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Kevin McKinney

The drop in HB extent is indeed remarkable. I've been noticing it, too, as my preferred 'Canada-centric' view in CT puts it front and center for me.

But equally remarkable, perhaps, is the NW passage 'Northern Route' through the Archipelago, which looks amazingly unsolid for the date. Makes you wonder when the Passage might open up this year--which of course brings us back to an earlier post. As mentioned this morning, the Archipelago weather seems set for a week which (to put it mildly) will *not* retard that prospect any.

Evilreductionist.blogspot.com

The Arctic Basin area has dropped like a stone over the last few days.

http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/recent365.anom.region.1.html

This is amazing.

Neven

Kevin, I'm keeping a close eye on the NW Passage. About a week ago the ice bridge started to show fracturing, but nothing much has happened ever since, in the sense that there aren't any big floes breaking off.

Evilreductionist, whoa! I had a look at that graph just the other day and everything looked fine. That drop is amazing. I wonder what our good friend Steve Goddard thinks of it. His last straw is the Arctic Basin being full of very sturdy ice.

Account Deleted

Great site Neven,

I have also been keeping an eye on the NW passage from the latest MODIS image - I would say that the floes have started breaking off today.

I'm waiting for the next update from the AARI site - as there last predictions suggest a lot of ice being exported out.

Neven

Holy cow, you're right! This latest image just showed up on MODIS. What an amazing night this is turning out to be. All we need now is IJIS reporting another century break.

Greg Wellman

One could argue that once Hudson's Bay has cleared out, the melt rate will drop a little bit, pushing 2010 back across 2007 in a while. Nonetheless, it still looks like a September of very low ice extent is coming.

but nothing much has happened ever since, in the sense that there aren't any big floes breaking off.
Heh, written by someone who hadn't yet seen today's MODIS view of McClure Strait. The situation is changing. (Update - ah, I see I've been beaten to this news while I typed it.)

Nick Barnes

Yep, maybe 100km of the McClure Strait has broken off in the last 24 hours: from Cape James Ross to Cape Russell on the northern side (Melville Island) and from Parker Point to Cape Vesey Hamilton on the southern side (Banks Island). The northern end of the Prince of Wales Strait will be open soon.

Lots of high-quality 1:1,000,000 topo maps of Canada here: http://atlas.nrcan.gc.ca/site/english/maps/archives/imw

Lou Grinzo

The UIUC graphs for Laptev, Kara, Chukchi, and East siberia all show pretty sharp drops recently.

You can access them and a bunch of other energy and climate data via my graphs page:

http://www.grinzo.com/energy/graphs_v3_beta.html

Neven
Heh, written by someone who hadn't yet seen today's MODIS view of McClure Strait.

I swear I had looked at that area maybe an hour before, but only the lower quarter of the image was showing at that time. :-)

Anyway, I've made an animation of the breaking off of the ice floes.

Nick Barnes

Blinking between this:
http://rapidfire.sci.gsfc.nasa.gov/subsets/?subset=Arctic_r04c02.2010176.terra.250m
and this:
http://rapidfire.sci.gsfc.nasa.gov/subsets/?subset=Arctic_r04c02.2010178.terra.250m
is interesting. I was wondering whether it would be possible somehow to distinguish the lines along which the ice was about to fracture. As far as I can see, it is not.

Kevin McKinney

Since we were speaking of Goddard & WUWT above, does anybody have an informed comment on the Uni Bremen Arctic temperature graph that he has been touting as showing "cool" temperatures in the Arctic?

I know know it's based on a reanalysis, which certainly is ironic given the denialist distrust of all ["inconvenient"] modeling--but other sources I've seen don't seem to reflect that temps across the Arctic are in fact lower. Quite the reverse, rather! But it's hard to figure out when apples are being compared to apples, so to speak. Any light shed would be appreciated.

