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dorlomin

NSIDC is the "big one", the closest to an official record we will get.

LRC

Dominoes crashing.
http://www.thearcticinstitute.org/2012/08/where-did-all-ice-go-arctic-ice-extent.html
Has a couple a good interactive IJIS graphes to show what is happening. That slop is still mighty steep.

Chris Reynolds

I suspect that this is what the BBC have been waiting for. Earlier this week they had an item on the weather on 10 O'Clock news in which the presented said we'd be hearing more about this in the coming days once the previous record was broken.

Seke Rob

There's no joy in having been right. The organized world's inertia is guaranteed to make it much worse... the water wars, the food wars and as always, hitting the poorest countries first. Thus far, 11,201,650 km square extent has disappeared in 2012 for the NSIDC measure, 450,000 more than 2008 did through this DOY: http://bit.ly/NSARMX

Anu

And so it begins:

Jim Williams

Is there a record of the coldest midwinter "general temperature" anywhere? Not so much interested in spot temps. Just in total heat (or lack thereof). The weather in Winter in temperate climates is notable in it's "outbreaks of cold Arctic air." Those outbreaks have become noticeably less cold, and I'd like to know what could be expected this Winter. In 2010 here in New England we had a long Winter, but it never was able to get really cold. At some point a long Winter will turn into a long Fall/Spring.

Mark_Steven1

@LRC they also have a few interactive graphs on volume from last week.
http://www.thearcticinstitute.org/2012/08/a-closer-look-at-2012-melting-season.html

johnm33

Scary looks like 8sd from old norm

Patrice Monroe Pustavrh

An interesting somehow funny, but sad comment on msnbc news about hitting record low:
nteresting feedback loop rarely considered.... Fossil fuel usage increases CO2 levels in atmosphere, CO2 increases cause increased world wide temperatures, "Global Warming," Global warming causes Arctic ice cap to retreat, exposing region to more "Drill Baby Drill" opportunities, Fossil fuel usage increases CO2 levels...

Chris Alemany

quick question (hopefully).

What day was the record set in 2007?

LRC

Interesting. The one denialist is getting absolutely lambasted. nice to see for a change.You could also add. Warming temps mean more AC usage means more power needed means more CO2 used (loop)

Al Rodger

Chris Alemany,
2007 minimum was 14th September. It's usually about mid-Sept but 2012 ain't acting usual.

Bill Fothergill

@ Chris A

Assuming my ancient eyes still work, the 2007 NSIDC daily SIE figure of 4.168702 million sq km was set on the 24th Sept.

(NB AS has been pointed out by various people, this is actually a running 5-day mean, and therefore might be out by a day or so from the actual day on which the min was reached.)

Please see
ftp://sidads.colorado.edu/pub/DATASETS/nsidc0192_seaice_trends_climo/ice-extent/nasateam/gsfc.nasateam.daily.extent.1978-2010.n
for the details


Cheers billthefrog

Chris Alemany

Excellent thanks.

SouBundanga

@LRC, when it gets too hot the ACs won't work so that'll help restrict CO2 emissions. (Nor will nuclear power plants so unless there are more renewables, I guess it cancels out.)

I like the heat, but not that hot.

Back to ice - it doesn't look as if it's going to stop disappearing for a bit yet.

Enjoy your holidays, Neven. Your blog is wonderful. (Long time reader, first time poster.)

TenneyNaumer

Wasn't there a second minimum in October 2011?

Al Rodger

I think this is the official NSIDC daily numbers. Hey, it even has "final" in the URL!
2007, 09, 12, 4.23674,
2007, 09, 13, 4.22048,
2007, 09, 14, 4.16070,
2007, 09, 15, 4.17382,
2007, 09, 16, 4.17632,
2007, 09, 17, 4.17436,
2007, 09, 18, 4.16674,
2007, 09, 19, 4.20153,
2007, 09, 20, 4.21560,
2007, 09, 21, 4.22680,
2007, 09, 22, 4.24217,
2007, 09, 23, 4.20372,
2007, 09, 24, 4.18526,
2007, 09, 25, 4.23374,
2007, 09, 26, 4.26517,
ftp://sidads.colorado.edu/DATASETS/NOAA/G02135/north/daily/data/NH_seaice_extent_final.csv

Ac A

Hi Neven,

I have updated the Kinnard et al. 2011 1400y figure up to 2012, see here:

http://ac.blog.sme.sk/c/306419/Arkticky-rekord-padol.html

Alex

Bill Fothergill

@ Al Rodger & Chris A

Yep, sorry about that mis-info. Al Rodger had it correct, as I managed to mis-read the 14th Sept - 18th Sept as all beginning with 4.17xxxx

The 14th was 4.159227 m sq km.

Now if I can just find my white stick and the guide dog...


billthefrog

TenneyNaumer

Oops, sorry, that was the area graph:

http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/arctic.sea.ice.interactive.html

Day 253 was the minimum in 2011.

LRC

@Alex: Like that last chart. Gets the point across. and for the rest. Too much looking charts are very damaging to your health and sanity.
PS I needn't worry about my. Lost it many yrs ago.

TenneyNaumer

The NSIDC graph is fixed now.

Neven

I have updated the Kinnard et al. 2011 1400y figure up to 2012, see here:

I don't know why, but that actually made me laugh, so thanks, Alexander. Coincidentally I'm using the Kinnard graph for the piece that will be published tomorrow. But I might use yours too for a separate blog post in coming weeks. So thanks again!

idunno

@Alex. Love that last chart, and would like to see it distributed further.

