Click images for more details



Recent comments
Recent posts
Currently discussing

A few sites I've stumbled across recently....

Powered by Squarespace
« Jolly green giants toppled | Main | Déjà vu - Josh 364 »

Sea ice holds firm

This morning's story appears to be the hoary old "Arctic sea ice in freefall" one.

The Arctic is in crisis. Year by year, it’s slipping into a new state, and it’s hard to see how that won’t have an effect on weather throughout the Northern Hemisphere,” said Ted Scambos, lead scientist at the Colorado-based NSIDC.

As usual on these occasions, I take a quick look at the Cryosphere Today anomaly page, where I find the sea ice apparently still stuck firmly in "pause" mode.

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

Reader Comments (278)

EM your links are hardly a reliable source of information are they?

Have you ever read anything about the Franklin Expedition? A bunch of arguably foolish and gullible, adventurers seeking to enrich themselves out of a reduction in sea ice extent (still unexplained) in the 1840s.

Similarities with the current crop of foolish and gullible freeloaders seeking to enrich themselves over an abated reduction in sea ice extent, remain invisible to the foolish and gullible.

Before making the same mistakes, and being remembered as fools, you would have thought some experts might try to work out what went wrong in the 1840s, rather than ignore the 1840s. Do the Danes have records going back to the 1840s? I apologise if I missed them.

Apr 2, 2016 at 6:48 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

My apologies. I was momentarily irritated by EM critically questioning my understanding of a geological phenomenon which he might have assumed I would have known something about.

EM correctly argues that whether the Greenland ice sheet gains or loses mass depends upon the relative rates at which the icesheet gains mass over its surface compared to losses around its edge. There is the matter of possible losses over the surface, and there have been reports of unprecedented amounts of meltwater on the surface which somehow penetrate into the Ice and flows along the icesheet base. Personally I think much of this is hype. Most of the year the surface is well below zero and there will be no melting, and when there is melting basic physics indicates any downward openings would close well before the base is reached, so trapping and refreezing the meltwater (ie no loss of mass). There could be loss of mass over the surface by evaporation of meltwater or by sublimation. I don't know the magnitude of such losses but I believe they are relatively small.

Because mass gains are related to surface area, and gains to ice margin length,it is clear if ice accumulation rates remain constant, that any significant change in mass would have to involve very significant increases in coastal ice edge retreat. Except for a relatively short length of coast such changes are not evident (and retreat in the anomalous area has been attributed to increased geothermal heat flow). The other mechanism that would result in loss of mass would involve faster ice flow rates from the interior to the coast. This explains the glee with which those arguing for changes in Greenland ice mass, to fuel fear of sea level rise, adopted the idea of meltwater reaching the base of the icesheet, lubricating it, and increasing seaward ice flow. As I have previously mentioned this mechanism has serious problems.

Apr 2, 2016 at 7:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Kendall

Alan Kendall, does UEA have a history department? I am just trying to work out whether climate science undergraduates are told never to go near history books, or whether it never occurs to them to ask about anything outside their own limited understanding?

It certainly never occurs to climate science experts as they lecture other people, that history has a history of similar events happening. Some people try to learn from history, and other's mistakes. Some people choose to be so unique, they keep making the same mistakes, and then complain that no one told them.

Apr 2, 2016 at 7:07 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Re: golf charlie Apr 2, 2016 at 5:25 PM

Strangely enough given the title of this thread, the graph I evidently am unable to reveal to you in a Bishop Hill comment is of Cryosphere Today Arctic sea ice area, and hence does not resemble a hockey stick. It instead reveals that the current "anomaly" is the largest it has ever been for the time of year. Since CT's records began at least.

Apparently the sea ice is not in actual fact "still stuck firmly in 'pause' mode".

Re: Entropic man Apr 2, 2016 at 5:57 PM

Thanks for the information in your 1st para. I see what you mean in your 2nd.

Apr 2, 2016 at 7:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterJim Hunt

Jim Hunt, good to know that you share EM's views on the usefulness of history.

You may be answering your own question about WUWT.

I know the Romans did not give Polar Bears the Latin name Ursa maritmus, 'maritime bear', or 'sea bear', depending on your latin (mine was a disaster) but someone thought it was appropriate.

