Where Did Okhotsk Sea Ice Go?

A post last month noted that Arctic ice extent in February unusually exceeded 15M km2 (15 Wadhams).  This was despite slower than usual recovery of ice in Sea of Okhotsk.  That early 2022 peak ice extent has passed and will now stand as 2022 annual maximum. One wonders why the large ice deficit in that basin.  The graph below shows the anomaly.

The 2022 cyan line started March above 15M km2, then declined to day 76 (March 17), ~300k km2 lower than the 16 yr. average.  The dark green line shows Arctic ice extent average after Okhotsk is excluded, while the light green is 2022 Arctic extent without Okhotsk. The table below shows that Okhotsk deficit to average on day 76 is 260k km2, almost the entire Arctic deficit.

Region 2022076 Day 76 Average 2022-Ave. 2021076 2022-2021
 (0) Northern_Hemisphere 14641084 14935497 -294413 14769906 -128822
 (1) Beaufort_Sea 1070776 1070247 529 1070689 87
 (2) Chukchi_Sea 966006 965877 129 966006 0
 (3) East_Siberian_Sea 1087137 1087107 30 1087120 17
 (4) Laptev_Sea 897845 897837 8 897827 18
 (5) Kara_Sea 905846 923576 -17730 935006 -29160
 (6) Barents_Sea 554036 648194 -94158 849221 -295185
 (7) Greenland_Sea 572046 618979 -46934 601423 -29377
 (8) Baffin_Bay_Gulf_of_St._Lawrence 1784542 1534462 250080 1288815 495727
 (9) Canadian_Archipelago 854685 853020 1665 854597 88
 (10) Hudson_Bay 1260691 1258149 2542 1260471 220
 (11) Central_Arctic 3153037 3223013 -69976 3222708 -69671
 (12) Bering_Sea 729277 755358 -26081 547775 181502
 (13) Baltic_Sea 59785 81419 -21634 62626 -2841
 (14) Sea_of_Okhotsk 739183 998164 -258981 1117615 -378432

Most places are close to average, with a large surplus in Baffin Bay offsetting small deficits elsewhere.  The exception is Okhotsk making up most of the total deficit to average, and even a larger deficit to last year

IOW, had Okhotsk extent been average on day 60 (1.08M km2) instead of 852k km2, the surplus would have been even higher.  So why was ice missing in Okhotsk this year?

Firstly, the animation above shows that Okhotsk (and also Bering) sea ice is quite variable year over year. The MASIE record for day 60 shows Okhotsk at 880k km2 in 2006, up to 1230k km2 in 2012, down to 770k km2 in 2015, up to 1080k km2 in 2018, down to  850k km2 in 2022. Notice Okhotsk 2022 is quite similar to 2015, while Bering is about average this year.  What causes these fluctuations on annual, decadal and longer time scales?

The answer illustrates the complexity of natural factors interacting to produce climatic patterns we observe and measure. In Okhotsk in particular, and in the Arctic generally, changes in ice extents are a function of the 3 Ws: Water, Wind and Weather. More specifically, water changes in temperature (SST) and salinity (SSS); wind changes with changes in sea level pressures (SLP); and stormy weather varies between cyclonic and anticyclonic regimes. Below is discussion of these natural mechanisms.

Background on Okhotsk Sea

NASA describes Okhotsk as a Sea and Ice Factory. Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

The Sea of Okhotsk is what oceanographers call a marginal sea: a region of a larger ocean basin that is partly enclosed by islands and peninsulas hugging a continental coast. With the Kamchatka Peninsula, the Kuril Islands, and Sakhalin Island partly sheltering the sea from the Pacific Ocean, and with prevailing, frigid northwesterly winds blowing out from Siberia, the sea is a winter ice factory and a year-round cloud factory.

The region is the lowest latitude (45 degrees at the southern end) where sea ice regularly forms. Ice cover varies from 50 to 90 percent each winter depending on the weather. Ice often persists for nearly six months, typically from October to March. Aside from the cold winds from the Russian interior, the prodigious flow of fresh water from the Amur River freshens the sea, making the surface less saline and more likely to freeze than other seas and bays.


Map of the Sea of Okhotsk with bottom topography. The 200- and 3000-m isobars are indicated by thin and thick solid lines, respectively. A box denotes the enlarged portion in Figure 5. White shading indicates sea-ice area (ice concentration ⩾30%) in February averaged for 2003–11; blue shading indicates open ocean area. Ice concentration from AMSR-E is used. Color shadings indicate cumulative ice production in coastal polynyas during winter (December–March) averaged from the 2002/03 to 2009/10 seasons (modified from Nihashi and others, 2012, 2017). The amount is indicated by the bar scale. Source: Cambridge Core

Basics of Weather and Ice Dynamics

Wind directions are named by which point on the compass the prevailing wind hits you in the face.  Thus, a southerly wind comes from the south toward the north, typically bringing warmer air north, and displacing colder northern air.

Winds arise from differences in surface pressures. Above every square inch on the surface of the Earth is 14.7 pounds of air. That means air exerts 14.7 pounds per square inch (psi) of pressure at Earth’s surface. High in the atmosphere, air pressure decreases.

Pressure varies from day to day at the Earth’s surface – the bottom of the atmosphere. This is, in part, because the Earth is not equally heated by the Sun. Areas where the air is warmed often have lower pressure because the warm air rises. These areas are called low pressure systems. Places where the air pressure is high, are called high pressure systems.

A low pressure system has lower pressure at its center than the areas around it. Winds blow towards the low pressure, and the air rises in the atmosphere where they meet. As the air rises, the water vapor within it condenses, forming clouds and often precipitation. Because of Earth’s spin and the Coriolis effect, winds of a low pressure system swirl counterclockwise north of the equator and clockwise south of the equator. This is called cyclonic flow. On weather maps, a low pressure system is labeled with red L.

A high pressure system has higher pressure at its center than the areas around it. Winds blow away from high pressure. Swirling in the opposite direction from a low pressure system, the winds of a high pressure system rotate clockwise north of the equator and counterclockwise south of the equator. This is called anticyclonic flow. Air from higher in the atmosphere sinks down to fill the space left as air is blown outward. On a weather map, you may notice a blue H, denoting the location of a high pressure system.

High and low pressure indicated by lines of equal pressure called isobars.

When the suns shines on land the air is warmed and rises. And because the earth is rotating, an upward spiral forms. Additionally, over wetlands and the oceans there is evaporation, which also rises, H2O being lighter than N2 or O2. When the water is warmer, the rising air intensifies and resulting in a lower pressure than surrounding areas.  Arctic cyclones disrupt drift ice, creating more open water, and impede freezing.  Arctic anticyclones (HP cells) facilitate cooling and freezing.

The vertical direction of wind motion is typically very small (except in thunderstorm updrafts) compared to the horizontal component, but is very important for determining the day to day weather. Rising air will cool, often to saturation, and can lead to clouds and precipitation. Sinking air warms causing evaporation of clouds and thus fair weather.

The closer the isobars are drawn together the quicker the air pressure changes. This change in air pressure is called the “pressure gradient”. Pressure gradient is just the difference in pressure between high- and low-pressure areas.

