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Unforced Variations: Aug 2020

Filed under: — group @ 1 August 2020

This month’s open thread for climate science issues. People might want to keep an eye on the Arctic sea ice

140 Responses to “Unforced Variations: Aug 2020”

  1. 101
    MA Rodger says:

    Regarding Victor the Troll @72,
    Do note that Victor the Troll sets out the reasoning for his continuing crazy trolling, reasoning which has even compelled him to write a whole book on the subject, although under a pseudonoym. And in the introduction to that book Victor the Troll cites some newspaper opinion-piece that bemoans certain types of scientific discourse often found in the media and that suggests you don’t need to understand the science being presented to show it is nonsense.

    There is a certain merit such argumentation. It is indeed possible in certain circumstances to refute scientific statements made in the media without recourse to the underlying science**.

    Yet Victor the Troll works differently as he addresses not media comment but the science itself. He tells us his nonsense arguments “stand on their own” because they are supported by “logic, critical thinking and an understanding of basic scientific principles, supplemented by references to the literature.”
    The first problem with this statement is that the “the literature” is not something you can cite without a proper understanding of its relevance within the literature. You cannot selectively ignore scientific literature without scientific reason. And Victor the Troll ignores science-by-the-library-full. Of itself, this is not a fundamental mistake for Victor the Troll’s arguments against AGW but it is indicative of his poor grasp of “logic” & “critical thinking.”

    Victor the Troll has been consistent in arguing that unless CO2 can be shown to impact climate through a demonstrated correlation, CO2 cannot be blamed for any looming AGW crisis. Yet when his attempts to demonstrate the absence of this correlation (set out @14 & @18 up-thread*), when these are properly debunked, Victor the Troll turns (as @60) to simple repetition or wields Occam’s Razor and insists this means he is right because his argument is the most straightforward.
    Of course, the continuing increase in global temperature accompanied by the continuing increase in climate forcing from AGW constitutes the simplest of argument. Strangely, Victor-the Troll is unimpressed if his Occam trick is itself trumped, telling us wobbles are not allowed. “Just because two factors rise simultaneously from time to time does not tell us they are correlated.” And he is further unconvinced by the absence of a driver of these rising global temperatures if it is indeed not CO2, this despite the physics saying it is.

    That Victor-the-Troll is unable to engage usefully with the criticism of his grand theorising (and there has been plenty of that) is further demonstration of one who is not actually capable of exercising “logic” & “critical thinking.”
    It is more a demonstration that fits someone who is wholly in denial.

    * The denialist arguments set out @14 & @18 employ:-
    (i) Danley Wolfe’s fake Wattsupian T-CO2 analyses,
    (ii) The fake global temperature hiatus of 1998-2016,
    (iii) A single cherry-picked 2016 SLR analysis,
    (iv) The Antarctic ice core T & CO2 data and the fake T-leads-CO2 arguments,
    (v) The post-1940 global temperature hiatus,
    (vi) Any other argument [but also Victor-the-Troll’s iii argument] is solely due to rising temperature and thus does not demonstrate a T-CO2 correlation.

    (**I note one example just yesterday in UK media of poor reporting of science by the media. This described the reassessment of Covid-19 deaths in England which reduced the UK’s Covid-19 death toll by more than ten percent and that this reassessment is good for the science.
    Yet that statement (supported by a scientist) was incorrect as there is no reduction of the Covid-19 death toll per se from this assessment. The reduction is in the death toll associated with the on-going level of infection and that is good scientifically as the on-going death toll is no longer a distraction and better reflects the on-going levels of Covid-19 infection.
    Accompanying the media chatter, talk of these reassessed deaths being due to perhaps road accidents after recovery from Covid-19 gave wholly the wrong message. The scientist interviewed by the media did his best telling us the most recent daily number dropped by 90% but missed the ‘not covid’ implication of the conversation. What he failed to say is the 90% is mostly deaths of the numerous Covid-19 patients infected back in the first peak of infection, those who had not recovered but only now succumbed.
    This argument of mine I set out here is not based on the data or on some identified mis-reading of the science. Yet if the data and science does not prove to support my argument, I would be proven wrong. There is a limit to the use of “logic” & “critical thinking” which is set by a thing called ‘reality’.)

  2. 102
    Tpaine says:

    A few years ago there was a study done on plant stomata that showed CO2 levels in the past were a lot higher than what was shown using the ice cores. I can’t find much on that recently except that the deniers are using this extensively. I was hoping someone here could point me to something or just explain what is the latest that scientists have come up with to resolve this one way or the other.

  3. 103
    MA Rodger says:

    Dan DaSilva @75,
    There are plenty folk who get paid handsomely for providing messages that support the commercial interests of business (eg consider a certain toothpaste which stops gum desease and prevents tooth-loss) but not all who say such things will be rewarded with a cheque-in-the-post. Specifically it has been the same (and likely still is the same) with climate change.

