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Chris Reynolds

Thanks,

I've a post in writing at present about the connection between snow in late spring / early summer and the new summer circulation pattern.

D

Why does the rebound peak from Montsurrat show up on almost all data sets, while the rebound peak from Pinatubo only shows up on some data sets, even though Pinatubo was supposedly 10 times bigger of an eruption?

Ac A

Honestly, I do not think it is really important what Watts and his gang think... nor is it terribly important what James Hansen thinks or writes, but nevertheless, many thanks for valuable post, as always!

Alex

prokaryotes

Dr. Jennifer Francis Video: Arctic Amplification and Extreme Weather

The "Arctic Paradox" was coined during recent winters when speculations arose that the dramatic changes in the Arctic may be linked to severe snowstorms and cold temperatures in mid-latitudes, particularly along the U.S. east coast and in Europe.

http://climatestate.com/pure-climate-science/item/arctic-amplification-and-extreme-weather.html

There is a link to a longer presentation from her as well.

Neven

Honestly, I do not think it is really important what Watts and his gang think

I don't think so either, Alex, but I just wanted to note their casual shift to 'this has probably been caused by the huge retreat of Arctic sea ice'. It could be a symptom that the collective consciousness is slowly coming round to the reality of AGW, that it's already happening and that it will take more than changing lightbulbs.

That's something I'm interested in. And I'm also interested in how fake skeptics sleep at night, and how they will in say, 10 or 20 years from now.

The Arctic could offer a huge reality check and thus PITA to them.

R. Gates

"Here's to hoping that Anthony Watts, Pierre Gosselin and Marc Morano will report on Northern Hemisphere snow cover in spring and summer, regardless of the direction and size of the anomaly."
-----
Don't hold your breath on that happening, They cater to the crowd that figures we are headed to the next glacial advance and ignore the facts completely that you can't get a glacial advance if the late spring and early summer snow cover is declining. I have no hope for any "reality" check for this group.

Ac A

Neven,

absolutely agree. Regarding the causal link between NHSIC (Nothern Hemisphere Snow and Ice cover) and all kind of weird weather, I think it will take some time also for climatological community to be fully accepted, I would say something like 2-3 years, maybe even next (6th) IPCC report, if there will be one. AFAIK some of hard-core climate skeptics (e.g. Luboš Motl), in few years they will say that is was not possible to do more than changing light bulbs or switch from coal to (shale) gas... or something like that... Alex

Just Testing

re fake skeptics: put them on a list. In the not so far future we'll have to decide who gets rations and who doesn't. The people on the list can wait at the end of the queue.

Heraclitus

The WUWT post seems remarkable to me. It includes:
1) A tacit admission that the 'snow is a thing of the past' article is cherry picked ("this most often quoted prediction about snow")
2) A graph which shows the dramatic reduction in snow cover during spring and summer
3) The perfectly reasonable explanation for the one bit of evidence that might superficially seem to contradict the observed warming

Of course the comments section reliably ignores all this. So have we reached the point where Anthony Watts could post literally anything, perhaps copy and paste something from James Hansen, and still it would reinforce his audience's preconceptions?

Aaron Lewis

Our weather is the internal work of a thermodynamic engine. Such an engine obeys the laws of thermodynamics - always.

All the energy in the system affects all the weather in the system, and all of the weather in the system is affected by all of energy in the system.

This is one of those things that is very hard to prove with statistics and very easy to prove with physics. Using statistics to calculate climate behavior requires a deep understanding of the physics of weather.

The statistics of climate change are treacherous. If one wants to be precisely correct, then one must work with Gibbs energy, but all the climate science guys work with temperature. However, temperature is not a linear or continuous measure of energy.

