Ice Amazingly Persists in Hudson and James Bay

August 9th, 2015 by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

While the world frets over global warming, sea ice amazingly persists as far south as James Bay in Canada–not much farther north than Maine–as seen in this NASA color satellite image of swirling ice patterns from yesterday, August 8, 2015 (click for full size):

NASA MODIS image of sea ice persisting as far south as James Bay (Canada) on 8 August 2015.

NASA MODIS image of sea ice persisting as far south as James Bay (Canada) on 8 August 2015.

Two weeks ago it was reported that the worst mid-summer ice conditions in 20 years was preventing the routine delivery of supplies by ship in eastern Hudson Bay, and a Canadian ice breaker had to be called in to help.

118 Responses to “Ice Amazingly Persists in Hudson and James Bay”

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  1. BBould says:

    I’ve been watching this too. Very interesting.

    I remember one AGW zealot saying that if the arctic ever returned to normal he would start doubting AGW. I guess we’ll see.

  2. jimc says:

    Assuming the whiter whites are clouds, and the bluer is ice, it’s interesting how the water currents swirl there. Must be strong tides.
    I just read that sunspot activity has been “corrected” from climbing since 1850 to flat by the IAU – meaning that (hint) it has not been a contributor to global warming. Add that to NOAA’s “revised” surface temperature record eliminating the hiatus. Add that to Michael Mann’s “detrending” to eliminate the medieval warming. Add etc. And you’re getting into some serious revisionism.

    • jimc says:

      I always wondered, is Hudson Bay an impact crater?

      • dave says:

        “…is Hudson Bay an impact crater?”

        Possibly, but, if so, it is Precambrian.

        • dave says:

          Incidentally, the tides in Hudson Bay are small.

          Spike Milligan finishes one of his books of military reminiscence on a troop ship leaving Tunisia for the invasion of Sicily. It immediately drops anchor. He asks his Sergeant,

          “Why have we stopped?” ,
          “The Captain is waiting for a tide.”
          “Oh, Good!”,
          “What’s good about it?”
          “The Mediterranean doesn’t have any.”

          • dave says:

            “…tides in Hudson Bay are small…

            In fact, the entrance to Hudson Bay (Hudson Strait) is the largest dissipator of Tidal Energy in the world (250 GW).

            There are some places in the Bay with big tides, e.g. Southampton Island.

    • dave says:

      It is not the IAU. It is SILSO, the World Data Centre for the International Sunspot Number, which is based at the Royal Observatory of Belgium; and the new data series is the result of a number of International Workshops.

      The effect is to increase Sunspot Numbers for two periods when the Sun was definitely active, the middle of the 18th century and the middle of the 19th century. The effect on the minima periods is small and the effect for the 20th century is also small.

      • Bob Weber says:

        The authors of the paper connected with the new v2 SSN revision claim that the new numbers reduce the trend from the Maunder Minimum so much as to eliminate the modern maximum in solar activity. Those people say it wasn’t a “grand” maximum, and that solar activity therefore didn’t contribute to global warming as much as mankind supposedly did.

        The use of a so-called reduction in the trend over 300 years is a “strawman” argument. Does anyone really think we are being affected by the Maunder Minimum today, or the Dalton, or the Gleissberg? No. That brings up the question, at what point did solar activity in the past matter to the supposed climate change from 1880? or from 1950? or 1980?

        There WAS a modern maximum in solar activity. The authors are obfuscating by bringing up a “grand” maximum as though that word means much of anything scientifically.

        With v2 yearly WDC-SILSO SSN data, we can see a distinct difference in solar change since 1865:

        The modern maximum in solar activity occurred from 1935.5 to 2004.5, a 70-year period, when v2 yearly SSNs averaged 108.5, as compared to a 65.8 per year average for the previous 70 years between 1865.5 and 1934.5, a 65% 70-year increase in sunspot activity.

        The Sun being 65% more active during those 70 years until 2004 caused global warming, it caused the ‘pause’ from low activity since 2004, and it’s about to cause global cooling from even lower activity during the next 15-20 years, if not longer.

        My calculations indicate that the net cumulative solar flux above the threshold of warming/cooling peaked in early 2004, and it’s been an up and down ride ever since during the pause with El Nino warmings and La Nino cooling events.

        SC24 maximum dumped a load of heat into the ocean, which is dissipating now. My flux model shows we are going to run out of OHC as solar flux diminishes into the next cycle.

        One result of this situation is the ice caps are rebounding, and that is why there is still ice in Hudson Bay! It’s also the reason high-latitude areas in both hemispheres are cooling noticably this year.

        • Rick Adkison says:

          Bob, I am a layman trying to get educated and I like your analysis. It is overly simplistic to simply say CO2 is the predominant driver of climate. If there are any readings on solar activity and it’s relationship to climate that are written so a non scientist can understand them, point me in the right direction.

          • Bob Weber says:

            Rick I appreciate your response. There are of course many sources of information about the Sun-Earth connection. There are none however that speak about it the way I do.

            Most of the publications and papers cover narrow slices of the issue, and most of them are always attributing most of the change in climate to CO2 (manmade), with a minor role for solar influence. Most of those follow the IPCC recipe where the Sun only varies supposedly by 0.1%, and the temperature response for any solar cycle is capped at a low level. You can hardly find two scientists with the same exact opinion on the matter.

            So any sources out there are tinged by AGW groupthink, and therefore I think they are not giving justice to the magnitude of the solar influences.

            I’m presently working on a website to be launched very soon, where I will cover this subject matter from my own perspective in detail backed up with good data.

            The Sun affects the Earth with both electromagnetic radiation which includes light and heat, and from charged particles in the solar wind. It’s way too complicated to get into it much here without hogging the blog, which I’m mindful not to do. We can’t post charts and graphs here for example although they can be linked to…

            The Sun’s effects are cumulative, time-dependent, and layered, which makes the overall solar influence difficult to discern. Many great science papers have been written about the various ways the Sun does things here, but for a self-identified layman as you are, starting out reading such papers may be a challenge until you get the hang of science-speak, so to speak…

            Try this other great blog for starters

          • John F. Hultquist says:

            Rick A.,
            I suggest you do a lot of reading, for example …
            Note item 2200 and others on this page

            Then go to a site such as WUWT and search for sunspot papers or use Leif or Svalgaard as a search term. There are many post going back several years.
            Read the comments. A few folks disagree with the adjustments.
            Allow plenty of time.