You still provide no evidence for a panic about sea ice. It has done this before. You can shout about it here, or in your own exclusive echo chamber. With CO2 levels continuing to rise, why hasn't temperature risen, and the ice disappeared as predicted? As no one can answer that, we might just aswell ask tens of thousands of polar bears to formulate a consensus, as to why their waist lines are expanding. It could be they are just greedy.

As I did trust the AGW doom mongers once, with all the lavish propaganda, you have provided no reason for me to offer it a second chance. You just complain that no one takes you seriously any more.

Abusing the public, and their trust, and their finances? No thanks.

In the UK, the politicians are starting to realise that 97% of the population don't care about AGW. (actually I did make up the 97% consensus figure, as a tribute to climate science honesty)

Apr 2, 2016 at 9:43 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Jim Hunt, I did not see your post at 8:51, when I posted at 9:43. Apologies, I will now read your additional info.

Apr 2, 2016 at 9:53 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Jim Hunt, I followed your link and found a graph that shows something going up, with a sudden uptick in the last few years. I looked around the site and found

"New report finds human-caused climate change increased the severity of many extreme events in 2014"

which was a new one on me, then I looked for any historical information, with a balanced opinion, about sea ice in recorded history. There was none.

Then I looked at the info for education of students, and realised it was all doom and gloom, and no mention of recorded history, or variations in sea ice extent. This site is paid for by US Taxpayers to educate all ages about science beliefs and restricting information.

What am I supposed to conclude?

Apr 2, 2016 at 11:25 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

GC, the brain washing you refer to is apparently quite effective, if EM and Jim Hunt are representative of how the true believers approach thinking about this. They each claim the Arctic ice is in a crisis, therefore everything they obsess over is justified. Their shallow circular reasoning is seemingly immune to new information or perspective.

Apr 3, 2016 at 12:00 PM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

Re: golf charlie Apr 2, 2016 at 9:43 PM

Trying to hold a sensible conversation about data with no means of displaying said data is a mug's game, is it not?

With CO2 levels continuing to rise, why hasn't temperature risen, and the ice disappeared as predicted?

If you peruse the available data with unblinkered Mark 1 Eyeballs you will no doubt be able to see that in actual fact temperature is rising and Arctic sea ice is disappearing, as predicted?

Claim – Arctic Sea Ice Holds Firm?

You may be answering your own question about WUWT.

You will no doubt be interested to learn that I first fell out with Anthony Watts almost exactly two years ago:

Watts Up With the Maximum Trend?

In the UK, the politicians are starting to realise that 97% of the population don't care about AGW.

What's that got to do with eyeballing the available data?

Re: golf charlie Apr 2, 2016 at 11:25 PM

I looked around the site

I was directing your attention to that particular view of the temperature data, not the rest of "the site".

Apr 3, 2016 at 1:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterJim Hunt

Re hunter Apr 3, 2016 at 12:00 PM

Are you a mind reader? If not then why do you claim to know what I "obsess over"?

How's your own "brain washing" coming along?

Apr 3, 2016 at 1:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterJim Hunt

Jim Hunt, thank you for your considered reply.

As a sometime sailor, I am interested in seafaring and its history, however I have no qualification in history. In the 1670s as peace broke out again between the English and Dutch, 2 islands were swapped in a Peace deal. England returned the Spice Island of Rhun (the only known source of nutmeg) and got the Dutch colony, New Amsterdam in return. New Amsterdam was renamed New York, and the English had already started growing nutmeg in India. About a hundred years later, England 'acquired' Canada. The rest as they say, is history.

The rights and wrongs of colonial rule is a long subject in itself, which the USA resolved for itself, however England, with its selfish interests, had a big financial interest in finding a cheaper and quicker route into the Pacific from the North Atlantic.

Perhaps based on rumours, or folk stories, the possibility of a North West Passage, was the answer to many peoples dreams of weath, fame and fortune. The Franklin Expedition set off, with all confidence, knowing that there had been an unprecedented retreat in Arctic sea ice extent. They never came home. The ships then sent to rescue them, never came home either, but some survivors did.

In July 2010, due to unprecedented ice loss, a team set out to find HMS Investigator, (one of the rescue ships) and found her within 15 minutes, exactly where she was trapped and abandoned. How had she got there?

This may be just a load of boring and irrelevant history to you, but as an ice expert keen to lecture others, it just seems strange that you don't acknowedge the fact that before man made CO2 emissions could possibly had any remote chance of shrinking sea ice, it had all happened before.

