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Neven

Small addendum:

First century break tomorrow?

idunno

Hi Neven,

Thanks for a really good update.

You previously asked for an update from me on Sea Surface Temperatures. This seems like as good a time and place as any:

(In all of the following I am referring to the SST anomaly maps published by the Danish Meteorlogical Institute (DMI)).

The longterm hotspot in the SST that has been present since about November 2009 in the sea between Greenland and Labrador is still present but it is not so pronounced as it was back in January 2011.

In addition, the North Atlantic SST anomaly map shows:

1. a large hotspot over the Grand Banks to the East of Newfoundland;

2. a large swathe of heat from the coast of Portugal all the way to the North of Norway;

3. patches of red along the edge of the ice which is flowing down the East Coast of Greenland.

Nearly all of the Northern Atlantic Ocean is anomalously warm, by an average of (guesstimate) 1 degree Centigrade.

Looking at the Equatorial Atlantic map, also on DMI, I also think this is as good a time as any to note that, following MM Stone's paper on Beaufort October SIE being related to Carribean May SST, the Carribean SST now seems to be, in mid May, also about 1 degree Centigrade warmer than usual.

As you've just posted above the best map for showing that the Arctic Surface Air Temperature is now very anomalously low, I'd also just like to repeat that Wayne Davidson's blog (http://www.eh2r.com) has a very good explanation of how this may be related to Arctic ozone depletion. (Regular readers here who can still be bothered to argue with denialists may find this useful over the nest few weeks - expect several stories from the usual suspects on the theme that falling Arctic SAT proves that AGW is a hoax).

On this further theme of ozone depletion, I strongly suspect that it may take some time for Northern Hemisphere health professionals to start publicising the fact that this might be a bad summer to choose to top up your tan too much, particularly if you, or your children, have fair skin.

Australia did a lot of health promotion work on this theme some years ago. A guy called Baz Luhrmann even made a long song up about it.

As my knowledge of Nordic languages fairly much runs out after "Inn i mer syngur vitleysyngur", I hope I can leave this to Cristoffer Laddstein and others to discuss amongst yourselves. Tak.

Andrew Xnn

Super update Neven!

However, I'd like to take exception to the comment about all of the heat being in the Antarctic. Note the large areas from Iran to Siberia.

Also, observe the decrease in snow extent especially in Siberia compared to 2007:

http://igloo.atmos.uiuc.edu/cgi-bin/test/print.sh?fm=05&fd=11&fy=2007&sm=05&sd=11&sy=2011

Neven

Andrew: OK, so not all of the heat is in the Antarctic. :-p

Indeed, snow extent has 'vanished like snow in the sun' (a Dutch expression). Here on the WetterZentrale forum there's a graph.

I think most of the cold is over the Arctic ocean.


Idunno: thanks for more details on SSTs.

expect several stories from the usual suspects on the theme that falling Arctic SAT proves that AGW is a hoax

Perhaps, they are silly enough to pull such a stunt. But if SIE keeps decreasing as monotonously as it does, despite low SAT and ice divergence, I don't think they will.

R. Gates

Another outstanding update on the current dynamics of the sea ice...probably the best on the web right now.

I think the most interesting thing to watch for the next few weeks will be how the rate of extent progresses. As you pointed out, there is a large gap in the graph between the very rapid extent decline during this period of time in 2010 and all the other years. One of the big reasons for the steep extent decline last year was the very thin ice that formed in March and April of 2010 that brought the sea ice extent back nearly but not quite to normal by the end of April. When the May 2010 melt season hit, that thin ice melted very rapidly and hence the steep decline. This year, there was no big late season bump up in extent, and the ice extent curve has been very smooth. If the 2011 extent decline curve stays close to 2010 during the next few weeks, and then follows 2007's curve later in the summer, we will see 2011 give 2007 a very good run for the lowest summer extent on satellite record.

Neven

My thoughts exactly, R. Gates. I'm not counting on this year to break the minimum SIE record, but if it does it will have to do it the way you describe it. So first let's see if 2011 can keep up a bit with 2010.