        • gbaikie says:

          –The use of a so-called reduction in the trend over 300 years is a “strawman” argument. Does anyone really think we are being affected by the Maunder Minimum today, or the Dalton, or the Gleissberg? No. That brings up the question, at what point did solar activity in the past matter to the supposed climate change from 1880? or from 1950? or 1980?–

          I think we still recovering from the LIA.
          Or had the Medieval Warm period “somehow” continued to the present, our sea levels would much higher- say a meter or 2
          Glacier would not have added glacial ice, which some predict will eventually melt in another 30 years.
          So the glaciar ice added would not have been added and the glacier would continue from the MW period to have continue to retreat.
          And I think CO2 levels would be higher, and global temperature about 1 C warmer, and maybe orange trees could be grown in northern California. And in another century into the future if the warming continued, orange trees might be grown in Oregon.
          As it is, I doubt orange trees will be grown in northern California within a century.
          But it seems that we have to have these long term warming and cooling trends- for it to “somehow” happen that MW continue and didn’t have LIA, seems unlikely, but we could have had a less severe cooling during the LIA, and maybe have added say, only about 1/2 meter to sea levels at our present time, and might be able to grow orange in northern Californian within a century.

          • Bob Weber says:

            I do see your point, and it is a good one, as it relates to cumulative effects of solar activity levels, whatever they were/are.

            The implication being that a low starting level in the past will mean it takes longer for Earth to rise to a higher specific temperature than if the previous levels were higher and the differential was smaller under the same sequence of cycles.

            That is an implication of my solar flux accumulation model.

            However, those extended minimums have been long over and the more recent higher solar cycles and their influence have taken precedence.

            Another way of saying that is we’re not in the LIA anymore, ie, the low solar periods have been supplanted by higher ones. That’s what I was getting at originally.

            Thanks gbaikie!

          • Gordon Robertson says:

            @Mike M…here is a defense of the link I provided from Gerlich and Tscheuschner. Many alarmists have claimed the paper was debunked by two papers: one from Arthur Smith, who only addressed a small part of the G&T paper, and one from Halpern et al.

            The truth is that the G&T paper has not been debunked. It stands on its own merit, written by two professionals who work in the field of thermodynamics.

            Before you go raving as to how this paper was debunked, let me point to a rebuttal by G&T to one of the papers by Halpern et al, who did the 2nd rebuttal. As you likely know, Halpern is a physicist who teaches chemistry and blogs under the nym Eli Rabbett. He is an uber-alarmist who has posted on Roy’s blog.

            In the paper, Halpern et al claimed that G&T in their paper had described a condition between two bodies radiating at each other in which one body was not radiating. In other words, Halpern et al thought heat was infrared radiation. G&T had described heat transfer, not radiation, and in heat transfer it can only be transferred from a warmer body to a cooler body without compensation. G&T did not claim in their paper that IR did not flow both ways.

            Allow me to clarify, this is incredibly important to the argument. In heat transfer by radiation between bodies of different temperatures, there are essentially two processes taking place. Electromagnetic energy is radiated isotropically by both bodies and heat is transferred from the warmer body to the cooler body if no external compensation is available as in a refrigerator.

            It’s plain that many people are confusing EM with the heat. Heat does not flow between bodies via EM, it is transferred via it. The distinction is crucial. The heat in either body is relative to the atoms in that body not to the space between them. EM, however, travels through the space between bodies.

            The heat in the warmer body, which is a measure of the kinetic energy of it’s atoms, creates the radiated EM through emission from electrons changing energy levels downward in it atomic orbitals. When that more intense EM at a higher frequency reaches the atoms of the cooler body it raises the kinetic energy of the cooler atoms by raising the energy levels of atoms in the cooler body through absorption, raising the average kinetic energy to rise and the cooler body to warm.

            With GHGs, that absorption takes place in the covalent bonds between atoms, causing them to vibrate harder, but the principle is the same. It’s about kinetic energy in either body.

            The same cannot be said about the EM radiated by the cooler body, which has a lower intensity and frequency than the EM that raised its temperature. Due to the 2nd law, it is plain that the lower intensity/frequency EM has no effect on the warmer body, therefore no heat is transferred from the cooler body to the warmer body, even though the warmer body may intercept IR from the cooler body. The IR from the cooler body plainly lacks the intensity and frequency to affect the electron energy levels in a warmer body whose atoms are at a higher energy level and frequency.

            In a rebuttal, G&T addressed the claim by Halpern at al and pointed out that they had not defined what they mean by a greenhouse effect. I thought that was a great point of rebuttal since most people who use the term GHE cannot explain how it works. The GHE is a metaphor, which many will admit, but when it comes to explaining it using scientific terms, they are lost, or use thought experiments.

            G&T had been describing heat transfer and that it could only be transferred from a warmer body to a cooler body. Halpern et al took that to mean radiation between two bodies at different temperatures ‘should’ transfer heat both ways and mistook the classic definition of the 2nd law as applying to IR, presuming that only one body was radiating.

            There is no way a paper with such egregious errors could be claimed to debunk a paper written by two scientists experienced in thermodynamics. A member of the Halpern team, Arthur Smith, wrote the first paper trying to debunk the G&T paper linked to above. He only addressed a small part of the paper and his rebuttal was later proved wrong by an independent party. Smith is a physicist who has worked all his career as a librarian.

        • Gordon Robertson says:

          @Bob Weber “The Sun affects the Earth with both electromagnetic radiation which includes light and heat, and from charged particles in the solar wind”.

          Bob…there is no heat in electromagnetic radiation. It consists of an electric field perpendicular to a magnetic field and one EM wave is differentiated from another by frequency. You are confusing the infrared part of the EM spectrum with heat.

          Heat occurs only when EM interacts with mass. High frequency EM can cause your skin to burn but it does that by raising the energy levels in electrons in your skin. That raising of energy raises the kinetic energy of the skin atoms/molecules which is heat.

          As proof, you can make a lens out of ice and run EM through it. The EM can be focused to start a fire in a substance but has no effect on the ice.

