Mark Serreze Explains That Quebec Is Part Of The Arctic

http://www.usatoday.com/

The Arctic Ocean was completely covered with ice, as it always is in the winter. Hopefully Serreze didn’t actually say anything that stupid.

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63 Responses to Mark Serreze Explains That Quebec Is Part Of The Arctic

  1. Bob in NC says:

    Have you seen this yet:

    It’s like getting a degree in drilling for snake oil……

    http://www.newsobserver.com/2011/03/02/1023358/ncsu-wants-to-add-climate-change.html

    • Philip Finck says:

      Heaven help us all;

      Now there will be a whole new level of `Climate Experts’……………… kids with fine arts degrees, degrees in international
      studies, majors in Russian literature, etc out there telling everyone what the “correct think” is with respect to AGW.

  2. glacierman says:

    “Hopefully Serreze didn’t actually say anything that stupid.”

    Hope in one hand and poo in the other. See which one weighs more.

    • Villabolo says:

      Like the arctic is going to recover the original extent and thickness of 1979 within a few years?

      • Mike Davis says:

        What is so special with the “Extrapolated” Ice Extent in 1979. Why don’t we try to replicate the ice conditions in 1934 or even 1120?
        It is just long term weather patterns and the ice in the Arctic region is anything but stable. Of course you may be one of those that believe there was a stable climate at some magic time in the past. Get a clue! Climate has only been changing since the earth had an atmosphere and we are currently experiencing some of the coldest conditions the globe has experienced in it history. I will admit that over the last few Million years we are warmer than average because we are experiencing a phenomena called an “Interglacial” with less ice extent than average over the last eight hundred thousand years! Forthe last five thousand years the earth has been cooling and this “Intermission” in the cooling we are currently experiencing will not stop the slide to Maximum Glaciation in roughly seventy to eighty thousand years!
        Learn to live with it and enjoy the experience. Worrying over things you can do nothing about corrupts the pleasures of life!

      • glacierman says:

        Yes, all sea ice was present in the 1970s. It was all millions of years old until my car started melting it all.

  3. Mike Davis says:

    You mean the Arctic Circle does not start at 51 north latitude. Give the guy a break it is consistent with what the models claim so the southern boundary for the Arctic Circle must have moved to accommodate the model scenarios. Global Warming does all sorts of interesting things!
    Seeing how Tennessee is part of Western Europe when necessary to explain the cold a “Minor” Expansion of the Arctic Circle is “Child’s Play”!

    Did you mention earlier something about medicinal research enhancers!

  4. Andy Weiss says:

    Canada has been absolutely frigid lately, even relative to normal. Places in Alberta and Saskatchewan were 20 to 40 below (F) this morning. Instead of talking about that, the alarmists are still obsessing about the December/January heatwave that is now ancient history.

  5. Jeff K says:

    Ignore the snow and cold behind that curtain.

    • Villabolo says:

      Better yet, ignore the fact that behind that “curtain” there is an abnormally warmer Arctic which is simply pushing the cold air southwards to where we live.

      Also ignore the rest of the Earth which is also warmer than the 1951-1980 baseline. Or the entire Earth which is warmer even when you include the small portion of it that is getting the Arctic air transferred to it.

      After all, if its snowing in your backyard, it must be snowing in Brazil.

      • suyts says:

        lol, well it did snow in the Amazon last year……or did we forget that already? And, it did snow in my back yard the same time it snowed in Mexico. Do you have anymore irrelevant talking points to discuss?

      • Al Gored says:

        “Also ignore the rest of the Earth which is also warmer than the 1951-1980 baseline.”

        No problem. The arbitrary choice of that baseline is meaningless, unless you think short term fluctuations can be extrapolated into long term trends. The long term ice core data reveal how dense and misleading that thinking is.

