Is Arctic sea ice shrinking or expanding?

The decline of Arctic sea ice is often pointed to as one of the most visible indicators of a warming world but earlier this week the Mail on Sunday published an article claiming the ice is in recovery. This was followed by similar stories in The Express and The Telegraph.

However, yesterday there were stories on BBC online and CBS News, among others, saying satellite evidence confirms the ongoing story of long-term decline. So what’s really going on?

Year to year variability

Arctic summer sea ice extent has a lot of year to year variability because it can be heavily influenced by weather patterns:

– temperatures naturally vary from one year to the next;
– the amount of cloud can affect the amount of surface melting;
– summer storms can also break up ice, which can accelerate the melting process;
– settled conditions can be more conducive to ice forming;
– winds may act to spread out the ice or push it together.

Due to this high degree of variability, it’s important to look past short term fluctuations in sea ice extent and look at the longer records.

Also sea ice extent is only one part of the story; it’s the volume of sea ice that we should also be considering that depends on ice thickness as well as extent.

The longer-term view

Satellites provide the most comprehensive measurements of sea ice extent, and have provided data since 1979. They show a long-term trend of decline in sea ice extent, at an annual rate of more than 4% per decade.

The seasonal minimum (September) ice extent has declined at the faster rate of 11% per decade, and this rate of decline has accelerated in the past 15 years.

More importantly the volume of sea ice has declined substantially since 1979, as the ice has thinned. This has made the ice much more vulnerable to stormy weather, as was the case in 2012.

How does this fit the news stories?

The Mail on Sunday article points to a big recovery in Arctic sea ice compared to last year, but this needs to be viewed in context.

Last year’s minimum sea ice extent was 3.41 million square kilometres according to the US National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), 0.76 million square kilometres lower than the previous record set in 2007.

Extent has not yet reached its minimum for 2013, so it’s too early to make any definitive judgements. However, using NSIDC data to August this year we know that while the ice cover was greater than at the same time last year, it was still ranked as the sixth lowest August extent in the 34-year record.

Ann Keen, Sea Ice Scientist at the Met Office, said: “In 2012 we saw a record low which was likely to have been influenced by a storm which swept through the region in summer, but this year’s weather conditions appear to have been less conducive to ice loss.

“We know sea ice extent is going to vary from year to year due to weather conditions and that’s not at all inconsistent with the overall decline in extent. You wouldn’t expect to see records broken year after year, so this ‘recovery’ is not unexpected.

“In fact, model simulations of sea ice suggest that a as the ice gets thinner you actually get more year to year variability in extent because larger areas of the ice are more vulnerable to melting away completely over the summer.”

The stories published yesterday use new data from a satellite named CryoSat which looks at sea ice volume, which gives a better view of the relative ‘health’ of the sea ice.

Data from this satellite shows that the ice continues to thin and the volume of sea ice continues to shrink.

So all the evidence suggests the long-term decline of Arctic sea ice continues.

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97 Responses to Is Arctic sea ice shrinking or expanding?

  1. talies says:

    Thanks for setting the record straght…again.

    • nuwurld says:

      According to Vostok ice core records this is number 343 of similar Natural Warming Events. What particular “record” is being set “straight” by the Met “assuming” that this NWE is not over?

      • Martin Lack says:

        According to Vostok ice records, this is not number 343 of similar natural warming events. Such ice cores provide data
        regarding atmospheric CO2 concentration and temperature. Examination of both data sets provides
        unequivocal evidence that prior to the Industrial Revolution CO2 had oscillated between 180 and 280 ppm. Furthermore, since temperature and
        CO2 are inextricably linked in the palaeoclimatic record (i.e. natural changes in temperature caused changes in atmospheric CO2) we can be
        certain that an unnatural increase in atmospheric CO2 will cause an unnatural increase in temperature (i.e.
        because this is the only way to restore the radiative energy imbalance caused by a warmer planet). Here endeth the lesson.

      • nuwurld says:

        Martin, we also have recent, accurate data of the variability of CO2 over the past 200 years by chemical analysis. Accurate to 3%. Ice core data smears and reduces CO2 content. In short it underestimates.

        To quote you,

        (i.e. natural changes in temperature caused changes in atmospheric CO2)

        So that link in that perspective we both understand. Warming causes CO2 levels to rise. We both agree.

        From that, YOU INFERE, that CO2 therefore causes a rise in temperature!!!!!!

        Voltage causes a current. So the current produces a voltage. Beans may cause wind. So wind causes beans! According to “Martin’s law”!

        Why do you “assume” positive feedback?

        In reality, a warming world largely produces more atmospheric CO2 due to Henry’s law. For a fixed surface pressure the partial pressure of dissolved gases rises with temperature. A warmer ocean will evolve dissolved CO2 into the atmosphere. If this did indeed lead to warming through the “proposed”, “radiative greenhouse effect”, then this would evolve more CO2 and our largely stable world would at the first perturbation run away. Which we know does not happen.

        Let’s just look at that last paragraph and analyse it.
        You say, and I’m shortening the text, to clarify,

        “An increase in CO2 will cause an increase in temperature because this is the only way to restore the radiative imbalance caused by a warmer planet”

        Now that’s a circular argument if ever I heard one!

