« Dark Snow Project 2014 | Main | Greenland 2013 in review »

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

econnexus

Thanks once again for the comprehensive update Neven.
We are certainly currently living in "interesting times"!

I wonder if I might take this opportunity to put in a plug for my own "unusual" Arctic sea ice graphs page?

http://GreatWhiteCon.info/resources/arctic-sea-ice-graphs/

idunno

Hi Neven,

Climate Central/SciAm has an article on precisely this subject:

http://www.climatecentral.org/news/melt-ponds-arctic-sea-ice-17429

Robert scribbler is predicting a heatwave...

http://robertscribbler.wordpress.com/2014/05/18/arctic-heatwaves-rise-to-threaten-sea-ice-as-lake-baikal-wildfires-reignite/

The new ice surface temp map from DMI seems to me to be very relevant to meltponds...

http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/ice_temp/index.uk.php

...but this seems to be having technical diffiulties.

John Christensen

Thank you for the first great ASI 2014 melt update Neven - what a show we have ahead of us!

I agree with your assessment of melt ponds as a prime villain, but would add also early melt season ice compaction as a key factor, since it exposes sea water to the atmosphere (and sun radiation) early in the season and near the max level of inbound sun radiation.

The cyclone of late May last year prevented both: Low temps kept melt ponds at a minimum and the spreading of cracked sea ice kept ice concentration at relatively high percentages until late June.

And to the melt ponds: You have SIA this year faring slightly better than SIE, which could be an indication of low amount of melt ponds, as SIA models tend to show melt ponds as open water underestimating the ice area.

This is positive for the ice, but the low concentrations near shore in Laptev, ESS, Chuckchi, and Beaufort do not bode well for the season, unless a solid cyclone gets in place to disperse the remaining ice IMO.

Neven

Thanks, John.

And to the melt ponds: You have SIA this year faring slightly better than SIE, which could be an indication of low amount of melt ponds, as SIA models tend to show melt ponds as open water underestimating the ice area.

Either this or divergence of the ice pack.

From the next update onwards I'll be posting the CAPIE (compactness) plot again. Right now there's not much to see.

wayne

Good job as usual Neven, but it is definitely not like 2013. In about 4 days CT -1 million anomaly mark should be exceeded downwards. There is a couple of other indices to watch, ice buoy displacements show a faint clockwise circulation which needs a further push for better compaction. Sea ice average surface temperature must be the same as the average surface air temperature before clouds become a very important factor in slowing the melt, this time is approaching soon. There is also SST's, wherever I look in between open pieces of ice -2's are rare with lots of -1's or 0's throughout the circumpolar North, melting is already ongoing at the perimeter of the pack without any doubt. The biggest thing to watch soon is how scarce clouds will become during the days when a high pressure anticyclone dominates the Arctic Ocean Gyre area. I would estimate more sun penetration if air temperatures become warmer over thicker sea ice, this ensures less clouds.

John Christensen

Agreed Neven, and I guess only time can tell.

Regarding Arctic weather/wind and temp anomalies, DMI just launched a new page which is updated daily:

http://polarportal.dk/en/weather/

For Greenland, DMI has also posted an interested view of 'albedo-anomaly' compared to 2000-2009 average:

http://polarportal.dk/en/groenlands-indlandsis/nbsp/isens-overflade/

Rob Dekker

Neven, thank you for this update.

I have only a few minutes now, but tomorrow I would like to share some work I did using various (snow cover, area, as well as (extent - area) as measure of "melting ponds and polynia") from April, May and June as predictors for the Sept minimum.

Specifically, I found that there is still very low correlation between melting pond presence in April and early May and Sept minimum.

But the correlation between early (April and May) snow cover on Sept sea ice minimum DOES show up consistently, and potentially rather strong (I get R=0.74 for both April and May, suggesting a good amount of variability can be explained by early snow melt).

Using snow melt data (from Rutgers) and current Area and Extent numbers, initial projections for 2014 Sept minimum are coming is quite low. Somewhere between 2012 and 2007 minimum, albeit still with a large amount of noise (standard deviation still around 500 k km^2).

More tomorrow.

Rob Dekker

Meanwhile, please check April snow cover numbers from Rutgers :
http://climate.rutgers.edu/snowcover/chart_anom.php?ui_set=1&ui_region=nhland&ui_month=4

And notice the similarity with Sept minimum..

