What Are The “Most Important” Months For Arctic Ice?

The “most important” months for Arctic ice are May, June, July – the months when the sun is highest in the sky.

Last year, southerly winds blew the Beaufort Sea open in June, causing the dark water to absorb a lot of sunshine and warm up. When the storm came through in August, this warm water mixed with Arctic Basin ice and melted a lot of it.

This year, the Beaufort Sea is completely clogged with ice, and is reflecting most of the 24×7 sunlight back into space. Alarmists are hoping for a big melt this summer, but it isn’t going to happen.

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82 Responses to What Are The “Most Important” Months For Arctic Ice?

  1. miked1947 says:

    I would say the most important months for Arctic ice are those from Fall equinox to Spring equinox as that is when the winds and currents either allow the ice to build or transport it out of the region.

    • tckev says:

      So very true. Where and how the ice and snow builds up over the winter has a great affect on the later melt characteristic.

  2. T.O.O. says:

    Steve,
    I believe that with so much Arctic ice as thin as it is (according to PIOMAS) and the central Arctic hollowing out and the unusually high temperatures so close to the fringe ice in Siberia, Alaska and Scandinavia, that his will be an usually hard year for Arctic ice melt (both extent and volume).

    10 weeks before we know for sure.

    • I am so fed up with stupidity ………..

    • mwhite says:

      “Daily Mean Temperatures in the Arctic 1958 – 2013”

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

      So far it looks like this year is one of the coldest on record since 1958.

      • T.O.O. says:

        mwhite,
        If the first 120 days are so much more over the mean (since 1958) than the last 50 have been below it, how do you come to that conclusion?

        • sunsettommy says:

          It is the temperature at and above the freezing level in the short summer season is what counts the most because that is the only time AIR temperature is high enough to melt ice.Since it has been below average the last few weeks right when it is supposed to reach freezing level and above it does not,means little to no melting from AIR is occurring this year.

          The AIR temperature from January to May can be above average but still be well below freezing level the whole time so no melting will occur from the AIR anyway.

          This is so obvious stuff that you should have figured out a while ago.

        • tckev says:

          Your AGW melted the ice is just a totemic, a religious image that you all hold dear. It has no logical or scientific reason to be so.

      • Andy DC says:

        The weather progs that go thru July 10th show little, if any waming in the area where the multiyear ice is located. The mean temperature starts to drop very soon thereafter.

        While the ice will fray along the edges as it always does, it is hard to foresee a major meltdown this year.

    • Jorge says:

      TOO is making stuff up again. For people who have all the facts, one wonders why they make up so much stuff.

      • Jorge says:

        I also told everyone that when the artic failed to melt as predicted, which it won’t, then the alarmists will claim the ice itself is rotten or something. These people don’t understand global warming and just make crazy predictions. Then they are amazed when those crazed predictions fail to materialize.

      • Olaf Koenders says:

        That guy’s an idiot:

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

        Every year since 1958 have been very close (within a couple of degrees) to normal above melt. 2013 so far is the coldest record, with 2004 and 2010 going close seconds.

        Whatever the Arctic does, there’s no evidence of raising temps – by Man or otherwise.

      • T.O.O. says:

        Jorge,
        The graph shows a line representing the mean temperature — for the first 120 days there is a jagged red line that shows this year’s temperature and for 115 of those days the temperature is above the mean — some days WAY over the mean. The last 50 days shows the red line just under the mean. If you added up the entire daily temps for the 170 days total and divide by those 170 days, it will be a number higher than the average temperature from the same 170 days of the mean.

        So simple, a child could do the math.

    • Olaf Koenders says:

      T.O.O reckons it’s the year 6000BC – when the Arctic was regularly half the minimum extent it has these days. His “science” really is THAT far behind he’s busy chucking virgins into volcanoes to appease the weather gods.

      • T.O.O. says:

        Olaf,
        I do and I am? How did you come to those astounding opinions? My “science” is visible in the graph posted by mwhite. His “nonscience” is visible in his own statement.

