Entire Arctic Ocean melted as early as August 8th, this year!

July 3, 2010

This is a ClimateSanity Exclusive. I feel privileged to have scooped the folks at the New York Times and Realclimate. 

Leading ice expert says entire Arctic Ocean sea ice may be gone sometime between August 8th and September of this year.

Veli Albert Kallio, described by the UK Independent as a “leading ice expert”, has informed me (see his comment here) that at  the current melt rate all Arctic sea ice “would melt away by 8th August.”  Even if the melt rate slows down before August 8th the danger still persists.  Kaillo points out that  “there is still another 5 weeks that allow melting” after August 8th, and “ice in the Arctic Ocean could be all melted before the new winter freezes set in.” 

Veli Albert Kallio

Kallio is not some crank, and needs to be taken seriously.  Besides being a “leading ice expert”, he is a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, an invited speaker for the Religion, Science and the Environment  movement, an International Guru Nanak Peace Prize Nominee for 2008, and founder of the Frozen Isthmuses’ Protection Campaign of the Arctic and North Atlantic Oceans. 

He has applied the same keen insight to the Arctic sea ice that he applies to his search for Atlantis

Here are the numbers, as reported to me by Kallio: 

“The Arctic Ocean sea ice has been declining since summer solstice at rate of 170,000 square kilometres per day. For example, over the last weekend Friday to Sunday 25-27 June the sea ice area decreased 516,000 square kilometres, which equals at 170,000 km2 per day. The highest daily melting was 25.6 at 208,000 km2 of which 112,000 km2 occurred above the normal 1979-2008 melting.  At current rate of 170,000 km2 per day all the ice would melt away by 8th August.” 

I was shocked and dismayed to hear this news.  I immediately checked the AMSR-E data for arctic sea ice   to confirm his results.  I plotted the average Arctic sea ice extent for each day of the year covered by the AMSR-E data (2002 to present) and added one standard deviation, and overlaid the 2010 data.  Then I overlaid a slope of -170,000 km2/day passing through June 25 and June 27th and extrapolated out to the future.  And to my horror, it looks like Kallio is right!!  See for yourself… 


  1. So?

    It won’t be the first time. Just, perhaps, the first time in the 30-odd years that the human race has been measuring these things.

  2. This is a profound insight. Using logic inspired by Veli I have calculated that if my granny had wheels she’d be a wagon.

  3. Are you sure you are sane? Your blue line doesn’t go through August 8th. The blue line is steeper than any other slope on the graph. Only an idiot would believe the rate of decrease would continue unchanged as the sun sinks lower in the sky. BTW – take a look at the North Pole webcam; it’s been snowing up there in the last few days.

    • I suspect he’s being facetious / sarcastic, but hard to be certain….

    • Billy,

      I realize the blue line does not go through August 8th. I was just using Kallio’s numbers and let the chips fall where they would. He said August 8th, the plot shows about August 13th.

      No big deal, a melt down is a melt down. The end is nigh upon us.

      Best Regards
      Tom Moriarty

  4. Are you sure it was the real Veli Albert Kallio? When I click on his name (in the comment you refer to) I see this: http://www.fipcorg.com/

    • Neven,

      Among his other accomplishments, Kallio is the co-coordinator or FIPC (see here and here for example). Hence fipcorg.com .

      I suppose is could be an elaborate hoax, but I doubt it.

      Tom Moriarty

      • But why would he come here of all places to make that comment? I can’t seem to find much comments elsewhere, but I’ll look some further tomorrow morning. I’ve been following the situation in the Arctic for a few years now, but this is the first time I have heard of Veli Albert Kallio.

        I’ll report tomorrow morning if I find something interesting.

      • Neven,

        I went to…

        and entered in fipcorg.com.

        Here is what it reported…

        (Note: I replaced some items with “*******” to respect his privacy. However, if you use the web page that I indicated above, you will see it all)

        Whois Server v2.0.10 build 20090618002241 ADRS ©2009 Active 24 ASA

        Domain Information
        Domain…….: FIPCORG.COM (DOM-337055)
        Status…….: OK
        Amended……: 2010-04-08 09:13:46
        Created……: 2010-04-08 09:13:46
        Expires……: 2011-04-08 09:13:46
        Registrar….: REGISTRAR-1

        Organisation Contact
        ID………..: ORG-398219
        Name………: Veli Albert Kallio
        PostAddress..: **************
        PostCode…..: RG12 9EA
        PostArea…..: Bracknell
        Country……: GB
        Phone……..: +************
        Fax……….: +*************
        Email……..: albert_kallio@h*******

        Administrative Contact
        ID………..: UC-398220
        Name………: Veli Albert Kallio
        PostAddress..: ***********
        PostCode…..: RG12 9EA
        PostArea…..: Bracknell
        Country……: GB
        Phone……..: +**********
        Fax……….: +***************
        Email……..: albert_kallio@h***********

        Technical Contact
        ID………..: UC-2509
        Name………: Active 24 ASA – Registry Department
        PostAddress..: Pilestredet 75C, PB 5198 Majorstuen
        PostCode…..: N-0302
        PostArea…..: Oslo
        Country……: NO
        Phone……..: +47.21933000
        Fax……….: +47.21933001
        Email……..: registry@registry.activeisp.com

        Billing Contact
        ID………..: UC-2508
        Name………: Active 24 ASA – Billing Department
        PostAddress..: Pilestredet 75C, PB 5198 Majorstuen
        PostCode…..: N-0302
        PostArea…..: Oslo
        Country……: NO
        Phone……..: +47.21933000
        Fax……….: +47.21933001
        Email……..: billing@activeisp.com

        Name Servers
        DNS10.ACTIVEISP.COM (NS-3)
        DNS11.ACTIVEISP.COM (NS-4)
        DNS12.ACTIVEISP.COM (NS-5)

        Tom Moriarty

      • Tom, the thing I find weird is that Kallio would link to a website that isn’t up (yet).