          I saw a film once in which powerful lenses were used to focus solar EM so it melted metal.

          IMHO, that is the flaw in the AGW theory and it is serious. Somehow, scientists who should have known better have confused IR with heat. They have applied equations particular to IR and presumed those equations represented heat transfer. They were wrong.

          • ren says:

            UV radiation affects the amount of ozone in the stratosphere and temperature in the zone of the ozone. It is of great importance for the climate because the polar vortex is in the zone of the ozone.

          • Bob Weber says:

            Gordon, you raise an important point that gets to the heart of the “wave structure of matter” that I think is responsible for the effect you brought up.

            UV and X-ray energy excites our atoms which is why they are dangerous to our bodies, and that happens because the energy levels are high and the wavelengths are small.

            When I say “light and heat” from the Sun, I mean it’s the source of those effects we experience. How it happens on the atomic level is the subject matter you are talking about, and I wasn’t going to get into that deeper subject here.

          • Bob Weber says:

            ren you are a very astute observer of the UV effect on the stratosphere and it’s influence over the polar vortex, as demonstrated by your postings through the previous recent winters. It’s just a matter of time before more and more people are going to catch on to that phenomenon, in part thanks to your observations.

          • Mike M. says:

            Gordon Robertson,

            You wrote: “IMHO, that is the flaw in the AGW theory and it is serious. Somehow, scientists who should have known better have confused IR with heat. They have applied equations particular to IR and presumed those equations represented heat transfer. They were wrong.”

            I have read much on this subject and have never seen anything of this sort from actual climate scientists. If you have a source for your claim, I would like to see it. If you can not provide one, I will have to consider you an uninformed crank.

          • Geoff Wood says:

            Mike M.

            Simply Google images “IPCC Earth’s energy budget diagram”

            Witness the many diagrams that show massive downwhelling long wave fluxes that are unavailable for work or power. Show that these are real then explain why we do not utilise them or I will have to assume that you are an uninformed crank.

          • Geoff Wood says:

            Hi Gordon. I totally agree that climate science has heat transfer incorrectly weighted towards the ineffective ‘forcing’ of back radiation from a cooler source. A simple mistake of cause and effect.

            I kind of have a foot in both camps about ‘light’ and ‘heat’ though. I do agree with your literal distinction but can see the other perspective too.

            ‘Old school’ made a clear distinction between light (visible) and short wave infrared which was initially called ‘heat’ or ‘heat rays’ (invisible but sensible). Experiments can easily be performed today to show good reason for a delineation. Light (visible) excites electrons, as you have said, to higher energy levels but this in itself does not constitute ‘heat’ or heat transfer. It does not automatically ‘heat’ matter. A raised electronic state very slightly increases the physical dimensions of an atom or molecule which may slightly reduce mean free path but does not increase its kinetic energy. In order to become ‘heat’, visible light absorbed requires a ‘radiationless transition’ such that the excited electron returns to its ground state and the atomic/molecular mass increases its motion by that energy. This does not always happen as the electron can re-emit a photon or cascade of lower energy photons depending upon the available eigenstates. None of these increase kinetic energy or can be construed as being thermalised. Visible light requires processing to possibly become thermal. A super bright LED is a prime example of how ‘cold’ light can be and how difficult it can be to transfer thermal energy by visible light alone. It is not easy to heat even a blackened surface with visible light alone. It also illustrates how little energy is required to provide super bright, but thermally ‘cold’ visible light.

            Short wave infrared however is of a wavelength that resonates with the components that absorb it and upon absorption immediately causes a rise in kinetic energy by physically moving the absorptive proton mass. Short wave IR is directly thermal and results in the heat sensation that you ‘feel’ from a hot object. William Herschel discovered infrared with a thermometer to be beyond the red of the spectrum from a solar radiation dispersion. The thermometer being cooler when placed in the visible light than it was in the ‘heat’ beyond the red. Again a repeatable experiment that short wave IR is superior at transferring thermal energy directly to matter without processing. Hence some still hang on to a distinction between ‘light’ and ‘heat’ as a result of differing wavelength dependent interaction between radiation and matter, whether rightly or wrongly by definition.

            The fact that visible light can be ‘heat’ as an entropically viable downgrade but spontaneous addition of long wave ambient IR cannot be focussed or combined in any way to become short wave IR or visible light or raise the temperature of a warmer body if sourced from one cooler supports your view.

            Regards, Geoff

          • Mike M. says:

            Geoff Wood,

            “many diagrams that show massive downwhelling long wave fluxes that are unavailable for work or power. Show that these are real”

            They can be measured. Therefore they are real. Roy has discussed this. To some extent this is discussed in the IPCC report. Or just look in the literature; for example:
            G.L. Stephens et al., “An update on Earth’s energy balance in light of the latest global observations”, NATURE GEOSCIENCE, VOL 5, 691-696.

            “then explain why we do not utilise them”

            I don’t see what that has to do with Gordon Robertson’s post. The reason is probably that the fluxes carry very little available energy since they are so far in the IR.

          • Gordon Robertson says:

            @Mile M…”If you have a source for your claim, I would like to see it. If you can not provide one, I will have to consider you an uninformed crank”.

            Based on your reply I will consider you hostile to science. Since you have suggested I am an uninformed crank, you will likely claim the following paper has been debunked. I will address that fallacy in a following reply for people who have been so uninformed.

            However, here is a link to the paper by Gerlich and Tscheuschner in which they cite many important scientists on this subject.

            See bottom of page 33 for a citation from renowned climate scientist Stefan Rahmstorf.


            Later in the G&T paper, at the foot of page 76, they take on Ramstorf again. They quote him as follows:

            “Some `sceptics’ state that the greenhouse effect cannot work since (according to the second law of thermodynamics) no radiative energy can be transferred from a colder body (the atmosphere) to a warmer one (the surface). However, the second law is not violated by the greenhouse effect, of course, since, during the radiative exchange, in both directions the net energy flows from the warmth to the cold.”

            G&T reply (remember these two are experts in thermodynamics):

            “Rahmstorf’s reference to the second law of thermodynamics is plainly wrong. The second law is a statement about heat, not about energy. Furthermore the author introduces an obscure notion of “net energy flow”. The relevant quantity is the “net heat flow”, which, of course, is the sum of the upward and the downward heat flow within a fixed system, here the atmospheric system. It is inadmissible to apply the second law for the upward and downward heat separately redefining the thermodynamic system on the fly”.