        Martin, in physical terms radiative gases are working fluids. They ensure the only thermal physical requisite for the Earth. That is that at equilibrium the Earth will radiate to space in long wave radiation, the equivalent of the short wave thermalised.

        Water and CO2 can radiate to space much more readily than metastable diatomics like nitrogen and oxygen. Why do you “assume” that increasing the atmospheres ability to lose energy to space would warm the surface?

        In reality the atmosphere approximates very closely to thermodynamic equilibrium. The atmosphere is not in radiative balance, being swamped by moist convection as the governing vertical heat transfer mechanism.

  2. PIOMAS shows a 46% increase in sea ice volume over the end of August last year. DMI shows a 60% increase in extent over last year.

    It should be noted that The Met Office made the most inaccurate sea ice forecast this year of all groups participating.

    • Martin Lack says:

      Anyone remotely convinced by Steven Goddard should take a look at the animated graph produced by Dana Nuccitelli on the Skeptical Science website. If your feeling really adventurous, you could even read the article in which it is embedded.

      • charliexyz says:

        Are you saying that Stevengoddard is incorrect? His statements are supported by the link that he supplied.

        Your link is interesting, but does not contradict his statements.

        Do you not agree that the UK Met office Arctic September Sea Ice extent forecast of June 2013, 3.4 million sq km is the most inaccurate? See

        For some odd reason, this Met Office post failed to mention that.

      • Martin Lack says:

        Steven Goddard’s statistics are correct but, critically, they are also irrelevant. The Skeptical Science article explains why they are irrelevant. Therefore, with the greatest of respect, if you concluded otherwise, you did not read it carefully enough.

        In the meantime, you seem to be in danger of appearing to believe that the Met Office is lying to you about the reality, scale and urgency of the need for humans to take climate change seriously…?

    • nuwurld says:

      Steve, the Met’s biased response in light of what you have shown is “all the evidence suggests” otherwise. Obviously Steve a 60% increase in any measurent is outside of their ‘blinkered’ perspective.

      • Martin Lack says:

        A 60% recovery in one month at the end of a 34-year long accelerating decline is irrelevant. It is like sliding down a helter-skelter and then standing up. Your head is still at a much lower elevation than it was before you started.

      • nuwurld says:

        Martin, your “helter-skelter” wouldn’t work matey if gravity driven.

        Firstly, if the world had warmed naturally like it can, this being the 343rd of natural warming events, how would you expect this to affect sea ice? The Northwest Passage has opened before. It’s not open this year.

        Secondly summer arctic sea ice cover this year is around 78% of the ’79 to 2000 average. Last winter the coverage was 97% of the ’79 to 2000 average.

        Think your exaggeration is unnecessarily extravagant given that we know the Northwest Passage has opened and closed through time.

        Zubov’s 1930’s account of sparse ice and changing ecosystem and the return of ice 1950 to late 1970’s is conveniently overlooked by people with an agenda.

    • nuwurld says:

      Martin. Please indicate any global parameter that shows warming. Global sea ice cover is average, sea level rise in decline, AMO, PDO set for decades negative. Jet streams, both hemispheres turning equatorial. No measurable increase in global temperature for 16+ years. The only increase is the difference between warmists argument and reality.

      • Martin Lack says:

        Please explain 20th Century warming without reference to anthropogenic CO2. After 1 million years of 180 to 280 ppm, we are not just coming out of the LIA. Stop repeating debunked arguments and start rebutting scientific facts.

      • nuwurld says:

        0.8 of 1degC in 130 years! With Vostok showing another 342 similar natural warming events of around 0.75deg per century.

        I’ve got little to explain Martin.

        A 0.1% variation in the solar flux sustained for 1 year is the equivalent of 940,000 mega tonnes of TNT variation in real energy across the disc the earth cuts out of the solar irradiance. The spectral variation is larger given some parts are absorbed and others are reflected and bands are variable between active and quiet sun. Atmospheric solar inflation affects fundamental wind patterns through momentum conservation. Meridonal heat transport poleward affects polar temperatures. Our
        crude practice of taking an arithmetic mean of temperature without paying sufficient heed to instantaneous flux and the physical requisite for integration denies us the ability to arrive at a correct effective radiative temperature.

        Now the solar influence is negative to the tune of a decrease in supportive flux of hundreds of thousands of equivalent tonnes of TNT per year. As the solar decline continues beyond 2014 the full effect of solar reduction will become apparent.

        The “buffer” of thermal inertia is dwindling away.

  3. It isn’t that simple. Satellites started tracking at the peak of Arctic sea ice extent when scientists were warning the world of a coming ice age in the mid and late 1970s. It’s like looking at a temperature trend from January to August and then suggesting that trend will continue to be linear.

    Prior to 1979 there are various accounts of the Arctic having very low levels of sea ice. The reconstruction presented by satellites does not include these past lows so the current satellite trend really is not a complete picture.

  4. ilma630 says:

    Google for US nuclear submarines surfacing at the North Pole and you will see photographic evidence that it was nearly ice-free BEFORE the 1970s when satellite monitoring began.

    Also, in the longer term, a climate data-point is considered to be a 30-year aggregation, so what the MO are reporting on is ONE data point. No one in the world can create a trend from one data point.