Yes, a warmer Arctic changes global atmospheric circulation patterns, allowing masses of Arctic air to penetrate farther south. Such air masses are not as cold as they were before global warming, but to a southerner, they are still cold.

prokaryotes

OT

There is a new video with Richard Muller explaining how abrupt SLR (in meters) can happen from Antarctic ICD http://climatestate.com/climate-state/videos/item/slip-slidin-away-ice-sheets-and-sea-level-in-a-warming-world.html

prokaryotes

Errr i meant Richard Alley ...

wayne

To add on to Aaron, weather patterns also favor greater mix on Atlantic moisture with colder air, sometimes the snowfall occurs barely a few degrees below 0 and has no significant meaning with global warming taken individually. All geographic regions contribute to Rossby wave shapes, but the most significant one is in the Arctic where the Lows linger along with the greater extent of open water creating a favorable path for other Cyclones to follow, like a river (lows) driven by Canyons (Highs). The latest satellite picture on my blog has so many sea ice leads proving that the ice isn't getting much thicker. http://www.eh2r.com/ , the unmitigated flow of Lows heading towards or hovering above Arctic open waters means all time sea ice extent and volume to be maintained or exceeded downwards.

Neven, I don't think Judith meant anything but to confuse the hell out of everyone, her 50% due to humans is nebulous , sort of not pleasing anyone but for those who want to believe that the science is not settled.

Aaron Lewis

I was wishing for a late season snow fall that would result in a flash freeze and max sea ice of near 14 million KM^2.

http://www7320.nrlssc.navy.mil/hycomARC/navo/arcticicespddrfnowcast.gif and http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/weather/arcticweather_imagecontainer.php dashes that hope.

Too much heat is being induced into the Arctic from the North Atlantic Drift and the North pacific. As long as the near surface temperature is so high, the sea ice is not going to freeze hard to carry some mechanical strength into the summer. And, sea ice is being worked and fractured. Sea ice melt will happen earlier than I had hoped this year.

Kris

Weirdness-lovers,

You really are spoiled this days.


Look at the distinctly visible polynia to the West of Barrow, Alaska .

Not only a phenomena unseen in the course January, but rightout inexplicable so far

To bad the Barrow webcam is out of order once again.

wayne

Kris you can see that on my blog picture , http://eh2r.blogspot.ca/
along with thousands of leads, the explanation is obvious, about a week ago or so the jet stream went past Bering Strait well Northwards.
Lows are also encroaching on the Pacific Side as well.

dominik lenné

There is not only a spring- and summer- snow cover feedback from less snow.
More snow _on the ice_ in winter will decrease ice thickness growth rate, as it will prevent the heat from below to escape to the atomsphere.

Kris

Wayne wrote:

about a week ago or so the jet stream went past Bering Strait well Northwards

The jet stream already went hundreds of times in the past that way from January till March. While no polynia where created at that specific spot.

Doesn't explain the phenomena.

Chris Reynolds

D,

Regards those volcanic eruptions. I'm afraid you'd have to be specific about which datasets and how they were affected.

For example Montsurrat (Caribean) could affect the Arctic more than Pinatubo (Pacific) because it's ejection would be entrained in air masses destined for northern latitudes.

Karl

My first comment here must include accolades for Neven and all contributors. I think it's proven beyond doubt that destabilizing the polar regions automatically means the destabilization of the entire climate regime as it's holistic and in constant search of an equilibrium that will never be found. My training is in social sciences including paleontology and anthropolgy, and my recent focus is on the changing nature of global drought conditions. And since I'm in the USA, I've been following the northward expansion of the drought from Mexico to the upper midwest as shown by these two maps, first http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/temp-and-precip/drought/nadm/nadm-maps.php?lang=en&year=2011&month=4 then http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/temp-and-precip/drought/nadm/nadm-maps.php?lang=en&year=2012&month=11 By viewing the intervening months's maps, one can see the steady march northward.

If I recall correctly, the polar regions would qualify as deserts based on precipitation amounts, and it would seem that continued ice loss would lead to an increase in aridity, which would further destabilize the global climate system, thus making wierd weather the new norm.

I'd like to contribute the following link to a website that argues 350ppm is a CO2 level that's far too high, and that the earlier published warning that 300ppm was too much has been expertly covered up, http://theartofannihilation.com/ This links to the article about the cover up, http://theartofannihilation.com/category/articles-2010/expose-the-2o-death-dance-the-1o-cover-up-part-i/

And thanks again, Neven; but it's too bad your fine work and efforts are even required.

