Premature Arctic Ice Fears


Click on image to enlarge.

The alarms are sounding about lack of ice extent in Bering Sea, studiously ignoring what else is happening in the Arctic.  For instance the above image shows the last 10 days on the European side, with Barents Sea on the right growing steadily to a new maximum. On the left, Gulf of St. Lawrence ice is retreating as usual while Baffin Bay holds steady.

The Barents recovery is interesting and bears watching.  See how 2018 compares with other years in the Graph below.

Barents day070

Note the recent 2018 dramatic rise above average.  Meanwhile on the Pacific side the seesaw between Bering and Okhotsk continues:

In the last ten days, Bering has gone up, then down, and back up to arrive at the same extent.  In the same period Okhotsk added 70k km2.

Ice extents for February and March appear in the graph below; 11 year average is 2007 to 2017 inclusive.

Note that ice growth slows down in February and March since the Arctic core is frozen and extent can only be added at the margins.  MASIE shows 2018 is now matching 2017, while SII is running about 200k km2 lower.  The 11 year average maxed on day 62 at 15.1M km2 while this year  max was on day 69, ~560k km2 lower . It remains to be seen what max will end up in 2018

It is natural for alarmists to focus on Bering Sea, since that is the only place where a sizable deficit appears (for the moment).  The graph below show NH ice extent from day 1, with and without B and O (Bering and Okhotsk, the Pacific basins that will melt out by September anyway.)


Here’s your Valentine’s Day Greeting:

And here’s your PC candy for Valentine’s Day.







  1. angech · March 12, 2018

    We all get our ice graphs from different sources.
    Due to lack of interest and time I was getting these easiest at wuwt and Arctic sea ice blog both of whom are bad at updating.
    Nonetheless if one goes to the latter, our “friend” Neven and go to the Arctic sea ice graphs right top under nuclear bombs etc and click on that and then daily graphs one gets to the 11th graph down NSIDC/NIC MAISIE time series and in the time series plots one finds plots of each of the 16 regions.
    In the region 3 eastern Siberian sea you will notice the 2018 graph has been stuck on a flat line for ages but has suddenly jumped up to the other flat line, 1.08712 to 1.0871375 million sq k march 10 -11.
    Now it is only a series of small pedantic quibbles and you must access MAISIE differently to Neven ( so worth a look as these figures go into the operational result for the total amount).
    Why do different years have two different flat line values wgphen the algorithm obviously shows the sea as full ( flat line) .
    Why have they suddenly changed to algorithm 2 with slightly more ice right at the end of the peak.
    If they had been showing it consistently before the ice extent while still low would have been slightly larger for the last 2 months of this freezing season and hence slightly less to worry about?
    Who cares?


  2. Ron Clutz · March 12, 2018

    angech, I get the data directly from the website for Multisensor Analyzed Sea Ice Extent – Northern Hemisphere (MASIE-NH):
    I generate my own images and graphs from MASIE data, though there are also time series plots available at the website (limited to the last 30 days).


  3. hunter · March 12, 2018

    Why do the alarmists find low sea ice so …alarming?


    • Ron Clutz · March 13, 2018

      Thanks hunter for the question. Not sure how to answer. Warmists are interested in the Arctic melting only for PR reasons, not because of any scientific rationale. The narrative is that the Arctic is the “canary in the coal mine”, claiming that global warming is “amplified” in the Arctic, a precursor of terrible things elsewhere.
      As I have said previously, the dots do not connect between CO2 and melting of Arctic sea ice. Ice extents are mainly driven by the 3 Ws: Water, Wind, and Weather. Effects from CO2 on Arctic ice are imaginary, but as you well know, alarmists are making an emotional, not a rational appeal.


      • Jack Dale · March 21, 2018

        The connection between the loss of Arctic sea ice, the fluctuations in the jet stream and Arctic outbreaks was made three different reports 6 years ago.

        Francis, J.A., and S.J. Vavrus (2012), “Evidence linking Arctic amplification to extreme weather in mid-latitudes,” Geophysical Research Letters, 21 February, 2012.

        Jaiser, R., K. Dethloff, D. Handorf, A. Rinke, J. Cohen (2012), Impact of sea ice cover changes on the Northern Hemisphere atmospheric winter circulation, Tellus A 2012, 64, 11595, DOI: 10.3402/tellusa.v64i0.11595

        Jiping Liu, Judith A. Curry, Huijun Wang, Mirong Song and Radley M. Horton (2012), “Impact of declining Arctic sea ice on winter snowfall”, Proc. Natl. Academy of Sciences, Published online before print February 27, 2012, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1114910109

        (yes, that Judith Curry)


  4. Pingback: Alarmists Use Bering Sea Ice Levels To Whip Up Warming Fears | Principia Scientific International

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