NSIDC : Satellite Measurements Of Ice Are Consistently Wrong

“NIC charts are produced through the analyses of available in situ, remote sensing, and model data sources. They are generated primarily for mission planning and safety of navigation. NIC charts generally show more ice than do passive microwave derived sea ice concentrations, particularly in the summer when passive microwave algorithms tend to underestimate ice concentration. The record of sea ice concentration from the NIC series is believed to be more accurate than that from passive microwave sensors, especially from the mid-1990s on (see references at the end of this documentation), but it lacks the consistency of some passive microwave time series.”

http://nsidc.org/data/g02172.html

h/t to Ron C

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125 Responses to NSIDC : Satellite Measurements Of Ice Are Consistently Wrong

  1. gator69 says:

    ““NIC charts are produced through the analyses of available in situ, remote sensing, and model data sources.”

    We all know the issues with modeling. I know first hand the issues with Remote Sensing, as that was my major course of study at one point back in the early 1980’s. It is not unlike modeling in that it involves alot of human interpretation and assumptions. It is part art.

  2. johnmcguire says:

    In dealing with the government agencies and the warmistas ( I know , they are often the same ) It always comes back to : Who ya gonna believe ? Them or your own eyes ?

    • R. Gates says:

      Or of course, you can believe very very recent photos from a Coast Guard ice breaker in the area:

      Looks like open water in the Arctic to me. Or maybe you’d like to suggest the Coast Guard is involved in your wacko conspiracy theory?

      Wow, the lengths some people go to in order to try and deny the obvious…it’s melting people and will set new legitimate record low area and extent levels this melt season.

      • I bet you can see Russia from your house

      • R. Gates says:

        No, that was a the mistake Republicans made in the last election who could do that.

      • kirkmyers says:

        A new record-low sea ice extent? Since when? The late 1970s? You left out millions of years of records. I realize it’s much more convenient to chose time periods that give credence to the global warming hypothesis.

        There is nothing to indicate that the recent decline in arctic sea ice is anything more than a natural occurrence. When the AMO turns negative again in 10 years or so, we’ll probably see a steady rise in summer ice extent.

        By the way, your “record low” this melt season hasn’t happened yet.

      • Eric Barnes says:

        But the record low in climate science is a daily occurrence.

      • Shooter says:

        “Wow, the lengths some people go through to deny the obvious” – Yes, indeed, I mean, it is SUMMER. DUH. Oh my God, the ice is melting! Like, that hasn’t happened in a MILLION YEARS. WHY ARE YOU DENYING THE OBVIOUS!

        “Looks like open water Arctic to me” – Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiight.

        “We will set now legitimate low records” – Place your bet.

        There’s no conspiracy theory here, and you’re the only one suggesting there is. Ironically, YOU denying the obvious that ICE MELTS and 90% of all ice is in ANTARCTICA is typical “denialism”.

        Got proof for records lows? Better show it, warmista. By the way, did you know that in 1959 the Arctic was ice free? Did ya? NOPE, IT’S JUST DENIALISM. Lrn2science, bro, instead of being a conspiracy theorist in denial.

      • Travis says:

        Shooter,

        Really, the Arctic was ice-free in 1959? Please enlighten me with the details.

      • Whatever says:

        Steven , “Tina Fey said that. She is a Democrat.” Tina was reciting Sarah Palin verbatim and it came across as parody.

      • jak says:

        @Travis,

        I think that what Shooter probably means is that the ice at the North Pole was so thin in 1959 that a nuclear submarine could quite easily make a hole in it.

        After it had managed to get to the North Pole, as it had a few problems getting under the 60 foot thick ice in the Bering Strait.

        “As mentioned above, the most difficult part of the journey was in the Bering Strait. The ice extended as much as 60 feet (18 m) below sea level. During the initial attempt to go through the Bering Strait, there was insufficient room between the ice and the sea bottom. During the second, successful attempt to pass through the Bering passage, the submarine passed through a known channel close to Alaska (this was not the first choice as the submarine wanted to avoid detection).”

      • Blade says:

        Eric Barnes [August 23, 2012 at 7:16 pm] says:

        “But the record low in climate science is a daily occurrence.”

        Well said!

      • Whatever says:

        Jak,
        In regards to the submarine rising at the North Pole in 1959: A log was kept by a shipmate on board who stated that their window of opportunity to surface was only 22 minutes long because the wind shear had created a short-lived gap in the ice. Clearly the conditions of “ice free” did not exist. As well, this opportunity to surface came as surprise to the Skate and it was a spur of the moment decision to surface for a photo opportunity.

      • Anto says:

        Have a look at where the Healy is presently sailing, and tell me that you’re surprised it can’t see any ice:
        http://icefloe.net/uscgc-healy-track-map

      • Me says:

        Did Whatever admit that wind plays a role, Who would have thunk it, and on an Ocean DAS BOOT! But ya know, Whatever! 😆

      • gofer says:

        From Snopes:

        The basis for the line was Governor Palin’s 11 September 2008 appearance on ABC News, her first major interview after being tapped as the vice-presidential nominee. During that appearance, interviewer Charles Gibson asked her what insight she had gained from living so close to Russia, and she responded: “They’re our next-door neighbors, and you can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska, from an island in Alaska”:

        Two days later, on the 2008 season premiere of Saturday Night Live, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler appeared in a sketch portraying Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton, during which Fey spoofed Governor Palin’s remark of a few days earlier with the following exchange:
        FEY AS PALIN: “You know, Hillary and I don’t agree on everything . . .”

        POEHLER AS CLINTON: (OVERLAPPING) “Anything. I believe that diplomacy should be the cornerstone of any foreign policy.”