  3. tckev says:

    Given that ‘Arctic variability is dominated by multi-decadal fluctuations. Incomplete sampling of these fluctuations results in highly variable arctic surface-air temperature (SAT) trends. Modulated by multi-decadal variability, SAT trends are often amplified relative to northern-hemispheric trends, but over the 125-year record we identify periods when arctic SAT trends were smaller or of opposite sign than northern-hemispheric trends. Arctic and northern-hemispheric air-temperature trends during the 20th century (when multi-decadal variablity had little net effect on computed trends) are similar, and do not support the predicted polar amplification of global warming. The possible moderating role of sea ice cannot be conclusively identified with existing data. If long-term trends are accepted as a valid measure of climate change, then the SAT and ice data do not support the proposed polar amplification of global warming. Intrinsic arctic variability obscures long-term changes, limiting our ability to identify complex feedbacks in the arctic climate system.’

    Arctic ice melt is not a good proxy for showing global warming.

      • Written in 2001. I think that guarded assessment might have been appropriate at the time. Not any longer.

        • tckev says:

          How?
          Next you’ll be saying that the ice never melted before.

        • tckev says:

          Another babbler holding up the shroud of melting ice like it means something. It melted before it will melt again – get over it.

        • Hi tckev,

          Since 2001, the data have shown an accelerating decline in the ice. I think that would prompt a re-evaluation of these conclusions. That’s all.

        • tckev says:

          That paper has not been disproved so it is still (peer-review) good. Unless you can find were it is refuted.

        • Latitude says:

          Since 2001, the data have shown an accelerating decline in the ice.
          ====
          David, you and I are old enough to remember when it was the Antarctic that was losing ice….
          If the Arctic was gaining and the Antarctic was losing…all of the focus would be south right now…..
          It’s called the Arctic/Antarctic seesaw…..

          http://suyts.wordpress.com/2013/06/28/nine-years-of-the-global-sea-ice-doing-nothing/

        • tckev says:

          Obviously you find it difficult so lets spell it out, as per the quoted paper –

          Arctic variability is dominated by multi-decadal fluctuations. Incomplete sampling of these fluctuations results in highly variable arctic surface-air temperature (SAT) trends. Modulated by multi-decadal variability, SAT trends are often amplified relative to northern-hemispheric trends, but over the 125-year record we identify periods when arctic SAT trends were smaller or of opposite sign than northern-hemispheric trends.

          In other words what has happen in the last 12 years is insignificant compared to the fact that the major influence is the ‘multi-decadal variability’.

          Next you’ll be saying that the Arctic hasn’t melted before!

        • T.O.O. says:

          Latitude,
          The loss of Arctic sea ice is 3 times greater than the gain of Antarctic sea ice and that is only for extent. Ice volume would be twice that again. Throw in the fact that ice mass in the Antarctic is also declining as it is in the third pole (the world’s glaciers), your “see saw” analogy looks to have a gorilla on one end and a lemur on the other.

    • F. Guimaraes says:

      Global climate follows more closely the NH climate than the SH and the NH is more sensitive to variation in solar radiations than the SH. The entire globe warms during the NH summer and cools down in the NH winter.
      It’s not a matter of polar amplification really, it’s just the fact that the SH has more water and the oscillations of the NH tend to correlate better with global temps. The warmists are saying that the Arctic is the new “canary in the coal mine” in terms of world climate trend, will they keep this claim when the Arctic start to cool more pronouncedly (it already is) in the years ahead, with the AMO flipping negative and the solar radiations decreasing?
      I don’t think so, their claims don’t resist a 30 secs analysis based on true science.

    • T.O.O. says:

      tckev,
      That sounded real great — now if you would kindly provide a reference. . . . . . .

  4. Traitor In Chief says:

    I predict that some amount of the “Precious and Irreplaceable”, but “Rotten”, “thin” and “fragile” Ice will transform into liquid until November, when it will magically re-appear…. so that the worry about its existence can begin anew next spring.

    • T.O.O. says:

      Traitor,
      Not as much insolation in November as compared to August so less energy will be added to the environmental system at that time.

