Sunday 27 December 2015

Anthropogenic Climate Change and the flooding in the North of England

I cannot really add much more than my recent comments on the Cumbria floods of early December, denying a role for AGW really isn't sound as I explain in that post. However it is an issue worthy of some comment.

Sunday 20 December 2015

2015 Record Temperature Smash

In October I posted the results of calculations that show that 2015 is very likely to be a new record warm year. That was based on data to September, now I have data to November and 2015 will be a new record likely by a massive margin.

Sunday 13 December 2015


In Paris the Great and Good have met and decided that it would be a good idea to keep AGW to below 1.5 to 2 degC. We'll see how that pans out, any effect will be seen in the coming decades in the rate of increase of atmospheric CO2, which is currently running at about 2ppm/yr.

Whilst the COP21 talks were ongoing, what seems to me to be a more important item of news (in terms of dealing with AGW) has been announced. Engineers and scientists in Germany reported what seems to me (as an outsider) to be a potentially exciting development in fusion power.

Sunday 6 December 2015

Anthropogenic Climate Change and the flooding in Cumbria

Cumbria in North West England has been hit by severe floods as a month's worth of rain falls in one week, the floods are as severe as the floods in 2009, which at the time were claimed to be a 1 in 1000 year event.

Has Anthropogenic (human driven) Climate Change got anything to do with this?

Tuesday 1 December 2015

PDFs and Buses

The problem with what I've been doing in place of sea ice over much of this autumn is that I can't blog on it. You don't give away ways of doing things that you intend to make money out of, it's bad business. Then I was waiting at the bus stop over the weekend and it occurred to me that I often talk about probability distributions, but haven't explained what they are.

Monday 23 November 2015

Is Prince Charles Correct?

In an interview recorded before the recent Paris massacre Prince Charles has recently told Sky News that he thinks that Climate Change is one causal factor in the ongoing Syrian situation. Rejecting him out of hand does not seem sound to me based on the available evidence.

Sunday 15 November 2015

The Autumn Inflection, and a Digression into Early Summer

Last week while updating my spreadsheets for the first time since September* and generally catching up I realised that there is a feature that I've not addressed before, the change of rate of sea ice gain in Autumn. *The PIOMAS data is now updated, last updated in August, see top box on the right of the page, top link.

Wednesday 28 October 2015

Intelligent Design is not science.

Let's say we accept Intelligent Design.

OK, so no need to ponder how evolution led to features of the various species we see. God did it. Debate over.

Great! That works quite neatly. Why stop at evolution?

Sunday 18 October 2015

A High Probability of 2015 record for GISS LOTI

Before I settle down for a Sunday afternoon watching films recorded during the week, a thought occurred to me: What is the current situation regarding global average temperature?

Sunday 4 October 2015

A fool by any other name...

Well, I am too ill due to a cold to continue the electronics work I have been doing, and ire has driven me to tackle an easy subject, the hubristic musings of Ron Clutz. So for a second time in a few days I am breaking my pause from sea ice blogging.

Ron Clutz has recently used MASIE data over a short period to claim that there is a rebound in Arctic sea ice. This has been repeated by that ang of dolts; the Global Warming Policy Foundation. Tamino has already ably dismissed the original claims of Clutz, in Clutz's response it is claimed that 'Nothing alarming is happening to Arctic ice'. The response utterly fails to deal with Tamino's points, just restates the same half arsed nonsense originally asserted.

Clutz is wrong and I will show so in one graph based on NSIDC Concentration data, no modelled data involved just satellite data.

Friday 2 October 2015

SIPN Outcome

I did say in my previous post that I might post a final time on sea ice once September average extent data was out, I have decided to do so, and to cover a couple of other issues.

Monday 7 September 2015

The last post of summer 2015

I've been increasingly quiet on this blog over the back end of last month, I must admit I've been finding it hard to be bothered to post, other interests have been taking precedent. Anyway, as I feel compelled, here is a quick last blog of of the summer.

Thursday 27 August 2015

How is the August extent loss going?

I have previously posted about an apparent oscillation in the August extent loss in recent years, nearing the end of August it is a reasonable time to look at how August losses are going in light of that possible oscillation.