NLPatents

Jan 1 1979 - 25000 km^3
Jan 1 2010 - 16000 km^3
Jan 1 2013 - 13000 km^3
Jan 1 2022 - 0 km^3

and forever thereafter unless something harsh enough to freeze it happens. (Heaven help us either way, I guess.)

This just doesn't seem correct. Will the ocean really have that much surface heat to avoid freezing even after 14 weeks without sunlight?

Hard to argue with this trend line through.

johnm33

Kris. Worth looking here too,
http://www.ijis.iarc.uaf.edu/cgi-bin/seaice-monitor.cgi ,on the PR89, huge area with similar arc in the ice, also take a look at the south of nares. Shows up on this if you go two steps back.
http://polar.ncep.noaa.gov/seaice/nh.html

Climateforce

Warming Up to Scott:

A First Glance at Controls on Glaciers

Richard B. Alley http://geosociety.wordpress.com/2013/01/02/warming-up-to-scott-a-first-glance-at-controls-on-glaciers/

Tim

In case you missed it (or, actually, to beat Wipneus to the punch!), the PIOMAS data for Dec. 2012 is out. No surprises, but it is worth noting that the mean Dec. 2012 ice volume estimate is lower than the mean ice volume estimate for SEPTEMBER for 1994 or any earlier year.

crandles

Tim, NLPatents beat you to it.

31/12/2011 14.407
31/12/2012 13.349

Annual drop 1.058 K Km^3

End of Oct annual drop 0.807
End of Nov annual drop 1.098

Clawed back a mere 3.6% in Dec and still well up on Oct.

Jdean Dingler

Does the ice act as an insulator at any thickness and slow the refreeze?

Or in other words is, the refreeze linear in regards to thickness?

If it isn't then this may be a factor in bringing us closer to an ice free summer.

crandles

Jdean yes, it acts as an insulator but that means that a later start to the freeze season doesn't necessarily mean less ice - the freeze can proceed faster than previous years when there was thicker ice. So a lot less ice at 31 Dec will mean a smaller loss of ice at the maximum in mid April. Is that what you meant?

Jdean Dingler

I'm not certain what you mean Crandles. If there's less ice, then there will be less to lose...

My poorly framed question is in regards to ice thickness and the concern that, though it may cover a large extent, it may break up and melt faster during the summer.

So I'm curious about the rate of refreeze in regards to thickness, with warmer Arctic waters.

dominik lenné

The thickness growth rate of thin ice - with all other conditions kept constant - is bigger than that of thick ice. The effect of 10 cm ice more or less is most pronounced if the ice is thin; the thickness-freeze-rate-relation of thick ice is much weaker.
So the effect of a late freeze start on maximum thickness is diminished by this, but not cancelled out. The thickness-freeze-rate-dependency is stabilizing the ice sheet.
(Also, it is one function, which determines the baseline of the thickness oscillation. The other is melt rate, which has a weak thickness dependency, afaik.)

crandles

Sorry I think I misread what you wrote. Let me try again:

If there is less ice early in the freeze season then the deficit can be reduced but there will almost certainly still be less at the maximum than in previous years.

A little more detail:

There is a maximum thickness for thermal growth of ice. At that thickness the upward heat flux is at the same rate as heat is lost through the ice. If the thickness is a little less, a little more heat is lost than upwells and ice grows slowly. If the thickness is a lot less then the ice grows thicker faster.

The maximum thermal growth thickness can be increased my mechanical thickening - slabbing and crushing.

Also note that the maximum thermal growth thickness will reduce each year as GHG and upwelling heat fluxes increase.

The effect of a later start to the freeze season is therefore, it depends:

The later start means less ice to begin with but the freeze occurs at a faster rate. If the equilibrium thermal growth thickness is reached then the ice has probably caught up to where it would have been with an earlier start. That is likely to apply near the centre of the pack.

For areas around the edges that only freeze up later into the freeze season, then there is less time to reach the equilibrium thickness so the later start is more likely to matter.

This is regarded as a major negative feedback. The effect is that more heat in the surface waters causing a late start to the freeze season might not have much effect - perhaps just a little less ice around the edges. That is still bad for starting albedo feedback earlier.

