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Rich and Mike Island

I wanted to thank SekeRob and FrankD for answering my questions about the latest century break and when arctic sea ice might have a winter maximum below 10 million square kilometers. A very informed group here!

Kevin O'Neill

I've been trying to figure out what to take away from Recovery mechanisms of Arctic summer sea ice.

Obviously, Arctic sea ice volume/area/extent is dominated by the seasons. The mid-March appearance of the sun, and its subsequent disappearance in mid-September. With every trend pointing to diminished sea ice there's still 6-months of winter waiting around the corner.

The Tietsche et al analysis seems akin to picking up a novel and skipping ahead to the end to see how the story ends. Yet the ending doesn't make complete sense - too much information was lost by skipping the middle chapters.

The main problem I have isn't with the analysis per se, but the context. Certain climatic conditions have to exist for the Arctic to become even seasonally ice-free. I'm not sure I'm ready to buy into the idea we can predict recovery/non-recovery without knowing and understanding those conditions.

To get all of the forcings and feedbacks correct we need a model that can hindcast current conditions from an arbitrary starting point 20 or 30 years ago. Then, knowing we understand and have accounted for the various system dynamics, the type of analysis that Tietsche et al performed would give us an answer we could have confidence in.

Seke Rob

New thread ''on ice'', an OT to start: What's the code, if it does for this blog, to size images automatically to fit in a post. Tried as I have, looked even at the page source code and html manuals on this with width/height functions, but can't get it to work in previews.

On Topic, 6 months, 18 days of Jan-1 to now Sea Ice Area and JAXA's Extent anomalies chart. 2011 is not going to be caught up as the 2007 Jan-Jul avg as past lowest has already been surpassed by 40kkm^2 and can't see Area anomaly decline to back-off.

Greenland Sea Ice watch, noticed this year and last year that CT showed a substantial hole at the North Eastern tip [this image, but then on e.g. June 15]... direction Svalbard. 2010 It persisted much longer and was quite big. Are there special water turbulences or accelerations there... a vortex or eddie of some sort?

Espen

There must be a hell of a party!

Patrice Pustavrh

@kevin: i think that Tietche's paper is valuable in sense that we'd have seen Arctic ice recovered by now, if 2007 was just special weather without climate change behind the whole story. So as we are continuesly losing ice, this process can only be related to GW and not to something else.

Seke Rob

Numbers from JAXA per noon update [2500km^2 more than morning]

YEAR RNK JXNOW DIFF'11 %
'11 (1) 7157656 0
'10 (3) 7875469 717813 10,0%
'09 (5) 8158594 1000938 14,0%
'08 (7) 8254844 1097188 15,3%
'07 (2) 7427188 269532 3,8%
'06 (4) 7942188 784532 11,0%
'05 (6) 8205313 1047657 14,6%
'04 (10 8871563 1713907 23,9%
'03 (9) 8707969 1550313 21,7%
'02 (8) 8671094 1513438 21,1%

Here's an interesting query: Ignoring location of Sea Ice [15% JAXA as minimum for a cell], how many more WATTS will be taken in compared to 2002 [when the average Ice thickness was substantially larger too]

Many will have read btw the recent finding that the thinner FYI melt [cold] water with higher salinity is sinking below the warmer layer, so that comes up to add to melting from bottom of ice. Yes, melting from all sides, where there's still Ice of course. :|

logicman

Seke Rob: I think you are refering to the NEW polyna - the North East Water polyna, which is of frequent occurence and commonly most visible in MODIS images in early spring.

If you do a Google search for "NEW polyna" you will, for some obscure reason,find a list of many pron sites. You may prefer to read my 2010 article instead, in which I show an image of the NEW polyna -
http://www.science20.com/chatter_box/arctic_ice_july_2010_update_2

Neven: I am sorry that I can't contribute much here at the moment. As I remarked recently in my own blog, I have been very busy transcribing and translating an old French language science paper (about glaciers and climate change). That task is almost done, so I hope soon to find time to catch up with you again. (I have no chance of overtaking you as you have so many excellent contributors.)

Thanks for the heads-up on the NSIDC update - I had not noticed it yet.

Derek

The ice in front of the peterman glacier has broken up. calving time?

Seke Rob

logicman, right on the money. Was not aware, but thought, that it was a regular phenomena. Thanks to hint what to search prontly.

cheers

Kevin McKinney

Logicman, can you say more about that old paper? Email me offline, if you like!

