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Neven

Looking at the ECMWF weather forecast, I'm still seeing signs of a high moving over the Barents/Kara area, and a low moving in just south of Barents/Okhotsk. If this comes about, I really think we will see a maximum around March 5th.

Neven

Kevin McKinney wrote:

Very bad news for data collection in the high Arctic:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/story/2012/02/28/science-pearl-arctic-research.html

Indeed, and just a couple of months ago it was announced that they were also stopping monitoring things like methane (or was it ozone). Canada is really making a mess of things in this regard. Research in the Arctic should receive a huge boost, instead of cuts. Makes one cringe to think about it.

Kevin McKinney

Indeed.

Just to clarify a bit, the two stories are very much related: PEARL was where the ozone lab was housed (and still is, until they dismantle it.) I find it somewhat duplicitous, since when the original story came out, there was at least one assurance, that no, actual functions wouldn't be compromised, this is just a streamlining, blah, blah, blah.

Clearly that was not the case.

I should say that the government does plan to replace the facility--but in a more southerly (ie, less critical/helpful) location. And it won't be ready before 2014. All for a lousy million and an half per year. (Peter Kent, the so-called Environment Minister, said that 'he didn't have a million and a half in his back pocket.' I suggested that there might be more productive places to look for the funds.)

crandles

NSIDC monthly averages:

2004 2 Goddard N 14.93 12.87
2005 2 Goddard N 14.36 12.27
2006 2 Goddard N 14.42 12.28
2007 2 Goddard N 14.53 12.52
2008 2 Goddard N 15.01 12.87
2009 2 Goddard N 14.85 12.87
2010 2 Goddard N 14.59 12.60
2011 2 NRTSI-G N 14.36 12.32
2012 2 NRTSI-G N 14.56 12.27

Equal lowest area. 5th lowest extent

Neven

The ice bridge in Kane Basin has showed up on MODIS.

Neven

Tamino digs into one aspect of Watts' Arctic Gish Gallop.

I'm still seeing things on the ECMWF weather forecast maps that could halt ice growth (a high over Novaya Zemlya and a low just south of Okhotsk), starting tomorrow. I'm not sure if it will bring about the maximum though, because things seem to switch again after 2 days. But it could be enough.

Mike Constable

Tornado season starts early in US - maybe something closer to home will encourage more Americans to question what is said about AGW.
More likely than floods in Australia, Thailand, Pakistan, etc.?

idunno

Hi all,

CT Arctic ice area up to 13.385, and the extent graphs from DMI and NORSEX look poised to reach a new record high extent, over their limited lifetimes.

OTOH, the latest very clear Arctic mosaic satellite images, e.g.:

http://lance-modis.eosdis.nasa.gov/imagery/subsets/?subset=Arctic_r04c05.2012063.terra

http://lance-modis.eosdis.nasa.gov/imagery/subsets/?subset=Arctic_r05c04.2012063.terra

Seem to show lots of leads in the East Siberian/Laptev/Arctic Basin, of which I can see little sign on the CT and UniBremen maps.

Any answers?

Janne Tuukkanen

Mike, I was a little dumbfounded when I read about those winter twisters. Surely this time of year is not when you except to be hit by a tornado. The connection to global warming has not been established, but if I lived in the risk area, I would keep keen ear to climate scientists.

Llosmith57

Tornado season where I live is 4-6 weeks early this year due in large part to the absence of accumulated snow for which the Positive AO pattern during Nov-Jan may be partly responsible. Locally, people are referring to this anomaly as the "Winter that Wasn't". Solar heating of this bare ground allowed warm moist air to spill northward from the Gulf of Mexico fueling Thunderstorms that were set in sustained motion by the Polar Jet. Fortunately, the local weather service was able to warn us well in advance so fatalities and injuries were kept to a minimum. The atmospheric pressure gradient has also fueled sustained straight-line winds at my location in excess of 70 kph for three out of the last 7 days causing drying of the top 2-3 centimeters of soil. Events like these are quite rare and everyone wants to know "What will happen this summer?" While individual events like these are not connected directly to global warming people are, at least, beginning to ask Why?

Michael Fliss

A rare FE-3 tornado came through my town in Western Mass, USA last June 1st travelling for 63km. The link below is noaa's take on tornado season and whether or not tornadoes are connected to El Nino and climate change. Find the info under tornado climatology and data.

http://www.spc.noaa.gov/faq/tornado/#Climatology

Twemoran

Lloyd

Winter that wasn't describes southern Ontario perfectly, no snow, no ice, no cold.

Wind last night was amazing from the 16th floor with no obstruction to the horizon. Wife was sure we were experiencing a tornado, but everything was straight from the south.

Everyone's lawns are getting a little shaggy, people in Canada aren't used to having to mow in the winter.