    • nuwurld says:

      Also, Russian nuclear ice breakers have “ploughed” their way to the “pole” as surface ships. Dozens of ice breakers every Arctic summer carve up thousands of miles of the Arctic sea ice. Fragmenting and allowing currents to disperse the fragments. Ice breakers are regularly within 5deg of the pole systematically fragmenting and weakening the multi year ice. Commerce doesn’t want an Arctic “blocked” by hampering ice.

  5. “In fact, model simulations of sea ice suggest that a as the ice gets thinner you actually get more year to year variability in extent because larger areas of the ice are more vulnerable to melting away completely over the summer.”

    Taking in account of hysteresis effects of the ice loss last summer, that would suggest even less ice extent this summer. I forecast more sea ice for this summer, as I knew the NAO/AO would be more positive, especially for July.
    The most notable points in decline of ice extent are all episodes of negative NAO/AO conditions, including all historic episodes.

    • nuwurld says:

      Ulric, in agreement, it is interesting that the Arctic this NH summer has not integrated with lower latitudes freely. For whatever reason the Arctic summer has been the shortest and coldest of instrumental record according to the Danish Metoerlogical inst. However, the Met will not admit that this along with all climatic indicators show no positive signs. The world is cooling. The only warming is within the programmed sensitivity of models to rising CO2. Laughable.

  6. Records of arctic sea ice extent starting only in 1979 are way too recent to make meaningful conclusions. Antarctic sea ice extent is in any case increasing. How come, this is continually ignored? We are told that global surface temperature pause is due to the ocean absorbing more heat, yet this year, arctic seance extent has increased more than 50% from that recorded last year and Antarctic sea ice extent is above average. The myth has unravelled. Why are taxpayers paying for the Met Officeto promot Marxist ideology hidden as environmental concerns? It’s time for the Coalition government to stop funding these people.

    • The ocean heat you describe is presented in large sounding numbers (Joulesx10^22) but translated to temperature it is much lower than the measurement error of the instrumentation used to measure it, on a dataset that has almost no measurements of the deep ocean with which to compare to begin with. It is a completely false narrative by some of the primary players in the Climate Industrial Complex disinformation machine, with the purpose of propping up the failed hypothesis.

      Cyclical opening of the arctic waters is one of earth’s many heat rejection modes. Warm water pulses travel north, ice melts, heat is rejected to space at a staggering rate, water cools, ice re-forms. You have this recovery happening now. If you think the ice area and volume increases were record breaking this year, wait until you see the multi-year ice increases next year.

      Once again, what is promised to be a positive feedback (more arctic sun warming waters) in fact is a part of a steep negative feedback mode of heat rejection. You’re just seeing the leading edge of this cycle now. Keep your eyes open for the spring.

      • nuwurld says:

        In agreement. The world is inherently stable wrt warming. Every warming results in an increase in the systems ability to radiate energy to space. The Earth is dynamic and responsive and weather patterns restore gravitationally set equilibrium wrt the solar flux. The confusion lies within the thermal inertias and heat storage (like geopotential) systems which delay response.

    • Martin Lack says:

      The Antarctic is colder than it would otherwise be because of the hole in the ozone layer above it (another example of how humans can affect the environment). Antarctica is also completely surrounded by a huge expanse of uninterrupted, cold ocean. Despite all of this, however, the Antarctic Peninsula is the fastest-warming place in the southern hemisphere. The only myth that is unravelling is the 50-year-out-of-date paranoia that everything you don’t like the sound of must be part of a Communist (or Zionist) plot for World domination.

      • nuwurld says:

        The Sun produces ozone from ultraviolet C and B interactions with oxygen. Look it up. Solar extreme UV is highly variable at around 16% and decays slowly, like months after increased solar activity. Nuclear fissionaries are trammelled to the surface where they decay at their relevant half life’s knocking bits out of other nuclei with ejected neutrons. Solar extreme UV is invested as thermal energy through kinetics like mass impingement at altitude. The top down process slowly equilibrates with lower levels.
        Given “no” ozone but active Sun, levels from normal oxygen would be restored in 150 days. The Sun controls ozone.

      • Martin Lack says:

        1 Gt of water is 1 cubic kilometre (km3). When frozen it takes up 10% more volume. Earlier this year the BBC reported that Antarctica contains 26.5 million km3, which implies a total mass of about 24 million Gt. That being the case, it is losing a 100-thousandth of its mass every year. This will seem trivial to skeptics but, as the SkepticalScience website makes clear:
        (a) the overall rate of terrestrial ice loss is accelerating;
        (b) the West Antarctica ice sheet (WAIS) is melting the fastest;
        (c) 1 mm of sea level rise (SLR) is caused by every 360 Gt that melts;
        (d) Global terrestrial ice loss is already causing 1 mm SLR every year; and
        (e) the WAIS could now disintegrate rapidly (causing a total of 3.3 metres of SLR).

      • nuwurld says:

        Martin, the thermal inertia of the world’s oceans is hundreds of years to equilibrate to a change. The world was colder 350 years ago. So the ocean heat content and its effect of influencing circulation of global heat is still playing “catch up”. The same with the thermal inertia of ice.