            It’s plainly obvious that Rahmstorf thinks summing IR is equivalent to summing heat and that doing so satisfies the 2nd law. I want to make it clear here that the radiating bodies are not independent heat sources. The heat in GHGs in the atmosphere, according to AGW theory, was transferred from the surface due to surface radiation AT A LOSS of surface heat.


            GHGs do not represent an independent heat source. That is crucial to what Rahmstorf is claiming as will be pointed out.

            Rahmstorf appears to have no idea what heat is, or the 2nd law. Furthermore, his reference to “net energy” seems seriously confused. He thinks that summing the net infrared energy upwards and downwards is equivalent to summing heat upward and downward.

            That negates the 2nd law, it does not satisfy it.

            The 2nd law can only be satisfied when heat is transferred from a warmer body to a cooler body without compensation. Since no such compensation exists in the atmosphere it is impossible for heat to be transferred from the cooler atmosphere to the warmer surface that supposedly warmed it in the first place. No amount of obfuscation involving the summing of IR energy can change that.

            Ramstorf is clearly wrong in claiming that IR radiated from the cooler atmosphere to the surface can be added to incoming solar energy. He is implying that the back radiation can be added to the solar energy to heat the surface to a temperature higher than it is heated by solar energy alone.

            The contradiction in that statement is plain. The surface transfers heat to GHGs in the atmosphere AT A LOSS of heat and Ramstorf is claiming the same back radiated energy from GHGs in a cooler atmosphere can be used to raise surface temperature. First, it has to make up for the loss of heat created at the surface when the IR radiated from the surface to warm the GHGs.

            That’s basic physics, otherwise you have a perpetual motion machine as G&T claimed. Wouldn’t it be great if we could use that pseudo-principle in a room to circulate heat? Not only circulate it, but increase it without adding energy to the system.

            Please don’t claim that solar energy is that added energy. Solar energy already has an energy balance with the surface and it transferred the energy previously that is claimed to be re-circulated. What Rahmstorf is claiming essentially is that the the solar energy that warmed the surface and radiated by the surface as IR, can be recirculated to increase the effect of solar energy.

            Plainly bad science, as is the rest of the AGW nonsense.

            Rahmstorf is a regular at realclimate and they all buy into that argument about net energy balance. Gavin Schmidt who runs realclimate with Michael Mann of Climategate fame, is a principle climate modeler at NASA GISS.

            As much as I love Roy for what he has done standing up as a skeptic, even he buys into the argument that a “net energy flow” between bodies satisfies the 2nd law.

            Fred Singer, a skeptic, seems to buy into it as well. Even when an expert in heat debated it with him, Roy was unmoved. To this day he argues against the 2nd law using thought experiments.

          • Gordon Robertson says:

            @Bob Weber…”When I say “light and heat” from the Sun, I mean it’s the source of those effects we experience”.

            Thanks for clarifying, Bob. I was not trying to be picky, I am trying to raise awareness that electromagnetic energy and heat are not the same. There is a relationship between the two, obviously, but that relationship is constrained by the 2nd law which posits that heat can only be transferred in one direction without compensation.

            In a similar manner, there is a relationship between work and heat. In fact, the two are equivalent. One must not take that to mean the equations applied to heat can be applied to work. They can’t, the units are different. However, someone who had been taught that equivalence might presume the equations applying to either were equivalent, just as many people think IR and heat are one and the same, and that equations applying to IR apply to heat.

            Many people, including scientists, are claiming infrared energy and heat are equivalent and they are not. They are inter-related but one has to be careful to obey the 2nd law wrt heat transfer.

            Another common assumption is that visible light contains colour. It does not, the colour is added by the human eye. That makes little sense till you study exactly what electromagnet radiation is. It contains no heat or color.

          • Gordon Robertson says:

            @GeoffWood …thanks for reply Geoff. Here is a link to an article by two experts in thermodynamics. On page 16 they make this claim:

            “Heat is the kinetic energy of molecules and atoms and will be transferred by contact or radiation. Microscopically both interactions are mediated by photons. In the former case, which is governed by the Coulomb respective van derWaals interaction these are the virtual or off-shell photons, in the latter case these are the real or on-shell photons. The interaction between photons and electrons (and other particles that are electrically charged or have a nonvanishing magnetic momentum) is microscopically described by the laws of quantum theory. Hence, in principle, thermal conductivity and radiative transfer may be described in a unified framework. However, the non-equilibrium many body problem is a highly non-trivial one and subject to the discipline of physical kinetics unifying quantum theory and non-equilibrium statistical mechanics”.


            Gerhard Gerlich is a professor of mathematics who is well versed in the processes inherent in thermodynamics. Ralf Tscheuschner is a physicist who works in the field of thermodynamics.

            There is nothing in their paper that would make me doubt what they are saying above. In fact, I have read it elsewhere, that heat and kinetic energy are equivalent.

            What else would heat be? It manifests in substances as an increased state of agitation of atoms and that is a description of an increase in KE. Something is being transferred between atoms, an energy. However, KE is a generic term to describe energy in motion.

            KE can describe different kinds of energy but heat applies to specific atomic phenomena. Heated metal expands because the mean free paths of the atoms in their lattices increases. Since KE is basically 1/2mv^2, it describes the increased velocity of the heated atomic mass.

            With respect to your point that old science referred to heat as heat rays, that is plain in the book by Planck on heat. However, it is clear that he is describing what we now call IR and not referring to heat per se. He is talking about the transfer medium.

            In one part, he gets right into explaining how the heat rays are radiated, using pencils of EM and cones.

          • Mike M. says:


            Thanks for the reference, but it looks like sky dragon stuff to me. Mostly it seems to be setting up and demolishing straw men. I found no evidence that the author actually understands anything about energy transfer in the atmosphere (for instance, he seems to think that thermal conductivity is important) but I gave up looking after about 50 pages.