        FEY AS PALIN: “And I can see Russia from my house.”

        Read more at http://www.snopes.com/politics/palin/seealaska.asp#8wUwPQwx33Pl7RmC.99

      • Robert of Ottawa says:

        An interesting page. I was actually searching for an article concerning human habitation (stone huts, etc.) on the North coast of Greenland, but this is just as good.

        http://wermenh.com/climate/6000.html

  3. Ron C. says:

    Some have analyzed the underestimation by microwave products.

    “We compare the ice chart data to ice concentrations from the NASA Team algorithm which, along with the Bootstrap algorithm [Comiso, 1995], has proved to be perhaps the most popular used for generating ice concentrations [Cavalieri et al.,1997]. We find a baseline difference in integrated ice concentration coverage north of 45N of 3.85% ± 0.73% during November to May (ice chart concentrations are larger). In summer, the difference between the two sources of data rises to a maximum of 23% peaking in early August, equivalent to ice coverage the size of Greenland.”
    From Late twentieth century Northern Hemisphere sea-ice record from U.S. National Ice Center ice charts, Partington, Flynn, Lamb, Bertoia, and Dedrick

    http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1058&context=usdeptcommercepub

    The diffences are even greater for Canadian regions.

    “More than 1380 regional Canadian weekly sea-ice charts for four Canadian regions and 839 hemispheric U.S. weekly sea-ice charts from 1979 to 1996 are compared with passive microwave sea-ice concentration estimates using the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Team algorithm. Compared with the Canadian regional ice charts, the NASA Team algorithm underestimates the total ice-covered area by 20.4% to 33.5% during ice melt in the summer and by 7.6% to 43.5% during ice growth in the late fall.”
    From: The Use of Operational Ice Charts for Evaluating Passive Microwave Ice Concentration Data, Agnew and Howell
    http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.3137/ao.410405

    • Crashex says:

      Thanks for the source material.

      20 to 33% Bias error during summer melt. Check.

      Looking at the CT plots showing red-60% concentration areas where the ice is visually at +90%, I’d say 33% error is in the right ballpark.

    • Nick says:

      This is discussed in the NSIDC’s FAQs on Arctic Sea Ice page under ‘What is the error range for your images?’

  4. Gondo says:

    The Northeast and Northwest passages are both open now if you look closely:

    http://neven1.typepad.com/blog/2012/08/peeking-th.html

    Besides, the measurements on sea ice thickness with satellite altimeters are not wrong, recent CryoSat-2 measurements have validated the huge drop in volume seen by PIOMAS. This is a HYOOGE unprecendented ice loss in a few short years. What do you think caused it? “Natural variability” or “chance” do not cut it, sorry.

    Weren’t the sceptics predicting after 2007 that the arctic sea would recover? Boy were they wrong!? 😀

    • squid2112 says:

      Even assuming you are correct on all counts. Are you suggesting that evil CO2 did it? .. Show me …

    • gator69 says:

      Actually, unlike alarmists, skeptics are not in lock step over an agenda. I personally do not care what happens to the ice in the Arctic. It has melted before and will again.

      Big hairy deal. 😉

      • Gondo says:

        When was the last time it melted completely in the summer? Not during the industrial era I’m afraid. removing an ice-cap almost the size of the continental US is going to affect atmospheric circulation down to mid-latitudes. Let’s hope those changes are “good” ok?

      • gator69 says:

        I would venture to guess that Gondo, at the very least, thinks that IF it melts it MUST be us. Natural variability suffered extinction in 1979, donthchaknow. 😉

      • Eric Barnes says:

        And if it was proven otherwise, he would find some other reason to loath the human race. It’s all they got. Self hatred.

      • R. Gates says:

        By 2020 or 2030 at the latest the Arctic wil have its first ice free conditions in thousands of years. That warming Arctic alters weather patterns across the N. Hemisphere. But nothing to worry about…continue on with your consumption of psyhotropic cherries…

      • gator69 says:

        God please, please, please tell us what will happen, oh bearer (or barer) of crystal balls. 😉

        Geesh! Afraid of sunrises too?

      • kirkmyers says:

        Even if arctic sea ice were to completely melt (it’s not even close), it could be the result entirely of natural factors (e.g. ocean currents, positive AMO, vigorous high-pressure systems). Those who blame the recent decline in arctic sea ice extent on man-made CO2 are truly reaching. They are growing desperate as their flimsy theory falls apart. None of their sky-is-falling projections has come true.

      • Blade says:

        R. Gates [August 23, 2012 at 7:49 pm] says:

        “By 2020 or 2030 at the latest the Arctic wil have its first ice free conditions in thousands of years. That warming Arctic alters weather patterns across the N. Hemisphere. But nothing to worry about…continue on with your consumption of psyhotropic cherries…”

        Far more likely is that ‘by 2020 or 2030 at the latest the Arctic will match the Sea-Ice extent of the previous cold peak of the late 1970’s‘.

        But it’s still a crap shoot because of other massive over-powering variables like currents and wind, or the lack thereof, that mix randomly to affect everything in their path.

  5. Peter Ellis says:

    Well, we shall see in a very few weeks what happens in like-for-like comparisons. All the microwave products have 2012 as worse than 2007. As of the 15th of August, IMS had 2012 and 2007 neck and neck, but I think that’s unlikely to still be the case by mid September.

    Tell me, if all the sources (extent/area/volume) say 2012 is worse than 2007, will you still be saying the ice is recovering?

  6. gator69 says:

    “When was the last time it melted completely in the summer? Not during the industrial era I’m afraid. removing an ice-cap almost the size of the continental US is going to affect atmospheric circulation down to mid-latitudes. Let’s hope those changes are “good” ok?”