        The world is warmer now than then so the piddling amount of sea level rise we have experienced is the sum of ocean heat uptake and land ice melt. The true rate is trivial.

        In 130 years of unprecedented warming the millimetres haven’t added up to anything. All the fragile oceanic island groups are still there. The Maldives are still 0.5 of one metre above sea level in an ocean.

        The rest is speculation.

      • Martin Lack says:

        If you want more than speculation, watch the movie “Chasing Ice”.

      • Martin Lack says:

        Make your mind up, Nuwurld. You seem to come perilously close here to admitting that 0.8 Celsius post-Industrial warming is significant.

      • nuwurld says:

        Martin. So we get the truth from movies! Don’t bother with peer revue, “watch this movie”? Cut through the speculation, “watch this movie?” Don’t bother accessing the data files and viewing the public data for yourself. “Watch this movie”. Don’t formulate an opinion from study, science, methodology and sociology. “Watch this movie”? Cut through the speculation?
        And I’m not coming perilously close to anything other than saying that you, Martin, are an alarmist warmist. I have repeatedly said, that, according to ice core data ( not a movie) this modern warm period of 0.8 of one degree in 130 years is amongst another 342 similar events.

        And now it’s over

      • Martin Lack says:

        The movie presents all the palaeoclimatic data you need in order to appreciate that what is now happening is unprecedented in about 55 million years.

      • nuwurld says:

        Martin, this is what is taught at university levels to geologists,

        Note the part labelled “Holocene climatic optimum”. Like, the” warmest” part of this interglacial. Also the wording “climatic optimum” as warm is no bad thing.

        It was much warmer 6000 years ago than now.

      • Martin Lack says:

        As I am an effing geologist myself, kindly refrain from attempting to educate me on the subject. 6k years ago, it may have been almost as warm as now. However, where we are now heading, the Earth has not been for 55 million years (i.e. the Palaeocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum).

      • nuwurld says:

        Strange, I’ve always held geologists in fairly high esteem. I’ve presented physical arguments to you Martin. You have not contradicted one. As a geologist you require a broad spread of physical knowledge to sensibly “work through” the paleoclimatic changes so they make sense.

        The line you used “where we are now heading” is speculation
        The data says ” we are not getting any warmer globally”. Therefore we are not “heading anywhere”. Full stop.

        All thermal metrics show stagnation turning into decline. The only warming left is in the hearts of warmists and incorrectly sensitised computer programmes.

        CO2 generally doesn’t thermally absorb at these pressures. It non thermally scatters and spontaneously emits on collision. It resides within a thermal gradient whereby it’s action’s serve to reduce, not increase positively, the thermal gradient set by gravity. All radiative exchange as a heat flux that can be expressed in Watts “reduces”, not “produces” any thermal gradient. The gradient was and is set by the containment force of gravity.

      • Martin Lack says:

        Your position presupposes that the majority of genuine experts are either stupid, mistaken, or deceitful. Your ad hominem remarks merely highlight the fact that you do not have an intellectually-defensible counter-argument.

      • nuwurld says:

        Martin, you really like putting yourself on the line! Go and read all the comments! I’ve put forward an “intellectually-defensible counter argument” which you have not bothered to address! You have not countered one physical issue!!!!

        As an illustration.

        The adiabatic lapse rate for the Earth’s atmosphere derived from kinetic theory (Newtonian mechanics and energy conservation) with average water content is dT/dh=-g/Cp is -6.5 K /km.
        Now from AMSU satellite today, 30/09/2013 the globally averaged tropospheric temperature at 7.5km altitude from microwave satellite is -35.25degC. So with an average lapse of -6.5K per km that gives an EQUILIBRIUM SURFACE TEMPERATURE OF +13.5deg! Without error bars.

        The “greenhouse effect” claims 33degC is added by back radiative forcing. The above calculation allows no room for a 33deg back radiative input. Thermodynamics says the atmosphere evolves to the same total energy entropically with the greater potential at height and the greater kinetic (thermal) near the surface.

        Also the surface temperature can be derived from the gas laws.

        T(surface)=(gravity x height(effective) x molar mass)/ gas constant



        Illustrating the largely thermodynamic nature of planetary atmospheres.

        It is not my position to decide whether the “genuine” experts are stupid, mistaken or deceitful. I’m just pointing out that they are wrong. Atmospheres are NOT in radiative balance.

      • Martin Lack says:

        Let me know when you get the call from the ‘Nobel Prize for Physics’ committee.

      • nuwurld says:

        Martin, what I have “quoted” to you is the International Standard Atmosphere, derived from Newtonian mechanics and conservation of energy (mass implied). I am not generating anything new. Thanks for the accolade. (Or ignorance of it’s existence!)

    • Martin Lack says:

      So, what you’re saying is this: You cannot draw any firm conclusions from a 34-year accelerating loss of sea ice but you want the World to do just that on the basis of a 15-year pause in a multi-decadal warming trend.

      • nuwurld says:

        That is a good point Martin. However, there needs to be some science behind the alarmist warming outside of a natural cycle. Strange the way we know the “ANOMOLY” to 0.01 of a degree, but we don’t know Earth’s temperature to within 0.5 if degree!
        You can’t take an “arithmetic mean” of temperature to justify a radiative model which is flux balancing (read “greenhouse effect”) where flux is to the “fourth power” of temperature. Holder’s inequality applies.