Even stranger that a US Government funded agency and website fail to disclose this history in their Education links.

I can understand why some people might want to airbrush English/British Empire/Colonial Rule out of history books, but airbrushing historical data from the scientific record to suit a modern agenda, is not going to improve confidence in someone's honesty and integrity.

It is likely that whatever caused the ice to retreat in the 1830s/40s, may have caused the current retreat. As no attempt has been made to explain this historical retreat, it seems premature to jump to conclusions about the present.

What stories and folklore convinced Franklin there was a NWP? Had it opened before? Did the Vikings circumnavigate the North Pole? No one knows for sure.

All these unanswered questions, yet you believe Manmade CO2 is the only possible cause of the current ice extent.

Try googling 'Franklin Expedition' ' 'HMS Investigator (1848)'. It seems you may find out stuff you never knew, and US children and adults are not supposed to know either. Global warming experts don't like the inconvenient truths of history.

Apr 3, 2016 at 2:31 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

golf Charlie
Re: your 11.25pm posting last night, have you read about the disaster that is about to overtake the UK because of the coming heatwave? Apparently you're all going to die from inhaling sand from the Sahara OR (alternative version) small particles of nitrogen fertiliser or possibly even cow dung blown in from the farms of France.
According to the Sunday Times:

Parts of Britain face a major pollution alert this weekend as the arrival of an “agricultural smog” of toxic farm chemicals from Europe coincides with a spring heatwave.
The beaches and countryside of Kent and Sussex are predicted to experience pollution levels high enough to raise the risk of asthma episodes, heart attacks and strokes in vulnerable people as winds bring pollution from farms across north­ern and central Europe.
Such pollution surges, which can also coat cars and laundry in grime, have been blamed on “Saharan dust” storms. But scientists now say the dust comes from farms in France, Germany, the Benelux countries and Poland.
More doom and gloom. Apparently even the prospect of a few days of decent weather is too much for the powers-that-be to countenance. Forecasts for Burgundy suggest that we will be lucky to get temperatures even up to the level forecast for "the North"! A bit of a heatwave might give me a chance to get some work done in the vegetable garden.

Apr 3, 2016 at 8:33 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

Mike Jackson, coming from the Hampshire Downs, I can remember as a boy, the pink/orange dust that would appear sometimes after 'warm weather rain'. I never asked what warm weather rain was, or why it was dusty.

At school in about 1980, a geography teacher explained how warmer air, with rain and dust could come with a southerly wind all the way from the Sahara. I initially thought it was a stupid idea, and then I remembered warm weather rain.

Isn't it wonderful how this natural phenomenon is now evidence of global warming! Obviously if it comes from German and Polish agriculture, it won't be Saharan dust, but it is dreadful that a country with such a Green heritage as Germany could be generating and releasing such toxic clouds of bull.

Apr 3, 2016 at 9:43 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

More historical illiteracy and circular claptrap from Jim. If the fact and critical thinking resistance of the climate obsessed could be converted into thermal insulation, an amazingly efficient product could be created. Instead we are stuck with the miasma of the climate true believer.

Apr 3, 2016 at 10:12 PM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

hunter, it is deliberate avoidance of available evidence, rather than illiteracy. Jim's link to a US Government funded site claiming to provide educational information to schoolchildren and adults that fails to explain the NONunprecedented status of the current emergency panic, ought to be an embarrassment to anyone claiming to be a scientist.

Information about Britain's failures in NWP exploration, is available for free off the internet, yet ice experts still demand millions per year for new research, and ignore evidence that proves they are wasting money, trying to prove what is already shown to be false.

Sadly, this is not merely a US problem.

Apr 4, 2016 at 1:39 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

A proxy reconstruction going back 1450 years shows that sea level extent has fallen off the table in the last 50

Apr 4, 2016 at 3:34 AM | Unregistered CommenterEli Rabett

Re: golf charlie Apr 4, 2016 at 1:39 AM

A comment of mine containing a number of links to interesting information about the recent history of the Northwest Passage seems to have gone missing. Perhaps you wouldn't mind asking the moderator to dig it out of the "spam" bucket for me?

Apr 4, 2016 at 8:32 AM | Unregistered CommenterJim Hunt

Re: hunter Apr 3, 2016 at 10:12 PM

What "historical illiteracy and circular claptrap" would that be then?