    I am not old enough to have logged that summer, but you can rest assured it has occurred and was not the result of man made CO2.

    Ice melts, water freezes.

    Sun rises, sun sets.

    Moon waxes, Moon wanes.

    Big Hairy Deal.

    • Lance says:

      Agreed!

    • gregole says:

      gator69,

      I’m with you. Let the d@mn thing melt – I’m curious to see just what would happen. Probably not much; and whatever happened (including absolutely nothing happening) we would deal with it as best we could and my prediction is we would do just fine. Also, I guessed (for no particular reason-I just like playing along on the blogs…) 4.5 mil sq km min. I don’t even begin to give a darn if I’m even close – who knows which way the wind will blow in the arctic in the next few weeks. But I downloaded a CONUS map and drew to scale a circle of 4.5 mil sq km on the CONUS map at about nation center. The circle extended from Utah to Ohio, from into the water of the Gulf of Mexico and into southern Canada. Dude. That is a lot of ice floating up there.

      Now consider PIOMAS – check it out. Allegedly volume is declining pronto. Give it two more years, maybe three and there is no volume ergo, no ice, ergo ice-free! Yahoo I cannot wait. Either ice-free and we see just how trivial that is; or we see that PIOMAS is PIO-BS. WHAT IS NOT TO LIKE?

    • Ben says:

      It isn’t fair, Antarctica took his 30-yr growing ice extent and went home. Share!

  7. Bloke down the pub says:

    Just wondering, but would a change in the wavelength of the light hitting the ice show up as a change in the microwave energy the passive systems are picking up?

  8. Gondo says:

    Didn’t AGW predict exactly this, i.e. a drastic warming of the Arctic? It’s a curious coincidende….

    • Summer temps in the Arctic were below normal

      • Gondo says:

        And water temps? Since the icepack has been getting so thin (look at PIOMAS), it’s much easier to blow it out of the Arctic or churn it to nothing in storms. Positive feedbacks galore.

      • Travis says:

        North of 80N and according to DMI, perhaps. Dr. Spencer has it warmer than “normal” in the Arctic both June and July (and all year so far, in fact, but we’re talking about summer).

    • rw says:

      Where’s the “drastic” warming of the Arctic? (The red line on the DMI tmeperature graph has generally been below the green line in the last few weeks, not above. Or are you talking about Jan-March – and ice melting at -13 C?)

      • Gondo says:

        Check out what has been happening since around 1980…the Arctic is warming way faster than the rest of the planet. Oh wait, perhaps the Urban Heat Island is melting the ice and snow: http://neven1.typepad.com/blog/2012/08/the-untold-drama-of-northern-snow-cover.html

        😀

      • RobertvdL says:

        Exactly winter is the problem not CO2. If CO2 had anything to do with temperature, temperatures should be higher in summer. In winter it does not melt but ice buildup is different with -13 or -30 I think we all agree with that.

        (min 70 Barça 2 the other team 1)

      • RobertvdL says:

        (min 78 Barça 3 the other team 1)

        there are things more important than sea ice

      • RobertvdL says:

        (min 85 Barça 3 the other team 2)

      • Ben says:

        Sorry Gondo, that melting was caused was me. My bad. I’ve been dumping calcium chloride by the gigaton since the 80s.

      • Winchaser says:

        Summer temperatures are constrained by ice, where there’s ice. You can’t get above freezing on the sea surface until the ice is gone. Simple thermodynamics.

        So, yeah, in places like north of 80 N, you’d expect winter temps to increase faster than summer temps. Or, rather, the summer temps can increase until they get to 0 C, then they get stuck for a while, and after the ice is gone, they could keep increasing.

        • You might want to think through what you just said. Thinking like that is at the core of the problem

          ” You can’t get above freezing on the sea surface until the ice is gone “

      • Travis says:

        Steven, have you ever seen this graph?

      • Windchaser says:

        “You might want to think through what you just said. Thinking like that is at the core of the problem”.

        Mind explaining the problem? It’s pretty basic thermodynamics. In a well-mixed material undergoing a first-order phase transition, the temperature remains constant while heat is added or subtracted from the system; until all of the material is the same phase.

        I.e., given that ice floats, the surface of the sea can’t get above the freezing temperature (somewhere between 0 and -4 C) until any ice is melted, nor below freezing temperature until the surface has frozen over.

    • Don Sutherland says:

      Arctic amplification was an expected outcome of AGW. Both are currently underway.

      • Blade says:

        Isn’t more accurate and scientific to say: “Arctic amplification is an expected outcome of GW.”? Then you can concentrate on trying to pinpoint the AGW signal in the GW signal.

        Oh by the way, just what should the global climate be doing since the LIA? Warming, Cooling, or staying the same? Inquiring minds really want to know.

      • Blade says:

        (typo!)

        Isn’t it more accurate and scientific to say: “Arctic amplification is an expected outcome of GW.”? Then you can concentrate on trying to pinpoint the AGW signal in the GW signal.

        And by the way, just what should the global climate be doing since the LIA? Warming, Cooling, or staying the same? Inquiring minds really want to know.

      • Don Sutherland says:

        The signal has already been pinpointed. When only natural forcings are considered, one can’t reproduce the warming, particularly from the mid-20th century on. Only when anthropogenic forcings are added to the mix can the climatic trend be reasonably reproduced.

        Click to access 1748-9326_6_4_044025.pdf

        Click to access 1748-9326_6_4_044022.pdf

        Moreover, the recent deep and prolonged solar minimum allowed for a real world test of the solar amplification hypothesis. Despite the solar minimum and hypothesized factors that were supposed to amplify its impact, the earth maintained a large and persistent positive energy imbalance.