Matthew Opitz

The GFS is forecasting 85+ degree (F) temperatures for much of the coast of Hudson Bay a week from now:

http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e326/Zeiter/heat-wave.png

My prediction is, we are about to see Hudson Bay's ice area take a nosedive. Unlike in any other previous recorded year, I predict that this year's Hudson Bay will be able to soak up the vast majority of the June sunlight that it will be receiving.

FYI, to give you an idea of what this means, consider that on June 21st, the angle of incidence at the sun at noon in Churchill, Manitoba is ~35 degrees. This is about the same angle of incidence that Caracas, Venezuela receives on December 21st at noon. For the first time in recorded history, almost all of Hudson Bay will have open water being exposed to this angle of incidence throughout almost all of June. That's my prediction.

I think it has tremendous implications for the subsequent melting of the Canadian Archipelago in July and the acceleration of the melting of the Greenland ice sheet this summer.

Neven

Thanks for the interesting info, Matthew!

Andrew Xnn

That reminds me; heat and temp are not the same thing; especially in the polar regions.
Melted snow contains a lot more heat than when it was frozen; especially when we are talking about a million or so of km^2.

About the Hudson Bay; Looks like the Strait and coast of Labrador are already ice free; far earlier than in previous years. If the Bay itself becomes ice free prior to the solstice, that'd be a huge record. Not sure exactly what the earliest date is, but it's probably after July 1st.

k eotw

iirc you already covered this but here's an article on it anyway:

"A preliminary evaluation of the measurement results shows that one-year-old sea ice in the Beaufort Sea (north of Canada/Alaska) is about 20-30 centimetres thinner this year than in the two previous years. In 2009 the ice thickness was 1.7 metres on average, in 2010 1.6 metres and in 2011 around 1.4 metres. "I expect that this thin one-year-old sea ice will not survive the melting period in summer," Dr. Stefan Hendricks assesses the situation. In several weeks his colleagues from the sea ice group at the Alfred Wegener Institute will present their model calculations for the sea ice minimum in 2011, which will also include the data now collected."

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110516102253.htm

Neven

Thanks a lot, k eotw. I'll put the link at the end of the Sea ice thickness models 2 post.

dorlomin

So it will take 20% less energy to melt first year ice this year.

Kevin McKinney

Interesting detail in the sciencedaily.com link: the ozone depletion they were examining was *tropospheric," not stratospheric.

Methinks I've been missing a whole aspect of the ozone discussion; I'll have to pay better attention.

dorlomin

The aircraft looks like an old Dak, a DC 3. Not going to be doing much stratospheric research in that.

Neven

It seems we are close to that first century break and only the revisions stand in its way. This perhaps could have something to do with first signs of a Beaufort Gyre kicking into action. ECMWF's forecast for the coming days is that there will be a high stuck over the CA. If this comes about, some great crunching will start.

Lord Soth

Environment Canada came out with radarsat image of the Petermann ice islands.

http://www.ec.gc.ca/glaces-ice/default.asp?Lang=En&n=0417829C-1&wsdoc=ACBA19C6-47C8-495D-9C71-3290CD6BBDFD

The photo shows Petermann II-A and the ice island to the south is Petermann II-B-b

The largest ice island Petermann II-B (at around 79 sq km, and bigger than II-A) is nowhere to be found, on any of the Canadian Ice Charts.

It's a little late for an Easter Egg hunt, but if anybody can find Petermann II-B or have documentation of its fate, please post.

me.yahoo.com/a/nSjChi4X3vr8X3DRw93GkY1.cerja.8nvWk-

Soth, it's currently aground off Coburg Island in fast ice, stuck there in the fall, it's on this chart if you look carefully (zoomed in).

Phil.

http://ice-glaces.ec.gc.ca/prods/WIS55CT/20110509180000_WIS55CT_0005799127.gif

Account Deleted

It looks like things might be starting to happen in the Nares strait. There seems to be an ice bridge at the western end that is holding back lots of cracking up sea ice.
http://rapidfire.sci.gsfc.nasa.gov/subsets/?subset=Arctic_r03c02.2011137.terra.250m

Or is it just a lack of caffeine in my system - as I'm still on my first cup for the morning


Account Deleted

After looking at Kwok et al. 2010 - I now see that these are called ice arches and it is blocking the Smith Sound.