If reading "circular claptrap" is a concern for you perhaps you wouldn't mind asking Andrew to take a look at the graphics referenced in my comment of Apr 3, 2016 at 1:14 PM. Then ask him to explain the reasoning behind his "stuck firmly in 'pause' mode" assertion in his OP.

Apr 4, 2016 at 8:44 AM | Unregistered CommenterJim Hunt

Jim Hunt, Thank you, I look forward to your further information, however I have no more access to this blog's Moderators, than you. I have never posted a link, so do not know whether there are any limits.

If your info is irretrievable, how was the historic data sourced? Was it from historical record?

Apr 4, 2016 at 10:50 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Re: golf charlie Apr 4, 2016 at 10:50 AM

Maybe the moderator reads comments in here from time to time?

Let's try this one at a time shall we? Thanks for your Google search suggestion, but I am already very familiar with the sorry tale of Franklin's ill fated expedition. By way of some more recent Northwest Passage history, were you previously aware that Charles Hedrich completed his own multi-year voyage through the NWP last summer?

His vessel was much smaller than Franklin's. "He is now, the first man to have rowed solo the North-West Passage."

Apr 4, 2016 at 11:45 AM | Unregistered CommenterJim Hunt

There is some truly interesting logic on display here: Mr Hunt berates Golf Charlie for looking deeper into the site that he referenced, the implication being, “Yes, I know that there is an obviously biased agenda with the site, however, this particular bit is totally true. Honest!”

Then another rather odd person interludes, presenting a paper referencing proxy data, yet utterly ignoring the existing records and reports that suggests these proxies may not be as reliable as is assumed.

As most people on this site accept that this sort of thing (diminishing of Arctic ice, retreat of glaciers) has happened in the quite recent past, without any devastating catastrophic effects, why are we supposed to be getting into high panic mode now that it is happening again? To repeat myself, yet again: I hope that the warming does continue as, if it does, it is likely to be as gentle as it has been, and, to date, the benefits far outweigh any negatives. Quite why there should be any change in that situation has never been made clear; we are just given scary-sounding numbers, and told to be afraid. MY greatest fear is that the warming will become cooling; a quick look at the accepted records show that cooling tends to be more rapid than warming, and history shows that the world does not prosper when it is cold.

Apr 4, 2016 at 11:53 AM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

Let me correct that for you, Mr Hunt: “… the first man acknowledged to have rowed solo…” That the Innuits have been paddling about those waters for many, many decades seems to be being ignored. Of course, there are many benefits that a small boat has in the ice that a large vessel cannot offer; that Charles Hedrich’s journey was a multi-year voyage should give some indication of that – when the ice sets in he just gets out and pulls his boat out of the water (failing that, the boat could be designed and be light enough for the ice simply to lift it, rather than crush it). That one brave person should succeed in such a foolhardy mission does not make it a certainty that it will be repeatable, or that it could ever be commercially viable.

Apr 4, 2016 at 12:07 PM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

Jim Hunt & Radical Rodent,

I was not aware of the recent paddling of the NWP, but Radical Rodent expresses my concern about the Unprecedented nature of the achievement.

Franklin might have done it, if he had had a map or chart of which way to go, and Satellite and GPS data to provide up to date info. The new team at TOP GEAR, might like to drive the NWP, and a budding entreprenneur could do 4x4 Cruises, so people could experience how bleak it was for Franklin, but with a reliable and warming diesel engine.

Some sailing yachts did make it a 4/5? years ago (but mainly under engine) There was a lot of publicity about what this achievement meant for the future. It has gone quiet now.

Canada was neatly positioned to take advantage of the new shipping route, that might have taken traffic from the Panama Canal. It has gone quiet now.

Oil companies were excited about the exploration of an ice free area. They have gone quiet now.

There are good and bad consequences, if the NWP becomes reliably navigable by shipping, as opposed to yachts etc. But I am not holding my breath, and those most likely to make a LOT of money from it, seem to have given up too.

It has all happened before, totally independent of manmade CO2.

Colin Archer, the not so well known Scottish-Norwegian Victorian boat designer, constructed the 'Fram' to be squeezed up and out of ice. His design principles are still used. Amundsen used the Fram, and there is the Fram Strait, in honour of the boat. Is there a Colin Archer strait or sound somewhere in his honour?

Apr 4, 2016 at 12:45 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Back to the cryosphere today data briefly, if I may.

