The Imaginary Arctic Downtick

DMI is showing a sharp downtick in Arctic sea ice over the past few days.

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Ocean and Ice Services | Danmarks Meteorologiske Institut

The OSISAF maps which their graph is based on don’t show any such thing.


June 11    June 14

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42 Responses to The Imaginary Arctic Downtick

  1. Edmonton Al says:

    No explanation?
    Is DMI on the “global warming” payroll now?

  2. Leon Tesla says:

    So, please explain how you arrived at a result different from the DMI graph. Eyeballing it, are you?

    • Colorado Wellington says:

      Pixels. Counting them, was he?

      Is it the verb you were hunting for? *)


      *) BTW, since we touched on the subject:

      Do you think that a sharp downturn in sea ice extent equivalent to about half month melt should be recognizable by the naked eye in the color-coded overlay? Could it be a simple, common sense plausibility check that our algorithms are not off?

  3. Brian D says:

    Looking at MASIE regional graphs, a telling story indeed. You’ll notice the ice extents in the Arctic Basin have stabilized, and even are increasing. The dominant high pressure has switched to low pressure, which means the ice is now spreading back into those areas it left last month.

    The weather pattern in the Arctic Basin will remain about the same for the rest of the month of June. So May had record low extent, but June is looking to have record low melting/wind driven extent rate. Keep an eye on Hudson Bay again this year, too.

  4. Steve Fraser says:

    I view this trajectory differently. For the last 2-3 days, this has tracked 2012 exactly, after having the “warmest evah” months of a significant El Niño. Look backward at where 2012 had been a few months earlier… In April, the 2012 extent was at the 1979- 2000 mean, and then currents and temps changed. So, via those two pathways… One El Niño and the other not… We got to the same point.

    One thing that is weird to me, though, is the 30 year baseline. Why not show the most current 30-year, unless they are trying to benefit from the high ice volumes from the ’70s cooling.

  5. Fred says:

    Damn those evil winds pushing ice around, piling it up here, making it thicker there.

    Plays havoc with satellites measuring the extent of ice, confuses easily confused people who equate extent with amount.

  6. Ron C. says:

    Looking at MASIE in the context of the last 10 years, it shows a typical melt season so far this year.

  7. Terry C says:

    Since you are already doing a comparison between the two date and colour coding increase and decreases, would it be difficult to also include the pixel counts in these postings?

  8. AndyG55 says:

    Tony, can you provide a better image of the gains and loses. Maybe a link to a hi-res one?
    I get a lot of picture compression fuzz even on the land surfaces, and really can’t tell what is what.
    What program do you use to do the comparison?

  9. AndyG55 says:

    NCEP dropping fast, especially in Southern Hemisphere.

  10. AndyG55 says:

    Thought I’d try a “pixel difference” program with the June 12 and June 14 maps

    (These are pretty low resolution maps, only 253 x 373 pixels…
    …surely it isn’t what DMI use. !!)

    No idea how to do a count yet. Later if I get time.

    Lighter blue is loses, white is gains

    • AndyG55 says:

      ps, I used a graphics program to scale it up to 250% before carrying out the comparison. Maybe not a good thing to do in hindsight.

    • Neal S says:

      Consider using GIMP for your pixel counting ….

      Based on what I’ve read, I am pretty sure it can do the job for you.

    • mogur says:

      253 x 373 pixels is the resolution of the thumbnail images on the OSI SAF site. If you left click on each image, you will get a 1010 x 1210 pixel image. Then right click and save as…

      Even these higher resolution jpegs aren’t what OSI uses, since the maps that they provide are low quality jpgs (~94 KB, with considerable artifacts) in order to save bandwidth. They use the raw data and software to display an extremely accurate 4km map. DMI then uses their data from the DSMP F18 satellite and DMI’s own software and algorithm to generate the data for their graphs.

      Here is what their 1010 x 1210 pixel jpgs look like blown up- you can see that trying to select ice pixels will almost be impossible because of the dithering artifacts in the sea, the coastal masks, and especially the land…

      • mogur says:

        However, what I did was create my own separate masks for the sea, land, and coastal areas without any dithering, and this allows for fairly accurate pixel counting of the actual ice area, if these masks are used to clip everything except for the areas of sea ice…

    • mogur says:

      Here my results… 85,413 pixels on 6/11/2016 and 84,146 pixels on 6/14/2016. 2938 red (less ice) pixels versus 1669 green (more ice) pixels. In both counts the difference is 1267 pixels, or about a 1.4% decline in total ice over the 3 day period. That is in line with what the DMI graphs shows, as well as the JAXA, NERSC, NSIDC, and BREM graphs. MASIE shows a slight increase over those 3 days, but after all, three days does not a trend make.

    • mogur says:

      Anyway, AndyG55, I encourage you to keep at it. Pixel counts are easy with almost any paint program, I use the freebie, It’s simple to use, and all you have to do is select the color of the ice to instantly see a total pixel count. Dithering is the main culprit to an accurate count, and that is why I suggested using undithered masks.

      3 days means little in the arctic, but a few weeks or even a month will reveal a lot. Here is why minimizing dithering is important. It speaks for itself…

  11. Chewer says:

    Ever wonder where that missing 7 billion from the state department went ;-)

  12. AndyG55 says:

    Just for fun,

    I’ve put a pink dot where Wadhams said will be the minimum point this year,

    And a black dot where I think it will probably bottom out.

    Will the “expert” be more correct, or will I. ;-)

    • AndyG55 says:

      Remember, of course, that I would much rather see a continued recovery from the freezing and deadly LIA. (somewhere below the light blue line)

      But that just isn’t going to happen.

  13. mogur says:

    Peter Wadhams is a complete idiot. Most serious climatologists think he is an alarmist clown, with Erlich-like predictions of arctic methane release doom, and wacko conspiracies about the murder of three climate scientists.

    But, I like your game, AndyG. His arctic prediction was at the start of June, yours was on June 16, so I will take a stab at it, today, June 26.

  14. mogur says:

    “Remember, of course, that I would much rather see a continued recovery from the freezing and deadly LIA. (somewhere below the light blue line)

    But that just isn’t going to happen.”

    It did happen. Are you happy?

  15. mogur says:

    Finally, you answered. Did I not condemn Wadhams? Your claim to be more correct than him amounts to being more correct than chicken little.

      • mogur says:

        Bored, are you? I guess that boredom is your salvation.

        • AndyG55 says:

          You really are a boring little worm, aren’t you Git.

          • mogur says:

            Own it. You are not a worm. You are a weasel. Keep weaseling, and keep saying that you are resplendent in your authority to the truth. I just shut you down, yet you keep on keeping on. Okay, I did not make you irrelevant, I just made you take pause that I guessed better than you.

            It was a guess, and I lucked out. Fuck your impertinence, just care that there are better ideas than those that you espouse.

          • AndyG55 says:

            ” just care that there are better ideas than those that you espouse.”

            None of your, that is for sure.

            You are nothing but an empty ranting Chihuahua. In deep inside.. you know it.

  16. mogur says:

    “You are nothing but an empty ranting Chihuahua. In deep inside.. you know it.”

    AndyG55, you know that I am better than you. I guess better, I feel better, I am better. If you want to be a ranting Chihuahua, then so be it. Deep inside.. you know it.

  17. mogur says:

    I used to think that you were an honest person. Now I feel that you are simply a tool for the opposition. You are better.

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