Arctic sea ice forecast: it’s going to be tough to stay cool

Bad news from the Arctic is piling up as we head into the last few weeks of the melting season. The various measures of sea ice area, volume and extent are plummeting towards a new record minimum. I have therefore reviewed the history of Arctic sea ice melting seasons since 2007, and compiled my own forecast of how the rest of the year is going to pan out. Remember, you read it here first…

When Arctic sea ice area sets a new record low in the next couple of weeks, the usual suspects1 will say: “You can’t trust area, sea ice extent is the only valid metric“.

When Arctic sea ice extent sets a new record low in September, the following arguments will be run in parallel:

  • There will be a frantic search for a definition of extent in which a new record was not set
  • There will be a complaint that the satellite record has been blighted by the failure of a sensor and the calibrations needed to get a new sensor in operation have corrupted the record2
  • It will be claimed that it was all caused by the major Arctic storm that hit in August, and thus can’t be attributed to global warming3
  • It’s cyclical — it’s all happened before, in the 1930s4, and is therefore nothing unusual
  • That it’s irrelevant, because it’s not global and not happening where anyone lives so can’t possibly matter.

When the sea ice extent and area anomalies blow out to record levels in early October because of the delayed freeze-up, there will be silence.

When the re-freeze starts, and the Arctic basin is covered in ice once more (early December), Anthony Watts will report on the record rate of ice formation, calling it a “stunning recovery“.

When a cold spell hits the Eastern US and/or Western Europe in December/January, caused by a major Arctic Oscillation excursion and the resulting big slow-moving loops in the polar jetstream5, the usual suspects will cackle loudly that global warming has suffered another mortal blow from which it will never recover.

Long range forecast for the next five years, until the Arctic Ocean is ice free in summer? Rinse and repeat.

  1. Being Watts, Goddard, Bastardi, Jo Nova, Delingpole, the GWPF, Morano and their NZ poodle, Richard Treadgold. []
  2. With added bonus insinuations of fixing and fraud by “warmist” scientists. []
  3. In 2007, the record low was all down to winds, remember? []
  4. Or pick a date (any date), based on an old press clipping reporting anecdotal evidence of ice loss. []
  5. A result of massive heat loss from the Arctic Ocean during the refreeze, see the work of Jennifer Francis, reported earlier. []

85 thoughts on “Arctic sea ice forecast: it’s going to be tough to stay cool”

  1. Bang on the money – in fact, the pre-emptive ‘it’s all down to the storm’ meme has started already. The summer ‘Arctic hurricane’ is a fascinating anomaly in itself, it seems.

    I’d also add they’ll attempt to divert attention some metric for the Antarctic Sea Ice that offers them some comfort for the time being.

    I trust we’ve all seen this?

  2. I don’t know, Gareth. Anthony Watts is the only fake skeptic who more or less regularly writes about the Arctic, but he’s more and more quiet. Oh, and there’s Steve Goddard, but he’s just insane. Maybe they will just try to ignore it.

    For instance, David Whitehouse from the GWPF last week published a feeble attempt at spreading FUD. Through mail I complimented him on the fact that he acknowledged that models grossly underestimate the mega-rapid Arctic sea ice decline, and asked him a few questions. Never got an answer.

    I think there is a definite possibility they will mostly stay quiet. Cowards. The Arctic is a huge, huge problem for the fake skeptic position.

    1. I do think that the tone at µWatts and elsewhere has become markedly more shrill, what with Muller/BEST and Watts’ disastrous attempt at a distraction, the US heatwave and now the remarkable melt season in Greenland and the Arctic Ocean. Watts et al need to feed their supporters with confirmation that their world view is still tenable. So it doesn’t matter what’s being said, or how it relates to reality (if at all), just as long as the µWatts commentariat get some support (any support) for their position. They might be quiet from time to time, while they work out behind the scenes what “the story” is going to be, but there will be an alternative universe on offer, I’m sure. They have too much of themselves invested in their denial to back away now…

      1. Fake skeptic = one whose avowed scepticism fails to take into account the balance of evidence. A genuine sceptic looks at all the evidence and forms a view. Fake sceptics ignore evidence they don’t like, cling to scraps of data that suit their purposes, and allow their preconceived views and/or politics drive their worldview.