There hasn't been a single day since 2012 that had more than its same day average for 1979-2015. Furthermore:

- the 1980s averaged 347 days per year above the same day average for 1979-2015
- the 1990s averaged 251 days per year above the same day average for 1979-2015
- the 2000s averaged 56 days per year above the same day average for 1979-2015
- 2010-2015 has so far averaged 2 days per year above the same day average for 1979-2015

How about comparing the last few years with a more recent averaging period - 1990-2009 - to better reflect more recent conditions?
- 2013 had 3 days above the same day average for 1990-2009
- 2014 had 0 days above the same day average for 1990-2009
- 2015 had 0 days above the same day average for 1990-2009
- 2016 so far has had 0 days above the same day average for 1990-2009

Finally, an even more recent averaging period - 2000-2009
- 2013 had 84 days above the same day average for 2000-2009
- 2014 had 27 days above the same day average for 2000-2009
- 2015 had 2 days above the same day average for 2000-2009
- 2016 so far has had 0 days above the same day average for 2000-2009.

The only way that you can think that Arctic sea ice levels are 'normal' in the last few years is if your baseline for normal is the last few years. And saying it's 'holding firm' is a bit like saying that Newcastle Utd are holding firm if they've drawn a match, ignoring the fact that they're in the relegation zone.

Apr 4, 2016 at 1:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterHautbois

Re: Hautbois Apr 4, 2016 at 1:20 PM

Quite so, and you certainly have my permission should permission be required.

There seems to be a strange reluctance within these hallowed halls to actually look at the data referenced in the OP, does there not?

Apr 4, 2016 at 1:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterJim Hunt

Re: golf charlie Apr 4, 2016 at 12:45 PM

If Hautbios doesn't object, a bit more recent Arctic history for you. If it weren't for the fact that such things aren't feasible here I would show you a picture I once took of Colin Archer's picture in the Fram Museum.

Were you previously aware that Tara, a much smaller vessel than the Fram, attempted to replicate the Fram's famous "drift" across the Arctic Ocean?

Trapped in the Ice: The Tara and The Fram

Apr 4, 2016 at 1:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterJim Hunt

The point that alarmists consistently fail to address is that similar howls about sudden drops from ice 'experts' in 2008 & 2013 based on similar overly-short datasets have been followed by rapid recoveries. They may well believe that pre-1979 there is evidence that ice did not fluctuate naturally to below this level but opposing evidence has been presented here that it did. When you can't hold your hands up and say 'yes we exaggerated twice before and we might be doing it again' then how can anyone say this is not just alarmism. There is no compelling reason to believe that the ice in the Arctic must be constant! A straightforward admission (rather than bluster) that the Antarctic is acting the opposite way than predicted by the AGW hypothesis would be nice too.

Apr 4, 2016 at 2:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterJamesG

Jim Hunt, good to know that you do know some of the history. I have downloaded your link. It would be nice if more historical information was included into State Funded Education in both the US and EU.

I am in in general agreement with JamesG @ 2:25, and his queries.

I would also reiterate that I do not proclaim myself as an ice expert, and have never set foot on sea ice. It is strange that those that have, don't seem enthusiastic about the similarities with past events, that can't be explained by CO2.

Hautbois makes the point that moving averages to suit your view, is relatively straightforward.

If the circus of Death Spiral experts have apologised for their errors, and/or deliberate scaremongering, I must have missed it. Whatever the world did then, in response to their wild claims, we need to keep doing. It seems to have worked.

Apr 4, 2016 at 2:50 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Another (probably futile) stat-attack from the CT sea ice area data

For each month of the year, I calculated the bottom decile value for daily ice extent, during the period 1979-2016.

e.g. for January 1979-2016 any day <11.86m km2 is in the bottom 10%;
for February 1979-2016 any day <12.76m km2 is in the bottom 10%,
and so on.

Then, for each year I then counted how many days were in the bottom 10% for their respective month over that 1979-2016 range.

The 1980s in its entirety had 10 days lying in the bottom 10% over the 1979-2016 range for their respective months

Calculated in the same way:
The 1990s had 43 days in the bottom 10% for their respective months
The 2000s had 627 days in the bottom 10% for their respective months
The 2010s have already had 704 days in the bottom 10% for their respective months

2013 alone had 58 days in the bottom 10% for their respective months, and that was supposedly a 'recovery' year.

