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Neven

Updates 1 and 2 are up.

Dorlomin asks in yesterday's Arctic storm blog post:

If there is a lot of wave action should we not be a little careful with the ice extent\ concentration totals for a few days as some of the freeboard of the ice may be getting overwhelmed by waves?

Yes, that's what I mean with 'unflashing'. We'll know more about the numbers in a couple of days. Things don't look so great, but there's no sense in jumping to conclusions.

Chris Biscan

Jaxa daily graphs have big drops in the Beaufort as well.

This gets more interesting.

GFS and EURO have a warm dipole like pattern emerging.

Diablobanquisa.wordpress.com

DMI extent chart uses the same data that these maps, showing "flash melting" too: http://saf.met.no/p/ice/nh/conc/conc.shtml

Diablobanquisa.wordpress.com

IJIS has updated, with a big drop:
08,05 6119531
08,06 5931094

Neven

IJIS has updated, see update 3. Big 188K drop.

Chris Biscan

http://i174.photobucket.com/albums/w109/frivolousz21/Sea_Ice_Extent_L-4.png?t=1344330428

Jaxa has huge drops:

August 5th 2012- 6,119,531km2
August 5th 2012- 5,931,094km2
August 6th 2012- 5,729,844km2

crandles

>"Yes, that's what I mean with 'unflashing'."

You aren't going to call it a 'flash-back' ??

Neven

Haha. How about 'neither fish nor flash'? ;-)

Seke Rob

On IJIS/JAXA metric we're down to 5 years in past to overtake their minimum. The 7M > 6M km square reduction was the second earliest of their time. See http://bit.ly/IJISMD (Update in upload queue, Ctrl-F5 for later refresh)

JAXA Prelim - Prelim indicates a 200K reduction... could even turn out into a double century final.

Neven

CT has reported, see update 4.

Neven

Larry, that looks crazy. Those numbers can't be right, can they?

dorlomin

Certainly an 'interesting' week.

Neven

CT has also updated their SIC map. An animation is in update 5. Changes clearly stand out.

Seke Rob

The CT update led to just 60K being needed to match 2007. http://bit.ly/CTNHMn

L. Hamilton

I can't judge the DMI numbers, but note that they nominally lead CT by a day or two. Because DMI pays less attention to coastal areas, or concentrations below 30, the big holes and low concentration above Siberia that show up in the Bremen maps might be having a strong impact on DMI total.

Kris

Neven,

Flash not only does bad things to sea ice but to some computers too, as it does in your "update 1".

I had to run to another computer which I don't like just in order to write this message :-)

Seke Rob

To top it off, a CT blinker of day .5805 to .5945

2012,5808 -1,9777919 3,9153335
2012,5945 -2,1570466 3,4786139

437K gone in 5 days.

http://bit.ly/CTNHAN

http://bit.ly/CTNHM2 ("in progress" bar with a 17% of past years melt "What if" melt (top segment). The expression would for 2007-2011 "their a.. is grass", beyond a reasonable doubt.

Jim_pettit

--2012 now needs to see an additional decrease in SIA of just under 574k km2 over the next four to five weeks (or so) to set a new record minimum. By comparison, more than 757k km2 has been lost in just the last week alone. If 2012 experiences a further decrease to minimum in SIA equivalent to that which occurred in every year in the record but 1985, a new record low will be set. (And a drop like 1985's would result in a minimum this year just 4,000 km2 above 2011's.): http://iwantsomeproof.com/extimg/sia_7.png

--2012's now sits at 385k km2 below 2011's same-day value, and a whopping 472k below 2007's.

--2012 SIA has been in first place for the past 38 consecutive days, and 54 of the last 59 (first was ceded to 2010 for five days at the end of June).

--2012's anomaly has been below -2 million km2 for the past five days straight. Today's anomaly of -2.157 million is the largest so far this year (though it's only the 33rd largest of the 61 days on the record that have seen an anomaly greater than -2 million; the bulk of the larger negative anomalies took place in October 2007).

--Not to pile on, but I have to say that the extent numbers we're seeing today are incredible if substantiated. Unbelievable, in fact...

