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Seke Rob

A different take I've been posting about, 365 day rolling averages. Here the CT SIA data based version: http://i137.photobucket.com/albums/q210/Sekerob/Climate/CTSIAJan-Jul_1979-Present_365_Rolling_NH.png

This one is actually a little bit of a tease as later in 2007, through early 2008 is lower than present 2011, but then we don't know for sure what coming autumn/winter will bring... maybe another full La Nina state. Back in October 2010 there were all these ohs and ahs on the 'steep recovery' of JAXA and then... look where we all see we are. For now, only 2011 is > 2 Std.Dev.

Neven

Thanks for yet another interesting graph, Seke Rob!

Steve Funk

One thing that strikes me is that 2011 is a lot better for shippers in the northwest and northeast passages. The more direct Parry Channel on the northwest looks completely open

H Barnard

"what happens with the permafrost and methane clathrates in the medium to long run"?

Yes, that is a real worry.

And am I right in thinking that this season has seen a particular decline is shore-fast ice?

Henry

Chris Biscan

Just so we all know..

I did check up on Juliannes comment.


Jaxa uses channels 37 and 19ghz

only Bremen uses channel 89ghz.

Bremen gets level 1B data

Jaxa gets level 3

Jaxa also starts with a 25Km grid res.

Bremen 6.25km


how funny

Rob Dekker

Neven, since I suggested a LATE minimum due to prolonged bottom-melt, your declaration of and early minimum is a blow to my credibility, but I must say that the situation does not look good for my projection.

FLUX bouy data suggests that bottom-melt is winding down to the single 10's W/m^2,
http://www.oc.nps.edu/~stanton/fluxbuoy/deploy/buoy25_deltaT.html
simply because water under the ice is cooling down quickly now. This means we won't see strong area reduction any more later in September. Quick calculations show that ball-park we could still bet 4k km^2/day ice loss due to bottom-melt, but not much more. And it seems that top-freeze is really taking over now :

DMI 80N temps are some 4 C below even the long term average for the day, and some 10 C below where we were in 2007 or 2010. So the Arctic is in an early cold snap for sure. Even Obouy5 (at 78N in the Beaufort) shows -8 C, which should be enough to freeze over the polynias in the low-concentration ice pack.

That seems to be what's happening, since IJIS ice area has made an increadible uptick in the past few days.
http://www.ijis.iarc.uaf.edu/seaice/extent/AMSRE_Sea_Ice_Area.png
Almost an unprecedented uptick I would say.

With winter arriving with a vengeance it seems, the only thing left over from the big melting summer seems to be the water temperatures. Fluxbouy AOFB 21 (in open B eaufort water)
http://www.oc.nps.edu/~stanton/fluxbuoy/deploy/buoy21_deltaT.html
shows that open ocean water is still very warm (0 C).

This means that if this cold snap is short-lived, ocean water will start melting out thin ice on polynia, and this could again cause a sharp decline in area and possibly extent (and air temps really don't need to get above freezing for that to happen). After all, with so much heat still in ocean water, low concentration ice is sensitive. Although I agree that it is unlikely that the 2007 minimum will be broken.

But if this cold snap holds on a bit longer, then we may see the interesting situation that the low concentration areas freeze over quickly, with warm ocean water still swirling around it.

The Arctic never stops amazing.

Chris Biscan

http://www.americanwx.com/bb/index.php/topic/156-arctic-sea-ice-extent/page__view__findpost__p__966751

Please check out my analysis.

I think this post is gonna look pretty silly in a week if what the models show pans out.

We haven't seen any new ice out side of melt ponds and cracks/lakes in between the ice already there.

I was stunned to see the models pick up so fast on this new solution which will not only compact the ice one more time will blow in warm air directly from Russia, North Atlantic and the Barrents, not just a light breeze but a large connection.

we saw a week long blizzard pound the arctic and give the wrong impression.

I don't expect jaxa to hit a new min. But it will drop quite a bit looking at that

Chris Biscan

I told everyone here that it was snow, not new ice. that made it look like the ice pack was growing super fast.

