Arctic Temperatures Have Been Below Normal For Two Months

Look for Hansen to paint the June Arctic hot red, brown and pink.


About stevengoddard

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59 Responses to Arctic Temperatures Have Been Below Normal For Two Months

  1. Tony Duncan says:


    then you MUST be ready to bet that the minimum ice extent will be above 6 Million/k2, Right? It HAS to end up even higher than that since it is so cold up there this summer.

    • Why are trying to transfer the junk science of your friends on to me?

      • Tony Duncan says:

        All i am doing is seeing if you are willing to back up your posts. You say it is abnormally cold in the arctic. have repeatedly said ice melt is tracking 2006. What other conclusion could there be other than ice minimum will be much higher than recent years.?
        Feel free to explain what factors would make ice minimum NOT higher with the facts you have posted.

      • PhilJourdan says:

        Tony, Sorry, fail again. Steve has talked about other factors that affect ice coverage. Selective memory on your part perhaps?

      • Tony Duncan says:

        I forgot how much fun this.

        YES, EXACTLY. But to Steve this only applies to him, not to alarmists who have to bet as if there ARE no other factors that affect ice extent. And the bets he has been offered give him a very wide range in which to win the bet, but Steve won’t play in spite of all the posts he has made that show how cold it is and how the ice is recovering. Apparently the ONLY metric that matters is how much multi year ice there is. Which I agree sounds like an important metric, but nobody seems to be offering bets about that.

        • You are completely FOS. If the ice is so thin (as PIOMAS claims) then it should almost all melt. Melted ice can’t blow in the wind. Is that a tricky concept?

      • Tony Duncan says:


        How can the ice be thin? You have continually posted about thick ice and record late melting and record cold and abnormal cold. Why would you care what Piomass says? Some people are predicitng a record minimum, some are not, but YOU should be predicting a significant increase because you have pointed out all the TRUE data.
        So you can make bets with people who believe that Piomass garbage at levels WAY higher than they could ever imagine the ice would be at minimum and make a KILLLING!

    • Ill wind blowing says:

      If I recall; when I challenged Steve to make a prediction for the arctic ice cap in 2020 he said that the ice cap would either expand, shrink or stay the same.

      So, in the same spirit, Steve should make the following prediction: “The minimum ice extent will be 5 +/- 3 million km2.

      All hail the predictive power of “Real Science”.

    • Surely, “Tony Duncan”, if it were a “death spiral” 2008 should be lower on all counts than 2007. What was your prediction for 2008?

      Surely if it were a “Death Spiral” 2009 should be lower than 2008 & 2007, again on all counts. What was your prediction for 2009? What was reality?

      Surely, Señor T. Doucan, if it were a “DeAtH sPiRaL”, 2010 would be lower on all counts than 2009, 2008, & 2007. What was your prediction for 2010? Did it line up with reality?

      Surely, Mr. Tony Duncan, if it were a “Deaf Spirochete” 2011 should be far, far lower than 2007, & lower than 2008, 2009, & 2010 as well in every wise: area, thickness, & multi-year-ice included. What was your prediction for 2011? Is that number larger or smaller than 2007? Is that number larger or smaller than 2008? Is that number larger or smaller than 2009? Is that number larger or smaller than 2010?

      • It is a goofy spiral.

      • Tony Duncan says:

        Sr. Stark, (how did you know I speak spanish?)

        You are totally misunderstanding. STEVE has the actual facts about this issue. He has posted over and over again about the extreme cold and increase in MYI and La Niña, and numerous other truths. We all know, who follow Steve’s blog, that the arctic is in FULL recovery mode. After all 2011 is tracking 2006, as Steve has so consistently informed us. WHY would I think there was a death spiral, when I follow the posts of someone who only prints the truth. That is why I want to help him con all those alarmists pout of their billions in grant money by betting them on their fantasy death spiral.

        I have never made a prediction before this year, being completely unqualified to do so, but I was kindly asked to by one of the commenters and after studying the matter very carefully with my new understanding of “heuristic dynamics” came up with a absolutely gorgeous number.