Sorry not much sea ice in the tropics.

logicman

Colin: I've been watching the ice bridge daily. By comparing ASAR images it can be seen that the ice edge is now eroding fairly fast. The ice plug is also thinning. It will break up any day now.

Neven: this is an excellent coverage of the reality behind the 'not much happening' appearances. I've linked your article prominently in my latest update. I have also 'borrowed' FrankD's excellent graph and linked to your article on PIOMAS.
http://www.science20.com/chatter_box/arctic_ice_may_2011_update_1-79030
I still need to cover the ozone hole, the early start to the tundra fire season in Siberia and Canada and many other exciting events. In the Arctic mosaic you can see the smoke from the Canadian fires - the actual fires are just off-image.

Keep up the good work, Neven and friends!

Neven

I've linked your article prominently in my latest update.

Thanks a lot, Patrick! A link to your article will be filed under TIPS in 2 minutes from now.

Gas Glo

CT Area is lowest for time of year.

Here is a graph of the anomalies:
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5030/5737928010_cb4a03a181_b.jpg

Recently been vieing with 2006 for lowest area for time of year but big drops in past years start to occur soon.

Note that there are other measures of area where 2011 is not shown as the lowest so this could be seen as a bit of cherrypicking.

dorlomin

Yer on climate progress.

Neven

Indeed. And frankly, my excellent PIOMAS graph deserves it. Or was it FrankD's? ;-)

Matthew Opitz

Just looked at the latest GFS run. Here's a frame from the very end of it, for June 4th:
http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e326/Zeiter/hudsonbaymeltjun4.png

First, note the 95+ (F) degree temperatures just south of Churchill, Canada being forecasted. Jesus Christ!

Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, notice that the 35+ (F) degree isotherm has taken over all but the northernmost sliver of Hudson Bay by this frame.

To me, this suggests that the GFS expects the ice to have retreated to at least that isotherm by June 4th, as the 35+ (F) degree isotherm is pretty stubborn in the face of ice when there is still ice there to cool the air down.

FrankD

Yes, well done Neven!

Your apotheosis to the Mount Olympus of climate bloggers will be complete in another week or so when you become the subject of a finger-wagging on the other side of the mirror...with the graph upside down, of course.

Go team!

:^P

dorlomin

It does seem to have been a very quiet week in terms of ice loss. Even Hudson bay has not really done anything spectacular. Sort of a holding pattern. Two days though with the same ice displacement patterns so far and the temperatures seem to have crept back up to average so perhaps this was just a brief slow down.

Much 75% ice to be seen in the central arctic on the Bremen maps.

Lord Soth

Hudson Bay clears from North to South, an what is happening right now, is the already thin ice is getting thinner.

Hudson Bay took 6 weeks longer to freeze over, and when it breaks up, it will be dramatic, even more so than 2010.

The Hudson Bay melt will trigger a whole series of century breaks starting in June.

By the start of summer, Hudson Bay will be mostly clear.

Neven

That's an interesting forecast, LS. You know how I love those century breaks. :-)

The ice in Bering is also disappearing very fast. As promised, I'll do an update at the end of the month.

The ice has been turning in clockwise fashion for a few days, so I guess it's safe to say the Beaufort Gyre is alive. But contrary to what I expected extent hasn't dropped any faster (more like the opposite). More on that in the next SIE update.

Christoffer Ladstein

So MANY factors are leading me to the conclusion we'll see not only 1 but perhaps 3 century breaks until we start "summer", you'll be a happy man, Neven, so better start celebrating preparations!

I base this upon the rising seatemperatures (which are rising more slowly than a stubborn mule...) & of course the amazing airtemperatures we've witnessed lately both across Hudson Bay, Siberia and now at last also across the alaskian coast, both Bering, Chukchi and Beaufort sea. All this combined with a strong Beaufort gyre will definately see to that ice and nilas will be profoundly churned together...

If we're lucky a strong gale will come visiting Hudson Bay, make a fast end to the already fragile seaice, can't be much left of it in a week from now?!