      • Martin Lack says:

        A 60% recovery last month is utterly meaningless in the context of clearly accelerating rate of loss over 34 years.

      • nuwurld says:

        A 60% recovery and the shortest and coldest Arctic summer of instrumental time, thank you. Since 1958 when the Danish Met started recording mean temps north of the 80th parallel we’ve never measured a colder or shorter summer.

        “Strange” in a world of “unprecedented”, “CO2” driven warming rubbish!

      • Martin Lack says:

        Yet more tasty cherries being consumed here… A 60% recovery from a position in excess of 3 Std Dev below the long-term average is still not a significant recovery. That would require regression to the mean. Since the UK has had quite a nice warm summer, I think you must now be talking about weather (not climate)… Be careful you do not choke on those cherry stones.

      • nuwurld says:

        It is blatantly obvious when I stated, ” North of the 80th parallel” that that does not include the UK nor refer to it in any way.

        And, for your information the recovery since last year has meant that sea ice has for almost the full year been within 2sd’s of the long term mean.
        I don’t normally link but for you, Martin, I’ll make an exception,

        Argue with the National Snow and Ice Data Centre about how many standard deviations this year is away from the mean. They recon it’s within 2.

        Is that like “standing up at the bottom of a helter-skelter”???

      • Martin Lack says:

        I stand corrected on the Std Dev., but you still appear to think the Met Office is lying to you (or just being stupid). Therefore, whereas I am an environmental realist, you are a conspiracy theorist.

      • nuwurld says:

        Look, I’m telling it as it is.

        All atmospheres are subject to hydrostatic equilibrium. Full stop.

        The tropospheric lapse and therefore the gradient that runs through to the surface and then onward to the core of any planet with sufficient gravity to pull itself spherical is a consequence of gravitational containment. The lapse rate derived from application of Newtonian mechanics and energy conservation is dT/dh=-g/Cp. The gradient is supported by all available energy sources. Back radiation is a consequence of this not an independent source of energy. Full stop.

        The “greenhouse effect” model is physical garbage. A one dimensional, flux balancing, time invariant model with a “cold sun” delivering an effective flux temperature at the ground of -38degC! Wrong on all four counts. Full stop.

        How can a flux of an equivalent temperature of -38degC drive the hydrological cycle like we “know” it does?

        Now I know that the Met knows full well how atmospheres work.

        As they choose to blame a back radiative flux from “greenhouse gas concentrations” to account for the “cold sun” mistake I have no choice but to point out the errors!

      • Martin Lack says:

        You are telling yourself you know best; and that most genuine experts are either mad, mistaken or mendacious. End of story.

      • nuwurld says:

        Also, Martin seeing as you are happy to accept data from the National Snow and Ice Data Centre, here’s the Southern Hemisphere,

        Seeing as we are talking globally not regionally then both of these tell the bigger picture.

        Current Antarctic sea ice levels are strong.

      • Martin Lack says:

        It is summer in the Antarcitc. Sea ice may well be augmented by increased terrestrial input. See above.

      • nuwurld says:

        I’m not telling myself.
        I’m telling climatologists.

        Just go through all my comments and point out those physically incorrect. Easy for someone with your education.

      • Martin Lack says:

        So you admit it then? You consider yourself to be smarter than the vast majority of genuine experts? This may not actually be a conspiracy theory but it is, nevertheless, highly improbable.

      • nuwurld says:

        Martin said,

        “It is summer in the Antarcitc. Sea ice may well be augmented by increased terrestrial input. See above.”

        What planet do you live on, where it is summer max at both poles? What the “f.,.” Is terrestrial input”?

      • Martin Lack says:

        OK, my mistake, it is of course winter in Antarctica. However, the logic of my argument still holds: If the winter extent of sea ice in Antarctica is above average this may be due to recent increases in the calving rates of terrestrial ice (also known as ice shelves and/or glaciers).

        Your focusing on this issue appears to be a classic piece of cherry-picking (also known as selective blindness and/or willful ignorance).

      • nuwurld says:

        Martin Lack on 25 September, 2013 at 6:17 pm
        It is summer in the Antarcitc. Sea ice may well be augmented by increased terrestrial input. See above.

      • Martin Lack says:

        My apologies for my mistake. Please address my argument (see above).

      • nuwurld says:

        Might just keep posting that. ‘ cause it’s funny!

      • Martin Lack says:

        Or you might like to try and falsify my argument that you are cherry-picking the only piece of data in a mountain of evidence that suggests that the IPCC is right and you are wrong.

      • nuwurld says:

        Martin, your opinion is zero to me. You accuse me of “cherry picking” when you have no idea of the season at the southern pole. I monitor both on a daily basis, so I have no such confusion. You have no physical competence or you would have argued on those grounds to the severe problems I have stated for the existence of any evidence of a “greenhouse effect”.

        Alarmist Warmist.

      • Martin Lack says:

        You are barely worth the trouble but, for the record:
        I have acknowledged my stupid (but inconsequential mistake). You, on the other hand, are insisting that you are cleverer than everyone else on the planet. This is improbable to say the least (i.e. statistic not opinion).