I don't really understand why people are not listening. Every blog I go to it's the same.

that polynia in the Laptev is still there. The ice there is razor thin. 6-12 inches of snow will make the satellite think it's solid. Holy smokes.

the snow probably won't withstand the warmth.

And the sun hasn't set yet.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/4d/DayLength.png

the areas of poynia are around 80N to 75N for the one in the ESB.

they still see good sunlight which will still aid in melting the snow since temps will be much warmer. Models forecast temps hitting the Russian side of the ice pack.

http://www.wetterzentrale.de/pics/Rhavn783.gif


Interesting times ahead.

Rob Dekker

Chris Biscan,

I don't really understand why people are not listening

With all due respect, but face the facs dude :

There is no ice export to speak of, the Arctic got into a severe cold snap, the ice is dispersed, and thus sensitive to freezing, and bottom-melt has come to a screaching insignificant halt.

Let's say that the weather prefers freezing right now, and without a change in weather, there is little indication it will revert. So my advice : kill the motor, dude.

Regarding polynias that they still see good sunlight, consider this :

http://aom.giss.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/srlocat.cgi

As the insolation calculator shows, we are now at 125 W/m^2 above the clouds, dropping 5 W/m^2 per day.

And consider that the only heat left over in the Arctic is ocean heat, which runs at some 10 W/m^2 right now.

The Arctic is still sensitive, but you may want to keep a towels handy to throw in...

Chris Biscan

Rob,

you clear didn't read my posts not looked at the weather models the last 24 hours.

http://www.wetterzentrale.de/archive/2011/avn/Rhavn00220110911.png

4 days while the massive arctic blizzard started nailed Chukchi, ESB, and laptev with snow.

Yesterday:

http://www.wetterzentrale.de/archive/2011/avn/Rhavn00220110914.png


Look, its starting to get warmer. The very cold air is being pushed out towards the Canadian side.

30 hours:

http://www.wetterzentrale.de/pics/Rhavn362.gif

Warm Air is being pulled into the Central Arctic by a developing HP in the East Siberian Sea.

60 hours:

http://www.wetterzentrale.de/pics/Rhavn601.gif

1025HP is sitting in the East Siberian Sea with a 995 elongated SLP sitting over the Barrents well into the central Arctic. In response warm air is being pushed into the arctic by a conveyor belt of 20-25kt winds.

72 hours:

http://www.wetterzentrale.de/pics/Rhavn721.gif

Gradient between then has tightened. The Central Arctic is under 8-12C+ 850 temps anomalies with models showing 0c 2m temps reaching the ice pack.

96 hours:

http://www.wetterzentrale.de/pics/Rhavn961.gif

conveyor belt has tightened up warm air still being pumped threw the arctic on the backs of 20-25kt winds extending from the Russian shore to the Beaufort.


120 hours: conveyor belt still pumping warm air from Russia into the arctic.

http://www.wetterzentrale.de/topkarten/fsavnnh.html

2nd one now in full force pumping much warmer air then that into the Greenland sea, fram and arctic basin.

At that point model climo is taking over making the temps much colder then they likely will be with that setup.

next time please take the time to read someones stuff before you criticize it.

your comment without a change in weather was enough to show me you either couldn't read the charts or choose not to.

this has the support of all 4 major global models and has grown stronger in warmth and length each model run.

All I said was calling the min will probably look silly IF the models verify with that forecast.


Neven

Chris, even if the weather makes a turnabout (which I'm not seeing for the coming 4-5 days), it will take a couple of days for the ice pack to start moving (on the premise that those turned about weather patterns remain stable). By that time it's September 20th. 2007 had perfect conditions and managed to extend the melting season to the 24th.

So in those 4 days all the snow has to melt, and there has to be so much compacting and flushing that IJIS and NSIDC make up for all those upticks in the 10+ days leading up to the great turnaround.

I'm sorry, I don't see it happening. I'd love to be wrong though. But I've been thinking about calling the minimum for over a week now. Alas, it seems to have turned out that way. It would have been better if 2011 had beaten 2007 on all graphs.