Can anybody here post it up in a more accessible format?

Neven

Thanks, Tenney, post has been updated with an animation.

Espen Olsen

Neven,

Been very busy all day, but what is wrong with this graph? Or has it gone completely beserk up north?'

http://nsidc.org/data/seaice_index/images/daily_images/N_stddev_timeseries.png

Mark_Steven1

apparently NSIDC took the Aug 25 chart down and now shows the Aug 24 chart which displays the usual 2007/2012 format
http://nsidc.org/data/seaice_index/images/daily_images/N_stddev_timeseries.png

ArcticM

does anyone know/can explain why NOAA shows significantly higher ice extent?
http://www.natice.noaa.gov/ims/images/ims_data.jpg

Their satellite image also shows ice north of the Berin Strait where NSIDC etc don't show ice.
http://www.natice.noaa.gov/pub/ims/ims_gif/DATA/cursnow.gif

Just curious. Would appreciate any explanation. Thanks.

Espen Olsen

ArcticM, I believe it is because it is a map made for navigation of ordinary ships/vessels, without special ice reinforcement?

Wipneus

Re: Kinnard et al. graph

I do not think that the graph shows minimum extent.
Putting the near minimum value of 2012 in, is not correct.

JohnRussell40

I'm worried. There's a big Arctic conference going on in Alaska at the moment but, as I've just tweeted, they seem more interested in the silver lining than the big black cloud: http://www.alaskadispatch.com/content/live-2012-arctic-imperative-summit

I quote: "Climate change is causing Alaska’s Arctic to change at an unprecedented rate that will bring more shipping and development to the Far North. Declining sea ice means more viable and efficient shipping corridors. There is also a growing interest in tapping the large estimated reserves of oil and gas in the Arctic Ocean off the northern shores of Alaska.

The United States lags behind the rest of the Arctic nations in planning for the implications of a changing Arctic. Non-Arctic nations, such as China, are showing increased interest. Arctic development is coming. Now is the time to start shaping this opportunity responsibly.

TenneyNaumer

What is really amazing about this year's melt is that at this time of year the slope of the curve is so extreme and shows no sign of leveling. We know it has to level at some point, but the last two days' melt were 119,219 and 148,125 square kilometres per day, while the 2012 average was 99,029. This boggles the mind.

michael sweet

ArcticM,

There is a lot of ice in the Chutchi Sea that is very low concentration. NSIDC shows as water and NOAA shows as ice. NOAA charts are for shipping and are more conservative. This ice is expected to melt very soon.

Last winter a lot of multi-year ice was transported into that area. Perhaps that ice is lasting a little longer.

Twemoran

Alex

The graphic is wonderful!

Terry

L. Hamilton

My best guess for the NSIDC August mean (defined as mean of Aug 1-31 daily values) is 4.89m km^2. If so, that would be more than 400k below any previous August. The mean for just the first 24 days in this month already is 200k lower than all August 2007.

Philippe Terrier

"I don't know why, but that actually made me laugh, so thanks, Alexander. Coincidentally I'm using the Kinnard graph for the piece that will be published tomorrow. But I might use yours too for a separate blog post in coming weeks. So thanks again!"

It is a very good Idea to complete de Kinnard's figure with the 2012 record. However, I think that it deserves a better method than just adding the 2012 value.

Here is the supplementary materials of the Kinnard's article:

http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v479/n7374/extref/nature10581-s1.pdf

figure S1 shows the recent values. It seems that the "late summer" values (August) are a little bit higher than NSIDC record for the corresponding year. We should try to match the 1979-2000 NSIDC data with the Kinnard's data and then show the 2012 record with the appropriate scaling.

All the Kinnard's data are available online:

http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v479/n7374/full/nature10581.html?WT.ec_id=NATURE-20111124#/supplementary-information

dabize

Soulbundanga,

As someone who teaches a university physiology course, I can assure you that when it gets too hot for AC to work, we'll all have perished of heat stroke. And the reason for this isn't as hard to understand as "rocket science".

One of the more alarming aspects of AGW is the mortal vulnerability of humans to hot, humid weather. We are much closer to the survival "line" than we think, as a spell of very hot (110F/45C) weather at 100% relative humidity will KILL us if we don't have AC or a cooler body of water handy (I suppose we can still dig holes in the ground). This is because evaporation does not work as a heat removal mechanism in a saturated atmosphere.

So think of the highest tolerable temperature in a humid heat wave with a power outage as the highest fever you can afford to run and still survive....................

Slightly OT, I know, but it is worth remembering this...........

Philippe Terrier

"I do not think that the graph shows minimum extent.
Putting the near minimum value of 2012 in, is not correct."

Yes, Kinnard's extent is for August (probably average). The 20th century data are a combination of a russian reconstruction, and the well known "crysophere" reconstruction ( http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/seasonal.extent.1900-2010.png )

Chris Reynolds

Alex,

Regards the extension to Kinnard et al.

I couldn't help but look into it further. The Kinnard paper states "reconstructed late-summer Arctic ice
extent". Its value is therefore a bit ambiguous but that falls into the pink error ranges.

Bill Chapman's long series has extents of around 11M km^2 from 1870 to the 1950s when the drop off begins. But that's a summer average, which I think is July August September. This implies the Kinnard data is more a late season average, rather than being comparable to a singe date figure.

So is it reasonable to compare a spot date with Kinnard's figures?

