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« Green rump | Main | Weak sink sunk »

Death spiral stops

The Arctic death spiral seems to have been postponed for another year. Based on the Danish graphs below, it looks as if the summer minimum may have been reached, although it is not beyond the realm of possibility that we get another downtick.

I'm sure it was summer 2015 when the sea ice extent was meant to hit zero.

And looking at the anomaly record from Cryosphere Today, you could be forgiven for thinking that the pause in the Arctic death spiral has now extended to ten years.

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Reader Comments (40)

Remember all the panic and headlines in 2008 and the apocalyptic statements of the so-called 'ice experts'. i think we can now crow that we were right to be sceptical yet again! And the folk behind AR5 which could only find anything to really worry about in the Arctic now have nothing left except patently failed models.

Sep 11, 2015 at 11:04 AM | Unregistered CommenterJamesG

An ice free arctic has been predicted since at least 1954. Before I was born. Looks like good odds there will still be summer arctic ice after I'm gone.

Sep 11, 2015 at 11:06 AM | Unregistered CommenterTed

Great projentions, predictions, or whatever you want to call a forecast of doom. they were only 3.8 million km2 out.

Sep 11, 2015 at 11:08 AM | Unregistered CommenterNeilC

It would have been nice to have the anomaly in positive territory in time for the Paris conference.

Sep 11, 2015 at 11:36 AM | Unregistered CommenterBloke down the pub

The Arctic was just about the only thing alarmists could refer to where they notionally held the upper hand, yet now even that is not complying with alarmist doctrine. Antarctic sea ice has become an embarrassment, while sea level rise and storms / extreme weather failed to materialise as the crack climate experts predicted. Obviously don't anyone even think about mentioning surface warming.

After decades of runaway hysteria the cold hard reality is that in terms of observations supporting 'climate catastrophe', they have almost nothing.

Sep 11, 2015 at 11:36 AM | Unregistered Commentercheshirered

Not a problem , 'adjustments' will soon care of this and it is right back on track of being 'worse' than we thought .

Sep 11, 2015 at 11:47 AM | Unregistered Commenterknr

Don't be smug.

An ice free Arctic meant new shipping routes and cheaper opportunities for oil exploration.
Who didn't want an ice free Arctic?

This is bad news.

Sep 11, 2015 at 12:10 PM | Registered CommenterM Courtney

As I pointed out to someone on facebook the other day, oil companies have been drilling in the Arctic for years, as the excellent etertainment programme, "Ice-Road Truckers", demonstrates all too well! I believe oil/gas drilling has been going on since the late 1960s!

Sep 11, 2015 at 12:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan the Brit

OMG ! But the minimum was earlier this year !

That's clear proof that the seasons are shifting and sumer-is-a-cuming-in earlier each year !

Sep 11, 2015 at 1:03 PM | Unregistered Commenterottokring

When Emma Thomson proclaimed that she had been to the Arctic and had seen it melting, she did know it was Summer, I suppose..?

Sep 11, 2015 at 1:07 PM | Registered Commenterjamesp

The Arctic death spiral is barely halted if you look at the PIOMAS graphs of sea ice volume ("much more important" murmer the green brigade); but then again these seem to be based on running sea ice extent through a model. Back in the real world, the European Space Agency CryoSat measurements have shown a bigger rebound in total volume in the past 3 years or so.

Not holding my breath for the ice-free Arctic. Until they redefine "ice-free", that is.

Sep 11, 2015 at 1:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Davis

This video is a really good example of alarmist prediction of an ice free Arctic:

Around 0:37, Jeff Masters (Weather Underground) uses a graph labelled as "PIOMAS yearly minimum" to extrapolate down to zero around the summer of 2016. Masters pins his colours to: "probably 10 years from now, is my best estimate", and "[conservatively] .. maybe 2022 when we lose all the Arctic sea ice in summer".