        Sound familiar?

          1. A fake skeptic is someone who knows. He already has his mind set up and is not in the least skeptical of his own views. He’s not a real skeptic, but a fake one, hiding himself behind the ‘skeptic’ label because 1) he genuinely believes he is one, 2) it’s great PR.

            For instance Watts isn’t a real skeptic, but a free market libertarian fundamentalist, who has very large ideological, psychological and probably financial stakes in the whole AGW business. These take precedence over the potential consequences of AGW for others.

            There are many things to be said about warmists (if they can be generalized as a group), but at least they do not pretend to be something they’re not, ie skeptics.

            1. I’d question your last sentence, Neven, as I’d say ‘warmists’ — a title we do not choose but others have thrust upon us — although characterised by an acceptance of the current evidence for global warming are, crucially, prepared to adjust their position based on new evidence. So in the sense that warmists question evidence — all evidence — we are arguably true ‘sceptics’.

              ‘Fake’ sceptics are people who, as a title for themselves, have taken the word ‘sceptic’ — a word that is generally seen to be a good thing in science; ie., you question beliefs and ‘truths’ — and used it in an attempt to give themselves credibility. The fact is that that fake sceptics are anything but sceptical because they can never be found arguing amongst themselves. As evidence I offer any comment thread in WUWT where you’ll never find fake sceptics questioning each other’s ‘facts’. On ‘denial sites’ if you’re ‘on side’ you’re a good guy, even if your reasons for why ‘global warming is a scam’ contradict someone else’s argument for climate change being a hoax. In contrast, if you read a site such as ‘Skeptical Science’ you’ll often see robust argument and disagreement — which is all part of a genuine learning process.

            1. Interesting. I see lots of disagreement between commenters at the likes of Bishop Hill on a variety of topics.
              To the outsider though, the warmest creed looks more like a religious cult every day

    2. The advocacy of the anti-AGW brigade on the internet and in the media has definitely become more intense. So much so that I feel obligated to respond. This northern summer has definitely raised public awareness to the issue. The announcement that all is OK is bound to come once the Arctic starts refreezing.

  3. I could have worded that better, John. All I meant to say was that ‘warmists’ aren’t hiding behind a label, like fake skeptics are.

    And so we agree.

    But let’s keep an eye on how fake skeptics handle the situation in the Arctic. I think they’re going to keep quiet, because spin might backfire big time.

  4. “The Arctic? Nothing to worry about there. And the Antarctic? It’s growing! And look over there, There’s a ring-tailed possum! Good heavens! Is that the time? Gotta go!”, said Chris the Cooligan as he rushed off to perform his vaudeville routine and lantern slide presentation.

  5. A rose, or a piece of sh*t, is still a piece of sh*t, no matter what name is used.

    I haven’t heard the term “fake skeptics” used before. That’s a good description. I’ve been calling the clowns who claim climate science is bogus “deniers”.

    I don’t understand why, but Lindzen says he prefers to be called a “denier”. (Eg: in this interview, from BBC’s “One Planet” podcast, available here.)

    I’d say the most difficult thing for a denier to deal with is the rapidly rising ocean temperature as indicated by the Argo float data. That data is increasingly being referred to by authorities as they continue to try to explain how obvious our situation is.

    Eg.: Hansen’s TED talk. After he introduces himself, points out some part of his credentials and his record of knowing what he is talking about, he says “let me describe the most important conclusions from the physics”.

    He’s boiled the science down to two things he wants his audience to consider.

    Number one, “the key quantity”, he says, is “Earth’s energy imbalance”. “Now, finally, we can measure Earth’s energy imbalance”. He points out that “the biggest reservoir, the ocean, was the least well measured…” Then he describes the Argo float data.

    The Argo float data is showing a steady rapid increase. There is nothing in it like the fluctuations in the global average surface temperature record that leave room for deniers to trumpet the planet is cooling.