The Okhotsk Sea Ice Connection

Toyoda et al. (2022) explain in their paper Sea ice variability along the Okhotsk coast of Hokkaido based on long-term JMA meteorological observatory data.  Excerpts in italics with  my bolds.

Abstract

Long-term sea ice observation data at the Japan Meteorological Agency observatories along the
Okhotsk coast of Hokkaido were analyzed. The observations at the Abashiri Local Meteorological
Observatory largely explained the variations at other sites along much of the Okhotsk coast on a time scale longer than a few days. Interannually, variations of the maximum sea ice areas in the whole and southern Sea of Okhotsk were largely reflected in the yearly accumulated sea ice concentration (SIC) and sea ice duration variations at the observatories.

NPI time series The bars represent five-month mean ( November – March ) NPI values. The green line represents five-year running means of five-month mean NPI values. Positive (negative) NPI values indicate that the Aleutian Low is weaker (stronger) than its normal. For comparison with the PDO index, the period of the graph is adjusted to that of the PDO index.

A comparison with several indices for the North Pacific climate variability suggested that the North Pacific Index (NPI) is a robust indicator of the recent (after the 1980s) sea ice variations in the Sea of Okhotsk on a decadal time scale. Specifically:

♦  variations in the first sea ice appearance date at the observatories resulted from variations in the Aleutian Low with meridional wind anomalies over the Sea of Okhotsk and the air temperature around Japan in January;

♦  variations in the final disappearance date resulted from the Aleutian Low variations, and,

♦  the resulting sea ice cover variations in the Sea of Okhotsk except for the Siberian coast affected the air temperatures in April. These factors influenced the sea ice duration.

A strong linkage was found between variations in the local sea ice (along the Hokkaido coast) and large-scale fields, which will help improve our understanding of the sea ice extent and retreat variability over the Sea of Okhotsk and its linkage to the North Pacific climate variability.

Fig. 1 (a) Monthly sea ice extent (contours of grid SIC = 0.3) averaged over 1977–2019. (b) Locations of JMA observatories and distribution of dailybasis correlation coefficients between the Abashiri and grid SICs. (N = 700–800 approximately).

Fig. 2 (a) Yearly maximum sea ice areas in the Sea of Okhotsk from the grid SIC data for the whole (black; left axis), northern (>50°N; green; left axis), and southern (<50°N; red; right axis) areas.

Among several climate indices, the NPI is a robust indicator of recent (after the 1980s) sea ice
variations in the Sea of Okhotsk. We also examined the differences between the start and end date variations, which determine the durations. Variations in the start date at the Okhotsk coast sites resulted from the variations in the Aleutian Low strength, the air temperature around Japan in January, and partly the SST along the Soya warm current in December. Variations in the end date resulted from the Aleutian Low variations; the sea ice cover variations affected the air temperatures over the Sea of Okhotsk in April, in contrast to the sea ice cover variations in January resulting from the air temperature variations.

Sea Ice Tourism from Hokkaido, Japan

Taking a boat trip from Hokkaido Island to see Okhotsk drift ice is a big tourist attraction, as seen in the short video below.  Al Gore had them worried back then, but hopefully not now.

Drift ice in Okhotsk Sea at sunrise.

In Celebration of Our Warm Climate

Legacy and social media keep up a constant drumbeat of warnings about a degree or two of planetary warming without any historical context for considering the significance of the alternative.  A poem of Robert Frost comes to mind as some applicable wisdom:

The diagram at the top shows how grateful we should be for living in today’s climate instead of a glacial icehouse. (H/T Raymond Inauen)  For most of its history Earth has been frozen rather than the mostly green place it is today.  And the reference is to the extent of the North American ice sheet during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM).

For further context consider that geologists refer to our time as a “Severe Icehouse World”, among the various conditions in earth’s history, as diagramed by paleo climatologist Christopher Scotese. Referring to the Global Mean Temperatures, it appears after many decades, we are slowly rising to “Icehouse World”, which would seem to be a good thing.

Instead of fear mongering over a bit of warming, we should celebrate our good fortune, and do our best for humanity and the biosphere.  Matthew Ridley takes it from there in a previous post.

Background from previous post The Goodness of Global Warming

LAI refers to Leaf Area Index.

As noted in other posts here, warming comes and goes and a cooling period may now be ensuing. See No Global Warming, Chilly January Land and Sea.  Matt Ridley provides a concise and clear argument to celebrate any warming that comes to our world in his Spiked article Why global warming is good for us.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds and added images.

Climate change is creating a greener, safer planet.

Global warming is real. It is also – so far – mostly beneficial. This startling fact is kept from the public by a determined effort on the part of alarmists and their media allies who are determined to use the language of crisis and emergency. The goal of Net Zero emissions in the UK by 2050 is controversial enough as a policy because of the pain it is causing. But what if that pain is all to prevent something that is not doing net harm?

The biggest benefit of emissions is global greening, the increase year after year of green vegetation on the land surface of the planet. Forests grow more thickly, grasslands more richly and scrub more rapidly. This has been measured using satellites and on-the-ground recording of plant-growth rates. It is happening in all habitats, from tundra to rainforest. In the four decades since 1982, as Bjorn Lomborg points out, NASA data show that global greening has added 618,000 square kilometres of extra green leaves each year, equivalent to three Great Britains. You read that right: every year there’s more greenery on the planet to the extent of three Britains. I bet Greta Thunberg did not tell you that.

The cause of this greening? Although tree planting, natural reforestation, slightly longer growing seasons and a bit more rain all contribute, the big cause is something else. All studies agree that by far the largest contributor to global greening – responsible for roughly half the effect – is the extra carbon dioxide in the air. In 40 years, the proportion of the atmosphere that is CO2 has gone from 0.034 per cent to 0.041 per cent. That may seem a small change but, with more ‘food’ in the air, plants don’t need to lose as much water through their pores (‘stomata’) to acquire a given amount of carbon. So dry areas, like the Sahel region of Africa, are seeing some of the biggest improvements in greenery. Since this is one of the poorest places on the planet, it is good news that there is more food for people, goats and wildlife.

But because good news is no news, green pressure groups and environmental correspondents in the media prefer to ignore global greening. Astonishingly, it merited no mentions on the BBC’s recent Green Planet series, despite the name. Or, if it is mentioned, the media point to studies suggesting greening may soon cease. These studies are based on questionable models, not data (because data show the effect continuing at the same pace). On the very few occasions when the BBC has mentioned global greening it is always accompanied by a health warning in case any viewer might glimpse a silver lining to climate change – for example, ‘extra foliage helps slow climate change, but researchers warn this will be offset by rising temperatures’.

Another bit of good news is on deaths. We’re against them, right? A recent study shows that rising temperatures have resulted in half a million fewer deaths in Britain over the past two decades. That is because cold weather kills about ’20 times as many people as hot weather’, according to the study, which analyses ‘over 74million deaths in 384 locations across 13 countries’. This is especially true in a temperate place like Britain, where summer days are rarely hot enough to kill. So global warming and the unrelated phenomenon of urban warming relative to rural areas, caused by the retention of heat by buildings plus energy use, are both preventing premature deaths on a huge scale.