---

Neven, since I suggested a LATE minimum due to prolonged bottom-melt, your declaration of and early minimum is a blow to my credibility

Rob, on the contrary. With just a bit less negative weather you would have been completely right. In fact, if it weren't for the combination of warm water and thin ice, the minimum could have been reached much earlier, perhaps even 10 days.

Look at the SLP animation in this post. The weather patterns in the 4 weeks leading up to this year's minimum are diametrically opposed to those of 2007. I really don't think that I exaggerate when I conclude that it's amazing that this year still came so close.

Now it will be interesting to see what happens with regards to ice growth, whether it's fast or slow, etc.

DMI 80N temps are some 4 C below even the long term average for the day, and some 10 C below where we were in 2007 or 2010. So the Arctic is in an early cold snap for sure.

Keep watching that graph, because when the trend line starts shooting up, there's a high probability that the waters are releasing their heat to the atmosphere.

idunno

Hi Neven,

Seems a bit early to me to call a definite minimum, but...

I notice that Cryosphere Today's average for the 1979-2008 data reaches the bottom on day 6904, which I think is probably 10 September.

Not yet mentioned here, but of possible interest, is the HIPPO programme, lead researcher a Dr Wofsy, which has been getting some press.

They have been taking air samples from an aircraft flying a rollercoaster pattern, to measure pollutant gases at various altitudes and latitudes. The measurements of black soot are of interest to the Arctic, and they have found some surprising data about the release of methane in the Arctic, but have not reported yet what this is.

Neven

Thanks, idunno. Somebody sent me an e-mail with a lot of info on that, but I haven't had time yet to look at it (plus I'm scared of the methane, and thus in denial).

Seems a bit early to me to call a definite minimum

We'll know in a couple of days.

Chris Biscan

I have no idea if jaxa or Bremen will drop anymore but this pattern change started yesterday. a 250+ Height raise is underway n the Chukchi, ESB and soon to be Laptev now.


but the flow between Russia and the Yukon has already been established. 8-12C 850 temp anomalies have pressed into 80N. this flow continues for the next 7 days while growing stronger and larger.

the 0C 850 MB temp line is around 83N right now. Already pushing the coldest air into Canada and Greenland and replacing it with modified warm air from Russia which is -3 to +3 850s which take hold of the arctic the next 5 days.

Maybe I am dreaming all of this up. I am pretty tired. But its all on the maps you linked us on the graphics page.

I respect this blog and what you do here. But you stating the weather not making a turnabout for another 4-5 days which started yesterday I have to disagree with you on.

I also never said a word about beating 2007 I just said calling a min this early might seem silly when the models dramatically warm the arctic over the next week.

Thats all.

I also linked modis images for days now that show us the ice hasn't formed over open water.

Oh well


Neven

I also never said a word about beating 2007

I didn't mean to imply you did.

Maybe I am dreaming all of this up. I am pretty tired.

Of course you're not dreaming it up. You have a much better eye for detail (and the knowledge to make sense of it) than I do, but I don't think it will have a large effect, not large enough to bring a significant double dip.

I also never said a word about beating 2007 I just said calling a min this early might seem silly when the models dramatically warm the arctic over the next week.

I guess SAT makes a difference in that it delays SST going down through heat release, but other than that SAT is less influential than compaction and bottom melt.

I also linked modis images for days now that show us the ice hasn't formed over open water.

I haven't looked at it closely, but I guess the 'problem' is that the low concentration ice is freezing over, and that divergence is causing the ice pack to (very slowly, imperceptibly almost) expand, with the leads in the interior freezing up immediately.

With 'turnaround' I really mean a big ADA like we saw in 2007. I'm sure what you describe will slow down the upswing (which is what I'll be interested in for the rest of the year), but I just doubt it will set lower minimums for this year.

Let's give it a few days and then see what is happening.

Eli Rabett

Although we don't pay much attention to it, the pattern of the refreezing will be interesting, among other things to the bears on ice, but also because there is not much old ice left to nucleate on.

Rob Dekker

Eli, polar bears and there is not much old ice left to nucleate on,

Indeed, Alaskan polar bears have a heck of a swim ahead of them this year. Ice is some 800 km away from the Alaskan coast, almost in an exact semi-circle :
http://www.iup.uni-bremen.de:8084/amsr/arctic_AMSRE_nic.png

and apart from a tiny little spec of MYI at 74N/148W, there is no ice for them to rest on.