The most was in 2011: 168 days in the bottom 10%

Apr 4, 2016 at 3:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterHautbois

Hautbois, what about all the data that proved in the late 60s early 70s, that we were heading for an ice age? Obviously that data was over exaggerated and conclusions now discredited but where is the data now?

Will current claims turn out to be exaggerated and conclusions discredited in 10-20 years time?

As you may have noted from previous comments, I am not going to get into a panic, about a consistent track reord of cyclical variation, that has been recorded in history for almost 200 years, with logic suggesting it has been going on a bit longer.

Apr 4, 2016 at 4:12 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

September ice minima in the Arctic are well below where they have been in the last 1450 years

Apr 4, 2016 at 4:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterEli Rabett

Climate science as we know it today did not exist in the 1960s and 1970s. The integrated enterprise embodied in the Nobel Prizewinning work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change existed then as separate threads of research pursued by isolated groups of scientists. Atmospheric chemists and modelers grappled with the measurement of changes in carbon dioxide and atmospheric gases, and the changes in climate that might result. Meanwhile, geologists and paleoclimate researchers tried to understand when Earth slipped into and out of ice ages, and why. An enduring popular myth suggests that in the 1970s the climate science community was predicting “global cooling” and an “imminent” ice age, an observation frequently used by those who would undermine what climate scientists say today about the prospect of global warming. A review of the literature suggests that, on the contrary, greenhouse warming even then dominated scientists' thinking as being one of the most important forces shaping Earth's climate on human time scales. More importantly than showing the falsehood of the myth, this review describes how scientists of the time built the foundation on which the cohesive enterprise of modern climate science now rests.

Apr 4, 2016 at 4:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterEli Rabett

Golf Charlie
The 1960s and 70s ice age concerns were principally generated in the media; analysis of scientific articles of the time shows that there was no consensus about imminent problematic cooling among publishing researchers

As for Arctic sea ice, where is the data showing a cycle over the last few decades or centuries - do you have any - as in actual data? That Franklin et al sallied forth is not sufficient evidence that the ice at the time was in a similar state as it is today.

Apr 4, 2016 at 5:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterHautbois

Oh my god. It's like some sort of awful zombie movie. They just keep coming. There are so many of them. You destroy them, and they just just stand up again, jaw hanging loose, brains all over the floor. How do you stop them? Does Putin have a switch for them? The uber-left green non-genders. Maybe we should just ask them what the f*** they want. Because, I don't think I understand it yet.

Apr 4, 2016 at 5:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames Evans

(Curse you, stupid Rodent! Never, never, never click on that clown’s links; they always go straight to his own site, thus upping his click-rate. There again, how else can he get respectable visitor figures?)


Tell me, Hautbois, where has anyone disputed that there has been a recent rise in temperatures? With a rise in temperatures, there usually comes a reduction in ice; why are we supposed to be afraid of that? It has happened several times in recent recorded history; what is so alarming about what seems a quite natural cycle, now? As for your claim that “scientists” were not predicting an ice-age, Mr Schneider tried that on a TV documentary a few years ago, for the TV presenter to pull out Schneider’s own book, and show him the paragraph where he made that claim. Lesson learned: if you want to make predictions that you might want to back out of, do not put them down in writing.

Don’t blame Mr Putin, Mr Evans; he seems to be one of the few who is not fully taken in with this farce.

Apr 4, 2016 at 6:09 PM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

Arctic sea ice reductions "in recent recorded history" ... any of the scale and prolonged nature of the last 15 years? If so, when? And evidence?

Apr 4, 2016 at 6:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterHautbois

Re: Hautbois Apr 4, 2016 at 5:13 PM

The fact that Tara's trans Arctic drift took much less time than the Fram's suggests that the ice at the time was NOT in a similar state as it is today.

Re: James Evans Apr 4, 2016 at 5:32 PM

Have you tried looking at the data instead of zombie movies?

Apr 4, 2016 at 6:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterJim Hunt

The historical reports of similar sea ice downturns is compelling for reasonable people- it indicates strongly that we are not in a crisis.
The total focus on the alleged Arctic sea ice "crisis" raises the question: So what?
What climate outcomes of any significance whatsoever are caused by this allegedly unprecedented reduction in sea ice?
Are polar bears endangered by it? Nope.
Is the allegedly unprecedented reduction (which it is not, according to paleo records) triggering dangerous weather outcomes anywhere?
The climate obsessed are presenting us a distinction of no importance and using that to claim that their entire agenda of radical unworkable policies are justified by it.
Despite the utter failure of climate consensus prediction in the Antarctic, despite the total failure of predictions of disappearing Tibetan glaciers. Despite the utter failure in SLR and ocean pH alarmist predictions. Despite the now acknowledged "pause". Despite the failure of storms, floods, droughts or heat waves to make any significant change.
But since Arctic sea ice is down, we must accept useless windmills, unworkable solar, and much higher utility bills.