R. Gates

Excellent update Nevin. I'm certainly in agreement about the melt ponding being critical to getting that SW solar warming of the ice earlier in the season as insolation is peaking. I think it is also worth looking at the amount of early season melt along the perimeter, and corresponding higher SST's as more SW can also be absorbed there and that warmer water work to melt the edge of the ice pack. See for example, the high SST's in the Bering being advected and working to melt the ice into the Chukchi:

http://earth.nullschool.net/#current/ocean/surface/currents/overlay=sea_surface_temp_anomaly/orthographic=-169.20,67.61,2577

Yuha

The Hiroshima counter at the top right-hand corner is about to have a nine digit flip.

Kevin McKinney

By the way, I couldn't access the site last evening because of the DDOS attack that took much of Typepad's operation down for the second time in a few weeks. (Didn't notice anything the first time!)

Welcome back!

wayne

Well said Rob Dekker, a fresh Arctic snowfall even late in the spring has enormous effects on where the coolest air is. In turn, a significant colder zone affects the circulation of the entire Arctic. Snow also insulates the sea ice top from direct sun melting. I would agree that there are sea ice seasons which are subtle, cloudy days slowing sea ice accretion are numbered, clouds will then slow the melting by adding fresh snow reflecting whenever and wherever sun rays get through. As we are entering the peak sun effects season,
advection from the South or the North will make and impression seen from space adding to the complexity of circulations to come.

D

I suspect that one factor in last years big recovery was the build up of a thick cold fresh water layer under the ice which happened because of the record melt in 2012 followed by a winter of very high pressure centered over the pole. The constant storms of May and June 2013 welled up that -2C water as the ice was dispersed by winds from the low pressure areas. The cold water reinforced the cold weather pattern over the Arctic ocean.

Another factor in 2013 was the winter sudden stratospheric warming which not only created late winter subsidence over the pole but also led to the collapse of the jet stream and its reformation around the circumference of the Arctic ocean. This year the jet stream is intact, but meandering adevecting warm air over Siberia and Alaska, over the Arctic ocean.

The GFS model builds the Siberian heat wave over the Arctic shores into the Arctic ocean over the next 2 weeks. Given that the heat wave started almost 2 months ago, I think the GFS is correct.

Note the that CT area was high in the middle of the pack a few weeks back and is now low in the middle of the pack. Heat on the Siberian and Alaskan sides of the Arctic have already started to cause retreat of the pack ahead of normal. That trend will continue and accelerate if the GFS model forecast verifies.

Neven
More tomorrow.

Thanks, Rob. Looking forward to it.

Hans Gunnstaddar

http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/satellite-shows-antarctic-ice-loss-has-doubled-114052000661_1.html

Satellite shows Antarctic ice loss has doubled

“Antarctica is now losing about 160 billion tonnes of ice a year to the ocean - twice as much as when the continent was last surveyed, scientists say.

On average West Antarctica lost 134 gigatonnes of ice, East Antarctica three gigatonnes, and the Antarctic Peninsula 23 gigatonnes in each year between 2010 and 2013 - a total loss of 159 gigatonnes each year. “

What is startling about those stats is 84.27% of the annual ice loss is coming from West Antarctica!

"We find that ice losses continue to be most pronounced along the fast-flowing ice streams of the Amundsen Sea sector, with thinning rates of between 4 and 8 metres per year near to the grounding lines of the Pine Island, Thwaites and Smith Glaciers," lead author Dr Malcolm McMillan from the University of Leeds said.

"The increased thinning we have detected in West Antarctica is a worrying development. It adds concrete evidence that dramatic changes are underway in this part of our planet, which has enough ice to raise global sea levels by more than a metre," Professor Andrew Shepherd, also of the University of Leeds, who led the study, said.

I tried doing a search to find information to back up something I read a few years back, which showed from Earth’s past history that melting at the poles coincides, but was unable to find a source.

Although this website is devoted to Arctic ice I thought this information was sufficiently compelling to post.

LRC

A depressing scenario.https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,31.0.html
Combine that with Reports on the Antarctic of last week, combine that with how scientist couched things per 2007 about the Arctic. We could be in for a world of trouble in the next 80 yrs. or so.
When it comes to ice, rarely is it a nice neat curve over a few years. It tends to be, collapse, small 'rebound', collapse, rebound, .... etc. Averaged out it is a curve, just no one knows how big a curve until after the collapses.
The Arctic is an example right now.

LRC

http://robertscribbler.wordpress.com/2014/05/16/deep-ocean-warming-is-coming-back-to-haunt-us-record-warmth-for-2014-likely-as-equatorial-heat-rises/
Next year or 2 could bring some very interesting weather to the world as regards the ENSO including the Arctic if the blog is right. Granted last year was supposed to be a bomb that busted out, but the world temps say that there is a lot of heat hiding somewhere and the longer it hides the more heat is accumulated as the worse things are going to be when it shows itself.