OTOH an increase in GHG and upwelling heat flux will reduce the equilibrium thermal growth thickness. Small steps here are incremental in reducing the maximum volume and at some point will get us down to a meltable volume.

crandles

Um the freeze rate determines the maximum, which seems a strange thing to call a baseline.

>"The other is melt rate, which has a weak thickness dependency, afaik."

Well there is an albedo difference between thick ice and thin ice which speeds up melting of thin ice. Also thin ice melts in less time which opens areas of dark ocean causing faster melting later in the season. So I doubt I would say the dependency is weak.

Wayne Kernochan

@crandles um, pardon me for being naive, but I thought the thickness numbers you supplied me with a year or so ago settled the question. Average thickness at volume maximum since '79 has come down almost as much as average thickness at minimum -- involving increasingly late refreeze of increasingly more water gathering heat from the sun. Not so? - w

Apocalypse4Real

Adding to the weirdness, the Arctic methane maps have been updated for Dec 21-31, 2012.

The Norwegian, Barents and Kara Seas have the highest methane release/concentration areas at 600 mb on the IASI CH4 map.

On the other hand the AIRS/Gionvanni 359 mb map reads concentrations at higher altitude and shows CH4 concentrations are higher over the Laptev Sea and Siberia.

For the 2008-2012 images, see: https://sites.google.com/site/apocalypse4realmethane2012/home/2012-vs-2011-airs-ch4-359-hpa

I am working on two methane sites for 2013, the first shows the same types of imagery as this year.

The other (already available), depicts daily METOP 2 IASI global methane concentration maps.

Apocalypse4Real

Kris, the Barrow anomaly seems to start back on Dec 25-26. It has been around almost two weeks.

wayne

Apocalypse, Dec 25-26 is exactly a couple of days after a major Cyclone and Jet stream incursion. As everybody knows , the ice is thinner there its not much of a big surprise. Wind and system directions are crucial, if they push ice against the shore, no one will see anything except lead trails, but if they push it away from shore they leave visible "tracks or foot prints" like wider open water, the ice does that. Kris, if there is another explanation I am all ears, I doubt it very much though.

wayne

Dominik,

"The thickness growth rate of thin ice - with all other conditions kept constant - is bigger than that of thick ice"

correct, but "all other conditions" are not constant,

Lebedev's formula:

Thickness (cm) = 1.33 * FDD (°C)0.58

FDD is Freezing Degree Days = -1.8 C -(ave. daily Temp)

Is not so bad, given that there is much higher Arctic temperatures the ice thickness gains are lesser.

also

Thicker multi-year ice stabilize sea waves and help a earlier start of Freeze-up, inevitably giving more ice thickness and cooler surface temperatures in a nice feedback loop.

Wipneus


PIOMAS update:
Latest value: 2012-12-31 13.349

I have updated my graphics at ArctischePinguin for the latest data:

Monthly data
Daily Anomalies
Daily data
Daily data with a "prediction" based on exponential trend

crandles

Wayne the minimum volume has fallen by 13.594 the maximum has fallen by 11.112 K Km^3. Whether you call that 'almost as much' or less than 82% or some other description is up to you. Personally I don't think 'almost as much' is a useful description of the situation.

The freeze season does not seem to have been reduced in length by much, certainly not more than 18%. We are getting faster growth rate due to thinner ice and despite any shortening of the season this is resulting in a higher increase in the ice volume. Note however that the minimum ice volume is lower and that extra volume is easily caught up. So the conclusion seems to me to be that the maximum is leveling out at lower levels each year.

This suggests to me that the dominant role in maximum ice volume decline is the effects of GHG and upward heat flux reducing the equilibrium thermal growth thickness. While extra heat at the end of melt season has little effect, being lost to space without reducing length of freeze season much. OK we should measure severity of winter rather than just length. I accept severity is reduced. However, if temperatures stay higher throughout the winter not just early in the freeze season this suggests GHG and upward heat flux are the cause more than the excess heat in the near surface waters.

While the maximum ice volume plods relentlessly downwards, the minimum is likely to decline more as albedo feedback is able to kick in sooner.

Wayne Kernochan

@crandles: actually, I was looking at thickness, not volume. Otherwise, it sounds as if we are in massive agreement, if I can be said to agree with one who knows one heck of a lot more about sea ice mechanisms than I :) - w

R. Gates

Current SSW event over the Arctic proceeding rather nicely and rippling down below to the troposphere:

http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/stratosphere/strat-trop/gif_files/time_pres_TEMP_ANOM_JFM_NH_2013.gif

Very interesting progression of temperatures, wind, and pressure thus far for the winter over the Arctic. It will be difficult for the Arctic vortex to reform this year with any strength. Watch springtime ozone levels over the Arctic as there should be a rather impressive hole this year in March.

Djprice537

Wipneus.....The PIOMASS monthly average charts are very interesting and show a pattern that makes sense and suggests the way that the downward trends will be experienced.

The months where the exponential trends show the most rapidly diminishing mass are those that are being affected by an earlier melt season. Both July and June exponentials are refelcting this. Although you have not provided an exponential trend line for May, it looks like this month is set to behave similarly as the trend for this month has shifted measurably below March and April over the past three years.

The months that lead into the freeze (October thru January) show flatter exponential curves. What is this flatter trend capturing?

Djprice537

Wipneus.....the PIOMASS sea ice thickness simulation is cool. I could not help but get the sense of the planet breathing and its breathing is becoming increasingly labored over time.

Twemoran

Crandles & Wayne

Both min and max are following the exponential track laid out by Wipneus.

If GHG was the dominant driver for max, but not min, wouldn't they be expected to follow divergent paths? GHG has been accumulating in a more or less linear manner, but Arctic ice volume loss has not.

Ice age=thickness~=volume. Soft, briny FYI grows rapidly during winter but melts just as rapidly in spring leaving deeply mixed warm water in it's wake. The mixed layer feeds on the keels of remaining old MYI assuring less volume in the next season.

Is it possible that the rapid freeze in fall with the large amount of FYI produced is a mechanism by which summer minimums affect the following year's melt?

Terry

Aaron Lewis

Crandles & Wayne
The thickness of the ice is also limited by the thickness of the fresh water layer floating on the salt water. The old days of thick lenses of fresh water floating on the Arctic seas, and protected by ice packs including pressure ridges with keels that extend down 30 meters are gone. We have enough open water to allow storm mixing and to allow wind driven currents to raise surface salinity, thereby depressing the temperature at which sea ice forms.
The area of the Arctic cryosphere is smaller so that heat is more easily transported into regions that were previously surrounded by expanses of ice, that effectively condensed all water out of the atmosphere). Just as loss of sea ice affects permafrost, so loss of permafrost affects sea ice loss. Now we have atmospheric rivers transporting heat from the tropical Pacific to the Arctic. All that heat is hard on sea ice and permafrost.
With more CO2, CH4, & H2O overhead, less heat is radiated off, and the freeze rate is slower. A warmer Arctic means the ice is warmer and weaker. Weaker ice breaks up and melts faster. In the spring and fall, water vapor can be transported in from the south resulting in an earlier melt and later freeze up than would be predicted by direct insolation. Here I would point to the sea ice in the fall of 2012 on the Barents Sea.
At the limit, there is enough open water late in the season that wind driven ocean currents would push high salinity North Atlantic Drift water into the Arctic basin and advect enough heat into the Arctic basin to keep the seas substantially ice free year round. We have not seen this yet, but the current DMI 2 meter Temperature is a hint of the possible. e.g., High salinity surface water would cool and sink to form deep water without sea ice formation/brine rejection. (Conventional wisdom says this cannot happen. I think it depends on the relative rates of different processes.)

crandles

>"If GHG was the dominant driver for max, but not min, wouldn't they be expected to follow divergent paths? GHG has been accumulating in a more or less linear manner, but Arctic ice volume loss has not."

What sort of divergent path are you expecting? The minimum volume has fallen by 13.594 the maximum has fallen by 11.112 K Km^3. Suppose for the moment we call this a divergent path. With a lower maximum volume, we expect albedo feedback to kick in earlier and the melt volume would increase so the min volume would fall more rapidly than the maximum volume. This is exactly what we see so why shouldn't I say yes we are seeing the divergent path we expect?