    Incidentally as his number two point “from the physics”, he pointed out that all it took to trigger Earth’s ice ages was the “very weak” Milankovitch forcing, because it was amplified by feedbacks in the system. “The most important point is that these feedbacks will occur today”. He’s been hammering at this point in his papers. Earth’s energy imbalance today is about 3 times as powerful as the Milankovitch forcing.

    Whether there is a new record set for ice in the Arctic this year or not is fairly irrelevant. It was big news that this trend started, but by now its like if you had cancer all it would be if a new record was set this year is the latest result shows your cancer is bigger. Big news now would be finding out its spread all over your body, or if soon to be fatal heart disease was also diagnosed.

    Proof its spread all over is in the Argo data.

    Possible fatal heart disease also diagnosed may be about to be discovered, i.e. Anderson’s discovery that climate change may be driving an increase in water vapor in the stratosphere which he says will cause ozone depletion so severe it will rule out even considering using stratospheric sulphate aerosols as an emergency geoengineering measure by civilization, even one that has suddenly woken up to find its existence threatened.

    Anderson’s work is interesting, in a ghoulish sort of way. He’s in the news because the work brings into question whether there is this Plan B the geoengineers have been talking about, i.e. we can mimic a volcano, they say, if things get too bad we’ll cool the planet down. The thing is, if climate change drives more water into the stratosphere what happens if a real volcano goes off?

    Anderson is the guy who came up with the experiment NASA flew into the ozone hole in 1987 that nailed what was happening there enabling negotiators to beef up the Montreal Protocol enough so we can say now the offending chemicals are practically banned. He knows what he is talking about.

    The reaction he says this new water vapor he observed over the US favors is the same catalytic reaction he studied in Antarctica – there, at some levels in the stratosphere where it really gets going, all ozone disappears.

      1. I was looking for a reference, as my understanding was that Argo was showing no warming. I am always glad to be corrected, that is why I asked for a reference.

    1. Can you please show me the relevant paragraph of the article (I presume that you have purchased the full article from Nature) that shows a “rapidly rising temperature” from the Argo network.

      The article abstract makes no reference to Argo at all.

        1. Skeptical science says this

          Claims that the ocean has been cooling are correct. Claims that global warming has stopped are not. It is an illogical position: the climate is subject to a lot of natural variability

          Compared with David Lewis’s comment above:

          The Argo float data is showing a steady rapid increase. There is nothing in it like the fluctuations in the global average surface temperature record that leave room for deniers to trumpet the planet is cooling.

          1. I think you will find andy that that analysis is 2 years old.

            That research has been updated in recent months and I think you will find that the results are somewhat different. Here is Skeptical Science on the most recent findings:

            “Putting Ocean Heating Into Perspective

            The amount of global warming which has gone into the oceans over the past 55 years is quite impressive.

            “The global linear trend of OHC2000 is 0.43×1022 J yr-1 for 1955-2010 which corresponds to a total increase in heat content of 24.0±1.9×1022 J”

            This is an immense amount of energy being added to the oceans which Levitus et al. put into perspective (emphasis added):

            “We have estimated an increase of 24×1022 J representing a volume mean warming of 0.09°C of the 0-2000m layer of the World Ocean. If this heat were instantly transferred to the lower 10 km of the global atmosphere it would result in a volume mean warming of this atmospheric layer by approximately 36°C (65°F).”

            Levitus et al. note that of course this heat won’t be instantly transferred to the atmosphere (fortunately!), and that this comparison is simply intended to illustrate the immense amount of energy being stored by the oceans.

            This heating amounts to 136 trillion Joules per second (Watts), which as Glenn Tramblyn noted in a previous post, is the equivalent of more than two Hiroshima “Little Boy” atomic bomb detonations per second, every second over a 55-year period. And Levitus et al. note that this immense ocean heating has not slowed in recent years – more of it has simply gone into the deeper ocean layers.”

            I refer you to the matter here which quite clearly supports the contention of David Lewis.