Chris Biscan

Ironically:

http://i174.photobucket.com/albums/w109/frivolousz21/nhland04.png

http://i174.photobucket.com/albums/w109/frivolousz21/nhland05.png?t=1330838485


North American Snow cover typically starts to wane quicklier than normal about now through the spring.

The GFS continues to show a blow torch over North America:

http://i174.photobucket.com/albums/w109/frivolousz21/00zGFS6-10day850mbTempAnomalyNA-7.gif?t=1330838612


http://i174.photobucket.com/albums/w109/frivolousz21/00zGFS11-15day850mbTempAnomalyNA-7.gif?t=1330838599


That would cripple the snow cover and accumulated depth of snow over those anomalies. Snow cover would be crushed way back into central Canada and the Deeper snow cover in SE Canada and E Canada would be hit hard.


Bob Wallace

Jeff Masters on Weather Underground dropped this tidbit today...

"The top five 2-day tornado outbreaks for so early in the year:

January 21 - 22, 1999: 129 tornadoes, 4 deaths
February 5 - 6, 2008: 87 tornadoes, 57 deaths
March 2, 2012: 81 tornadoes, 31 deaths
February 28 - March 1, 1997: 60 tornadoes, 10 deaths
January 7 - 8, 2008: 56 tornadoes, 4 deaths"

http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/comment.html?entrynum=2044#commenttop

I haven't been able to determine how far back in time the dataset goes, but I would assume a few decades.

Notice how the five are all 1997 or more recent. This might be indicative of earlier spring weather. The overall frequency/intensity might not be changing but the season could be shifting.

Neven

I posted this in the first clue thread as well:

Based on the ECMWF weather forecasts I now definitely think that the maximum will be reached tomorrow March 5th (give or take two days). CT SIA lags a bit, so we'll know around the 10th whether I called the maximum correctly.

According to the current forecasts the situation in Barentsz/Kara and Bering/Okhotsk that reverses ice growth is going to last a couple of days. It's going to be very interesting to watch.

Kris

Neven wrote:

    reached tomorrow March 5th

******

Mind, the extent in the Baffin/NewFoundLand zone is still growing too, so it might take more as a few days.

OTOH, apparently a "hotspell" has started again at Svalbard. Certainly this day will have a new max. temp. record. And it could go on like that for at least 4 days in a row, as the max. temp. records are still rather on the low side.

Moreover, it is raining again there! Which means the ice layer regenerated from the 10th of February on will melt away in no time.

Neven

Mind, the extent in the Baffin/NewFoundLand zone is still growing too, so it might take more as a few days.

I don't think it can grow much more, at least not enough to compensate for the drop in Kara SIA. I'm guessing all that ice south of Novaya Zemlya is going to be blown back/melted again.

crandles

>"at least not enough to compensate for the drop in Kara SIA."

Clear skys from high pressure, little wind and little insolation (15 degree sun angle just about reaching entrance to Kara Sea). Then mabe some winds from south by day 4. I don't see a lot of change there or perhaps even some solidifying before day 4.

Barents looks less good for ice but is already exceptionally low.

Bering gets some southerly winds in 24h map but that rapidly changes to more helpful conditions for ice.

Baffin continues to look good for ice extent.

That is what I see of the weather from ECMWF 850 pressure maps. Not a lot to call the maximum on, but I could easily be reading it wrong.

Apocalypse4Real

For those interested in tornado data for 1950-2011 see the following:

http://www.spc.noaa.gov/wcm/#jmc

The outbreak just experienced places 2012 ahead of 2011 year to date, but behind 2008. Tornadoes in 2012 YTD (March 3rd) = 223. Given that March and April are the highest average tornado months - we might top 2011.

Of interest - the lowest tornadoes graphed through June was 2005 as we moved from El Nino to ENSO neutral.

The highest graphed through June was 2008 with strong to moderate La Nina. 2011 aslo had a strong to moderate La Nina, and had the second higest recorded tornadoes graphed through June.

We are still experiencing La Nina that is fading toward ENSO neutral through this spring. The wrinkle that may kick things up is positive Arctic Oscillation, which was perhaps a contributor to the 2011 outbreaks.

Neven

CT SIA keeps shooting up. The third 70K+ day brings it to 14.460 million km2 (just below the 2005 maximum).

Hans Verbeek

Do I hear the fat lady singing already?
NSIDC have ice extent well over 15 million km2.
http://cassandraclub.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/030312.jpg

Easy come, easy go.

Neven

Hans, here's my forecast for Cryosphere Today sea ice area: "Based on the ECMWF weather forecasts I now definitely think that the maximum will be reached tomorrow March 5th (give or take two days)."

Of course, the fat lady is just putting her make-up on. The real singing takes place in September. ;-)

Kevin McKinney

"Surely this time of year is not when you except to be hit by a tornado."