Find it fascinating to see all the COLD places breaking up, both the Nares, and several places in the Canadian Archipelago, how is this possible when only temperature well below freezing point have been dominating these territories?! Seacurrents and strong wind combined with thin winterice now being compacted when the cold grip is losing force to the day & night shining and warming sunrays?!

(How much thinner was the Hudson Bay ice this winter then?)

Slightly off topic: All the "heat" in the Antarctica the last weeks, does it make any impact on iceextent or volume?
(Logicman: Yes I have read your LAST post about the butterfly-effect! Exellent to see "old" terms being used in a "new" setting.)


Christoffer Ladstein


So MANY factors are leading me to the conclusion we'll see not only 1 but perhaps 3 century breaks until we start "summer", you'll be a happy man, Neven, so better start celebrating preparations!

I base this upon the rising seatemperatures (which are rising more slowly than a stubborn mule...) & of course the amazing airtemperatures we've witnessed lately both across Hudson Bay, Siberia and now at last also across the alaskian coast, both Bering, Chukchi and Beaufort sea. All this combined with a strong Beaufort gyre will definately see to that ice and nilas will be profoundly churned together...

If we're lucky a strong gale will come visiting Hudson Bay, make a fast end to the already fragile seaice, can't be much left of it in a week from now?!

Find it fascinating to see all the COLD places breaking up, both the Nares, and several places in the Canadian Archipelago, how is this possible when only temperature well below freezing point have been dominating these territories?! Seacurrents and strong wind combined with thin winterice now being compacted when the cold grip is losing force to the day & night shining and warming sunrays?!

(How much thinner was the Hudson Bay ice this winter then?)

Slightly off topic: All the "heat" in the Antarctica the last weeks, does it make any impact on iceextent or volume?
(Logicman: Yes I have read your LAST post about the butterfly-effect! Exellent to see "old" terms being used in a "new" setting.)


FrankD

I think there's something not-quite-right with Cryosphere Today's map. I don't see this: http://rapidfire.sci.gsfc.nasa.gov/realtime/single.php?A111391740
from May 19th reflected on their site at all. The break up in HB is clearly more advanced than their maps or graphs show. I imagine we'll catch up soon.

Just one note on century breaks. So far we have not had one from IJIS. There was one other year where we hadn't had a century break by this point - 2007. Make of that what you will.

Andrew Xnn

Not too sure about Hudson Bay temperatures being above average. This chart shows them below:

http://www.coaps.fsu.edu/~maue/extreme/gfs/current/nh_raw_temp_000.png

Warmest warm anomalies are over Laptiv Sea and Central Basin.

Artful Dodger

Hi Frank,

CT's sea-ice map labeled "5/18/2011" is derived from AMSR-E data received as of 00:00 hrs 18 May 2011. Match it with UniBremen or MODIS images from May 17, 2011 (AMSR-E and MODIS instruments both fly on NASA's Aqua bird).

You won't see a match between the CT sea-ice map and your Rapid fire image above until the CT map labeled "5/20/11" is released, maybe another 24 hours or so...

FrankD

Cheers Lodger - fair enough point about comparing like to like. I'd looked back one day (should have gone two, with that 00:00 cutoff) but didn't find a good image.

But even allowing for that, this image suggests the CT area will crash over the next few days. Hudson Bay is already ahead of schedule, and seems to be accelerating.

Werther

Heading for trouble?
COI temp over 80 degrees north shows 2011 on the lead now. Last year mid april to mid may gave the highest warmth input, reflected by heavy melt and rapid retreat of extent. That resulted in 1,5 MK retreat in 20 days. All thin ice, result of a late winters’spurt in 2010, melting out. For the rest of that may 2010, during eleven days 0,6 MK melted out. As the temps have now clearly taken the lead, I share FrankD’s opinions. Extent could drop below 11MK at the end of may 2011 for the first time. So the playground is set; all the pieces for trouble are in place.
Forecasts? For the next 6 days, FI Banks Island almost 20 dC max and 8dC min, Tiksi: 12 dC/4dC. Century breaks may appear from the losses in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas. Hudson Bay, as Andrew Xnn notices, may not be very warm, but melting will not be much different compared to last year.

Daniel Bailey

@ Artful Dodger

Dodger, sent you a message on your Skeptical Science account email.