  6. Julienne Stroeve says:

    Steve you say: “The Arctic Ocean was completely covered with ice, as it always is in the winter. Hopefully Serreze didn’t actually say anything that stupid. ”

    I think you have probably seen the data showing that January 2011 was a new record low for sea ice extent in the Arctic during the satellite data record, and February 2011 tied 2005 as the lowest during the same time-period. The ice cover during this winter has remained anomalously low, especially in the Labrador Sea and the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

    Winter temperatures in the Arctic have been warmer than normal throughout most of the winter while the AO was in its negative phase. You can make plots yourself of the temperature anomalies here (http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/data/composites/day/) which links to the daily composites (or you can also make monthly composites here (http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/cgi-bin/data/composites/printpage.pl).

    Perhaps it would be better to explain to your readers how the negative AO that happened again this winter allowed cold air to spill out of the Arctic into the lower latitudes. There is a great discussion on the negative AO from last winter and how it combined with the El Nino to bring about heavy snows (http://www.climatewatch.noaa.gov/2010/articles/forensic-meteorology-solves-the-mystery-of-record-snows)

    • Julienne,

      When I look at the NSIDC maps for January, I see the Arctic Ocean full of ice. The areas which were less than the median were mainly around Quebec, Newfoundland and The Sea of Okhotsk. I don’t consider those places to be part of the Arctic.

      • AndyW says:

        It’s not NSIDC’s fault that you don’t consider the whole of the Arctic ocean extent and have your own definition on it’s bundaries

        http://geography.about.com/library/cia/blcarctic.htm

        Andy
        Andy

      • Villabolo says:

        No, they’re just places that used to be covered in sea ice but no longer are.

      • Right, Hudson Bay and the St. Lawrence Seaway are part of the Arctic Ocean.

      • Mike Davis says:

        I went to Andy’s link and brought back some exciting news:
        Climate:
        polar climate characterized by persistent cold and relatively narrow annual temperature ranges; winters characterized by continuous darkness, cold and stable weather conditions, and clear skies; summers characterized by continuous daylight, damp and foggy weather, and weak cyclones with rain or snow .

        I laughed so hard reading that I almost could not do a copy and paste! The writers of that probably relied on their SIM Planet game to get those results!

      • glacierman says:

        From ” AndyW says:
        March 3, 2011 at 5:51 am
        It’s not NSIDC’s fault that you don’t consider the whole of the Arctic ocean extent and have your own definition on it’s bundaries

        http://geography.about.com/library/cia/blcarctic.htm

        Andy
        Andy”

        As indicated on the link you provided:

        “Location: body of water between Europe, Asia, and North America, mostly north of the Arctic Circle ”

        The Arctic Circle is north of 66N. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arctic_circle

        Hudson Bay is quite a bit south of the arctic circle. Quebec, Newfoundland, and the Sea of Okhotsk are all south of the arctic circle.

        Thanks for clearing that up for us.

      • Julienne Stroeve says:

        Hi Steve, as you know, the ocean freezes at more southerly locations during winter. So yes, we do find sea ice outside of the Arctic circle during winter. The Gulf of St. Lawrence is actually an important harp seal habitat, and last winter’s lack of sea ice in the Gulf resulted in a large loss of seal pups (as reported by Environment Canada). The same is likely true this year.

        I’m sure Mark Serreze knows where the Arctic is located. Remember that any news report is once or twice removed from the original statements made by any scientist, or anyone else for that matter.

        • Julienne,

          It is pretty clear that there is no deficiency of ice extent in the Arctic, and that a lack of ice in Quebec has no impact on the summer minimum – so why is Mark Serreze highlighting this total non-event as if it were something important?

      • glacierman says:

        From ” AndyW says:
        March 3, 2011 at 5:51 am
        It’s not NSIDC’s fault that you don’t consider the whole of the Arctic ocean extent and have your own definition on it’s bundaries

        Andy
        Andy”

        As indicated on the link you provided:

        “Arctic Ocean Location: body of water between Europe, Asia, and North America, mostly north of the Arctic Circle ”

        The Arctic Circle is north of 66N. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arctic_circle

        Hudson Bay is quite a bit south of the arctic circle. Quebec, Newfoundland, and the Sea of Okhotsk are all south of the arctic circle.

        Thanks for the link that cleared that up for us.

    • suyts says:

      Dr. Stroeve,

      “There is a great discussion on the negative AO from last winter and how it combined with the El Nino to bring about heavy snows.”