      • squid2112 says:

        WTF are you talking about? Do you just babble to yourself in circles?

        • T.O.O. says:

          squid,
          Arctic ice will return every November but its effect on the Earth’s total energy budget will be minor as there is very little sunlight to absorb whereas an unusually low ice extent in August will absorb petawatts more energy into the Earth’s environmental system. Classic positive feedback scenario.

      • Traitor In Chief says:

        Allllllrighty, then. 🙂

        And to think some claim the Debate is Over.

  5. Jim Hunt says:

    Someone buy Steve a new calendar. One like Gavin’s. July and August will tell the tale. Here’s the US Army’s take:

    http://www.tos.org/oceanography/archive/24-3_perovich.html

    • Jorge says:

      Wishful thinking. Most people pray for good health. Alarmists pray for apocalypic weather and no ice.

      The ice is returning and will likely be back at normal levels altogether within a year or two. The entire thing is likely cyclical.

      It’s time for you nutters to admit, that things didn’t turn out this year the way you expected. Now you guys are doing backflips, changing goalposts, etc., again, because you can’t predict something as intricate as the weather/climate.

      There is nothing for you to be smug about, the artic has far more ice this year than in the past several years.

  6. Gamecock says:

    Somebody tell me why ice is good.

    • mkelly says:

      Helps keep my drink cool.

    • The idea under the “Warm Arctic, Cold Continents” theory is that a warmer Arctic weakens the jetstream, more blocking highs, stationary weather patterns that creates extremes in on-the-ground effects by not letting weather move across the map.

      • squid2112 says:

        B U L L S H I T !

      • tckev says:

        It’s a theory! The whole of humanity has to change because some snail-oil salesman came up with a theory. Go away and find another trick.

        • squid2112 says:

          tckev, … no, no, no .. you don’t understand .. to a useful idiot, theories are law .. models are reality. Do not trust your lying eyes!

          😉

      • tckev says:

        I have a theory that you are paid to come here because Steve’s site get too many hits and it’s hurting the scam.
        There’s another theory.

      • Latitude says:

        How about the jetstream changes because of the PDO/AMO…and that makes a slightly warmer Arctic…

        • Hi Latitude,
          That is a good start at an alternative. However, one of the basic issues you’ll eventually have to deal with in any such theory (such as ENSO-did-it theories) is the question of what caused PDO/AO/AMO/ENSO to change now, and in the direction that it did change. These oscillations are not actors, they are themselves effected by something else that is the true root cause. These root causes are things like the Earth’s orbital wobble, solar variations, volcanoes, etc. (And over the longer term throw in plate tectonics and solar brightening…) And last but not least of these root causes, or forcings, is the composition of the atmosphere, which is changing under the influence of human activity.

        • Latitude says:

          it’s always changing…it loads…then it unloads
          David, you mention huge things that “human activity” has nothing to do with….
          ….natural things that have and will always happen

          ..and then credit a 1/2 degree in change of temps as the root cause
          Frankly, that’s ridiculous

          Every ice core shows these small short upticks in temp, while the overall trend is down….

          All we’re seeing right now is another one of those small upticks….the overall trend is still down

        • tckev says:

          As it is known that the ice has previously melted and this happened before the CO2 level is said to be a major determining factor, therefore the natural process argument wins out as the determening factor causing the melting of the Arctic. When AGW is said to be the determining factor the big problem is then is it fails the test of falsifiability (or refutability). That is it can not be proved that the melting that occurs is a caused by, or made worse by, a seperate process from the natural one.
          There is no verifiable measurable method of separating the natural cycles from the (assumed) AGW signal.

      • Joseph Bastardi says:

        But that means that colder air from the continents will then act to reform ice. In addition the blocking and lack of wind in the winter, WHEN TEMPERATURES ARE WELL BELOW FREEZING ANYWAY, allows ice buildup.

