NOAA Northern Hemisphere Ice Cover

Guest post by Eric Worrall

The following is a slideshow of images from the NOAA National Ice website, showing snow and ice cover over the Northern Hemisphere. The images are loaded directly from the NOAA site – I just provided the slide show mechanism.

The days chosen are the 1st day of the year (top left), the 90th day of the year (top right), the 180th day of the year (bottom left), and the 270th day of the year (bottom right). In a few cases images for that exact day are unavailable, so instead I display the nearest adjacent day.

I’m not making any particular statement about the ice. You can see the fall in Summer ice cover in the bottom right panel, which excited various parties into making dubious predictions about an imminent “ice free arctic”. You can also see a moderate recovery in ice cover in recent years.

The most remarkable feature of this series IMO is that minimal visible variation in winter snow and ice cover – so it seems we may have quite a long wait, until the “end of snow”.

Note that viewing the slideshow requires a fairly up to date web browser – if the images don’t update every few seconds, make sure your browser has been upgraded to the latest version available for your computer. For example, the slideshow won’t work if you use an old operating system such as Windows XP, but it should work in Windows 8, if your system is fully up to date.

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29 comments to NOAA Northern Hemisphere Ice Cover

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    That’s it, we’re doomed! Doomed I say!


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    That runs fine on XP with google chrome. Thanks.
    Meanwhile back in the present The Antarctic sea ice anomaly is plus 1.665 million Square kilometers according to these people at the time of posting.
    Unless I am confused that is 1.665e+12 M^2 or to get the idea a bit better just how much bigger than normal this is , add the area of the ACT, NSW,Tasmania and Victoria and it is still not enough. So we need two thirds of South Australia also.

    According to the NSIDC…
    “Sea ice has a much higher albedo compared to other earth surfaces, such as the surrounding ocean. A typical ocean albedo is approximately 0.06, while bare sea ice varies from approximately 0.5 to 0.7. This means that the ocean reflects only 6 percent of the incoming solar radiation and absorbs the rest, while sea ice reflects 50 to 70 percent of the incoming energy. The sea ice absorbs less solar energy and keeps the surface cooler.”

    That is a lot of heat reflected off the planet and a lot of cooling even if it had come at an average time of year but this time of year the Antarctic is tilted toward the sun so even more gets reflected, but wait theres more…

    The current earth distance from the sun means that at this time of year the TSI is higher so even more of our yearly total is being reflected. That also means the albedo change of Antarctic ice has a greater effect than of Arctic ice due to the effective TSI being lower during the Arctic minimum.

    From the data at the link below it is easy to see just how much more ice albedo feedback in the Southern hemisphere matters to the global total due to annual perihelion.
    “Column 10: Total Solar Irradiance at Earth distance, W/m^2”


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    end of snow

    The end of snow straw-man, who ever made that prediction?


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    This is an illustration of the Earth’s surface temperature being unrelated to change in atmospheric CO2 concentration in clear contradiction to the propositions by the IPCC.

    The summary of 36 years of satellite temperature measurement “Global Temperature Report: November 2014” by Dr John Christy on WUWT for December 03, 2014, stated that “The fastest warming has been over the Arctic Ocean and the Arctic portions of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Those areas have warmed at the rate of 0.49 C per decade, or more than 1.76 C (about 3.17 degrees Fahrenheit) in 36 years. The fastest warming spot is in Baffin Bay, where temperatures have risen 0.82 C per decade since 1978.” Data from the World Data Centre for Greenhouse Gases shows that at Alert Station just north of Baffin Bay, the rate of increase of CO2 concentration has been +16.7 ppm per decade for the period July 1975 to December 2013.

    Further Dr John Christy stated, “By comparison, the oceans surrounding the Antarctic are cooling at the rate of 0.02 C per decade,…. The fastest cooling area is in East Antarctica near Dome C, where temperatures have been dropping at the rate of 0.50 C per decade.” However the rate of increase of CO2 at the NOAA South Pole station has been +16.7 ppm per decade for the period Dec.‘78 to Dec.’13, identical to that over the North Polar region. Again the data was from the World Data Centre for Greenhouse Gases Web site.

    Supporting evidence for the measurements is provided by empirical evidence. On 16 September 2012, the Arctic sea ice extent set a record minimum, since satellite recording began in 1979, of 3.41 million sq. kms. Two years later, on 22 September 2014, the Antarctic sea ice extent set a record maximum of 20.11 million sq. kms.