      • nuwurld says:

        Martin, thank you for taking the time then. If you wish to believe that the Antarctic is “inconsequential” with reference to the Arctic then that is your stance. As I have repeatedly said, I am reporting the understanding of acknowledged physics from Sir Isaac Newton.

        Is that no longer valid?

        The “Standard Atmospheric Model” gave us modern aeronautics and the space age. It correctly describes the equilibrium state of any gravitationally bound atmosphere. From undeniable physics. Not internally driven by radiation.

        Using this I can show that the surface temperature is in equilibrium with the upper troposphere. It is at the same energy temporally averaged.

        14.5deg C at the surface is the same as -50.5deg C at 10 km in total energy. There is no question of that with a gravitationally driven lapse of -6.5K/km. The mid troposphere isn’t radiatively forcing the lower tropospheric temperatures. They are the same total energy. An isentropic or reversible adiabatic condition.

        Martin, I cannot accept your refusal to argue or accept basic physical concept. If there is a problem with reasoning then argue sensibly on issue.

      • Martin Lack says:

        The problem with your ‘reasoning’ is this:

        If you are right to believe that 40% increase in CO2 (i.e. the only significant change) in our post-Industrial atmosphere (i.e. compared to the 180 to 280 ppm of the last least 1 million years) is not the primary cause of warming over the last 200 years (i.e. 20 times faster than the speed at which the Earth emerged from the last Ice Age), you should have got the Nobel Prize for physics instead of Professor Higgs.

        I thought, to you, my “opinions mean zero”? If that is the case, why are you trying to perpetuate this ‘argument’?

      • nuwurld says:

        Because there is some morbid pleasure from listening to you make mistake after mistake in trying to counter simple argument.

        Martin, I’ve done my homework buddy. You’ve written books about people like me. Except in reality, having conversed with you, you are in no position to judge.

        You have swallowed the “anthropological warming”, “hook, line and sinker”.

        Anyway, back to the point.

        We’ve already done this. BAS, no. 343 of similar, that is 0.7 of 1deg in 100 years. That distant drumming is reality beating you around the head. Snap out of it.


        If you type sunspot count into a computational search like WloframAlpha you will find that solar activity is markedly “different” to the middle of the LIA, 350 years ago.

        The Sun is 99.99% of Earth’s energy. The dynamics of the solar system with respect to energy and momentum have been totally disregarded by the “climatology farce”. In doing so they have undermined science and the scientific method. For that they will eventually come to retribution.

      • Martin Lack says:

        You are, in effect, self-identifying as a victim of a global conspiracy and/or making unfalsifiable, self-sealing, arguments. Therefore, anything I say in response will merely serve to validate your false beliefs.

  7. Martin Lack says:

    Having got nowhere complaining to the PCC last year, I am really disappointed that David Rose continues to publish such easily falsifiable misinformation. The trouble, of course, is that he tells his readers what they want to hear – and they believe it to be the truth. However, for those with even a modicum of critical thinking – the wit to do some fact-checking – we can but hope they find blogs like this or that on the Environment Guardian website – written by Dana Nuccitelli and Johnathon Abraham.

    BTW, did you know that Hayley Dixon (Sunday Telegraph) is just a pseudonym for David Rose? I would not be at all surprised if you were to tell me that he writes for other papers under other pseudonyms as well.

    However, what I do not understand is why does he do it? He has been repeatedly told by you and others – sometimes in person face-to-face – that what he is writing is misleading; if not simply untrue. So why does he keep doing it? He is either stupid, or he is just doing it to keep his Editor happy. Can there be a more charitable explanation?

    I was particularly disappointed to see David Rose’s article uncritically regurgitated on (NN) – a US website promoting healthy living and herbal remedies. I have tried to get the author (and his readers) to see that there is no valid science in David Rose’s writings but, I fear NN is on the slide into the abyss of ideological blindness.

    • nuwurld says:

      “Easily falsifiable fabrication”. Mmmm

      Like the “greenhouse effect”.

      Every aircraft design uses the “standard atmosphere” to predict density, pressure and temperature as a function of altitude.

      -56.5deg C is in isentropic equilibrium with a surface temperature of 15deg averaged globally. Wake up and smell the roses.

      No back radiation or “greenhouse effect” concession.

      Back radiation is a “product” of gravitational containment of an atmosphere with appreciable mass.

      • Martin Lack says:

        So you think the greenhouse effect is not real? Would that be because it really should be called the Blanket Effect (i.e. a greenhouse gets hot by preventing convection not by trapping radiation)? Or do you think the Met Office is just part of a conspiracy to dupe the general public into believing something that is not consistent with basic physics?

      • nuwurld says:

        Careful with the basic physics buddy.

        Basic physics requires that the Earth’s atmosphere is hydrostatic at equilibrium and that the tropospheric lapse rate is reversible adiabatic or isentropic. The sum of these is the “standard atmosphere”. All plane designs and testing are referenced to this standard.

        The standard atmosphere is Newtonian mechanics and conservation.

        The dry lapse is -10K/km, such that the atmosphere will support a high surface temperature before convective instability. Like the highest temps recorded on Earth are dry desert areas.

