Category Archives: News

Facts About the Arctic in January 2022

2021 has been and gone, so first of all may I wish all our readers a very Happy New Year.

Sadly it’s not been a happy start to 2022 for the inhabitants of Boulder, Colorado, home of the National Snow and Ice Data Center. According to the Denver Post:

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Facts About the Arctic in December 2021

Christmas is coming. Santa’s secret summer swimming pool has frozen over. The time has come for a new monthly Arctic update.

The JAXA/ADS/ViSHOP web site is undergoing maintenance for a week, so let’s start the festive season with a look at high resolution AMSR2 area and extent:

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Facts About the Arctic in November 2021

It’s not November until tomorrow, but Andy Lee Robinson has just published the 2021 edition of his long running “Arctic ice cube” video series, based on the PIOMAS volume data. Here it is for your edification:

You may also wish to keep tabs on our deep dive into CERES top of the atmosphere energy flux data. Here’s a sneak preview:

[Edit – November 3rd]

In stark contrast to other recent years, northern hemisphere snow cover is very low at the moment:

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The 2021 Nobel Prize in Physics

Here’s this morning’s announcement of The 2021 Nobel Prize in Physics from the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm in full:

The associated press release puts it this way:

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has decided to award the Nobel Prize in Physics 2021

“for groundbreaking contributions to our understanding of complex physical systems”

with one half jointly to Syukuro Manabe, Princeton University, USA and Klaus Hasselmann, Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, Hamburg, Germany

“for the physical modelling of Earth’s climate, quantifying variability and reliably predicting global warming”

and the other half to Giorgio Parisi, Sapienza University of Rome, Italy

“for the discovery of the interplay of disorder and fluctuations in physical systems from atomic to planetary scales”

The press release explains:

Read more on The 2021 Nobel Prize in Physics…

Facts About the Arctic in October 2021

By way of a change we start this month’s look at all things Arctic with some sea ice statistical analysis. Anthony Watts’ Arctic porky pie production line has been speeding up recently, and I am not the only one who has noticed. As part of his takedown of the latest “skeptical” allegations against the United Kingdom Met Office Tamino has been looking at trends in Arctic sea ice extent over at his “Open Mind” blog:

First and foremost, the yearly minimum is only one day out of the year. We have sea ice extent data throughout the year, and what happens during the rest of the year counts. Instead of using the annual minimum, let’s use the annual average. To avoid losing the most recent data, I’ll compute the yearly average for October through the following September rather than the usual (but arbitrary) January through December. I’ll also omit October 1978 through September 1979 because that year is incomplete. I get this:

The annual averages show much less fluctuation than the annual minima, so we can estimate things like rates of change with greater precision. I find that there is statistical evidence that the rate changed over time. One model of such changes uses three straight-line segments with their changes chosen to best-fit the data, like this:

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Facts About the Arctic in September 2021

A detailed dissection of the 2021 minimum of various Arctic sea ice extent metrics can be found on a dedicated thread. All other Arctic news in September will be found below.

Let’s start with a map of sea ice age at the beginning of August:

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Facts About the Arctic in August 2021

Let’s first of all take a look at JAXA’s flavour of Arctic sea ice extent:

After reaching lowest extent for the date in early July, the weather in the Arctic Basin was stormy, cloudy and cool compared to other recent years until the last few days of the month:

Here’s the same period in 2020 for comparison purposes:

Consequently the rate of extent loss in the second half of July was significantly less than last year.

Next let’s take a look at AMSR2 concentration:

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Facts About the Arctic in July 2021

The JAXA ViSHOP web site was down for maintenance over the weekend. It is now back in action, to reveal Arctic sea ice extent at the lowest for the date in the AMSR2 record:

[Edit – July 6th]

High resolution AMSR2 area is also now lowest for the date:

as indeed is extent:

[Edit – July 13th]

According to the Canadian Meteorological Centre the current cyclone has bottomed out with a central mean surface level pressure of 971 hPa:

Read more on Facts About the Arctic in July 2021…

The Polar Amplification Model Intercomparison Project

The Polar Amplification Model Intercomparison Project (PAMIP for short) is one of several Community Earth System Model (CESM for short) based climate modelling projects.

As the project’s web site points out:

Polar amplification, the phenomenon that external radiative forcing produces a larger change in surface temperature at high latitudes than the global average, is a key aspect of anthropogenic climate change but its causes and consequences are not fully understood.

Read more on The Polar Amplification Model Intercomparison Project…

Koonin’s Unsettled Science – The Movie(s)

We have previously mentioned the Wall Street Journal’s assorted activities promoting the new book by Steven E. Koonin which possesses the rather long winded title of “Unsettled: What Climate Science Tells Us, What It Doesn’t, and Why It Matters.”

Read more on Koonin’s Unsettled Science – The Movie(s)…