Summer temperatures in the US are changing at half the rate of winter temperatures and daytimes are warming 20 per cent slower than nighttimes. A similar pattern is seen in most countries. Tropical nations are mostly experiencing very slow, almost undetectable daytime warming (outside cities), while Arctic nations are seeing quite rapid change, especially in winter and at night. Alarmists love to talk about polar amplification of average climate change, but they usually omit its inevitable flip side: that tropical temperatures (where most poor people live) are changing more slowly than the average.

My Mind is Made Up, Don’t Confuse Me with the Facts. H/T Bjorn Lomborg, WUWT

But are we not told to expect more volatile weather as a result of climate change? It is certainly assumed that we should. Yet there’s no evidence to suggest weather volatility is increasing and no good theory to suggest it will. The decreasing temperature differential between the tropics and the Arctic may actually diminish the volatility of weather a little.

Indeed, as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) repeatedly confirms, there is no clear pattern of storms growing in either frequency or ferocity, droughts are decreasing slightly and floods are getting worse only where land-use changes (like deforestation or building houses on flood plains) create a problem. Globally, deaths from droughts, floods and storms are down by about 98 per cent over the past 100 years – not because weather is less dangerous but because shelter, transport and communication (which are mostly the products of the fossil-fuel economy) have dramatically improved people’s ability to survive such natural disasters.

The effect of today’s warming (and greening) on farming is, on average, positive: crops can be grown farther north and for longer seasons and rainfall is slightly heavier in dry regions. We are feeding over seven billion people today much more easily than we fed three billion in the 1960s, and from a similar acreage of farmland. Global cereal production is on course to break its record this year, for the sixth time in 10 years.

Nature, too, will do generally better in a warming world. There are more species in warmer climates, so more new birds and insects are arriving to breed in southern England than are disappearing from northern Scotland. Warmer means wetter, too: 9,000 years ago, when the climate was warmer than today, the Sahara was green. Alarmists like to imply that concern about climate change goes hand in hand with concern about nature generally. But this is belied by the evidence. Climate policies often harm wildlife: biofuels compete for land with agriculture, eroding the benefits of improved agricultural productivity and increasing pressure on wild land; wind farms kill birds and bats; and the reckless planting of alien sitka spruce trees turns diverse moorland into dark monoculture.

Meanwhile, real environmental issues are ignored or neglected because of the obsession with climate. With the help of local volunteers I have been fighting to protect the red squirrel in Northumberland for years. The government does literally nothing to help us, while it pours money into grants for studying the most far-fetched and minuscule possible climate-change impacts. Invasive alien species are the main cause of species extinction worldwide (like grey squirrels driving the red to the margins), whereas climate change has yet to be shown to have caused a single species to die out altogether anywhere.

Of course, climate change does and will bring problems as well as benefits. Rapid sea-level rise could be catastrophic. But whereas the sea level shot up between 10,000 and 8,000 years ago, rising by about 60 metres in two millennia, or roughly three metres per century, today the change is nine times slower: three millimetres a year, or a foot per century, and with not much sign of acceleration. Countries like the Netherlands and Vietnam show that it is possible to gain land from the sea even in a world where sea levels are rising. The land area of the planet is actually increasing, not shrinking, thanks to siltation and reclamation.

Environmentalists don’t get donations or invitations to appear on the telly if they say moderate things. To stand up and pronounce that ‘climate change is real and needs to be tackled, but it’s not happening very fast and other environmental issues are more urgent’ would be about as popular as an MP in Oliver Cromwell’s parliament declaring, ‘The evidence for God is looking a bit weak, and I’m not so very sure that fornication really is a sin’. And I speak as someone who has made several speeches on climate in parliament.

No wonder we don’t hear about the good news on climate change.

 

 

The Goodness of Global Warming

LAI refers to Leaf Area Index.

As noted in other posts here, warming comes and goes and a cooling period may now be ensuing. See No Global Warming, Chilly January Land and Sea.  Matt Ridley provides a concise and clear argument to celebrate any warming that comes to our world in his Spiked article Why global warming is good for us.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds and added images.

Climate change is creating a greener, safer planet.

Global warming is real. It is also – so far – mostly beneficial. This startling fact is kept from the public by a determined effort on the part of alarmists and their media allies who are determined to use the language of crisis and emergency. The goal of Net Zero emissions in the UK by 2050 is controversial enough as a policy because of the pain it is causing. But what if that pain is all to prevent something that is not doing net harm?

The biggest benefit of emissions is global greening, the increase year after year of green vegetation on the land surface of the planet. Forests grow more thickly, grasslands more richly and scrub more rapidly. This has been measured using satellites and on-the-ground recording of plant-growth rates. It is happening in all habitats, from tundra to rainforest. In the four decades since 1982, as Bjorn Lomborg points out, NASA data show that global greening has added 618,000 square kilometres of extra green leaves each year, equivalent to three Great Britains. You read that right: every year there’s more greenery on the planet to the extent of three Britains. I bet Greta Thunberg did not tell you that.

The cause of this greening? Although tree planting, natural reforestation, slightly longer growing seasons and a bit more rain all contribute, the big cause is something else. All studies agree that by far the largest contributor to global greening – responsible for roughly half the effect – is the extra carbon dioxide in the air. In 40 years, the proportion of the atmosphere that is CO2 has gone from 0.034 per cent to 0.041 per cent. That may seem a small change but, with more ‘food’ in the air, plants don’t need to lose as much water through their pores (‘stomata’) to acquire a given amount of carbon. So dry areas, like the Sahel region of Africa, are seeing some of the biggest improvements in greenery. Since this is one of the poorest places on the planet, it is good news that there is more food for people, goats and wildlife.

But because good news is no news, green pressure groups and environmental correspondents in the media prefer to ignore global greening. Astonishingly, it merited no mentions on the BBC’s recent Green Planet series, despite the name. Or, if it is mentioned, the media point to studies suggesting greening may soon cease. These studies are based on questionable models, not data (because data show the effect continuing at the same pace). On the very few occasions when the BBC has mentioned global greening it is always accompanied by a health warning in case any viewer might glimpse a silver lining to climate change – for example, ‘extra foliage helps slow climate change, but researchers warn this will be offset by rising temperatures’.

Another bit of good news is on deaths. We’re against them, right? A recent study shows that rising temperatures have resulted in half a million fewer deaths in Britain over the past two decades. That is because cold weather kills about ’20 times as many people as hot weather’, according to the study, which analyses ‘over 74million deaths in 384 locations across 13 countries’. This is especially true in a temperate place like Britain, where summer days are rarely hot enough to kill. So global warming and the unrelated phenomenon of urban warming relative to rural areas, caused by the retention of heat by buildings plus energy use, are both preventing premature deaths on a huge scale.