            1. Do they have Argo buoys at 700m below sea level?

              Anyway, thanks for the update. Maybe SkS need to update their info if they want to present a consistent viewpoint to suspicious minds like me.

  6. The Argo floats measure ocean heat content down to 2000m. (~6000 ft.)

    Hansen chose to emphasize the von Schuckmann and Le Traon (2011) analysis of the Argo data for his Hansen Earth’s Energy Imbalance and implications paper.

    The importance Hansen attaches to this relatively new ocean data is shown as he emphasizes it in the first sentence of the abstract for the paper. In the paper itself (page 11) he writes “the rate of ocean heat uptake determines the planetary energy imbalance, which is the most fundamental single measure of the state of the Earth’s climate” Etc. In his talks these days he says things like the oceans were the most poorly measured until now, etc.

    James McCarthy, former lead author of WGII IPCC AR3, past president of the AAAS, etc., appeared in front of the Senate Committee on Environment recently, i.e. August 1 this year. He is an ocean specialist. His testimony is his attempt to explain to the Senators that every indicator one can imagine could possibly be relevant “provide robust evidence that Earth is warming”.

    But he also singled out the oceans, explaining that oceanographers would have said “not very much” should have been happening because of their sheer size, and “significantly, we had decades, and in some cases more than a century of data indicating relative constancy”.

    However, “we now know that the ocean is changing more rapidly than was imagined likely just a few decades ago”. Etc. He shows a good set of graphics and describes the Argo floats on page 5 and 6. He chose to mention Leviticus 2012 for their analysis of Argo data.

    McCarthy tries to explain the significance of the oceans by using the analogy of a massive flywheel on an engine. However, talking to Inhofe must be like talking to a brick wall.

    Much “natural variability” in the global average surface temperature chart results from heat exchanges between the atmosphere and the ocean, eg. ENSO. The best graphical explanation of El Nino/La Nina a.k.a. ENSO I’ve seen is this, as it depicts how heat moving around in the Pacific Ocean in an El Nino/La Nina cycle exposes more or less relatively warm water to the surface where its heat can be exchanged with the atmosphere, dramatically affecting global average surface temperature.

  7. Gareth, your capable sooth-saying in the above is getting a recommendation over at Tamino’s.

    Watts really should follow some of the Creationists into a career in self-parody. His ‘UHI in the Antarctic Peninsula, as demonstrated by this postcard from an Australian base on the other side of the continent‘ stuff is priceless, and handily – if not very convincingly – draws attention away from the hot issues (boom boom) at the other pole…

    1. Thanks Bill, I’d seen John’s comment over there. I’m plotting a follow-up of this post to look at how my predictions turned out, but I think I’ll wait for the sea ice minimum first – just to see how absurd the reaction gets…

      1. Pretty damn absurd! Look forward to a lot of ropey resurfacing of the USS Skate…

        I’ve noted that both Nova and the Bishop have been simply hiding from the issue: methinks the old proverb about remaining silent and being thought a fool rather than opening your mouth and removing all doubt is about to be re-proven…

        This quote from Steven Mosher over at Watts’ will doubtlessly prove a predictive classic, too –

        [Y]ou will know you’re a fake skeptic if you try to struggle with the fact of their being less ice in the arctic. You will know your are struggling with that fact if you.

        1. start to question every metric you’ve relied on in the past.
        2. change the topic to the south pole.
        3. Blame things that cant melt ice ( like wind). heat melts ice.
        4. search around feverishly for one chart that supports your position.
        5. Forget your own mistakes and focus on others.

        A real skeptic would shrug his shoulders and say.. “Sure there is less ice, sure warmer temps plays a role, but we have no knowledge about why its warmer” That’s at least a defensible position. No knowledge is a standard skeptical position. But if you find yourself twisting and turning to reject the fact that there is less ice, well might want to consider.. what would you say if there was zero ice. You better think about that argument because you’ll have to make it in the not too distant future.

        (Watts ignored the advice…)

  8. No cause for alarm. With Bryan Leyland’s pending cooling the Arctic should be saved and in the nic of time.

    Sadly he is not alone in this view.