Saturday 22 August 2015

Prof Curry joins Prof Wadhams, in my bin...

Prof Judith Curry has puzzled me for a while, now I am finally moved to consign her future scientific work to the waste bin.

Thursday 20 August 2015

Is the ice unusually fragmented?

I've been rather busy with a new piece of kit, a PicoScope 2206A, so haven't been commenting much on sea ice elsewhere. But this post is once again prompted by claims I read that the Arctic Ocean's ice pack is unusually fragmented. Is it really? Is comparing one year against another through gaps in clouds a satisfactory way of determining how fragmented the pack is?

I think not.

Thursday 13 August 2015

PIOMAS Volume Loss over July

The interesting forecast addressed in my last post involving two cyclones, one being the remnants of tropical storm Molave, hasn't panned out. Such is the risk of using forecasts so far ahead. However the weather still will play a large role in the setting of the September, and it was such a remarkable forecast it was worthy of comment.

Anyway, this is a quick post to update the sea ice volume loss over July and the volume at the end of July using PIOMAS daily volume data. I have now updated all of the regional PIOMAS data available here to the most recent data available.

I also digress at the end to a outlook for the minimum September extent.

Tuesday 4 August 2015

PIOMAS July 2015

PIOMAS gridded data is out, well partially.As I type the gice data and daily data hasn't been updated, but I'll proceed with what heff (grid box effective thickness) shows.

Sunday 2 August 2015

July Status: How low can it go?

Rather then do a proper run down of July conditions I have decided to mostly look forward, although in doing so I cover July. In my previous post on sea ice conditions I covered up to mid July, and essentially not much has changed, the Arctic Dipole has dominated through July and sets the scene for August.

Before I begin, apologies for the stupid 'Cookies' message, this is a result of European Union legislation.

Friday 24 July 2015

A Correction

In mid June I posted a blog post asking about whether we were facing a crash this year. This was based on the US Navy's ACNFS Model, which I have previously called HYCOM. Shortly after the post the model version I had used was put behind a password wall, the US Navy had realised that it wasn't signed off for public release.

Now it seems there is a problem with ACNFS, as found out by Peter Ellis at the Sea Ice Forum. Basically the massive melt ACNFS showed this summer was due to a glitch in the model. These things happen, the only people who don't make mistakes are those who never try anything, and the more complex one's endeavour the more likely mistakes are.

So my question in mid June about us facing a crash this year was based on flawed data.

This doesn't affect any of my recent blog posts because the password walling of ACNFS made me suspect something was up, on that I was wrong in the end, it was walled for another reason. But after the PIOMAS data I suspected something was off with ACNFS, by my June Status post I used ACNFS but came to the conclusion there would not be a crash this year.

I will be using ACNFS for ice movement, but for other metrics will probably rest use of it for the remainder of the summer season, perhaps longer, to give them time to get things sorted.

Thursday 23 July 2015

Mid Summer 2015 Status

Taking the Arctic Ocean summer season as June to the sea ice minimum, around now is the middle of the summer. In this post I look at the state of the ice mid summer, and offer a guess of what the minimum will be.

Sunday 19 July 2015

Hello Dipole My Old Friend

I have previously written about the Arctic Dipole, and note that it now has a Wikipedia page. Over the last two years it has been largely absent, leading myself and others to ponder whether it was a transitory phase over the 2007 to 2012 period.

It doesn't seem to have been transitory, it has dominated July so far and looks set to continue throughout the rest of July. My expectation is for it to continue into August, that however is just an expectation based on behaviour in 2007 to 2012.

Saturday 18 July 2015

What would it take to get to 1 million kmsq?

I now have data to 15 July for regional extent (thanks Wipneus). With two months to go to the middle of September, the period for which the minimum can reasonably be expected, what would it take to reach 1 million kmsq by this September?

Saturday 11 July 2015

The Chukchi Rout

In my previous post I covered, amongst other issues, the large region of collapsing ice shown in the Chukchi Sea. Now with three days more data it is clear that Chukchi is suffering a rout.

Tuesday 7 July 2015

HRPT Satellite 7 July 2015

I had to post the following image because with clear skies it really paints the picture of ice state in the Pacific sector of the Arctic Ocean. Ice state is excellent for significant losses this year, a re-run of 2013 and 2014 looks very unlikely.