Summer temperatures in the US are changing at half the rate of winter temperatures and daytimes are warming 20 per cent slower than nighttimes. A similar pattern is seen in most countries. Tropical nations are mostly experiencing very slow, almost undetectable daytime warming (outside cities), while Arctic nations are seeing quite rapid change, especially in winter and at night. Alarmists love to talk about polar amplification of average climate change, but they usually omit its inevitable flip side: that tropical temperatures (where most poor people live) are changing more slowly than the average.

My Mind is Made Up, Don’t Confuse Me with the Facts. H/T Bjorn Lomborg, WUWT

But are we not told to expect more volatile weather as a result of climate change? It is certainly assumed that we should. Yet there’s no evidence to suggest weather volatility is increasing and no good theory to suggest it will. The decreasing temperature differential between the tropics and the Arctic may actually diminish the volatility of weather a little.

Indeed, as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) repeatedly confirms, there is no clear pattern of storms growing in either frequency or ferocity, droughts are decreasing slightly and floods are getting worse only where land-use changes (like deforestation or building houses on flood plains) create a problem. Globally, deaths from droughts, floods and storms are down by about 98 per cent over the past 100 years – not because weather is less dangerous but because shelter, transport and communication (which are mostly the products of the fossil-fuel economy) have dramatically improved people’s ability to survive such natural disasters.

The effect of today’s warming (and greening) on farming is, on average, positive: crops can be grown farther north and for longer seasons and rainfall is slightly heavier in dry regions. We are feeding over seven billion people today much more easily than we fed three billion in the 1960s, and from a similar acreage of farmland. Global cereal production is on course to break its record this year, for the sixth time in 10 years.

Nature, too, will do generally better in a warming world. There are more species in warmer climates, so more new birds and insects are arriving to breed in southern England than are disappearing from northern Scotland. Warmer means wetter, too: 9,000 years ago, when the climate was warmer than today, the Sahara was green. Alarmists like to imply that concern about climate change goes hand in hand with concern about nature generally. But this is belied by the evidence. Climate policies often harm wildlife: biofuels compete for land with agriculture, eroding the benefits of improved agricultural productivity and increasing pressure on wild land; wind farms kill birds and bats; and the reckless planting of alien sitka spruce trees turns diverse moorland into dark monoculture.

Meanwhile, real environmental issues are ignored or neglected because of the obsession with climate. With the help of local volunteers I have been fighting to protect the red squirrel in Northumberland for years. The government does literally nothing to help us, while it pours money into grants for studying the most far-fetched and minuscule possible climate-change impacts. Invasive alien species are the main cause of species extinction worldwide (like grey squirrels driving the red to the margins), whereas climate change has yet to be shown to have caused a single species to die out altogether anywhere.

Of course, climate change does and will bring problems as well as benefits. Rapid sea-level rise could be catastrophic. But whereas the sea level shot up between 10,000 and 8,000 years ago, rising by about 60 metres in two millennia, or roughly three metres per century, today the change is nine times slower: three millimetres a year, or a foot per century, and with not much sign of acceleration. Countries like the Netherlands and Vietnam show that it is possible to gain land from the sea even in a world where sea levels are rising. The land area of the planet is actually increasing, not shrinking, thanks to siltation and reclamation.

Environmentalists don’t get donations or invitations to appear on the telly if they say moderate things. To stand up and pronounce that ‘climate change is real and needs to be tackled, but it’s not happening very fast and other environmental issues are more urgent’ would be about as popular as an MP in Oliver Cromwell’s parliament declaring, ‘The evidence for God is looking a bit weak, and I’m not so very sure that fornication really is a sin’. And I speak as someone who has made several speeches on climate in parliament.

No wonder we don’t hear about the good news on climate change.

 

 

Arctic Ice Maxing in January

Previous posts reported how Arctic ice was growing faster than average as well as last year.  Remarkably, several regions have already exceeded their maximum ice extents last March, and overall, Arctic ice is 98% of 2021 maximum with six weeks of freezing season remaining.

The animation shows ice growing the second half of January, notably reaching 1.32M km2 in Baffin Bay, right center, exceeding 2021 max.  Greenland Sea, center top, added 144k km2 to reach 710k km2, also greater than last year’s max.  And at bottom left Bering Sea reached 741k km2, 116% of last years max.

This year began with a surplus and ended January still 230k km2 higher.  The gap over 2021 is 465k km2, nearly half a Wadham. SII dipped and then rose to match MASIE before a drop yesterday.

Region 2022031 Day 31 Average 2022-Ave. 2021031 2022-2021
 (0) Northern_Hemisphere 14599079 14368396 230683 14133494 465586
 (1) Beaufort_Sea 1070776 1070282 494 1070689 87
 (2) Chukchi_Sea 966006 965968 38 966006 0
 (3) East_Siberian_Sea 1087137 1087049 89 1087120 17
 (4) Laptev_Sea 897827 897821 6 897827 0
 (5) Kara_Sea 934844 917081 17763 934952 -108
 (6) Barents_Sea 695583 572672 122910 690363 5220
 (7) Greenland_Sea 724418 594443 129976 621098 103321
 (8) Baffin_Bay_Gulf_of_St._Lawrence 1322799 1336538 -13738 1008582 314217
 (9) Canadian_Archipelago 854685 853253 1433 854597 88
 (10) Hudson_Bay 1260903 1260753 151 1260471 432
 (11) Central_Arctic 3226420 3210376 16045 3203312 23108
 (12) Bering_Sea 741202 650072 91130 545486 195717
 (13) Baltic_Sea 62895 64264 -1369 52787 10108
 (14) Sea_of_Okhotsk 720277 826161 -105884 900121 -179843

The table shows that surpluses in Barents, Greenland and Bering seas more than offset a deficit to average in Okhotsk.  In the latter case, ice has finally begun to build up toward a normal extent for this period. With an overall extent of 14.6M km2, prospects are good for maxing higher than 15M km2 by mid March.

 

Sea Level Scare Machine 2021 Update

3047060508_737c7687bd_o.0.0

Such beach decorations exhibit the fervent belief of activists that sea levels are rising fast and will flood the coastlines if we don’t stop burning fossil fuels.  As we will see below there is a concerted effort to promote this notion empowered with slick imaging tools to frighten the gullible.  Of course there are frequent media releases sounding the alarms.  Recently for example:

From the Guardian Up to 410 million people at risk from sea level rises – study.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

The paper, published in Nature Communications, finds that currently 267 million people worldwide live on land less than 2 metres above sea level. Using a remote sensing method called Lidar, which pulsates laser light across coastal areas to measure elevation on the Earth’s surface, the researchers predicted that by 2100, with a 1 metre sea level rise and zero population growth, that number could increase to 410 million people.

The climate emergency has caused sea levels to rise and more frequent and severe storms to occur, both of which increase flood risks in coastal environments.

Last year, a survey published by Climate and Atmospheric Science, which aggregated the views of 106 specialists, suggested coastal cities should prepare for rising sea levels that could reach as high as 5 metres by 2300, which could engulf areas home to hundreds of millions of people.

The rest of this post provides a tour of seven US cities demonstrating how the sea level scare machine promotes fear among people living or invested in coastal properties.  In each case there are warnings published in legacy print and tv media, visual simulations powered by computers and desktop publishing, and a comparison of imaginary vs. observed sea level trends.