Chris Biscan

The Euro has backed off big time now keeping a PV anomaly over the Beaufort/CAB the next 10 days keeping the warmth well confined to parts of the ESS and Laptev.

Huge change from a day ago.

Models are so worthless past day 4 in the arctic region.

The Euro had the same solution for like 3-4 days then right when the event is expected to be underway it changes so much.

So unreliable.

LRC

O/T for current but not sure where to put it.
Note: Some of us have started to use http://earth.nullschool.net/ My default browser is Firefox. I have since discovered that Chrome does a far better job at rendering the page. The globe fills almost the whole screen rather then about half in FireFox once you take away toolbars and the bottom black part of the webpage that cuts across the enter page.

Rob Dekker

We all know that albedo feedback is an important factor during the melting season.

Sea ice melts, opens up dark water, which absorbs more heat, which melts more ice.

But to physically quantify and validate how that feedback comes about, and which variable play a role and how much, that is a lot harder.

Here Schroder et al really hit the target I think, giving melting ponds in spring and early summer their rightful place as an important factor in the albedo feedback process during the melting season.

What I am looking into is the influence not just melting ponds, but also of another factor that I think makes a big difference :

Snowcover over the Northern Hemisphere in spring and early summer.

I'm using the method described in one of my comments last year, which Neven kindly upgraded one of my comments to a guest post:
http://neven1.typepad.com/blog/2013/07/problematic-predictions-2.html

When I apply that method to the April 2014 monthly data (NSIDC area, NSIDC extent and Rutgers snowcover), I found (as expected) that 'melting ponds' (which I define as "extent minus area") still have poor correlation with Sept minimum.

But snowcover DOES have reasonable correlation (R=0.73) and is thus a reasonable predictor.
Moreover, regression of April snowcover over Sept area gains a "beta" factor of 0.445.

This basically says that for a drop of 1 million km^2 in April NH snowcover we can expect a drop in Sept ice cover of 445 thousand km^2.

Incidentally, this "beta" factor reduces to 0.350 in May and 0.186 in June, which kind of makes sense physically (the later the snow loss the less 'amplification' for the remainder of the melting season.

However, the 'skill' of prediction with snowcover along (the standard deviation of the prediction versus actual Sept minimum) is still pretty poor : About 532 thousand km^2.

I combine snowcover with the melting pond factor (extent-area) and area in a formula, then we can improve just a little bit more on that. I obtain maximum correlation with the April prediction formula :

snowcover - 5.9*(extent-area) + 0.9*area

This formula gives a "beta" of 0.476, an R=0.83, and resulting error (standard deviation) in prediction of 430 k km^2.
It predicts Sept AREA of 2.84 M km^2, and EXTENT of 4.4 M km^2, which is just above 2007.

All that said, this formula of "physical" parameters is (in April) still not as good as plain old regression against 'time' :

That simple method gains : R=0.87, beta=-0.14 (every year Sept minimum is 140 k km^2 smaller), and a error (standard deviation) of 372 k km^2.
That gains AREA prediction of 2.44 and EXTENT prediction of 4.03 (between 2007 and 2012).

But of course linear extrapolation is NOT based on physics and physical parameters, so I should not use that :o)

Sorry for the long post.
Neven, there is much more fun stuff that I found, especially for June. At some point I should write a real guest post, and include some graphs, right ?

D

Rob: Reports in the literature correlate early Siberian snow cover with cold Eurasian winters. I think there is one report on Eurasian early snow loss correlating with diminished Arctic sea ice. If you use the Eurasian April snow "departure" data instead of the northern hemisphere data I suspect the correlation will improve because the snow in North America anti-correlates with the effects on the Arctic.

A positive NAO makes central and eastern north America cold and Eurasia warm and brings increased amounts warm water into the Arctic. April snow deficiencies in Eurasia this year are responding to the long wave ridge over Europe and trough over eastern North America associated with the phase of the NAO & AO.

The shockingly low level of snow over Eurasia this April is the primary reason I am expecting an all time minimum in Arctic sea ice this September.

Neven
Neven, there is much more fun stuff that I found, especially for June. At some point I should write a real guest post, and include some graphs, right ?