Friday 3 July 2015

June 2015 Status

June data is now fully available, so here is my commentary on the current sea ice state and the month just passed. Sorry but this is a long post...

Thursday 2 July 2015


Tamino has recently posted a summary of the drought situation in California. Frankly if I lived there and read that post (or read the news!) I would be selling up and moving out before it gets worse. Anyway, now that I have finally got round to doing it, this seemed like a good excuse to finally get round to updating the UK rainfall plot.

Saturday 27 June 2015

June SIPN and CT Area Prediction 2015

June's Sea Ice Prediction Network (SIPN) summary has taken so long to come out I had stopped checking for it. Commenter Nightvid let me know last night that it was out (Thanks!). And whilst I am on the subject of prediction I will include my prediction for Cryopshere Today Area (CT Area).

Tuesday 23 June 2015

What role did the GAC of 2012 play in the 2012 crash?

A correspondent asks...
I don't know if you have already read and discussed conclusions presented in this article, but it suggests that GAC -2012 was not a major factor in record ice retreat. I thought it may be useful to the discussion on preconditioning of ice melt and summer ice cover.

"The impact of an intense summer cyclone on 2012 Arctic sea ice retreat". Zhang et al 2013.

Thursday 18 June 2015

Are we facing a crash in 2015?

This blog post was based on data from the US Navy's ACNFS model (known as HYCOM in this post). It has turned out that the massive melt shown in the model was due to a technical glitch. This post is kept as I don't delete posts, but it is no longer considered valid.

Correction statement with links to details here.


It's bad form to blog on consecutive nights, but I'm now going to say something that has been on my mind for over a week.

Last year, and the year before, I recollect a lot of excitable discussion at the forum in June about how we were going to see a crash in sea ice. A lot of talk about how the weather would shift and massive losses would start, of course as we now know, that just didn't happen.

Wednesday 17 June 2015

Looking promising...

Just a quick post with some graphs, because things are looking better in the Arctic Ocean for a more exciting melt season than the last two years. All of these graphs use anomalies from the 1981 to 2010 average.

Sunday 14 June 2015

Mid June 2015

June seems to represent a crucial period of pre-conditioning for the summer melt season, with large June sea ice losses in years of large summer losses, such as 2007, 2011 and 2012. The purpose of this blog post is to consider what is happening in June this year, and the prospects for the rest of June and the summer.

Sunday 7 June 2015

May 2015 Status: PIOMAS

This will be a rather short post, I will have much more to say about the June PIOMAS data. But for now, partly due to work, here's some late comments on PIOMAS May data.

Tuesday 2 June 2015

May 2015 Status: Four Dipoles

Not all of the NCEP/NCAR data is available, and PIOMAS is yet to be released, but with the data available there is still a lot to cover about sea ice state in May 2015.

Sunday 31 May 2015

2015 September NSIDC Extent Prediction

This is the prediction I will be submitting for the June Sea Ice Prediction Network 2015 predictions. I wasn't aware of the mid May call for early season predictions, as I use April data I could have put this in for that round.

Thursday 28 May 2015

The Slow Transition

Ten months ago I posted about my change of mind, from thinking that a fast crash was a very real possibility to expecting a slow transition of the Arctic sea ice to a seasonally ice free state. I have now finished the series of posts detailing my argument. I should start by clarifying; by a slow transition I do not expect the summer sea ice to last into the 2050s, I suspect that around 2030 we will see the first summer with an extent of less than 1 million km^2.

Monday 25 May 2015

The Slow Transition: The Central Arctic

For the Arctic Ocean to become seasonally sea ice free the Central Arctic region must become sea ice free. What is happening in PIOMAS in the Central Arctic, and what is likely to happen in future?

Thursday 21 May 2015

The Slow Transition: The BCE Region

The BCE region is the region covered by the Beaufort Sea, Chukchi Sea, and the East Siberian Sea. For there to be a virtually ice free Arctic any September soon, the BCE region must melt out early in the season. This post is the penultimate post in my argument that we face a slow transition of the Arctic sea ice, after which I will wrap up the argument with a summary, before moving on to watch this season.

Coincidentally, as others including Neven have noted, Beaufort is very interesting right now, this winter's export of multi year ice makes me suspect it will stall, but an early start in Beaufort is promising for a more exciting season than the last two years. Here's hoping...

Sunday 17 May 2015

Predicting the CT Area minimum

Crysophere Today Area (CT Area) is the dataset produced by the Polar Research Group at the University of Illinois. I've stopped using it since last year, I now concentrate on NSIDC Extent and PIOMAS. But it has a peculiarity that makes it worth picking up again.

Saturday 16 May 2015

The bitter irony of Paul Homewood

Who's Paul Homewood? It doesn't really matter, he's just another tedious climate change denialist, but the irony of this amused me.

Monday 11 May 2015

An Early Warning for Summer Sea Ice Crashes?

Just a quick post on on of the elements I've looked at while trying to improve prediction for the summer. This comes with a caution, because the method outlined only 'predicts' two recent sea ice summer loss events, the 2007 and 2012 crashes. Time will tell whether it is of any use in the future.

Wednesday 6 May 2015

April 2015 Status. Part 2.

Part 2 of my summary of April sea ice state focusses on ice thickness as seen in PIOMAS. So for those who have been awaiting the more detailed thickness distribution plots by region here is the detail that may help form opinions as to prospects for the coming melt season.

Monday 4 May 2015

April 2015 Status. Part 1.

This post is the first of two blog posts examining ice state as of April 2015. April extent is very low but this has little impact on the coming season. A greater factor is thickness and the thickness distribution of the ice, and the best available tool for that is the PIOMAS sea ice reanalysis system. Due to the length of this post I will address thickness breakdown of PIOMAS data using both grid box effective thickness and the sub grid thickness distribution in a post in the next few days.

Saturday 2 May 2015

Is Arctic Sea Ice Like a Cup or a Ball?

As posted at Neven's blog, Wagner and Eisenman have recently published a paper building on an active area of research into whether the loss of sea ice will be linear or non linear. Thanks to Neven for bringing my attention to this paper and to HotWhopper for the link to a pre-print of Wagner & Eisenman. Although HotWhopper almost negates the provision of the actual paper by giving a guided tour of some comments at Dumbass Central. ;)

Friday 24 April 2015

Atlantic Sector Extent, Late April 2015

Extent has been definitely falling, this is accompanied by rather intersting conditions in the Atlantic sector of the pack. What is going on there? I hazard a guess concerning the very low extent in Barents.

Thursday 23 April 2015

What is PIOMAS gice?

 In this post I'm going to explain a PIOMAS metric that I will be using from now on. I will also give a first look at this metric. The gridded data for the 'sub-grid thickness distribution' is contained in gice files, and I've finally started to use them.

Thursday 16 April 2015

Summer Sea Ice in the Laptev Sea

I've recently been looking at the PIOMAS Gice data, about which I will explain briefly here and in more depth later this month. Of the areas I have been looking at one that has struck me is the Laptev Sea, the other is Baffin Bay, on which I will blog in due course. But for now, Laptev:

Monday 6 April 2015

March 2015 Status

Data is now in for March 2015, the early maximum is confirmed, temperatures over autumn/winter continue the pattern of recent years, and the volume increase in PIOMAS remains. This year takes volume back to 2010 levels, but the impact of 2007 remains clear. My entry for the 2015 Sea Ice Prediction Network (SIPN) is given at the end of this post.

Wednesday 1 April 2015

Large extent of older sea ice in the Beaufort Sea

I have processed images from the Drift Age Model of Fowler/Maslanik/Tschudi to draw attention to the extent of old ice in Beaufort. 2014, like 2013, enters the melt season looking more like a pre-2007 year in the highlighted region.

Thursday 26 March 2015

Rotten sea ice in the summer?

The 2015 melt season has begun, but as is the nature of a near sinusoid, the peak is rather boring with a small rate of change. So to alleviate the boredom, here's a post about compactness. ;)

Sunday 22 March 2015

Sea Ice Maximum 2015

Rather late, due to work commitments, here are my comments on the 2015 sea ice maximum. Three days ago NSIDC provisionally called the maximum at 14.54M km^2, on 25 February 2015. Does this mean anything for the coming season?