        Some other thing I find weird is just a week ago Kallio signed this statement:

        However seasonal ice is currently at the lowest level ever for this time of year and is retreating faster than ever before. If the retreat continues at this pace, the sea ice area at the end of summer 2010 will be at a new record low. Should this happen the sea ice will probably continue its retreat year by year until within 20-30 years, or fewer, it will be completely lost in every summer.

        That contradicts the even more alarmist (and wrong) comment on your blog about “the Arctic Ocean sea ice has been declining since summer solstice at rate of 170,000 square kilometres per day”.

        Have you emailed him to ask if that comment really was his?

  5. Oh dear….

  6. Getting a Day is impressive.

    But in late May when everyone else took the high Winter Ice-Area as their cue, I submitted an Outlook to the Annual SEA ICE OUTLOOK Very different from the other’s cluster around Normal – – I figured there was a Powerful El Nino (hot spot in the Pacific) this year & predicted NEAR ZERO ICE on the basis of the Cubic melt-off of 2007, times the ratio of 2010’s stronger El Nino to 2007’s:

    4000 x 1.8/1.1M = -6545 km3 over the previous year.
    As 2009 was 5800 km3 :
    5800 – 6545 = – 745
    A Negative number implies an Early Melt-off.

    Although Ice-area & extent have dropped to records Lows for late June, I consider the Location of the 3 Polynnya or Open Water areas, being the same as in 2007, an even better indication I’m going to be right. In 2007 the same Wind directions opened these up, they absorbed Sunlight instead of reflecting it like Ice does, & warmed to +4 degrees C., melting off the ice Northwards in a Feedback effect. We can see this beginning for the most Dangerous New Siberian Islands Polynnya.


    Click to access wilsonjuneoutlook.pdf

    source for Volume (also shows ICESAT figures)http://psc.apl.washington.edu/ArcticSeaiceVolume/IceVolume.php

    But understand:

    We can make Clouds with Airplane contrails, at the very least (Flying over Open water would reduce solar heating of the surface).

    If not we will find out whether an Ocean Current reversal DOES kill 99% of Europe, Russia, and America
    … all because some Politicians preferred playing Russian Roulette with 6 Billion lives rather than admit DIESEL SOOT (“forgiven” because Diesel reduces CO2), Sulfur cuts, etc., that is: CAP & TRADE, have warmed the Arctic 3 times as much as all Natural & other Man-made effects put together (cf NASA’s Drew Shidell’s Aerosol studies last year). We should have been mixing Natural Gas into Old Coal Plants which halves soot even in China’s no-scrubber Pollution Paradise, using Icebreaking LNG tankers & replacing 1 part in 1,000 of the Sulfur that we cut — but at 20 miles up, where it is beneficial – – at a cost of 2 Euros per 1,000 lives POSSIBLY saved (I give it 1 in 8 currently).

    Mr. Putin & Medvedev might also heighten the smokestacks at Norilsk, but there is precious little time to stop this Melt-Off. Airplanes are fast.

    Nobody likes what I have to say but it’s coming true, isn’t it ?

    • No it isn’t.

    • Professor Wilson,

      It would seem pretty clear there was considerably less perennial ice covering the Arctic during the Holocene Thermal Maximum. Yet despite temperatures that were considerably warmer than today it seems the ice never completely disappeared.

      Are we perhaps underestimating the efficiency of negative feedback loops to keep a minimal, but stable amount of perennial ice?

  7. Looking at his photo, I think you must have caught Mr Kallio on his first outing with a tie.

  8. […] Leading ice expert says entire Arctic Ocean sea ice may be gone sometime between August 8th and Sep… (H/T to Tom Moriarity.) […]

  9. I am sorry to have to tell you that this is nonesense. Any reasonable extension of the melting slope yeilds a zero point well off into the refreezing period. You can’t reasonably take a slope from such a short period of time and extend it in the way you have.

  10. When was the last time you think this happened? This guy is not a crank but does that mean he knows anything?

  11. This is the most idiotic piece of pseudo science I have ever seen. Extrapolating a linear trend line where the function is not linear? What is the scientific basis for this? THERE ISN’Y ANY!

    News flash: I would bet this “expert” any amount of money that at the end of this summer, the ice will be no less than 2007 and probably more, and the arctic will NEVER completely melt.

  12. More rehash than an IPCC report.

  13. Ah, well, I wouldn’t want to sound too alarmist, but if you do the complete math, it might actually be by the SEVENTH of August.
    Time to pack things up and take to the hills, folks.