Whenever you feel like it, Rob, the blog is at your disposal. Like I said last year, just splice 2-3 comments together and there's your blog post. :-)

econnexus

In the absence of an open thread I'd just like to point out that lots of IPCC co-chairs and vice chairs have recently contributed to a 4.5 hour video and lots of slides now available over on the Arctic Sea Ice Forum:

"Transformational Climate Science"

Essential viewing for any ASIB reader, not to mention every politician on the planet. All IMHO of course!

seattlerocks

D, the low area of snow cover in Eurasia this April did not prevent that today there is much higher area of snow cover in Eurasia side than last year. Then why should April anomaly affect sea ice from today on?

seattlerocks

Wow even I can't understand what I just wrote. Just look at this

http://goo.gl/4o6iuy

D

Storms come and go. Daily snow cover fluctuates. Rutgers' monthly map gives a much better sense of the albedo effects because new snow in April and May can melt in 1 or 2 days.

Ultimately what were concerned with is the heating of the northern hemisphere's ocean atmosphere system & how it interacts with the Arctic sea ice, not the daily variations caused by weather. That's why when I look at the GFS model forecasts I don't concern myself with the details beyond 5 days. I look for the long waves in the circulation pattern and the trends towards warmer than normal or colder than normal over large regions.

The long wave pattern we're in that has the eastern half of north America cooler than normal and Eurasia warmer than normal started a year ago. Siberia has a shockingly warm fall last year and has been much warmer than normal this spring. This long wave pattern is tied, in part, to the high amounts of oceanic heat that has moved northwards out of the tropical Atlantic towards the Arctic ocean since 2010.

See NOAA's high res SST maps to see what I have been following. http://polar.ncep.noaa.gov/sst/ophi/color_newdisp_anomaly_north_pole_stereo_ophi0.png

seattlerocks

Right. I was thinking only on the albedo effect of the respectable cover of snow right now, but that's only one thing and may change in fifteen days from now. Definitely there's much more than that.

Colorado Bob


Its smoke echoing the swirls of the clouds, Alaska's Funny River fire burns in a new satellite image from NASA.

http://www.livescience.com/45784-smoke-alaskan-fire-from-space.html

Here's a prediction , the Alaskan fire season is going to be hell to pay. And it won't be funny .

Colorado Bob

Given the the winter Siberia has just seen, the albedo will be under attack by fires like we never seen . We have already seen them burning earlier .
As all you folks tease out the Arctic Ice, remember the great ring of forests just below them are about to catch fire. And spew carbon on everything with a white surface . Everything that was once white is now a dirty mess.
As we saw with the Greenland ice melt in 2012 soot will play a bigger part in all the melt in the north. And to just focus on all the things I see here , is just folly.
The Arctic is under attack from the south .

Bill Fothergill

As Bob points out in his two posts above, there are going to be various "interesting" interactions playing out over the forthcoming months/years/decades.

By area, the Taiga represents close to 30% of the planet's forest cover. Fires in Siberia are already pretty serious, with absolutely no prizes for guessing what the incompletely burnt carbon is doing to planetary albedo. In addition, there is the ongoing concern about the release of methane from clathrates as the no-longer permafrost succumbs to rising temperatures.

Multiple positive feedbacks - just what the planet needs.

Eric Orr

I see a lot of talk about ENSO here and on the forum. From what I've read there should be some caution about assuming the heat released into the atmosphere will have any specific effects on Arctic ice. My understanding is that ENSO has much much larger effects on Antarctica than the Arctic. It also takes months and months for that extra heat to make its way to the poles.

The one study I saw suggested a very slight influence on ice on the Russian side of the Arctic in n+1 ENSO years.

The question that is open is how much the broader warming trend of the Earth is masked with ENSO noise. The general slowing of warming seems unlikely to persist as the heat stored in the west pacific is redistributed throughout the globe moving us back towards the longer trend line. The question there is how much do you truly attribute to ENSO and how much do you ignore the periodic nature of the ENSO noise on global heat.

Eric Orr

I'd try to post on the forum but I can never seem to create an account and am thus relegated to lurker status.

So ignoring my fear of going too off topic I wanted to ask a kind of general question.

Is it a personal flaw of mine that in some weird way I root for a serious sea ice decline? Like with many natural disasters there is a certain morbid curiosity that I want to satisfy. It isn't that I deny that global warming is one of the chief tragedies of our modern age. The obvious death and destruction of more sudden natural disasters is missing and so I hope to see an extreme outcome purely from an interest in extreme events.

D

George here. The water on Alaska's Pacific coast is already much warmer than normal, thanks to the changes in atmospheric circulation associated with the development of El Nino, which have pushed the warm water in under the east Pacific high northeastward.

http://www.ospo.noaa.gov/data/sst/anomaly/2014/anomnight.5.22.2014.gif

The heat from the oceans around the arctic will be advected into the arctic by the atmospheric circulation.