            There is no “heat” in any object. Unfortunately, people still use confusing terminology that resulted from misunderstanding of 200 years ago. Heat is not kinetic energy. Heat is a means of transferring internal energy, specifically the net transfer of energy that occurs as a result of a difference in temperature. Most often that transfer is dominated by the exchange of kinetic energy via molecular collisions. That causes energy to flow in both directions, with the flow from hot to cold being larger than the flow from cold to hot. A change in the cold temperature thus has an effect on the flow of heat from a hot object. When the air temperature is 30 C I feel much hotter than when it is 20 C even though my body temperature is 37 C.

            The net flow of IR radiation between objects is also due to temperature differences, so can be regarded as heat. There are flows of radiant energy in both directions, from hot to cold and from cold to hot. Since the hotter object emits more (assuming equal emissivity) the net flow is from hot to cold. But the colder object still has an effect on the net flow, and therefore on the temperature of the hotter object.

          • ren says:

            More recently, Daniel Howard, Henrik Svesmark and I looked at the satellite altimetry data. It is similar to the tide gauge records in that it measures how much heat goes into the ocean by measuring the sea level change (most of the sea level on short time scales is due to thermal expansion). Unsurprisingly, we found that the satellite altimetry showed the same solar-cycle synchronized sea level change as the tide gauge records. However, because the satellite data is of such high quality, it is has a higher temporal resolution than the tide gauge records which allows singling out the thermal expansion component from other terms (e.g., associated with trapping of water on land). This allows for an even better estimate of the solar forcing, which is 1.33±0.34 W/m2 over the last solar cycle. You can see in fig. 4 how much the sun and el-Niño can explain a large fraction of the sea level change over yearly to decadal time scales.

          • David Appell says:


            “Earth’s Infrared Radiation: New Renewable Energy Frontier?”
            By Prachi Patel, IEEE Spectrum 3/4/2014

          • Gordon Robertson says:

            @Mike M “Heat is not kinetic energy. Heat is a means of transferring internal energy, specifically the net transfer of energy that occurs as a result of a difference in temperature. Most often that transfer is dominated by the exchange of kinetic energy via molecular collisions”.

            Thanks for reply, Mike.

            You claim heat is not kinetic energy then you claim heat is a means of transferring internal energy. But where does the internal energy come from?

            If you apply a torch to one end of a rod of steel, ‘something’ is transferred from the flame to the steel, then along the steel in a gradient. It has to be energy and we have always referred to it as heat, as in heating the metal.

            In an experiment in an engineering lab we did exactly that. We heated one end of a rod then measured the temperature gradient down the rod.

            Before the heat was applied to the rod, the metal did have an internal energy due to atoms vibrating in their lattices and when you apply the heat, the atoms vibrate in their lattices more intensely. In fact, the mean free path of the atomic vibrations in the lattice increases.

            According to Clausius, that represents work, which is equivalent to heat. So, you are increasing the work done by the atoms vibrating in their lattice which is equivalent to heat. That increase in vibration is also an increase in kinetic energy and explains why metals expand when heated.

            But what caused the increase in energy? It did not happen spontaneously, it was caused by heat from the flame. The flame is hotter than the metal because molecules of carbon in different hydrocarbon chains (as in propane, butane, acetylene, etc) are ignited and burn. The ignited gases cause molecules/atoms in the flame state to collide violently with atoms in the metal, causing the latter to vibrate furiously and can even break bonds that result in melting.

            So what is transferred? It has to be energy of some kind and it has to be thermal energy.

            You also claimed, “Most often that transfer is dominated by the exchange of kinetic energy via molecular collisions…”

            Not in metal. The atoms are bound by covalent bonds into lattices. The atoms are constrained to vibrate in place. I think G&T are correct, that heat is the kinetic energy.

            If you held the flame away from the metal, so it was not heating, you could claim the flame represented a potential energy. By bringing the flame closer to the metal so it touches, the potential energy is converted to kinetic energy as the energy begins to flow through the metal. That energy flowing through the metal is heat.

            KE applies to different kinds of energy. In electrical applications, you can have a battery in a circuit with a load and a switch open. Although there are chemical interactions taking place in an unconnected battery, relative to an external load it represents only a potential energy till the switch is closed to complete the circuit.

            Once the circuit is closed, electrical energy flows through the circuit and load as current. If the load is resistive, part of that energy is converted from electrical energy to heat energy, and that energy does flow. Stick you finger on a resistor with enough current through it and your finger will burn.

            In that circuit there are two forms of kinetic energy, kinetic electrical energy and kinetic heat energy. You might argue for kinetic magnetic energy in certain situations. Therefore KE is pertinent to the energy in use.

            I don’t think it’s out of place to claim that the increased kinetic energy from heat applied by a flame to a metal rod is the heat itself. What other energy could it be. No point calling it internal energy unless you can explain why it increased.

            I posted a link for Geoff in which G&T claimed conduction was due to off-shell virtual photons. I have no doubt that at a deeper level my claim about KE being heat does not stand up. For purposes of distinguishing IR from heat, however, I think it does.

            I have read that IR radiated from a body does not just come from the surface. I’m sure there are strange goings-on inside a substance. Nevertheless there is a reason why the 2nd law claims heat flows only from warmer regions to cooler regions without compensation.

            As far as temperature is concerned, it’s another one of man’s inventions. We needed a way to quantify different levels of heat and we invented scales to do that. Many thermometers are proxy devices that rely on the expansion of a substance. Thermometers are not measuring heat directly, they are measuring the expansion of a substance like mercury expanding in a narrow tube as it is exposed to a heat source.

            We have learned to calibrate the expansion to certain phenomena like the degree of expansion of mercury at 0C in water near the freezing point. Essentially, we are measuring the kinetic energy in the water molecules.

            Something causes them to flit about producing internal energy but in a relative sense, relative to 0K at -273C, that internal energy has to be related to a heat content the water has at 0C that it doesn’t have at 0K. From that perspective I think it’s appropriate to talk about the heat content of a substance.

            If you lower the temperature to 0K, the atoms in substances seem to lose their internal energy.

          • FTOP says:

            @David A.

            Did you read the article that you linked? It is based on a HUGE caveat. In order to draw energy from IR, the medium must be significantly COLDER. It seems Gordon’s well referenced 2nd Law holds for your link as well.

            The reason earth can emit IR to space is that space is a huge IR heat sink. It can’t sink into the warmer surface.