Paul Klemencic

I find this year's melt interesting. There is still a lot of ice area in the lower latitudes that will almost certainly disappear by mid-September. Looking sea by sea at Cryosphere site, I estimate that this amount of sea ice area (million sq km) will disappear in each sea:
Laptev Sea 0.50
East Siberia 0.40
ChukchiSea 0.10
Baffin Bay 0.05
BeaufortSea 0.15
Greenland 0.20
Canad.Arch 0.26
Barents Sea 0.05
Hudson'sBay0.10
Kara Sea 0.08

The total is about 1.89 (without any further Arctic Basin melt included), which is roughly equivalent to a loss of about 2.5 million sq km ice extent. So just from the melt-off expected in the lower latitudes to get to last year's minimum levels, we should see ice extent fall from today's 7.16 million to 4.64 million.

The Arctic Basin still has about 1.0 million sq km of area higher than last year's minimum, equivalent to about 1.3 million km in extent. If we get just 0.40 million of this melt this year, we will break the 2007 record low. If we see 0.65 million, then extent breaks below 4.00 million, and if we get 1.15 million, then extent breaks below 3.50 million.

It appears that given the ice area distribution this year, that a record year is almost "baked-in" at this time.

Neven

A record year should definitely not be ruled out, but personally I'm very curious to see what the next shift in weather patterns will bring.

As I have been saying for a couple of days now some big low-pressure areas are entering the playfield, and it will be interesting to see what this will do to the rate of extent/area decrease.

ECMWF is now showing some sort of high hanging in there over the Canadian Archipelago, which looks like a serious set-up of the Dipole Anomaly. Will this slow down SIE decrease? Or only initially? I haven't got the faintest clue.

I'm not sure about the longer-term implications yet (record, no record), just watching the thing as it goes.

Paul Klemencic

Aargh... I soon as I posted and re-read my comment, I see I made a decimal place mistake for the Laptev Sea: should be 0.05 million in area expected to melt off, not 0.50 million. Adjusting the numbers gives 1.44 million area melt at lower latitudes, with roughly comparable extent loss of 1.92 million sq km.

This takes us from 7.16 million currently to 5.24 million, and we need to see 1.00 million in extent melt from the Arctic Basin to break the 2007 record. My point still holds, although not nearly as convincing as my original "wrong" calculation showed. The Arctic Basin still holds the key to the minimum, in spite of a lot of ice still currently hanging around in areas where it should melt out.

Sorry guys.

Greg Wellman

That's a useful analysis Paul - we could be looking at a 50% chance of beating 2007. (Better than 50% if all your assumptions hold, but I'm thinking there will be some spreading of arctic basin ice into the archipelago).

Paul Klemencic

Yes, some of the lower latitude ice could be replenished from the central Arctic Basin. In particular, the Greenland Sea has a lot of ice compared to last year, apparently because of the highly uneven melt this year. Central Siberia warmth has really melted out the adjacent ice pack there, and a lot of ice seems to have been pushed down into the Greenland Sea.

In 2007, the ice pack moved from the direction of the Beaufort, Chukchi, East Siberian seas and was pushed toward the pole. This years melt has a different pattern, with the melt being led by the warmth in central Siberia.

FrankD

Nice analysis, Paul - I think you've been fairly conservative on a few of your areas though, and can an extra 0.1 to 0.2 on top of your estimates, without anything too remarkable occuring. Although we are currently above the central basin's area for 2010, its worth noting that area rose through the first half of August 2010, so that gives 2011 a chance to catch up a lot (or even go below 2010).

Greg - I dont know that spreading from the Arctic Basin into the Canadian Archipelago will help area stay higher than otherwise - if anything I think that will help beat 2007. In the past thick ice spreading out has increased total area, but there's not much thick ice left now, so IMO would pretty much be a 1-for-1 trade: Gain for CA = loss for AB, so if AB area holds up a little better as a result, it will be at the expense of a bigger drop in CA. Assuming warmer water in CA, ice advected into there should melt faster than if it stayed in AB. Net result is more loss than otherwise.

Random Sidebar - today's IJIS extent loss for July passed the total for July 2010, with 13 days still to go.

Espen

Reading the update from Uni-Bremen tonite, I believe the North East passage in principle will be open in a day or 2.

Espen

Greg Wellman

Neven, re dipole.
Both PIPS and ACNFS are predicting strong movement towards Fram Straight to continue over the next few days, e.g. which is consistent with the dipole pressure systems. As we know, Fram is where ice goes to die, so those current above-average area numbers for the East Greenland Sea mean above-average melt.