Apr 4, 2016 at 6:40 PM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

Radical Rodent, amazing isn't it that Eli has linked to this thread and Jim Hunt aswell.

Invasion of the phantom ice snatchers is about to start!

It seems Franklin and his expedition really did die in vain, because a bunch of modern money grubbers, won't learn anything from history. Perhaps the diaries and records that survived from that time were not in a format suitable for computer adjustment.

I seem to remember that one of Eli's preferred ice experts has a problem archiving his own material.

Two of the modern controversies about Franklin include, did they eat each other, and did they go mad due to lead poisonjng from 'solder' used in tin can manufacture. Clearly a lot for a modern journalist to get their teeth into, before they examine how far they actually got, and why they thought they could get through the NWP.

This thread has generated a bit of a panic in AGW dependent life forms!

Apr 4, 2016 at 6:50 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

(Curse you, stupid Rodent! Never, never, never click on that clown’s links; they always go straight to his own site, ..)

What really stupifies the accursed rodent is that the site in question delivers the goods-

You guys asked for the <I> long vu of Arctic ice history, and eli has delivered it- unpaywalled access to a quite magisterial review article expositing exactly that :

Reconstructed changes in Arctic sea ice over thepast 1,450 years by Christophe Kinnard, Christian M. Zdanowicz, David A. Fisher, Elisabeth Isaksson, Anne de Vernal and Lonnie G. Thompson, Nature 479 (2011) 510.

As Eli notes" It's open source so anybunny and their favorite hares can read it."

Apr 4, 2016 at 8:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterRussell

Hautboit: let me offer an interesting cutting from “Monthly Weather Review”; The Changing Arctic, by George Nicholas Ifft. Here is a selection from it (the bracketed sections are where I have altered the wording to keep the flow and maintain some grammatical sense):

The Arctic seems to be warming up. Reports … all point to a radical change in climatic conditions, and hitherto unheard-of high temperatures in that part of the earth’s surface.

The Norwegian Department of Commerce sent and expedition to Spitzbergen and Bear Island … to survey and chart … take soundings … and make other oceanographic investigations.

Ice conditions were exceptional. In fact so little ice has never before been noted. The expedition … [sailed] … as far north as 81°29’ in ice-free water. This is the farthest north ever reached with modern oceanographic apparatus.

[A section of the Gulf Stream was made at 81 north, and sounding to 3,100 metres were taken.] These show the Gulf Stream very warm, and it could be traced as a surface current till beyond the 81st parallel. The warmth of the waters makes it probable that the favourable ice conditions will continue for some time.

Capt. M–– I–––– has sailed the eastern Arctic for 54 years. He says he first noted the warmer conditions [four years previously] … and that today the Arctic of that region is not as recognizable as the same region of [50 years previous to then].

Many old landmarks are so changed as to be unrecognizable. Where formerly great masses of ice were found, there are now often moraines… At many points where glaciers formerly extended out into the sea they have entirely disappeared.

Why has this not made the news? Why has there been no reporting of this incredible adventure, taking a surface vessel so far north? Surely this is yet more proof of the looming catastrophe? Ah, but this is like the surfacing of USS Skate at the North Pole in the winter of 1959 – it is old news; November, 1922, to be precise. It would be interesting to find out how far north surface vessels have been able to get in ice-free water in the present day.

(Apologies to those who might have noticed that I am repeating myself.)

Apr 4, 2016 at 8:36 PM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

Russell: as you might have noticed, had you actually read other people’s comments, is that the proxy study covers a period for which there are records and reports, many of which suggest that assumptions made about the proxies might not really be quite as reliable as you, and many others, seem to hope. If that can be seen over a period we do know about, why should the same degree of unreliability not be extrapolated over the full period?

Apr 4, 2016 at 8:48 PM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent


So, in summer 1922 a Norwegian expedition managed to get a little bit north of Svalbard. That tells us something about the area around Svalbard at least.