Prime US Cities on the “Endangered” List
Newport, R.I.

Examples of Media Warnings

Bangor Daily News:  In Maine’s ‘City of Ships,’ climate change’s coastal threat is already here

Bath, the 8,500-resident “City of Ships,” is among the places in Maine facing the greatest risks from increased coastal flooding because so much of it is low-lying. The rising sea level in Bath threatens businesses along Commercial and Washington streets and other parts of the downtown, according to an analysis by Climate Central, a nonprofit science and journalism organization.

Water levels reached their highest in the city during a record-breaking storm in 1978 at a little more than 4 feet over pre-2000 average high tides, and Climate Central’s sea level team found there’s a 1-in-4 chance of a 5-foot flood within 30 years. That level could submerge homes and three miles of road, cutting off communities that live on peninsulas, and inundate sites that manage wastewater and hazardous waste along with several museums.

UConn Today:  Should We Stay or Should We Go? Shoreline Homes and Rising Sea Levels in Connecticut

As global temperatures rise, so does the sea level. Experts predict it could rise as much as 20 inches by 2050, putting coastal communities, including those in Connecticut, in jeopardy.

One possible solution is a retreat from the shoreline, in which coastal homes are removed to take them out of imminent danger. This solution comes with many complications, including reductions in tax revenue for towns and potentially diminished real estate values for surrounding properties. Additionally, it can be difficult to get people to volunteer to relocate their homes.

Computer Simulations of the Future

Newport Obs Imaged

Imaginary vs. Observed Sea Level Trends (2021 Update)

Boston, Mass.

Example of Media Warnings

From WBUR Radio Boston:  Rising Sea Levels Threaten MBTA’s Blue Line

Could it be the end of the Blue Line as we know it? The Blue Line, which features a mile-long tunnel that travels underwater, and connects the North Shore with Boston’s downtown, is at risk as sea levels rise along Boston’s coast. To understand the threat sea-level rise poses to the Blue Line, and what that means for the rest of the city, we’re joined by WBUR reporter Simón Ríos and Julie Wormser, Deputy Director at the Mystic River Watershed Association.

As sea levels continue to rise, the Blue Line and the whole MBTA system face an existential threat. The MBTA is also facing a serious financial crunch, still reeling from the pandemic, as we attempt to fully reopen the city and the region. Joining us to discuss is MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak.

Computer Simulations of the Future

Boston Obs Imaged2

Imaginary vs. Observed Sea Level Trends (2021 Update)

New York City

Example of Media Warnings

From Quartz: Sea level rise will flood the neighborhood around the UN building with two degrees warming

Right now, of every US city, New York City has the highest population living inside a floodplain. By 2100, seas could rise around around the city by as much as six feet. Extreme rainfall is also predicted to rise, with roughly 1½ times more major precipitation events per year by the 2080s, according to a 2015 report by a group of scientists known as the New York City Panel on Climate Change.

But a two-degree warming scenario, which the world is on track to hit, could lock in dramatic sea level rise—possibly as much as 15 feet.

Computer Simulations of the Future

NYC Obs Imaged

Imaginary vs. Observed Sea Level Trends (2021 Update)

 

Philadelphia, PA.

Example of Media Warnings

From NBC Philadelphia:  Climate Change Studies Show Philly Underwater

NBC10 is looking at data and reading studies on climate change to showcase the impact. There are studies that show if the sea levels continue to rise at this rate, parts of Amtrak and Philadelphia International Airport could be underwater in 100 years.

Computer Simulations of the Future

Philly Obs Imaged

Imaginary vs. Observed Sea Level Trends (2021 Update)

Miami, Florida

Examples of Media Warnings

From WLRN Miami: Miles Of Florida Roads Face ‘Major Problem’ From Sea Rise. Is State Moving Fast Enough?

One 2018 Department of Transportation study has already found that a two-foot rise, expected by mid-century, would imperil a little more than five percent — 250-plus miles — of the state’s most high-traffic highways. That may not sound like a lot, but protecting those highways alone could easily cost several billion dollars. A Cat 5 hurricane could be far worse, with a fifth of the system vulnerable to flooding. The impact to seaports, airports and railroads — likely to also be significant and expensive — is only now under analysis.

From Washington Post:  Before condo collapse, rising seas long pressured Miami coastal properties

Investigators are just beginning to try to unravel what caused the Champlain Towers South to collapse into a heap of rubble, leaving at least 159 people missing as of Friday. Experts on sea-level rise and climate change caution that it is too soon to speculate whether rising seas helped destabilize the oceanfront structure. The 40-year-old building was relatively new compared with others on its stretch of beach in the town of Surfside.

But it is already clear that South Florida has been on the front lines of sea-level rise and that the effects of climate change on the infrastructure of the region — from septic systems to aquifers to shoreline erosion — will be a management problem for years.

Computer Simulations of the Future

Florida Obs Imaged

Imaginary vs. Observed Sea Level Trends (2021 Update)

Houston, Texas

Example of Media Warnings

From Undark:  A $26-Billion Plan to Save the Houston Area From Rising Seas

As the sea rises, the land is also sinking: In the last century, the Texas coast sank about 2 feet into the sea, partly due to excessive groundwater pumping. Computer models now suggest that climate change will further lift sea levels somewhere between 1 and 6 feet over the next 50 years. Meanwhile, the Texas coastal population is projected to climb from 7 to 9 million people by 2050.

Protecting Galveston Bay is no simple task. The bay is sheltered from the open ocean by two low, sandy strips of land — Galveston Island and Bolivar Peninsula — separated by the narrow passage of Bolivar Roads. When a sufficiently big storm approaches, water begins to rush through that gap and over the island and peninsula, surging into the bay.

Computer Simulations of the Future

Galv Obs Imaged

Imaginary vs. Observed Sea Level Trends (2021 Update)

San Francisco, Cal.

Example of Media Warnings

From San Francisco Chronicle:  Special Report: SF Bay Sea Level Rise–Hayward

Sea level rise is fueled by higher global temperatures that trigger two forces: Warmer water expands oceans while the increased temperatures hasten the melting of glaciers on Antarctica and Greenland and add yet more water to the oceans.

The California Ocean Protection Council, a branch of state government, forecasts a 1-in-7 chance that the average daily tides in the bay will rise 2 or more feet by 2070. This would cause portions of the marshes and bay trail in Hayward to be underwater during high tides. Add another 2 feet, on the higher end of the council’s projections for 2100 and they’d be permanently submerged. Highway 92 would flood during major storms. So would the streets leading into the power plant.

From San Francisco Chronicle Special Report: SF Bay Sea Level Rise–Mission Creek

Along San Francisco’s Mission Creek, sea level rise unsettles the waters.  Each section of this narrow channel must be tailored differently to meet an uncertain future. Do nothing, and the combination of heavy storms with less than a foot of sea level rise could send Mission Creek spilling over its banks in a half-dozen places, putting nearby housing in peril and closing the two bridges that cross the channel.

Whatever the response, we won’t know for decades if the city’s efforts can keep pace with the impact of global climatic forces that no local government can control.