      Ok, I buy that, but what does it mean when the negative AO combined with La Nina to bring about heavy snows?

      There is a misconception that we equate snows with unusually cold winters. Most of us don’t. I equate snow with precipitation, typically occurring during the winter. Some winters, we get more than others. Some winters are cooler than others. But, this winter, like last, we saw a lot of snow fall, and the arctic blast we took about 1 Feb. was something I haven’t seen for more than 25 years. In fact, as I’m sure you’re aware, we set records for cold (on particular days) throughout the states.

      So, while I haven’t gone back and plotted the AO/Ninos, I’m incredulous to believe winter temps and precipitation are as easy as plotting one of 4 possible outcomes. The way I’m reading the latest discussions,

      Neg AO + El Nino = mild snowy winters
      Neg AO + La Nina = cold snowy winters
      Pos AO + El Nino = mild dry winters
      Pos AO + La Nina = cold dry winters

      Hmm, I need to get into the Bastardi/Corbin game!

      But back to a prior point, as I mentioned earlier, this winter, with the exception of the later part of Feb. was unusually cold. We were told, the arctic is unusually warm and has been for most of the winter. So, from whence did our cold come from? Typically, even with a Neg AO, one sees an increase in temps as the blast moves down to lower latitudes. We don’t see a decrease in temps.

      Did I mention I’m glad you dropped by? I truly hope you make it a habit!

      Next observation/question. While I don’t believe the arctic ice holds much meaning to anything, I know people cheer as to a daily movement one way or the other. I lived up north close to the arctic for a few years. As Mike observed 5-7 degrees warmer than average is still very cold and sustained “very cold” temps will freeze a lot of water, extra salinity or no. Is it the assertion of NOAA, that because of the warmer temps less ice has frozen in(and around) the arctic?

      • Julienne Stroeve says:

        Hi Suyts, you make some good points. Obviously nothing is ever as simple as it seems, and I wouldn’t say it’s only the AO and the El Nino/La Nina indices that impact our weather and amount of snow fall (even though they do impact it). Remember that when you do any statistical analysis, while an atmospheric index may explain some of the variability, it doesn’t explain all of it.

        The negative AO index these last two winters is interesting. While it makes physical sense that more open water in September leads to amplified autumn temperatures as the ocean refreezes and releases the heat gained during summer back to the atmosphere, and that this can weaken the polar vortex resulting in a negative AO pattern that allows cold air to spill out of the Arctic, there are many other atmospheric patterns occurring at the same time. Last year the El Nino combined with the negative AO to bring about heavy snow storms, and this makes sense in terms of the weather patterns these two indices typically induce (but again they will only explain part of the variability, not all of it).

        I have experienced cold temperatures myself this year in Colorado where it reached -26 without wind one night at my house and I have never seen that in the 16 years I’ve lived in my home. We’ve also had decent snowfall which has been great for skiing. The negative AO in December and January did allow for cold air to spill out of the Arctic and impact temperatures in the lower latitudes. As for the snowfall, I haven’t looked at all the other atmospheric patterns occurring at the same time to see what has driven the extensive snow cover. There is a paper last year by Cohen in GRL that discussed a connection between the stratosphere and troposphere that supports a negative AO state and extensive snow cover, when snow occurs early over Siberia. The last two autumns have seen early snowfall in autumn over Siberia (and in fact even before these last two winters, Siberia has shown a statistically significant trend towards earlier snow cover in autumn).

        In answer to your question typically during a negative AO, the polar vortex weakens and allows cold air to spill out of the Arctic into the lower latitudes. This is then replaced by warmer air leading to a warmer Arctic than normal (see figure here for a nice schematic: http://www.climatewatch.noaa.gov/2010/articles/forensic-meteorology-solves-the-mystery-of-record-snows/3). But exactly where the anomalies in temperatures occur will depend on the location of the sea level pressure anomalies, which while the AO is negative, can be in different places than a “typical” negative AO pattern which has its center of action over Iceland. Last winter the AO center of action shifted towards the Kara and Barents seas, so even though the AO was in its most negative phase since at least 1951, its impact on temperatures/precipitation/sea ice circulation was in different locations than this year.