        Also Sr. Stark, you must be one of those alarmists because you seem unfamiliar with the concept of natural variation (something all us skeptics swear on in lieu of the Bible), and weather fluctuations that impact as complex a phenomenon as arctic minimum ice extent. ONLY an alarmist would propose that there was a linear relationships inherent in the idea of death spiral. Certainly almost everyone was surprised at the very low ice extent of 2007, I even used the term anomalous to describe it once. You must be an agent provocatéur (I know some French to boot!) attempting to make the deniers seem inconsistent and irrational.

      • Gosh, “Tony Duncan”, you sure sound like you have some grasp of reality there. I guess the Climate Science Reality community called it right, then, yeah? Surely peer reviewed science wouldn’t call something a “death spiral” when it varies naturally.

      • Tony Duncan says:

        Sr Stark,

        I was not aware. that the words “death Spiral” were in any peer reviewed articles about the arctic. . I had the obviously mistaken notion that this was a non scientific term to describe a dramatically shrinking summer ice cap that would mostly disappear over the next few decades. And of COURSE some scientists would, in casual conversation, call that sort of phenomenon a death spiral That is until Steve’s predicted full arctic recovery, which surely will happen in the next few years, they will continue to use the term. Since 2011 is tracking 2006 so closely, and Steve has shown that there has been no substantial ice loss over the last few days, obviously ice minimum this year will be MUCH higher than last year, which was one of the hottest on record..

        but you are apparently confusing natural variation with long term trend. There can be individual years that buck a trend, as clearly 2007 was just a hiccup on the road to full arctic recovery. You really should read more of Steve’s posts before you express ideas that he has already so effectively shot down.

  2. Stan Penkala says:

    Just a couple of questions: With all the changes in satellite technology since they’ve been used to estimate the various area coverage, percent coverage >15%, etc., since 1979, who is keeping track of the algorithms used to produce those numbers? I recall reading about a need to tweak the algorithms to prevent a significant step change in the ice coverage numbers when switching from ‘summer’ to ‘winter’ algorithms. This was supposed to account for water pooled on top of ice sheets, which was influencing the ice coverage areas.

    In particular, is anyone doing “ocean truth” evaluations of the satellite data? Wasn’t the obvious deviation between actual and satellite measurements the reason for dropping one satellite system for corrupting the record?

  3. Kevin O'Neill says:

    This is a pretty good example of where science meets ideological fantasy. The chart shows the Arctic mean temperature north of the 80th parallel. Rather than showing any cooling trend, it’s actually probably in the top three warmest years in the 1958 – 2011 dataset.

    More importantly, the graph only really tells us one thing – the arctic still has lots of ice. Not lots in comparison to an arbitrary mean, not lots in comparison to a specific year, but lots in comparison to none. I can predict the summer temperature to within 1/2 degree with 95% confidence over the entire dataset – more than 50 years! It’s simple science and requires no knowledge of local weather, AO or NAO anomalies, sunspot counts, galactic cosmic rays or any other variable. As long as there’s a bunch of ice in the arctic the mean temperature in summer is going to be slightly above 0C (273.15K).

    Look it up. Every year in the dataset is the same.. The significant variations are in the months leading to and trailing away from the summer melt season. In that respect this chart shows 2011 significantly warmer than most years.

    There’s a very simple reason why the summer temps are always the same — until the ice is gone we have one huge ice-bath. The temperature is going to hover right above zero. All the energy is going to melt the ice. Once the ice is gone, then the temperature will be free to rise above this boundary. Until then you can predict the mean temperature in July to be 274.5 +/- 1K and win every bet.

    Whether this was put out in an attempt to mislead or misinform depends on whether the person who put it forward knew beforehand what the chart actually shows.