Though Mission Creek is unique, the larger dilemma is one that affects all nine Bay Area counties.

Computer Simulations of the Future

SF Obs Imaged

Imaginary vs. Observed Sea Level Trends (2021 Update)

 

Summary: This is a relentless, high-tech communications machine to raise all kinds of scary future possibilities, based upon climate model projections, and the unfounded theory of CO2-driven global warming/climate change.  The graphs above are centered on the year 2000, so that the 21st century added sea level rise is projected from that year forward.  In addition, we now have observations at tidal gauges for the first 21 years, 1/5 of the total expected.  The gauges in each city are the ones with the longest continuous service record, and wherever possible the locations shown in the simulations are not far from the tidal gauge.  For example, NYC best gauge is at the Battery, and Fulton St. is also near the Manhattan southern tip.

Already the imaginary rises are diverging greatly from observations, yet the chorus of alarm goes on.  In fact, the added rise to 2100 from tidal gauges ranges from 6 to 9.5 inches, except for Galveston projecting 20.6 inches. Meanwhile models imagined rises from 69 to 108 inches. Clearly coastal settlements must adapt to evolving conditions, but also need reasonable rather than fearful forecasts for planning purposes.

Footnote:  The problem of urban flooding is discussed in some depth at a previous post Urban Flooding: The Philadelphia Story

Background on the current sea level campaign is at USCS Warnings of Coastal Floodings

And as always, an historical perspective is important:

post-glacial_sea_level

 

Global Warming Nudge Question

Selwyn Duke explains at American Thinker The global warming question that can change people’s minds.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds and added images.

Late last year, I got into a discussion with a fellow who was quite sold on the idea that man’s activities were warming the Earth. While not a hardcore ideologue, it was apparent the gentleman had accepted the climate change narrative presented by mainstream media and believed we truly were imperiling the planet. I didn’t say much to him initially, as we were engaged in some recreation, but later on I resurrected the topic and told him I just wanted to pose one question.

“What is the ideal average temperature of the Earth”? I asked.

It was clear he was without an answer, so I explained my rationale. “If we don’t know what the Earth’s ideal average temperature is,” I stated, “how can we know if a given type of climate change — whether naturally occurring or induced by man — is good or bad? After all, we can’t then know whether it’s bringing us closer to or moving us further away from that ideal temperature.”

It was as if a little light bulb had lit up in his head, and he said, “You know, that’s a good question!”

I haven’t seen the man since, as we were just two ships passing in the night, and I don’t know how his thinking has evolved (or regressed) between then and now. I do know, however, that someone who’d seemed so confident and perhaps even unbending in his position had his mind opened with one simple question and a 20-second explanation.

Of course, part of the question’s beauty is that no one can answer it. There is no “ideal” average Earth temperature, only a range within which it must remain for life as we know it to exist. At the spectrum’s lower end, polar creatures proliferate; at its higher end, tropical animals do (though warmer temperatures do breed more life, which is why the tropics boast 10 times as many species as does the Arctic. Moreover, crop yields increase when CO2 levels are higher).

This brings us to another important point: Apocalyptic warmist dogma is buttressed by the virtually unchallenged assumption that if man changes something “natural,” it is by definition bad. But this is prejudice. Most of us certainly don’t believe this, for instance, when humans cure disease and use science to preserve and extend human life (or that of our pets).

As for climate, there have been at least five major ice ages, and “the most recent one began approximately 3 million years ago and continues today (yes, we live in an ice age!),” informs the Utah Geological Survey. Then there was the Cryogenian period, during which the Earth was completely, or almost completely, covered with snow and ice.

If man had existed during that time, would it have been bad if his activities had raised the temperature a couple of degrees?

Within ice ages are shorter term cycles known as glacials (colder periods) and interglacials (warmer ones); glacials last approximately 100,000 years while interglacials last about 10,000 to 30,000 years. We’re currently in an interglacial called the Holocene Epoch, which began 11,500 to 12,000 years ago. This means that we could, conceivably, be poised to soon enter another more frigid glacial period.

Now, again, were this mitigated by a couple of degrees via man’s activities, would this be a bad thing?

In point of fact, warmists suggest this is the case. For example, citing research, science news magazine Eos wrote in 2016 that our Holocene Epoch “may last much longer because of the increased levels of atmospheric greenhouse gases resulting from human activity.”

Once more, would this be bad? Why? What’s that ideal average Earth temperature that this climate change would supposedly be moving us further away from? If you’re a member of one of the vast majority of Earth’s species, those prospering in (relative) warmth, it sounds like good news.

The question in question won’t cut any ice (pun intended) with those emotionally invested in the doom-and-gloom global warming thesis. After all, “You cannot reason a man out of a position he has not reasoned himself into,” to paraphrase Anglo-Irish satirist Jonathan Swift. But with the more open-minded majority, the question can turn down the heat on the fear.

See also World of Climate Change Infographics

 

Arctic Ice Surplus Despite Bering/Okhotsk Seesaw Mid January

 

The animation focuses on the two Pacific basins since most of the ice action is seen there.  The seesaw refers to a frequent observation that Bering and Okhotsk Seas often alternate growing and receding ice extents during both melting and freezing seasons.  This month Bering on the right is seen adding ice steadily from 387k km2 to 664k km2, now at 104% of its last March maximum. Meanwhile Okhotsk on the left starts at 466k km2, waffles back and forth, growing to 554k km2 before retreating to match the beginning.

The graph below shows daily ice extents for January 2022 compared to 16 year averages, and some years of note.

The black line shows during January on average (2006 to 2021 inc.) Arctic ice extents increased ~1.3M km2 from ~13.1M km2 up to ~13.4M km2.  The 2022 cyan MASIE line started the year 261k km2 above average and on day 15 retained a surplus of 84k km2.  The Sea Ice Index in orange (SII from NOAA) started with the same deficit, then lagged behind in the first two weeks, before ending yesterday the same as MASIE. 2021 and 2020 started below average but made up most of the difference by mid month.

Why is this important?  All the claims of global climate emergency depend on dangerously higher temperatures, lower sea ice, and rising sea levels.  The lack of additional warming is documented in a post UAH Confirms Global Warming Gone End of 2021.

The lack of acceleration in sea levels along coastlines has been discussed also.  See Inside the Sea Level Scare Machine

Also, a longer term perspective is informative:

post-glacial_sea_levelThe table below shows the distribution of Sea Ice on day 015 across the Arctic Regions, on average, this year and 2021.