        Finally, winter ice extent is largely governed by oceanic heat transport and air temperatures. In the E. Greenland sea, export out of Fram Strait will also be important. But yes temperatures are still very cold, just not as cold normal, so the ice cover has not expanded as far south this year as normal. It is interesting that every year since 2004 has seen a mean February extent below 15 million sq-km. Would be a good study to look at what is primarily causing this (oceanic heat transport, air temperatures, ice motion).

        Although we haven’t called the maximum yet as we know that atmospheric variability can still cause the ice pack to expand, the ice cover has declined for 6 days in a row using a 5-day running mean. This year could be an early maximum. We’ll just have to wait and see….

      • suyts says:

        Dr. Stroeve,

        Thank you very much for taking the time to respond to me. It is appreciated.

        A couple of observations….. “It is interesting that every year since 2004 has seen a mean February extent below 15 million sq-km. Would be a good study to look at what is primarily causing this (oceanic heat transport, air temperatures, ice motion). “

        While I posit that our knowledge of our climate system(s) is too lacking to make many assertions on any level of certitude, I’m often gobsmacked about things we don’t know or haven’t studied in much depth. The El Nino/La Nina phenomena has been well known for some time, as has the AO. How things things effect and interact with heat transport, ice movement and air temps, would seem to me to be of great curiosity of the people who concern themselves with things such as climate and arctic ice. Obviously, PDO and AMO would have to be included in such a venture.

        Perhaps this is one of the causes that has given rise to so many amateur climatologists.

        Again, thank you very much,

        James Sexton

      • Anything is possible says:

        Many thanks for a very interesting post, Julienne.

        If I may ask a couple of questions :

        Firstly, I note that the Baltic Sea (which currently has its highest level of Sea Ice since 1987) is not considered “part of the Arctic” as far as the NSIDC is concerned. This always strikes me as somewhat illogical. Can you explain why this is?

        Secondly, when warmer air enters the Arctic, it’s effects seem somewhat short-lived :

        http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/meant80n.uk.php

        By which I mean that pulses of warm air enter the Arctic Ocean, raising temperatures by up to 10C, before it cools back to normal again within a few days. Is this merely a function of the air transferring back to lower latitudes, or is something more profound going on? Could it be that the heat contained within the warm air is being rapidly lost to outer space, and that a warming Arctic in winter, when there is no incoming solar radiation, is actually a symptom of a cooling Earth?

  7. Lance says:

    Yes, stupid cold in Alberta. Calfornia, can you send up some warm air please….(leave the politicians there though)…

  8. Julienne Stroeve says:

    I forgot to mention that temperatures have also been warmer than normal this February when the AO turned to a positive phase. Basically for February you will see that air temperatures over most of the Arctic Ocean were between 2 – 4C higher than normal. Over the East Greenland Sea and north towards the Pole, air temperatures were 5 – 7 C higher than normal. Colder conditions, 2 – 6 C were found over western Eurasia, east-central Eurasia and some of the Canadian Arctic.

    • Mike Davis says:

      The last time I checked, 7C above “Friggin Cold” was still Friggin Cold! I think it is referred to as freezing the balls off the Brass Monkey!

      • Villabolo says:

        What does nature care about your concept of cold?

        The issue never was whether the Arctic will get to be warm enough to allow you to wear a polo shirt during winter.

        The issue is that such a temperature rise is abnormal.

        Furthermore, it is beginning to have drastic effects on the weather due to the relatively warmer air pushing the more frigid air down south; to where we are.

        And what’s more, an open or semi-open Arctic sea will get much warmer and thus evaporate more, leading to intense rains. Like the kind that messed up Canada’s wheat crop recently.

        Get a reality, you’re losing.

      • suyts says:

        lol, did you read what you wrote?

        “due to the relatively warmer air pushing the more frigid air down south; to where we are.”

        Uuhhmm….where exactly did the more frigid air start? Are we back to the warm generated cold again?