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    Eric Worrall points out that it is the summer ice extent that has seen the biggest changes, with less change in the winter.
    I believe that we have also seen the biggest changes in the sea ice extent, rather than the land snow coverage.
    Both of these can be explained by the same factor. It could be due to changes in near-surface water heat content that is more significant than surface air temperatures. This in turn could be caused more by changes in ocean currents – particularly of the Gulf Stream – that by changes in total global heat content.
    Just think about it. Sea ice is 90% submerged and the heat content of water is many times greater than that of ice. It makes sense that the ocean could be the greater influence, even if the rise in ocean temperature is a small fraction of the surface air temperature.


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    Excellent and informative display. Thanks. My own puzzlement is that all the meters of snow and ice on hundreds of millions of km2 completely vanished in the Northern summer, the rivers ran wild and many in Russia flowed North, but no one drowned, no cities had flood barriers, even in the almost closed Baltic sea. In summer the Northern climes are packed with wildlife enjoying the brief summer.

    So each summer these Northern countries endure massive temperature changes. I remember even Colorado from -40C in mid winter to weeks of +40C and we are supposed to worry about a change of 1 C in an average and cities drowning? Antarctic ice at a peak of -25C in summer is obviously safe from melting with a 1-2C warming. As for North Pole sea ice, it takes up no more room melted than solid, so it can have no impact on sea levels. If all the arctic sea ice melted, so?

    Sure melting the ice sheet on Greenland is enough to cause massive sea rises, but Nordic settlements are being exposed from the time of Eric the Red, so we have been there before at the time of the Medieval warming and the Roman warming. Again, there is no reason to even worry about 100 metre sea level rises.

    At least the recovery of the old limits of arctic sea ice means an end to the endless documentaries on vanishing polar bears, seals, inuit, eskimos, caribou and more. Even David Attenborough has switched to cursing overpopulation as the real problem, not global warming. It would be great if the US President would stop waffling about the imminent loss of the Great Barrier Reef and John Kerry would stop quoting the 97% of scientists and Al Gore from the warmists faux facts sheet.

    Hopefully in 2015 this whole scam will completely collapse, if only because with each passing year, it looks sillier and sillier. Disband the IPCC, if only because the perpetually cash strapped United Nations does not need to pretend the weather is the greatest threat to humanity.


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    Roy Hogue

    They were always out to lunch. They’re out to lunch today. And will seemingly be out to lunch forever. The lights are on but the office is empty.

    It’s so obviously an attempt to scare everyone that it smells to high heaven. There is enough strictly anecdotal evidence alone to make the “ice free arctic” one of the science world’s all time jokes.

    You might want to explore this for some interesting testamony from someone who was there. Also this.


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    Peter C

    Thanks Eric,

    Watching you slideshow reminded me about Greenland, which appears to be an anomaly. At least the lower half of Greenland lies at latitudes where other land in the arctic circle becomes free of snow in the late summer. But Greenland remains snow bound all year, year after year.

    Greenland seems to be isolated in some way, a bit like Antactica.


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    F. Ross

    “For example, the slideshow won’t work if you use an old operating system such as Windows XP, …”

    Interesting slide show and works well on my old XP using Opera 12.17


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    It Takes Only 60 Seconds to Refute Every Obnoxious Climate Denier You Know

    @45 seconds The U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the U.K. Royal Society deny NOAA arctic evidence.

    Actually every second of this minute long video is denying the truth, but 45 seconds in is relevant to this post.


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    Now where is Rick when you need him. He wanted NOAA Data and there it is. I guess he will no doubt have some cute idea that’s its “cherry picked” or “out of context”.


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    Yet, according to Natural Resources Canada (the ONLY agency in the world actually MEASURING the arctic ice in real time not by proxy using a single glacier in Greenland (as per NOAA)) the permanant sea ice pack (multi-year ice) is GROWING in surface area and thickness (volume). They base their reports on remote sensing by RADARSAT I&II and PHYSICAL measurements taken on site, on a continuous basis. Yet NOAA’s silly proxy nonsense is the only data that ever gets discussed as if it is gospel.

    Anyone who wishes to see the real data for themselves can obtain it from NRCAN via an access to information request. DO it, get the data and decide for yourself.


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    Ross Stacey

    It seems to be a GIVEN that the earth has been completely frozen and that at some time the poles have previously thawed. Has this been scientifically proven? I see this in texts but I would like to see the scientific proof. The proof for periods like little ice age and medieval warming period haven’t convinced me that they are not local Weather events. Like wise the inadequate number of temperature recording devices and the treatment of the Urban Heat Island Effect surely are not Proof that Global warming is occurring. Recently Australia’s weather has reportedly been warmer than average. At the same time much of the USA has been Colder than average(record snow reports). Surely this is Weather?