    • CDC,

      I guess we will have to speed up the construction schedule for the polar bear survival arks.

      Tom Moriarty

      • Tom, have you checked if that comment was really made by Veli Albert Kallio? I don’t know him and from what I have been able to glean from Google he seems to be an alarmist of the truly Armageddon-DayAfterTomorrow-catastrophic kind, but to maintain the average melt rate of the Arctic sea ice has been 170,000 square kilometres per day…

        Between the 25th and the 28th the average extent melt rate was approximately 110,000 square km per day, but it has slowed down substantially since then.

        Wait a minute, rereading his comment I think he means sea ice area. I don’t know what the area melt rate was, the anomaly graph over at Cryosphere Today was plunging for a while, but has gone up again as well.

        So, I’m just curious. Are you really sure it was the real Veli Albert Kallio writing that comment?

      • .
        Hi Neven,

        Please see the comment below.


  14. I’m having extreme difficulty believing that anyone can take a graph like that remotely seriously.

  15. Hi Neven,

    You raised the question about the validity of the identity Vali Albert Kallio several comments above. Please scroll up and look at the response to your previous comment, where I provided information about the domain from where his comment originated.

    The name of that domain matches the name of one of his “organizations” (FIPCorg.com vs. Frozen Isthmuses’ Protection Campaign). The organizational and administrative contacts for the domain are listed as none other than “Veli Albert Kallio.” The organizational and administrative locations are listed as Bracknell, Great Britain, which matches his location according to his facebook page.

    If you do a little research on Kallio (which I did after his comment appeared on my blog), you will find that he has a history of making outrageous and verbose claims laced with pseudo-scientific nonsense. His comment on my blog is not out of character. I think we are dealing with the genuine Veli Albert Kallio.

    I would have written him off as just another alarmist zombie if it hadn’t been for the UK Independent article that referred to him as an “expert.” It says something about the state of affairs when somebody like Kallio can wrap himself in organizational titles and associations and consequently transform himself into an “expert” in the eyes of the media.

    I tried to make my point using some subtle irony. Some commenters did not get it, but I think most people caught on.

    Best Regards,
    Tom Moriarty

  16. Tom, I can appreciate your take on the story. I’ve contacted Kallio and from his answer I conclude that he did indeed make the comment.

    Two minor points: area vs extent. Kallio was talking about area and at the time he made the comment the melt rate was extremely high. But 4-5 days isn’t much of a data point and certainly not enough to extrapolate into the future, especially now that the melt rate has gone down in July.

    However, 2007 and 2009 had an average July decline in extent that approached 100,000 square km per day. I don’t know how much it is in sea ice area numbers, but for the time being a new minimum extent or area record is definitely not out of the question (ice free will be very difficult, but not impossible). We’ll know more at the end of this month.

    The other point is that Kallio isn’t a leading ice expert. I didn’t interpret this to be the subject of your blog post (sounded more like a strawman, as if Kallio is representative of scientists or ‘AGW-believers’, whereas he naturally belongs on the fringe), so thanks for the clarification.

    It says something about the state of affairs when somebody like Kallio can wrap himself in organizational titles and associations and consequently transform himself into an “expert” in the eyes of the media.

    You mean like Christopher Monckton, Viscount of Brenchley? That’s the fringe on the other side, isn’t it?

    Conclusion: the media sucks. I agree.

    • Neven,

      thanks for your leg-work.

      When Kallio made his comment (June 28th 12:24pm, here) I replied to him and made the same point you did, saying “It doesn’t really make much sense to base your estimate on data points that are only two days apart, does it?”

      I also said…

      download the daily AMSR-E data from here…
      Then take the slope at the beginning of June this year. You will see a slope of about -75,000 km2 per day. But that has now dropped to about -90,000 km2 per day now (at the end of the month).

      It is also important to put these values into perspective. If you take that same AMSR-E data and calculate the average sea ice extent for each day of the year, then take the derivative, you will see that during the last week of June the rate of loss has been typically about 75,000 km2 per day. So the rate of loss this at the end of June this year is high, but not astonishingly high.”

      Your point about area vs. extent is well taken. But for either case, his logic was preposterous.

      You mentioned that Kallio “Kallio isn’t a leading ice expert.” It was the UK Independent that uncritically labeled him as such. However, to say that my using the term “expert” was a strawman, “as if Kallio is representative of scientists or ‘AGW-believers’, whereas he naturally belongs on the fringe” is a little off the mark.

      What about Mark Sarreze, senior scientist at the government’s Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colorado? Serreze is, in fact, is considered “representative of scientists or ‘AGW-believers.’” Serreze’s claim in 2008 that “the Arctic Ocean could be nearly ice-free at the end of summer by 2012” is only slightly less outrageous than Kallio’s claim. Serreze based his conclusion on only two data points: the 2006 Arctic sea ice minimum and the 2007 minimum, and extrapolated out until he found zero at 2012.

      Then there is David Barber, who is very much considered a mainstream “expert” on Arctic ice. Please read the post where Kallio left his comment and note Barber’s claim that the Arctic Basin would be ice free by summer 2015.