Frank,
Area yes, but depending on when the spreading occurs, it can inflate the extent number. Spreading early will just lead to more melt, but spreading in the latter half of August may cause the extent declines to halt. Of course I could also be wrong about ice spreading into the archipelago in the first place - if the gyre and dipole pull it more in the other direction.

Greg Wellman

Of course "strong movement" is relative. As Google points out, 1 cm/s = 0.0195 knots, so even 25 cm/s isn't exactly racing, but then ice is supposed to move, well, glacially. :-)

Lord Soth

In case anybody miss this mornings IJIS update, it dropped an additinal 2K for 87K melt, but it did not stick for some reason, and it reverted to last nights preliminary value again.

The number I had was 7155xxx (didn't write it down, so I can't remeber the last three digits)

I liked the comment about this years minimun being baked in. Since the start of the melt season in the high arctic, we had mostly clear skies, and we are now past the seasonal climatic highs for the high arctic.

The arctic water has accepted most of the energy that the sun could had theortically given it; and soon, we will need a thick blanket of clouds to help keep the heat in. In addition, storms will help break up the ice and expose more surface area to the warming arctic waters.

I don't think we have reached the point where a new minimun is locked in yet, but we must be very close.

Other than weather conditions that could result in a mid septermber spread of the thin ice (divergence between area and extent), we are probably heading at least for photofinish for first place.

fredt34

Nothing's done yet, I'd say. Just check the previous IJIS graphs: around June 20, 2010, it seemed obvious that the curve had a great advance on 2007 and would go down to a new record, but then it changed its mood and slope... while in 2009, around mi-july, the ice seemed to race to a new deep 2nd place, but ended much higher than 2008, triggering "It's recovering" hysteria.

Of course the ice got much heat, and it's thinner than previously, but we can't trust our eyes and tendency so see it going down, down, down.

Wait and see !

Phil263

SIE figure for July 18th was revised up to 7,174,219. Decrease 68,594sqkm.

Not data for July 19th as at 4.00 UTC July 20th

Fredt34: Totally agree with you about "wait and see".
The ECWF maps for the next 10 days show a consistent pattern of Lows over the Arctic basins. We could very well see the same situation as 2009 where the melt slows down in August.

Daniel Bailey

Maybe my eyes are getting old, but marker 3 on NP Webcam #2 is doing a pretty good Margaret Hamilton impression...
"I'm melting"

Greg Wellman

IJIS SIE for July 19 (pre revision) finally came in: 7,111,094. So we're definitely slowing down a bit, but with still quite a lead on 2007.

Neven

I also agree with fredt34. The reason I'm holding my horses is the switch in weather patterns, the high CAPIE percentage for this year (over 5% more than 2007 and 2010), the DMI extent chart showing a bend, and of course the SIA graphs.

Remember my motto: Nothing in the Arctic is a dead certainty.

But I'd be very surprised if this year's minimum isn't below that of last year.

Artful Dodger

Hmm yes, I see what you mean by slowdown: 2007 ate into 2011's IJIS SIE lead by 782 km^2 today ;^) now down to -252,187 km^2.

In fact, the worse-case scenario for loss of sea ice is occurring in 2011, in spite of being an off-year in the ENSO cycle.

Extended clear conditions occurred for the 6 weeks around the Summer solstice (period of max. insolation), leading to wide-spread (currently Record-Breaking) in-situ melt. All this occurred without the benefit of strong winds to mix the surface layer and transport sea ice. This shows just how thin the ice is ...

Skies are still mostly clear in the Western Arctic, but if a low pressure regime begins to dominate the East, with its associated cloud, extra heat (OLW) will be retained at the surface as bottom melt season begins -- refer upthread to the Oceanic Heat measured at NOAA NetCam #1 (the Drift Station near the North Pole).

Further, if a strong and persistent Dipole Anomaly (DA) sets up for late Summer 2011, there will be Carnage. We could expect all First Year sea ice (FYI) to melt, and much of the remaining Multi-year (MYI) to break up and to be ejected from the Arctic.

So, keep an eye on those Wind & Ice Transport charts for the Greenland Sea and Nares Strait. If the DA leads to significant mixing of the surface layer (enough to change the salinity gradient and bring warmer water up from below), bottom-melt season could be Epic in the Atlantic sector.

Going forward, during Fall/Winter 2011 Oceanic heat retention will again delay freeze-up, leading to a thinner sea ice cover at the start of the next year's melt season... and 2012 may be an El Nino year.

Toast.