LRC

@ Chris: I do believe the point Alex is trying to make is that we have fallen off a cliff. Not only that but we are so far down that fall, trying to compare what is going on now to any time in the past is pure nonsense. From an illustration getting a message across that is a purely legitimate exercise.
I for one totally agree with what Alex did, because to think we can get this plunge turned around even if we shut every CO2 emitter down right now if foolhardy. What we are seeing is nature telling us you abused me for 2 centuries, it is now payback time.

S Latham

Looks like NSIDC has reverted to their earlier graph....

Chris Reynolds

Jim Williams,

I can't help with general temperatures as you suggest because the patterns are complex so you'd have to select a region and period over which to average temperatures.

There is research for the UK that shows that the closest analogue for the severe winter of 2009/10 is the winter of 1963. Yet '63 was a considerably colder winter. It is suggested that the severity of 2009/10 was tempered by GW. I forget the name of the paper, but can dig it out if anyone needs. Hope nobody does as I'm stuffed if I can find it!

Coincidentally I've just been looking at recent atmospheric changes in the Arctic. I've used NCEP/NCAR to do a timeseries of temperatures from 70degN to the pole. This shows (assuming NCEP/NCAR is correct that surface temperatures have gone up from around -18 (very variable) in the 1970s to around -14deg C in recent years, any cold Arctic outbreak would be commensurately tempered.

There is a link between cold outbreaks and Siberian snowfall as shown by Judah Cohen. Given the very low snow cover in Siberia...
http://climate.rutgers.edu/snowcover/chart_anom.php?ui_set=1&ui_region=eurasia&ui_month=7
It is possble that merely returning to normal levels over Siberia this autumn will cause a sufficient snow advance to trigger Cohen's mechanism. This may be exacerbated if we see snowfall as a result of storms caused by the current Arctic Ocean open water venting heat in autumn. The sea ice area anomaly is now substantially below that of 2007.

However it's too early to say what this winter will bring. Dr Cohen got it right last winter, predicting a mild winter. From my reading he was the only forecaster to get 2009/10 right, and his is the only coherent mechanistic expanation for that event. Here in Europe there was a cold outbreak this year but that was due to a different preocess I described at my blog here:
http://dosbat.blogspot.co.uk/2012/03/cold-winters-from-theory-into-practice.html

John Mason

It's the shape of the curve that is more worrying.....

Timothy Chase

dabize wrote:

One of the more alarming aspects of AGW is the mortal vulnerability of humans to hot, humid weather. We are much closer to the survival "line" than we think, as a spell of very hot (110F/45C) weather at 100% relative humidity will KILL us if we don't have AC or a cooler body of water handy (I suppose we can still dig holes in the ground). This is because evaporation does not work as a heat removal mechanism in a saturated atmosphere.
A paper along these lines came out a couple of years back. It is open access at the website for the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences:
Peak heat stress, quantified by the wet-bulb temperature TW, is surprisingly similar across diverse climates today. TW never exceeds 31 °C. Any exceedence of 35 °C for extended periods should induce hyperthermia in humans and other mammals, as dissipation of metabolic heat becomes impossible. While this never happens now, it would begin to occur with global-mean warming of about 7 °C, calling the habitability of some regions into question. With 11–12 °C warming, such regions would spread to encompass the majority of the human population as currently distributed. Eventual warmings of 12 °C are possible from fossil fuel burning.

Sherwood, S. C. and M. Huber. An adaptability limit to climate change due to heat stress. PNAS 107, 9552–9555 (2010)
http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2010/04/26/0913352107

Lord Soth

I just got off a five week vacation, and this year I promised my wife no email or internet during vacation. It was nice to take over a month off and ditch all the modern technology.

I got home this morning, just to see how 2012 was doing since I last check in the middle of July.

I could not belive, what I saw; I am still in a state of shock. I have a month of posts to catch up, and try to understand how this has all happened.

Well I guess my 4.3 minimun guest was out of the window, and about a month early.

Have a great Vacation Neven. Hopefully when you get back, there will still be ice to report on.

Timothy Chase

PS It is worth noting, though, that famine due to drought brought will be far greater threat to humanity with warming considerably lower than 7°C. Parts of the globe being rendered uninhabitable due to high wet-bulb temperatures is a much more distant concern.

Al Rodger

Timothy Chase,
The 'steamed doughnut' Earth is a sort of mirror image of the 'snowball' Earth (say I, hoping to sound more on-topic), and it is just as deadly. To amplify the comment of dabize, when the wet-bulb temperature matches your body heat, not only does perspiration stop cooling you, but the air's humidity starts condensing onto you heating you up.

Chris Reynolds

LRC,

"I do believe the point Alex is trying to make is that we have fallen off a cliff."

Oh yes, I do appreciate that. I'm just trying to make sure it's watertight because if it's not, the denialists, who so often mistake being awkward for being intelligent, will pick holes in it.

PS the paper that discusses the tempering influence of GW on the UK's 2009/10 winter is:
Cattiaux et al, 2010, "Winter 2010 in Europe: A cold extreme in a warming climate."
"Thus winter 2010 can be considered as an example of a cold extreme superimposed on a warming climate."

And I misremembered - it's Europe, not just the UK.