    There is one helpful situation that greatly assists such messaging. That is the existence of an underlying popular attraction to what the company is advocating. Thus people like smoking or driving big gas-guzzlers and this makes campaigns to support the tobacco & oil industries very effective.
    It makes folk like you putty in their hands. A whiff of justification from some old has-been scientist who finds some merit in the oil company’s position and this unleashes gullable denialists like yourself who spread the messaqge for free, and spread it loudly. Pity the poor politicians who, themselves happy to find ar reason to set aside the thorny problem of tackling climate change, ends up convinced by the vocal calls from those duped by the oil company denialist messaging and determined to make it heard loudly across the land like it is in some way an expression of public opinion.

  4. 104
    Al Bundy says:

    Nigelj: If by waste time you mean entertainment, to debate, and to learn things and share information, and counter the nonsense, yes I think people are here for

    AB: OK. I was speaking of relative utility beyond entertainment. RC provides the soothing familiarity of “Dancing with Denialists”. That’s “wasting time”.

    “Counter the nonsense”… I’m saying that it matters not a whit whether the Keepers of the Climate Truth keep up the good fight in RC’s comment sections. You think farting around on RC comment sections for ten years does more than “But Mom, I’m just reading the articles!”?

    Perhaps the filthy vibe that Killian adamantly tends and our Resident Denialists frolic in does an order of magnitude more damage than anything good that happens down here in the trenches.

    (Latrines are often trenches…)

  5. 105
    Al Bundy says:

    Vic: including a considerable amount of experience with statistics

    RayL: I’ll bet you’re a very stable genius, too, right?

    AB: he’s telling the truth. Victor has sat through thousands of statistics 101 tutorials.

    But then, bragging about recognizing an elephant or attending kindergarten thirty times and counting is definitely a Stable Genus thing, as in: No evolution.

  6. 106
    Russell says:


    “Russell, I would recommend that you not downplay the risks of COVID-19. At this point, it has infected over 1.5% of the entire US population, killed nearly 160000 and left hundreds of thousands more with debilitating health problems .”

    Ray , as your numbers are correct, I heartily recommend they be used to inform the public as it is hard to advocate realty based policies when popular opinion simultaneously succumbs to systemic exaggeration and medical denial. The takeaway from polling a thousand adults in each of six major nations worldwide is that the present popular prerception exagerates the epidemiologic reality by an order of magnitude in terms of cases, and two orders of magnitude in terms of deaths.

    So I would recommend that you launch RealCovid , to better inform the public, instead of downplaying how far from reality popular opinion can drift.

  7. 107
    nigelj says:

    Russel @100, I didn’t express any “indignation at a recent opinion poll on popular perceptions of covid case death numbers”. Indeed I made no reference to these. And I expressed no political views. Instead I referred only to the Spectators attempts to suggest covid 19 was no big issue because it has killed fewer people than previous flu epidemics, (so far) which seemed “spectacularly stupid” to me for the reasons I stated. So I don’t really understand your response, but sorry if I was somehow unclear.

    It does surprise me just how wrong people are on actual covid case numbers and death rates. Although not entirely surprised.

  8. 108
    nigelj says:

    Victor @97

    “A particularly useful example is the widely shared notion that the “hiatus” we see in the temperature record from 1940 through the late Seventies can be explained by the heavy emission of industrial aerosols prior to the establishment of pollution controls in the period that followed. Is the inclusion of this additional, complicating factor really necessary to an understanding of climate change? — or is it “necessary” only as a means of explaining away evidence that appears to undermine the prevailing theory? Of course, this explanation might POSSIBLY be meaningful — but only if some evidence of an underlying warming trend masked by the aerosols could be found.”

    To summarise things for some context, the conventional explanation is that the flat period mid last century was mainly caused by aerosols from unfiltered coal burning masking the increasing greenhouse effect. This is compelling because we know aerosol’s cause a cooling effect from 1) volcanic eruptions lead to a couple of years cooling 2) laboratory studies 3) Slightly cooler temperatures in Chinas coal burning industrial region today. This is my understanding anyway.

    But its not just coal burning. The PDO ocean cycle was in a negative (cooling phase) mid last century and this can also suppress global temperatures a little bit, see graph below.

    Remember atmospheric CO2 concentrations were considerably less than presently and its the total concentration that drives warming, not the emissions trend at a point in time. So it wouldn’t have taken much to mask them at that point in time.

    You can try to call these things ad hoc explanations, and I get your point entirely and we do need to remember occams razor, but remember they are not theories or fanciful things, they are real climate phenomena with good data and with compelling explanations and evidence. They are real world evidence, so you simply cannot ignore them. Its like the inconvenient fingerprint in a criminal case. It may lead to a more complex possible explanation for “who done it” but there’s sometimes no avoiding this.