Region 2022015 Day 15 Average 2022-Ave. 2021015 2022-2021
 (0) Northern_Hemisphere 13851226 13767662 83564 13709295 141931
 (1) Beaufort_Sea 1070776 1070247 529 1070689 87
 (2) Chukchi_Sea 966006 965889 117 966006 0
 (3) East_Siberian_Sea 1087137 1087131 6 1087120 17
 (4) Laptev_Sea 897827 897837 -10 897827 0
 (5) Kara_Sea 935023 908782 26242 860326 74697
 (6) Barents_Sea 710507 509307 201200 479880 230628
 (7) Greenland_Sea 584670 600334 -15664 649983 -65313
 (8) Baffin_Bay_Gulf_of_St._Lawrence 1084523 1158194 -73671 1060873 23650
 (9) Canadian_Archipelago 854685 853209 1476 854597 88
 (10) Hudson_Bay 1260903 1254880 6024 1260471 432
 (11) Central_Arctic 3199791 3209964 -10173 3183652 16140
 (12) Bering_Sea 664148 535155 128993 503676 160473
 (13) Baltic_Sea 44692 42101 2591 31534 13157
 (14) Sea_of_Okhotsk 466605 629910 -163305 765767 -299162

The overall surplus to average is 84k km2, (0.6%).  Note large surpluses of ice in Barents and Bering Seas. The main deficit to average is in Sea of Okhotsk, as noted at the top.

bathymetric_map_arctic_ocean

Illustration by Eleanor Lutz shows Earth’s seasonal climate changes. If played in full screen, the four corners present views from top, bottom and sides. It is a visual representation of scientific datasets measuring Arctic ice extents.

Arctic Ice New Year 2022

Remarkable Arctic ice recovery continued in December as seen in the animation below:

The month of December 2021 shows Hudson Bay (lower right) starting with only some shore ice and ending virtually ice covered, adding in that basin 925K km2, nearly a full Wadham. Just above Hudson, you can see the Gulf of St. Lawrence icing over, and Baffin Bay adding ice as well, adding 257k km2 to the total.

At the extreme left Okhotsk Sea also starts with shore ice and grows 435k km2, reaching down to Japan.  At the top Kara freezes over and Barents and Greenland Seas add ice to their margins. The graph below shows the December ice recovery

Note the average year adds 2M km2 and 2021 exceeded that by ~200k km2, maintaining its surplus position.  Other years starting far behind drew closer to average by the end.  SII has not yet reported its estimate of day 365.

The table below shows year-end ice extents in the various Arctic basins compared to the 14-year averages and some recent years.

Region 2021365 Day 365 Average 2021-Ave. 2020365 2021-2020
 (0) Northern_Hemisphere 13340119 13052148  287971  12765491 574628 
 (1) Beaufort_Sea 1070776 1070324  452  1070689 87 
 (2) Chukchi_Sea 966006 964420  1586  966006
 (3) East_Siberian_Sea 1087137 1087132  1087120 17 
 (4) Laptev_Sea 897827 897841  -14  897827
 (5) Kara_Sea 932872 883615  49256  879232 53640 
 (6) Barents_Sea 653611 423352  230260  371122 282489 
 (7) Greenland_Sea 620509 579341  41168  592839 27671 
 (8) Baffin_Bay_Gulf_of_St._Lawrence 873269 1003682  -130413  867509 5760 
 (9) Canadian_Archipelago 854685 853276  1409  854597 88 
 (10) Hudson_Bay 1245910 1236600  9311  1257919 -12009 
 (11) Central_Arctic 3221247 3203619  17628  3159881 61366 
 (12) Bering_Sea 358002 408726  -50724  249522 108481 
 (13) Baltic_Sea 61428 30674 30755  7986 53443 
 (14) Sea_of_Okhotsk 478257 382234  96023  479972 -1715 

This year’s ice extent is almost 300k km2 or 2% above average.  Only Baffin Bay and Bering Sea are in deficit to average, more than offset by surpluses elsewhere, especially in Kara, Barents and Okhotsk seas.

Comparing Arctic Ice at End of Years

At  the bottom is a discussion of statistics on year-end Arctic Sea Ice extents.  The values are averages of the last five days of each year.  End of December is a neutral point in the melting-freezing cycle, midway between September minimum and March maximum extents.

Background from Previous Post Updated to Year-End 2021

Some years ago reading a thread on global warming at WUWT, I was struck by one person’s comment: “I’m an actuary with limited knowledge of climate metrics, but it seems to me if you want to understand temperature changes, you should analyze the changes, not the temperatures.” That rang bells for me, and I applied that insight in a series of Temperature Trend Analysis studies of surface station temperature records. Those posts are available under this heading. Climate Compilation Part I Temperatures

This post seeks to understand Arctic Sea Ice fluctuations using a similar approach: Focusing on the rates of extent changes rather than the usual study of the ice extents themselves. Fortunately, Sea Ice Index (SII) from NOAA provides a suitable dataset for this project. As many know, SII relies on satellite passive microwave sensors to produce charts of Arctic Ice extents going back to 1979.  The current Version 3 has become more closely aligned with MASIE, the modern form of Naval ice charting in support of Arctic navigation. The SII User Guide is here.

There are statistical analyses available, and the one of interest (table below) is called Sea Ice Index Rates of Change (here). As indicated by the title, this spreadsheet consists not of monthly extents, but changes of extents from the previous month. Specifically, a monthly value is calculated by subtracting the average of the last five days of the previous month from this month’s average of final five days. So the value presents the amount of ice gained or lost during the present month.

These monthly rates of change have been compiled into a baseline for the period 1980 to 2010, which shows the fluctuations of Arctic ice extents over the course of a calendar year. Below is a graph of those averages of monthly changes during the baseline period. Those familiar with Arctic Ice studies will not be surprised at the sine wave form. December end is a relatively neutral point in the cycle, midway between the September Minimum and March Maximum.

The graph makes evident the six spring/summer months of melting and the six autumn/winter months of freezing.  Note that June-August produce the bulk of losses, while October-December show the bulk of gains. Also the peak and valley months of March and September show very little change in extent from beginning to end.

The table of monthly data reveals the variability of ice extents over the last 4 decades.

The values in January show changes from the end of the previous December, and by summing twelve consecutive months we can calculate an annual rate of change for the years 1979 to 2021.

 

As many know, there has been a decline of Arctic ice extent over these 40 years, averaging 70k km2 per year. But year over year, the changes shift constantly between gains and losses.

Moreover, it seems random as to which months are determinative for a given year. For example, much ado was printed about June and July 2021 melting faster than expected resulting in higher losses of ice extents. But then the final 3 months of 2021 more than made up for those summer losses

As it happens in this dataset, October has the highest rate of adding ice. The table below shows the variety of monthly rates in the record as anomalies from the 1980-2010 baseline. In this exhibit a red cell is a negative anomaly (less than baseline for that month) and blue is positive (higher than baseline).

 

Note that the  +/ –  rate anomalies are distributed all across the grid, sequences of different months in different years, with gains and losses offsetting one another.  Yes, June 2021 lost more ice than the baseline, but about the same as 2017, and not as much as 2012. The gains in Oct.-Dec. 2021 were ~1M km2 above baseline, but were exceeded by the same months in 2019 and 2020.  The bottom line presents the average anomalies for each month over the period 1979-2021.  Note the rates of gains and losses mostly offset, and the average of all months in the bottom right cell is virtually zero.

A final observation: The graph below shows the Yearend Arctic Ice Extents for the last 32 years.