LRC

@ Timothy: For NA anyway, most of west of the Mississippi River is desert that is being heavily irrigated with ... snow reserves. The warmer we get the less snow falls and the faster it melts. no more water for the major river systems in the west (also putting the Hover dam out of commission for power proposes).
Even for those who get monsoons. Their traditional weather systems could be gravely effected because the northern jet stream might not suck those systems into the same areas nor at the same levels. The northern jet stream is heavily influenced by what goes on in the Arctic. To what extent. No one can honestly say.Debating which is worse. Dry or wet (as a Canadian I am an expert at that debate) it will all be very bad all around.
I have been reading where some are still bring up the ice holding for another 2 decades or more. I say we should count ourselves very luck if we do not see ice free before '15. I think it was only Hansen who in '07 said we may see it by '12. As far as I am concerned he was frighteningly too close to the truth for my peace of mind.

Lennartvdl

So what could this imply for future sea level rise? Hansen also thinks most current projections seriously underestimate the risk of 2 meter or more by 2100 and, by my inference, 8-10 meter by 2300. In Holland the official science-organizations (PBL-KNMI) don't seem to take this seriously, but at our peril, I suspect.

Benjamin Franz

@TenneyNaumer : The continued lack of a substantial slowdown in melting put me in mind of this old scene from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QJr-JYejg_0#t=207s

Walt

FYI: While the single-day number is now below 2007, NSIDC uses a 5-day trailing average, which is still not quite below the 2007 5-day average. The reason we do this is because the sea ice data includes noise due to weather effects and other things, so there will be day-to-day ups and downs that are due to the characteristics of the data and not real changes in ice. Five days averages out this synoptic scale noise and, in our view, gives a more robust estimate.

For those wondering about the NIC estimates (as can be seen here: http://nsidc.org/data/masie/, NIC produces operational ice analyses, focused on using many data sources of varying quality and quantity to detect as much ice as possible, even small concentrations. NSIDC's passive microwave data may miss some low concentrations (it uses a 15% concentration cutoff), particularly during melt. So it's not unusual for NIC/MASIE to show more ice, though it's more than in other years because the low concentration ice is scattered over a much larger area.

An important point is that NIC/MASIE, while picking up more ice, is produced via manual analysis and the data quality and quantity varies. So the product is not necessarily consistent, particularly from year-to-year. NSIDC's product is all automated and consistently processed throughout the record. So there may be some bias, but the bias is consistent throughout the timeseries. This means that comparison of different years, trend values, and interannual variability are more accurate using NSIDC.

Hope this info helps.

Walt Meier
NSIDC

NLPatents

Has anyone seen any daily sea ice volume numbers from PIOMAS or Cryosat?

Just seems like those must be scary low right now given all of the other records.

Are people thinking sub 3,000 km^3 for August average?

Sub 2,000 km^3 for one day minimum?

Superman

JohnRussel40,

"I quote: "Climate change is causing Alaska’s Arctic to change at an unprecedented rate that will bring more shipping and development to the Far North. Declining sea ice means more viable and efficient shipping corridors. There is also a growing interest in tapping the large estimated reserves of oil and gas in the Arctic Ocean off the northern shores of Alaska.

The United States lags behind the rest of the Arctic nations in planning for the implications of a changing Arctic. Non-Arctic nations, such as China, are showing increased interest. Arctic development is coming. Now is the time to start shaping this opportunity responsibly."

Agreed. That was the basis of the gist of my earlier comments about the Arctic ice melting having little adverse impact on the American public. The people with whom I have discussed the topic can't wait to go for Summer cruises to the North Pole. The business community focuses on the improved logistics for extracting fossil fuels from the Arctic. The only groups concerned about the implications of the melting ice appear to be blogs like these and their followers.

That's why I believe additional metrics that relate the melting ice to more immediate concerns are required to bring the seriousness of this situation to the attention of the public. Showing some linkage to methane release, and the dangers associated with extensive methane release, might be what's needed. Of course, the spinmeisters might also distort this as an opportunity to harvest a cheap and plentiful energy source.

LRC

@ Lennartvdl: As he seems to be the closest at some of his projections that is the scary part.
I don't know Cryosat off hand but I do know that PIOMAS does not use daily numbers. It takes the monthly sat numbers adds in I believe buoy numbers and human researcher numbers and at a specific date each month puts them through their on algorithm and out comes the month number and then they just draw a smooth line through their points.

NLPatents

I've been trying to figure out what will happen once the 1000 km^3 of extra ice that is melting every year isn't there to melt.

This is all surface heat, so if it can't go into melting surface ice, it will go into raising the surface temperature.

If the surface is considered to be the top 10 metres or 30 feet, and the Arctic Ocean is 14,000,000 km^2 in surface area.

We get a volume of 140,000 km^3 which will rise in temperature by about the latent heat of fusion of 1000 km^3 of ice - which will raise the entire surface temperature of the arctic by about 8/14 degrees Celsius per year until a new equilibrium is reached.

So in 5 years after all the ice is gone, the surface water temperature will be up on average 3 degrees over the entire Arctic Ocean to account for the extra heat transfer associated with melting the extra ice volume only.

Does that sound right?

Al Rodger

Hi Lennartvdl,
Firstly, you will appreciate that Sea Ice floats so it's melting does not raise sea level.
Saying that, the energy flux that melts Sea Ice today may find a new application melting Greenland's ice cap. Such a 1,000 cu km melt would raise sea levels by an extra 300mm per century.
A view that the warmed Arctic may result in vastly greater melting (and it probably will), begs the question "How much vastly greater?"
Here is where I get a bit sceptical of Jim H's multi-metre sea level rise, which are scary in the extreme if correct. If all the energy currently going into the oceans was diverted into melting Greenland & Antarctica, you'd manage a 6 metre rise per century. Is that possible? Only if you can fill all the oceans with icebergs.
Now with icebergs, no energy is required to raise sea level. It just has to 'calve' into the ocean. Indeed, a mass calving of land ice is the only way for multi-metre sea level rise that I can undersand.
On this view I am quite strongly wedded being backed up by most literature I read on the subject and so far having not yet heard any reasons to doubt it (& have had a few internet dust-up as a result).