Yes, Eric, in general Antarctica is affected more than the Arctic ocean by El Ninos, but don't discount the effects of much warmer than normal SSTs in the northeast Pacific.

james cobban

Here's a good little article about MSM's misbalancing of climate change reportage, posted at ThinkProgress by Joe Romm on May 12, with a very amusing video clip from John Oliver:

Some 97 out of 100 actively publishing climate scientists agree with the overwhelming evidence that humans are causing global warming.
The challenge for the media is how to accurately reflect that consensus. One way NOT to do it is to give equal time to climate science deniers. Unsurprisingly (yet tragically), that is the preferred strategy of most of the MSM. False balance lives at CNN, Reuters, Bloomberg, and even PBS.

Only one cable news show has been brave enough to take on false balance with a “statistically representative climate change debate.” Unfortunately, it’s a fake news show, John Oliver’s “Last Week Tonight,” on HBO. Here is the must-see segment:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cjuGCJJUGsg

ThinkProgress article:

http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/05/12/3436771/john-oliver-climate-change-debate/

idunno

Hi Eric,

Neven wrote about his own feelings on this in a post featured in the "Best of Blog" box, above and to the right, called "To Melt or Not To Melt."

I think that the fast melt off Alaska is a delayed symptom of the heatwave in Alaska in January and February, when temps were actually above freezing for some time.

Looking through the previous years plots, it seems to me that in Chukchi, ESS and Laptev, the closest parrallel to this year is neitherr 2012, nor 2013, but 2007.

2014 differs from 2007, in that the Atlantic side looks much weaker than then, similar to all recent years.

FWIW, I think that we are going to see a spectacular melt all along Eurasia, with the Northern Sea Route open for a record long period; and the possibility of clear blue water at the Pole.

OTOH, it has been abnormally cold for recent years everywhere in the quarter from the Pole to due South and due West. I think that the Hudson Bay will clear late; the melt in the Baffin Bay will be slack; and the NW Passage through the Canadian Archipelago may not clear at all.

And if none of the above happens, I shan't be terribly amazed, and I'll blame the weather. Sea ice is, I find, a very disobedient substance, which very rarely sees fit to do as it's told.

Francesco Meneguzzo

james cobban, you've gone through a big problem of science communication, most important when dealing with formerly controversial issues and/or matters that could hit any consolidated economic interest. Moreover, we shouldn't think that decision makers (e.g. politicians, at least seemingly) are unaffected by the media show, which is even more serious.
Here I can give for the sake of brevity a single example, hoping it's somehow representative.
I listened to the live speech of a likely next E.U. commissioner (= ministry, moreover from center-left), saying:

    USA became energy self-sufficient by means of shale gas and thanks to environmental deregulation - first is bloody fake, second is tragedy.
    Installations for treatment of liquid natural gas (LNG) should be boosted in order to get cheaper energy, after that he stated that existing installations work around 20% of their capacity and... explaining (?) that this is due to lack of gas pipelines (in Europe!!!) - outrageous to average understanding.
    No mention at all of climate change, no mention of the outstanding growth of solar energy in EU and Italy in particular (almost 20 GW in very few years.
That's not at all a minus habens, rather one of the most serious and respected politicians in Europe, quite inside the right rooms (Aspen Institute, Bilderberg, Trilateral Commission, asf). Likely, a perfect mix of bad faith and deep ignorance of basic facts and figures.

Just to finish, most of reactions of commenters (hundreds) to my last article on a mainstream journal about the substantially underestimated climate impact of conventional natural gas (not just shale gas) mostly due to leakages from extraction to delivery and end use were something like "... and so what? should we use coal? should we pay more for natural gas? are you paid by solar lobbies?..." and so on.
Only large regional or global catastrophes could (maybe) change this state of affairs. Ice-free arctic could be one of these.

Kevin McKinney

Heh, am I reading this chart wrongly or is there a bit of a 'flush' going on right now?

http://www7320.nrlssc.navy.mil/hycomARC/arctic.html

econnexus

Francesco - Regarding science communications and clueless politicians please see my article about the Transformational Climate Science conference last week here in Soggy SW England:

http://econnexus.org/transformational-climate-science-at-exeter-university/

Catherine Mitchell, Professor of Energy Policy at Exeter University and IPCC WG III lead author, said she had:

Very little faith in any governments

and

We really need a completely new way of thinking about UK energy policy.

Lots of other IPCC authors expressed similar disenchantment with politicians.

Chris Biscan

what happens with the ice this summer will soley come down to weather.