    Now as to your point that “there should be some evidence of an underlying warming trend”. I did find a study finding that the southern oceans warmed, to be expected as they are the most isolated thing from sources of aerosols. I can’t find that study now, but the graph of ocean heat content below is sufficient, and you can see that ocean heat content increased during the alleged flat period, although much more slowly than after 1980. So there was a little bit of warming.

    But this is beside the point. You would not expect a significant temperature change mid last century. Aerosols and overall ocean cycles would have been enough to flatten temperatures completely or nearly so especially as CO2 levels were not as high as today. They are an adequate explanation. Both hemispheres did have coal burning and aerosols do spread to an extent. So taking all the real world data together explains the flat period adequately.

  9. 109
    CCHolley says:

    RE. Victor @92

    See….for a long list.

    ROTFLMAO. Long list.

    Let’s see:
    Claiming it is natural–32 of which a whopping four are actual climate scientists.
    Questioning accuracy of models (doesn’t mean they deny AGW)–27 of which three are actual climate scientists.
    Claiming cause is unknown–12 of which a whopping one is an actual climate scientist.
    Claiming limited consequences–4 of which zero are climate scientists.
    Also “dead” to help with the *long list*–ten of which maybe two are actual climate scientists.

    So Victor provides the names of maybe eight living climate scientists that might agree with him.

    That’s a “great many”? Nope, it is just a handful. And, yes, most, if not all on the list, are tied to the fossil fuel industry and/or free market think tanks. Eight, compared to the thousands and thousands of climate scientists that make up the consensus.

    The lack of any long term correlation is already evident in Grumbine’s graph once we add a few key dates.

    Victor still doesn’t get why his claim of no correlation is absurd. It’s been explained a hundred times, a hundred different ways. The clown with no formal training or expertise in statistics thinks he is smarter than those who actually have the expertise. What a doofus.

  10. 110
    nigelj says:

    “Going, Going … Gone: Greenland’s Melting Ice Sheet Passed a Point of No Return in the Early 2000s. A new study finds that the accelerating retreat and thinning of Greenland’s glaciers that began 20 year ago is speeding the ice sheet toward total meltdown. BY BOB BERWYN, INSIDECLIMATE NEWS”

  11. 111
    nigelj says:

    “Death Valley, California, may have recorded the hottest temperature in world history. A weather station at the Furnace Creek Visitor’s Center measured a temperature of 129.9 degrees Fahrenheit on Sunday, August 16, 2020….”

  12. 112
    Victor says:

    nigelj: “Death Valley, California, may have recorded the hottest temperature in world history. A weather station at the Furnace Creek Visitor’s Center measured a temperature of 129.9 degrees Fahrenheit on Sunday, August 16, 2020….”

    “The hottest, driest and lowest national park in California and Nevada recorded a preliminary high temperature of 130 degrees Fahrenheit on Sunday, according to the National Weather Service (NWS). The all-time high of 134 degrees, reported over 100 years ago, was also recorded in Death Valley.” (

    Do I detect a trend?

  13. 113
    Killian says:

    Al Bundy:
    Perhaps the filthy vibe that Killian adamantly tends

    Absolutely clueless as to his gaslighting…


    While you have been here for some time, the first time I *remember* ever interacting with you was post-nigel’s appearance here and I remember it, or at least the sense of it, because of its nastiness.

    So there’s that. And the hypocrisy above.

    Frankly, it’s become entertainment to watch you be vicious like this as I ignore you for months…. and you continue being vicious.

    Again, I refer you to pre-2014 around these parts and the lack of vitriol and encourage you to go back and see what *actually* changed. Hint: Gaslighting.

  14. 114
    CCHolley says:

    MOSAiC expedition reaches the North Pole

    At 12:45 pm on 19 August 2020 the German research icebreaker Polarstern reached the North Pole. The ship followed a route to the north of Greenland – and through a region that, in the past, was densely covered with ice, including multiyear ice. The journey from the northern Fram Strait to the Pole only took six days to complete. To mark this momentous event, countless members of the expedition team gathered on the bridge, where their eyes were glued to the position monitors, and then celebrated having reached the Pole together.

    “I’m very surprised to see how soft and easy to traverse the ice up to 88° North is this year, having thawed to the point of being thin and porous,” says Captain Thomas Wunderlich. “Even after passing 88° North we mostly maintained a speed of 5-7 knots; I’ve never seen that so far north,” says Polarstern’s captain. “For this region, the current situation is historic. Normally it’s wise to avoid the region north of Greenland, because it’s home to the thicker and older ice, and virtually impassable. But now we’re finding extended stretches of open water, reaching nearly to the Pole.”