  4. Kevin O'Neill says:

    From day 0 to day 120 it was never below the mean – that makes it one of the warmest years in the dataset. The blue line is the freezing point of water. Every year in the dataset is almost identical from day 160 to 240. For this year, the fluctuations are actually above and below the mean from 150 to 200 – though mostly below the mean. If you think there is some significance to this you ought to consider the uncertainty for the data. And why would you concentrate on a temporal space that ALWAYS reads the same value year-to-year? The 0 to 125 day area is where you actually see year-to-year variations and this year’s variations were all above normal. Likewise when the summer melt is over we’ll see large variations – usually starting around day 250.

    It’s ironic that you don’t know what an ice-bath is and why the mean temperature is bounded by the ice-water interface temperature. Ironic because ice-baths have historically been used in the calibration of temperature instruments, i.e., thermometers, thermocouples, PRTs, and SPRTs. Putting water in a flask full of crushed ice is a quick simple way of obtaining a reference temperature – o degree C, 32 F, or 273.15K — choose whichever scale you like, it’s all the same. It’s the temperature of ice and water mixed together.

  5. Kevin O'Neill says:

    I should have added this is a physical process that can easily be tested at home. Just take a tray or two of ice cubes and fill up a pitcher with them. Then add cold water until the water fills up all the spaces between the ice cubes. Stick a thermometer in and wait a few minutes for the temperature to stabilize. For best results the ice and water should be slowly stirred – to keep them well-mixed.

    Despite the ambient air temperature in the room, the thermometer should read 0 C. It will continue to read 0 C until nearly all the ice is gone.

    If you repeat the process with boiling water instead of ice and water, you can also calibrate your thermometer at 100 C. (though you should really take into account barometric pressure – especially on the boiling end of the scale).

    Any deviation from 0 or 100 is the error of you thermometer.

    Repeat this process 10 or more times and you can actually derive valid measurement uncertainties.

  6. Al Gored says:

    Best to listen to the real experts:

    “We’re trying to understand why the ice is melting so fast,” said Simon Boxall of the Catlin Arctic Survey. “It’s not just down to simple warming. There are more complicated processes.”

    They explain: “As multi-year ice declines throughout the Arctic, more of the saltier meltwater from younger ice is mixing into the ocean. That colder, denser water sinks more quickly and forces less dense water from deeper in the ocean up to the surface.

    Because fresh meltwater is colder than seawater, that means relatively warm water is being forced upwards. And that, said Mr. Boxall, may be part of the reason that sea ice is melting so much faster than anyone thought it would.”

    Yes, as multi-year ice declines throughout the Arctic… it is worse than we thought.

  7. Kevin O'Neill says:

    Steve, given that you were unable to discern the significance of the chart above; and that you have no idea what the temperature dynamics of an ice-bath are; and that you fail to see how this directly relates to Arctic temperatures; wouldn’t it be accurate to say that someone is orating from his nether regions – but it’s not Simon Boxhall.

    Of course the final question in our elementary school science project is: If we seal the top of the pitcher, what happens to the air temperature in the pitcher?

    Answer: It will change until it’s just above freezing.

    Odd, that’s what happens every summer in the Arctic. What an amazing coincidence. Or basic science as taught to 13 year olds.

    • NSIDC shows quite clearly that MYI is increasing since 2008. Isn’t theory grand.

    • Grumpy Grampy ;) says:

      Please provide a photo of the stopper that has been placed over the Arctic region that restricts the air flow and heat transfer to allow your WAG to happen!
      I do not recall seeing a glass dome over the Arctic region.

  8. Camburn says:

    Your analysis of summer temperature in the Arctic is correct.
    Now if you would, extend your analysis to the effects of the magnetic field on Arctic temperatures.

  9. Grumpy Grampy ;) says:

    20C below freezing provides as much ice as 30C below freezing so the anomaly you mention during periods below freezing have no bearing on summer ice. Wind patterns during those months do!

  10. Latitude says:

    I thought the heat was supposed to migrate to the Arctic and that’s where it escapes into space…

  11. Kevin O'Neill says:

    I’ll assume by the abrupt change of topic that you realize you are NOT smarter than a Fifth Grader at least not one that paid attention in Science class.