Andrew Xnn

Cryosphere today is showing that the Greenland Sea Ice area nearly took a step
change upwards. There has got to be a lot of ice being exported to the North Atlantic!

http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/recent365.anom.region.5.html

That means a lot of ice is being exported to the North Atlantic!

Phil263

and 2012 may be an El Nino year

Lodger: None of the current computer model outlooks predicts an El Nino for next year. In fact one modelisation from NCEP is predicting a resurgence of La Nina later this year. Hopefully for us in Australia they are wrong!!!

Artful Dodger

NOAA's current outlook says:

"ENSO-neutral remains most likely into the Northern Hemisphere fall 2011, with most models and all multi-model forecasts (shown by the thick lines) predicting ENSO-neutral to continue through early 2012...

The next ENSO Diagnostics Discussion is scheduled for 4 August 2011."

http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/enso_advisory/ensodisc.html

So we shall see, as 2012 approaches. It's also quite possible that Solar Cycle 24 will kick in by that time.

Seke Rob

"possible that SC 24 will kick in by that time"

It's kicking alright, just not through it's easily recognizable sunspot counts. Personally, many scientists consider an extended moderate to low solar activity and another good opportunity to confirm and strengthen the theories, hypotheses. The special element of interest to me the UV/EUV that does vary with the low / high of some 6%. Those are deep ocean penetrating rays... up to 200 meters?

Little stats, Arctic Area mean anomaly from Jan 1 through July 18:

2007: -0.998 million kkm square (past record)
2011: -1,078 million kkm square

That's a daily lower of 80kkm for the first 199 days of the year.

Did we already go through a full ENSO since 2007? Timing wise it's of interest.

ttyl

PS: Regrettably SORCE has been down since June 2, so no quasi real time TSI numbers on hand. PMOD/VIRGO and others always seem to drip their data ages later. Anyone has an alternate current TSI daily link to hand?

Notonlythatbut.wordpress.com

I did a little noodling in excel with the IJIS data, and looked at what the minimum extent would be if 2011 evolved the same way as each of the other years in the data set from this point on (except 2002, incomplete data).

Of the 8 years...four led to a minimum above 2007's, and four led to a minimum below 2007's. Hah!

The average of the eight was 4,264,785...which is 10,254 km2 more than 2007's 4,254,531. Double hah!

This is a good race.

The largest value I got was 5,017,813 (following 2006's daily changes from here through September), and the smallest was 3,650,782 (following 2008's changes).

I am riveted. I wish the various data sources updated hourly.

FrankD

@Phil263: None of the current computer model outlooks predicts an El Nino for next year...a resurgence of La Nina later this year...

If you read a little closer Phil, I think you'll find that's not quite right. Your summary of the table is okay-ish, but thats only a portion of the info on that page. Following the links from that table and looking in more detail reaffirms the likelihood of neutral conditions, for the next six months (as far as most of the models go, so I'm not sure why you talk about "next year"). Even the NCEP prediction you big up is better described as "neutral/cool" than "cool" since the ensemble runs spread from nearly El Nino to quite La Nina - but the weight in December is only just below -0.8, the La Nina benchmark, and into 2012 kicks back up to neutral conditions, with more recent runs favouring more neutral results.

As to El Nino predictions, if you look at the POAMA forecasts lower down, we find that the BOM's current model, while described as "neutral" on the table actually predicts a 33% likelihood of El Nino conditions returning before the end of the year. And further, if you follow the link to the POAMA page, you will see that for NINO 3.4, the standard reference point, they have a graph that shows that while neutral (ie between +0.8 and -0.8), POAMA forecast is a lot closer to El Nino than La Nina. NCEP is "cool" because it just creeps over -0.8, POAMA is "neutral" because it just fails to creep over +0.8....

BOM report a 50% likelihood of El Nino by February. While I'm not terribly au fait with their model, I'd be willing to bet a shiny penny that that forecast likelihood will rise further when they release forecasts for further into 2012 (but still within the next year).

So the balance of predictions from your link is not really as you've described. In toto, the suggest neutral conditions through the end of 2011, with an moderate likelihood of shifting to a weak El Nino in 2012.

Lodger said "2012 may be an El Nino year". Thats what your link says too.

FrankD

Andrew,

You're right about advection into the Greenland Sea - it shows up nicely on the current 30 day animation on CT. Every 5 days or so, a new patch of ice moves in; mostly it just improves concentration, but the last inflow displaced some thinner ice along the NE coast of Greenland and jacked up the total area.