Some think the season starts in March. But, as mentioned in the link above by 'apocalypse,' tornadoes can happen anywhere, anytime. The earliest on record is apparently 2 minutes past midnight on New Year's day!

That said, this year's outbreak has spooked me some.

Phil263

Extent is really shooting up and it looks like it may cross the "average" line within the next few days. This graph , but also the way the DMI graph and the area graph are going do not indicate that we are nearing a maximum. I would expect some sort of flatlining at this stage!

Kris

Folks, we do have something special again.

First of all, we have already 2 max. temp records for the day at Svalbard, and probably a 3th and a 4th will follow.

But IMHO much more important, the warm air streaming over Svalbard doesn't turn to the right versus Nova Zembla (at it should do), but goes straight on to Artichesky, and takes from there a turn to the left, right into the Arctic center!

Peculiar, absolutely peculiar.


Kris

We can have a february oversight at Svalbard Lufthavn now:

Noticable, the min temp never reached the average minimum, not even for one day.
Even stronger, each day the minimum temperature was even well above the average temperature for the day.

I'm afraid it will be a bad season for the polarbears there, if anyone would survive.

http://www.yr.no/place/Norway/Svalbard/Svalbard_lufthavn/detailed_statistics.html

Kris

I myself wrote:

Noticable, the min temp never reached the average minimum, not even for one day

******

That should be corrected into:
Noticeable, the min temp never reached the average minimum, except for the 13th and 14th of february"

idunno

Hi all,

Like London buses... Nothing on sea ice from Watts for months on end, then 3 come along at once. The latest:

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/03/05/taminos-trick/

I wonder if we could plot a graph of the distance in standard deviations of Arctic sea ice below the average line, versus the occurence of the same graphs on "the world's most viewed climate website."

Chris Biscan

it is amazing how much play the arctic sea ice gets when useless thin ice has formed or places that are irrelevant like the Bering or SOO and have cold winters and have extra ice extent that is thin and a lot of it isn't even 90-100%.

The newest ice in the Kara and Barents/Arctic Basin is very thin as well.


But all of this adds up to hundreds of thousands of km2. So then we have to deal with trying to explain how the MYI has been crippled and this is pattern based useless ice and the only place that maybe had decent ice growth is the CA Water Ways and some places on the Canadian side.


However when you look at ascat you can see the NW passage are not as thick as last year either.

it will be funny to watch the guys at Watts see the new large ice extent collapse when the melt season starts.

Until then, expect to see ignorant post after ignorant post about the ice.

Richard Foster

I'm heading into the Barents / Pechora sea aboard an Icebreaking tanker this weekend, so will let you know what it's looking like thickness and extent-wise while I'm out there. We're filming the journey for a documentary so hopefully there's enough ice to make it look impressive...
Great blog by the way!

crandles

Thank you Richard, that will be interesting. :)

Richard Foster

I'm told by the crew that they are only encountering ice up to 30cm thick across most of the Pechora Sea right now - no news on ridges but in the images I've been sent the ice sheet looks very flat

Twemoran

Richard

Many of us will be hanging on every word.

It's wonderful to be getting first hand reports from an area so remote to so many of us.

Good luck on the voyage - and the project.

Terry

Neven
I'm heading into the Barents / Pechora sea aboard an Icebreaking tanker this weekend, so will let you know what it's looking like thickness and extent-wise while I'm out there.

That would be awesome, Richard! Many thanks in advance!

CT SIA has come up with yet another 70K increase, the fifth in a row. The last one was reported for the 5th, so let's see if things start to slow down/reverse now (like I've forecasted).

crandles

Sea Ice news for Mar 6 is out:

http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/

L. Hamilton

Meanwhile DMI, which runs about a day ahead of CT, dropped 60k last night.

crandles

Congratulations to Neven for calling the date of this maximum. There looks like a couple of days of decreases in Okhotsz & Bering and probably Greenland Sea ice will be compressed.

Time for some humble pie - I didn't think there was a lot indicating a maximum on 5th. Sorry; Neven was right and my interpretation of weather maps was wrong.

(It could still be just a local maximum with a higher maximim later but having got it wrong, I am not going to speculate.)

Kris

Crandles wrote

Congratulations to Neven for calling the date of this maximum.

*****

Please explain, as as far as my old eyes can see the extend is still growing this very day the 7th of March

Crandles wrote too:

There looks like a couple of days of decreases in Okhotsz & Bering

******

The Sea of Okhotsk seems to be at his top indeed.
But, pardon me, temperatures in the Bering Sea are evolving around -30 °C, and that is an impressive 18 °C lower than average.
And according to the forecasts it will stay that way for at least 7 days.

Moreover, temperatures in the region Baffin Bay/NewFoundLand are about 12 °C below average too. So, there won'tbe any decrease there either.

I haven't seen a maximum yet.
But that is probably because we do have different standards.