        Click to access 2011_Hansen_etal.pdf

        That imbalance is being reflected in the continued rise in oceanic heat content.

        In the end, if solar forcing were the driver of the observed warming, the deep and prolonged solar minimum should have wiped out the positive energy imbalance. It didn’t. The energy imbalance persisted, because anthropogenic gases are re-radiating energy back to earth (trapping some of what normally would exit via the greenhouse effect). No alternative natural explanation has been found that can serve as a substitute for the anthropogenic forcing.

      • Blade says:

        Don Sutherland [August 24, 2012 at 2:11 am] says:

        “The signal has already been pinpointed.”

        Be specific please …

        Alleged GW signal = +2.7°C
        Hypothesized AGW signal = ???

        But stop avoiding the main question! About that + 2.7°C alleged Arctic temp increase. What should that number be? 0°C delta since the 1970’s? -2.7°C delta?

        Almost nothing can be pinpointed to the degree of accuracy that the climate hoaxsters allege.

        “Moreover, the recent deep and prolonged solar minimum allowed for a real world test of the solar amplification hypothesis.”

        Only if you really believe the effects of varying solar output occur instantly and that no effects lag by any period of time. If the sun is an extra degree ‘warmer’ or ‘cooler’ in one cycle compared to another there are a myriad of ways it will manifest, all of them with different impact and duration and all of them in turn affecting other things. Perhaps more evaporation and more rain, perhaps more evaporation and less rain, perhaps more plant growth, perhaps less. Much depends on the existing conditions prior to the ‘warmer’ or ‘longer’ or ‘cooler’ or ‘shorter’ solar cycle. This is why we call the climate chaotic (not the best word, but it describes it okay from our short-lived human timeframe and viewpoint).

        Besides, if solar cycles of differing radiative output caused clear instantaneous effects, you could easily produce a super graph that charts both solar cycles and global temp that exactly mirror each other going back to the LIA. In fact we wouldn’t even need one or the other! You could simply look at the global temp graph and point out the strong or weak or long or short solar cycles. And vice versa. It is better to consider it but one ingredient in the climate stew, albeit a far more important one than CO2. However its effects are more than a bit blurry from our vantage point.

        The analogy is not perfect by any means but if the climate is viewed as a chaotic stew, a giant cauldron of countless mixing ingredients each that react to a varying stove burner in differing ways and duration, then you’re acting like a chef trying to make sweeping decisions for the entire stew based on observations of one basil leaf or salt crystal or potato.

      • Ben says:

        Sorry Don, polar amplification of both poles was predicted. GW+CO2 can’t explain the growing sea ice extent. The ice extent is far outside the circumpolar currents

        When the data stopped fitting the prediction,Gavin write a new paper. Sorry it cant undo the dozens of previous papers.

        What predicts smaller ice extent in the Arctic and larger in the Antarctic?
        1. Natural variability.
        2. Less ice mobility, less icebreakers dividing the ice

  9. kirkmyers says:

    The decline in arctic sea ice extent this summer gives the ever-more desperate CO2 alarmists something they can point to as confirmation of their “mankind is warming the earth” hypothesis. As their pet theory crumbles in the face of mounting observational and empirical evidence, they are reduced to screaming “I told you so” about any anomalous or adverse weather event (tornadoes, hurricanes, wildfires, droughts, floods, melting sea ice and, yes, even blizzards) in a last-ditch attempt to prop of up their flimsy manufactured scare story. It’s like watching a small child clinging to his favorite Teddy Bear as the nightlight goes out.

    By the way, accurate sea ice measurement goes back only as far as 1979 — the advent of the satellite era. There are plenty of reports of declining arctic sea ice, all well publicized, going back to the 1920s. Apparently, sea ice extent fluctuated quite dramatically before the recent rise in CO2 levels.

    Declines and increases in polar sea ice have been occurring naturally for millions of years. Mankind’s impact, assuming there is any at all, is the equivalent of a fart in a hurricane. The alarmist, when faced with hard empirical evidence contradicting his pet theory, chooses to ignore the evidence and embrace theory. Love of one’s theory has done great damage to mankind. In truth, it’s not really the theory that people love — it’s the wealth and power they can grab by exploiting the theory.

    • Gondo says:

      Hell, this is the largest environmental change during our lifetimes, and you have decided a priori that humans have nothing to do with it? The decline is wholly unprecedented, in 1920’s whaling and other ships documented the location of the ice edge for business-purposes and a loss like today’s simply wasn’t there.

      • John Silver says:

        And in the 1930’s?

      • Travis says:

        Yes, and in the 1930’s as well.

      • miked1947 says:

        Gondo:
        The whaling and other ships from the 20s and 30s would not be traveling in that region today as the ice conditions are to hazardous for those ships.
        You need to look closer at the ice that is there and think about how those ships were built.

      • Travis says:

        miked1947,

        They whaling ships in the 1930s were mostly steel-hulled, steam-powered, and quite maneuverable. The only reason for them to stay away from the ice edge was if there weren’t any whales to catch.

  10. Arctic ice extent began to decrease in the 1950’s, long before the (supposedly) “unprecedented warming” of 1975-2000. The world was, they tell us, cooling then, (1940 to 1975).

    • Travis says:

      harrydhuffman,
      Sorry, that graph doesn’t exist because it shows that sea ice extent was much higher in the 1930s than it is now. That does not fit people’s narrative here that the 1930s and 1940s were much warmer and ice-free in the Arctic than it has been during the past five years.

  11. rw says:

    I think some people are losing sight of the fact that, as the posting above indicates, parts of climatology – with all their adjustments and interpolations and model-based extraploations – are (all to) close to being gonzo science.This is a far cry from measurements out to the sixth decimal place to verify predictions.