        As we add water, the most powerful and abundant “greenhouse” gas we reduce to lapse progressively to the wet rate of -5.5K/km. So the surface of the Earth is less warm and the upper troposphere is warmer and therefore radiates more to space through increase of atmospheric heat transport. The wet lapse in the tropics limits temps to 35degC (cf 57deg Libyan desert), and moist convection dominates the surface to atmospheric cooling.

        Inter atmospheric radiation is speed of light and collision rate controlled and faster therefore than other methods. But, and this is the crux, net heat transfer in Watts is the result of the thermal gradient. That was set by gravity and heat capacity, dT/dh=-g/Cp. Effective radiative heat transport within the atmosphere will always reduce the lapse by “trying” to equalise temperatures. It doesn’t ever increase the thermal gradient.

        Take a good look at energy budget diagrams. Trenburth’s model used by the IPCC has reduced the solar flux to 161W/m^2. That’s an equivalent radiative temperature of -38degC. So the model has a sun that cannot melt ice. It therefore requires additional heat to balance the “cold” sun. That “fudge factor” is the “greenhouse effect”.

        How can a -38deg flux power the hydrological cycle if the sun can’t melt ice Martin?

      • Explain the surface temperature of Venus without GHGs.

      • nuwurld says:

        John Havery Samuel, I just did.

        I have just given the mechanism that every self gravitating body must adhere to. The Earth, beautiful and irreplaceable as she is to us is not a special case in physical terms.

        Physics doesn’t care if a planet has a solid surface.

        The lapse rate is a logical consequence of gravitational containment. Look it up.

        The lapse is an adiabatic lapse. Meaning energy is stored. This isn’t Boyle’s law. The real heating effect beneath an atmosphere is isentropic equilibrium. Gases don’t radiate very well at low temperatures and pressures. Within an adiabatic profile temperature and pressure tend together, in equilibrium with all supportive energy sources.

        Venus has a monumentally massive atmosphere for a small planet. 1bar pressure occurs some 40km above the surface. But like on Earth the lapse, set by gravity, runs from around 220mb to the surface following dT/dh=-g/Cp. As it passes through 1 bar, the flux temperature ratio is exactly the same as Earth’s and then it continues incrementing heat with decreasing potential to the surface. The specific heat capacity, Cp of CO2 (95.6% constituent) varies as pressure increases due to incorporation of vibrational modes that are “locked out” at low pressures from equipartition.

        Look, John, think of it this way. The core temperature of every planet within the flux of a star is really, really high. Thousands of degrees. And it never cools down. Because the core is in isentropic ( reversible adiabatic) equilibrium with the first broadband optical depth, near the surface (including the surface on Earth).

        Now, think of a gaseous planet. “If” it had a surface, that would lie along the increasing adiabatic thermal gradient between surface and core. It doesn’t matter how or where the supportive flux enters the system.

        All atmospheres are thermodynamic. You’re barking up the wrong tree.

    • John Benton says:

      I’m not surprised you got nowhere complaining to the PCC last year when you talk utter gibberish. Your attempts at rebuttal are as embarrassing as the people you cite in support of your baseless claims. All your comments are distortions of the data, where ideology trumps fact.

      • Martin Lack says:

        It is most obvious that ideology trumps fact when someone resorts to abusive remarks rather than falsifying an argument. On land and sea, in both polar regions, the rate at which ice is melting is accelerating. End of story.

  8. It’s unprecedented.
    The huge warming of the Arctic that started in the early 1920s and lasted for almost two decades is one of the most spectacular climate events of the twentieth century. During the peak period 1930–40, the annually averaged temperature anomaly for the area 60°–90°N amounted to some 1.7°C. Whether this event is an example of an internal climate mode or is externally forced, such as by enhanced solar effects, is presently under debate. This study suggests that natural variability is a likely cause, with reduced sea ice cover being crucial for the warming……

    • nuwurld says:

      Jimbo, sounds like NN Zubov. However, strangely, saying this has happened before doesn’t matter to some. This time it’s “unprecedented”!

  9. “Why are taxpayers paying for the Met Officeto promot Marxist ideology hidden as environmental concerns? It’s time for the Coalition government to stop funding these people”
    Because there is no option not to
    The whole debate on Climate Change or whatever you want to call it.. reminds me Saddam Hussains press guy on top of the building continually stating they were driving the American back, right up to the point we seen them advancing up the street behind him. Frightened to tell the truth incase he got the chop !

  10. ahaveland says:

    There are few visualizations of Arctic Sea Ice volume as illuminative as these, except Dana’s Arctic Escalator:

    Arctic Sea Ice Minimum Volumes 1979-2012

    Arctic Sea Ice Collapse 1979-2013

    Sonified Arctic Death Spiral – Evolution to July 2013

    Note the unusual blip on the series for August next the to “5” on the vertical scale that caused the DM frenzy.
    Now compare with the trend.

    • John Benton says:

      I think nature has just ruined your pretty graphs. Try adding the 2013 data. Not looking so good now is it.

      • Martin Lack says:

        Can you please explain why you think 2013 data changes anything? Having come down the slide, I think you have stood up too quickly and become a bit disorientated.