        Its the AMO, always has been always will be. Please the whole argument is summed up in the years of research Bill Gray has done on this. I would suggest this read:

        Click to access gray2012.pdf

        The Warming cycles of the oceans ( PDO/AMO) are a product of prolonged cycles that Gray was explaining back in the 1970s for goodness sakes, He then takes it a step further with this to describe the same overturning cycles that Trenberth then prostitutes to find his missing heat after the fact ( when it cools in one place, it warms in another) But the fact is that warming of the tropical oceans with the PDO and AMO would naturally warm the continents which in turn would help melt the ice cap the continents surround It is a distortion of the temperature pattern, but the increase in the southern hemisphere shows the counterweight to this, and that is a cyclical distortion of the temperatures that will reverse with the cyclical reverse of the oceans, which has already started in the Pacific. Once the AMO goes, its over, the arctic ice cap, which has its most extensive exposure to the atlantic, will increase.

        But the idea its the warming arctic that leads to colder continents completely misses the source of this all. ITS THE OCEANS. There is no way that we can figure out what the multi decadol, even multi century effects of such things as the TSI actually is. In fact Gray makes the point, that with the oceans having the much greater heat capacity and being slow to change, what we are seeing now is a product on a scale of years that is so varied we can not really say. We had no way of reliably measuring the oceans compared to how we do it and observe it today as short as 50 years ago. And to think that co2, .04% of the atmosphere, of which man has contributed, according to US DEPT OF ENERGY, hardly a right wing think tank, only 5% too ( that would mean that mans contribution to the atmosphere of co2 is .0004x.05 which is .00002) is affecting this in a way that we can measure, beyond its assigned value of .4 to .7C of the 33C of GHG warming ( water vapor being the number one GHG ) seems at best a stretch, and probably in reality impossible.

        In fact even if , as some, assign ALL THE INCREASE in co2 to man from the pre industrial base of 288 ppm ( that is a stretch since warming precedes co2 increase, not the other way around and the warming oceans naturally would account for alot of it), that is still a stretch given magnitude of the factors aligned against it. As for blaming the lack of ice, the true reasons lie in the oceans, and I would suggest a read of Grays papers on this matter to clear this up.

        • Latitude says:

          thanks Joe…..

        • Latitude says:

          ” Trenberth then prostitutes to find his missing heat”

          BTW….that’s nothing more than an excuse for a math error…..

        • Joe, you’re just the guy I wanted to see.

          Could you please give us your estimates for Arctic sea ice minimum extent and volume.

          Thank you.

        • Glacierman says:

          Nice try Reggie.

        • Joe… I’m thinking 33°C is not the true effect. It includes the albedo of clouds, which form as a method of heat management / rejection on this planet. If you use albedo of areas without clouds, the planet is darker, equilibrium warmer, and the net effect of GHG’s without active heat management is much lower, which also might help explain why satellites haven’t detected any difference in OLR. What is the correct albedo? Good question. You could make the argument that albedo without clouds is as low as 0.2 pretty easily. This would reduce the 33°C to 25°C (279k * 0.8^(1/4)) = 263k = -10°C. 15°C–10°C = 25°C total, a reduction of 24%. The clouds are actively managing heat and simply adjust to reject heat by increasing albedo and rejecting more SWR, while carrying water vapor closer to space where it can radiate out through a much thinner window…

          Thoughts?

        • Chewer says:

          Thanks Joe, excellent points and as we all know climatology is in an infant state.
          Another item for study is the opacity of the full EMF spectrum as seen from above the magnetosphere and also from the surface (what wavelengths make it in & out and to what amounts).
          The radicals/intermediates within the troposphere and the spheres above change just like all others factors that effect the climate locally and planet-wide. Cloud seeding types, durations and overall mixing of the organic, inorganic and magnetic particles within the spherical tides are also not understood, measured or realized.
          We have a long way to go before we can apply the right inputs to the models and actually understand what weighting to give them!

    • squid2112 says:

      Hockey, Chimps On Ice, Margarita’s, Snow Cones, Slushy’s, ummm, sorry, that’s about all I can come up with.

  7. Scarface says:

    With a lot of ice still 2+ meter thick, I think a lot of alarmism will just melt away quite suddenly.

    • Jorge says:

      Not likely. They’ll explain it away as not “official ice” because their models say so.