      • Mike Davis says:

        I see you are going to be fun to play with!
        There is nothing “Abnormal” with the weather conditions!
        It is simple as that.
        7C above Friggen Cold still allows all the ice required in the Arctic Circle. The anomaly don’t mean shit if it is based on wild ass guesses and the current temperatures for surface temperatures are Wild Ass Guesses.
        I am not playing a game with the weather/ Climate so I am not losing anything. I am just an observer. You are the one that bounced in here like the chickens the wife was “Dressing” yesterday morning. The chickens could not control their actions due to lack of a head. Is that your problem?

      • Mike Davis says:

        James:
        In the Arctic it would be relatively warm compared to “Best Guess” average. Outside the Arctic Circle it is still Friggen Cold! Of course you have to realize these “Ex-Perts” base their WAGs on 30 years of corrupted guess work. A thousand years ago, or even in the 30s this condition might have been considered cold in the Arctic and excess ice compared to average at that time!

      • Villabolo says:

        suyts says:

        “due to the relatively warmer air pushing the more frigid air down south; to where we are.”

        I guess I have to go into explicit detail to explain the obvious.

        1. The oceans were exposed more than usual during the summer due to the ice cap shrinking,

        2. Dark blue water absorbs 80% of sunlight as opposed to ice which reflects 90%. This warms the water up by up to 5 or 6 degrees Fahrenheit.

        3. This water is too warm to freeze or freeze completely during winter so it is still in the process of giving off heat.

        4. The warm air rises pushing the colder polar air above
        it.
        That high pressure system pushes the colder air southwards.

        Therefore, there is no “generation” of colder air, simply displacement.

      • Villabolo says:

        Sorry for a mistake in my response to suyts. My quotation of hers should have been,

        “Uuhhmm….where exactly did the more frigid air start? Are we back to the warm generated cold again?”

        I wish we had an edit function.

      • Villabolo says:

        Mike Davis:

        “7C above Friggen Cold still allows all the ice required in the Arctic Circle.”

        That is false, Mike. You are assuming that any temperature below freezing creates the same amount of ice. It clearly does not.

        The colder it is, the thicker the ice forms. Conversely, the warmer it is (below freezing) the thinner the ice is.

        Then, when the same warmer than average summer comes, it takes away from an ice cap that has already diminished. Afterwards, when the next warmer than previous winter comes, there is even less replacement of ice.

        It’s a simple downward cycle.

        And by the way, it’s warmer waters that are doing most of the melting, with warmer air in second place. It takes even more cold to freeze water that is warmer.

      • glacierman says:

        Villabolo says:

        “It’s a simple downward cycle.”

        So, its a death spiral?
        Or is it a cycle, which would infer that it not continue forever?

      • suyts says:

        Villabolo,

        Yeh, an edit would be nice, you oughtta try this when you’ve had a few! Appearing literate is trick!

        Anyway, just so I’m clear as to what you’re stating, and maybe I wasn’t clear, so bear with me……

        4. The warm air rises pushing the colder polar air above
        it. That high pressure system pushes the colder air southwards.”

        Reading this statement, it makes an assumption, which isn’t obvious. The warm air pushes the colder polar air..

        Which came from…..????….. wait, I know! #2!!

        “2. Dark blue water absorbs 80% of sunlight as opposed to ice which reflects 90%. This warms the water up by up to 5 or 6 degrees Fahrenheit.”

        So, the arctic, after being heated up, has colder air………????…..

        Also, I’d quibble about the percentages listed. The ice isn’t consistent, and neither is the water as far as absorption and reflection. There’s an interesting conversation going on right now with Curry and Stroeve right now @ ect. It’s worth a read to see how much of the science is really settled. As a bonus a certain dogzilla…..whatever, has wandered off of her reservation and is blessing the many, displaying her unique ability to take an intellectual beating that would render most of us silent….. but not doggy! She just keeps blathering! Is kinda cute.

      • Villabolo says:

        glacierman:

        “So, its a death spiral?

        It’s definitely a death spiral.

        It is not a “cycle” because multiple lines of evidence indicate a warming earth. Specifically, as it applies to the Arctic, warming oceans throughout the rest of the earth. Those ocean’s warmer waters get transported by currents everywhere, including the Arctic.