I wonder if there are any teams out there tracking the fate of Alaskan polar bears and their cubs on this long journey home. And I wonder if these teams would be bold enough to publish their findings, considering the looming scruteny of special agents, demotion and public media spinning and spitting that awaits scientists reporting observations that are not in like with industry interests.

By the way, Eli (and Neven) : thank you for continue to try to get to the bottom of the bizarre Monnett story. This thing smells like rotten oil.

Neven

Thank Eli, he's digging up all the juicy bits. I pay homage by copying. :-)

H Barnard

@Eli "...the pattern of the refreezing will be interesting.."

I read this site with great, but scientifically naive, interest. I am curious about the questions implicit in this comment. The questions I have are these: what happens at this point i.e. the refreezing? As the artic ocean seems to a whole lot warmer than it has been, won't there be a much quicker and steeper(?) loss of heat into the immediate atmosphere than before? Does this have implications for artic and circum-arctic weather?

Henry

Kevin O'Neill

Rob - I posted a comment here the other night, but it got lost or eaten ... check over at Dosbat for my recent comment with Chris.

"Ice is some 800 km away from the Alaskan coast, almost in an exact semi-circle"

I've been looking at that circular arc for awhile and wondering what it was centered on ...

Rob Dekker

Henry, you are asking a very good question, and I think it is safe to say that these wide open areas of relatively warm Arctic ocean definitely will have an impact on the weather in fall and winter in the Northern Hemisphere. The question is what that effect would be..

I'm not a meteorologist at all, and I just go by common sense reasoning :
The Arctic has accumulated a lot of excess heat, a part of which it has to get rid of just to freeze over again, and what is left over it needs to get rid of by freezing faster than normal in winter, and the remainder will not be released at all, but 'saved' as thinner ice next spring.

That tells me a couple of things : that the fall in the Arctic will be warmer than usual, probably causing more than usual snow in the Arctic and rain in lower elevations. A warmer than usual Arctic can also cause a reduction in the Arctic polar vortex, which means that come winter, much of the 'cold' that normally gets locked up in the Arctic polar vortex will spread out over more of the Northern Hemisphere than usual.

This, combined with the excess water vapor due to higher ocean and Arctic temps can easily result in another very snowy and potentially rather cold early winter in the Northern Hemisphere.

And as a result of the warmer than usual Arctic temps in winter, then next spring we may have a thinned ice pack, which is more vulnerable to melt and break-up in the 2012 melting season.

Again, these are my own 'common sense' deductions, but I've been wrong in the past, and we may instead get a rebound of sea ice as we saw in 2008/2009 after the 2007 minimum.

For the fall/winter implications of vast amounts of heat in Arctic ocean after the melting season, we probably we should get some input from a credible meteorologists on this subject. If we can find one with an unbiased opinion about global climate change ;o)

Chris Biscan

-15,000km2 tonight on Jaxa

Chris Biscan

-7,000km2 final. two days of losses but nothing big.

Andrew Xnn

Rob;

Agree with your common sense deductions. However, it's not clear if there is good quantification of how much additional water vapor is from the arctic itself vs much warmer waters further south.

When the winds align and at 29C, the Gulf of Mexico can put a tremendous amount of vapor into the atmosphere which works it's way quit a ways northward.

http://www.maineharbors.com/weather/seatemp4.htm

H Barnard

Rob, many thanks for that. The article by Polyakov et al was useful too.

Henry

Chris Biscan

-25,312 prelim on jaxa

Nightvid Cole

Does anyone else think we have a decent shot at keeping the Northern Sea Route open through October 10 for the first time (on account of the high SST's?)

Artful Dodger

NC: rosatomflot icebreakers will keep the Northern Sea Route open as long as they have ships enroute.

Kevin McKinney

Northern Sea Route open through October 10--

A definitional problem here?

Monchgorsk completed her round-trip of the NEP on November 16, 2010--though her destination port, Dudinka, is maybe 2/3 of the way through the NEP (East to West.) Don't know if she could have made it to Murmansk, though I'd guess the CT or UB archives could give a clue.