    • squid2112 says:

      Heh, I wish it were that easy. But alas, they are like maggots, they fester and just won’t go away, and as soon as someone invents another scare that they can grab on to, they will be back with that. Intellect and logic is not their forte’, they are merely followers, following each other around like lemmings. When they run out of one “crisis” to follow, they simply get in the back of the line for another “crisis” to follow. The so-called crisis’ always have the same solution. No matter the crisis, the solution is the same, which prove beyond doubt that they are scams with ulterior motives. There are basically two classes in these groups, the first being the charlatans, the second being the useful idiots. The charlatans are after money and power, the useful idiots are, well, just that, idiots.

  8. tckev says:

    The problem with Arctic ice melting is that it is nothing more than totemic to the AGW true believers. Nothing about Arctic ice melting can show scientifically that AGW is real.

    • T.O.O. says:

      tckev,
      Except for the tiny fact that it takes far far more energy to melt ice than it does to raise the now melted water 1C. If there is no ice to melt, substantially more energy will go into heating the ocean.

      • tckev says:

        And your point is?

        • tckev says:

          Just more shroud waving nonsense it see. Please supply a point for your blather.

        • tckev says:

          As it is known that the Arctic ice has previously melted and this happened before the CO2 level is said to be a major determining factor, therefore the natural process argument wins out as the determining factor causing the melting of the Arctic.
          When AGW is said to be the determining factor the big problem is then is it fails the test of falsifiability (or refutability). That is it can not be proved that the melting that occurs is a caused by, or made worse by, a separate process from the natural one.
          There is no verifiable measurable method of separating the natural cycles from the (assumed) AGW signal. There are only the GIGO climate models to provide evidence for AGW melting the ice.

          The AGW ate my Arctic argument makes little logical sense and no scientific sense. Only fools and scam artist insist that it amount to anything.

        • Billy Liar says:

          He’s pointless! 🙂

      • sunsettommy says:

        Surely you are aware that insolation is low in the High Arctic in mid summer?

      • chris y says:

        T.O.O.-
        I love your content-free hyperbole- “…far far more energy to melt ice…”

        Please provide your quantitative estimate.
        Then I can decide if you have any clue what you are talking about, or if you are, as Calvin Coolidge quipped, just another educated derelict.

      • Latitude says:

        90% of the ice is under water………….

  9. Latitude says:

    The “most important” months for Arctic ice are ….

    June and December

    The extremes are dominated by factors that have nothing to do with climate………

  10. tckev says:

    David vun Kannon says:
    “…And last but not least of these root causes, or forcings, is the composition of the atmosphere, which is changing under the influence of human activity.”
    Total undiluted bullsh*t
    You have no proof for “influence of human activity”, if that means CO2 increase. It is naught but a theory and only backed up by computer models of no real worth.

    The natural variation are at least measurable.

    • Actually, I mean a number of things, CO2, CH4, black carbon, aerosols, CFCs, etc I’m surprised you think there is no proof for CO2 increase, that is the basic Keeling curve.

      • tckev says:

        Please supply the source of measured proof for all you listed items effects on the Arctic ice.

      • tckev says:

        If the Keeling curve means anything then it is supposed to be the key to the AGW hangs on. Is that true?

      • squid2112 says:

        please show me your “proof” of how CO2, CH4, aerosols, and CFC’s affect Arctic ice.

        [There’s stupid, and then there’s stupid]

    • Chewer says:

      AGW has not and will not rise to the level of “Scientific Theory” and has remained as a working hypothesis for decades…

  11. @NJSnowFan says:

    Look at the sun spot cycle page here.
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/reference-pages/solar/

    You will see we just went through a long period of strong sun spot cycles since the 1930’s.

    Now we are headed towards a long? period of quiet sun spot cycles like a Dalton Minimum period. Lag time is almost over and world temps will start to fall.

    http://www.landscheidt.info

  12. @NJSnowFan says:

    Lag time is the time for the oceans to cool after such active solar cycles. Once the oceans cool like they are starting multi year sea ice starts to rebuild around the poles.

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