Two other things really show up on that animation:
1. The amount of ice that has been shifted from the East Siberian to the Laptev Sea (where it has melted) in quite impressive - since the beginning of July, over 100,000 sq kms (?) The process of advection shows up quite nicely when you look at the ice edges in that region.

2. The bald spot (was it Peter Ellis who conceived the Great Arctic Comb-over? :^P) in the Beaufort Sea is getting quite obvious - I'm excited to see if a fashion choice (number 2 clipper cut, not a toupée, please!) will be made before it's just gone on top...

Seke Rob

Phil July 20, 2011 at 18:19, I'll be danged... they must have fixed things in the last 72 hours or so [shamefully did not check again before posting]. The big red bolded text gone, can resume doing me alternate plodding.

http://lasp.colorado.edu/sorce/total_solar_irradiance_plots/sorce_tsi_plot.html

Looks very jaggety... some outlooks are speculating on the next Dalton or Maunder... the best we could wish for ;>)

Seke Rob

Well, with SORCE Data through July 13, taking the 6 hourly set annualized mean [without adding the Virgo/Acrim III inexplicable differential of 4.7 resp 5.1 Watts], it looks like the SORCE TSI differential TOA for 2011 is ''just'' 0.1043 Watts/M^2 less than the 2003 avg value... I'd say, pretty darn negligible. No one sees any GCR excursions over the last 50 years. Anyone thinks Svensmark and Lu et al are right?...

So what's the key ingredient that's missing to cause the 2011 melt acceleration? You tell me.

Year TSI Annual Avg.
2003 1361.3818
2004 1361.2512
2005 1361.0770
2006 1361.0070
2007 1360.9070
2008 1360.8681
2009 1360.8746
2010 1361.1003
2011 1361.2775

Oh, now eye see (Smirk), 2011 shows 0.37 Watts TOA more than 2007 ;>)

Neven

Tamino has revised his forecast for the September minimum. He's holding his horses too with regards to a new record.

Lord Soth

Over the past few days the arctic pattern has changed, durling the transition we are experiencing less sea ice loss.

Curently the Beufort Gyre has stopped and we are in total transpolar drift with winds blowing in from the south, and pushing the ice out of the Fran Strait.

Any ice that leaves the fran strait is history, but there is a dampening factor, as it will take a bit of time to deal with the new batch of ice. Meanwhile southerly winds will begin to do a number on the ice in the Beaufort Sea.

If the new weather pattern holds, we could see some more century melts in a few days.

As far a predicting a new minimun, I predict that it will still be a horse race on Sept 1, 2011.

If we loss the same amount of ice that we did in any year since 2007 for the month of August, we are still ahead of 2007 by September 1.


Eli Rabett

The high in Tiksi today was 25C/75F

Neven

25C? Wow. Perhaps they should change the name to Toasti... ;-)

Neven

BTW, welcome, Eli, Dr. Rabett, sir!

Seke Rob

At the closing of the day looked into the CT daily record and see a wopper, defying the slowdown on extend shrink. The CAPIE Index is changing just by this day:

July 18 -1.5133703 5.2825398 6.7959104
July 19 -1.6159903 5.0833526 6.6993427

Almost 200,000 km square Area gone in a day!

r w Langford

A quick eyeball measurement indicates ice movement out of the Fram Strait is in excess of 50 km in three days. Wind is pushing it all the way from northern Siberia. With warm water pushing offshore from Siberia onto the flows and a hasty exit out Fram Strait a lot is happening. Eventually the numbers will fall.

Seke Rob

The first day below 7M SIE will be tomorrow (July 22) I suppose... 1 day earlier than the 2007 record.

Wider divergence between Area and Extent.

L. Hamilton

While extent drifts through Fram Strait, area is still falling. 3 centuries in a row on CT. It's now below 5m, the lowest area seen for this date.

Artful Dodger

So that's -452K off CT SIA in three days, while IJIS SIE tallied -148K...

Still, this pales when compared to June 30 - July 2, 2003: CT SIA losses were -719,725 km^2 while IJIS SIE dropped -227,343 km^2.

So the divergence we're seeing now is well within precedence.

Neven

Hmmm, CT... CAPIE...

Interesting. Interesting. Interesting!

L. Hamilton

While we're talking round numbers, UB extent is now below 7m, also the lowest seen for this date.

Artful Dodger

Hi Larry. Is uni-bremen releasing their numbers publicly now?

L. Hamilton

No, they don't feel ready to yet.