Kevin McKinney

Wow.

That's all...

Janne Tuukkanen

Oden, the Swedish ship, is at 87N now. They're reporting 0C temp and 97% humidity, so I think it's raining up there.

http://www.smhi.se/klimatdata/2.1090

OldLeatherneck
Jim Pettit Said--"Not to pile on, but I have to say that the extent numbers we're seeing today are incredible if substantiated. Unbelievable, in fact..."

Jim, it will be interesting to see what your "Death Spiral" looks like after the "dust" from this storm settles!!

L. Hamilton

A minor statistical side note: over the past two melt seasons I've sent in Sea Ice Outlook predictions based on year-in-advance Gompertz curves. I kept checking those predictions against updated regressions as each season progressed, but the differences always seemed minor enough that I figured what the heck, I'll let the Gompertz bet ride.

Over the past few days that was changing; my up-to-date regressions diverged more and more from the Gompertz. This was something new so I've gone with it and sent in a lower August SIO: 4.02 NSIDC (the same approach gives 2.58 CT). The models have no elegance but we'll see how they work.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v224/Chiloe/Climate/2012_OLS_extent1a.png

R. Gates

Neven,

Thanks again for your truly "unprecedented" coverage of the Great Arctic Cyclone of 2012. You've provided not just comprehensive documentation of the development of this storm and possible ramifications to the sea ice, you've also provided a convenient gathering place where others have also placed valuable insight. When the melt season of 2012 is analyzed later on, this storm will certainly be part of that analysis. Though researchers will of course do their own independent analysis (at least they'd better), this blog can certainly be an important jumping off point for the many directions that research can take. There are many important new dynamics emerging with the combination of low concentration and thin ice and a storm of this magnitude hitting that ice. A careful reading of this blog by anyone interested in researching those potential new dynamics will prove invaluable.

Again, a most excellent job.

Neven

Thanks, R. Gates. I report what I see. The ice is doing it, not me. :-)

Artful Dodger

If el niño comes this Winter, and the Bering sea is warmer than normal rather than cooler come Spring, the the Summer of 2013 is gonna make 2007 look like 1979.

Imagine a polar low with 600 nm of open water between Barrow and the Southern edge of the pack ice, before the storm starts to churn...

Neven

BTW, I wonder when the media is going to pick up on this...

Paul Klemencic

Only time for a few quick comments:

Tonight's Bremen ice extent map should show the biggest changes since the storm began, since it will capture the full day of damage done by the storm yesterday (although not the full day of damage being done today). The ice between 75N and 80N in the E. Siberian and Chukchi regions will be pushed toward the Beaufort, and dissipated.

With the current storm center at 80N and 180 longitude, much of the strongest wind field will be compacting Beaufort region ice into the pack.

But on the other side of the storm cyclone, wind will be pushing ice apart from the pack into the Laptev. One of the quadrangles that could see some significant deterioration, is the 135E to 150E quad between 80N and 85N. In last night's map, this quad was fully filled with 90+% concentration. The northerly wind should be pushing this ice into the open waters below 80N.

Because of the averaging procedure, and delays, coupled with ice dissipation, it is always difficult to predict IJIS extent reports, but tonight's report could be another big drop.

OldLeatherneck
Neven Said.. "BTW, I wonder when the media is going to pick up on this..."

It would require 3 things of the MSM:
1. Be aware that something is happening in the arctic.
2. Care that anything is happening in the arctic.
3. Understand that what is happening will eventually (soon) have a significant impact on global weather patterns.

BTW, I don't think our friends at WUWT are going to win this year's prize for SIE and/or SIA!! Poor deluded babies!

Doctor__Stanley

Neven said: "BTW, I wonder when the media is going to pick up on this..."

Here in the US, my guess is: only after a record low extent is reached, media will _briefly_ pick up on it, complete with commentary from a prominent "skeptic" about how it doesn't really mean anything since the arctic low is, after all "just weather" and not "climate."

Espen Olsen

Neven,

"BTW, I wonder when the media is going to pick up on this..."

Not to be too cynical,

If you can find an image of a Polar bear watching her cub drowning in windy conditions, the press may ask into what is behind it?

Neven

I'm also wondering how the media is going to put this storm in context. It looks highly unusual. Another unusual event this melting season.

dorlomin

Email Damian Carrington or Leo Hickman at the Guardian. They both run blogs so may be looking for a story for the week. Damian has a degree in geology if memory serves so has a decent background to get some grip on the significance.

Jim_pettit

From Dr. Jeff Masters' fresh blog entry on Weather Underground:

Big storm in the Arctic

A remarkably intense low pressure system formed in the Arctic north of Alaska Monday, bottoming out with a central pressure of 963 mb at 2 pm EDT. A pressure this low is rare any time of the year in the Arctic, and is exceptionally so in summer. As noted in Neven Acropolis' sea ice blog, the strong winds around this low have the potential to cause a large loss of Arctic sea ice, due to churning, increased wave action, pushing of ice into warmer waters, and the mixing up of warmer waters from beneath the ice. According to the latest analysis from the National Snow and Ice Data Center, Arctic sea ice extent was at a record low extent as of August 1. This week's big storm will likely keep Arctic sea ice at record low levels for the next week or two.

So Dr. Masters very wide audience hears about both the storm and Neven's awesome blog. That's what I call I great twofer... :)

Anthropogenicpassenger.wordpress.com


"BTW, I wonder when the media is going to pick up on this..."


No! It will be yet another in a list of examples of cognitive dissonance responses. It will be seen as a freak storm that broke the record, not Climate change.

k eotw

The media will report at minimum, especially if it's a new record. That's when the story is most powerful.

They could report what's going on now but it would be dwarfed by the eventual story of a new record minimum anyway.

Also careful what you wish for. If the media did report current conditions, eg this storm for example, rather than the long decline over summer, then deniers will be able to spin that to claim the entire loss of ice in summer 2012 summer a new record minimum was just the result of a storm.

FrankD

I have no doubt that the "reality reluctant" will now dismiss any record this year as a fluke - "oh there was that freak storm, weather happens, yada yada yada..."

So while all our jaws are dropping (yes, mine too), I just want to recall comments made around the traps (eg by Neven on other blogs) that up until now, weatherwise, 2012 had been a pretty unremarkable year. Area/Extent was nosediving before this low blew into town without any freaky persisent dipoles storms or current weirdnesses, just good old fashioned multi-month high air and sea temps, building on years of thinning. This low has given a bloody big shove over the cliff, but we were headed that way anyway.

I expect we will see quite a big record set now, but even without this storm, we were probably going to get a record anyway.

So when the reality-challenged say its just weather, they are right. Just not in the way they think.

Jim_pettit
FrankD wrote: I just want to recall comments made around the traps (eg by Neven on other blogs) that up until now, weatherwise, 2012 had been a pretty unremarkable year.

Just to clarify: you are referring only to weather in the Arctic, right? Because around much of the globe, 2012 has been, well, remarkably remarkable... :)

R. Gates

I agree with the general thought that the denial-sphere will try to suggest that it was The Great Arctic Cyclone of 2012 that "caused" this year's record low Arctic sea ice. What they fail to understand (because of their myopic vision) is that it takes some event to tip an already altered system on the edge to go over that edge. Also of course, 2012 was already headed toward the record low as part of the long-term warming and melting of the Arctic and an accurate presentation will be that this event pushed that record even lower. But again, such rational arguments will fall on very deaf ears in the denial-sphere.

Janne Tuukkanen

The good audience of Wunderground is very devoted in following tropical patterns. I hope they'll put some eye (pun intended) on this arctic cyclone as well.

Neven

Don't worry, Frank, I'll keep pounding that one. Never mind Greenland reflectivity, 97% surface melt for the first time since 1889, floodings on Greenland, Petermann calving again, this freak storm...

The big story of the 2012 melting season: ideal weather conditions are no longer necessary to break extent and area records. A large part of the ice pack is so thin that it just doesn't care anymore.

Mdoliner43

This thread is beginning to sound like Slim Pickens riding the bomb in "Dr. Strangelove."

cynicus

While we're passionate and look for things that perhaps aren't there and others are passionate in not looking for things that are there, the ice pack never cared at all. It just melts.

(freely adapted from Henry Pollack)

Artful Dodger

HAD to phone in this SAT image of Polar low Gee: (h/t Wundergrnd)
http://icons.wxug.com/hurricane/2012/aug7_arcticlow.jpg

dorlomin

"reality reluctant"

Oh that made my day.

But we have been tracking near the record all summer. So people try to pin it on the storm then it is easy to show them up, where there is a battle with a neutral audiance that would be a misstep for the "reality reluctant".

Artful Dodger

Da, Mdoliner43

Opening shot from Dr. Strangelove: "the perpetually fog-shrouded wasteland below the Arctic peaks of the Zhokhov Islands"

Mdoliner43

Yeah, I had forgotten this.

Jeffrey Davis

It's a game like Hot Potato -- the event at the time of the record is accorded rhetorical pride of place in the denialist causation chain. Like the person who's holding the potato when the music stops. But the current cyclone is simply the event that (maybe; not there yet) occasioned the record not what caused it. There have been many polar cyclones in the past, and records haven't tumbled because of them.

Robert Greer

Does anyone know of any resources explaining Arctic ocean currents and how they might change as a result of the disappearing ice cap? I'm no scientist, but the bifurcation of the ice this year seems to be a potentially very important event.

Neven

I'm mailing a bit with people here and there, and one expert agreed with me that technically speaking this isn't a 'Polar low', because of magnitude and location. This storm could be described as 'synoptic' because it's larger than 1000 km.

From Rasmussen and Turner, 2003:

A polar low is a small, but fairly intense maritime cyclone that forms poleward of the main baroclinic zone (the polar front or other major baroclinic zone). The horizontal scale of the polar low is approximately between 200 and 1000 kilometers and surface winds near or above gale force.

In the meantime an author over at DailyKos linked to the ASI blog and had a great find in a NOAA fact sheet (see update 6), so I'm now linking back to him. :-)

Lodger's image is update 7. Thanks, Lodger.

Artful Dodger

hi Robert,

The two major currents within the Arctic Basin are the Beaufort Gyre and the Transpolar Drift. Click the image to go to the blog article.

Cheers,
Lodger

Neven

Sorry for being so slow today - I'm working like crazy to get something done - but I've decided to stick with Arctic cyclone. Here's a good article I found on the subject.

Neven

Or should I stick with 'Arctic storm'? Beh, tired and confused...

Technically it's not a hurricane, it's not a Polar low, and Arctic cyclones are the usual systems we see over Siberia in summer.

So what is this? An Arctic super-cyclone? The Arctic storm of our grandchildren?

Either way, it has to be Arctic something.

Bob Wallace

How about 'The Arctic Kerfuffle'?

After all, what possible damage to the ice could happen from a little stirring...

Jim Williams

Is it too early to begin speculating about the area anomaly come the October timeframe? There's a lot of excess heat out there that is going to have to be used up before things start to really freeze.

Climate Changes

I cannot help but wonder how the Arctic migratory wildlife will be doing against this huge low. I've never seen one this low and this wide and in summer. To see things in perspective it would be good to see a summer series showing frequency of Arctic lows and their intensity over the last 50 years as maybe they are now part of the new 'normal'.

Neven

I've got a hold of this data set "Arctic Cyclone Track Data Set, 1966-1993", but have no idea what to do with it. Anyone interested?

I'd like to know how unusual this Arctic summer storm is.

Chris Reynolds

"the denial-sphere will try to suggest that it was The Great Arctic Cyclone of 2012 that "caused" this year's record low Arctic sea ice."

And they'd be wrong as usual because as I've shown the numbers indicated a new record well before this storm.

Climate Changes

"I'd like to know how unusual this Arctic summer storm is."

You're not alone there :)

Neven

BTW, how do you like 'Arctic summer storm'? That seems to encapsulate it all.

Alais Elena

NSIDC graph updated through Aug. 6 shows nothing unusual in what should have been a more notable decline: http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/
Posted by Tenney Naumer

Artful Dodger

Chris, they'd be 180 degrees off of right... As Neven's article linked above explains, it is this Summer's low sea ice and warm SSTs that caused this year's huge Arctic Cyclone. It's called a 'feed-back', but deniers only know 'talk-back'.

Otto Lehikoinen

Was just going to suggest summertime Arctic low but I can live with 'arctic summer storm'

R. Gates

Neven,

Given the unusual nature of this cyclone (as stated even by the NWS, both in terms of time of year, size, low pressure, etc. as well as the extensive effects on sea ice, coastal erosion, and wildlife, I still favor the adjective being added of "Great" to naming this storm. Thus, the "Great Arctic Cyclone of 2012" seems more than reasonable as it certainly is far more than just another Arctic summer storm.

Paul Klemencic

"SIDC graph updated through Aug. 6 shows nothing unusual…"

Well, the NSIDC uses a averaging algorithm with five days of data. Its a slower indicator (but maybe a more accurate, less fickle one) than the IJIS. As usual, MASIE will lag the others (but I really don't want to get into that). Eventually the regional graphs from MASIE will be interesting to review, perhaps by this weekend.

Mdoliner43

I don't know if anybody pointed out yet that any ice driven through the Fram strait to melt in the Atlantic in effect transports the heat of fusion into the arctic. That is 80 calories per gram.

Chris Reynolds

Artful Dodger,

If we can agree they intensified the storm that occurred I'd 'meet you half way'. The problem with attributing this storm to the open waters is there have been open waters in recent years but no storm.

Whatever happens with regards this minimum it's going to provide a fascinating problem to disect.

Paul Klemencic

I am interested in how much damage is being done to the Central Arctic Basin ice pack. The MODIS Arctic Mosaic from the Daily Graphs page on this site, shows the tiles making up the image. If you click on the mosaic, and find the r04 c03 tile (NP on bottom right, and storm center near top right), the area near the center is mostly obliterated with clouds. But in the eye of the storm, some dark water is showing up (use 500m viewing option). And to the left of the eye, there clearly are some fractures (and polynyas) showing up, that can be observed even through the cloud cover.

In the r04 c04 tile (NP on lower left, storm center near top left), the clouds obscure the area close to the storm center. But again even through the clouds, dark water patterns from significant polynyas being opened up by the storm are evident.

Under the clouds, and near the storm center, the high winds are fracturing the pack.

Chris Reynolds

Oh, I should have added.

Assuming this storms impact on the ice will be as severe as I expect: for me the significance of the storm is not the storm alone but the coincidence of the storm and the persistent area of low concentration ice - an easy 'victim' for the storm. That and the storm's centre, not over the low concentration ice, where winds would have been lesser, but offset so that the close isobars of the storm's outer masss could drive winds over the ice. Especially as there are warm (I presume) waters to the east of the low conc ice, so the storm can drive that water into the ice, as well as the mechanical effects of wave action.

cynicus

You know, it's a low synoptic Arctic hurricane cyclone storm thing, or LSAHCS for short, prononced as: El-saks. ;)

Alais Elena

Paul, do you think that a strong storm like this one could ever get that huge pool of fresh water accumulating in the Beaufort region (but originating from the Siberian river outflows) to spill out to the North Atlantic?

Neven

Thus, the "Great Arctic Cyclone of 2012" seems more than reasonable as it certainly is far more than just another Arctic summer storm.

Hmm, you could be right, R. Gates.

cynicus

Any guesses about drowned polar bear sightings after this storm? Or is government pushback strong enough to make observers, especially those on government payroll, look the other way? You'll all remember the witch hunt on Dr. Charles Monnett -after his notes on drowned polar bears sightings in the wake of a storm were picked up by Al Gore- don't you?

R. Gates

Paul asked the question about the damage being done to the central Arctic Basin ice pack. We of course won't know the full extent until later this week, but in general, I would still maintain that this Cryosphere today graph is now one to watch for the answer:

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

Both this week and up to the final summer low this graph now represents the best metric of what is left of the heart of the Arctic sea ice. It continued it's very steep decline yesterday after pausing a bit on Sunday. How low does everyone think this could go? Will it smash through the previous low just under 2.5 million sq. km, and by how much? Could it go as low as 2.25 million sq. km? Again, this is certainly the heart of what will be left going forward for next years melt.

Twemoran

Neven

I like Arctic Summer Storm, and this ASS is kicking like a mule, as well as making an ass of denier predictions. :>)

Terry

Kevin McKinney

IJIS has 6/7 at 5.7K, for the moment. I presume this is that first (and often unrealistic) provisional number.

http://www.ijis.iarc.uaf.edu/en/home/seaice_extent.htm

Neven

You're right, Kevin. I forgot to put that in the update. Will do that now.

Paul Klemencic

Alais Elena: No, I don't think so. There are thousands of km and an incredible amount of ice between that pool and the Atlantic.

R. Gates: I agree. At the very least, after this storm, the CAB ice pack will be exposed on three sides. In terms of extent, there are 3.1 M sq km of ice in the CAB region as defined in the MASIE data. We don't think we got below 2.7M in 2007. This year, if open seas get up to 85N along the east side and we get penetration to say 83N in the 150W-180W zone, then we have a chance to see CAB extent fall as low as 2.0M.

The Cryosphere SIA report uses a bigger CAB region than MASIE, so the possible drop there is also to around 2.0M.

But right now, I just wanted to see if the storm was fracturing the previously continuous pack in the area of the CAB the main wind fields are hitting. And that seems to be the case.

Bob Wallace

A CAB by annual minimum chart anywhere? How about a CAB at this date over years?

Espen Olsen

Nice weather at the "North Pole" web cams, sunny and calm:

http://psc.apl.washington.edu/northpole/

Neven

New Barrow webcam image in update 8.

anthropocene

Espen: Those pictures haven't been updated since July 22nd. Does anybody know why?

OldLeatherneck

Anthropocene: If you go to the archives, you can find a list of images that include the file names. These file names coincide withdate and time. I found some as recent as 08/06.

anthropocene

Ah yes, thanks - didn't know those pictures existed.

Paul Klemencic

The Arctic is a big place. The webcams are somewhere around 84N, about 700 km from the NP. The storm is centered around 79N on the other side of the NP, with only the widest circulation hitting the pole. Barrow is down at around 72N, and is marginally closer to the storm center than the NP.

Paul Klemencic

One of the things that bothers me about this storm; these are big heat engines that operate moving thermal energy from the water/ice and surface atmospheric moisture, and moving that thermal energy into the high troposphere. They use a lot of thermal energy to run.

I understand that there are feeder bands of warmer air and moisture that feed the center of the storm, but don't know how much energy comes from the feeder system, and how much comes from the surface water within the region occupied by the storm.

So my first thought, is that this storm is removing a lot of heat from the Arctic ocean waters, and the seas under the feeder systems, thus cooling the environment significantly, and inhibiting further ice melt.

The second thought, is that the storm size and location is a consequence of all the warmer moister air that has been getting to the north polar region, and the loss of ice, and Arctic amplification warming of the surrounding seas. The storm is sitting almost directly in the position where it has most access to warmer regions around it, and yet access to the best heat sink, the upper troposphere over the North Pole.

Anyway, just conjecture. I don't know enough about the thermodynamics and fluid flow dynamics of these kinds of systems to really know what's going on. But a storm this size takes a lot of thermal energy to run.

Neven

Indeed, Paul. It should show up on the SST anomaly maps.

Update 9: The storm is losing its strength. If you go to this Environment Canada web page and click the Preliminary (Canada coverage) maps one by one, you see the intensity go from 965 mb, 967 mb, 969 mb to 970 mb.

dabize

This thread is beginning to sound like Slim Pickens riding the bomb in "Dr. Strangelove."

Mdoliner, are you suggesting that we are having the equivalent of a "right good weekend in Las Vegas" here?

Also wanted to tell Neven that another EC composite figure is in his email

Finally - Paul, a possibly ignorant question: Are you suggesting that there will be a net cooling of the surface because of this storm?