    Under the circumstances, it’s worth contemplating those pictures from google-map from time to time to forestall ideas about the Arctic turning into a second Caribbean anytime in the near future.

  12. Sparks says:

    Ever wonder why explorers searched for the Northwest Passage for over 300 years and couldn’t find it until 1901-1905. They knew it was there from earlier records. What does that mean? It means the Ice had in the melted past to such a point where early cartographers were able to map Greenland.

    Maybe the global warming doomsday cult believe they had satellite technology that was able to see Greenland’s coast through the Ice hundreds of years ago. I’ve seen some interesting historical maps as far back as the 1400s that have Greenland on them, They must all be fakes tho! Right?

  13. Sparks says:

    Ever wonder why explorers searched for the Northwest Passage for over 300 years and couldn’t find it until 1901-1905. They knew it was there from earlier records. What does that mean? It means the Ice had melted in the past to such a point where early cartographers were able to map Greenland.

    Maybe the global warming doomsday cult believe they had satellite technology that was able to see Greenland’s coast through the Ice hundreds of years ago. I’ve seen some interesting historical maps as far back as the 1400s that have Greenland on them, They must all be fakes tho! Right?

  14. Travis says:

    Sparks,

    What earlier records? European explorers looked for the Northwest Passage because the Americas were in the way of them making shorter, more profitable trips to East Asia, and the only two ways completely by ocean were around the horn of Africa and around the tip of South America. Why would they be looking for a northwest passage through the Americas before they even realized the Americas existed?

    • Travis says:

      Also, southern Greenland had long been accessible seasonally to European ships, even during the Little Ice Age. The southern tip of Greenland is only slightly further north (though quite a bit west) than the northern shores of Scotland.

    • suyts says:

      Oddly, there were some ice free moments, apparently.
      http://suyts.wordpress.com/2012/03/12/how-did-they-know/

      • Travis says:

        Yeah, not so much. Your post asks how they knew so much about the Arctic in 1875, enough to draw a pretty detailed map. Perhaps it had something to do with the dozens of expeditions, both seaborn and overland backed by European governments and the Hudson Bay Company (established 1670) in the century prior to when the map was published? Just a guess. HBC was responsible for much of the exploration, in fact, doing most of it overland from the McKenzie River east to the Labrador coast and north past Melville Sound. If you read some of the journals and other historical accounts, you realize pretty quickly that there was no shortage of ice.

        Again, what gives you people the impression that there was LESS ice in the Arctic during the Little Ice Age???

      • suyts says:

        Travis do you think about what you write before you write it? I’m an avid history reader.

        The question is, if there was always no shortage of ice, how did they come up with such details? Did they run sonograms through the ice?

        The facts are, they fairly accurately located islands which most alarmists insist was under yards of ice.

        So, yes, yes so much. The only way they know there are islands there is if the ice had receded enough to show them. Now, go back and look at the geography.

      • Travis says:

        suyts,

        How much ice do you think there WAS 150 years ago??? Even sea ice several meters thick would not be enough to obscure the shorelines of islands enough to be visible on that 1875 map of yours. As for glacial ice, neither the Russian Arctic nor the Canadian Arctic have a significant amount of glacial ice in this day and age, and no matter HOW warm it’s been the past 30 years, there’s no way they had enough glacial ice 150 years ago to make a difference for creating a map of that accuracy. In Greenland, the map has all the major peninsulas and fjords for the most part, which again would not have been obscured by glacial ice on a large enough scale to obscure the lay of the coast.

        Nor is it a simple matter of there being no ice now and solid ice then. There were many places in the Arctic back then where the pack ice would either melt out or at least break up and drift in smaller floes for a short time during the summer. Those places (such as Lancaster Sound or Smith Sound in the upper reaches of Baffin Bay) which may have opened up for a few weeks out of the summer are now not only passable, but even completely ice-free for two or three months each summer.

        As for the positioning of the islands (if that was part of your argument), every expedition from the 17th century on kept compass readings, and by the 18th and 19th centuries, they did so meticulously in hopes of pinning down the magnetic north pole (not realizing for a while that it was not fixed in one location). James Clark Ross was the first to actually pin down one of its transient locations in 1831, and its motion was tracked by many an expedition in the decades that followed. Late 19th-Century cartographers were MORE than capable of creating accurate maps based off of those readings.

        Come back when you have a map showing the location and terminus of a few dozen glaciers in 1875, and then we can have a useful discussion about the amounts of ice then and now. Until then, all you have is a poor understanding of the history you claim to so avidly read.

      • suyts says:

        Travis, thanks for that laughable response. Look at the Lat/Lon. Look at the legend. Understand what that map is saying. There’s some mapped places then which have only now been thawed.

        We know they didn’t fly over the islands, and we know the ships couldn’t be there if the ice was so thick then. There’s no way they map the shores without seeing the shores. Now go back and look at the lat/lon.

        Yes, this recent melt is all unprecedented. ( It would be if the map makers only guessed about the shorelines.) Why don’t you try to apply some of that historical knowledge you seem to attest you possess.

        If you’re arguing about the age of the map, take it up with the Brits. It’s theirs not mine. My impression is they don’t lie about such things.

      • Travis says:

        I have no issue with the age of the map. Are you referring to the places you’ve circled in red? Did you even read what I wrote? My argument stands, and there’s no point continuing this conversation if you can’t even take the time to process what I have written and comment intelligently about it.

      • Me says:

        Soooo Travis, you set up the terms in your comment here “there’s no point continuing this conversation if you can’t even take the time to process what I have written and comment intelligently about it”. to what you cannot prove either and want other to prove you wrong! Now did I get that right? And where have we seen that before?