However, there's an interesting resource from the time - the survey maps of the whole Arctic basin produced at the time by the Danish Meteorological Institute. Here's August 1922

That map shows a lot more ice coverage then, than in August in the last 10 years - see for comparison:

Apr 4, 2016 at 9:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterHautbois

vvussell, thank you for copying Eli's link, the name Lonnie Thompson crops up a bit at Climate Audit. Is this valid criticism, or was it, and he has now changed his attitude on archiving records?

It just seems really amazing that he can be involved in creating a climate record going back 1,450 years.

Apr 4, 2016 at 9:55 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Apologies to Lonnie Thompson, some of the blame lies with Ellen Mosley-Thompson

"Lonnie and Ellen, A Serial Non-Archiving Couple" "Climate Audit"

There are then interesting links to Ellen and how she proved very "helpful" around some other notable AGW expert's speed of publishing. Fascinating stuff.

Is Eli's link, a load of "snowballs"?

Apr 4, 2016 at 10:24 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Thank you, Hautbois, a fascinating map. I do notice that the ice extent seems to be well to the north of the average limit of ice 1898 – 1913. Is this the annual average, or the seasonal average? That is not clear on the map. Unfortunately, there is an awfully large extent of “St of ice unkn”, but they did not have satellites in those days… did they? No; they would have depended on reports similar to the one I have quoted from and you have summarily dismissed. Oh, to be so open-minded! It must make life so much easier, not having to question things too often. Obviously, it is unlikely that they had data from the Okhotsk Sea, but it does look as though they have data from the North of the Bering Strait.

Apr 4, 2016 at 10:42 PM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

Some more reports for you, Hautbois:

Our generation is living in a period when remarkable changes are taking place. Certainly these widely distributed phenomena cannot be due to the action of the Gulf Stream, which however naturally, receives its share of the greater general warmth.
Written by Professor L. Berg of the Soviet Academy of Sciences in the 1930s. During those years Soviet ice-breakers were in Arctic waters never reached by other vessels. The Soviet ship Sadko sailed in ice-free waters to within 500 miles of the North Pole in 1935.

The evidence of a warmer Arctic in the 1930s is abundant. Changes in the climate at Spitsbergen, Norway in the waters far to the north are a good indicator of the magnitude of the warming in the Arctic.

“The effect (warming) was indeed remarkable. The salty Atlantic water penetrated farther into the Arctic to such a degree that, for example, the average length of the coal shipping season at Spitsbergen almost doubled in length, from 95 days from 1909-1912 to 175 days from 1930 to 1938”...Manley (1941).
Another author wrote this, “The warming got a phenomenal increase in the 1930s of 9 degrees (Celsius). The culmination of this development is not yet foreseen. The winter of 1936/37 (at Spitsbergen) was warmer than all previous records, and the winter of 1937/38 broke this (those) records as well and was, in average 16 (Celsius!) degrees warmer than the winter of 1916/17. There can be no doubt that the temperature increase in the Arctic represents the largest climatic change since regular meteorological records are recorded”...Scherhag, February 1939. Now doesn’t that sound familiar!

Similar events have occurred in recent history, so the term “unprecedented” is not quite as accurate as many seem to hope. What is true is that claims were made at the turn of the century that the Arctic would be ice-free by now. It is quite obviously not ice-free, and those, and their apologists, are now saying that that was not what they were saying… Except, as records show, they were.

The odd thing is, Hautbois, that I am not trying to claim that there has been no warming since the end of the Little Ice Age, nor that there has been a reduction in Arctic sea-ice during the observations by satellites; there has been, but… so what? What caused it? We really have no idea. What can be done about it? Again, as we really have no idea what is causing it, we can have no idea what can be done about it other than what we have had to do for the 5 million years or so of human development – adapt. Or die. I know my choice; what is yours?

Apr 4, 2016 at 11:01 PM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

If the Bishop fact checked golf charlie's pontification as rigorously as a Nature paper, this would be a short thread indeed.

Cue further <s>gargling noises</s> words of wisdom.

Apr 5, 2016 at 12:01 AM | Unregistered CommenterRussell

If the Bishop fact checked golf charlie's pontification as rigorously as a Nature paper, this would be a short thread indeed.

Cue further gargling noises words of wisdom.

Apr 5, 2016 at 12:04 AM | Unregistered CommenterRussell

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>