The New Normal In The Arctic

The latest headline on the so called “Real Science” blog reads as follows:

The New Normal In The Arctic – Cold Summers

According to “Steven Goddard”:

For the third year in a row, near-polar temperatures have dropped below normal in May.


Both of the last two years, temperatures stayed below normal for the entire melt season.

The below normal summer temperatures are keeping the ice from melting, and have led to a large expansion in the amount of thick multi-year ice.

However the Arctic is unfortunately failing to cooperate with that narrative. Today we are unhappy to report that Tony Heller‘s favourite Arctic sea ice metric, the Danish Meteorological Institute 30% threshold extent, is at the lowest level ever for the date since their records began:


What is more, so is the JAXA 15% extent metric:


As if that wasn’t enough to be going on with, some big holes have already appeared in the middle of the supposedly multi-meter thick, multi-year sea ice in the Beaufort Sea, well away from the open water already warming up off the Mackenzie Delta:

NASA Worldview “true-color” image of The Beaufort Sea on May 11th, derived from bands 1, 4 and 3 of the MODIS sensor on the Aqua satellite
NASA Worldview “true-color” image of The Beaufort Sea on May 11th, derived from bands 1, 4 and 3 of the MODIS sensor on the Aqua satellite

45 thoughts on “The New Normal In The Arctic

  1. when do you think it would be suitable to start the countdown to our £1000 bet jim . might be a nice feature for the blog 🙂

    1. First I’ll need to go away and refresh my memory about the precise terms. Was this at (un)Real Science?

      P.S. It would seem so. I’ve turned up this, from August 2014. The sum discussed was $100! Was there a sequel somewhere?

      1. no jim, £1000 that the arctic will not meet the definition of ice free before 2022 i think it was . i will go and have a look over at steve goddards for the exact posts.

      2. Chilly – Having personally discussed the matter with Rear Admiral Jon White:

        Is The Economist Being Economical With The Truth About Climate Change?

        and having since publicly stated that I’m more pessimistic than him, how about $1000 in favour of ShelterBox on CT Area < 1 mio square kilometers by the summer of 2022 at the latest?

        my reply . $1000 on ct area being less than 1million square kilometres at some point between now and 2022 sounds fine to me,we have a bet . remember ,this is where to send your $1000

        so it is $1000 not £1000 . 🙂

  2. My apologies Chilly,

    So many people challenge me to Arctic sea ice wagers that I’d quite forgotten about the sequel. Of course “Steve”/Tony gish gallops around so much it’s quite impossible to keep up!

    Are you resident in the UK? I ask because the wager is currently denominated in United States Dollars (USD for short) rather than Great British Pounds (GBP for short). Here’s what was agreed, as far as I can tell:

    1000 USD on Cryosphere Today Arctic sea ice area < 1 million square kilometers by the summer of 2022 at the latest?

    If I lose the cheque is made out in favour of the Rachel House Hospice.

    If you lose the pot goes to ShelterBox instead. Unfortunately they are in the news as we speak:

    At this juncture it looks like we just need to tidy up the small print? Cryosphere Today is currently inoperative for example!

  3. I’m afraid the novelty of waiting for the cat to release Chilly’s tongue has worn off. Hence I am endeavouring to find a more prominent “skeptic” to take the other side of the wager. James Delingpole has been waxing lyrical about the cryosphere recently, so…..

    Not a lot of people know that I broached the topic with Paul Homewood first, but my witty comment still seems to be stuck in his moderation queue:

    What The BBC Does Not Want You To Know About Arctic Ice

  4. i thought the bet was done deal jim ? we just have to wait on all that ice melting 🙂 no we will not be using anyone else,s “home brewed efforts” ,what about dmi in the event ct is inoperative 😉

  5. i think you will be wasting your time with delingpole . journalists and politicians are all full of it these days jim,as you well know, all mouth and no trousers.

  6. i think we have to stick to ct area then jim. looking at wipneus latest figures he does appear to be fairly spot on with his calculations,i suppose by 2022 he will have so much practice it may well be a viable proposition,something we can revisit nearer the time i think.

    from my perspective i can only hope arctic sea ice recovers. in every single area of the planet where major “research and exploration” has taken place in the past it has lead to exploitation of the natural resources of that area and a changing land or sea scape ,and not for the better. i would not like to see the arcic region become a marine version of the amazon region ,that is for sure. the only hope for arctic preservation is maintaining or increasing sea ice cover.

    1. If you’re not entirely happy with Wipneus’ efforts then how about this proposal?

      Over in Scandinavia NORSEX do provide an Arctic sea ice area product:

      The NSIDC provide a monthly area metric, even though they don’t really advertise the fact:

      Maybe they’ll even start publishing a daily version? Since you seem quietly confident that things will go your way over the next 5 or 6 years, take the lowest reading of whichever ones out of those three are still operational come the Autumn of 2022?

        1. You’ll no doubt be pleased to discover that another Arctic sea ice aficionado has also made a similar wager with me recently.

          Perhaps we can all get our heads together over the coming months and work out a mutually agreeable set of “small print”? Force majeure and all that!