        It’s been decades in the making.

      • Villabolo says:

        suyts:

        So, the arctic, after being heated up, has colder air………????…..

        This is so elementary it’s amazing that I get asked. When winter comes in the Arctic, so does darkness. That cools of the air. The ever increasing open oceans retain the heat that they absorbed during the summer.

        As it gets darker, with no more sunlight to heat the oceans up, the air get’s colder. The oceans then start giving off the massive amounts of heat they’ve absorbed pushing up and away the air that is relatively colder.

        By the way, have you ever looked at an anomaly image? If you have, do you make it a habit of checking them monthly? Let’s take December of 2010.

        You can see the elevated warmth of the Arctic, Greenland, East and some North Canadian, and East Siberia as well as the Arctic.

        It is below the Arctic and interspersed between the areas I just mentioned, that you find the colder than average air.

        Bottom line, every meteorologist knows that we are in a Negative Arctic Oscillation, which does precisely what I just said; pushes colder than average storms southward.

      • suyts says:

        Villabolo,

        That’s great! You’ve finally explained what happened in the last 2 years!………..except. Every year the arctic goes from low ice and warm to dark and cold. And so while this is a seemingly plausible explanation of the last 2 years, it doesn’t explain the last 30.

        BTW, I’m very familiar with NSIDC. But thanks. In fact, you can find a lot of good information about the arctic and its ice over at WUWT. They’ve a particular page that references just about any arctic climate tracking entity out there.

        You said “This is so elementary it’s amazing that I get asked.”
        Well, elementary would be one word, simplistic would be another. Yes, it is a neg AO. We’ve had those before without record shattering cold. Villabolo, I do appreciate the effort you’ve taken to try and explain the events of the last 2 years. However, you’re missing a mechanism or two. Dr. Stroeve had said as much.

        I’m off to test some trig and calc theories about spheres on a plane, it would be great if you and Julienne Stroeve would come back from time to time. It is …..enlightening.

        It was a pleasure…….by the way, suyts is an acronym or in my case a pseudonym. The acronym is definitely masculine by its nature. Thanks again,

        James Sexton

      • suyts says:

        That’s what I thought. What happened in the last 2 years is an aberration. Julienne Stroeve should be well know to all. Villabolo is known to me and probably a few others here. Neither explained why last winter was different than the last many winters. But, we all know CO2 caused it…………..

      • glacierman says:

        Villabolo says:

        “It’s definitely a death spiral.

        It is not a “cycle” because multiple lines of evidence indicate a warming earth. ”

        Thank you for clarifying. It was confusing because you used the word cycle.

        I thought maybe we were on to something, but I guess not.
        The death spiral will melt all ice in the Arctic and that is….what did you say? “a nearly irreplaceable commodity in a warming world.”

        Thanks for going on the record with this.

    • AndyW says:

      That’s interesting, explains why the extent is so low still and has not rebounded yet like it did last year late on.

      Andy

      • Mike Davis says:

        Andy:
        Think about wind conditions with changes in regional weather patterns. Think about the possibility of the ice compacting in different locations due to shifts in the wind direction. Because it is still below the temperature required to freeze water! Of course the relative warmth in the region was the cause of all the work for the Ice Breakers this season and all the ships being stuck in ice!

  9. intrepid_wanders says:

    Dr. Stroeve,

    It is always a pleasure when you come to “tweak us upon the nose”. I am perfectly comfortable with this, since it is the nature of “Real Science”. I pray that you never feel unwelcome, since we all appreciate your insight.

    Indeed, your observations of the Labrador Sea and the Gulf of St. Lawrence are true. It has been anomaly warmer in that neck of the woods for quite a while (as well as the Bering Strait and that Koren/Chinese Ice Bay-Thingy).

    Anyhow, have you (or Mark) noted the peak to trough range of the yearly ice in the Arctic? I apparently should not have the Epistemic levels to operate an Excel spreadsheet and calculate these things, properly, so I must defer to those in higher order.

    So, in my confusion, why might the the slope from 2006-2010 of max range and 2006-2010 min range be diverging? Does this have a theory (other than the silly, more warming, more snow).

    I apologize if this may come off stronger than I intent, but the information that continues to roll into my ear (mainstream media) still causes that itch that can not be scratched… the physics and logic are still missing.

    • Julienne Stroeve says:

      dear Intrepid_wanders, I’m not sure what you mean by peak to trough range of the year ice in the Arctic? Do you mean the difference between the maximum and minimum? If we were to talk about that, then we have noticed that the amount of ice lost between the maximum and minimum seems to be increasing.
      2008 saw the most amount of ice lost between the maximum and minimum of 10.67 million sq-km (2007 had 10.56 million sq-km). In 2009, the total ice loss between March and September was 10.04 million sq-km, and in 2010 it was 10.49 million sq-km, fourth and third largest. At no other time during the satellite data record was there a total ice loss from maximum to minimum that exceeded 10 million sq-km.

      In general, there are less reduction in the winter ice cover, though the winter ice retreat is now around -3%/decade, which was about the same as the annual reduction in sea ice reported in papers in the 1990s. The September ice retreat is reaching -12%/decade.

  10. Villabolo says:

    This year Arctic Sea Ice is far thinner, younger, and saltier making it more vulnerable. And it is already beginning to melt in the Beaufort, Labrador, Greenland, and Barents Seas.

    Look for a record melt of first-year sea ice between now and July 1st. After that, we’re burning multi-year ice, a nearly irreplaceable commodity in a warming world.

    • Ivan says:

      There. Now doesn’t that feel better.

    • The ice in the Beaufort Sea is melting at -30C? Brilliant.

      • Villabolo says:

        Stevengoddard:

        The ice in the Beaufort Sea is melting at -30C? Brilliant.

        I don’t know what temperature the air is all the time everywhere in the Arctic but the water temperatures are warmer. Thus the ice does not reestablish itself to the same thickness.

        Bottom line, the Arctic ice cap has lost 75% volume in the last 30 years.

    • Mike Davis says:

      Villabolo:
      You are attempting humor? Right? Or is it that you think people reading this are as brain washed as you?
      Burning Nearly Irreplaceable Ice! I have not heard that WAC since I stopped visiting RC some years back. There was not as much ice being blown out of the Arctic Ocean due to a shift in wind patterns which compacted the ice!
      I am glad to see that Physics changes to fit your agenda and ice now melts at temperatures below freezing! Maybe it is the best time for you to visit the region and experience the “Warmth”!

      • Villabolo says:

        Mike Davis:

        “I am glad to see that Physics changes to fit your agenda and ice now melts at temperatures below freezing!

        I never said that ice melts at below freezing temperatures. I assumed that you were aware of the simple physics of ice not getting as thick when the temperatures (below freezing) rise.

        And I’m referring mostly to the warmer waters. I also assume that you know the basic physics of heat retention as far as water versus air.

        Water is a thousand times denser than air. It absorbs much more heat energy than air. It also takes much longer than air to either warm up or cool down compared to air.

        Please see my response above. I would like some constructive criticism instead of ad hominems and sarcasm.

      • Mike Davis says:

        Villabolo:
        I guess you missed the news that over half of the yearly ice loss is caused by winds driving the ice out of the Arctic Circle to southern latitudes that are warmer. Please try to keep up to date on the science behind the variations in Arctic ice. Even if it is Pathological Science.
        The existence of ice in the Arctic Ocean is evidence that the globe is still experiencing an Ice Age and we are currently experiencing a cool Interglacial! There was a time when trees grew on the shores of the Arctic ocean during the last 10 thousand years and that can not happen now because of Permafrost!
        Bring on the ICE FREE Arctic!!!!!! It would be better for the Northern Hemisphere!

    • Al Gored says:

      “Look for a record melt of first-year sea ice between now and July 1st.”

      OK. I will. And if that does not occur?

      • Villabolo says:

        Al Gored:

        “Look for a record melt of first-year sea ice between now and July 1st.”

        OK. I will. And if that does not occur?