Chris Reynolds

PIOMAS release the previous month's data early every month. They're pretty quick, I last downloaded on 3/8/12.

Historical and detailed data from PIOMAS is available here:
http://psc.apl.washington.edu/zhang/IDAO/data_piomas.html
I've been working on that with the help of some other posters here. I'll be blogging on some results using that data to look at why the PIOMAS seasonal cycle changed from 2010.

The following graphic use PIOMAS grid box data to calculate the contributions of thickness categories of ice to overall volume. The graphic shows the loss of thick ice after spring 2010 as seen in September.
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8301/7858690496_5e0c1ae71d_o.jpg

Al Rodger

Wowee!!
Chris Reynolds,
You have some seriously interesting data there in that graph.
Now, I'm not a fan of circles and I think the actual cu km would be far far better than proportions, but that graph has one heck of a story to tell. Brilliant work you and your 'others'.

OldLeatherneck
Quoting Superman: Showing some linkage to methane release, and the dangers associated with extensive methane release, might be what's needed.


I've been trying to follow the increasing methane emissions in the artic regions. In doing that, I regularly look for updates of the satellite maps of Northern Hemisphere CH4 concentrations posted by Dr. Yurganov. Today, I noticed that in the past week or so, he just released a letter describing the two satellite systems (AIRS & IASI) used to measure CH4 concentrations in the upper and lower troposphere respectively. This downloadable has a number of charts indicating numerous sources of methane in the arctic regions. What is alarming to me is how much higher the CH4 concentrations are in this regions. To quote from Dr. Yurganov's letter:

Generally, Northern and Southern hemispheric methane averages have been growing similarly; however, in 2009 and in 2011-2012 Northern Hemisphere methane was increasing faster. IASI data for the autumn months clearly indicate Eurasian sector of the Arctic Ocean as a significant methane emitter after 2009. Also, the distribution of high methane mixing ratios correlated with the locations of the predicted deposits of methane hydrates, as well as with shallow areas of the Arctic Ocean. In October 2011, the maximal methane concentrations were found over Kara and Laptev seas. IASI data show an increase in methane levels in autumn in the past three years, by 25 ppb over the Eurasian shelf, by 23 ppb over the North American shelf, and by 20 ppb over land between 50º N and 70º N for both the Eastern and Western hemispheres.

The full letter with downloadable charts may be found here:

http://asl.umbc.edu/pub/yurganov/methane/YurganovCCL.pdf

Neven

Hope this info helps.

It definitely does, Walt! Thanks a lot for taking time to drop by and explain. Much appreciated.

Superman

OldLeatherneck,

"I've been trying to follow the increasing methane emissions in the artic regions. In doing that, I regularly look for updates of the satellite maps of Northern Hemisphere CH4 concentrations posted by Dr. Yurganov."

Good start. But, his caveats about accuracy emphasize the need for more confirmatory ground-based measurements. We should be flooding the Arctic with sensors, to get the highest spatial and temporal resolution measurements we can get, of methane and other critical substances. This is the defining problem of our time, and it should reflect a commensurate budget.

OldLeatherneck

Superman,

I wholeheartedly agree that this is to quote you "the defining problem of our time". However, it is evident from Dr. Yurganov's existing data that the Radiative Forcing from methane in the arctic regions is increasing at a faster rate than it is globally. Until this CH4 is dispersed globally, it will have a greater impact on trapping the heat across the artic, hence more ice melt of Greenland, more permafrost melt in Siberia and more warming of the arctic sea.

This seems to be a self-reinforcing postive feedback.

Artful Dodger

Welcome back, Lord Soth.

If I may suggest, catch up with the Arctic storms.

Cheers,
Lodger

TenneyNaumer

Dr. Meier, that was a great comment!

Thanks for taking the time to explain it all to us!

Dan Satterfield

I am returning from the AMS broadcast meteorology conf. In Boston, and Dr Serreze told me Friday morning that the melt is now in second place. Am a member of the AMS comm. on Station Science and we had him as part of our session on Friday.

GeoffBeacon

Al Roger

If all the energy currently going into the oceans was diverted into melting Greenland & Antarctica, you'd manage a 6 metre rise per century. Is that possible? Only if you can fill all the oceans with icebergs.

Memory may have failed me but I thought Jim Hansen had described evidence in the records of fast sea rises. So perhaps the oceans were filled with icebergs.

idunno

Hi those with graphing skills,

ATTN Chris Reynolds post above...

Is there a way to communicate that more clearly? It looks to me like some jaw-dropping new information, which is hard for me to read.

(I appreciate, Chris, that this is because I is right thick, but then so is some other buggers. And us thickoes still have votes.)

Cheers.

ArcticM

Thanks Michael Sweet and Espen Olsen for the explanation on my question about difference between NSIDC and IMS graphs/maps further up in the comments.
I also found this explanation by Walt Meier which gives a nice summary.