      I may not agree with everything Monckton says, but comparing him to Kallio is like comparing Einstein to Inspector Clouseau

      Best Regards,

  17. Peter Sellers was a genius too! 😉

    The Arctic is in a very bad shape. What Serreze and Barber are saying isn’t so far-fetched. If this melt season experiences the same conditions as 2007 did, the record minimum extent will be shattered to pieces. A record that in itself was as spectacular as they come.

    But we’ll just have to wait and see what happens. If the Arctic doesn’t become ice-free the next 10 years, that would be a great thing. No one knows exactly what might happen if it does, and that’s something that makes me a tad nervous.

    • Neven,

      We are certainly in agreement about Peter Sellers 🙂

      Thanks for all of your comments.


  18. Hmmm… I’m not sure Mr. Kallio’s comments are actually a prediction of what would happen this year. He may have been just trying to illustrate how fast ice was melting in June. June certainly had a surprising rate of ice melt but most of it was first year ice.

    Even if it was just for illustration purposes it certainly is a little hyperbolic.

  19. Tom, I’m noticing those graphs on your right hand bar. I have made a small Google page that collects all kinds of graphs and maps for monitoring the Arctic sea ice on a daily basis: http://sites.google.com/site/arcticseaicegraphs/

  20. Throughout your site can be found links to articles over at Watts Up With That?. It would interesting to see you take the same approach to their use (misuse really) of logic and mathematics.

    In my recent foray into the science of the arctic I happened upon the Watts Up With That? site a few times. Each time I came away shaking my head in bewilderment. A monkey with a keyboard and a copy of Excel has as much chance of getting the analysis correct.

    Arctic Ice Graphing Lesson Increasing By 50,000 km2 Per Year Here is a post that should never have been written. It displays a complete misunderstanding of which mathematical tools are appropriate to a dataset.

    Ice at the North Pole in 1958 and 1959 – not so thick Similar to your use of submarine photos; they prove nothing. Every arctic researcher knows there are stretches of open water throughout the ice-pack. I won’t even go into the minor details of contradicting his own source materials in his analysis.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/04/08/arctic-sea-ice-reports-who-to-believe/ Implies deception about Arctic sea ice extent because different organizations (the EU’s “Arctic ROOS” and the NSIDC have slightly different ice extent graphs. The difference is easily explained by the fact different organizations use different baselines – explicitly stated in the graph legends! When a commenter pointed this out, a small ‘Note’ was added, but even though it was the basis for the whole article do you think it changed their opinion? Of course not 🙂

    Now, these are just a few of the articles I personally ran across. After that I knew better than to go back for more. A quick Google search returned some more howlers – my favorite being their transform of PIPS data: it yields a NEGATIVE correlation to PIPS!

    From Climate Progress

    Some brave souls have tried to put Goddard straight over there in his “undeath spiral” thread. Read the June 6, 2010 at 1:49 am post by Tom P which explains how to do the pixel processing of PIPS maps properly (Tom P’s effort has a correlation coefficient of 0.99999 with the published PIPS work, while Goddard’s “ice is thickening!” has a negative correlation of -0.6!).

    The following poster, John Chapman, points out that Goddard’s plots “bear no resemblance to the maps upon which they’re based” (not surprising with a negative correlation of -0.6).

    If it’s true that you know a man by the company he keeps, then you’d be best served not to be too readily linked to people who really can’t get it right. You ought to use your critical faculties on Watts Up With That? as quickly as you do others – especially since you recommend that site to your readers.

    • Speaking of knowing a man by the company he keeps…

      Kevin O’Neill, People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones

      You can get an idea of what Kevin O’Neill is all about on his “diary” at the “DailyKos.”

      • That’s pretty much an adhominem attack – I belong to a lot of sites … including Red State … but that’s pretty much irrelevant … I’m not recommending these sites (or any other for that matter) to people.

        If you’d like to argue politics I’m always up for it … but I’m not sure this is the proper venue. Frankly, the science doesn’t care if you’re a radical, a liberal, conservative or reactionary … the numbers are what they are.

        Of course we all know reality has a known liberal bias … 🙂

      • Very Good Kevin.

        You know Latin. “Ad Hominem.” Wow.

        Didn’t you just base your attack on this sites association with WattsUpWithThat. Yes, I believe you did.

        The “Internet Encyclopedia of Philosphy – a peer reviewed academic resource” gives the definition of “guilt by association” as follows.

        “Guilt by association is a version of the ad hominem fallacy in which a person is said to be guilty of error because of the group he or she associates with. The fallacy occurs when we unfairly try to change the issue to be about the speaker’s circumstances rather than about the speaker’s actual argument. Also called “Ad Hominem, Circumstantial.”


        Slightly hypocritical? Yes?

        Have a nice day,

      • D. Barker,

        If you read my initial comment you should have noted that I specifically gave four examples why the WattsUpWithThat site should NOT be used as a reference in a discussion of the Arctic.

        I haven’t cited DKOS for any of the arguments I’ve made here. I’m not suggesting anyone use DKOS as a good source of information on the Arctic.

        There was substance to the criticism I gave – and the criticism is relevant because of the expressed affinity for WUWT here. If you can’t understand the difference between that and an ad hominem attack, then that’s your problem, not mine.

        I’ve never said an argument was wrong because it’s associated with someone/anyone. I have said, ‘You shouldn’t associate with them because they’re often wrong.” Though I suspect you can’t tell the difference there either.