 

 

Year-end Arctic ice extents (last 5 days of December) show three distinct regimes: 1988-1998, 1998-2010, 2010-2021. The average year-end extent 1989-2010 is 13.4M km2. In the last decade, 2011 was 13.0M km2, and six years later, 2017 was 12.3M km2. 2021 rose back to 13.06  So for all the the fluctuations, the net is zero, or a gain from 2010. Talk of an Arctic ice death spiral is fanciful.

These data show a noisy, highly variable natural phenomenon. Clearly, unpredictable factors are in play, principally water structure and circulation, atmospheric circulation regimes, and also incursions and storms. And in the longer view, today’s extents are not unusual.

 

 

Illustration by Eleanor Lutz shows Earth’s seasonal climate changes. If played in full screen, the four corners present views from top, bottom and sides. It is a visual representation of scientific datasets measuring Arctic ice extents.

 

All’s Well with Mid-Dec. Arctic Ice

 

The image above shows recovery of Arctic sea ice extent over the first half of December 2021. As supported by the table later, the pace of refreezing for 2021 exceeded the 14-year average since mid-Nov. and ended close to average, and well above 2020.

The month began with the Arctic core as well as seas on the Eurasian and Can-Am sides (top and bottom) already ice-covered, so no additional extent came from there.  OTOH Hudson Bay (lower right) more than doubled extent, starting with only western shore ice and grew from 320k km2 to 780k km2, 62% of last March maximum.  On the Pacific side, Bering (bottom left) went down to 255k km2 before refreezing up to 426k m2, nearly half of its last max.  Okhotsk (far left) had very little ice to start but now has fast ice growing from the northern shore.

The graph below shows the ice extent growing mid-Nov. to mid-Dec compared to some other years and the 14 year average (2007 to 2020 inclusive).

Note that the  NH ice extent 14 year average increases 2.4M km2 during this period, up to 12.2M km2. MASIE 2021 tracked above average most of the period, returning to the mean at the end. Other years were also nearly average, except for 2020. SII was slightly lower than MASIE most of the time but ended nearly the same.

Region 2021349 Day 349 Average 2021-Ave. 2020349 2021-2020
 (0) Northern_Hemisphere 12132680 12181283  -48602  11673121 459559 
 (1) Beaufort_Sea 1070776 1070021  755  1070689 87 
 (2) Chukchi_Sea 966006 931960  34047  876648 89358 
 (3) East_Siberian_Sea 1087137 1086411  727  1086981 156 
 (4) Laptev_Sea 897827 897835  -8  897827
 (5) Kara_Sea 892744 840489  52255  608199 284545 
 (6) Barents_Sea 516037 337705  178332  266917 249119 
 (7) Greenland_Sea 476250 552837  -76587  571809 -95559 
 (8) Baffin_Bay_Gulf_of_St._Lawrence 782600 835808  -53209  790539 -7939 
 (9) Canadian_Archipelago 854685 853275  1411  854597 88 
 (10) Hudson_Bay 778083 1126491  -348408  1163833 -385750 
 (11) Central_Arctic 3192879 3204951  -12071  3207975 -15096 
 (12) Bering_Sea 426194 229742  196452  147408 278787 
 (13) Baltic_Sea 32463 11257 21206  400 32063 
 (14) Sea_of_Okhotsk 148537 192106  -43569  114474 34063 

The table shows where the ice is distributed compared to average. Hudson Bay shows a large deficit, along with smaller ones in Greenland Sea and Baffin Bay.  Offsetting are surpluses in Bering, Barents and Kara Seas.

Illustration by Eleanor Lutz shows Earth’s seasonal climate changes. If played in full screen, the four corners present views from top, bottom and sides. It is a visual representation of scientific datasets measuring Arctic ice extents.

Arctic Ice Aplenty Nov. 30, 2021

The animation shows Arctic ice extents from day 304 (end of October) to day 334, Nov.30, 2021. On the right side are the Euro-Russian seas already frozen over end of October.  At the bottom right Kara Sea fills in to >90%, while Barents (left of Kara) adds nearly 400k km2 to reach 60% of March maximum. Dramatically, at the top center Chukchi freezes over and Bering Sea grows ~300k km2 of ice extent.  On the far left Hudson Bay shows its delayed freezing this year, with some western shore ice appearing only in the last 10 days. Meanwhile, Baffin Bay (lower left) added 480k km2 of ice extent.  The graph below shows November daily ice extents for 2021 compared to 14 year averages, and some years of note.

The black line shows during November on average Arctic ice extents increase ~2.5M km2 from ~8.5M km2 up to ~11M km2.  The 2021 cyan MASIE line started the month 163k km2 above average and on day 334 showed a surplus of  196k km2.  The Sea Ice Index in orange (SII from NOAA) started with the same deficit, then lagged behind through the month, before ending ~200k km2 lower than MASIE. (No SII data yet for day 334). 2019 and 2020 were well below average at this stage of the ice recovery.

Why is this important?  All the claims of global climate emergency depend on dangerously higher temperatures, lower sea ice, and rising sea levels.  The lack of additional warming is documented in a post Adios, Global Warming

The lack of acceleration in sea levels along coastlines has been discussed also.  See USCS Warnings of Coastal Flooding

Also, a longer term perspective is informative:

post-glacial_sea_levelThe table below shows the distribution of Sea Ice on day 334 across the Arctic Regions, on average, this year and 2020.

Region 2021334 Day 334 Average 2021-Ave. 2020334 2021-2020
 (0) Northern_Hemisphere 11171831 10976208 195623 10207244 964587
 (1) Beaufort_Sea 1070776 1069252 1524 1070689 87
 (2) Chukchi_Sea 966006 781701 184305 601423 364584
 (3) East_Siberian_Sea 1087085 1082808 4277 1075464 11621
 (4) Laptev_Sea 897827 897818 9 897827 0
 (5) Kara_Sea 874105 789034 85071 470654 403451
 (6) Barents_Sea 445466 252273 193193 56772 388695
 (7) Greenland_Sea 468845 543650 -74805 577314 -108469
 (8) Baffin_Bay_Gulf_of_St._Lawrence 606454 680452 -73998 608255 -1802
 (9) Canadian_Archipelago 854668 853089 1579 854597 71
 (10) Hudson_Bay 307719 615274 -307555 803363 -495644
 (11) Central_Arctic 3208675 3195024 13651 3118738 89936
 (12) Bering_Sea 335645 140327 195318 39284 296361
 (13) Baltic_Sea 6666 3698 2969 0 6666
 (14) Sea_of_Okhotsk 34960 67733 -32773 31397 3563

The overall surplus to average is 196k km2, (2%).  Note the large surpluses of ice in Chukchi and Bering Seas, partly offset by deficits in Greenland Sea and Baffin bay. The largest deficit is Hudson Bay, a shallow basin that should freeze over in coming weeks, adding nearly 1M km2 when it does. Note that 2021 ice extent exceeds that of 2020 by almost a full Wadham, 965k km2, most of the surplus being in Chukchi, Bering, Kara and Barents Seas.

bathymetric_map_arctic_ocean

Illustration by Eleanor Lutz shows Earth’s seasonal climate changes. If played in full screen, the four corners present views from top, bottom and sides. It is a visual representation of scientific datasets measuring Arctic ice extents.