Anyway, IMHO we will have to wait at least for one week more. 14th of 15th of March, on condition the cold spell in the Bering Sea would finally come to an end.

Neven

Congratulations to Neven for calling the date of this maximum.

Well, we're not there yet. But looking at the current DMI SLP map I don't see how things can continue. I spent a couple of hours about a month ago gazing at weather maps from previous years, and freezing seasons usually end with a configuration that has a big hig-pressure area over the Kara and Barentsz Seas.

Time for some humble pie - I didn't think there was a lot indicating a maximum on 5th. Sorry; Neven was right and my interpretation of weather maps was wrong.

On the other hand you said something like "CT SIA could even reach 13.6 million" quite a while ago, whereas I thought the maximum could never go beyond 13.5 million km2. Going for a maximum between 13.0 and 13.2 million on the poll was a bit of a gamble, but I never expected this late freezing pulse. Apparently regions that looked filled up already (Bering, Baffin), had room for some more ice, and Kara also filled up quite nicely - though not completely yet - south of Novaya zemlya. A good lesson for next year.

We should combine our forecasts from now on, crandles. Then we will be either 100% right, or completely wrong. ;-)

crandles

There have been drops on DMI extent and NSIDC extent graph. While it is the 7th today, those gaphs include data to 6th I think and the data for 6th looks lower than on 5th so 5th looks like the maximum as Neven called.

I also compared

http://www.iup.uni-bremen.de:8084/ssmisdata/asi_daygrid_swath/n6250/2012/mar/asi-SSMIS-n6250-20120305-v5_visual.png

and

http://www.iup.uni-bremen.de:8084/ssmisdata/asi_daygrid_swath/n6250/2012/mar/asi-SSMIS-n6250-20120306-v5_visual.png

and got impression 6th March extent was lower than 5th March.

Yes, it could go higher again anytime from 7th March to 10 April.

For Bering, there isn't much wind by looks of 24hr map but there are winds from South for 48hr map. Those will not only be warm but also tend to compress ice. Despite the cold I don't expect ice to form/extend southwards when there are winds from South. It could extend again after 48hrs.

I don't believe we can call the annual maximum yet and it would be silly to do so. But on the narrower point of interpreting what weather maps mean for ice, Neven called for a reduction after 5th which I was reluctant to agree with. I was wrong and Neven was right about that.

Hope that makes it clearer that I was talking about a local maximum over just a few days and we need to wait a fair bit longer before calling annual maximum. Sorry if I was unclear.

Neven

I'm 75% sure this will be the maximum, but I'm seeing some things in the ECMWF weather forecast maps that could make for a later maximum. Too early to tell now.

What attracts my attention more than the maximum right now is the ice between Svalbard and Franz Josef Land. A big low east of Greenland has so many isobars running over the island groups that I can barely make them out. This means huge winds, warmer air from the south. A 'torch', I believe Chris Biscan calls it.

Maybe I should prepare an animation of that...

crandles

Hmm., wrong again. Area now up to 13.68 another near 70k rise.

Chris Biscan

I think the ice growth is about to slow alot and we will see some days that will expand some shrink for a while. The Baffin will expand more its just that cold there. The SOO will vary, the Bering will vary and shrink a bit. The Kara and Barents will vary and shrink. So it's likely a standstill.

Kris

Do allow me to have you all remembered the events in winter/springtime 2010.

Due to a warm winds the ice in the Bering and Ochotsk seas shrinked considerably and in an impressive way from the whole last week of February on to the ± the 3th of March.

Then the sitiuation got reversed and began a harsh period of deep freeze until + 20th of March.

Resulting in a max. extend on the 25th of March, almost a record. And the extend itself was a near record too.

Non mai cantore "vittoria!" troppo presto.
Or in plain English, we better don't take our wishes for granted. :-)

Neven

Kris, mi sembra che nessuno canta 'vittoria'. We're just trying to ascertain/forecast when the maximum takes place. :-)

ECMWF has changed its forecasts considerably, so I'm not too sure whether this short standstill will turn out to be the maximum. That big low east of Greenland is moving in, pushing back the high over Novaya Zemlya, messing up all those isobars going over Svalbard and FJL.

Neven

CT reports a small 15K drop in SIA for the 7th.

Kris

Neven wrote:

Kris, mi sembra che nessuno canta 'vittoria'

******

Mi sembrava que qualquno stesse dando felicitazioni. :-)

Serious now, I'll invite you all to take a look here again:

http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/weather/temp_latest.big.png

Basically, the pattern we saw emerging is confirming itself. That is a warm zone spreading out to the East of line Svalbard-FranzJozefLand-Artichesky. This spell has reached the Tiksi region (Laptev Sea), and even at the New Siberian Islands the temperature has risen to -20 °C.

The unduly warm conditions now very well could mean ice will begin to vanish in that whole region from early May on.
And in the mean time we faily can assume the GulfStream will prevent any further solid refrezing.