If the weather is like 2013 the ice retreat will be like 2013 versus 2007-2012

Colorado Bob

Trillions of Plastic Pieces May Be Trapped in Arctic Ice

Humans produced nearly 300 million tons of plastic in 2012, but where does it end up? A new study has found plastic debris in a surprising location: trapped in Arctic sea ice. As the ice melts, it could release a flood of floating plastic onto the world.

Scientists already knew that microplastics—polymer beads, fibers, or fragments less than 5 millimeters long—can wind up in the ocean, near coastlines, or in swirling eddies such as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. But Rachel Obbard, a materials scientist at Dartmouth College, was shocked to find that currents had carried the stuff to the Arctic.

http://news.sciencemag.org/earth/2014/05/trillions-plastic-pieces-may-be-trapped-arctic-ice

wayne

How to know where the underside of ice is melting? is possible with the data we currently look at. See if you can find out how :

http://eh2r.blogspot.ca/

In the first part I give some clues, will give the answer on Sunday.
Mean time have fun figuring out how it can be done.

Rob Dekker

Hi Wayne,
I'm not sure if I understand what is going on in your images, but before you draw conclusions, please note that Arctic air has add properties, especially when moisture changing states (between liquid and ice crystals).
One example of that is called "double sun" or "sun dogs", such as explained here :
http://www.athropolis.com/arctic-facts/fact-halo.htm

George Phillies

If you look hard at the picture of the Nares ice bridge for 5/22, as seen at the dmi site, you note at the northeasternmost part of the polyna a long very pointy trail of what appears to be ice fragments headed off into the polyna in about the 8 o'clock direction...a trail not there in the past, and advancing into the ice in about the two-o'clock direction a rumpled appearance. It might be proposed that the Nares ice bridge is contemplating letting go.

D

Wayne, you need to cross correlate your claims about ice temperatures and bottom melting with data taken from ice mass buoys. Your images are very interesting but your interpretation of what's happening needs to be verified. If you could show consistency between ice mass buoy data and the inferences you make based on your optical data, it would be a big step forward.

econnexus

George - I suspect it is clouds you are seeing. Here's NASA Worldview

Susan Anderson

Colorado Bob mentions the plastic garbage in ice, and FishOutofWater (also posting here) has done an excellent overview here:
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/05/23/1301384/-Arctic-Sea-Ice-Melt-Will-Release-about-100-000-000-000-000-Particles-of-Plastic

Plastic particles are one hundred times more concentrated in Arctic sea ice cores than the most polluted parts of the north Atlantic and the great Pacific garbage patch. Processes that form sea ice scavenge plastic particles from sea water, which flows from the Pacific to the Atlantic, concentrating micro-particles of plastic and rayon in the ice in the Arctic ocean. .... Thus, the Arctic ocean has inadvertently become one of the world's largest plastic dumps. Scientists who tried to track plastic in the oceans knew that a large amount of plastic was missing. Now they know it is trapped in Arctic sea ice.

Polar scientists estimate that rapid warming of the Arctic is going to melt about 2,000 trillion cubic meters of sea ice by 2040. If the particle density is about 50 particles per cubic meter, a hundred-thousand trillion plastic particles will go back into the water. This plastic soup will flow into the north Atlantic ocean over the next 3 decades.

I strongly recommend the original, which also contains a link to the in publication article.
--
Interestingly, NYTimes links to a different ice phenomenon, which promotes algae and has a kind of unintentional geoengineering effect:
"Glacial Melt Pours Iron into Ocean, Seeding Algal Blooms" Scientific American
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/glacial-melt-pours-iron-into-ocean-seeding-algal-blooms/

In the case of "natural" iron fertilization via ice sheets, the positive likely outweighs the negative, in the sense that carbon will be removed in an area highly vulnerable to warming, and extra algae may help polar marine life threatened by warming, Hawkings said. He noted that algae can boost krill, which can in turn can feed fish, whales and seals.

However, he pointed to a report from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution documenting a range of potential problems with added iron and resulting algae in the ocean in general, such as depleting the ocean surface of other nutrients like nitrogen.

"In theory it's a good thing. However, there may be impacts on species diversity ... and decomposing plankton may use up oxygen in deeper waters, depriving other organisms of it as happens in rivers and lakes when you get an algal bloom," Hawkings said.