    We have to give our Spartan National government credit for bravery in being able to look stoically at doom and not even flinch.

    1. I’m with Bryan – I predict the Arctic will get a lot cooler from October to February with a massive recovery of sea ice to boot! Beyond that I wouldn’t like to say.

  9. You know, it’s not showing the slightest sign of decelerating!

    I think we’re all left with our jaws agape. Deep Climate’s calling 3.6m km2!

    Much as it’s kind of nice having something to rub dimwits’ noses in*, this ride is getting a bit too scary and I’m sure I’m not alone in really wanting to get off now…

    *Suddenly as scarce as the ice sheet, ain’t they? Probably all off at their Brave New Biology conferences getting ready to convince the world that Polar Bears are only bleached Grizzlies, after all…

    1. Looking at the graph you posted, Bill, it looks like the graph starts diverging at about August 7th. Before that it looked pretty normal.

      So this earth-shattering news is based on three weeks of data.

      Just putting this in a bit of perspective

      1. Are you trying to set new records for stupidity? You belong on sites like – some of their posters are so dim that you might almost appear to be intelligent in that environment – but not here.

      2. Perspective‘?

        From you?

        Mr Multi-alias troll-for-all-seasons who just has to decry us all as fascists once a week?

        The man who gets his ‘science’ through the Telegraph and the Daily Mail?

        The man who assures us he lives in trembling fear of wind turbines mugging old ladies on council estates, but is suddenly all Solomonically blasé about mere details like the Arctic sea-ice disappearing at a rate of knots?

        The staunch defender of the noble would-be ‘fossilized’ third-world poor who works himself into a hysterical lather at the thought of any global resource justice shifting even a fragment of wealth to the shiftless, undeserving third-world poor? What an outrage! When it could be where it rightfully belongs – in the pockets of the bloated coal plutocrats he takes as his guiding star…

        My irony meter just busted. Again.

        1. The graph shows a divergence away from otherwise uninteresting looking data about 3 weeks ago – i.e first week of August 2012.

          I’d be interested to know what triggered this event.

          I’d also like to know why looking at a graph and spotting inflection points is “stupid”

          1. Umm, warming?
            Look at the 2012 line. Do you not find it striking that it is so much lower than any previous year and that each decade has shown a decline in extent?

            1. I don’t see it being so much lower. The winter extent is higher, the spring period is about the same as the 2007 line,

              There is a general trend of decline over the ensemble, but that is not the issue here. The issue is that there is a divergence around the beginning of August which I would imagine could be tied to some meteorological influence like winds.

            2. More hard to misunderstand – deliberately or otherwise – illustrations on the arctic sea ice volume collapse.

              Seriously, what kind of a willfully self-deluding fool would you have to be to claim this all somehow happened 3 weeks ago?

              It’s not the frickin’ weather.

              ‘The issue’ is not some dumb little OCD metric you’d like to play squirrel with, andy. Who do you imagine is convinced by your shameful performances? You turn up here with your risible arguments only to get the faecal matter kicked out of you, and, by proxy, your risible cause. Why bother?

            1. Hey Bill,

              Can you guess who said this?

              “Yes I am wasting my time at HT, but it’s interesting to see what passes as polite conversation over there.

              I am chastised for hogging too much space, then when I go away they want me to come back and defend some strawman arguments.

              Roger Dewhurst is getting most of his comments snipped now (I know because I get the email notification but the comment disappears). I’ll probably end up there too before long.

              Oh well, better things to do with my time….”

              Give up? Answer here:


            2. Hands up all those who want andy to come back and defend his straw man arguments?

              What, nobody?

            3. Do you agree that
              (a) the record was set by the divergence 3 weeks ago?
              (b) 3 weeks is not a long time to determine a climate trend
              (c) the divergence was likely caused by wind or something like that?