Sunday 15 March 2015

Mid March 2015 Status

So far the sea ice extent maximum was set on 22 February 2015, however as of 13 March extent is only 0.14M km^2 below, so it is too early to claim a maximum. That noted there are good grounds to suspect that the 22 February maximum may hold. PIOMAS data is covered at the end of the post.

Tuesday 10 March 2015

Lindsay & Schweiger 2015: The thinning of Arctic Sea Ice

This is a rather delayed comment on the excellent Lindsay & Schweiger paper that provides lines of fit to sea ice thickness data. One reason for delay is that I have been awaiting the latest PIOMAS update, now that will have to wait until later this week, because I don't want to bury this post.

Monday 2 March 2015

Evolution in day to day sea ice extent change.

In the comments to my previous post commenter Pete asked about the changes in the seasonal cycle with regards the date of maximum and minimum. In looking at this apparently simple question it actually has all ended up being rather complex, which may say more about me than the question. So sorry Pete, I still haven't really got a post looking at your question, although I do close by touching upon the issue.

However in playing around with the data, trying to settle on a method that will produce a sound answer, I have ended up being diverted by an idea I thought worth pursuing.

Thursday 19 February 2015

FDDs and Sea Ice Loss

At the end of my last blog post of the Slow Transition series I tagged on a comment and graph about Freezing Degree Days and CO2, I said I would need to think about it. Having been rather distracted by other matters it's taken some time for me to look at it. However I have now done so and in short I don't think CO2 is directly driving winter warming.

Friday 6 February 2015

January Status: PIOMAS

January's PIOMAS data was released yesterday, it shows that the volume gain over 2012 has decreased massively. But does this really mean the increased volume of 2013/14 is going to go away within one winter?

Monday 2 February 2015

January Status: Extent

In this first monthly status blog post of 2015 I'll be using a technique used last year in this post. But I will explain, so no need to go reading that post before you read this one. To be frank there isn't a great deal of demand from the data for anomalies, but it's as well for me to start using the technique as I will throughout this year.

A separate PIOMAS post will follow when that data is out.

Thursday 29 January 2015

The Slow Transition: The Mono-modal Spike.

In my previous post I looked at the implications of winter thickening for the question of whether Arctic Sea Ice faces a rapid crash or a slow transition to a seasonally sea ice free state. There is another aspect of the PIOMAS data which throws light on this, and which shows something I have commented on in recent winter commentaries.

Saturday 17 January 2015

The Slow Transition: The Thickness Growth Feedback

PIOMAS data is often used in statistical extrapolation to support claims of an imminent crash of summer sea ice. However Zhang 2010 ("Arctic sea ice response to atmospheric forcings with varying levels of anthropogenic warming and climate variability" PDF) uses the very same model in a future projection and finds no such crash. What is going on? Which approach and conclusions are to be trusted?

Monday 12 January 2015

The simplest model of sea ice growth

This post is acting as an appendix for a blog post I'm writing at the moment. In this post I describe a very simple physical model of sea ice growth and the conversion to a Freezing Degree Days format.

Thursday 8 January 2015

Where is the ice in the Bering Sea?

Like me, you've probably noticed the singular lack of ice in the Bering Sea, it is very unusual and the cause is northward air flow. That's as good an excuse as any for my first blog post of the 2015 sea ice year.

Tuesday 6 January 2015

PIOMAS December 2014

The PIOMAS data for December 2014 is now out. So here is the usual summary. I start with the usual map plots of thickness, this time I've done an animated gif for September to December thickness.

Sunday 4 January 2015

UK Rainfall 2014, a sneak peek.

I just, rather optimistically, checked UK rainfall data to see if it had been updated. It hasn't, but I was reminded that while the annual data is for January to December, the seasons run from December to November (using meteorological seasons). The main index I will continue to use will be the calendar year, January to December, but while I wait for PIOMAS data, here's a quick early look at UK rainfall for 2014.

Friday 2 January 2015

Clarke's Third Law.

Happy New Year All!

Having been enjoying the long Christmas shutdown of the company I work for, I've been getting out and about, a few days ago I took a couple of busses, had a good walk, and got myself up to Winter Hill. It coalesced some thoughts I've had for years.