--
And my government is trying to shut down any form of climate research - again!
http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/05/22/3440827/mckinley-climate-pentagon-climate-change/

None of the funds authorized to be appropriated or otherwise made available by this Act may be used to implement the U.S. Global Change Research Program National Climate Assessment, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Fifth Assessment Report, the United Nation’s Agenda 21 sustainable development plan, or the May 2013 Technical Update of the Social Cost of Carbon for Regulatory Impact Analysis Under Executive Order

One may hope this is removed by the Senate (which may lose its Democratic majority in November); the House is lost in dangerous stupidity on this and many other subjects. Even the rational ones don't dare speak up. (desisting /ot)

wayne

Hi Rob, "I'm not sure if I understand what is going on in your images," , but I do. It is a question of understanding. Ice crystals have absolutely nothing to do with the horizon rising or dropping aside from making it unclear. I know many very intelligent scientists who confuse refraction effects easily with something else.
The topic is poorly taught at schools especially Universities.

Hey D! "Wayne, you need to cross correlate your claims about ice temperatures and bottom melting with data taken from ice mass buoys"

Would love to! Except they have poor resolution, I am dealing with instantaneous effects and mass buoys deal with daily averages, I suspect they are imprecise with respect to exact depth and especially change of state matters, like salty ice, bubble ice, hard ice , soft ice etc. Show me some high resolution buoy data, and I might be able to cross correlate. Mean time we check the old fashion way , again not as good as high tech equipment.... with ice augers. The first time the horizon reached "true astronomical horizon, matched exactly when the ice stopped accretion.. This discovery is state of the art raw and fresh, which need repetition in the field by colleagues. Models, namely GRIB, utterly fails to correlate with the sighting of Arctic thermal inversions. Therefore a flaw in the system goes unchecked for years until now.

D

North Pole Camera 1 toppled on its side this morning. Dark clouds are visible in the latest images which are tilted 90 degrees. There is no other evidence of possible causes of the camera tipping over that I can see. Temperatures were below zero C so melting probably has nothing to do with this event.

D

One of the excellent commenters to my blog posts found a mistake in the scientific report. I had to correct my post. Thanks for the kind words, Susan, but I should have been a little more careful in my analysis. I wrote it in the early morning hours when I couldn't sleep. Our A/C is pouring water on the basement floor so I shut it off. It's already hot in North Carolina. Thanks, too, to Colorado Bob who alerted me to that article.

Blogging gives instant peer review. One reason I really like this blog is the commenters.

Don't ask why I'm D here. It's a random quirk of the internet. I'm FishOutofWater on Dailykos.

Susan Anderson

Thanks "D". I've noticed your presence here and as a highly amateur lurker don't have much to say in the ordinary run of things, other than to support you all and follow inasmuch as I am able. It think it's up to me to present the correction, here:

"Corrected: Arctic Sea Ice Melt Will Release about 200,000,000,000 Particles of Plastic"

Update: DK user New Minas notes that the researchers used a much finer screen size to collect their samples so comparison with the great Pacific garbage patch may be comparing apples and oranges. The screen was finer by greater than a factor of 1,000. It may be impossible to compare samples from ice cores subjected to a very fine screen with samples taken from the open ocean using a relatively coarse screen.

Moreover, the source article apparently misquoted one of its references on the total volume of Arctic sea ice. The number is apparently 500 times the 2012 sea ice minimum, which is clearly not possible. Kudos to New Minas for this excellent unsolicited peer review of the source article.
end update

I concur with your opinion of this extraordinary community. Thanks!

econnexus

Continuing my mission to spread the latest words of wisdom from Dame Julia Slingo about her new emphasis on IPCC working groups 2 and 3 rather than 1, here's my report on the UK Met Office's latest climate change conference:

http://tinyurl.com/ecoar5

This one was in London on Monday. I didn't go, but I have seen the video recording. Here's an extract:

The phrase that comes to mind now is that at last we're into the phase of what I call "actionable science". This means we are in a place where science is mature enough, it's still not there in many respects but we as a global society must start to take action on the basis of that science.

wayne

Well the answer for finding where underside sea ice melting is occurring should be Ta>= Ti . If someone can do charts superimposing the average surface temperature greater or = to the average sea ice temperature , it should be possible to know where the invisible thawing action is.

http://eh2r.blogspot.ca/

There is a lot of open water early in the season over some Arctic seas, yet CT average is higher than I would have expected. However ECMWF ridging did not occur as projected......

Hans Gunnstaddar

Colorado Bob, more info. on that Alaskan fire situation:

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/05/26/us-usa-alaska-wildfires-idUSBREA4O07N20140526

Alaska wildfire burns 250 square miles, 1,000 buildings evacuated

The week-old fire has expanded from about 172 square miles (446 square km) on Sunday, when it was one-fifth contained. The number of people affected by the evacuation of the buildings was not immediately known.