I was thinking that whatever moisture is sucked up from the ocean surface (as opposed to warm atmospheric inflow) would generate a transient cooling at the surface due to the heat of evaporation, but that this would be returned to the surface once conditions get back to normal. Are you suggesting that this heat is going to stay in the upper troposphere?

Susan Anderson

Thank you all. Learning by the minute. Particularly Paul Klemencic who reminded me of Chris Mooney's Storm World, a good exposition of hurricane heat engine dynamics (if I'm not misspeaking) ... and all the other usual suspects. Great links.

Daniel Bailey

You guys are tempting my idiom. One I could ignore, but two Dr Strangelove references...makes me drag this out:

http://youtu.be/RLPnnPHkIuc

Or was it Ground Control to Major Kong?

Werther

As for the driving force behind this years’ events, the great arctic summer storm reminds me of the chicken-egg parable. I support Lodgers’ vision that every parameter was right to accommodate Gaagi. It is not just a matter of the amount of open seas (iow ice extent), which has been common since 2007.
Really interesting was the 6 august jet stream configuration. It featured a swirling line with deep incursions into the US, Europe and Siberia and this anomalous loop into the Arctic.
This fits exactly into the proposed behaviour of both jets and the Ferrell cell, as described by Dr. Francis and the “thoughts on the roof” link by one of our bloggers this morning.
The point is, there’s so much latent heat in the troposphere as well as in the upper ocean north of the Arctic Circle that a harbinger was to be expected end of July.
It came in the form of Gaagi and it realizes what was inevitable.

Arcticio

NORTHERN HEMISPHERE EXTRATROPICAL CYCLONE DATA SET (1966-1993)

Thx Neven, I'll check it out.

Werther

On the possible cooling Paul suggested; ECMWF did accompany Gaagi with quite low (green) 850 Mb temps. I suppose, because it is such a deep SLP under a mid-tropospheric vortex, it does cool the lower troposphere. In that way it fulfills El Nino driven cloud cover over the remaining ice pack. But given high SST's, wind churning and thin, fractured ice, the ravaging capacities weigh out.

R. Gates

An interesting presentation on the increased frequency/intensity of Arctic Cyclones and more open water/warmer temps in the Arctic:

http://www.cesm.ucar.edu/events/ws.2012/Presentations/Polar/vavrus.pdf

And here's a paper about the climate change and Arctic Cyclones:

http://www.iarc.uaf.edu/research/projects/arctic-cyclones-and-eurasian-hydroclimatology

There are many others out there, but one thing to be mentioned is that these cyclones bring a net increase in energy to the Arctic through lateral tramsport from lower latitudes. As these cyclones are not closed systems like a cut-off low, but the net inflow of energy to the Arctic exceeds any energy that may be drawn from the open water itself. What exactly this means for the sea ice melt profile the rest of the season remains to be seen, but from my understanding, there is more net energy than before as cyclones of this size draw energy from lower latitudes that wouldn't have been drawn into the Arctic otherwise.

Neven

Thx Neven, I'll check it out.

Cool. Thanks.

AmbiValent

So far, the ice only seems to spread out at the edges, while the main pack (where the center of the low is now) stays together. This might mean we'll be spared the melting caused by Ekman pumping, and end up at a halfway normal minimum.

Still, it might get worse... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kfl2ykS8Bg0

Tor Bejnar

As has been mentioned, but not too recently, this great big storm is churning the sea, mixing warmer (saltier) water with surface water. More heat will be available to be released to the atmosphere (and space), but also more heat available to melt ice and slow October's freeze.

Apocalypse4Real

Seems that this storm might fall into the category of Arctic Hurricane which are usually winter storms with strong lows.

See: http://www.weatheronline.co.uk/reports/wxfacts/The-Polar-low---the-arctic-hurricane.htm

There is one argument that geo-magnetic activity may have an impact on polar surface temps - and thus this type of storm.

http://www.physics.otago.ac.nz/space/2008JA014029-pip.pdf

Finally, Wikipedia seems to have some pieces written on Polar Lows backed by some serious research:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyclone
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polar_low
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polar_cyclone

What is interesting for me is that what we are seeing is supposedly a winter climate activity. It certainly is not winter!

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