In Arctic Svalbard, the End of a Warm, Dry Winter

March 12, 2014

Video here from Dr. Jason Box, who spent last week  in Svalbard, high in the Norwegian arctic.

A well informed source writes me:

It does look like the max has been reached, at least for Cryosphere Today sea ice area (down almost 200K km2 from its peak on Feb 22).
If so, that would make it the earliest max in the 2005-2014 period.


18 Responses to “In Arctic Svalbard, the End of a Warm, Dry Winter”

  1. dumboldguy Says:

    Not good news from Svalbard. The warmest since records began in 1899? And Svalbard is one of the northernmost inhabited places on earth?. That graph is really scary—-please keep us updated.

    PS There is something especially “sexy” about a female climate scientist with an accent talking about ice and snow with a “polar bear defense” rifle casually slung over her shoulder.

    • NevenA Says:

      Don’t be scared by that graph, as it’s only March, and March tells us zilch about September.

      And may I remind everyone reading this that I’m not officially calling the maximum as I quit doing that in 2012, when a higher peak was reached twice after having called the max. I was so embarrassed I had to laugh (I’m a bit of a masochist when it comes to getting things wrong). 🙂

      Someone over at the Arctic Sea Ice Forum can calculate what CT area will probably do based on NSIDC extent numbers, and just reported that in the next 3 days CT area will grow about 200K km2, meaning a higher AND later max.

      Maximum is very difficult to call, minimum less so.

      • chasingice Says:

        NevenA, do you have any sort of idea how CT derives its numbers, and why its so different than NSIDC?

        • NevenA Says:

          The main reason is the difference between area and extent (I don’t have time to explain this right now). Other reasons are or could be that data sets use different satellite sensors, different microwave signals, different resolutions and different algorithms to process the data.

          But all in all, especially when averaged out, the various graphs will tend to show the same thing.

  2. rayduray Says:

    The other day we mentioned the MacKenzie River’s contribution to melting arctic sea ice. Turns out our buddy Neven has a very informative post up about the contribution of the Arctic’s 72 rivers to seasonal warming.

    Keep in mind that the MacKenzie is the biggest river flow off the North American continent. But its contribution is dwarfed by the combined flow of the Ob, Yenesei and Lena Rivers coming out of Asia.

  3. rayduray Says:


    Peter, you’ve got competition., a generalist website, did a nice turn at attacking/countering a climate denial crock of the week:

    Headline: How a Canadian River Fueled a Climate Change Denial Meme

    • dumboldguy Says:

      A good article, using the pics directly from the Earth Observatory site to illustrate. And rather than competing with Crock, Slate gave Peter a “shout out” and used his stuff in another article on that page—-go to “Arctic Sea Ice Is Still Melting” on the right and check it out.

      • rayduray Says:

        Re: ” And rather than competing with Crock, Slate gave Peter a “shout out” “

        I’d hoped that people would realize that I was being facetious. Of course the Slate article was completely complimentary to Peter’s efforts here at Crock. I’ll have to consider using the [sarc]/{/sarc] meme I guess. 🙂

        • dumboldguy Says:

          I didn’t consider your comment facetious in the normal sense of sarc, but rather just your usual attempt at being cute and clever. If you had just mentioned the Slate piece (even though it was a bit off-topic), I likely would have made no comment.

          What you should consider is the meaning of the word “focus”.

  4. ClimateState Says:

    If we hear the term “since record keeping begun” i always wonder what climate proxies have to offer.

    Btw is she carrying a gun? Hunting? If so, does the weather make an impact?

    • anotheralionel Says:

      ‘Btw is she carrying a gun? Hunting? If so, does the weather make an impact?’

      More likely she is worried about the weather having an impact on the hunting patterns of bears, any rifle is for protection.

      • dumboldguy Says:

        There isn’t much to hunt on Svalbard—-reindeer and foxes maybe. Anyone going outside the settlements is required to carry a rifle for defense against polar bears. Even though the bears are protected, shooting them in self-defense IS allowed. They are unpredictable and dangerous, and I think one did kill a human within the past few years, and that wasn’t the first.

        • anotheralionel Says:

          A polar bear mauled and killed teenager Horatio Chapple whilst, ‘…on a British Schools Exploring Society trip near a glacier on the Norwegian island of Spitsbergen.’

          Polar bear kills British boy in Arctic

          The boys Christian name having echoes from history as the later Admiral Horatio Nelson had an encounter, maybe apocryphal, with a polar bear whilst in the Arctic serving on HMS Carcass – a bomb vessel, a type which was more suited to the conditions by being constructed from stouter scantlings than normal for frigates etc.

          and then there was this:

          Starving Polar BEAR’s Terrifying Attack on BBC Gordon Buchanan

  5. redskylite Says:

    Great video and attractive lady, I attach an interesting piece from Alan Marshall, describes the history of science behind radiative blocking gases (plainly in a language even I can understand) and mentions the gap/delay (climatebob discussed a few posts ago), which I had not considered before:

  6. […] 2014/03/12: PSinclair: In Arctic Svalbard, the End of a Warm, Dry Winter [A] […]

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