The video then reviews some recent comments (including some chunder from the BBC) to arrive at a "it's much worse than we thought" position.

The video author "Thunderf00t", doesn't blames CO2 directly, but claims the problem is soot from forest fires and loosely links this to climate change. There is a veiled attack on climate realism with a visual reference to climategate.

And there is a late claim that this shows a tiny amount of soot in some ice is analogous to a tiny amount of CO2 in the atmosphere (titanic logical error).

There is then a Kindergarten experiment to demonstrate how this theory works. But it completely overlooks angle of incidence.

This video by Thunderf00t is a real shame. He is generally a good commenter on scientific issues and slaying pseudo scientific nonsense. But Thunderf00t gives a clear statement, at the start of the video, that he anticipates ZERO Arctic ice mass in future.

So much for his usual assertion that "extraordinary claims need extraordinary evidence". His evidence amounts to guess-by-extrapolation, and a clip from the BBC.

To my knowledge, this is his first and only venture into Eco Astrology. I hope he has learned his lesson, but the comments are open if anybody wants to tell Thunderf00t what a fool he has made of himself on this occasion.

Sep 11, 2015 at 1:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterJordan

I understand from NASA that after adjustments, the current Arctic ice extent is actually zero, which matches their prediction for 2015. (Pay no attention to the ice you are looking at.)

Sep 11, 2015 at 2:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterMikeW

What is their intellectual excuse?

el nino extending a hand from far out
We must have measured wrongly
Well the heat decided to take a turn downwards

I mean, there IS more CO2 in the air than ever before right??

Sep 11, 2015 at 2:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterVenusNotWarmerDueToCO2

'Eco Astrology'
That's evocative. Thanks Jordan, 1:46PM. Here's a first shot at a definition:

Pseudo-scientific method for divination based on the self-serving imaginings of highly-strung, emotionally-dominated busybodies intent on world domination.

Sep 11, 2015 at 2:25 PM | Registered CommenterJohn Shade

Just as evidence for the missing heat is hidden down in the deep oceans, so evidence for the missing arctic ice is hidden by a layer of solidified dihydrogen monoxide that's preventing measurement of the true decline... obvious if you think about it :-)

Sep 11, 2015 at 3:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterDave Salt

I don't believe it...................!

Sep 11, 2015 at 5:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterNCC 1701E

How strange. Since early this year NOAA had been predicting a steep notch, a sudden anomalous loss of about 2mil sq km in Arctic sea ice in to be reported in the month before COP21 followed by a complete rebound just after.

Someone must have gotten the schedule wrong.

Current site here:

Sep 11, 2015 at 6:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterBetapug

People who go to places covered in snow are prone to snowblindness, and can see nothing.

President Obama and his top experts have visited the Arctic Ice cap, and claim they saw nothing.

They all 'believe' in the Ice Hockey Stick, even though no one has produced any evidence to prove it exists in reality.

They are all positive that climate science is not a hallucination.

Maybe two US submarines could break through the Arctic sea ice, the crews could have a game of ice hockey, and US spy satellites could film it all, and beam it direct to worldwide TV networks.

Obviously if the US won't co-operate, the Russians could show the Americans how it is done. If filmed now, it would be great fun to watch the reality of climate change, during the made up stuff in Paris.

Sep 11, 2015 at 11:38 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Was 1979 really the start date of the satellite record or has it been cherry-picked?

Sep 12, 2015 at 12:35 AM | Unregistered CommenterFarleyR

Ice Station Zebra anyone?

Sep 12, 2015 at 8:50 AM | Unregistered CommenterIt doesn't add up...

Does anyone remember the idiot, I think he was called Pugh, who thought he could paddle a canoe to the North Pole?

Sep 12, 2015 at 9:44 AM | Unregistered CommenterPeter Stroud

In 36 years of satellite data there have been eight new minima. Their average spacing is 4.5 years.

It strikes me as naive to announce that there has been no new minimum for three years, therefore the downward trend has stopped.

Sep 12, 2015 at 12:36 PM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

Entropic Man, this year represents a new maximum over a short timescale. It strikes me as naive to assume that a series of minimums, will not be followed by a series of maximums, as part of anything that goes up a bit, and then down a bit over decades.

Sep 12, 2015 at 2:29 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Entropic Man, how many maximums should we endure before going into full panic mode about the next ice age starting? If 18+ years without any discernible warming remains too soon for you to call off the global warming panic, don't us mere mortals get a chance to say enough is enough?

Peak panic over loss of ice, like peak panic over global warming, seem to lag behind what the earth is telling us. Peak panic over peak oil seems to haved peaked out aswell.

What next? Peak peeking Peking Duck?

Sep 12, 2015 at 3:21 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Golf Charlie

Actually this year does not represent a new maximum. 2015 is coming in lower than 2013 or 2014.

Sep 12, 2015 at 3:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

Will NSIDC say that the minimum reinforces the downward trend, they usually seem to regardless of its value, even if it reduces the slope of the downward trend.

Sep 12, 2015 at 3:31 PM | Unregistered Commenterclimatebeagle


This is the NSIDC trend data up to August 2015. Judge for yourself.

Sep 12, 2015 at 3:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man


This is the NSIDC trend data up to August 2015. Judge for yourself.

Sep 12, 2015 at 3:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

Entropic Man, well that is great news that this is the third successive year with more ice than 2012.

The doom mongers must be getting very depressed that the ice refuses to disappear in accordance with the very expensive climate science expert's model predictions.

Sep 12, 2015 at 8:03 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Entropic Man, do you think this pattern of ice loss is going to be similar to the 1840's when the British Government and other investors thought the North West Passage was going to open up for sailing ships, only for the dreams of rich pickings to be frozen out with many deaths by 1855? It just seems like history is repeating itself, again.

Do you know what happened to all those cruises through the North West Passage that were being planned?

What was it about NSIDC data that fooled people into thinking it was worth trying the NWP in sailing yachts, canoes etc, a few years ago? If anybody has succeeded this year, they have kept it quiet.

I have done a bit of sailing, but only in water that remains liquid. I am never sure whether to view the Franklin Expedition as a great example of bravery and courage, or the dismal tragic failure of greed over common sense.

Sep 12, 2015 at 8:29 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Since Arctic ice is periodic and dynamic, a shrinking phase would be expected to post new minima.
If you bother to read the history reports from the pre-satellite era, what the ice has done during the satellite period is not surprising.
And it was obviously not dangerous, either: No extinctions, no unusual erosion, no drastic weather changes. Just bs from bloviating political hacks and cynical prophets of doom.

Sep 12, 2015 at 9:40 PM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

Hunter – there are two things wrong with your argument: 1 – you are saying that there are historical records that precede those of the satellites, yet ignore that these records were made from use of much non-scientific instruments, such as… erm… the human eye of such non-scientific persons as the common seaman, and 2 – the historical records cannot be trusted as they are, well… old.

Sep 12, 2015 at 10:04 PM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

Hunter & Radical Rodent

HMS Investigator 1848 Wikipedia

The wreck was found on the sea bed in 2010, exactly where it was abandoned on the surface, locked in ice.

Not all seafarers from bygone ages were as unreliable as modern climate scientists and their satellites, that can't see ice.

Local folklore spoke of 'retrieving' metal objects from the abandoned ship. So it may not have been on the seabed for 150 years, but it got to that location under sail.