Thanks, Neven, for your forbearance on this matter.

The Yooper

Neven

Daniel, mi casa es su casa.

What am I seeing on this Barrow webcam image? Is that a melt pond or is it a first break-up? Or something else?

dorlomin

The snow seems to have cleared over the past couple of days, it may be snow melt accumulation.

Neven

Extent could drop below 11MK at the end of may 2011 for the first time.

That's an interesting short-term thing to look out for, Werther.

These last 11 days of May will have to see an average daily melt of 60K to reach the 11 million mark.

Previous average daily extent decrease in last 11 days of May:

2005: 60K
2006: 42K
2007: 47K
2008: 45K
2009: 55K
2010: 62K

Average daily extent decrease this year is still 51K.

Daniel Bailey

Neven, the landfast ice along the shore looks pretty solid, so I see melt ponding on the surface. However, at the horizon there is a darker wedge, indicating a large lead or possibly a cloud bank.

If it were Lake Superior I'd say it's open water, as the landfast ice looks like wind-drifted accumulation with the way it's arrayed.

If it is open water at the horizon, I'd expect a fast breakup of the landfast ice. I see nothing to indicate an overall great structural integrity to the mass.

paoloc

This Barrow webcam image is better :-)
http://dw.sfos.uaf.edu/sizonet/ice/barrow/ABCam.jpg

Paolo

Sorry Neven, i see the link in your post after :-(

Neven

No problem, Paolo. The image I posted got cut off.

Yooper, isn't what we see on the horizon some sort of mirage?

BTW, I had noticed that the snow is melting very fast on the Alaska webcams on the daily graphs-page, but now that I'm sitting behind a sharper monitor I see that there's a lot of pond melting on the ice.

edit: And of course, 5 hours have elapsed since my last comment, so the image has been updated. And it's no wonder: SAT around that part of Alaska is 3-4 degrees C.

I remember there was a lot ado about Barrow ice with Mr. Goddard last year, but can't remember the details.

Neven

I see now that Goddard used Barrow as a predictor for the minimum. He argued that the breaking off of the fast ice was so late (July 4th, one week earlier than the max record) that it didn't bode well for a low minimum extent.

Ah well, I wonder if he'll mention Barrow if this year the ice breaks up very early. Probably not.

Here's a webcam photo Phil. saved last year of the situation in Barrow towards the end of June.

Paolo

Sorry, is it normal a beginning of melt north of Corn-Wallis Island / west of Devon Island (Queen Elizabeth Islands) in the month of may?
In the bottom of image (2cm of the bord)
http://rapidfire.sci.gsfc.nasa.gov/subsets/?subset=Arctic_r04c02.2011141.terra

Patrice Pustavrh

Neven, regarding the Barrow photo, the current image (at 22:35 CET) clearly shows open water behind landfast ice. Not unusual, given the wind directions and high temperatures (3.0 deg C). And if we look on radar or even visual images of the area, all perfectly fits together.
The temp profile of the ice itself on Barrow sea ice page is interesting, but not surprising - the smallest temperature of ice being in the middle of the pack.
And even more strange, the ice still grows at the point of measurement (0.9 cm per day). Not surprisingly for a single point, but it is a surprise that someone picks a small point out of others to prove his point in general. Or maybe, as Duane Gish showed us, not so surprisingly too.

Werther

My little bet on less than 11MK before 1 june is a nice distraction, isn’t it? But tomorrow I was fooled again by the JAXA recount. Not 85K but 56K! Nevertheless, great detail keeps coming in. Neven, you drew our attention to the Barrow webcam. And what you see there corresponds well with the latest weather reports. Two degrees Celsius above zero all day. The open sea shows up on the horizon, behind 1 mile of fast ice. MODIS shows that too, 15 to 25 km wide. Some days more of these SE warm winds and the Bering break-through will make contact with this polynia. And soon it will reach the Beaufort break up near Banks. That would create a 200K drop in extent. Yes, extent diminished 51K per day up to now in May. But that is bound to go up...

Werther

Hey Patrice... you took the words right out of my mouth! Great to see I'm not the only one grazing all internet info!

Artful Dodger

Nevin, all the Barrow Webcam images are archived online. For instance, the June 28, 2011 image above from photobucket is available in the archive, here: (note the time offset from Local time to UTC is +8 hrs)
http://dw.sfos.uaf.edu/sizonet/ice/webcam/2010/06/29/02/ABCam_20100629_0205.jpg

Artful Dodger

bah, of course i mean the June 28, 2010 image...

If you look back through this years archive, you'll see that open ocean has been visible on the horizon from the Barrow webcam for about a week.

Neven

Thanks a lot, Dodger. I'll have a look at that archive tomorrow.

I've talked to someone responsible for the Barrow web page. He says melt ponds are not uncommon around this time of year. They will have a first break-up forecast around June 5th.

dorlomin

Wow, there is a lot more melt water than when I looked this morning.

Phil263

Somebody mentioned higher than usual temperatures around HB. The webcam at Kimmirut on the southern tip of Baffin Island shows temperatures that are consistently below freezing (at the end of May!). Surprisingly the Unibremen map indicates that sea ice in that area is now melting fast? Makes me think that Surface temperatures and SI melting are not necessarily correlated?

Andrew Xnn

Kimmirut temps have not exceeded freezing. However, there is enough solar input to melt darker surfaces. For example, the road has melted into slush already. Looks like snow at the moment.

Phil263

Looks like Sea ice is starting to break up at Nome Alaska. It was 14 degrees C there today. Pretty high for Nome at any time of year!

Artful Dodger

Hi Phil. You understand that Kimmirut is 1,250 km from the SW shore of Hudson Bay, right? It's a distance like Brisbane-to-Adelaide to the predicted land hotspot SW of Hudbay :^)

Nonetheless, you are right in that warm air temps don't melt sea-ice: about 60% of the heat comes from the Ocean, and the rest comes from solar heating.

Until all the sea-ice has melted, it's temperature stays at the melting point (between -2C an 0C depending on salinity), as the heat goes into the phase change from solid to liquid water. Here's a graph:

Phil263

Hi Lodger

Thanks for the response. Funny you should use the Brisbane to Adelaide distance as a comparison. We're actually thinking about moving to Adelaide (from Brisbane). From down here, Baffin Island doesn't look that far away from HudBay, but yes 1,250k would make a difference weatherwise even though it is at roughly the same latitude!

Gas Glo

Century break on CT Area:

2011.3809 -0.9494706 10.7000513 11.6495218
2011.3835 -0.9856222 10.5975657 11.5831881

I think that is the 7th this melt season, the previous 6 being:
2011.2109 -0.9438765 13.0688229 14.0126991
2011.2137 -1.0754229 12.9216871 13.9971104

2011.2137 -1.0754229 12.9216871 13.9971104
2011.2164 -1.1991076 12.7757387 13.9748468

2011.2684 -0.6622771 12.9226513 13.5849285
2011.2712 -0.7237118 12.8209324 13.5446444

2011.3096 -0.6769230 12.3236446 13.0005674
2011.3124 -0.7391226 12.2218637 12.9609861


2011.3151 -0.7788661 12.1344996 12.9133654
2011.3177 -0.8982086 11.9653473 12.8635559

2011.3206 -0.9446297 11.8789797 12.8236094
2011.3232 -1.0103275 11.7639351 12.7742624

Like have no IJIS century breaks, 7 by this time of year is unusually low as other years have had:

2005 5
2006 9
2007 7
2008 13
2009 10
2010 15

10.597 is still lowest area for this time of year but will have to continue getting close to century breaks to stay there.

Having the lowest area for this time of year and yet have few century breaks this years seems to be saying that the area is staying consistently low.

Artful Dodger

Phil: Kimmirut, Nunavut is at 62.0 N, while the 'hot-spot' is centered around 55 N. This is a N-S distance of 900 km, or roughly 18 days earlier for the arrival of Spring.

Who hasn't thought of moving to Adelaide? But really, wouldn't you be better off in Wellington? ;^)

Phil263

Lodger.
My favourite place in NZ was Christchurch. Not sure about Wellington. never been there.

Artful Dodger

The University of Otago is nice. Probably more policy positions in Wellington though...