Kevin McKinney

--"Monchegorsk"--

Sigh.

Kevin McKinney

Hmm. Maybe she could have. She'd just done (most of) the hard part, and as Lodger says, could have had lots of icebreaking assistance for the asking.

http://www.iup.uni-bremen.de:8084/amsredata/asi_daygrid_swath/l1a/n6250/2010/nov/asi-n6250-20101115-v5_nic.png

Rob Dekker

Andrew,
For sure, low-latitude evaporation should be a much stronger source of water vapor than Arctic ocean evaporation.

In that regard, I think you are right that there may indeed nor be any increase precipitation in the Northern Hemisphere due to Arctic ocean being more open.

However, an open Arctic ocean should let more water vapor through, rather than freezing it out, which should result in a wetter (snowier) Northern Hemisphere in fall and early winter.

But once again, I think we should get some input from a credible meteorologist (one that does not have a biased opinion about global climate change).

Peter Ellis

Rob: As I understand it that's actually one theory for how Ice Ages start. Increased open water during the Arctic winter leads to increased snowfall in Canada and Siberia - if that snowfall survives through the summer, then the process of glaciation can start. And, by the ice/albedo feedback, this then tips the global climate fully over into Ice Age conditions.

This would also tie in to the paper that Lodger pointed to here about the hysteresis thresholds for ice loss. Although there's likely no "tipping point" for summer ice loss (i.e. it's reversible if the climate cools), the same is not true for winter ice loss. Once you lose the winter ice, lowering the temperatures back to "normal" won't allow the ice to re-grow. You're "locked in" until the climate cools substantially below prior norms.

That looks like a latching effect that triggers the transition into an Ice Age. Warm the planet enough and you lose even the winter Arctic Ice. That means you have massive snowfall around the Arctic Ocean periphery throughout the entire winter season, causing land-based ice caps and glaciers to expand. And, because of the "locked in" nature of the change, the Arctic Ocean doesn't re-freeze immediately, but keeps generating snow until the new ice sheets are well enough established to bring the temperature down to way below your original starting level: i.e. a new Ice Age.

How ironic if our uncontrolled heating of the planet turns out to be the thing that triggers the next great freeze.

Artful Dodger

Rob Dekker | September 20, 2011 at 11:46

Hi Rob,

Lee et.al (2011) explore these questions in this paper:

On the Possible Link between Tropical Convection and the Northern Hemisphere Arctic Surface Air Temperature Change between 1958 and 2001

They found that over the ice-covered Arctic Ocean, the winter surface warming arises from dynamic warming (heat transported from the tropics).

Over the ice-free Arctic Ocean between the Greenland and the Barents Seas, downward infrared radiative (IR) flux is found to dominate the warming (this is the enhanced blanket-effect of increased clouds holding in the upwelling heat released from the open water).

Neven

As I understand it that's actually one theory for how Ice Ages start. Increased open water during the Arctic winter leads to increased snowfall in Canada and Siberia - if that snowfall survives through the summer, then the process of glaciation can start. And, by the ice/albedo feedback, this then tips the global climate fully over into Ice Age conditions.

That would be the Ewing-Donn theory. More on Spencer Weart's website:

Our current epoch of ice ages, Ewing and Donn argued, had begun when the North Pole wandered into the Arctic Ocean basin. The ocean, cooling but still free of ice, had evaporated moisture and promoted a pattern of severe weather. Heavy snows fell all around the Arctic, building continental ice sheets. That withdrew water from the world's oceans, and the sea level dropped. This blocked the shallow channels through which warm currents flowed into the Arctic Ocean, so the ocean froze over. That meant the continental ice sheets were deprived of storms bringing moisture evaporated from the Arctic Ocean, so the sheets began to dwindle. The seas rose, warm currents spilled back into the Arctic Ocean, and its ice cover melted. And so, in a great tangle of feedbacks, a new cycle began.

I read about this thing two years ago when some Dutch man I had never heard of appeared on Inhofe's (Morano's) skeptic scientists list. I asked him about it and it turned out he was put onto that list without his knowledge, but didn't mind. He's absolutely convinced that Ewing and Donn's theory is correct and gives lectures on the subject (here's his website).