    As for theory and MYI – you shouldn’t be dissing theory. In this realm it’s on your side. There is an ongoing debate within the scientific community as to when the north polar sea will be seasonally ice free and whether or not it can recover (quickly) when it does disappear. (NOTE: ‘when’ not ‘if’)

    In this debate I’m the one dissing theory – not you. Consensus theory says the seasonally ice free era is several decades in the future. I’m not a climate scientist, but my own views are that since the GCMs badly underestimated the rates of ice loss over the past 10 to 15 years, their projections of future ice loss (and recovery) are suspect. You have theory on your side. I have observational data. The data just doesn’t show any significant trends toward imminent recovery.

    If anything, the trends show accelerating loss. Graph out the day of the year when IJIS’s SIE falls below 10million km^2, or 9million, or 8, or 7, or 6. The trends are clear and consistent. We’re seeing those dates reached 2 weeks earlier than just 9 years ago. Not for one of those benchmarks – but for all of them. A simple chart showing this is here

    Even 2008 and 2009 are evidence of a new regime. Rather than a linear system, 2007 seems to have ushered in a step function. This is fairly clear when you graph the percent of maximum extent lost each year. 2002 thru 2006 average about 60% with a small standard deviation. The average since then is close to 67%, and 2011 looks to raise that number. A simple plot can be found here

    Now, whether the GCMs have underestimated a positive feedback or overestimated a negative feedback is beyond my skill level. All I can say is that the system is losing ice much faster than predicted with no sign of slowing down.

    WUWT’s June Sea Ice Outlook poll came in at 5.5 million km^2. Their revised July poll was 5.4 million km^2. Their June projection will likely be exceeded by the 9th of August. Their July revision will be surpassed a couple of days later. The melt season will continue for another 5 to 6 weeks after that. Just based on simple linear trends over the last 9 years, I came up with a number almost identical to 2007. My revised number is now below 2007. If the weather is just *average* for the next two months, there is a very good chance the September minimum will be below 4 million km^2.

    This is not predicted by theory – at least not this fast. The models have erred on the conservative side. Reality is happening at a much faster pace.

  12. Kevin O'Neill says:

    Grumpy Grampy – there is no need for a stopper. In a classroom (or in your kitchen) the ambient air is significantly warmer than the ice-water. Thus to show how the dynamics work we need to seal the flask. In the Arctic the air temperature is not warmer. If you’d like to think of a stopper, think of the upper air layers – which are even colder than the surface. Air is a poor container of thermal energy – at least compared to water and ice. Go look at the dataset. The midsummer temperature never varies.

    As for winter temperatures, I merely pointed out that 2011 was always above mean – and that it’s one of the warmest years in the dataset. I never said, nor implied that these temperatures are directly related to ice loss. They are – but it’s an indirect link and small enough that it can be easily overwhelmed by natural variation and other more significant factors.

    Camburn, I’ve never read anything that indicates a magnetic field effect on sea ice loss. I’m sure there may be correlations in the geological record, but on decadal or centennial, or millenial timescales I’d be surprised.

    Latitude – I’m not a climate scientist, but I think it’s a bit more complicated than that. Because of the snow/ice albedo, most of the direct solar is radiated back into space. Heat transport from surrounding areas (since they’re warmer) will be towards the Arctic. The snow and ice also act as insulation – otherwise the Arctic would lose a lot of thermal energy each winter. Or better phrased, it would lose more. So, open water can actually have a negative feedback leading to more ice creation each winter (see 2008 – 2009). Of course it also serves as a positive feedback during the summer months. Working out these precise feedbacks and their specific values is what climate scientists are trying to pin down.

  13. Kevin O'Neill says:


    If it’s not more complicated than that, then you ought to very quickly publish the simple formula for calculating the effects.

    e=mc^2 is simple and elegant. If such a formula exists for calculating Arctic net thermal energy transfer and you know it – you’ll likely win a Nobel Prize.

    Though the fact the thermal transfers take place through air, water, and land; over an amorphous boundary with a perimeter thousands of miles long; with horizontal and vertical transfers through multiple layers including both linear and non-linear variables; you’ll have to forgive me if I say you can color me skeptical that you have THE secret recipe.