Neven

Lodger, I've sent you a mail to the account you don't check every day. :-)

Lord Soth

Get got up to almots 9 celsius at Grise Fiord ane above freezing at Eurkea and Alert on Canada's Ellesmere Island yesterday. Spring has finally arrived in the high arctic.

dorlomin

Is that a record. Wiki says record high was 5C

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grise_Fiord

dorlomin

I think there may be three possible\ probable "breakthroughs" where open water in the ice pack may meet up with the edge of the ice pack. The Open water to the NW of Greenland, the Franz Josef bit of open water and the north coast of Alaska\ western Canada. All three are very likely within two weeks and quite possible within a week. Each one may see a fair old drop in extents when the algorithms take them into account. Hudson Bay may not be too much longer.

FrankD

Quiet OT, but the ash plume from Grímsvötn is looking very impressive on the last few MODIS mosaics. Well, At least its easier for non-Icelanders to pronounce than Eyjafjallajökull!

The Siberian tundra fires are also impressive - I counted over 40 seperate fires over the last week; some of them started pretty much as soon as the ground was clear of snow...

dorlomin

Hudson Bay may be about to get rather warm

http://news.bbc.co.uk/weather/forecast/3229

dorlomin

NW passage may open a little early this year. Mind you the winds could change it.

Werther

For the last 5 days average extent decrease was 61K. With 7 days left for may, the 11MK benchmark is going to be close. An average of 62K is enough.

Christoffer Ladstein

Werther: There's something rotten in the land of Ice, so we'll likely to end well below that benchmark. Unless that occur I'm (almost!) willing to creep into my freezer for a short time, just too lower my "ambitions" on behalf of the Arctic summer, which I must say impress me much these days, witnessing summertemperatures in May both in most of Alaska and not to forget Arkhangelsk-Kola-Southern N. Zemlja, temps well above 20 C can't be anything close to normal around there?! Personally I would like some of that heat around here, been rather chilly lately, bringing storms and meters with new snow in the mountains, actually delaying opening dates for summer-skiing resorts that's located at or close to the glaciers in southern Norway!

But once again, the reports about a probable 30 cm less ice thickness in the Beaufort sea combined with summertemps and strong insolation rate, now come the time to pay the toll for last winters insufficient build up...

dorlomin

05,24,2011,11435469
05,25,2011,11335000
IJIS century break?

Christoffer Ladstein

Not likely, dorlomin. All revisions have been on the up-side so far, I wonder why?!

dorlomin

Quite possibly the radar is picking up melt water pools as sea or the very irregular shape of the extent of the ice is giving them a headache with the algorithms.

Lord Soth

We are in the time period where IJIS is smoothing its data, as the sensor parameters are changed for wet ice conditions instead of dry ice conditions. I believe this effect results in the under reporting of ice loss for the 10 days prior to June 1, and over reporing ice lost in the 10 days after June 10.

This is from the IJIS website:

Previous version of data processing had made an erroneous blip of sea ice extent on June 1st and October 15th which was seen in the graph of sea ice extent as a small peak on these dates. We improved the processing to make the graph much smoother. The apparent blip had arisen due to a switching of some parameters in the processing on both dates. The parameter switching is needed because the surface of the Arctic sea-ice becomes wet in summer due to the melting of ice which changes satellite-observed signatures of sea-ice drastically. By this improvement most of the sea ice extent values are not affected at all except for the period of May 20-June 11 and October 8-26 of each year.

Regardless, 2011 is now in second place for ice loss, and in the next few days, I expect 2011 and 2010 to play leapfrog for first place; until 2011 finally takes first place in late June.

Lord Soth

correction, that should read "over reporting ice lost in the 10 days after June 1"

Christoffer Ladstein

Excellent elaboration Lord Soth!
Though I believe 2011 to go into the lead already in a couple days, and stay in the lead of the pack (ice...)for the rest of the season! But we're living in a free world, so any other wiew is quite legal...

Kevin McKinney

2011 is in the lead over 2010 tonight, by a sliver of a hair. . . until the revision comes out, at least!

Kevin McKinney

. . . and the revision is *downward,* so 2011 now leads by a larger sliver of a hair!