And when there would be much less of ice to block the Gulf Stream, it could very well be that Gulf Stream would penetrate in the Arctic much deeper as it ever has done. And id so, that would definitely result in a swing of the Arctic conditions.

Do allow me to remind there isn't such a thing as "Gulf Stream" in the Bering Sea environnment, so we can't compare both sides of the Arctic really.

L. Hamilton

DMI delta this month (m):
3, 1, .0685
3, 2, .1123
3, 3, .06
3, 4, .0166
3, 5, .0009
3, 6, -.0673
3, 7, -.1096

Apocalypse4Real

Multi-year ice impact this winter has taken the MYI line almost to the pole. Note the change from 01/11/11 till 06/03/12. If we get the AO to change to negative for an extended period this spring/summer, we may see a new minimum with much less MYI.

01/11/11: http://www.aari.ru/odata/_d0015.php?lang=1&mod=0&yy=2011

06/03/12:
http://www.aari.ru/odata/_d0015.php?lang=1&mod=0&yy=2012

Neven

Cool. Thanks for that, A4R. And you too, Larry.

Account Deleted

In addition, comparable to last year.

2012
http://www7320.nrlssc.navy.mil/hycomARC/navo/arcticictnnowcast.gif

2011
http://www7320.nrlssc.navy.mil/hycomARC/navo/arcticict/nowcast/ict2011031318_2011031400_035_arcticict.001.gif


2012
http://manati.orbit.nesdis.noaa.gov/ascat_images/ice_image/msfa-NHe-a-2011066.sir.gif

2011
http://manati.orbit.nesdis.noaa.gov/ascat_images/ice_image/msfa-NHe-a-2011066.sir.gif

Arctic ice is disappearing.

Account Deleted

In the last post, the correct 2012
http://manati.orbit.nesdis.noaa.gov/ascat_images/ice_image/msfa-NHe-a-2012066.sir.gif


The island Wiese had the last 3 months (December-February) was a record warm months in a row.
http://pogoda.ru.net/monitor.php?id=20069&month=12&year=2011
http://pogoda.ru.net/monitor.php?id=20069&month=01&year=2012
http://pogoda.ru.net/monitor.php?id=20069&month=02&year=2012

Neven

Spasiba bolshoye, Arcticicelost80.

+24 degrees deviation from the norm on February 1st? I know it's just weather, but wawaweewa!

Account Deleted

Neven, yes you understood correctly. Norms of 1981-2010 years.

http://pogoda.ru.net/monitor.php?id=20069
March 6-7 is also a huge deflection

In this resource, many other Russian Arctic weather stations.

For example:

Heiss Island (Franz Josef Land)
http://pogoda.ru.net/monitor.php?id=20046

Golomyanny Island (Severnaya Zemlya)
http://pogoda.ru.net/monitor.php?id=20087

Kotelny Island (New Siberian Islands)
http://pogoda.ru.net/monitor.php?id=21432

Wrangel Island
http://pogoda.ru.net/monitor.php?id=21982

Account Deleted

This is a resource I like because that there are warm and cold daily records, norms, and monthly records.

Is there such a resource for the Canadian and Danish weather stations in the Arctic? For Svalbard, I saw a link in this blog.

Bob Wallace

End of freezing season - might we not want to recognize that there seem to be two freezing seasons, one for extent and one for volume?

Even though extent growth seems to stop about now, volume growth continues to mid-April.

https://sites.google.com/site/arctischepinguin/home/piomas/piomas-trnd4.png

--

Any source for PIOMAS annual max volume amounts and dates? It might be interesting to look at the rate of decline over years and if the peak is shifting closer to the first of the year.

Earlier spring and all that stuff.

Neven

That's a good point, Bob. I kind of knew it, but didn't realize it enough.

Neven

If what I see on the latest ECMWF forecast maps comes about in 4-5 days, there's a good chance for a later maximum. Big lows all over the place.

L. Hamilton

"Any source for PIOMAS annual max volume amounts and dates? It might be interesting to look at the rate of decline over years and if the peak is shifting closer to the first of the year."

Yes, the PIOMAS max has been getting earlier by about 2.9 days/decade, which is statistically significant though not huge. The max generally occurs in April; last few years, the second week.

Neven

Another 32K drop in CT SIA, but the ECMWF forecast hasn't improved. It will be either a standstill, like Chris B said, or a higher and later maximum. The question is how much more regions like Baffin and Bering can expand, as they are already filled to the brim (and beyond).

Neven

Diablobanquisa has a poll up. Is 13.680 the CT SIA max, will the max be between 13.68 and 13.85, or will it go beyond 13.85?