I was planning on doing an interview with him, but when he maintained that Inhofe was not a pseudo-skeptic, but a real one, I seriously started to doubt his judgement.

It's still an interesting theory...

Neven

Maybe I'll do a post on this this winter. Should make for an interesting discussion. I like the Ocean Snow Effect part of the theory.

Bob Wallace

What changes, if any, are occurring in current flow into and out of the Arctic as temperatures increase?

Steve Bloom

Neven, AIUI the physics journals are bombarded with a steady stream of crackpot "theories" along those lines, noting that the Ewing-Donn idea got a poor reception when it was first promulgated. And yet Ewing at least was never able to let go of it. Go figure.

Peter, there's a glaring issue that makes your idea wholly unphysical, even as you stated it. Try to guess what that is.

Steve Bloom

Bob, that's a biggie, probably the biggie for the ice. You'd think someone would have done a paper on this to bring all the threads together, but if so I haven't been able to find it. Anyone?

That said, I've seen a number of different papers discussing specific warming currents within or moving into the AO. Off-hand, there's Agulhas Current heat (the same thing that's heating the North Atlantic) and heat moving in through the Bering Strait (can't recall from which current, but ultimately such things can be traced back to the tropics), plus measurements of heat at a variety of AO locations, most troublingly along Siberia where those nasty, nasty shallow clathrates live.

Steve Bloom

Rob: "But once again, I think we should get some input from a credible meteorologist (one that does not have a biased opinion about global climate change)."

Um, except any meteorologist who disagrees with the scientific consensus lacks credibility by definition (although he/she might nonetheless be a good short-term weather forecaster).

The Lee paper sounds interesting, AD; is there a public copy somewhere?

On this general subject, ~ a year ago there was a splash made by a researcher who thinks the reduced ice cover leads to greater snow cover over Siberia which in turn causes those Arctic outbreaks that NA and Europe have been suffering from of late (IIRC by destabilizing the westerly atmospheric flow). Did you blog on this, Neven? IIRC Revkin gave the guy some attention on DotEarth.

L. Hamilton

Jim Overland was the first I heard to suggest that, Steve.

Pete Dunkelberg

Bremen falls through the trap door, fat lady recalled for encore?
http://iup.physik.uni-bremen.de:8084/amsr/ice_ext_n.png

Bob Wallace

JAXA is late posting tonight. Unlatched trap door or problem with data systems?

Any strange weather that would suggest a big change in ice?

L. Hamilton

Bremen took a huge drop, new record if it stands, but let's wait and see.

Bob Wallace

Gotta be operator error.

There are no movements that large anywhere else in the graph.

Chris Biscan

No chance its real.

Lets hope the data set is ok and it's just a one day thing.

Chris Biscan

ftp://ftp-projects.zmaw.de/../../seaice/near_real_time/Arc_latest_yesterday.png


Hambergs data set was out fine.

Mathew Weatherwatcher

Maybe it was a collapse?

Artful Dodger

Hi Pete and Larry. No, the Bremen drop is an artifact. Notice that their Sea ice concentration maps are still show the preliminary maps (missing the last satellite pass at 180W)?

This is just a case of late data, and alpha software that's not handling the exception properly.

Artful Dodger

UniHamburg's data is also missing:

ftp://ftp-projects.zmaw.de/seaice/near_real_time/Arc_latest_today.jpg

It's common for satellite communications to go out for brief periods near the equinox.

L. Hamilton

I notice that Bremen's Antarctic extent took a dive in the last two days also.

L. Hamilton

And hey this is way off topic, but it's 2:30am in Yellowknife and I just came indoors after taking a few northern snapshots,
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v224/Chiloe/2011_09_September/IMG_4738b.jpg

Neven

Nice, Larry!

L. Hamilton

Bremen corrected both N and S datasets.