Artful Dodger

Hi Kevin. What data do you have? I make the revision +24,688 km^2, up from 11,187,656 to 11,212,344 for May 29. Cheers!

Kevin McKinney

Hi, Lodger.

Thought I saw it at 11.189K last night, so when I saw 11.187, I figured that was it.

Now I don't know if there was indeed a higher number last night, or whether my (famously unreliable) memory is playing tricks on me again.

And annoyingly--since I just commented elsewhere based on what I thought was the right value--2010 was at 11.190K, which means that it's an entire hair the other way.

Rats.

Kevin McKinney

. . . and I guess I can no longer claim to be "unperturbed" myself. . .

Andrew Xnn

Below average temps currently in the Central Basin while incredibly ominous temps wait along the coast of Russia.

Hudson Bay across to Iceland below average along with Chukchi sea.

Have noticed that temperature gradients sometimes create swirl patterns, suggestive that they are part of cyclonic storms systems.

Kevin McKinney

Tonight: 11,153,594 km2, below 2010's 11,160,781. But we shall see what the revision brings.

Greg Wellman

Two comments -
1. It's amazing how closely the 2011 extent has been tracking the 2010 extent in total for the last couple of weeks while being different in distribution.
2. It looks like the southern end of the Nares ice bridge is cracking off a large chunk.

Christoffer Ladstein

Agree with you Greg, and the "best" thing is I find reason to believe they will continue likewise. I base this upon the Siberian heatwave that have existed in the West-Siberia for more than a week now, really softening ice in both Barents & Kara sea, now moving eastward to more "virgin"-like seas, Laptev & East-siberian sea, that so far barely have started melting out. Also Hudson bay have been lagging behind, but temps there are soon expected to rise, probably pulverizing most of that ice in 2 weeks. Also the ice east of Svalbard and west of Greenland is really cracking up, and as soon we have some favorable windsystems these areas will show tremendous "meltdowns".

Good sites you linked to Lodger, some of those blogs are just mind & timeboggling, so if you have time you may cut the crap and just summarize the best of it here from time to time, you're trustworthy in that field! Cheers!

Neven, enjoy your time away, we'll try to cope!!

Kevin McKinney

. . . and the revision brought 11,177,813 km2. The game of leapfrog continues.

Probably a tad late, but one more good wish for a pleasant vacation, Neven!

Kevin McKinney

Tonight, it's about 700 km2 below 2010! Surely that won't survive revision, and this leapfrogging will continue another day?

Artful Dodger

Hi Kevin.

I believe i will switch brands of glue now ;^)

IJIS SIE May 31, 2010: 11,086,250 km^2

Kevin McKinney

Fascinating--I'm still seeing 11,110,156 km2: (May 31, 2011), same as last night. Guess 'my' server's stuck. . .

dorlomin

Try "control F5" to reload the page looking for new updates.

Kevin McKinney

Thanks, dorlomin, but that would be a PC thing, and "I'm a Mac." Still hasn't changed to Lodger's value.

Kevin McKinney

Clearing history and searching anew didn't change anything, either.

Artful Dodger

Hi Kevin. Have u tried the data file? The May 31, 2011 update was:

05,31,2011,11128281
L. Hamilton

Stepping back from the dailies, it looks to me like May 2011 will have the lowest mean for that month in the complete IJIS (15% extent), Uni Bremen (15% extent), DMI (30% extent) or CT (area) time series. We'll see in a few days whether NSIDC makes it unanimous.

Peter Ellis

Um, May 2004 and 2006 are both below 2011 in the IJIS data.

Kevin McKinney

Back to the dailies, the update has completed and I'm now seeing what Lodger (and presumably the rest of the world) has. Patience--if I had any--would be duly rewarded, it seems.

Christoffer Ladstein

I find it utterly fascinating to see these "tormenting", RED, high up in the 20'ies C degrees both in Alaska and lately even more in the Northern Russia. So hot just a few km away from the coast and ice, but barely above 0 at the seashore or above the ice. To be blamed upon the Big Freezer Effect, or like I mentioned at Patrick's blog: If you happen to live in a fjord where a huge iceberg get stranded, you be sure to have a "not so good" summer that year!
Kevin: So the Mac's do update "late" do they....hmmm!

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