      • Gosh Kevin, I’m getting the notion that you did not bother to check the site I offered: The “Internet Encyclopedia of Philosphy – a peer reviewed academic resource”

        So try this one instead:”

        An “Ad Hominem – Guilt by Association” fallacy attacks the proposer through their association, instead of attacking the argument itself.

        Premise: John wants to be a University professor.
        Premise: Each of John’s friends has an IQ below 80.
        Conclusion: John should not be a University professor.

        The insinuation here is that because John’s friends all have an IQ below 80, then John himself must have an IQ below 80. The assumption then moves forward to say that an IQ below 80 would make him unfit for a University professorship. The premises postulated simply do not allow the conclusion to be logically drawn. John’s friends’ intelligence is not sufficient evidence to logically make a conclusion about John’s intelligence.

        It is not appropriate to find “guilt by association,” even if the association is real and the associates are bad.

        And in the case of this blog, as far as I can tell, the association WattsUpWithThat is mild, and the supposed associate (WattsUpWithThat) is a very good blog.

        You are certianly free to have your opinion about WattsUpWithThat or ClimateSanity. But your use of the Ad Hominem – Guilt by Association attack is plain for all to see.

        [last paragraph removed by climtesanity. D. – please rein it in a little bit.]


      • Dave,

        Do you usually have this much trouble comprehending? I have not said Tom’s argument is wrong because he links to WUWT. In fact, I haven’t said his argument is wrong at all. The ‘guilt’ part of your guilt by association claim doesn’t exist.

        What I said is he should scrutinize other sources with the same zeal as he did Kallio. I then gave an example of a site he often links to that is also often wrong – WUWT – and suggested he might not want to be associated with a site that is often wrong.

        Now, if I made the assertion,

        Tom’s interpretation of Kallio’s post is off the mark – what would you expect from someone that has dozens of links to the math-challenged nutjobs over at WattsUpWithThat .

        then you’d have a ‘guilt by association’ case to be made. As it stands, that case exists only in your mind.

        I’m confident Professor Fieser would agree that my post did not constitute an ad hominem attack – or wouldn’t he be a good enough authority for you?

    • Kevin O’Neill,

      I will leave it up to my readers to decide if I have some excessive number of links to wattsupwiththat. Your opinion has been noted. If you have complaints with wattsupwiththat, I suggest you take it up with them; your comments will be welcome there.

      Wattsupwiththat is an extremely popular website, currently ranked as the #1 science website by Wikio. It is run by Anthony Watts, a meteorologist who says…

      “I started out actually just being a climate alarmist. I got involved with saving the planet by helping other weather forecasters do the same thing through planting trees. Then when I met the State climatologist in California, his data changed my mind and now I’m a skeptic. (see more here)”

      Let’s discuss the wattsupwiththat posts that you have used to indict it.

      Arctic Ice Graphing Lesson Increasing By 50,000 km2 Per Year. But here is how the title of this post actually appears at Wattsupwiththat:Arctic Ice Graphing Lesson Increasing By 50,000 km2 Per Year You left out the “cross-off,” giving your comment a totally erroneous connotation. Yes, this post used an improper approach. But the error was highlighted by none other than Anthony Watts himself very shortly after it was posted. Watts added the “cross-off” the same day the post was published. Immediately below the title of the post he added…

      [Note: The title and conclusion are wrong due to bias in the start/end point of the graph, the mistake was noted by Steven immediately after publication, and listed below as an addendum. I had never seen the article until after the correction was applied due to time difference in AU. My apologies to readers. I’ll leave it up (note altered title) as an example of what not to do when graphing trends, to illustrate that trends are very often slaves to endpoints. – Anthony]

      The erroneous post and its correction came out on July 2nd. Your comment and its link are from July 10th. You knew of Anthony Watts’ upfront admission and correction, but you chose to ignore it in a blatant and extreme example of deception.

      Next, you refer to Ice at the North Pole in 1958 and 1959 – not so thick. You have harped upon this issue ad nauseam in several previous comments. The point here is clear – the North Pole sees open water – it is not unusual. I have made it abundantly clear to you that the “North Pole” is a dot on the map, unlike the “Arctic Basin” or the “Arctic Ocean” which cover millions of square kilometers. I encourage all readers to click on the link and decide for themselves whether Keven O’Neill’s characterization is correct.

      Then you attempt to savage http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/04/08/arctic-sea-ice-reports-who-to-believe/ . You incorrectly claim that Wattsupwiththat “Implies deception.“ Your criticism is sophomoric. Why sophomoric? Because you think you provide some insight by noting “The difference is easily explained by the fact different organizations use different baselines – explicitly stated in the graph legends!” You are correct, that’s the “soph” part. But this is already known by most people, who follow this issue, including (especially) Watts. Your insight was only an insight for yourself – it is standard for most others. That was the “moronic” part.

      The daily average baseline was not the “basis for the whole article.” You just say it was because either you thought it would bolster your point, or you did not understand the article yourself. Watts says “You’d think there would be a standard for deciding what is the “normal” baseline wouldn’t you? [Note: The NSIDC average is for 1979-2000, NANSEN’s is for 1979-2006] Maybe the scientists can hammer this out at the next ice conference.” He has made a valid point and in no way “implies deception” on anybody’s part. Your claim that he does is weak and disingenuous.