George Turner

What people don’t get is if the ice melts and the North Pole becomes Ice free, very Cold Air will finally tap moisture
that has been protected from Siberia and northern Canada by Ice cover. Once this moisture is available areas that receive only centimeters
of snow a year will receive more snow then the feeble summer sun can melt, also much of the suns energy will be
reflected off the snow back into space as shortwave radiation is not effected by Co2. Hence Area’s of Northern
Canada and Siberia will stay very cold all year round. This has always been an accepted theory for Ice age creation.
This of course should not occur for quite some time, but global warming has accelerated it. It’s Earths feedback system.
The globe will only get so warm before a feedback mechanism corrects it. In case you don’t believe that open water over the poles
can produce northern glaciers ask yourself why Greenland's Ice pack never melted after the past Ice age being further south than Siberia
and Northern Canada? The Relative Warm open Atlantic depositing more snow than Greenland's summer can melt.
Remember the Poles are still plenty cold it’s warm water currents melting ice, this same warm water will create plenty of Snow
and eventually Glaciers. one last example its like cold air passing over the open great lakes you get snow lots of it so things are far from settled.

Daniel Bailey

George, I am sorry to say that virtually everything you've been taught to say above is wrong. I'm sure you feel very strongly that you're right, but the science says otherwise.

During the Arctic summer, the daily energy imparted to the Arctic by the sun exceeds that of the equator (24-hour sunlight up there at that time). The Arctic Sea Ice cap has thinned by 50% in the past two decades alone. The most recent evidence we have points to a seasonal ice solution sometime in the next several decades; perhaps quite a bit less than that.

The radiative properties of CO2 are well-understood. Shortwave radiation comes into the Earth from the sun; all outgoing is longwave radiation, which CO2 lengthens the exit path of (not quite like a blanket).

Greenland retained most of its ice in part because the sucker is 2-miles-thick...and in part because at periods of peak deglaciation, CO2 levels never in the past 800,000 years exceeded 298.7...until man. And the forces underlying glacial and non-glacial epochs are well-understood to be caused primarily by orbital (Milankovich) factors (which are a non-factor in the ongoing heating of the system, as the Milankovich arrow is now set to cooling; we have now imparted enough GHG's to skip the next glacial phase entirely).

And Greenland is currently losing mass in a greater-than-linear fashion. Yes, the peak/ridge is gaining mass due to extra precipitation in the accumulation zones, but thinning and melting has spread to virtually all of its marine-facing edges, with the outlet glaciers increasing their rates of export to the sea.

In time, the extra energy imparted to the Arctic with the loss of the mitigating effects of the Arctic Sea Ice cap will overwhelm the ability of the oceanic waters to lose enough heat in winter that the winter reappearance of its sea ice cover will become a fading memory.

Come to Skeptical Science, where all this and far, far more is available to help those who seek to shed the bonds of disinformation they lie in thrall to.

Andrew Xnn

George,

The trend towards greater snowfall in the Northern Hemisphere has already been observed for the months of November and December. These are the months were albedo is least important.

During the other months of the year, especially during late spring and summer, there is significnatly less snow. Hence overall, the trend in snowfall has not resulted in a net cooling effect.

Also, Greenland has melted in the past. 120,000 years ago, sea levels were about 7 meters higher than they are now and thick forest grew in southern Greenland. Only Northern Greenland supported glaciers.

Going back a few million years and it had completely melted with correspondingly higher sea levels.

Artful Dodger

Hi Daniel,

Here's the relevant Journal paper:

Ghatak, D., A. Frei, G. Gong, J. Stroeve, and D. Robinson (2010), On the emergence of an Arctic amplification signal in terrestrial Arctic snow extent, J. Geophys. Res., 115, D24105, doi:10.1029/2010JD014007.

CCSM3 future simulations show diminishment of snow at a hemispheric scale outside of the Siberian region, which is correlated with the loss of Arctic sea ice.

And as Andrew correctly says, with 30C Summers, Siberia will not be seeing any glaciers, anytime soon!

Andrew Xnn

Need to correct the date for melting extensive enough for heavy forest to grow in Greenland. The latest findings point towards a time between 450,000 and 800,000 years ago:

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2007-07/wt-gaf070207.php

Also, sea levels only rose between 5 to 6 meters between 116,000-130,000 years ago when Greenland last melted.

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