Sep 12, 2015 at 10:54 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Golf Charlie: you laud these old seafarers over the modern climatologist, but what qualifications did they have? If any, have these qualifications been climatologificationised? Most likely not, will be your answer, I have no doubt. To take it further, have any of these seafarers published any peer-reviewed papers? Again, most probably not. And you are prepared to believe them?! You also state that they could see ice, but then mention, almost as an aside, that their ship was beset by ice. Ha! Obviously, they didn’t see that coming! The fate of that ship ties in well with the diagram we have been directed to, as, by extrapolating it backwards, sea ice in 1848 would have covered most of the northern hemisphere above the 50th parallel (as I have said, do not be misled by historical records, as they are just too …old to be believed, as well as written by such totally unqualified persons), so they must have been daft to think that they could sneak in along a few fortuitously-provided leads.

I don’t know; with such blatant facts being presented like this, I do not understand why you people cannot see the whole picture – we are dooooomed! (Most likely around half past two on a Friday afternoon in June, 2023. And no, you cannot have the data on which I have based that statement, as you will only want to prove me wrong.)

Sep 13, 2015 at 9:21 AM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

Radical Rodent, the seafarers and adventurers of ye olde times, simply marked their maps and charts "Ere be Dragons". This was a great ruse. It guaranteed free drinks in any number of bars, and by portraying the dragons as highly dangerous, fire breathing and ship swallowing, they could demand copious amounts of rum, as no better cure for bad breath was known. By scaring anyone else from travelling to these godforsaken parts of the unknown world, they could be fairly confident that no one else would verify that there were no dragons.

All cultures have stories about dragons. Dinosaur fossils are found in most parts of the world. Encounters with crocodiles probably helped the myths, and when Europeans first got to Komodo, and found big reptiles, they called them Dragons.

Satellites gave the ability to map the world properly, and GPS allowed Cruise Missiles to be targetted anywhere. Satellites were absolutely trustworthy. The satellite era changed everything. Satellites proved that sea ice was shrinking, and that the Fabled North West Passage did exist and was navigable.

Satellites gave scientists the ability to mark areas as "Ere be no ice", so intrepid explorers went off to explore intrepidly, and sailed straight into sea ice, that wasn't there.

There is either a communication problem between what the Satellites see, and what scientists communicate to their adoring public (including the US President) or sea dragons do exist, but they breathe ice, not fire.

We are all meant to be reassured by satellites and their ability to communicate, but clearly communication problems still exist in climate science, suggesting the problem lies with the fables told. Climate science is Absolutely Fabulous.

Sep 13, 2015 at 11:04 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

No problem getting through the Northwest passage this year.

Sep 13, 2015 at 11:26 AM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

Entropic man, when you're sinking, It's important to cling to little straws

Sep 13, 2015 at 12:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

Entropic Man, would that be the same satellite that can spot the extent of sea ice, but can't see non-liquid water with lumpy bits, known to local seafarers for centuries as solid ice? Perhaps the translation from Inuit dialects into Canadian French, into Canadian English, into American English gets a bit confused?

Could also be the same satellite depicting no ice at all, where polar bears had found invisible ice to rest on. Polar bears obviously have ice detection goggles, that work better than Nasa's. There again, top climate science experts can 'see' Ice Hockey Sticks, where conventional techniques of using eyesight reveal only wibbly wobbly lines.

Clearly computer aided artificially selected vision is one of the great technologies to come out of climate science. Satellite Optical Delusions, (SODs) are more scientific than traditional desert mirages, because the computers are programmed to say they really are really real.

CSI, Crime Scene Investigation, allows evidence to tell a story. CSI, Climate Science Illusions carefully selects distorted evidence to fit a story. However, the latter rarely stands up in court under cross examination.

Sep 13, 2015 at 1:06 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

The DMI does a 15% and a 30% sea ice extent but the original 30% is hard to find. One way is through Arctic Sea Ice blog graphs, click on the 155 and it enlarges, click on the "old 30% estimates" and a new graph page appears.
It shows a large upswing in the 30% ice from a few days in complete contradistinction to a fall in the 15% graph.

Not for the first time either. Cheers.

Sep 16, 2015 at 8:28 AM | Unregistered Commenterangech

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