Walt Meier says:
August 24, 2012 at 4:12 pm
A quick clarification on the different sources: the quote above refers to concentration, which will affect \”area\” estimates. NSIDC uses \”extent\”, which counts any ice above 15%, so a concentration bias won\’t affect the detection of ice extent except at low concentrations. There is still some ice missed by passive microwave sensors using the extent threshold, but it\’s generally much less than for area. NSIDC and the IMS/MASIE extent estimates generally agree well, with NSIDC being a bit lower. This year is unusual in that there is a lot of very low concentration ice in the Chukchi Sea that passive microwave is not seeing, but IMS/MASIE analysis has been counting as ice. That ice will likely melt completely in the next couple of weeks and the area will open up in IMS/MASIE.

A key point is that IMS/MASIE and other operational sources, such as from NIC, use a variety of data sources that are inconsistent in quantity and quality, as well as subjective human analysis to create maps of ice. A primary purpose of these maps is to support navigation in ice-infested waters. So they tend to be conservative and count even areas sparsely covered with ice as \”ice-covered\”. The passive microwave data is produced by completely automated processing that is consistent over the entire record dating back to 1979. Thus, while absolute estimates of ice cover may be biased, the trends and variability (e.g., comparing records, determining a record low extent) is more accurate than from using operational sources.

Walt Meier
NSIDC

Apocalypse4Real

Old Leatherneck:

"I've been trying to follow the increasing methane emissions in the Arctic regions. In doing that, I regularly look for updates of the satellite maps of Northern Hemisphere CH4 concentrations posted by Dr. Yurganov. Today, I noticed that in the past week or so, he just released a letter describing the two satellite systems (AIRS & IASI) used to measure CH4 concentrations in the upper and lower troposphere respectively. This downloadable has a number of charts indicating numerous sources of methane in the arctic regions. What is alarming to me is how much higher the CH4 concentrations are in this regions."

Dr. Yurganov may still be preparing that letter/paper for publication so we may want to go easy on dissemination.

that said, Dr. Yurganov and I have been corresponding in regard to his IASI imagery and the Giovanni runs I did this summer for the entire AIRS CH4 data set in 10 day increments.

He graciously gave me permission to post his IASI 10 day imagery that he has produced so far in conjunction with the AIRS data. The results of this work in process are posted here:

https://sites.google.com/site/apocalypse4realmethane2012/home/2012-vs-2011-airs-ch4-359-hpa

The initial page is the AIRS 10 day imagery at 359 hPa for 2012 and 2011. You will need to scroll down to see the comparison to date.

The IASI data is displayed in the other tabs.

I will continue to update this as the data becomes available.

From what I see, it is time to take accelerated methane release seriously.

Glenn Tamblyn

Wow Chris. Cool data. Although that particular graph is a little hard for people to parse who don't really follow the ice.

However...What would be really cool is a graph, along the lines of the extent and area graphs, of average ice thickness over time. That seems to be the one missing piece in the arsenal of graphs.

George Phillies

With respect to mountain snow, recall that if it falls as rain, or melts sooner, it still flows downhill. Indeed, if the precipitation in depth of water does not change, if it falls as rain rather than snow more of it flows downhill because it does not spend months ablating first. Only if precipitation amounts change does the water flow down local rivers change a great deal.

Chris Reynolds

Al, Idunno, Glenn,

That graph will be followed by others and more analysis.

The PIOMAS model has grid boxes across the northern hemisphere, 43200 in total. The graphic shows the total volume proportion for each grid box that reports a certain thickness. The thickness 'buckets' are listed below the plot. So for example 2.00 is actually ice 2.00 to 2.24999... and the propotional volume contribution of that ice to total volume. The graphic shows how in 2007 a lot of thick ice survived the melt - so the light white region grew as the proportion of thick ice contributed to what we left at the end of the season. But in 2010 there was a massive loss of thick ice, which was maintained in 2011. 2007 was largely a horizontal ice loss, 2010 mas largely a loss of thickness. I don't have this data for 2012, but the same thing has happened this year.

Yes I've produced time series and more graphics. Hopefully there'll be a server ready with timeseries of distribution plots (like Bremen's images) showing various thickness based metrics.

I need a bit more time to finalise things - expect more in early September.

Apocalypse4Real,

Don't know if you've seen it but you may want to check out the following blog post.
http://dosbat.blogspot.co.uk/2012/01/arctic-methane-what-can-airs-tell-us.html
There's a follow on blog post linked to at the bottom of that post with response to criticisms by Dr Yurganov.

Bob Wallace

Glenn - Neven produced an average thickness graph some time back.

Here's the latest version that I found. Last update - May 2012.

http://neven1.typepad.com/blog/2012/05/piomas-may-2012.html

Glenn Tamblyn

Bob Wallace.

Thanks, thats really cool. Will be good to see what it looks like by october. 2007 may have been the big year for areal measures but 2010 sure looks like the break out year for thickness. A real regime change of some sort.