      • Travis says:

        Oh heavens, you’re right! I’ve sunk to Steven’s level!

      • Me says:

        Bullshit, and you know it’s bullshit!

      • suyts says:

        Again, thanks for the laughable response. Have you ever been up north? Do you not understand that it is, at times, indiscernible between walking on ice above water and walking on ice above ground?

        Now, consider “break up” (springish mostly summer) What boat in your world “from the 17th century on kept compass readings, and by the 18th and 19th centuries” about where they were and lived to tell about it?

        That leaves a very small window. Where and when? When and where is the ice now?

        Travis, I do love the dismissive attitude from people who refuse to acknowledge things they haven’t considered. Do stick around…. please.

      • suyts says:

        No worries Me, his simplicity exposes himself. And, yes, you found his logic of fail.

      • Travis says:

        suyts,

        You need look no farther than your own map to answer your question:

        “What boat in your world “from the 17th century on kept compass readings, and by the 18th and 19th centuries” about where they were and lived to tell about it?”

        Take a good look at the right side of your map.

        See all the names? Good. Those are some of the more significant expeditions to the Arctic, JUST FROM THE TIME PERIOD 1818 TO 1875.

        Now look at the bottom left corner of the map. See the names and all the lines with dots and dashes? Good. Now find those lines on the map. Those are some of the routes those expeditions took over land and by sea, and by sledge over ice in the winter. THESE ARE ONLY SOME of the expeditions to the Arctic. If you knew anything about these expeditions, you know that they sailed when they could and did what they could when the couldn’t. Sometimes it took a week to get through a ten mile stretch of ice-choked channels. At some point they would be forced to call it quits and prepare to winter over wherever they got stuck.

        Yes, many died. Perhaps you’ve heard of the ill-fated Franklin Expedition? Yes, that one is on the right side of your map as well. Luckily they got smarter after that. The advent of canned goods helped with that as well. Much of the Arctic exploration was done by driving and pulling sledges over the ice in the winter and spring months. That’s how Ross found the magnetic pole in June 1831; his ship was stuck in ice, so he struck out over land and ice to find the pole on foot. When he got back, he couldn’t break his ship free of the ice until August, and even then only managed to sail a few miles before getting stuck in the ice again, and he had to spend a second winter. The next summer he finally gave up on breaking free from the ice, abandoned his ship, and struck out to the east in hopes of being rescued…and he was…by a whaler.

        Enough evidence, or are you still convinced I’m making all this up?

      • Peter Ellis says:

        I think suyts forgot you can travel by land as well as by sea. How did they map the coastlines? By walking to them. Walking over the ice, a lot of the time.

      • suyts says:

        Travis, I never said you were making this up. But, I would say you’re doing a lot to dance around the obvious conclusion. But, Peter has helped us here.

        Yes Peter, and if the coast lines are visible, where is the ice? Here, I made some circles on this modern map for reference.
        http://suyts.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/arcticiceextent_thumb.jpg?w=611&h=561

      • Travis says:

        syuts,

        I don’t know how many more ways I can say this, and Peter said the same thing I have been trying to say in my posts. They surveyed those parts of the Arctic by taking ships through leads in the ice or on foot or by sledge. Did you know that the final section of the Northwest Passage (McClure Strait) was mapped by one of these by-land/ice winter trips? Consequently, McClure also got stuck in the ice four four winters until he and his crew were rescued.

        I don’t know what else to say to you. They had technology to accurately fix their position, they had the means and the will to move about the Arctic during any season. The only thing that seems to be holding things up here is your insistence that there was such a ridiculous amount of ice present that they couldn’t see land. Yes, there was a lot of ice as my recounting of a couple of the expeditions suggests, but it was not the second coming of the great continental glaciers of the last ice age that obliterated and obscured all that was in their path. I don’t know how to help you here. You’re on your own.

      • suyts says:

        Travis, the implication is that the ice cap wasn’t much different than from what it is now. And, if you don’t understand the implications of that statement, then I don’t know what else I can do to help either you or Peter.

        Centuries of warming and melting ….. only to find that there’s nothing unusual about our ice cap today. Thanks, it took a while for you guys to get there. 😉

      • Winchaser says:

        Heh. Quite notably, parts of that 1875 chart are wrong, even in the areas where you’re saying they’d already mapped. Look at the area NW of the Bering Straits (straight up on the old map, or the upper-right circle in the newer map). They map an island that isn’t there.

        You realize that no one’s saying that *all* parts of the Arctic were covered in ice every year. There’s quite a bit of year-to-year variability, maybe one year you can get to the edge of Ellesmere island, another, you can get through parts of the NW passage, or maybe sale further N of Russia than you could before. So explorers and whalers map out what they can get to, which changes each year.

        The Admiralty Chart represents how far we could explore during *all* the variability in the ice extent over most of a century. And of course, if you take the minimal extent of all the years put together, what you get is far less than the average.

        In other words, comparing the old map to the median minimum over ’79-2000 is just pointless; it’s apples and oranges and doesn’t really show anything.

      • lolwot says:

        suyts the dishonest denier troll

        that’s what i gleaned

      • Travis says:

        suyts,

        That’s not the implication at all, but it seems you’re not willing to consider otherwise because you’re stuck on your own image of the Arctic, which is based on a fallacy for which you have not attempted to shoulder any burden of proof in order to justify.

        Until you understand that there’s a major difference between navigating narrow leads through the ice for one month out of the year versus sailing in wide open, ice-free or nearly ice-free water for three months of the year, I don’t see us reconciling this anytime soon.

  15. tckev says:

    I think Mr E. M. Smith has it about right –
    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2012/08/22/arctic-melting/

  16. Gondo says:

    So what caused the current Arctic warming? There should be enough data and models to answer the question. What quantitative do skeptics have to offer? Clouds, cosmic rays or somesuch?

    • Whatever says:

      A change in magnetic North.

      • Me says:

        Projecting again I see, but Whatever! 😆

      • Whatever says:

        Blade,
        “You didn’t say that because you know that number 2.7°C is determined from a gross climate stew of averages of averages, from adjusted data from various locations including UHI, on different equipment with a sprinkle of operator error. At least I hope that’s why you didn’t say it.”

        I don’t think any of those things apply to the UAH SATELLITE records. Do you?

      • Me says:

        There you go with your projections again! 😆

      • Gondo says:

        That’s really creative. What could be the mechanism?

      • Winchaser says:

        Microwaves from the satellites measuring the ice thickness. No, really, it interferes with the cosmic rays and reduces the cloud cover, inducing warming.

        Or maybe it’s the lack of whalers. Migrating whales promote mixing of the cold and warm waters in the arctic, but the increase in whaling in the 1600s-1800s reduced the number of whales (and thus the flow of warm water to the poles), causing the Little Ice Age.

        Hey, it makes as much sense as anything else. How could you believe that the melting ice is caused by CO2 when there’s *all* these unexplored mechanisms?

        Time to go do some data-mining.

    • Blade says:

      Gondo [August 24, 2012 at 12:23 am] says:

      “So what caused the current Arctic warming? There should be enough data and models to answer the question.”

      What Arctic warming? There should be enough data and models to answer that question.

      I’m serious. When you ask: “what caused the current Arctic warming?”, you have already compared at least two points in time to get there. What two points in time? What time of day? Year? What location? What method? Same equipment? And these are only some of the controllable variables to check. I am asking, are they checked?

      Personally I would like to see all those conditions met scientifically and also choose a specific day with predictable solar inclination like perhaps on the solstices. This would control all of the predictable variables (solstice, location, equipment, time of day, etc..).

      However, the bad news is that even if you do all of the above, there are at least two massively uncontrollable and nearly chaotic variables that come along to crush the data: the ocean currents and the wind. In the real world (yours too) at any location on the summer solstice (just for example) the records could show clear, quiet, sunny and hot, or clear sunny, windy and cool, or cloudy, wet and cold, or anything else.

      In reality, climate doomsayers are even less scientific than the teams that look for bias in a roulette wheel in a vain attempt to weight and predict the 1/37 chance of a given number. Even their moderate successes realized over many months of play (and lots of bets) still fall within the margin of error because even a perfectly balanced non-biased wheel can turn up the same number multiple times in a row (or any other unlikely outcome). There may be bias in a wheel, but it cannot be proved from game outcomes from the available data.

      • Blade says:

        I should have added to that roulette discussion, that even with a severely biased wheel you have this massive uncontrollable variable, the croupier that drops the little ball into the wheel. Good luck modeling that.

        Now apply that simple fact to the climate system (wind, ocean currents) and you have to wonder why this Sea-Ice thing is considered anything more than a crap shoot or Ice-Cube Roulette.

      • Don Sutherland says:

        The Arctic has warmed by just over 2.7°C (annual average) in the 1979-2011 timeframe. That’s the warming to which Gondo was referring.

      • Me says:

        So are you putting words in Gonzo’s mouth now?

      • Blade says:

        Don Sutherland [August 24, 2012 at 1:59 am] says:

        “The Arctic has warmed by just over 2.7°C (annual average) in the 1979-2011 timeframe. That’s the warming to which Gondo was referring.”

        Once again from above:

        “… you have already compared at least two points in time to get there. What two points in time? What time of day? Year? What location? What method? Same equipment? And these are only some of the controllable variables to check. I am asking, are they checked?

        Personally I would like to see all those conditions met scientifically and also choose a specific day with predictable solar inclination like perhaps on the solstices. This would control all of the predictable variables (solstice, location, equipment, time of day, etc..).

        However, the bad news is that even if you do all of the above, there are at least two massively uncontrollable and nearly chaotic variables that come along to crush the data: the ocean currents and the wind. In the real world (yours too) at any location on the summer solstice (just for example) the records could show clear, quiet, sunny and hot, or clear sunny, windy and cool, or cloudy, wet and cold, or anything else.

        You are actually comfortable with the reliability and efficacy of that number, an alleged 2.7°C to be used to construct doomsday scenarios for the climate?

      • Whatever says:

        Nothing alleged about it. Reference easily available from UAH.

      • Me says:

        Well we all know how you like to project, soooo Whatever! BWAAAAHAHAHA!

      • johnmcguire says:

        Well well well , some times farmers have to work some longer hours . I came back to Steven’s site and find a little tempest stirred by a pack of warmists . I notice right off that most of you warmists are shooting from the hip and in doing so getting over into dreamland . Travis is going on like he is a historian until he runs aground in Greenland where the Vikings inhabited land that we can’t even see for the ice . And Don Sutherland is telling us that the arctic has warmed some 2.7C since 1979 and I want to know where all his thermometers are and R. Gates is accusing me of suffering from conspiricyitus while failing to recall all the wild adjustments and homogenations and manipulations done to the raw data in order to get it to dance the agw tune . Speaking of data , I’m curious why the government data adjusters er make that scientists are not using the new USCRN data that has been available to them for four years now ? I think it is because those new pristinely sited , triple thermometer possessing , 24/7 reporting stations are not agreeing with the agw agenda . And if you have noticed any of my past comments then you know I’ve never said anything one way or the other about how much ice is in the arctic . But I will say that the only way I think we will see an ice free arctic is if some evil bastards start a nuclear attack . And it is proven human nature to conspire to accomplish things R. Gates and I think some people are conspiring to scam us with their agw theme . Either that or they are so far out from reality that they actually believe the garbage they are spouting . I think the real mistake this country is making is in not going fullbore to better utilize our resources .