          • Gordon Robertson says:

            @FTOP…”The reason earth can emit IR to space is that space is a huge IR heat sink. It can’t sink into the warmer surface”.

            I think Earth would likely radiate anyway, whether there was cooler space there or not. The radiation is a property of it’s atomic structure(s) and every substance radiates electromagnetic energy.

            The radiation is due to atomic/molecular vibrations and energy transitions of electrons in orbital bands. Those vibrations and energy levels translate to kinetic energy and heat. If EM energy is transmitted via IR, the substance cools. Conversely, if EM energy is absorbed, the substance warms.

            The kind of radiation emitted is proportional to the surface temperature. The Sun radiates a broad spectrum of energy because it’s surface temperature is around 6000K. The Earth can only radiate in the infrared band of EM since it is much, much cooler.

            You can find the peak radiation using Wien’s Law, which states: wavelength = 0.29cm/T, where T is in degrees Kelvin. So the surface of the Sun at 6000K has a wavelength of 0.29cm/6000 = 0.0000483 cm.

            However, we want that in nanometres where 1 m = 1 x 10^9 nm

            We convert 0.0000483 cm to 0.000000483 metres and multiply by 10^9 (move decimal 9 positions to right) to get 483 nm.

            Convert it to frequency:


            I think you’ll find 480 nm is somewhere in the visible spectrum between yellow and green, which is where the peak intensity of EM is found for the Sun.


            You could do the same for ice using T = 273K.

            The point is that the IR radiated by the Earth is a broad spectrum of wavelengths/frequencies. Thinking of IR as a photon, or series of photons, is not correct. IR is gazzillions of different energy bands with different intensities and wavelengths/frequencies.

            Personally, I don’t think there is anywhere near enough anthropogenic CO2, or CO2, to affect the huge radiation flux of the Earth. I think the concept of ACO2 back-radiating enough energy to raise the surface temperature beyond the temperature is is heated by solar energy is sheer nonsense.

            The heat trapping blanket theory is even more nonsense.

        • What if global temperature continues to hold roughly steady for the next 20 years? I think climate sensitivity is high enough to CO2 and low enough to solar variation for that to happen. But we’ll see…

      • Aaron S says:

        In case everyone has not read, we have a very robust pattern of solar activity showing the significance of this solar maximum. Cosmic rays alter the starting point of radioactive C so you must calibrate to carbon date and the data are linked to the variable solar activity as observed in sunspot number. This is a great paper. It says 103 citations… it should have many more.

        • ren says:

          Fig. 3.

          (A) Geomagnetic dipole field strength relative to today (21). (B) Cosmic radiation based on the first principal component of several radionuclide records, 22-year averages, over the last 8,000 y. Time is given as year BP. The gray band represents the standard deviation of the individual radionuclide records without applying PCA (SI Appendix, Section S8). The black dashed line represents the average cosmic ray intensity for 1944–1988 AD. (C) Same as (B), but zoom-in of the past millennium. Capital letters mark grand solar minima: O: Oort, W: Wolf, S: Spörer, M: Maunder, D: Dalton, G: Gleissberg. (D) Same as (C), but zoom-in of the past 350 y. Time is given as year AD. Red circles and green curve are 22-year averages and yearly averages of cosmic ray intensity calculated with (3) using the solar modulation potential (38) obtained from neutron monitor and ionization chamber data (SI Appendix, Section S9). At the bottom the annual sunspot number is plotted (39).

  3. nigel says:

    “…mid-summer ice conditions…”

    Every summer is different in the details.

    This year’s melt is a bit faster than last year’s.
    But, it is not long before we can close the book on the prediction of Professor Peter Wadhams of Cambridge University, made in August 2012, concerning Arctic summer ice, namely,

    “It is truly the case that it will be all gone by 2015.”

    • rah says:

      To put this all into perspective one has to remember all the crowing earlier this year about The Maximum extent at the Arctic being the lowest since satellite records began.

      • richard says:

        same old, same old-

        “A Container Ship Is Traversing the Northern Sea Route for ……/a-con……
        3 Sep 2013 – A Container Ship Is Traversing the Northern Sea Route for the First Time – is only now possible due to high levels of Arctic sea ice melt that have occurred in the past several years”

        “in 1934 the Fedor Litke became the first vessel to negotiate the NSR in a single season and without a single mishap, and in 1935 the cargo ships Vantsetti and Iskra, supported by the Fedor became the first craft of their kind to successfully complete the eastern NSR.

  4. Thomas says:

    Might be worth taking a look at total ice area in the Arctic:

  5. Slipstick says:

    I find it amazing that sea ice extents that were the norm 15 or 20 years ago are described using the word “amazingly”.
    Meanwhile, in other news, the multi-year ice in the Beaufort Sea is breaking up and the Arctic sea ice extent is the third lowest for this time of year since the satellite record began. Globally, sea ice extent is approximately 1 million sq km less than at any time since 2012.

  6. Philip Bradley says:

    I was in Winisk on the west side of Hudson Bay in 1982, late August, the 25th from memory, and you could see the sea ice from shore as a white band on the horizon. Satellite images only go back to 2006. Which makes me think the last decade or so has been atypical for whatever reason.

  7. Brian D says:

    This is where microwave sensing of the melting ice becomes a big fail. There’s a lot of ice there in the Hudson that has and is not being shown by those agency’s that use it. Other areas as well. They say 15% extent which is laughable. Cryosphere Today uses 30% which is closer to reality for microwave sensing limitations, and even that still misses ice.

  8. Rick Adkison says:

    I wonder at this point if all of the ice will even melt. Not sure how common it is for ice to remain all year. Also read where this is one of the coldest summers in Iceland in many years. Wonder if El Nino might have something to do with this?

    • Slipstick says:

      I’m not sure the El Nino is involved with the chilliness in the Icelandic highlands. The North Atlantic, however, has had a large cold patch this summer and its average temperature is at a 14 year low.

      • Rick Adkison says:

        And I have also read that it is the cool summer’s that eventually lead to the advance of the ice sheets 😉.

  9. J Williams says:

    Not too amazing really. For many years on record, Cryosphere Today’s archived images show sea ice persisting in precisely this part of Hudson Bay until early August. What’s amazing to me is why someone would find this amazing!!!