      Watts point is better made by a commenter “PeterB in Indianapolis” at 10:35am on the Wattsupwiththat post. PeterB said…

      In order to know what is truly normal (as in, what is a typical average ice-cover area for the arctic), we would probably have to have an absolute minimum of 100 years of data, and it would be far better to have, say, 10,000 years of data. That would give us a MUCH better idea of what is truly normal as opposed to some arbitrary “normal” based on a very small dataset.

      Unfortunately, we did not begin getting satellite data for this until 1979, and 1979 and the early 1980s had very high ice-cover. In a 30-year database, 4 or 5 years of very high ice-cover is going to bias “normal” to the high side.

      So, it is important to remember that “normal” has nothing to do with “the expected average” in this case. In this case “normal” simply means either the 21-year or 27-year average ice-cover in the arctic. Whether these 21 or 27-year averages resemble “normal” in any meaningful way is basically anyone’s guess until we get a LOT more years of data.

      This illustrates one the things I like about WattsUpwiththat. There are commenters of all stripes. Some comments are naive, some profound. Some miss the point, some hit the nail on the head. Some provide extremely useful information, some (perhaps most) are worthless. But none are turned away, except in the case of extreme personal attacks. Watts tries to maintain a decent level of decorum.

      Again, I encourage readers to take a look at Wattsupwiththat. There is a reason that it is such a popular site.


      • Arctic Ice Graphing Lesson Increasing By 50,000 km2 Per Year. But here is how the title of this post actually appears at Wattsupwiththat:Arctic Ice Graphing Lesson Increasing By 50,000 km2 Per Year You left out the “cross-off,” giving your comment a totally erroneous connotation. Yes, this post used an improper approach. But the error was highlighted by none other than Anthony Watts himself very shortly after it was posted. Watts added the “cross-off” the same day the post was published. Immediately below the title of the post he added…

        Lack of strikethru? Never attribute to malice that which can be accounted for by cutting and pasting formatted HTML text. Which is what I did – last time and this time.

        So, does including or NOT including the strikethru change my point? No. Is the title I quoted (without the strikethru) the original title? Yes.

        Should Steve Goddard have written this article ? No. Is that what I said? Yes.

        Does the fact that he did write it speak to his knowledge about how to properly analyze and formulate conclusions about the Arctic? Yes. Is the knowledge we’ve gained about his ability a favorable one? No.

        I really can’t believe you’re trying to defend this article. Of course he had to correct it -it was such a simple and glaring mistake what else was he supposed to do? Commenters pointed out the mistake almost immediately (IanH – in the 3rd comment). But to your mind we should ignore the fact he had no idea what he was doing and laud him for putting a strikethru through half his headline.

        He tried to burn down the house … yes, but you failed to point out he called 911 right after he set the fire. OK, guess this round goes to you …..

      • Arctic Sea Ice Reports: who to believe?

        We’ve all seen that Arctic Sea ice area and extent has expanded and is back to normal. NANSEN Arctic ROOS just got their web page plots back online yesterday after an outage, and there’s a bit of a surprise when compared to NSIDC’s plot.

        Let’s deal with the title first. I’m not an expert in English grammar, but even I can parse this. As the first paragraph makes clear, ‘who’ in the title refers to NSIDC and Arctic ROOS. Restated formally and to remove ambiguity:

        Arctic Sea Ice Reports: whom to believe – NSIDC or Arctic ROOS?

        This clearly implies that one or the other is wrong. It is a false choice. Neither is wrong. Yet the whole article is based on this false choice.

        The 1st paragraph then states that the two organization’s new plots reveal a “surprise”. Really? If one knows that they use different baselines, then why would one be surprised they have different plots? There’s an obvious implication that something is amiss. There isn’t. Anyone that understands the data knows that.

        You’d think there would be a standard for deciding what is the “normal” baseline wouldn’t you? Maybe the scientists can hammer this out at the next ice conference.

        Again, a clear implication there’s something wrong, but there is nothing wrong. Two organizations that choose two different ways of viewing and presenting the same data. Neither approach is “more” correct than the other. Neither is trying to hide anything or deceive anyone. The baselines used are stated right in the graph legends.

        From the comments:

        REPLY: Sure the baselines differ. I’m pointing out that the public presentations differ significantly and who defines “normal”? Normal seems to be in the eye of the beholder of the data. Essentially it is an anomaly, and you can make an anomaly look like anything you want with a simple choice of defining the baseline. – Anthony

        …you can make an anomaly look like anything you want…

        No implication of deception here. Nope. None.

        If the data plots were reversed, would he then be attacking Arctic ROOS and fawning over NSIDC? You bet your ass he would. If either organization constantly changed their baseline methodology to achieve a predetermined and biased result, then the claim would have some validity. Since this is not the case it merely impugns the work of both organizations (and many others).

        Present a false choice, imply something’s amiss and scientists need to fix it, and claim that anomalies are merely a result of baseline choice.

        This you accept as solid and cogent analysis? Fine. I don’t.

  21. Mr Kallio made the same simple mistake that many make in regards to the Arctic: He took a small slice of data and tried to extrapolate it over time without taking into account all the factors involved.