  15. 115
    MA Rodger says:

    Frederikse et al (2020) ‘The causes of sea-level rise since 1900’ reckon to have nailed these SLR ’causes’ down saying they can:-

    “reconcile the magnitude of observed global-mean sea-level rise since 1900 with estimates based on the underlying processes, implying that no additional processes are required to explain the observed changes in sea level since 1900.”

    One feature of 20th century SLR that has spilt a lot of ink over the years is the change in the rate of SLR through the century with some SLR data sets (eg as shown in IPCC AR5 Fig 3.14) showing a peak in the rate of SLR mid-century exceeding the most recent values, much to the delight of many denialists.
    Frederikse et al Fig 1c&d still shows a sizable peak in the SLR rate in the 1940s and attributes this almost entirely to the barystatic contribution with Greenland & Glaciers providing the ‘rudiments’ of this peak but with Terrestrial Water Storage the major contributor to the post 1940s dip in the SLR rate, as well as providing a healthy contribution to the renewed rise in SLR rate post-1970.
    This finding suggests the dramatic peak in SLR rate of the 1940s was less a direct result of climate and more the result of dam-building.

  16. 116
    David B. Benson says:

    Back to the Future:
    See today’s entry at the end for the mid-Miocene estimate.

  17. 117
    CCHolley says:

    RE. Victor @113

    Do I detect a trend?

    As usual, Victor left out important information.

    “The old Death Valley record from July 1913 is 100% bogus (not just 99.9% such), as are all other temperature readings of 130 degrees Fahrenheit or higher from Africa in the past,” Burt said.

    Burt wrote a detailed 2016 blog post at Weather Underground challenging the 1913 record at Death Valley, explaining that official readings of 134, 130, and 131 degrees Fahrenheit taken on July 10, 12, and 13, 1913 were likely the result of an inexperienced observer.

  18. 118

    Victor, #113–

    Do I detect a trend?

    No, never.

  19. 119
    John Pollack says:

    CC Holley, thanks for the interesting post about MOSAiC @115.

    Regarding recent heat, I think it significant that there were numerous August records tied or set in the US Southwest, but the all-time records for many of the hotter locations are in late June to mid July. Having the 130F reading at Death Valley in mid August suggests that it now has the potential to get a few degrees hotter than that a month earlier.

    The Middle East also experienced some extreme heat this summer. Basra, Iraq, a city of over 2 million people (and unreliable electricity) reached 52C (126F) on July 19, and also on the 31st, and 53C (127F) on the 30th. These readings all occurred with low humidity, and the associated heat indices were slightly lower than the actual air temperature. However, on July 23, a temperature of 45C (113F)combined with a dew point of 27C (81F) to produce a heat index of 60C (140F). Other locations had even more extreme humidity and higher heat indices, but lower populations.

  20. 120

    We’re now in the really critical end period of the Arctic melt season, and once again we’re looking at a very low extent for the minimum. We’re no longer record-low for the date; as of yesterday (8/22), the extent was about 320k km2 greater than the record set in 2012. But we’re in second place, and the extent is presently dropping briskly.

    In my estimation, we’re now unlikely to break the 2012 record this year. We have roughly 20 days to minimum, and the record (in this metric, natch) is 3.18 million km2. Since yesterday logged 4.39, we’d need 1200k/20 days = a mean ice loss per day of 60k. Currently we’re losing ~80k, but the loss rate will decrease, probably pretty sharply.

    But on the other hand, I think a minimum below the 4.0 million mark is now pretty much locked in. If so, we’ll likely see the second-lowest minimum this year; besides 2012, only 2019 made it below that mark–and just barely at that, with 3.96 million. To reach or exceed that result would imply a mean rate of ~20k/day, and most years that would be a cinch.

    The Arctic weather gods are exceedingly capricious, so outcomes outside the lines I just metaphorically drew are *possible*. But they’re not likely, IMO.

  21. 121
    MA Rodger says:

    Kevin McKinney @121,
    You’re very brave announcing predictions/‘metaphorical lines’ on the daily minimum for 2020 Arctic SIE. As you say, “the Arctic weather gods are exceedingly capricious.”
    The state of the ice is such that there is still just about time for a dispersal of the ice and a lot of melt-out in the coming weeks allowing 2020 to rival 2012. And over shorter periods, there could be enough compaction to reduce SIE down to 2012 levels – note that the 2020 Sea Ice Area is far closer to the 2012 min (with 2020 NSIDC numbers, about 300k above the 2012 min SIA) than Sea Ice Extent (about 1,200k above 2012 min SIE).
    Or we could get the opposite, a dispersal with little melt-out and end up with little loss from today’s SIE levels which so-far without any further reductions would have managed 5th spot in the annual minimum tables.
    Dispersal can make a big difference. At the point of minimum it can amount to as much as 400k sq km difference in SIE for an equal level of SIA. Add to that a similar-sized variation due to the actual melt (2019 SIA hardily dropped at all through the end of Aug & Sept while other years have seen SIA dropping 500k), and the potential for very different outcomes is still there with less than a month to go.

