Arctic Ice Extent Highest In A Decade


COI | Centre for Ocean and Ice | Danmarks Meteorologiske Institut

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13 Responses to Arctic Ice Extent Highest In A Decade

  1. Caleb says:

    It does look like we are moving back towards the ice extents of earlier times, despite the warm AMO. What is interesting is that the graph is nudging back towards higher extents despite the fact this year’s storm track is north of Norway, and several times the “baby ice” forming in Barents Sea has been smashed up, piled up, and flushed east north of Svalbard and then south through Fram Strait. Therefore the ice in Barents Sea is well below “normal,” and you have to look elsewhere for the reasons for the increase.

    My personal view is that an ice-free Barents Sea is part of what ends the warm phase of the AMO. That is where much of the slightly warmer water enters the Arctic Sea, and when that area is ice-free the water is cooled more, and to a greater depth, than when it is protected by sea ice. As a result the water entering the Arctic Sea is colder at all levels, and summer gales cannot “stir up warmer water from below,” and the summer melt is reduced. If I am right, then the longer Barents Sea remains open, the less ice will melt next summer.

    As an aside, I’ve been following the course of the berg the “North Pole Camera” was on, even though the camera was rescued by an icebreaker at the end of September. Some of the array was left behind, including two GPS reporters, (I think one was by Camera One, and one 900 feet away on a buoy by Camera Two.) Apparently the berg split in two, for the two GPS’s give read-outs between 30 and 50 miles apart:

    One of the best ways to see through the balderdash printed by certain members of the media is to simply take advantage of all the information generated by buoys up there, and to use you own eyes and mind, and see things for yourself.

    • Billy Liar says:

      Balderdash also emanates from organizations which proclaim they are ‘world-leading’:

      The UKMO couldn’t hit the target despite their Texas sharpshooters’ choice of error bars. They missed the barn door!

      • Caleb says:

        The funny thing is that I am the “Shaw” who was the one “authority” who estimated too high, in that chart. I thought I was merely casting my vote in a WUWT poll, but must have clicked the wrong button, for suddenly I had to fill out a long form. “Sheesh!” I said to myself, “They sure are asking some complicated questions for a mere poll!”

        Though my guess of 6 million km2 was .9 million km2 too high, I still was closer than over half the experts, including some I respect, such as the Canadian Ice Service.

        Every dog has its day.

    • X says:

      “My personal view is that an ice-free Barents Sea is part of what ends the warm phase of the AMO. That is where much of the slightly warmer water enters the Arctic Sea, and when that area is ice-free the water is cooled more, and to a greater depth, than when it is protected by sea ice.”
      The people of this paper,
      (copy here,
      file: “”)
      give similar reasons for an anomalous, abrupt onset of a cold period of ~ 100 years, due to strong cooling of the eastern Arctic region, using a model code.
      But they also say that
      “… The cold event .. crucially depended on the switching on of a strong coupling between SIC [sea-ice-concentration] and SLP [sea level pressure] anomalies … [and] … required the ability of sea ice to quickly grow and expand the sea-ice margin. The presence of a strong, southward flowing current (East Greenland Current), and a source of sea ice upstream of the current were crucial… ”
      and because their model doesn’t have this source of ice they “speculate” that no such cold event could happen in our “present-day and future warmer climates”.

      If your view is correct the rebuilt of the Arctic ice and onset of a cold period, with the shift of AMO to negative phase, would occur without enhanced pressure blocking in the NP and the consequent strong coupling of SIC and SLP would not need a “source of ice upstream”.
      It could happen with favorable conditions of air circulation and non strong oscillations of solar forcing (due to flares), which have occurred during the entire XX century.

      Our present “scientific” view of the Arctic ice extent is deeply biased by the strong solar radiations of last century, which is the period when all our models of ocean decadal oscillations were created.
      In this case, an improved estimate would come from the idea of cyclic nature of the radiations, and Earth’s climate, and comparative analyzes with the known climates of the past.