    It’s also important to understand what the data represents. Ice extent, ice concentration, ice areal coverage, and ice volume are the most commonly used measurements of ice conditions in the Arctic. Unfortunately, ice extent is the most cited, but least useful. Ice extent is merely a rough proxy for areal coverage.

    The reason ice extent has become our most common measurement is because it’s the easiest to calculate. To calculate ice extent we don’t need to know anything about ice thickness or age. NSIDC and ROOS use such low thresholds (15%) that even concentration plays little part in the calculation of extent.

    Ice concentration is more difficult to measure, but from this we can actually determine ice area. Thickness is even more difficult. Combing area and thickness together gives us ice volume – the most difficult of all to measure and carrying the largest measurement uncertainty. Note that ice extent isn’t even part of the ice volume equation.

    If you were to choose one measurement as the most accurate climatic gauge of Arctic ice conditions it would be volume. The ice area can shrink, but what about thickness? The ice may be older and thicker, but does it cover less area? Volume can readily display the changing relationship of area and thickness.

    Similarly, the most important time to look at volume is at yearly minima and maxima. Weather varies from year to year, so a small increase or decrease from year to year is nothing remarkable. What is remarkable is the dramatic ice volume loss as depicted by PIOMAS.

    Now, much of this loss has been through ice transport – not necessarily due to temperature. Regardless the mechanism, this huge loss in volume could easily result in an ice-free Arctic Ocean and all the ramifications inherent.

  22. This paper may introduce a little much-needed perspective:

    Click to access 50yr_web.pdf

    The recent retreat of arctic ice requires an understanding of whether the ice reduction is a persistent signature of global warming due to anthropogenic impact on climate or it is a minimum of a low-frequency natural climate oscillation. Numerical models of Earth climate system [Vinnikov et al., 1999] and direct observations [Rothrock et al., 1999] show substantial ice decline in the recent decades. Vinnikov et al. suggested that the observed decrease of arctic ice extent is related to anthropogenic global warming. However, Vinje [2000] using observations over the past 135 years showed that the recent decrease in ice extent in the
    Nordic Seas is within the range of natural variability since the 18th century.

    • David Walker,

      Thanks for the link. Interesting read.

      Best Regards,
      Tom Moriarty

      • 🙂

    • Arctic decadal and interdecadal variability was written in 2000. I think Dr. Polyakov would tell you today that ice decrease in the Arctic is due to both anthropogenic global warming and natural variability.

      • I think you’ll find that anthropogenic global warming has shot its bolt, the Earth is now back on the negative phase of the sixty-year harmonic that overlays the approximately 0.5º per century increase in temperature following the LIA, the last negative phase of which was responsible for the global cooling scare of the 1960s-1970s.

        I await with anticipation the recognition of this fact by the climate alarmists, and the consequent furore as they yet again blame the cooling on mankind’s activities.

        Plus ca change….

      • … anthropogenic global warming has shot its bolt …

        Yes, I’m almost positive your right.

        Almost …

  23. I checked your link concerning his search for Atlantis, and Kallio actually believes that past life regression provides valid data on ancient global conditions!

    Curiously, he also seems to believe that Atlantis was lost when the oceans rose, and that the oceans have risen numerous times in the past, as shown by ancient legends:

    World Indigenous Nations Summit in a joint session with the United Nations General Assembly submitted an investigation request to their native histories about the sudden sea level rises in the past. (UNGA 101292 Complaint)

    So — if the oceans rose and submerged Atlantis, have they not receded in all this length of time? If so, where did Atlantis go? And if the oceans have risen so catastrophically in the past, why are we at fault for the imminent rise now?

    More importantly, why is Kallio quoted by major news sources while his intellectual equals are ignored? I mean, Michael Menkin has demonstrated that Velostat lining (from 3M) is far superior to tin foil as a means of stopping alien abductions, yet nobody is quoting him.

  24. …you refer to Ice at the North Pole in 1958 and 1959 – not so thick. You have harped upon this issue ad nauseam in several previous comments. The point here is clear – the North Pole sees open water – it is not unusual. I have made it abundantly clear to you that the “North Pole” is a dot on the map, unlike the “Arctic Basin” or the “Arctic Ocean” which cover millions of square kilometers.

    Let’s be clear, the quote that set you off is “We’re actually projecting this year that the North Pole may be free of ice for the first time [in history]”David Barber

    Now, you and I both know what ice free means in regards to the Arctic. You changed ice free to open water and claimed victory. BUT even if we accept your pointilist definition, then you have no proof the North Pole was ever ice free. Every picture of the North Pole has ice in it. And not one of those pictures shows the North Pole as being in one of the areas of open water. If the pole is a point – then point it out in the pictures. Otherwise you have no proof.

    You’ve played bait and switch with the terminology, taking Barber’s terminology and replacing it with your own. It’s an attempt to win the argument through semantics, but it fails even on that level.

    The North Pole has never been ice-free; not once in the history of the earth.

    … and I can prove it. I’ll wager you $100 to be given to the other’s favorite charity. I suggest we use NSIDC’s 15% as the threshold for ice-free. Do you accept?

    • Sorry, I’m 1500 miles from home doing some fieldwork – expecting cookies to automatically pick up name and email address, but for some reason it’s not happening consistently.