  22. 122

    @122, MAR–

    “Brave?” Hardly. The consequence for being wrong is–what, exactly? Wouldn’t be the first time and I don’t expect it would be last, either.

    Your comment, however, is basically an expansion of what I already said with the line you quoted–a comment cataloging some of the specific ways in which “the Arctic weather gods are exceedingly capricious.” Which is a public service for those interested in the detail, so good on you.

    But from the vantage point of a handful of days further on, my projections–or should I say “expectations”?–are looking pretty good so far. The 8/25 update has this year at 4.21 million km2, 420k behind 2012 and 170k ahead of 2019. Current loss rates are tending to run at 20-30k per day, although yes, dispersal or concentration can induce sudden anomalies (and in fact there was a 70k drop three or four days back). But that rate is pretty typical for this time of year, and it’s a very good bet indeed that the minimum will fall
    somewhere between the 8th and 17th. So, we have not a month, but 14-23 days at this point. And while the gods are indeed capricious, ‘against autocorrelation they struggle in vain.’

    So, I’m going to get even bolder and get a bit quantitative. I’m going to say that the probable range–sorry, I’m not going to quantify *how* probable!–is defined thus:

    High case: 14 days @ 7.5k/day = 105k ice loss, so ~4.11 million km2 minimum
    Low case: 23 days @ 15k/day = 345k ice loss, so 3.87 million km2 minimum

    The mean would fall at 3.99 million km2.

    For context, the high case would result in 2020 ending up as just 4th-lowest ever, as 2016 hit 4.02 million km2, and 2019 managed 3.96–the only year other than 2012 so far to get below the 4 million mark. The mean case would put 2020 3rd, just barely behind 2019.

    One can sanity check this WRT previous years. The still exceptional 2012 season saw a loss of 560k km2 from this date to minimum that year, which came on the 15th & 16th. But this calls for a table:

    2012: 560k; 21 days; ~26.7k/day mean loss rate
    2019: 420k; 23 days; ~18.3k/day ”
    2016: 630k; 12 days; 52.5k/day ”
    2010s average: 410k; 15 days; ~27.3k/day “

    Methinks I underestimated the probable mean daily loss rate! But we don’t care as much about mean loss rate as we do the total loss. So, neglecting the time factor, the ‘sanity check’ forecast would be:

    High case: 4.21 million km2 – 410k loss = 3.81 million km2
    Low case: 4.21 million km2 – 630k loss = 3.58 million km2

    The mean would fall at 560k loss, so 3.65 million km2. Ouch! The range doesn’t even overlap with the previous estimate!

    But then, the sample I drew from was biased, with the mean loss actually being used as the lower bound, so that shouldn’t surprise. I can’t access the lower years directly, but I can roughly estimate the lower bound of the decadal distribution, at least. If the greatest loss was 630k and the mean was 410k, then presumably the least loss could well be in the neighborhood of 190k. That gives this:

    High case: 4.21 million km2 – 190k loss = 4.02 km2

    Hey, whaddaya know? That’s much closer, including over half the range of the original estimate! (I admit to feeling better; assuming a late minimum and hence 23 days of melt, that implies a melt rate of ~8.3k/day, so perhaps my 7.5 low estimate was at least not grossly out of line.)

    I think the second estimate has a much better evidentiary basis, as my ice loss rate estimate was very much spitballed. But I think I’ve laid a strong basis for a qualitative summary, and for understanding how I see the situation.

    1) 2020 could fall as low in the rankings as #4, but for it to do so would require exceptionally low losses going forward. It could happen, but very probably it won’t.

    2) For 2020 to catch 2012 at this point would require losses so exceptional as to be nearly (though not *quite* entirely) out of the question–my intuitive estimate would be less than a 5% chance, maybe much less.

    3) By far the greatest part of the estimated range gives 2020 finishing second in the all-time rankings, so presumably this implies a strong probability of such an outcome. Let me lay that idea out a bit more quantitatively:

    Range of combined estimates: 3.58 million km2 (low) to 4.11 million km2 (high) = 530k km2
    Possible range for 4th place: 4.11 – 4.02 (2016 record) = 90k km2 (~17.0%)
    Possible range for 3rd place: 4.02 – 3.96 (2019 record)= 60k km2 (~11.3%)
    Possible range for 2nd place: 3.96 – 3.58 = 380 km2 (71.7%)

    Of course a proper estimate would involve understanding the distribution, but I think we can at least take it as given that there will be some approximation of normalcy and hence a tendency toward the mean (3.85 million km2, for the combined estimate.)