Rob Dekker

Guys,

RGates first mentioned Obuoy2 (web cam and instruments in the Beaufort; about 75N now).

It clicks every hour, and pictures are stiched into a movie that is absolutely amazing :

http://obuoy.datatransport.org/data/obuoy/var/plots/buoy2/camera/buoy2-movie.mp4

This is truely turning into a spectacular Arctic Sea Ice Melting Action movie ! There is so much more going on here and the hourly updates don't miss a thing :

The floe it is on is on the move, shakes when it into another flow, ice is churning all around, you see melting ponds getting bigger and snow slushing up after rain, and Arctic sun brutal over the Beaufort.

Neven : needless to say, but I recommend this one for your web cam page.

Neven

Indeed, Rob. Forgot to add it, sorry. I'll get to it later.

Rob Dekker

May be too late Neven.

I think it just fell over. It is still transmitting (latest picture seems to be looking into the melting pond it has been standing in).

Also it's systems are changing status : it's drawing a lot more current and battery temp is way up.
http://obuoy.datatransport.org/monitor

We are witnessing the death of one amazing web cam.

Daniel Bailey

Speaking of views from Arctic buoys: The view from North Pole Webcam number 2 seems to be changing. The stadia formerly centered in the middle of the shot (and now down to 2) are now located near the left edge of the field of view.

Perhaps some combo of the ice moving the stadia and/or the ice around the buoy itself shifting as well?

Lord Soth

The camera has tilted quite a bit forward and to the right. Also it looks like another piece of ice has broken off of the pan on the right, and now is being pushed up on the pan also.

We may very well have two snail cams at the pole soon.

Lord Soth

Correction, the camera is tilting backwards, so we will probably have a sky cam soon, and if its water proof, a fish cam soon after.

Lord Soth

Sea ice extent is now below 7K million km, and has beat 2007 by one day. The melt was 70K with a correction proof 35K below 7M at 6965156 sq km.

Now the race to 6M starts.

R. Gates

Sad to see the apparent end of Obuoy #2. Sort of like a good friend passing away...Now just floating out in the Arctic, staring up at the sky. (sniffles)...

But the last few pics showed rapid melt in this area a few hundred miles northwest of Pt. Barrow.

And with the NE passage now essentially open, here's the last bit of ice remaining in the NW passage:

http://www.arctic.io/observations/264/2011-07-22/7-N74.329101-W107.663919/Canada-Baffin-Region


Daniel Bailey

R. Gates, Rob Dekker

Putting up a post over at Skeptical Science on the OBuoy video. H/T's given to both of you.

Seke Rob

Regrettably, NOAA2 polar webcam has fallen over too. Filter on the July 22, showing a progress series of 5 shots as it went.

http://www.arctic.noaa.gov/npole/gallery_np_selectall.php

Seke Rob

Oops, seems a few were doing the night watch, to Europeans ;>)

Lord Soth

European, nope just a Canadian with insomnia :)

Thankfully with the fish eye lens, all is not lost as we can stil see the edge of the flow, although somewhat distorted.

Neven

Luckily Obuoy #6 is still safe. ;-)

Arcticio

Future sea floor fish cam has been youtubed:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uCV25jc4ynw

Rob Dekker

Arcticio : thanks for immortalizing Obuoy2.
Daniel, for the skepticalscience post, please note that Obuoy2 is accompanied by a few more instruments on the same flow.

One is Flux buoy , which records under-ice heat flux AOFB 21 :
http://www.oc.nps.edu/~stanton/fluxbuoy/deploy/buoy21.html
which shows that the water around this area (this floe) has been warming up significantly lately.
If you check out the "Ocean heat content time series" you will find that under-ice (bottom melt) heat flux has been close to 100 W/m^2 which suggests some 2cm/day bottom and side melt has been going on for a while now.

Also, US Navy ice mass balance bouy 2010F is in the same location as Obuoy2 :
http://imb.crrel.usace.army.mil/2010F.htm
It reports rapid bottom melt lately, but unfortunately it's top-surface sounder is out of order.

Fortunately, US Navy bouy 2010E is operational and in the neighborhood :
http://imb.crrel.usace.army.mil/2010E.htm
It shows both top and bottom melt being very significant since the onset of the melt season.

In fact, 2010E is showing an amazing ice profile.
http://imb.crrel.usace.army.mil/irid_data/IMB9580_ice.png
This is (at least) 2nd year ice, which was a meter and a half by the end of last year's melting season. It grew to almost 2.5 meters in March, but it is now decimated in the timespan of a few weeks.

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