      I’ll restate my challenge with my name attached instead of ‘anonymous’ this time so there’s no ambiguity.

      Given that the North Pole, unlike the Arctic Ocean or Arctic Basin, is a point, I must prove that:

      The North Pole has never been ice-free; not once in the history of the earth.

      I’ll wager you $100; the loser gives to the winner’s favorite charity. I suggest we use NSIDC’s 15% as the threshold for ice-free.

      I won’t set any limit on the number of geologic eras for which you can request proof. You can provide a number of reasonable quantity. Try to keep it under a hundred – I don’t want to spend all week on this.

      Do you accept?

  25. Tom,

    Having already saved yourself a few dollars by not accepting my bet regarding Dr. Funder are you going to chicken out on this one as well? C’mon, you said it’s not unusual for the North Pole to be ice free … and I’m saying:

    The North Pole has never been ice-free; not once in the history of the earth.

    We can’t both be right.

    If any of your readers (what are there – 6 of them?) want to take the plunge, I’ll accept the first three.

    • Does “not once in the history of the earth” include the Triassic?

      The giant ocean called Panthalassa surrounded Pangaea. Areas near the coast were pummeled by seasonal monsoons, but ocean-circulation patterns kept the isolated and vast interior warm and dry. Even the Poles were ice-free. The Tethys Ocean filled the C and was the zipper upon which Pangaea began to split apart. Earlier failed attempts at the split formed rift valleys in North America and Africa filled with red sediments that today contain the best preserved fossils of Triassic life.


      • David,

        Yep, sure does … even includes those times when the Earth was a molten ball of rock.

  26. Its now August 8th and still plenty of ice. Was this forecast wrong or will it still happen?

    • Jantar,

      It is not midnight yet. Anything could happen;)


    • Another epic fail …

      • And another one bites the dust….

  27. LOL – another heatseeker bites the dust.

  28. I have made early sea ice loss projections 2005-2010. I made a poster presentation at the World Water Week in Stockholm, August 2006 that the Arctic Ocean might be ice free around the turn of decade. I presented my conjectures as a Trojan Horse because the accepted idea was until 2007 that sea ice would last 2100-2150 and this was confirmed in subsequent Arctic Council’s “Arctic Impact” report in February 2007. In summer and autumn 2007 I suggested that the sea ice, if followed the pattern of sea ice area reduction of summer 2007, all ice would go away by 2009 or 2010 at the earliest.

    I was invited back in 2005-2006 to present my conjectures at Royal Meteorological Society’s “Weather” journal which I never did and I can take blame on that matter and other unpublished materials of interest. However, I am more campaigner on various matters (not only climate) and I am not particularly interested in publishing things unless there is a purpose or objective which matches my schedule. I also carry out development projects in the developing countries and these take considerable effort and care to excecute leaving no time.

    However, the above were conjectures at the time to act as “Devil’s Advocate” to put my bets against the Arctic Council who incorrectly proposed the year 2150 as most likely for first ice free Arctic Summer still in February 2007 report. Since 2010, PIOMAS and CRYOSAT are supplying more refined ice data and we, hopefully, have far more informed ways to estimate the sea ice survival now.

    However, I must tell that Professor Sir John Beddington’s advise for the UK Prime Minister David Cameron on 30 May 2012 is defective. Beddington stipulates that North Pole Sea Ice Cap melt away may still take as long as 88 summers to complete and in no case it happens earlier than 2030. This is based on Professor Julia Sligo’s computer models at Hadley Centre estimating the global warming rate and water vapour deposition which by then will bring about the warming effect to end sea ice together with the albedo change.

    The North Pole sea ice stability is quite chaotic system and one of the variables Sligo misses out is that the more open the ocean becomes, the more windier the weathers become. Winds cause wave penetration under thinned ice, it softens and breaks it and winds then move and scatter ice around. When winds toss sea ice and pack ice ridges around during storms, the motionary ice picks more heat from the ocean than still stationary sea ice that does not move and have currents on its sides or underbelly.

    The Arctic Oceah has strong storm surges and wind propelled ice ploughs ocean leading to localised vertical overturning that extracts heat from the ocean. As the ocean is ‘bottomless’ the heat reservoir does not exhaust as the storms get strong (due to thermal inertia of the sea water). The reduction in sea ice congestion facilitates more sea ice movement between open and ice covered parts, between sunlight warmed and cold ice covered ocean. All these increase the rate of sea ice melting. I currently follow more the view of Professor Peter Wadhams and Arctic Methane Emergency Crisis group that the Arctic Ocean will be ice free by summer 2015 (not 2030-2100 as Professor Sir John Beddington and Professor Julia Sligo suggest).

    The reason why the web site fipc.org never worked is that I was never keen to talk publicly my views and when I refused interviews in 2007 I made enemies with journalists like Germany’s Der Spiegel who were disappointed when I said that I am not interested in interviews and publicity as I lobby UN, EU and UK Houses of Parliament and politicians on various issues.

    Yours sincerely,

    Veli Albert Kallio, FRGS
    Vice-President Environmental Affairs, Sea Reasearch Society
    Chairman, Frozen Isthmuses’ Protection Campaign of the Arctic and North Atlantic Oceans

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