Kevin McKinney

Canadian data:

http://climate.weatheroffice.gc.ca/climateData/menu_e.html?timeframe=1&Prov=NU&Year=2012&Month=3&Day=8

That gives you the data portal for current or near-current Nunavut data (hourly); the other Arctic territories are Northwest Territories and Yukon Territories. You can select them from the drop-down menu.

The left-hand sidebar also gives you access to longer-term data--see, for example, the "Climate Normals And Averages" tab.

idunno

Hi all,

This is your PIOMAS update alert.

Neven

Thanks, idunno! Post is up.

Wipneus

So I have upgraded my graphs.

Daily PIOMAS:
https://sites.google.com/site/arctischepinguin/home/piomas/piomas-trnd4.png

Monthly data:
https://sites.google.com/site/arctischepinguin/home/piomas/piomas-trnd2.png


This month I have calculated the "expected" 2012 values, based on the:
- same date values of 1979-2011
- an exponential trend.
Likewise I calculated "expected" values for 2010 and 2011.

These are plotted here:
https://sites.google.com/site/arctischepinguin/home/piomas/piomas-trnd4-1.png

Note that the (not indicated) statistical error bars are quite large.
As can be judged from the September minimum graph the range is almost +/- 2500 km3:
https://sites.google.com/site/arctischepinguin/home/piomas/piomas-trnd6.png

Neven

Thanks, Wipneus. I have updated the post.

Werther

Albedo feedback at work…
Though we were surprised by late winter expansion of extent, there is no sign of ‘recovery’.

DMI shows consistent high mean temps. Southern influx of warm winds from the Atlantic sector is the most important factor now. The positive AO does bottle up cold in the Arctic. But it is forced to the fringes. That produces bitter cold last two weeks on the Alaskan North Slope, through the Baffin region and on the shores of the East Siberian Sea.
It will take time for the FYI-growth in these regions to melt. But the relevant story is developing on the Atlantic sector of the MYI pack. There is open water only 700 km from the north pole in mid march. The 1.4 million km2 of FYI to the south, Kara, Barentsz, partly Arctic Basin ice, will melt early, maybe mid may. Three months of summer conditions warming the waters could be enough for the pack to retreat right to the North Pole.
This could be the year... not for the first ice free Arctic as a whole. But no North Pole Webcam on the site.

Kevin McKinney

Ice-free at the Pole would be a story in itself, of course! We'll see...

idunno

Hi Werther,

I pretty much agree. It looks to me as if this late freeze is possibly related to the WACCY weather (Warm Arctic Cold Continents) phenomenon.

The Southern ice edges in the Bering, Baffin and Okotsch seas, where we have seen most of the recent growth, are closer to the tropics than to the North Pole. They are also all adjacent to large continental land masses.

Chris Reynolds

Idunno,

Personally I haven't seen evidence of the WACC pattern this year. That's a rather specific pattern of boreal cooling and Arctic warming.
http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5002/5276596641_0429bd384f_o.gif

The cold snap earlier in January looked to me more like an event following Pethoukhov & Seminov's hypothesis of Barents/Kara low sea-ice causing cold European winters.
http://dosbat.blogspot.com/2012/03/cold-winters-from-theory-into-practice.html

Bob Wallace

I'm finding the regional graphs quite interesting at the moment. There are certainly far too few data points to establish a trend, but there's a "sag" in the Central Arctic, Greenland, and (lesser so) the Kara zones that is a teaser of the melt starting to show.

And then there's a recent year high and still rising for the Bering.

I can see a flushing of the Central this year as a distinct possibility but perhaps no, or only a slight, record due to all the ice on the Pacific side.

--

And thanks, Wipneus, your monthly 'death spiral' graph update is something I eagerly await each month.

Werther

FYI formation in the growth regions is stimulated through cold winds and anomalously cold SST’s. On the general part, oceans and atmosphere are dominating the pattern. Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation is at it’s peak, it’s counterpart, PDO, in it’s cold phase. On the atmospheric side, look for the 500 mb pattern. The polar vortex is right over Nunavat. There still is a ‘bulge’ over the Kara region. You can see the exchange ‘at work’ looking at MODIS north of Svalbard. Huge heat release from the sea to the troposphere. Consistent high OLR radiation. The ‘warm arctic, cold continent’ label was used to represent continental cold through negative AO periods in 2009-2010 and 2010-2011. I don’t think there is an effective label to describe what’s going on. Maybe your WACKY does.

Werther

To finish my wacky Saturday afternoon I’d say what UB and CT represent as solid ice on MODIS r03c03 day 70 seems way overstated. I can understand UB and CT give just quantity representations and not quality. But it’s dreadful out there. You can see Ostrov Vize ploughing through the thin ice. If PIOMASS numbers are supported through FYI thickness in seas that will melt out anyway, then I would expect a spring crash like Chris R suggests.