Almost 600 firefighters are battling the blaze among rolling hills mostly covered with black spruce, Begay said. The area has been without rain for more than a month, and steady winds from the southwest are fueling the flames.

Gerhard Trausner

Hi Neven !

I think the melt will be stronger this year than last year. The water temperature will be slightly higher than 2013. The fast freeze in October
(Laptev and ESS), the water quickly isolated and could not cool down.
The Baffin Bay is ice-free faster and MYI in the Boufort is already rotten and has the water including isolated.
I am still of the opinion that there is a 2-year Cyklus. In October 2012
the water was quite chilled, what the
Melt has slowed in 2013.

LRC

Not sure if this was ever brought up, but came across this just today.
Water pours through pores in sea ice
ICY CALCULATIONS ON A HOT TOPIC
I can not find the paper itself.
Now how yo say does this relate to melt ponds?
Ken Golden strikes again.
Mathematical Patterns in Sea Ice Reveal Melt Dynamics
Published article.
Transition in the fractal geometry of Arctic melt ponds
This I believe gives a better indication and explanation as to how melt ponds work. So in effect it does make sense that the earlier the melt ponds are formed the more melt will occur.

LRC

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-27870459
"Now, it has put out its first open forecast for this September of 5.4 million square km, give or take half a million.

It compares with 5.35 million square km averaged across September last year.
Their prediction. Their caveat, weather.

Rob Dekker

LRC thanks for that press release from the team of Schroeder et al.

Their projection is based on model simulation of melting ponds in May and June, which has some real merit. See their scientific publication from last year here :
http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/v4/n5/full/nclimate2203.html

Their 5.4 prediction is using melting ponds in May 2014 alone (without June). Since melting ponds in May are not yet well pronounced, it seems to me that they are a bit 'early' for their prediction, and thus they should have a larger standard deviation for this (May data) prediction than the 300 k km^2 they claimed for their (June data) prediction last year. That difference is not apparent in the press release.

Either way, their prediction appears to be on the high side in the just release ARCUS Sea Ice Outlook June report (based on May data), which incidentally also features projections by several ASI (public) contributors, including RDallen, Chris Reynolds, and me :

http://www.arcus.org/sipn/sea-ice-outlook/2014/june

I hope Neven will do a post about the ARCUS June report, since there are many interesting projection methods presented there.

DavidR

Paul Beckwith and I also contributed to SIPN, making the lowest predictions. At least 3 of the 5 lowest predictions came from readers of this blog.

Rob Dekker

Thanks David !
Sorry, I had you confused with another contributor.

Yes, it seems that 3 of the 7 lowest predictions are from readers of this blog.

However, the best standard deviation of the predictions from the June report is 450 k km^2, which is only marginally better than the standard deviation for a simple linear extrapolation of the down trend in ice extent in September.

With your method (using PIOMAS thickness distribution), will you predict the same for the July report ? Or if not, which June data do you need to make a new prediction next month ?

Rob Dekker

Also, I really like the other public outlook contribution (from Dr. Frank Bosse) :
http://www.arcus.org/files/search/sea-ice-outlook/pdf/bosse.pdf

mostly because his standard deviation is nice and low (450 k km^2).

What are your thoughts on that analysis ?

Neven
I hope Neven will do a post about the ARCUS June report, since there are many interesting projection methods presented there.

Rob, I'll put up a post tonight.

jdallen_wa

@Rob Dekker, thinking about Dr. Bosse's method.

On the surface of it, I like that he is looking at the system in terms of net energy content of the system, combined with the buffering applied to it by ice volume.

I wish it could be as simple and elegant as he describes it. Several potential weaknesses jump out at me.

1) While he says 1996 is the only outlier, I'd like to see his specific analysis for 2013.

2) Having done stock market analysis in the past, the sense I have of his method reminds me suspiciously of curve fitting to predict future value of stock. The problem here is, this is an excellent predictor of past behavior. I'm not sure his method can accommodate system changes outside of net sensible heat and ice mass balance. This may be a mis-perception in my part due to the relatively scant description given of it in the PDF.

3) Weather, Weather, WEATHER. While the annual insolation applied seasonally is (reasonably) constant, how much of it is captured and retained is entirely another. I don't think his +/- 450,000KM2 standard deviation is sufficient to capture that potential variability.

Presuming an average thickness of 200CM, the the entropy required to melt this is a very small fraction (far less less than 1%) of that entering the system. Admittedly, that is based on energy received across the entire arctic. Nontheless, it implies relatively modest changes in captured energy could cause fairly significant departures from his estimated SD.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment