Record Lake Superior Ice Cover Still 31%

May 9th, 2014 by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

MODIS satellite imagery of Lake Superior on May 6, 2014.

MODIS satellite imagery of Lake Superior on May 6, 2014.


With 31% ice coverage today (May 9, 2014), Lake Superior now has more ice than after the epic cold winter of 1978-79, which had everyone in a tizzy over the coming Ice Age. Here’s a plot of how the various winters played out between 1973 and 2002, and where Superior ice cover stands today…it shows that by today’s date in most years, the ice was long gone:

Lake-Superior-ice-1973-2002-vs-2014

Good ice records only began in 1973 because that was the first year we had high-resolution satellite imagery, from the first Landsat satellite. It will be very interesting to see if there is still some ice left in early June.

In the 1970s, cold winters were a sign of a cold climate. Of course, now we know that cold winters are a sign of a hot climate. Scientists can be so silly at times.

Oh, I almost forgot! In only 6 weeks, the days start getting shorter again! ;-)


19 Responses to “Record Lake Superior Ice Cover Still 31%”

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  1. Ossqss says:

    The way the wind has driven the ice to the south, it could be along time till it is ice free in that packed up area.

    A bit off topic, but we captured some firsts on the last large event on the sun the end of last month. This is from yesterdays live, and very choppy, stream from NASA. Amazing imagery up close and personal of an X class event. e
    http://youtu.be/3MAsp4chvZQ

    I hope this works from my tablet :-)

  2. Johan says:

    Will the days soon be getting shorter in the Southern Hemisphere too? I knew this climate change was bad – I didn’t realize it was this bad.

  3. Add to this record amounts of Antarctic Sea Ice.

    • rossbrisbane says:

      Grace measurements shows Ice MASS loss continues to EXCEED sea ice winter regrowth which is very different for Antarctica. In the Arctic circle it is mainly exposed sea ice which grows very thin in recovery over Winter but ice mass losses have been huge over the last decade. Ice cover recovery has NEVER the same as in past events there.

      • Dr. Strangelove says:

        ross, spare us from your idiocy. GRACE measures land ice, not sea ice.

        “In the Southern Hemisphere, autumn is well underway, and sea ice extent is growing rapidly. Antarctic sea ice extent for April 2014 reached 9.00 million square kilometers (3.47 million square miles), the largest ice extent on record by a significant margin. This exceeds the past record for the satellite era by about 320,000 square kilometers (124,000 square miles), which was set in April 2008.”

        http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/

  4. Norman says:

    “In the 1970s, cold winters were a sign of a cold climate. Of course, now we know that cold winters are a sign of a hot climate. Scientists can be so silly at times.”

    One thing that is bad on climate reporting of extreme weather is that the only things mass reported are connecting some horrible weather event (flood, drought, tornado, snow, heatwave, cold snap, high wind etc) to AGW. You won’t see a balance in reporting. “Oh we had 350 normal days this year in this location” so I guess AGW creates much more nice weather than bad so it must be a very good thing since it is now responsible for every known weather pattern and then some. So every beautiful day with mild temps, low wind and no severe storms MUST be caused directly by AGW. Let us celebrate the wonderful weather caused by our beneficial friend, AGW.

  5. Frank K. says:

    “Oh, I almost forgot! In only 6 weeks, the days start getting shorter again! ;-)

    Where I live in New England, the leaves are still not out on most of the deciduous trees, and our lawns are just now starting to green up. A very late start to Spring!

    • Roy Spencer says:

      Oh, I’m sure you’ll have a nice warm, pleasant summer. I’m pretty sure…

  6. rossbrisbane says:

    Can you graph properly Roy? Is this for real – a mistake or deliberate? http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-JYiRB5vrdC8/Uvkmn7d_OjI/AAAAAAAAFFI/hfHnInQMmcA/s1600/SpencerDeception.gif

  7. Newport_Mac says:

    There have been ships going in and out of Duluth, MN yet the National Ice Center is indicating a concentration of >28 inches. Photos from Duluth show floating ice but it isn’t solid.

    http://www.weather.gov/images/cle/ICE/dist9_thickness.jpg

    Perhaps the start of multi-year ice on the Great Lakes ; )

  8. John F. Hultquist says:

    So, only six weeks until we begin hearing commercials saying something such as “Buy XYZ now because as the summer days get longer you are really going to need this.”

    I make a note and never buy XYZ.

  9. Ric Werme says:

    Steven Goddard has been touting silly things like “Lake Superior sea ice now up to 1200% of normal.” Somehow that percentage kept going up. I don’t have enough energy to see what it’s up to now. :-)

    One metric of cold New England winters – I think there’s a new variety of Forsythia bush that’s more resistant to cold, but there are several around here that have a lot of yellow flowers on the lower branches but none at all on the upper branches. The cold winter killed the flower buds that weren’t protected under the snow cover.

    That happened a few times in the late 1970s too….

  10. Villabolo says:

    Big picture – little picture. It’s always necessary to see the GLOBAL context in situations like this. Example:

    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/gistemp/nmaps.cgi?sat=4&sst=3&type=anoms&mean_gen=12&year1=2013&year2=2013&base1=1951&base2=1980&radius=1200&pol=rob

    That temperature map shows that about 5% of the earth was colder than average while the rest, including Alaska and Siberia was warmer (up to 17F) than average.

    Why do you keep making reference to the limited portions of the earth that are colder and ignore those portions that are not?