    • Tony Duncan says:


      What reasonable responses you are giving here. You MUST not be an alarmist because they are all hysterical deranged socialists trying to destroy America by foisting an imaginary peril from which they can bleed all the money from the poor working people of the developed world to make them rich and the rest of use poor(er).

      If you read Steve’s posts, you can see that he presents only the most relevant information and he destroys the specious unscientific arguments of all those gullible and greedy scientists in all the fields that are relevant to climate change, through logic and unquestionable facts. For some odd reason even though he has proven that the 2011 was especially cold, and there have been record late ice breakups in the key parts of the arctic, 2011 ice loss is tracking 2006, and that MYI ice is increasing every year, he is too modest to make the obvious prediction that follows from his truths – That 2011 will be very similar to minimum ice extent for 2006, of course taking into account certain weather variables. This when alarmists like Anthony WATT are predicting a ridiculously low 5.1 million /k2.

    • Latitude says:

      Kevin, you’re over thinking it……..
      No one can measure any of it, so blow off all those formulas and crap….
      For what we do know, it’s really very simple…..

  14. Kevin O'Neill says:

    Steve, is there a reason my July 18, 2011 at 12:20 am comment is still in the queue?

    Speaking of Manahattans, Marc Morano was touting the “2300 MORE Manhattans of ice in 2011 than 2010” meme a couple of weeks ago. I told him that he was an idiot and that 2011 SIE would soon fall below 2010 and that his yardstick of ‘Manhattans’ would be 10,000 LESS Manhattans before the end of the July. I haven’t heard from him in a week and the number is now 11,500 LESS than 2010.

    Odd that 2300 more was worth a story, but 11,000 less isn’t. You’d almost think there was an ideological bias involved.

    • I talked to Marc about that article and pointed out that it was incorrect. Marc is not an idiot, but you may well be.

    • Tony Duncan says:


      You are misunderstanding the “Manhattan” issue. Steve seems obsessed with the idea that Hansen said Manhattan would be underwater by 2008. He wrote of it over and over on his blog for months. Early this year it became clear the Hansen had NOT said this. A journalist had misquoted him in an article in 2001 and retracted his statement. He had written a book that the article was publicizing and the book had the accurate quote which was 2028, with a doubling of CO2 by then. The article even contradicted itself later on, since it was a phone interview and the quote was from 13 years earlier. Steve refuses to accept this and is convinced that there is some sort of conspiracy and INSISTS the article has to be correct and that the book is wrong. Even though it is that commie rag Salon that he has repeatedly criticized for lying about climate change.
      What happens now is this fun little game we play. Steve says I am obsessed, and then calls me an idiot or maroon, or moron. I then carefully explain all the facts in detail so anyone reading this will know that it is ridiculous to contend Hansen said the misquote. Steve then POSTS the misquote and highlights the part relevant to 2008. I then point out WHY it is a misquote. A few loyal Stevists chime in with irrelevant issues, I correct them, and then eventually it dies off. You are welcome to join the game if you like.

      • You are a complete moron.

      • PhilJourdan says:

        Tony – you do not know that. What you do know is that Hansen has denied saying it, and the journalist has reneged on his initial report. However slight, there is the possiblity that the journalist got it right the first time, Hansen is lying, and got to the Journo to corroborate his story. That may be a slight possibility, but remains in the realm of possible scenarios since the facts are out on the table. Since you are bunging Steve on his interpretation of events, you should be more careful with what you are saying. At this point, you are not correct in your statements.