      We don’t know, scientifically, what will happen when/if the radiations go down for a long period.
      The understanding of the Arctic ice is crucial to understand the climate and it’s clear in my mind that the Arctic climate is very sensible to solar forcing.
      In your comment you’re proposing a mechanism by which this forcing could alter the AMO.

      • Caleb says:

        Thanks for the interesting link.

        Even though the people writing that paper were playing with models, (and we tend to roll our eyes as soon as we hear the word “model,”) they do propose some interesting ideas.

        I have noticed there are great temperature contrasts at the 2 meter level, at the edge of the sea ice. It can be the difference between minus-five and minus-thirty. I have also noticed storms seem to like to run along the edge of the ice, perhaps feeding off that contrast. Therefore it would make sense to propose that the ice controlled the pattern. The only problem is that it is a chicken-or-the-egg situation, and you can also propose the pattern controls the ice.

        The ice discharged south through Fram Strait can vary greatly, depending on whether the jet stream is zonal or “meridianal,” and Dr. Tim Ball made the suggestion that volcanic eruptions can cause meridianal discharges. There was a huge discharge after Tamboro erupted in 1815, resulting in icebergs grounding on the coast of Ireland (I think in 1817.)

        If such an event occurred now you can bet there would be a hue and cry about the decrease in ice up at the Pole, however that huge discharge apparently so cooled the North Atlantic that it contributed to the “year without a summer,” and the sea-ice grew back with great speed.

        We’d be far better off studying the cycles and the dynamics involved, and spending far less time over-focused on CO2

        • F. Guimaraes says:

          Thanks Caleb, I’m always learning a lot with your comments.
          I agree that the paper is very interesting and I’d add to what you said, that the idea of “strong coupling” between SIC and SLP seems to be original of their group and this particular study, and it makes perfect sense in my mind that such coupling would develop under the right circumstances.
          It’s interesting because they seem to have good tools to work with, but also their minds/thoughts are essentially “perturbed” by the AGW/CO2 dogma and they’re not able to see beyond those limits.
          The study of the cycles necessarily contains the truth as they reveal the known behavior of the entire system in the past, while the models are necessarily incomplete as they express only the present level of knowledge that we’ve been able to put in a coherent logical structure. Besides, we’ve been studying these things scientifically for not a very long time.
          Both approaches should complement each other, and if Mother Nature says, “there is no warming” or “there is no/almost none relation with CO2”, the studies should follow a different direction.

        • F. Guimaraes says:

          On a side note, just looking at the DMI graph, we cannot expect the ice to continue to grow at its present speed, but *if it did* we’d have a well above average ice extent at New Year’s Eve.

    • Phil Jones says:

      I don’t deny how what you outlined is part of a normal cycle for the Arctic, Arctic Ice… But to initiate a Global Trend we need a hella lot more than a few million sq mi of open sea for an extra month or so… We’ve got to be talking about more or less energy around the surface of the Earth for that…

      Energy from the Sun, Greenhouse Gasses, 4,000,000 Hiroshima Bombs per second, or do I see the Death Star entering an Earth Orbit now??… Oh sh**….

      • Caleb says:

        I’m not thinking so much in terms of initiating anything new as in terms of boring old cycle, sort of like a pendulum swaying to and fro. Just as acceleration-due-to-gravity stops the pendulum from going one way and starts it going the other, you just need to think up a couple of negative feedbacks to have the arctic going from less-ice to more-ice and back.

        Of course, I’m just tossing ideas around to see whether they fly or are lead balloons. However I hadn’t considered the Death Star……yet…….

  2. David in Texas says:

    There are 10 years in decade. Just say.

    • It will be 2014 in a few weeks. Check your calendar.

      • David in Texas says:

        With all due respect and with great humility, when January, 2014 arrives, that will make 10 Januarys starting from the beginning of 2005, but only 9 years – just as January, 2005 through January, 2006 makes two Januarys, but only one year.

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