On the Dec PIOMAS thread I derived a formul for melt volume (ie max vol - min vol) of -.21*MaxVol+22.78+deviation of max from trend. That worked on an intermediary average area and how that came down with lower maximum volume. So I think that is physically based.

.

Terry and Aaron mention FYI vs MYI, more deeply mixed mixed layer water, thickness of fresh water, storm mixing, smaller cryosphere area, permafrost effect, water vapour transport, wind driven ocean currents...

Yes lots of effects and I don't want to dismiss them.

I am sure there are lots of things like this that can cause effects. If we could cope with considering them all, it would be best not to miss any of them. That calls for complex models but they aren't doing too well.

Given the models are not doing well, I suggest it is worth considering if we can view all of these processes as a trend plus white noise. White noise from lots of processes will largely cancel.

If we can create a physical model based on the core radiative effects fit the model to observation and this produces a lot of the year to year variations we see as well as the general shapes then maybe we would be able to say the dominant effects have been captured and an extrapolation might serve well for two or three years ahead.

Other processes may kick in, so I am not saying all these other processes are unimportant or need not be studied.

If it doesn't work well, then maybe seeing how it goes wrong will help identify which of the many other effects are important and need to be built in for a useful broad brush approach.

Wipneus

Djprice537:

Although you have not provided an exponential trend line for May, it looks like this month is set to behave similarly as the trend for this month has shifted measurably below March and April over the past three years.

I have now include trend lines for all months.

I think this ( faster decline of May-July trends) has everything to do with the rapid decrease of the anomaly in those months after 2004.
https://sites.google.com/site/arctischepinguin/home/piomas/piomas-trnd2.png
https://sites.google.com/site/arctischepinguin/home/piomas/piomas-trnd3.png

idunno

Ready for more records? A Barentsz Sea anomaly record is our first contender of 2013:

http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/recent365.anom.region.6.html

...about 40k short at present.

Neven

A Barentsz Sea anomaly record is definitely in the making with a high over Scandinavia in the coming days. That should pull in air from the North Atlantic.

dominik lenné

@Aaron: You spoke of freshwater lenses under the ice (supposedly MYI). Where they melt water from the last summer, staying at place, or river influx (then only at the fringes)? Just for my understanding.

@crandles: Yeah, wasn't aware melt is mainly radiation driven and then those absorbtion effects kick in.

"Um the freeze rate determines the maximum, which seems a strange thing to call a baseline."

The idea behind is that a stationary minimum summer thickness for a given sort of year supposed to repeat itself a number of times is where winter freeze-up and summer melt-down equal. Both depend on summer minimum thickness. So I called this "baseline of the thickness oscillation".

If there is no summer thickness of course a "baseline" makes no sense.

The absorbtion increase of thin ice neutralizes somehow the stabilizing effect of fast freezing and make the temperature dependency of summer ice thickness much more hefty.

Apocalypse4Real

The latest media summary of weird winter weather from NH to Australia for January to date.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-reese-halter/wild-weather-blankets-ear_b_2442058.html

Espen Olsen

The sad story of declining when animals get trapped by the new conditions:

http://now.msn.com/killer-whales-trapped-by-ice-near-inukjuak-canada

Espen Olsen

It seems like the Orcas got out of the ice trap in Inukjuak, the ice broke up, but where they are now is a ?

Russell McKane

Don't forget wintermadness up there is Summer Madness in southern hemisphere. CLimate takes no regard for equators - from a hot way too hot -not experienced before 55 year old, some time desert dweller, Aussie.

Kris

Record-lovers,

New high temp. record for the day at Kotzebue, Alaska.

Record high temperature of 1,1 °C. The old record high temperature was 0 °C set in 1903, thus quite a while ago.

All the more, except for the Barrow region it's "hot" everywhere in Alaska now, even 0,8 °C at Fairbanks in the deep center of the state.

Aaron Lewis

Low salinity water floating on the surface of the Arctic ocean came from river inflows, river ice carried into the ocean, and sea ice melt. Once it was in the Arctic, it just went round and round.