    Yeah, lots can still happen. But so far, we sure look to me to be ‘between the lines’ and hence on track for a second-place finish.

  23. 123
    Killian says:

    Re 121 & 122: No, we are not in the “critical period.” The “critical period(s)” is actually June insolation, which has the single largest correlation with ASI minima. This year, we also got massive insolation in July, so this is part of the new paradigm for the Arctic – and thus the planet. Things *will* be speeding up from here, folks, just as I have consistently said they *must.*

    What happens between now and the minimum is primarily already set. The variance will come in the form of any anomalous weather and the remaining excess heat content in the water.

  24. 124
    nigelj says:

    Something interesting related to the so called “pause” : “Surging of Global Surface Temperature due to Decadal Legacy of Ocean Heat Uptake”

  25. 125
    MA Rodger says:

    Kevin McKinney @123,

    We certainly do dance about the same data but perhaps with markedly differing outlooks.
    I do not see where the SIE sits when the annual minimum arrives as a good measure of the rate of deterioration of the Arctic Sea Ice as that annual minimum is greatly influenced by random events impacting the ice over the week, the month, the season. I’m more inclined toward using multi-seasonal numbers as a better measure. I also rate the PIOMAS volume analysis as a good indicator.

    Yet most do see the minimum as important as the appearance of ice-free summers will be significant.
    The SIE data shows these annual minimum daily data ranking 2012 way below all others with 2007, 2016 & 2019 pretty-much in =2nd spot.

    I would caution against the use of ‘daily mean loss rate’ as those years with late minimums will have more days with that ‘daily mean loss rate’. A better measure is the drop in SIE to the minimum.

    The last few days of data does reduce the already low chance of 2020 rivalling 2012 for the lowest daily SIE record. The numbers now project a lowest 2020 minimum (2sd) at 3.65M while three days back it was 3.45M.
    The top of the 2020 projection is a bit more fuzzy but is still sitting firmly with 2007, 2016 & 2019 in =2nd spot.

    Of course being based on the data, this is but a restatement of your comment @123 – a likely 2nd spot for 2020 robbing 2007, 2016 & 2019 of any claim to that ranking, but those “Arctic weather gods” may still have different ideas.

  26. 126
    BJ Chippindale says:

    Keen, Garrett and Grasselli have published something we all need to know about.

  27. 127
  28. 128
    nigelj says:

    “Climate change is causing more rapid intensification of Atlantic hurricanes.”

    “Rapidly intensifying storms like Hurricanes Laura, Michael, and Harvey are dangerous because they can catch forecasters and the public off guard.”

  29. 129
    MA Rodger says:

    Posting rather belatedly here, GISTEMP and NOAA have reported global temperature for July 2020, both showing the lowest monthly global anomaly of 2020-to-date (in NOAA equal to June’s anomaly, in GISTEMP a July anomaly of +0.89ºC, previous 2020 months in the range +1.25ºC to +0.92ºC). Both GISTEMP & NOAA place July 2020 the second warmest July on record after 2019 with the previous four years between them taking the 3rd to 6th spots.
    In both records, the ranking of the January-July average of 2020 makes 2020 the second warmest Jan-Jul on record behind the El Niño-boosted 2016.
    For the full calendar year to pip 2016 to that hottest-calendar-year spot would require the remaining five months of the year to be at least the third warmest Aug-Dec on record behind 2015 & 2019.
    For the full 2020 calendar year to slip to 3rd warmest behind 2019 would require Aug-Dec to average cooler than seen in any year 2015-2019.
    In GISTEMP, Aug-Dec above +0.93ºC would pip 2016 to warmest year spot and below +0.85ºC would slip 2020 below 2019.
    … … … ….. Ave Jan-Jul … …. 12 month ave & rank … … … … …. Ave Aug-Dec
    2016 … … … +1.09ºC … … … +1.02ºC … … … 1st … … … … … … +0.92ºC
    2020 … … … +1.08ºC
    2019 … … … +0.98ºC … … … +0.99ºC … … … 2nd … … … … … … +1.00ºC
    2017 … … … +0.96ºC … … … +0.93ºC … … … 3rd … … … … … … +0.88ºC
    2018 … … … +0.85ºC … … … +0.85ºC … … … 5th … … … … … … +0.87ºC
    2015 … … … +0.83ºC … … … +0.90ºC … … … 4th … … … … … … +0.99ºC
    2010 … … … +0.78ºC … … … +0.73ºC … … … 7th … … … … … … +0.66ºC
    2007 … … … +0.74ºC … … … +0.67ºC … … … 10th … … … … . … +0.58ºC
    2014 … … … +0.72ºC … … … +0.75ºC … … … 6th … … … … … … +0.79ºC
    1998 … … … +0.69ºC … … … +0.61ºC … … … 17th … … … … … … +0.50ºC
    2002 … … … +0.69ºC … … … +0.63ºC … … … 14th … … … … … … +0.55ºC

  30. 130
    Chuck says:

    Victor says:
    20 Aug 2020 at 12:37 AM: “Do I detect a trend?”