      • Blade says:

        Whatever [August 24, 2012 at 2:51 am] says:

        “Nothing alleged about it. Reference easily available from UAH.”

        “You are actually comfortable with the reliability and efficacy of that number, an alleged 2.7°C to be used to construct doomsday scenarios for the climate?”

        Why didn’t you just say: “That 2.7°C number is true, I trust them, they didn’t adjust any raw data, they controlled for all variables including date/time, location, UHI, equipment, sat position, operator error, post-processing, etc…”

        You didn’t say that because you know that number 2.7°C is determined from a gross climate stew of averages of averages, from adjusted data from various locations including UHI, on different equipment with a sprinkle of operator error. At least I hope that’s why you didn’t say it.

        I say the numbers mean close to nothing, you however, are willing to stake the world economy and yes, your very quality of life on it by offloading huge decision making power to agenda driven socialist criminals. I say your children and grandchildren will be better off by making their own life and death decisions including how to keep warm and what to eat, you say those decisions affecting your kids and grandkids should be left to biased bureaucrats. So who really cares more about the well-being of your kids and grandkids, you or me?

        But back to that 2.7°C thing. What should that number be? 0°C delta since the 1970’s? -2.7°C delta?

      • Blade says:

        Whatever [August 24, 2012 at 4:13 am] says:

        “I don’t think any of those things apply to the UAH SATELLITE records. Do you?”

        I mentioned averages of averages, adjusted data, UHI, differing equipment, operator error, specific satellite, altitude, position, post-processing filters and algorithms. If you are confining the discussion to satellite returns over sea-ice, then all the factors still apply, except for UHI and operator error. Surely you agree?

        The point is that all of those factors are critically important to being accurate and scientific. Personally I don’t trust very much from the climate cabal these days, why would you? Can you not see the problem in the field since the elevation of such climate kooks as Sagan and Ehrlich to celebrity status. It’s been all downhill since, baby.

        Anyway, you should get in practice of being skeptical because you are going to need it as the next few years elapse and the magic number of 17 years of no warming comes to pass, and when the suddenly important minimum Sea-Ice extent increases yet again (btw, where were you six months ago!).

        P.S. please click the “reply” under August 24, 2012 at 1:47 am to keep the comments in the correct nest.

      • Gondo says:

        There’s tons of warming, as seen by global temperature datasets, global climate renanalyses, local climate reanalyses. Moreover the warming is evidenced by loss of sea ice volume, loss of end-of-summer snow-cover, rapid mass-loss from Greenland through increased melting and speedup of ice-streams, increaed melting of permafrost, migration of species towards north, reports of the local peoples etc. I have trouble seeing how UHI could have causally caused each of the mentioned things..

  17. Historical records from 1900-1947 report warming of 5.5C in that area. I’d post the link but the word press spam filter eats it. Seems to be a lot of decadal variability in that region.

  18. Gondo says:

    ECMWF climate analysis is a good thing to check our as well….these guys are assimilating tons of satellite measurements (and have been for a long time) into a global weather model…check out the Arctic Warming (the pdf-version is more readable):

    http://www.ecmwf.int/products/forecasts/d/inspect/catalog/research/eraclim/timon/timon_ana_2D!2T!anom!Arctic!195701-201212!/

    • johnmcguire says:

      Gondo , you state there is much evidence and then go on to say temperature datasets and temperature reanalysis . I remind you that the keepers of those datasets and the perpetrators of those reanalysis are the same people with the obvious agenda of promoting agw . All their manipulations are always in an upward manner when statistics would respond far more randomly and produce downward adjustments as well . These keepers of data are obviously manipulating the data to get the results they want and this is readily seen by the common citizen now. These same manipulators have brought the reputation of science to the lowest regard ever in modern times and this scam will not continue much longer as people are fed up with it . So keep riding that agw horse as you will soon be thrown.

      • Gondo says:

        Since when are professional meteorologists part of the purported Global Climate-Change Conspiracy (GCCC)? Also please explain how UHI and “manipulation” melt the permafrost, snow-cover and sea-ice + turn the Greenland mass-balance into strongly negative territory? Is magic involved?

      • Winchaser says:

        No, statistics don’t produce random adjustments, down as much as up. O.o

        You could say that without knowing anything about the source of errors, you have no idea whether the errors cause positive or negative adjustments. That’s vastly different from “the errors should net out to zero”, and is more like “we don’t know”. Once we look at what caused the errors, we found that they were mostly negatively biased, so the corrections were positive. And these have been tested backwards and forwards, with blind studies and in-field comparisons of different thermometers.

        It’s like saying “if you pick a random location on Earth, it’s as likely to rain today as not”.

        Which is obviously false. If you don’t know your location, a 50% prediction of rain is as good as anything else, but once you actually pick a location, it doesn’t mean your chance of rain is 50%. If you picked the rainforest, you’re close to 100%, if you picked the Sahara, it’s close to 0%.

  19. Andy says:

    Congrats Steve on a 100 reply to one of your posts, some good reading in there too.

    We know passive microwave suffers in summer in over estimating the extent, hence why Jaxa always used to have a step in the spring as they changed to a new algorithm because of melt ponds etc.

    As long as it is same year for year then that is ok.

    Andy

  20. Travis says:

    By the way, the new NIC/IMS graph is out for last week’s ice. Looks like it’s running below the same week from 2007 now.

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