            4. Andy, the 70,000 or so square KM of sea ice extent that we have already less this year than the last minimum in 2007 take a lot of energy to melt. All up, including the thinning of the ice we have a massive annual energy imbalance at work at the Arctic. The energy leaving being significantly less than the energy coming in, year after year. It resulted in 900 cubic km of ice melting over the course of the last year.
              This even you must agree, did not happen in the last three weeks alone. This is the result of an ongoing large energy imbalance year after year. In fact the current daily average energy imbalance of Earth due to us increasing the greenhouse effect is on the order of 400,000 Hiroshima bombs each day, 365 days a year…. (NASA, Hansen).

            5. Oh, you plonker, andy. ‘Three weeks ago’? You’re actually going to say it again? You don’t ever bother with the counter-information that anybody provides you, do you? Actually look at these charts. Already posted for you once.

              Here’s the volume chart since the record trifecta is now complete – if you’re going to try to hide behind choosing not to understand the ‘complicated’ differences between all these things you’re actually only-too-happy to ignore, oh King of Dissembling, JFGI!

              Care to identify the 3 week ‘divergence’ in that record?

              Lurkers – yes, this level of cowardice and dishonesty is utterly characteristic of the Denier. In fact, it’s now the defining characteristic; all the ones with any shred of decency peeled off long ago.

              andy, only someone at this level – your level – could possibly swallow such a pathetic gambit. And any such person is a lost cause anyway. As I frequently point out, I cannot imagine what good you imagine you are doing. Feel free to sod off altogether. Climate Conversations is much more at your level.

              I notice from going through the front page posts it’s also diligently ignoring the biggest news in climate – along with your hero Montford and the ridiculous Jo Nova – instead getting into a steamy lather at the thought of the return of Sheriff Arpaio’s little buddy Lord ‘Birther’ Monckton next year. Gee, andy, that’s maybe only 120 more sleeps! He’s certainly a neat fit with you all. ‘ A consummate, level-headed, moderate protagonist of the truth about global warming.’ Ah, the world beyond parody.

              Why do I see all you clowns standing around staring at your ‘funny’ shoes, diligently not making eye contact, in the face of the rapidly thawing woolly mammoth in the room?

            6. Feel free to sod off altogether. Climate Conversations is much more at your level.

              Until one has enjoyed the Climate Conversation Group experience one can’t claim to truly appreciate the meaning of the word Stupid.

              It is Noddy land.

            7. Hi Richard Christie,
              Do you disagee with my statement that the 2012 curve deviated around three weeks ago?

              Your erudition is much appreciated

            8. Just to really, really rub it in with regard to andy’s having not the slightest idea what he is drivelling on about, here’s some more charts taken from the work of actual scientists – as opposed to the blog voodoo favoured by Deniers – on Neven’s Arctic Sea Ice site.

              You are absolutely dead to rights on this one – you cannot wriggle out of the fact that this is a new record caused by the sustained deterioration of extent, area and volume over decades.

              You absolute muppet.

  10. Meanwhile at the “dreamworks” of WUWT they have a new movie: “The boy that cried warming” – telling us that “Every Global Warming Prediction has proven to be Science Fiction”.
    Well said…. in fact the reality is actually galloping faster along the warming path than many scientists dared to call it. Certainly the Arctic ice extent this year is much smaller than predicted and the 2012 US weather extremes much hotter than predicted. What a hoot!

    1. Yep, like all true fanatics they’re just going to double-down on Stupid.

      I think we should install a large, plain granite slab tomb-stone on a wind-swept coast within the Arctic Circle at some apt location, emblazoned with ‘RIP: the world as we knew it’ and then a list of names; Carter, Christy, Koch/s, Lindzen, Monckton, Murdoch, Plimer, Pielke/s, Singer, Watts etc. (and, of course, corporate ‘persons’ such as Heartland, The CEI, The Daily Mail, The Daily Telegraph, News Limited, and, of course, The Republican Party)

      I’d like to hope we could seal the memorial with a plain ‘never again’, but that’s probably too optimistic on many levels. It’s not just a matter of the unstoppable momentum of Stupid; how many second-chances are we likely to get when it comes to a vibrantly livable home planet?

    1. Snap!

      It’s good to be quick, because the original film-makers are, not altogether surprisingly, less-than-happy with the whole ‘Downfall’ phenomenon – has there ever been anything quite like it? – and may yet file a DMCA complaint against the video.

      The original movie is a harrowing masterpiece, incidentally. How anyone can ever have sympathised – let alone still sympathise – with this bunch of lunatics is beyond comprehension.

      1. Yet it must be comprehended — because it is the problem.

        Indeed a masterpiece. The Hitler role, even in this short fragment, gives me a special appreciation for the acting profession: if we get through this somehow, art will have played a role in it.

        1. Ganz’s performance is truly amazing. There was some concern at the release of the film that Hitler had somehow not been portrayed as sufficiently monstrous, but really, as Ian Kershaw says –

          Knowing what I did of the bunker story, I found it hard to imagine that anyone (other than the usual neo-Nazi fringe) could possibly find Hitler a sympathetic figure during his bizarre last days

          To my mind there’s never been a more accurate portrayal of the ‘Teppichfresser’. Or the genuine lunacy at the heart of the Reich. This zealot elite’s ‘the German people deserve their fate’ attitude could scarcely have been made clearer…

          1. I knew a Dutch Jew who immigrated to Canada after WWII who was regarded in the Netherlands as a war hero. It was an eye opener when I asked him for details about how it was to be in Holland during that war. He was incredibly serious about making sure I understood how verified his information was.

            The thing is, Germany was one of the most civilized countries in the world in the runup to WWII. The Germans who killed Jews by day went home to their families at night.

            The main thing I realized after my contact with Franz was that the reason people like him were so serious that we who came after should know what happened was because it is so starkly clear that if one of the most civilized countries of Western Civilization departed so far from what most people living in that civilization who did not directly experience it believe is remotely possible, it could happen again.

            Compare the fate of the millions of Jews with that of the planet. Think about Romney joking about people who care about climate, and pausing to let his audience have their big laugh. Consider the lies cranked out by speaker after speaker, and think about what could possibly be in the minds of those who are proud of that national platform. The US is a more dominant power than Germany ever was.

            1. Indeed. It is scary to think what the self righteous and deluded and denying masses of the US right wing arena would be capable off. Once you deny much of the reality around you (evolution, the age of the Earth and the Universe, Climate change, etc… ) what are you then capable off if directed and indoctrinated by the wrong type of leadership? If the worst of history is to repeat itself it will be though those who have hung up their brain at the door and worship their silly beliefs submissively.

            2. So let me get this straight. You are actually comparing Romney and the GOP with Hitler and the Nazi party.

              So I merely have to mention the “F” word, and this immediately gets gonged by the local Godwin trolls.

              You actually, really think this?

            3. Andy, David did nothing like you are saying. He simply compared the mindset of the people in Germany in denial of what was unfolding in their country under the NAZI regime to the mindset of people under our current leadership and their denial of what is unfolding under our eyes today. It is the mindset of people and their willingness to ignore the facts that is responsible for our inaction. Of cause mind numbing detractors like yourself act to amplify the inaction and the ignorance.

            4. I don’t know if the people of Germany were in “denial” since they didn’t really have a lot of say in the matter.
              What is perhaps a lot more disturbing is the British knowledge of these events and their tight-lipped response.

              Anyway, this is way off topic.

            5. I compared the fate of the millions of Jews killed by Nazi Germany to what is being done to the planet. I think many more people will die over climate change than were killed by Nazis, not to mention species extinction. And there is the fact that it in human terms climate change will cause a permanent reduction in the ability of the planet to support life. Its the only planet known to support life in the universe.

              Anyway, I also noted that Germany pre WWII was one of the most civilization countries in Western Civilization. I live in the US now after spending most of my life in Canada, and I find the politics here astonishingly brutal and mindless. It isn’t Nazi Germany here, I’m not saying that.