          1. nice bet jim,1000-1 ,i am very glad to have gotten evens 🙂 chris reynolds knows more about arctic sea ice than i ever will ,so i am glad to see he is of a similar opinion.
            glacial to inter glacial shifts have never been abrupt (relatively speaking) ,at least that is what i am pinning my hopes on . also the desire to remain on a warmish planet (if you had been up in scotland recently you would feel the same , i do not use the bit chilly moniker for nothing 🙂 ) that makes life easier for everyone , i will be worried if it starts cooling, the mild warming i can live with.

          2. As I’m sure I mentioned somewhere else, I shared a few bevvies with a climate modeller from the Hadley Centre at a Pint of Science evening last week. He reckoned the odds were 75:25 in your favour.

            Then I asked him if he’d ever heard of a “clean-up set”. He hadn’t, and neither have the Hadley Centre’s GCMs it seems!

  7. Back in the 1950s the Arctic sea lanes were open for 8 months of the year. Will it ever get back to that ?

        1. You don’t provide much (indeed anything!) in the way of explanation Richard. That appears to be an article from a newspaper that makes no mention of “Arctic sea lanes”.

          Which sea lanes did you have in mind? The Northwest Passage and the Northern Sea Route? What do make of this bit of scientific information from the NSIDC, that goes back to 1953:

          That seems to me to show significantly greater sea ice extent in the 1950’s than the 2010s

          1. perhaps northern Russian sea lanes are not in the Arctic?

            It wouldn’t be anything new-

            “Heatwave” In Arctic Circle
            Advocate (Burnie, Tas. : 1890 – 1954) Saturday 9 July 1949 p 18 Article

            News (Adelaide, SA : 1923 – 1954) Wednesday 21 June 1950 p 18 Article

            Arctic Heat Wave
            Townsville Daily Bulletin (Qld. : 1885 – 1954) Monday 29 June 1953 p 4 Article

            The Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 – 1995) Monday 20 July 1959 p 1 Article

          2. interesting from NSIDC but i am basing my reports on actual visual reports-

            I would be very skeptical of the NSIDC temps, where was/ were the weather stations and how much area did it cover?

            GISS have to estimate up to 1200 kilometers from temps stations!!

            IN 1969 the Russians were going to offer the Arctic up to world shipping but a political crisis out paid to that.

          3. sorry should re- read, not temps but ice extent, let me know what they were basing it on . Can you give me a report of who was actually monitoring , ie a name or ship? Navy etc.

    1. According to the NSIDC, for their graph shown above:

      For January 1953 through December 1979, data have been obtained from the UK Hadley Centre and are based on operational ice charts and other sources. For January 1979 through December 2012, data are derived from passive microwave (SMMR / SSM/I)

    1. Richard – I agree that “history is always interesting”. However you are in severe danger of being banished from this site for “spamming” us with a large volume of comments. Is that what you want? Please slow down a bit.

      There is a heat wave going on in the Arctic at this very moment, whether you are aware of it or not. Please take the time to investigate our resources section carefully. You might try starting here:

      and then looking here:

      1. every time i see an image like that all i can imagine is the tremendous amount of energy being radiated to space jim. planetary heat heading to arctic is not a good thing,as it is only going to go one way.

      1. Jim ,
        I’m not quite sure what you’re saying about Jennifer and the fMRI scan.
        The betting is fine….send the money off to a good charity Jim. Rachel House hospice sounds good, nothing terrible about that.
        I had a look at your link…Why is it so hard to convince Pseudo-Skeptics .
        You don’t have to worry about the Pope, Jim. He has these “science advisors”, chief among them …Ramanathan (Favourite of Science of Doom) feeding all the AGW into his shell-like.
        Here is a link to give you an idea where I come from……

        1. Hi Mack,

          1) Do you think Jennifer’s scan would reveal a “conservative” or “liberal” brain?

          2) Likewise ShelterBox!

          3) A UN sponsored commie infiltration? Roy Spencer?? Surely you jest???

  8. 1) Jennifers “MRI” would probably be conservative Jim. That wouldn’t preclude her from being strongly commited to looking after the environment, treasuring wildlife and genuinely being concerned for the Earth with all its beauty and diversity of species.
    Like me, she would be most concerned and unsettled by the prospect that Man could f…
    up the planet to the extent he could cause a global wide increase in temperature.
    2) ShelterBox…a disaster relief doing its best to house those made homeless by natural disaster….nothing manmade, thank goodness. A lot of donations would come from “conservatives” Jim.
    3)Roy Spencer is foremost a sceptic, but still is unable to get his head around the “no greenhouse” thing. …understandable considering all that he’s said publically…including arguing with Desseler etc. Once something has been said, it can’t be unsaid on the internet. He’s said there “are greenhouse gases” and I think that he honestly believes there is some smidgen of warming from CO2. I think he’s in his 50’s and that would put him in the category of the longest period of maximum indoctrination with the “greenhouse” thing …his highschool years of the 1970’s and early ’80s….so it is very hard for him to release this belief. Besides, there is his blog, so what’s he going to say….”Oh , sorry, the slayers are right all the time, there are no “greenhouse” gases. Let’s close all the blogs and just call it a day.”

    1. It looks as though we’re going to have to agree to disagree on number 3 then. “Greenhouse gases” are a long established part of the scientific orthodoxy:

      Tyndall first met Huxley in 1851 and the two had a lifelong friendship. Though not nearly so prominent as Huxley in controversy over philosophical problems, Tyndall played his part in communicating to the educated public what he thought were the virtues of having a clear separation between science (knowledge & rationality) and religion (faith & spirituality).

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