    • gbaikie says:

      I would not be surprised were the ice was melted before the end of July, or lingered until Sept.
      But some think that the increasing levels of CO2 should cause the world be become noticeably warmer.
      Of course were they aware that average temperature have not measurably increased over last 18 years, this could make them less amazed.

      I don’t think global average temperature will become more one 1 C warming in the next 100 years. But were global temperature to increase by say, 5 C, there still would not be any noticeable difference- still have ice in the hudson until the end of july and still have snow in the UK, and still not have all arctic polar ice melt in summer. Etc
      Or, duh, there can be variety of weather affects which can happen and it has nothing to do with average global temperature.
      But since MSM makes stories about how global warming will cause the world to be warmer- heatwaves or whatever. It’s good to point out that the global warming hasn’t actually warmed much.
      Now what would be amazing is whenever the Thames freezes over, as that would a reminder of a much colder period, which was known as the Little Ice Age. It’s not likely to happen anytime soon, but that why it would be amazing.

  10. Ernest Bush says:

    Not only is the ice persistent, it seems to me studying both the NSDIC and Canadian graphics, in the NWP and other areas along the Canadian boundary of the Arctic ice, it has been in a state of melting and refreezing both, slowing the decline toward the minimum.

  11. rah says:

    Greenland has gained a considerable amount of ice this year also.

    Who knows if this is the beginning of a trend or not. Lets hope it isn’t. But it seems that it’s not the bad winters that portend a colder world. It’s the lack of melt the rest of the year.

    • mpainter says:

      It looks like Greenland ice mass is about 200 gt greater than three years ago. Unmistakable sign of Arctic cooling.

  12. AndyG55 says:

    Three questions I would like to ask….

    1. What SHOULD the average global temperature be, and why?

    2. What level of summer Arctic sea ice SHOULD there be, and why?

    3. What SHOULD the level of atmospheric CO2 be, and why?

    • Mike M. says:


      What do you mean by “should”?

      • rah says:

        I would suggest AndyG55 was inferring by using the word “should” what level of atmospheric CO2 is ideal for the existing life forms on this planet to thrive.

    • John Smith says:

      Andy G55
      seems like a good question to me
      one that never gets an answer
      what decade in ‘climate’ history is the ideal or the norm?
      when was the climate stable?
      is the current situation unstable?
      we both know what the silence means
      reasonable word to use

      • David Appell says:

        “what decade in ‘climate’ history is the ideal or the norm?”

        The climate has been remarkably stable during the Holocene — it’s a big piece of why civilization has flourished during it.

        The “ideal” is the climate a species has adapted to. It’s that simple.

        • mpainter says:

          David, you say “The climate has been remarkably stable during the Holocene — ”


          Nope. Big climate changes with the retreat of the continental ice sheets during the first three thousand years. Also the Holocene pluvial and the Climatic Optimum circa 6-8,000 ya.
          Since then a cooling stepdown punctuated by temperature spikes up to the present day. Until about 4-5,000 ya Sahara was a verdant plain, full of lakes and rivers, as was the Gobi, the American west, other dry areas of the world likewise.

        • An Inquirer says:

          My first reaction is: you got to be kidding. Who could be so oblivious to the dramatic climatic changes that have taken place in the last 12000 years. Just in the last 2000 years, the American Southwest has gone through dramatic droughts lasting centuries in length. In the last 700 years, farming communities in Greenland have been wiped out. Elsewhere, Flourishing forests have been covered by glaciers, and some of them have re-emerged. Last century, thousands of natural lakes in the Midwest disappeared in a few years, but now they have come back and are teeming with fish. This list goes on and on.

          I suppose we could have a different idea on what is relatively stable, but in my experience, the climate ironically has been just as stable — if not more stable — in the last 2 decades than it was in previous decades and centuries.

          • mpainter says:

            An Inquirer you say ” My first reaction is: you got to be kidding.”

            No, David Appell is not kidding. It’s been my experience that AGW zealots display astonishing ignorance about all aspects of climate and natural processes related to climate. It has to do with their groupthink- they pass ignorance around as if it is science. Indeed, time and again we see it.

    • MikeB says:

      The average global temperature should be minus 18 degree Celsius. At this temperature the Earth is in balance with the incoming solar radiation. This is the effective temperature of the Earth seen from space.

      If it turns out that it is any higher than that, something special is happening.

      • geran says:

        “The average global temperature should be minus 18 degree Celsius.”

        Isn’t that a little cold to be drinking kool-aid?

        Oh, I get it, “popsicles”….

    • John F. Hultquist says:

      CO2: What? – Never lower than about 200 ppm.
      Why? – plants require atmospheric CO2

    • David Appell says:

      “What SHOULD the average global temperature be, and why?”

      Plants and animals survive because they have adapted. There is no temperature anything “SHOULD” be — it’s all a matter of adapation and evolution. Those that can adapt to changes in climate will. Those that cannot will not survive.

  13. nigel says:

    Hudson’s Bay illustrates how the amount of sea-ice at any locale is affected by currents – by dint of being a negative example. It is, of course, almost land-locked and receives no warm water. In the first two weeks of December, poof, almost the whole of it freezes over.

  14. dave says:

    I have just been invited to a stay in an “Ice Hotel,” in Transylvania. In view of global warming, how is such a thing possible? Does “Count D-” belong to any good clubs in London?

  15. John F. Hultquist says:

    Thanks Roy, nice view.

    I find interesting the posts by Susan Crockford, aka “polarbearscience”
    A recent post on sea ice from the Hudson Bay region:

  16. mpainter says:

    Perhaps the smoke from the fires of the Canadian wilderness is responsible for the cooler temperatures of that region.

