstream . the US may be having its hottest dry summers we are having the wettest cool one. is there any research on effects of arctic jet stream on main jetstream?

  17. By the way, thanks to everyone who chose to check out my article on the SI crash, “A Love Story And A Clearance Sale”, published yesterday–I’ve never got such a response!

  18. NSIDC 2012 extent data

    ftp://sidads.colorado.edu/DATASETS/NOAA/G02135/north/daily/data/NH_seaice_extent_nrt.csv

    2012, 08, 22, 4.29062,

    So, the extent record (4.3 m km2) is broken, then?

    [Response: Not yet. The NSIDC record of 4.3 is for the September average, but the NSIDC daily record low is 4.16 for 2007. The JAXA daily record low is 4.25 from 2007, the latest I’ve seen is 4.33.]

  19. JAXA Sea Ice Extent record low is down now.
    4,189,375 km2 on Aug 24th.

  20. Kevin MacDonald

    Another one down. JAXA has posted 4.19 today.

  21. It would appear that Cryosphere Today Sea Ice Area is still going down.

    No doubt its just tentative, but for day 235 of this year we have 2.65255 million km^2, beating 2.74199 set three days ago. For comparison, the minima for 1980 was set on day 251 at 5.50771. So if today were the minima for the year, at this point it would be only 48.16% of the minima in 1980.

    Please see:

    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/arctic.sea.ice.interactive.html

    You can get all the numbers by “view source.”