Sea ice impeded the fresh water from flowing out of the Arctic and storm mixing. Thus, there was a feedback where sea ice tended to keep the surface at lower salinity (higher freeze point), which made it easier to form sea ice.

details at https://nsidc.org/data/arcss129.html
Melt and storm mixing suddenly push the temperature required to form new sea ice down.

Aaron Lewis

Pure Winter weirdness?

It is the middle of January, and last night's lows in the Bay Area of California (e.g., Petaluma & Concord) were colder than some places in Greenland such as Frederikshab & Julianehab Or Fairbanks.

Certainly, California warmed up during the day, but to have lows similar to the low temps on the same day in Greenland and Fairbanks was a shocker.

Kris

Aaron wrote:

low temps on the same day in Greenland and Fairbanks was a shocker.

Albeit yesterday's temperature of +0,8 °C at Fairbanks was shocker too. :-)

Bernard Vatant

Not sure if this is the right thread, but the open thread has been very noisy lately.
Looking at Bremen concentration map at http://iup.physik.uni-bremen.de:8084/ssmis/arctic_SSMIS_nic.png I notice quite a large polynia south of Nares Strait since a couple of days. How do folks here explain such a feature at this time of the year? Is it usual or "new normal"?

Werther

Bonjour, Bernard,

As a matter of fact, last evening I made a start to see if it is 'normal' that the 'Northern Waters'-polynia would still be open this time of the year.

I thought, while sea ice is always thin over there, it freezes over in Dec-Feb, to open up early in spring.

Would it be a sign of higher SST's? Higher southward flux through Nares (given the persistent high/winds in the CAB)?

Apocalypse4Real

Werther, Bernard,

According to the U Bremen AMSR2 imagery, the Nares Strait had intermitent open water on Jan 5 and Jan 10. From Jan 16 through today it has had an increasing area of open water in the strait, seemingly growing larger toward the south.

Whether this is a factor of increased currents, wind or warm water is unknown.

The AMSR2 image for Jan 21 is at:

http://iup.physik.uni-bremen.de:8084/amsr2data/asi_daygrid_swath/n6250/2013/jan/asi180-AMSR2-n6250-20130121-v5_nic.png

Kris

Weirdness-lovers,

To say again, you really are spoiled this Winter.

On returning to Little Diomede while having a view to Ratmatof Island , we have to etablish the fact there is a fair amount of open water in the middle of the Bering Strait where both islands are situated.

In the previous 12 December image we already could see ice formation was very under average.

It is beginning to look like this Winter will be a very odd one ...

R. Gates

For those following such things, the Polar vortex shows signs of rebuilding in the very upper levels of the stratosphere after the big SSW event of early January:

http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/stratosphere/strat-trop/gif_files/time_pres_UGRD_MEAN_JFM_NH_2013.gif

This should lead to more contained Arctic cold air in a few weeks, once the vortex can lower a bit more. The big questions remain to what extent the vortex forms before the final April breakup of the vortex for spring conditions and whether or not we'll see another SSW event before then. Answers to both these questions will impact the remaining course of sea ice growth.

crandles

Re: The AMSR2 image for Jan 21 is at:
http://iup.physik.uni-bremen.de:8084/amsr2data/asi_daygrid_swath/n6250/2013/jan/asi180-AMSR2-n6250-20130121-v5_nic.png

Over half of hudson bay with concentration less than 15% ???

Apocalypse4Real

Crandles,

For some reason the 180 degree turned U Bremen AMSR2 images have left the lower Hudson Bay sans ice in all its imagery. No facts on why. I have collected the whole run since 010113 for posting and it has been that way.

The 180 degree turned SSMIS has the same problem. I have pulled both from the U Bremen site.

Kris

Weirdness-lovers,

Also today a large field of open water in the middle of the Bering Strait between Little Diomede and Ratmatof Island as shown by this 30 January picture.

Jhon Kalsi

hello
how are you
your blog is very intrasting i like your blog
http://wildrivers14.blogspot.com/p/nestled-on-banks-of-blyde-river-shaded.html

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