  17. JDAM says:

    NOAA’s NCDC has managed to remove most of the warming pause.
    I ran a few plots using the NDCD’s Climate at a Glance website last year and I reran them today.
    1995-2013 was 0.09°C/Decade it’s now 0.12°C/Decade
    1996-2013 was 0.08°C/Decade it’s now 0.12°C/Decade
    1997-2013 was 0.05°C/Decade it’s now 0.09°C/Decade
    1998-2013 was 0.04°C/Decade it’s now 0.08°C/Decade
    1999-2013 was 0.07°C/Decade it’s now 0.11°C/Decade
    2000-2013 was 0.04°C/Decade it’s now 0.09°C/Decade
    2001-2013 was 0.00°C/Decade it’s now 0.05°C/Decade
    2002-2013 was -0.02°C/Decade it’s now 0.03°C/Decade
    2003-2013 was -0.02°C/Decade it’s now 0.03°C/Decade
    2004-2013 was -0.01°C/Decade it’s now 0.04°C/Decade

    Just for fun I ran these
    1995-2014 0.13°C/Decade
    1996-2014 0.13°C/Decade
    1997-2014 0.10°C/Decade
    1998-2014 0.10°C/Decade
    1999-2014 0.13°C/Decade
    2000-2014 0.11°C/Decade
    2001-2014 0.08°C/Decade
    2002-2014 0.07°C/Decade
    2003-2014 0.07°C/Decade
    2004-2014 0.09°C/Decade
    2005-2014 0.08°C/Decade

    Source –

    • dave says:

      It is all f*ing rubbish – farcical, flabbergasting, floundering, fallacious, foolish, footling, feeble, fickle, futile, failing face-saving.

    • FTOP says:

      Not to mention the audacity of in filling 40% of the data and then claiming to find a trace signal of between .08 and .13 change per decade. Then combine this audacity with Shakespearean hubris to tie this undetectable signal to a trace gas less than .04% of the atmosphere.

    • David Appell says:

      JDAM: Karl et al were very clear about why they made the changes they did, mostly regarding sea surface temperatures and how they were measured at sea.

      Which part of that specific analysis do you disagree with?

      By the way, all the trends you give above have large error bars. The trends themselves are incomplete until we know how uncertain they are.

      • mpainter says:

        Oh, it is clear why they fabricated the data:

        1. Real data does not support the alarmism.

        2. Real data does not support AGW.

        3. Real data does not keep the movement alive nor foster hope in the faithful.

        4. Real data does not support the policies of the present administration.

        New word for treatment of data: “Karlization”

        AGW is the perversion of science.

  18. nigel says:

    Those ngative signs just had to be made to disappear.
    Silly little people.

  19. David Appell says:

    Roy: It is disappointing that you would not look at the data before jumping to conclusions.

    1) Arctic sea ice extent is currently 7.1% below last year’s extent for August 10th — 460,000 km2.

    2) Arctic sea ice volume for July was 2.7% below that for the previous July.

    Of course, both extent and volume has large negative long-term trends.

  20. mpainter says:

    David, please share with us the conclusions of Dr. Roy, ’cause I don’t see any, myself.

    Concerning Arctic sea ice extent, it seems to have stabilized around a mean these last 7 or 8 years, the mean represented by circa 2007-2008 ice extent. In other words, Arctic sea ice decline is over, so you can laugh (with the rest of us) at the screeching and hand-wringing of the incurable alarmists.

    • David Appell says:

      The ice undergoes variation. It is no more “stabilized” now that it was at any of the other times it fluctuated upward in the past few decades.

      • mpainter says:

        Yes, compared to the years of steady decline previous to 2007, Arctic sea ice year-end extent can be said to be fluctuating about a mean. I would say that is a stabilization meaning that the decline is over.

        This year’s Arctic sea ice extent no more represents further decline than have any of the past seven years. Only inveterate alarmists still shrill about “Arctic death spiral” and iceless Arctic ocean.

      • rah says:

        And thus a decline of 7.1% and 2.1% over a year doesn’t really mean squat!

        Anyway you cut it multiyear ice has been on an increasing trend since 2012 and this year is at about 2006 levels in the Arctic and that is a better indicator of where it’s going then a little bit more melt in a particular season. This is as one would expect with a solar minimum and the AMO shifting negative.

  21. David Appell says:

    Arctic sea ice volume has a similar upward fluctuation from 1982-1987:

    Yet look at all the declines that followed.

    There were also significant upward fluctuations in 1996, and 2007-2010. They weren’t permanent either.

    This is no physics-based reason to think Arctic sea ice melt stops here.

    • mpainter says:

      “This is no physics-based reason to think Arctic sea ice melt stops here.”

      The issue is decline of Arctic year-end sea ice extent. The decline in this stopped seven or eight years ago. There is no reason to expect a renewal of the decline, just as there is no reason to expect a renewal of a warming trend. In fact, during the next decade the AMO and PDO should both turn blue, and a period of cooling will begin. Let’s hope that it is not too severe. Cooling is a killer.

    • mpainter says:

      In fact, present Arctic sea ice extent has been tracking well above the 2007 level. The decline has ended. Go weep.

  22. David Appell says:

    The decline did not stop 7-8 years ago, and there’s no physics-based reason to think the ice has reached a minimum.

    It’s just the opposite — physics says the world is going to keep getting warmer — just like it’s been getting warmer for 100 some years now.

    PS: The PDO just entered its warm phase.

  23. rah says:

    DMI shows Arctic extent between 2008 and 2009 levels and well above the 2007 extent.

    It also shows the absolute extent to be within one standard deviation of the satellite era mean.

    Conclusion is that as mpainter has pointed out, extent as measured during the satellite era, has been and continues to recover from the 2012 lows.

    • mpainter says:


      The 2012 low is attributable to the late August Arctic cyclone that broke up the ice and facilitated melt. The resulting slush could not be resolved as sea ice. This aberrant situation excepted, the lowest extent of Arctic sea ice was in 2007.

  24. rah says:

    BTW the PDO has already reached a peak:

    And the amplitude (shift from cold to warm) is the greatest since the 50s

    But as things go as expected in the next 7 to 10 years the PDO will shift cold while the AMO remains cold and if that happens then no amount of data tampering and down right falsification will be able to hide that the climate it getting colder.

    And of course when Americans with lower fixed incomes start dieing off from the cold, as they already have been in the UK during the winter months, because of high heating costs, nobody in the press will recall Obama and the Greens war on coal.

  25. PnmnM says:

    Just to clarify. The ice only extends southward to the latitude at the mouth (top) of James Bay. The white in the bay is a cloud as can be seen by its rapid movement in GOES imagery. The distinction between ice and cloud is very easy to see in pseudo color RGB imagery using combinations of visible, infrared, and near-infrared channels on both MODIS and GOES.

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