Hans Verbeek

Northern Hemisphere snowcover is still well above the 1970 - 2000 average.
http://128.6.226.99/~njwxnet/png/daily_dn/2012069.png

Neven

Indeed, Hans. Here's the chart:
Here's a preview for March:And April:After that, things fall apart very quickly. I'm curious to see what happens this year.

Neven
Is there such a resource for the Canadian and Danish weather stations in the Arctic? For Svalbard, I saw a link in this blog.

Arcticicelost80, here's the page for Longyearbyen, Svalbard. I believe other also had found weather stations for Franz Josef Land and Novaya Zemlya.

Neven

Hmm, I can't find the links. Does anyone have links to temperatures on FJL and Novaya Zemlya (with things like deviation from the norm)? I might do a short post on this tomorrow, as temperature maps look quite spectacular.

Account Deleted

Neven, Thanks for the link to Svalbard.

There is also a Russian station Barentsburg.
http://pogoda.ru.net/monitor.php?id=20107

"Does anyone have links to temperatures on FJL and Novaya Zemlya (with things like deviation from the norm)?"

Franz Josef Land
http://pogoda.ru.net/monitor.php?id=20046

Novaya Zemlya (South Island)
http://pogoda.ru.net/monitor.php?id=20744

Neven

Great, thanks a lot!

I checked out the КЛИМАТИЧЕСКИЙ МОНИТОР, but my Cyrillic isn't that great and I didn't know what places to look for.

Account Deleted

http://www.columbia.edu/~mhs119/Temperature/T_moreFigs/
There are updated in February from the GISS.

http://www.columbia.edu/~mhs119/Temperature/T_moreFigs/4seasons.2005-2008.gif
http://www.columbia.edu/~mhs119/Temperature/T_moreFigs/4seasons.2009-2012.gif

It turns out that last winter in the Arctic, one of the warmest (along with 2005 and 2006). Pink dominates.

Account Deleted

"I checked out the КЛИМАТИЧЕСКИЙ МОНИТОР, but my Cyrillic isn't that great and I didn't know what places to look for."

Then I know has this resource.
http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/global_monitoring/temperature/global_temp_accum.shtml

Here you can find the Canadian Arctic station.

Neven

Thank a lots, Arcticicelost80. I think I'm going to collect all those weather stations and put them somewhere on the Daily Graphs page.

Chris Biscan

North American snow cover is about to take a huge blow. Pretty much anything from The Hudson West to the Rockies to the SE is going byebye the next two weeks as heat builds builds and builds getting pulled North.

Chris Biscan

I should make it more clear that we are talking possibly a one in 100 or one in 200 year warm during March over the CONUS/Southern Canada.

Kris

Chris Biscan wrote:

possibly a one in 100 or one in 200 year warm

******
We can see already one of the first consequences as the ice in the Saint Lawrence estuarium suddenly has disappeared.

Chris Reynolds

Neven,

Regarding cyrillic.

Using Bing translation - in my version of IE you right click on the pager and it's one of the options.

Blue is min, green average, first red column max - I presume these are for each day.

The second red column under the black heading is deviation.

Due to the formatiing I can't cut & paste those figures, even via excel.

All we need now is std dev.

Account Deleted

In the southern Kara Sea, part of the sea breeze freed (Arctic mosaic)

Neven

CT SIA has another minuscule drop of 2K, so the maximum still isn't safe. But comparing March 10th with March 9th on the Uni Bremen SIC maps, I don't see much ice growth, and only in Bering and Okhotsk.

Looking at ECMWF I don't see a definite end to the freezing season.

Hans Verbeek

Neven, the snowcovered area is the biggest in the months January, Februari and March. So the increase in those months may have a big enough effect on albedo to compensate for the decreasing sea-ice-extent.
I still hope that nature has enough negative feedback up her sleeves to point up the folly of men.

Neven

That's a coincidence, Hans. I was just thinking about you a minute ago when I read this on the NOAA ESRL/PSD website:

He and his colleagues found that Eurasia and North America warmed by 1-3°C in the 21st century due to less snow cover, which increased the amount of solar radiation absorbed by the Earth's surface. The largest changes occurred in the fall and spring when there is more direct sunlight and the ground heats more rapidly where the snow cover decreases.

In a complementary study that focused on the effects of shrinking sea ice, surface temperature changed by as much as 10°C, but only in a narrow band ringing the Arctic Circle. This study showed that snow cover may have a wider impact, extending over most of the Northern Hemisphere continents.

Werther

Photobucket
I use these graphs from wetteronline.de for a lot of weatherinfo all around the Arctic. They are easy to copy to CAD for analysing differences. Last fall I did a ‘warmth volume’ comparison for five stations around the Barentsz-Kara region on 2010 and 2011. Curious what the same approach would show for last winter, I examined Svalbard and Franz Josefland. You bet there’s a formidable difference! As far as day-time max is relevant during winter, Svalbard mean was 5.5 dC higher than last year. That doesn’t look like much while still below zero. But in terms of ‘heat volume’ the difference is enormous. Compared to last summer, it’s anomalous volume was 7 times larger during winter. For Franz Josef, although colder nominally, the difference is even stronger. Heat volume anomaly out there was 20% higher than on Svalbard!
What does it mean? I think these waters have turned Atlantic. Of course winter effect would be higher in this changing environment. That’s normal in sea climates. These parts used to be embedded in sea ice once. In polar climate...