      • ahaveland says:

        The data is there as it appears, and this year’s minimum won’t be known until next month, and an updated version will appear faithfully.
        It takes days to render the animations so I can’t do them every month.
        Here is the latest still image:

        This year’s blip makes very little difference to the trend, or the stark message.
        You want a record every year before you and your ilk take this seriously?
        I doubt that even a year-round ice-free Arctic will change your opinion of the facts because it is purely financially motivated.
        “This is a lighthouse, your call.”

      • The sea ice extent has recovered to the sixth worst in a millennia. And the ten worst are all this century. The long term trend is clear.

  11. Linda Serena says:

    The “longer term” view is not really a longer term view, because the time frame sits almost perfectly on a AMO positive half cycle. This is by far the dominant (and natural) cause, according to correlation with temperature records in the region.

    The recovery this year took many experts by surprise. Many experts did not think such an increase is possible with so much thin ice at the start of the year. This article does neither really match with the surprising increase, nor does it express any spirit to learn something new.

  12. The Met Office made no such prediction. The IPCC said summer sea ice will disappear in the second half of this century in AR4. Like most of their predictions, they were too conservative, it’s disappearing more quickly – almost an 80% loss in volume at the September minima since 1979.

    Are you admitting to just making stuff up?

    • nuwurld says:

      John, are you aware that the IPCC about to admit that the “models” are “incorrect” with respect to “climate sensitivity”?

      Have a nice day

  13. Are you aware that you are talking nonsense? Changing the lower bound on sensitivity is like saying “great news! You now think you could have as much as 13 months to live instead of a year – but, sorry, the average remains the same.”

    So you admit you were making stuff up about the Met Office by changing tack. Typical.

    • nuwurld says:

      But John, strange fellow, nothing is happening, that’s the point.

    • nuwurld says:

      And, strangely no, that is no, I am not admitting to any of your, strange, inferences. As any reader can plainly see.

      You are “clever” with words John, but beyond that I leave open to the readers discretion.

    • nuwurld says:

      I’m not sure who is worse, you John “defender of the faith” or your counterpart Martin, the ” geologist”.

      Both non thinkers

    • nuwurld says:

      Anyway, where are the hundreds of signatories on the “met office public statement”. I’m left with a couple of pups, still wet behind the ears,

      • Still no facts from reputable sources? Yes, let the reader decide.

        The ice melts. The seas rise, warm and acidify. The climate is more extreme. And you have one of your digits blocking at least one of your orifices. Carry on.

      • nuwurld says:

        John, I do like you. You have a wonderful turn of phrase!
        However, I’m not as adept as you imply at digital gymnastics. I’d prefer just to point one at you, as to highlight your inability to understand and therefore to fairly judge.

        You, John, prefer to trammel through the peer reviewed “back patting” of modern climatic academia to compensate for your own impotence when it comes to recognising believable fact from non sensical garbage.

        You say,
        “The ice melts. The seas rise, warm and acidify. The climate is more extreme.”

        Well sea ice melting doesn’t cause any rise in sea level. So obviously you must mean land ice? Well that won’t melt without rising global temperatures. Which, all data sets show, are not rising. Which reputable source would you choose?

        The sea surface temperature isn’t rising either. Pick your source. Ocean heat content is rising because the sea is still playing “catch up” from the Little Ice Age. Thermal inertia, you know.

        Al Gore used a crane to show the estimated sea level rise due to predicted warming. Had he been a little more sincere he could have stepped on and off of a telephone directory ’cause we’re talking 1mm/year. 30mm since 1979. 4 inches per century. And envisat, the most accurate satellite to view the Earth is showing the end of sea level rise.

        Also the oceans, like our bodies are pH buffered. The oceans are protected from pH variation by the carbonate-bicarbonate buffer. Osteoporosis of the ocean was another “fake experiment” whereby acidifation was accomplished by adding hydrochloric acid to sea water rather than the more difficult process of getting more gaseous CO2 to increase carbonic acid content.

        And “the climate is more extreme”. Is that like the almost, non event of this year’s Atlantic hurricane season, or the fact that globally, tropical storms are not increasing? Anyway, it can’t be blamed on warming, without actual temperature rise.

        Alarmist Warmist.

        Have a nice day. Remember, there are better uses for those fingers John.

  14. The seas will rise from the melt of the Greenland and Antarctic land ice. And that water will warm, expanding. NOAA explains this well.

    There is more energy entering the atmosphere than leaving it. That’s why things warm. Satellites measure that.

    The sea continues to rise at 3.2mm per year. There is no ambiguity. See NASA, NOAA or the University of Colorado.

    Life has a range of pH we can live in. And a range it doesn’t. A few minutes review with Google Scholar on “climate change species adaptation” is enough to say “that doesn’t look good”.

    Climate extremes include heatwaves, floods and storms. They are fed by energy – remembering that more energy is entering the atmosphere than leaving. Look at NOAA’s Climate Extremes Index; it continues to rise. The look at weather related insurance claims; they continue to rise.

    The data is clear. The ice melts. The seas rise, warm and acidify. The climate is more extreme.

    And you are inserting more of your digits into your bodily orifices. Carry on.

    • nuwurld says:

      John, neither your greatest wishes for global warming nor the friction from those inserted digits will make that ice melt. Poor deluded fellow.

      The Sun will show all you warmists what controls the Earth’s energy budget.

      Have a good day.

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