Kevin McKinney

As an example of what I meant, the NSIDC update page has this to say about May's Arctic temps:

Persistent warmth in the Arctic

Arctic air temperatures averaged for May were above normal, continuing the temperature trend that has persisted since last winter. Temperatures were 2 to 5 degrees Celsius (4 to 9 degrees Fahrenheit) above average across much of the Arctic Ocean. A strong anticyclone centered over the Beaufort Sea produced southerly winds along the shores of Siberia (in the Laptev and East Siberian seas), resulting in warmer-than-average temperatures in this area. The Canadian Arctic Islands were an exception to the general trend, with temperatures slightly cooler than average over much of the region.

Yet that was not what the Bremen/DMI graph seemed to show. Or am I (along with Mr. Goddard) misreading something?

Kevin McKinney

The graph I'm whinging about is here, by the way. I note this time that its definition is "north of 80 degrees," which would actually exclude a lot of the area which we concern ourselves with.

(Searching. . .)

Comparing to the NSIDC map, I find it extends all the way down past the Southern tip of James Bay--what latitude would that be?

(Searching. . .)

Hmm, according to this, that would be 50 degrees.

So the areas would not be at all comparable--the NSIDC would clearly apply to a MUCH greater expanse. However, that doesn't resolve my query completely, as in the NSIDC image the area north of 80 is--or rather was, for May--still warmer than average.

Different baselines for the mean, perhaps?

(Searching. . .)

Ah, yes--the obvious!--May runs from day 121 to day 151, when the temps north of 80 were indeed highly elevated in the reanalysis data, too. (Blushing. . .)

Which does answer my question--Mr. Goddard et al are ignoring the fact that the Arctic cool temps in the Bremen graph do not apply to vast swathes of the Arctic, where higher June temps appear to be reigning--though it's still not easy to do direct comparisons; the near-real time surface data I found not only doesn't reference the means, it is given in absolute temps, not anomalies.

I'll look forward to the NSIDC update for June when it appears in a couple of weeks.

And apologies to those for whom this would all be somewhat elementary. But perhaps it will be a useful example for those who, like myself, aren't deeply knowledgeable but do like to try to find stuff on their own.

Peter Ellis

Well, there's also the slightly larger point that the Bremen graph simply does not show anything to support Goddard's claims. We have no indication of the standard deviation of the average trend, nor the error bars for the 2010 measurement, but eyeballing that graph I would be immensely surprised if the minute dip below average in early June is significant. It's a two-week stretch with temperatures something like a third of a degree below average. That's it! Contrast that with the much more substantial positive temperature anomalies from ~mid-March through ~end-May.

Kevin McKinney

True, Peter.

Well, I suppose if he were looking at all the facts, he wouldn't be the Steve Goddard we've come to know and, er, "love."

Nick Barnes

Looking at MODIS, I don't see much to support the CT concentration percentages. A lot of the ice in the central arctic is pretty smooshy, but it still appears to have very high concentration. In some previous years we've had some very smooshy ice (towards the end of July last year I compared the Northern Sea Route to a frappuccino), but it doesn't always melt out: that's a weather thing.

So it's possible that Goddard's prediction will come true, that the central arctic basin will retain most of its cover. But my money is on the weather being Wayne Davidson's Big Blue, and the ice extent narrowly beating 2007's record.

Watch Canadian weather here:
http://www.weatheroffice.gc.ca/data/analysis/jac00_100.gif
12 degrees in Cambridge Bay and along the southern passage.

Neven
So it's possible that Goddard's prediction will come true, that the central arctic basin will retain most of its cover. But my money is on the weather being Wayne Davidson's Big Blue, and the ice extent narrowly beating 2007's record.

Nick, you worded my thoughts exactly.

Neven

Goddard is doing short-term forecasts as well now:

In three days, the slope of the Arctic extent graph will begin to drop off.

Mark it on your calendar.

Kevin McKinney

"In three days, the slope of the Arctic extent graph will begin to drop off.

"Mark it on your calendar."

I seriously, seriously doubt it. He's not looking at the data squarely, and appears to be oblivious to that fact.

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