Werther

As I was busy on the Svalbard graph, I read Hans Verbeek’s hopeful remark on snow cover. I know it’s bad to spoil anyones’ well meant wishes. But I’m rather pessimistic here. Around day 40 I was checking MODIS on the Lena delta and found it’s cauliflower-structure visible through the snow cover. Even today, my eye fell on slopes and valleys not far from Okhotsk with little, some places even no snow cover. It isn’t spring, because it still was -20dC. My impression is there is snow cover over east Siberia, but it’s thin.

Yvan Dutil

I not sure this post has been send last time.

Ice is dispersing on Great Lakes too.


http://earthsky.org/earth/north-americas-great-lakes-are-losing-ice

Account Deleted

"My impression is there is snow cover over east Siberia, but it’s thin."

Werther, depth of snow cover can be viewed in ogimete.

http://ogimet.com/cgi-bin/gsynres?lang=en&ind=21824&ano=2012&mes=3&day=11&hora=12&min=0&ndays=30
Tiksi (Lena River delta) 3 cm Snow
Dep.

http://ogimet.com/cgi-bin/gsynres?lang=en&ind=31088&ano=2012&mes=3&day=11&hora=12&min=0&ndays=30
Ohotsk 5 cm Snow Dep.

crandles

There doesn't seem much ice in South Western Kara per mosaic for today or yesterday but the top row of maps on the daily graphs page seem to show Kara having ice extent covering whole of Kara.

Also the southern Barentsz coast seems darker than ice further offshore. Has the coastal ice broken up?

http://lance-modis.eosdis.nasa.gov/imagery/subsets/?mosaic=Arctic.2012072.terra.367.4km

Neven

CT SIA has a 36K uptick. Another one of those tomorrow and there's a new maximum.

There doesn't seem much ice in South Western Kara per mosaic for today or yesterday but the top row of maps on the daily graphs page seem to show Kara having ice extent covering whole of Kara.

When I checked Uni Bremen yesterday and compared it to the SIC map of the 10th, they had the SW Kara Sea opening up a bit, just like on the MODIS image.

This is the effect of those bunch of isobars (ie south(west)erly winds) i mentioned a couple of days back. Svalbard is almost free of ice, but I'm sure the ice will be pushed back.

Philiponfire

I do not think that "broken up" is a valid description crandles. I do not think the ice was ever solid enough to warrant that choice of words. just many miles of slush/thin ice that never formed a coherent sheet in the first place and has currently been blown away from the coast leaving open water. I think that many of our terms for describing ice need to be reviewed. Especially the whole concept of extent as being an indicator of anything significant, especially at maximum/minimum area times. the whole of the Arctic is now so thin that the ice dynamics are no longer what they were. when you look at that ice in the Barentsz and Kara that is darn near see through and how excited the deniers are it makes we wonder how naive people are. Last years high minimum was a weather event on the end of a high melt year. This maximum is a weather event on the end of a low ice winter. The graphs tell you that at a glance. Smooth curve is climate sudden blip is weather. How hard is that to grasp?
I think we can look forward to more winters where we have large areas of thin low latitude ice and an ever thinning Arctic basin. The big change is the winter temperatures there. Winter is when this is happening not summer.

crandles

Philip, I think you are right it has rarely been solid enough for long enough to warrant the 'broken up' description.

Though perhaps this
http://lance-modis.eosdis.nasa.gov/imagery/subsets/?subset=Arctic_r02c05.2012043.terra.250m
indicates a solid enough state?

>"when you look at that ice in the Barentsz and Kara that is darn near see through and how excited the deniers are it makes we wonder how naive people are."

Who is the target though? Is it the people they are arguing against or is it more aimed at other people who will not go into any detail and just take away the sense that things aren't clear? Does engaging deniers just help them with that? Is there an alternative of replying that 'it is nonsense that isn't worth debunking' a better response?

Shortfatape

With all the chatter about cold continents, I was curious about Great Lakes ice, but Yvan beat me to it. Here's another nugget: NYPA and OPG removed the ice boom protecting the intakes at the Niagara power station very early this year due to lack of ice.

http://online.wsj.com/article/AP38eda65455324617979dfcd75821644f.html

Espen

Hello Guys!

Back on the ice, after a long winter. What I think is the big difference this pre-season moment is the open water above Spitsbergen/ Svalbard, looking forward to study this new melting case with all of you! Regards Espen

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