        Al, if you have kept up with the latest information, you’ll realize that even if 2011 were not see a record melt, the melt will continue on it’s 30 year trend.

  11. cthulhu says:

    more deniers denying

    • suyts says:

      I’m not denying that you’re a troll. What do you think people are denying?

      • Mike Davis says:

        James:
        Cthulhu for one is denying reality! And Cthulhu was referring to Villabobo and a few other members of the CLB we picked up recently!

  12. Julienne Stroeve says:

    For Anything is Possible’s question: Firstly, I note that the Baltic Sea (which currently has its highest level of Sea Ice since 1987) is not considered “part of the Arctic” as far as the NSIDC is concerned. This always strikes me as somewhat illogical. Can you explain why this is?

    The Baltic Sea ice included in our maps of ice extent (http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/) and in our data products. But you are correct that we haven’t discussed it in our blog posts, which is something we can look at and perhaps mention in our next monthly update. One problem with that region though is you end up with quite a bit of land contamination from the land spill-over effect at the coarse 25 km spatial resolution of the SSM/I data we use for the blog postings. To really observe the changing ice conditions in that region would require using higher resolution data, like something from MODIS that observes in the optical and thermal parts of the electromagnetic spectrum.
    But you are right that there is extensive ice in the Baltic sea and colder than normal temperatures have dominated that region this winter. If you go to http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/data/composites/day/ you can make a spatial plot of the temperatures and anomalies for whatever region you want to look at (typically I do 60 to 90N, but you can pick any latitudes/longitudes for your analysis).

    As to your second question, I would have to look into detail as to what is causing the daily temperature fluctuations (which would mean looking at the daily SLP patterns, geopotential height, winds, etc.) to determine if the heat is being quickly advected out of the 80-90N region or if there is vertical heat exchange happening . While these fluctuations in your 80-90N graph can be quite strong, if you were to average them over January or February you of course notice they are overall warmer than the mean shown in that graph. (notice too that the graph is only for 80-90N, not for the rest of the Arctic region). It’s one reason why I prefer to look at the spatial patterns of the temperature anomalies so that I can better see how they relate to weather patterns (and why the NCEP site is so useful).

    As for losing heat to space, the earth is always losing heat to space. So if the Arctic is warmer than normal (and what you are showing in that graph are the surface temperatures, not air temperatures), I would expect to see more outgoing longwave radiation from the surface. I wouldn’t say it’s a symptom of a cooling earth however. Heat is displaced from one region to another constantly by changes in SLP.

  13. Mike Davis says:

    Villabobo:
    Please continue to provide your “Excellent” Descriptions! I enjoy reading Fantasy stuff but you fail to take historical records into account and rely on NSIDC which among other ice monitoring sites are not even jokes. History shows major variations in ice extent, area or whatever you wish to call it in the Arctic and the cycle is about 60 years short term within a 1Kyr + longer cycle within a even longer cycle of 20K and then the 120K Glaciation cycles. Then there is the Ice Age cycles that are Multi Million year in extent of which we are smack dab in the middle of one. Maybe close to exit but that would require a dramatic shift of the tectonic plates to allow free passage of the waters from ocean to ocean at the Equator and Antarctica will need to move from over the South Pole. It would also help if the Arctic had fewer islands that restrict ocean currents. Lower mountains on the continents would result in milder climate.
    Your story about the “Death Spiral” Is pure BS but it does show your membership qualifications for the Chicken Little Brigade!
    Carry on you do your side of the discussion a favor by discrediting the theories with your WACs!

  14. rw says:

    I suppose that someone on the sceptic side could point out that (going by the JAXA 15% records) the lowest extent in each of the last 3 years has been 400,000 to 1M sq km greater than the lowest extent in 2007. However, I’m glad no one has done this, because it would be as ridiculous as some of the comments I’m reading on this thread. Right now I don’t see anything in the JAXA record that couldn’t be a matter of ‘statistical variation’ during a remarkably stable period, including the present ‘low’ ice extent.

    Incidentally, not being a climatologist, I’m having trouble understanding how warm air pushes cold air southward. Is this like electricity – opposites repelling each other?

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