    I do. You’ve lost even more brain cells.

  31. 131
    Chuck says:

    MA Rodger says:
    13 Aug 2020 at 7:13 AM
    Regarding Victor the Troll @72,
    Do note that Victor the Troll sets out the reasoning for his continuing crazy trolling, reasoning which has even compelled him to write a whole book on the subject, although under a pseudonym.

    I think I’ve found that book! It’s an interesting read for sure:

  32. 132

    #126, MAR–

    I agree with you on this bit:

    I do not see where the SIE sits when the annual minimum arrives as a good measure of the rate of deterioration of the Arctic Sea Ice as that annual minimum is greatly influenced by random events impacting the ice over the week, the month, the season. I’m more inclined toward using multi-seasonal numbers as a better measure. I also rate the PIOMAS volume analysis as a good indicator.

    So why, then, would I be putting so much emphasis on this year’s minimum? Partly (if I’m honest) because it’s good (if slow-motion) spectator sport, in a slightly “Restaurant At The End Of The Universe” sort of way, but mostly because, as you say, it’s a memorable ‘story’ number, and hence significant to ‘climate reality messaging.’ It’s simple (albeit not quite as simple as most think it is), concrete, and has some imaginative ‘hooks’.

    But yeah, if you’re trying to compile a robust, helpful long-term record, I think there are alternatives with higher signal-to-noise ratio. 2012 itself is a great poster child for just how variable the ice can be, though of course we couldn’t immediately know just how much of an outlier it would end up.

    Be that as it may, I might as well update everybody on the JAXA SIE numbers. Per yesterday’s update, ice loss surged a bit to 60k on the day. That left us at 4.06 million km2.

    And that, in turn, left us just 40k out of 3rd place, and 100k out of 2nd. Unless we get an exceptionally early minimum, this year is a lock for 2nd. Since the Arctic is in the midst of a pretty remarkable heat wave just now–the current anomaly for the Arctic, per the ClimateReanalyzer, is 2.2 C!–that seems unlikely.

    And looking forward, the forecast has that situation persisting right into the 10-day outlook:

    I still think that 2012 is out of reach–60k per day for 18 days would be just barely more than we need to get there–but I’m starting to think that perhaps 2020 will make a slightly better showing toward that mark than I had been expecting.

  33. 133

    Arctic SIE update:

    We logged another 60k loss day yesterday, with the result that 2020 has booted 2016 off the graph. (It only shows the lowest 3 years individually, and 2020 has now locked up third, hence bye-bye 2016. Besides that, the graph also shows some decadal averages.)

    The chances of 2020 not copping second-lowest ever just went way, way down, and we’re now assured to four or five decimal places (relax, that’s metaphorical!) of a sub-4 million km2 minimum–only the third ever. In fact, I’ll be surprised if tomorrow doesn’t see 2020 in second place, as a loss day of just 20k would be a bit of a shocker at this point.

    Lowest ever is still very unlikely, though; we’d need to keep averaging this sort of loss for the next two weeks to get there.

  34. 134
    Killian says:

    Hate to say I told you so…

    except I don’t. Listen, people.

    “Although we anticipated the ice sheets would lose increasing amounts of ice in response to the warming of the oceans and atmosphere, the rate at which they are melting has accelerated faster than we could have imagined,” said Dr. Tom Slater, lead author of the study and climate researcher at the Centre for Polar Observation and Modelling at the University of Leeds.

    “The melting is overtaking the climate models we use to guide us, and we are in danger of being unprepared for the risks posed by sea level rise.”

  35. 135
    MA Rodger says:

    Kevin McKinney @134,
    And as the numbers suggested was more than likely, 2020 has now duly claimed 2nd spot behind 2012 for minimum daily SIE in JAXA. And while we see the difference between that 2012 minimum of 3.18M sq km and the 30th Aug’s 4.00M as massive, when SIE is mapped out (this courtesy of ArcticMelt2 in a comment @Arctic Neven’s Forum) (and although the map uses is NSIDC data not JAXA with the SIE plotted at 4.26M and 3.34M significantly different to the JAXA numbers, the proportion 2020 = 1.27 x 2012 is almost identical); the 2012:2020 difference when mapped doesn’t appear so massive.
    And I do like your “So why, then…” paragraph @133.