              Read Mein Kampf. What I found scary about it is how lucid it is. Hitler pumped out his political line and concentrated more intently on what resonated. He upped the volume going out depending on what response he got coming back. Germans had lost WWI and went through that fantastic inflation afterward and they were looking for scapegoats. Hitler was supported the more he went after the Jews. Then things really got out of hand.

              My concern is the planet. I find what the Republicans have become is alarming. A party that may well control what the most powerful country in the world does is openly and uniformly sneering at science and scientists. They were led in open laughter by their Presidential candidate at their convention as they mocked all those who care about climate. Their support is holding firm in the polls as they do this. I would never have believed what I’m seeing could happen here.

              What happens really depends on how far Americans let this go. As I was not brought up here and I’ve only lived here for three years, I don’t have much of a feel for what can happen.

              After I heard Romney lead the convention in laughing at the prospect of climate change, and because Downfall was being discussed here, it brought to my mind Franz and the stories he told me of how it was in Holland in WWII.

              Some Jewish leaders of Dutch Jewish organizations made deals with Hitler to delude their followers by telling them not to fear being put on trains to be transported to German camps. The Jews own leadership was bought off with promises they could get their children out of this. No Jews who boarded the trains came back.

              I think about this as I consider the Koch brothers, who say they are raising $400 million to back Romney. How could a country allow anyone to back a candidate for office with $400 million? The Kochs are the biggest backers of climate science denial in the world.

  11. Hansen, somewhere in this recorded talk available on Youtube, that he entitled “Earth’s Energy Imbalance” said the sea ice was taking up as much energy as Earth’s continents. That was in early 2011. His paper Earth’s Energy Imbalance states the continents are taking up about 0.024 W/m2 as shown by boreholes.

    So melting sea ice is taking up about 0.024 w/m2 in 2011. Converting the obscure w/m2 to the more familiar(?) Hiroshima sized nuclear bombs unit, that’d be….

    He puts the total planetary energy imbalance at .5 – .6 of a w/m2, but since the measurement was done at solar minimum he thinks its actually an average of .75 over the full solar cycle, if the Argo float data holds up. But in his TED talk where the Hiroshima bomb was introduced as a unit, he is talking about the measured .6 w/m2 only. Sea ice at .024 w/m2 is about 1/25of the .6 w/m2 imbalance. If the total imbalance is taken to be equivalent to 400,000 Hiroshima sized bombs per day, then the sea ice is absorbing 16,000 bombs per day.

    Personally, I don’t find the new unit, i.e. Hiroshima sized nuclear bombs, to be meaningful.

    The oceans are taking up by far most of the incoming heat, although the sea ice term in the calculation is growing rapidly.

    1. I guess anything that puts watts x time x Earth’s surface area into some perspective to which people can relate emotionally is possibly helpful and can make the staggering proportions of anything multiplied by the Earth’s surface are palpable.

  12. When the re-freeze starts, and the Arctic basin is covered in ice once more (early December), Anthony Watts will report on the record rate of ice formation, calling it a “stunning recovery“.

    You’re timing isn’t perfect, but you nailed it, Gareth. Congratulations.

    From the best science blog in the universe:

    “From the Nature abhors a vacuum department comes this note from RealScience showing that Arctic sea ice has made a stunning rebound since the record low recorded in the late summer of 2012.”

    I think this one made it in my Top 3 of WUWT most stupidest posts, maybe even the new number 1. I didn’t think it was possible. But hey, just two years ago I thought it was impossible for Arctic sea ice area to go below 1 million km2 in September/August.

    1. Yesterday there was a dramatic decline in solar activity over Wellington. I thought we were about to plunge into an ice age. But then this morning the sun made a stunning rebound, and it’s a pleasant summer day again. I would never have predicted that the sun would rise again in the morning…

  13. Some people can’t be reasoned with.

    Yep, some areas in QLD and NSW just experienced the greatest retreat from flood levels ever, too! Come to think of it, much of charred Tasmania and the Victorian high-country will shortly be experiencing a record burst of new shoot emergence and epicormic budding!…

    Everything’s fine, Pollyanna!

    Seriously – you really, really couldn’t make it up… but it seems you can predict it! 😉

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