Interesting too, it bottoms out in late October, not September. So while refreeze is starting to lift the area metrics, total volume is still decreasing - presumably bottom melt in the warmer regions.

johnm33

I was looking around trying to find something on what happens to the kinetic energy of rotation[290kph at 80N 0kph at NP] when i came across this
"Striping of Oxygen from the Oceans
Another disquieting effect of methane release is related to what happens when you bubble a gas through a liquid. The surface of each bubble acts as a semi-permeable membrane. Gases diffuse across the surface of the bubble in proportion to the difference in their concentration on either side of the 'membrane'. In the case of a bubble of methane, the oxygen from the water diffuses into the bubble and is carried to the surface of the ocean. In other words, an extensive evolution of methane gas from the ocean bottom would scrub the oxygen out of the water. Methane which remains dissolved in the water reacts with the oxygen, depleting it and forming Carbon dioxide. Not only do you have a depletion of oxygen but also an acidification of the water from the Carbon dioxide. If this happens, all water breathing life, may die and the Arctic will become an anaerobic cess pool. This adds a further dimension. All the dead sea life, under anaerobic conditions, will also liberate methane as it breaks down not to mention oxides of nitrogen and sulphur. There is also the possibility that under deep ocean pressure, methane will dissolve in large amounts in the water and as currents bring this water closer to the surface, the methane may start to bubble out, causing an upwelling like an air lift, far from the original source of the methane. This will pull more methane rich water upwards to release its burden of methane suddenly into the atmosphere."
a short extract from here
http://mtkass.blogspot.co.nz/2008/07/arctic-melting-no-problem.html

Peter Ellis

Glenn: Not bottom melt - it's a simple consequence of the fact that when you add in a lot of new, thin ice during the re-freeze, the average thickness will go down. Think of the average height of a bunch of adults, compared to the average height of those same adults plus all their children.

Twemoran

john33

I don't need another reason to worry :(

Terry

Chris Reynolds

Bob,

Here's the latest calculated thickness up to July 2012.
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8006/7706181448_897bc7f87c_o.jpg

Peter is correct. The ice growth in the autumn spreads rapidly in area but takes a while to thicken up.

There's a similar oddity in the maximum thickness. Max happens around mid May, yet max volume is in March. This is because as the ice recedes in spring the peripheral thinner ice melts out bringing the average calculated thickness up despite volume falling.

Bob Wallace

Here's a link directly to the thickness graph...

http://neven1.typepad.com/.a/6a0133f03a1e37970b01676684f808970b-pi

Perhaps when Neven comes back he can update this. And add it to one of the graph pages.

Twemoran

OT

On my daily pilgrimage to Dr. Muenchow's site,

http://icyseas.org/2012/06/19/nares-strait-ice-bridge-and-arctic-ice-thickness-change/

there was a link to Dr. Pelto's article about the Steensby calving event with great images and insights, and a nice nod to ASI.

http://glacierchange.wordpress.com/2012/08/25/steensby-glacier-calving-event-and-retreat-northern-greenland/#comment-1355

Terry

OldLeatherneck

Chris,

RE: Methane

We know that methane is oxidized by Hydroxyl. I've been lead to believe that Hydroxyl is formed by the interaction of sunlight and water vapor. If that is in fact a truism, it would explain why there appears to be less methane in the atmosphere above the arctic in the summer months. Conversely, in the darker months, there would be less hydroxyl to deplete the methane.

Chris Reynolds

OldLeatherneck,

Well reasoned - you're correct. It's the mechanism mentioned in a paper I've read.

Espen Olsen

IJIS 4043438 km2

Climate Changes

@OldLeatherneck

Thanks for that little snippet :) If true it also explains recent increase in Noctilucent Clouds's extent and intensity. Recent data confirmed that the nuclei needed for water to condense at 80km average altitude comes from space dust/meteors. However, where the water itself comes from is a bit of a mistery. It is thought that CH4 may be the water source and the process you pointed to would indeed cause an increase of water in the Stratosphere over the summer months which would in turn create NLC's which are typically seen from late May to August.

Lennartvdl

Al Rodger, Geoff Beacon,

Regarding potential SLR Hansen says in 'Storms of my Grandchildren':
"If we burn all the fossil fuels, the ice sheets almost surely will melt entirely, with the final sea level rise about 75 meters, with most of that possibly occurring within a time scale of centuries."

I read this as meaning something like 40 meters in about 800 years, so about 5 meters/century on average.

He also writes:
"It requires less than 10 watt-years of energy averaged over the planet, to melt enough glacial ice to raise sea level one meter and increase the meltwater temperature to the global average ocean surface temperature. Once ice sheets begin to disintegrate rapidly, the planetary energy imbalance is likely to reach several watts. So even if the entire volume of ice on the planet, equivalent to about 75 meters of sea level, were disgorged to the ocean, the planetary energy imbalance would provide enough energy to melt all of the ice within a century or so."

About 20 meters of SLR in about 4 centuries has been inferred from Meltwater Pulse 1A during the last deglaciation. So even during natural warming 5 m/century seems to have occurred. There is less ice now, but the forcing is much stronger/faster, according to Hansen, so 5 m/century seems a serious risk for coming centuries. Unless Hansen goes very wrong somewhere, which would be good to know.

Apocalypse4Real

Re: Methane:

Chris: Thanks for the dosbat link, I am indebted to its sharing the AIRS 400 hPa monthly imagery to go through the 10 day average data on Giovanni, and have read Yurganov's responses. Hat-tip to dosbats author.

Oldleatherneck: The hydroxyl assumptions are valid, Chris, I have the paper saved somewhere...I am still thinking about the linkages between cold vs warm air and its impact on change from CH4 to CO2.

The updated thickness map is great - kudos to those who provided the update.

johnm33

I always thought that whilst greenland melt may be quicker than most experts are prepared to say, due to summer rain etc. .The real threat comes from the west antarctic peninsular, there's really not much between the ice and the sea and given a melt season like the one coming to an end in the north we could see a lot of ice in the water very quickly. There's enough ice there for a 6m rise and i can't think of a credible reason why 1/6th of it couldn't just slide off, given the right/wrong weather, in a season.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:AntarcticBedrock.jpg

Wipneus

Less then 4!