  36. 136

    …And there it is: 8/30 sea ice extent, per JAXA: 3.94 million km2, after a third consecutive day of ~60k loss.

    2020 is now officially the year with the second lowest minimum extent on record, and only the third year to dip below the 4 million km2 mark.

    With potentially as much as two and a half weeks of melt, how closely can it approach the 2012 record?

  37. 137
    mike says:

    at K at 135: so right, my friend. It’s always happening faster than expected. In this case, the ice sheet loss is happening faster than Dr. Slater could have imagined. And there is one of the big problems, we are in uncharted territory and researchers like Dr. Slater have limited imaginations.

    Yes, I agree with you. You and I and a few others here (alarmists?) have been able to imagine that the researchers and models are going to be proven to be quite conservative. Yes, Dr. Slater, your imagination has failed you. Will you and others learn anything from this episode?

    I think Slater and others who have clearly underestimated ice loss need to make some really profound apologies for their failure of imagination. The failure has real world consequences for poor folks around the globe. First world scientists like Slater will be insulated from the impacts when they hit. That’s the way this works: the folks least responsible for global warming will feel the impacts of global warming the most and the folks most responsible for global warming will feel the impacts the least. That is privilege, which I think is just another word for injustice in this instance.

    CO2? How are we doing? Nothing sky-rockety, just steady increase. We are not flattening this curve.

    Aug. 31, 2020 411.44 ppm
    Aug. 31, 2019 409.25 ppm
    1 Year Change 2.19 ppm (0.54%)

    Noisy number, going the wrong way.


  38. 138
    mike says:

    at Nigel at 128: you know, if the rapidly strengthening storms catch the forecasters offguard, it really is only because the forecasters are asleep at the wheel. If a storm moves across warm water, it strengthens. To some extent, the slower the storm moves, the larger and stronger the storm is likely to get.

    The quotes you punched in are like Dr. Slater’s comments that things are happening with ice melt that he could not even imagine.

    The forecasters need to step up their game or retire. The numbers are there. Surface sea temps, storm speed, trajectory estimates. I think part of the reason that forecasters are missing on the low side is fear that their forecasts will be seen as alarmist if they accurate. That’s not good for the career in the Trump era.


  39. 139
    MA Rodger says:

    UAH has posted for August with a TLT anomaly of +0.43ºC, pretty-much identical to both the June & July anomalies with the first five months of the year in the range +0.38ºC to +0.76ºC.

    August 2020 is the third warmest August on the UAH TLT record behind 1998 (+0.52ºC) and 2016 (+0.44ºC) while ahead of August 2017 (+0.42ºC), 2019 (+0.38ºC) & 2010 (+0.34ºC).

    After eight months, the ‘warmest year-so-far table’ in UAH TLT runs as follows (also showing the calender year averages & rankings):-
    …….. Jan-Aug Ave … Annual Ave ..Annual ranking
    2016 .. +0.59ºC … … … +0.53ºC … … … 1st
    1998 .. +0.57ºC … … … +0.48ºC … … … 2nd
    2020 .. +0.50ºC
    2010 .. +0.39ºC … … … +0.33ºC … … … 5th
    2019 .. +0.39ºC … … … +0.44ºC … … … 3rd
    2017 .. +0.36ºC … … … +0.40ºC … … … 4th
    2002 .. +0.25ºC … … … +0.22ºC … … … 8th
    2018 .. +0.23ºC … … … +0.23ºC … … … 7th
    2015 .. +0.22ºC … … … +0.27ºC … … … 6th
    2007 .. +0.21ºC … … … +0.16ºC … … … 12th
    2005 .. +0.20ºC … … … +0.20ºC … … … 9th
    So the start of 2020 is still sitting in an impressive 3rd place for TLT record in a non-El-Niño-boosted year. While 2020 may not top 2016 by year’s-end (it would require to average Sept-Dec above +0.570ºC to achieve that), slotting up into 2nd place ahead of 1998 (which would require to average Sept-Dec above +0.443ºC) appears quite possible. To drop below 2019 into 4th would require an Sept-Dec average below +0.310ºC and starting to look less possible.

  40. 140
    MA Rodger says:

    The end of August sees the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season still setting records for number of Named Storms with yet one more arriving on 1st Sept and another expected to gain a name as I write, this then still topping the record-shattering 2005 season for storm numbers.
    2020 has not seen many big storm so 2020’s Accumulated Cyclone Energy so-far of 39.8 is a long way from 2005’s 102 by-the-end-of-August record. Of course, September is the height of the Hurricane season and the 2017 season managed to cram in enough major storms into September to add 175 to the ACE numbers in just that one month (2017 being the most recent top-ten season for ACE) so there is still the potential for 2020 to climb high up the ACE rankings with some big energetic storms.