      • Tony Duncan says:


        I disagree. I think there is virtually no chance that the journalist did NOT get it right the first time. Since the FIRST time is the ACTUAL quote in the book that came out BEFORE the article. The book was written from notes taken at the time of the quote. The article was a phone conversation 13 years after the fact. The article is both inconsistent AND indeterminate in stating 20 years and then later stating 20 or 30 years. Even BEFORE i knew that the quote was wrong, I had repeatedly asked Steve or anyone else to provide ANY instance where Hansen had said or written anything similar to the article quote and to this day no one has. The article quote is completely inconsistent with ALL Hansen’s other writings, whereas the quote in the book is not.
        Being as there are only two people that heard the quote, that the quote is very specific in the book, it was written from notes, the quote in the article was off the top of his head 13 years later, it is SECOND hand to begin with, the SAME incident is detailed in the book and is consistent with Hansen’s other statements, and BOTH Reiss and Hansen say the book quote is accurate and the article is not. And that the article is a promotion of the book that mentions the book in numerous places including the heading and lists publication data and even a link to BUY the book, I consider it at LEAST as likely that Steve Goddard IS James Hansen as the quote in the article is accurate.

        You have not pointed out ANY statement I have made that is not correct. I have posted these exact same statements at least 20 times since all the verifiable information came out. The ONLY scenario I think has any plausibility that differs from the “journo” making a mistake in the article is that he purposefully lied about what Hansen said in order to increase sales of his book. In either case Hansen did NOT say what was in the article.
        As I have pointed out over and over NO ONE bothered to check the book because no one was interested in whether Hansen actually said it, all they were interested in was ridiculing a patently ridiculous statement. NO ONE asked Hansen if he really believed what was in the article. And when Reiss and Hansen DID address it, they both said the same thing. As far as I know ONLY Steve and his followers are still trying to maintain the fantastical position that somehow the article quote is accurate. If there was NOT a book that had the same quote with the vastly different date and the doubling of CO2 caveat that was published BEFORE the article you would have that sliver of argument. being as that IF is not reality, there is no reasonable position to take other than Steve is lying when he STILL contends Hansen says Manhattan would be underwater by 2008.

        see how much fun this is?

  15. PhilJourdan says:

    Tony Duncan says:
    July 19, 2011 at 2:10 pm

    I disagree. I think

    Tony, you say you disagree with me in your first sentence, and then agree with me in the second sentence. “You Think”. That is not a fact, it is a belief, opinion, or guess. It is not a fact. So the possibility remains. You THINK you are right. But you do not KNOW (nor would any sane person say they knew something like this, only that they believed one view or the other).

    • Tony Duncan says:


      I am sorry I forgot who I was discussion this issue with.
      I also THINK that I am not part of a huge snakes because I once dreamed I was. Although it is possible. If you want to point out how ridiculous it is for me to think this thing that I cannot prove or disprove, i am happy to have that argument with you as well. Of course you would actually have a valid position to argue with me then, as opposed to this particular situation, which , as always , you are unable to supply ANYTHING to counter either the facts i have presented or the conclusion that those facts lead too. As with the huge snack, it IS conceivable that Hansen made that quote, but then pretty much anything is conceivable, since that is the nature of human thought.
      Now if Steve starts making claims insisting that Hansen is actually a huge snake because Steve dreamed that he was, you are prepared to defend him on that point as well. Kudos!

      NOW do you see how much fun this is?

      • PhilJourdan says:

        Sorry Tony, you did forget who you were discussing it with. Since I do not fall for your non-sequiturs, or strawmen. I am sorry you cannot understand the difference between knowledge and opinion. Perhaps in time you will learn. You will be a better person once you understand the difference.

  16. Kevin O'Neill says:


    In case you’re still deluded into thinking your chart means something, consider this; melt degree days (MDD) is defined as the cumulative sum of the daily mean temperatures above 0C. If you detrend MDD and run correlations with MYI area the correlation is almost zero. In the words of Ron Kwok:

    In fact, [the correlation between MYI area and MDD] is almost zero if MDD is detrended; this is most likely due to the fact that MDD is a much noisier variable since the air temperature is constrained to be near melting (i.e., ice bath) over most of ice cover during the summer.

    The parenthetical comment (i.e., ice bath) is Kwok’s – not mine.

    See: Near zero replenishment of the Arctic multiyear sea ice cover at the end of 2005 summer Kwok, R. 2007

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