2012, 08, 24, 4.08920
2012, 08, 25, 3.97332

Al Rodger

Lennartvdl,
This is the Hansen & Sato 2011 paper that it is all about. The broad thrust of the H&S2011 thesis is something I would sign up to any day. Where I get contrary with it is with his figure 7 where the rate of SLR in the final years of the 2100s is approaching 250mm per annum. I could go into the development of that value & where I see the problems arising with it, but for brevity will sidestep this.)
Importantly, H&S2011 do not address energy constraints but you point out he does in his book (not read by me). Hansen's 10 W.year = 1 m SLR = 160 zJ which is perhaps high. I'd reckon to 120 zJ = 1 m SLR. So the one unknown remaining is the TOA energy imbalance. We can take as a proxy measurement Ocean Heat Content that is rising about 7 zJ pa or 700 zJ/century = 6 m SLR/century. Thus the Hansen quote "...within a century or so." should in my book read ...a millenium or so.
The TOA energy imbalance isn't going to be that variable (with a couple of caveats here). So I cannot reconcile this part of H&S2011 with my numbers

A recent paper proposed (ref not to hand) half the MP1A was explained by the meltdown of saddle in the NA ice cap accelerating as it dropped in altitude. I wouldn't be surprised to hear that the other half of the MP1A was icebergs, speculatively a mass calving because of SLR?

Lennartvdl

Al Rodger,

If you're right, that would make Hansen's book a little less scary, and peer review for books a good idea.

Your 250 mm/annum however seems too high. About 25 mm/annum sounds more like the rate Hansen was thinking about when he tried to show how 5 meters of SLR by 2100 could be reached by a 10 year doubling time, starting with 1 mm of SLR from the ice sheets between 2005-2015.

He also writes in 'Storms':
"Let's say that Earth's energy imbalance is 1 watt per square meter, with 90 percent of the energy going into the ocean. If all that energy were used to melt ice, sea level would rise 10 centimeters per year (or 10 meters per century). For an Earth energy imbalance of 0.5 watt, these numbers would be half as large."

So the questions are:
- how large is the current energy imbalance?
- how much of that can go into melting ice?
- how will that affect the energy imbalance?
- how will other forcings affect the energy imbalance?

I will have to look into H&S2011 again to see what their answers were.

Al Rodger

Steady the Buffs!!
A pronouncement from Walt Meier of NSIDC has been made at RealClimate as follows:-

These are daily values, not the 5-day average, which is not quite at a record yet. Using a 5-day average removes some of the noise due to weather and other effects that cause small errors in the daily values. Thus the 5-day estimate is a more robust measure of sea ice changes. We will make an announcement on our web site when we have passed the current record: http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/

Walt Meier
NSIDC

So the referee still has yet to blow the whistle on the Domino #8.

Lennartvdl,
The link to the reference that wasn't to hand = Gregoire et al 2012.
And I'm sure you will agree with me that it is far nicer when it's the other fella's turn to make the arithmetical error.
25mm x 100 years = ? We all make them. :-)

Seke Rob

Al-R, maybe my memory has gone further than I can remember, but pretty sure Walt Meier posted the same/very similar message on this blog and this is popped out be thr righthand search box:

Comment by Walt on “Record dominoes 8: NSIDC daily sea ice extent” FYI: While the single-day number is now below 2007, NSIDC uses a 5-day trailing average, which is... Walt

Posted by: Walt | August 25, 2012 at 21:52


Seke Rob

With Walt Meier's qualification of the products under his auspices, can live with how MASIE does the yoyo [and has a serious safety for mariners]

23-Aug-2012 2012236 5012112,93
24-Aug-2012 2012237 5044215,77
25-Aug-2012 2012238 4912251,89

That's -132K for the last day and makes it -72K average for the last 7 days.

Lennartvdl

Al Rodger,

You're right off course, I mixed up, still being amazed by the power of exponential growth.

So 250 mm/year by 2100 indeed seems more than even Hansen himself thinks possible. Isn't that why he introduces 'the iceberg cooling effect' as a negative feedback during the second half of the century?

In a model run including this effect he estimates about 80 cm of SLR from 2065-2080. So assuming a constant rate after that this would mean about 4.5 m/century, about 2.7 m by 2100 and 7.2 m by 2200.

Current energy imbalance seems to be about 0.75 W/m2 and almost 10% goes into melting ice. According to Hansen this would imply SLR of 75 cm/century (from ice sheets).

But with emissions continuing and positive feedbacks coming into play the imbalance will probably grow: apparently about six times in Hansen's model. Would that seem possible?

Villabolo

So now begins the positive feed back loops.

1. Albedo change in both the Arctic Ocean and Siberia.

2. Permafrost melt with an increasing area of the tundra releasing methane and increased metabolism of methanogens as soil temperature increases.

3. ???

Villabolo

Espen Olsen

IJIS: 4000625 km2

Espen Olsen

Area: 2.643 km2

Seke Rob

Dang... that doing a dive of a plane without parachute. A new minimum, Espen.

2012.6466 -2.3111002 2.7270751 5.0381756
2012.6493 -2.3556986 2.6431620 4.9988608

http://bit.ly/CTNHMn

Present projection, my side, 2.4M bottom-out, subject to change without notice :(

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