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wayne

If ECMWF forecast is right, that would mean 30 days in a row of mostly sunshine for a great part of the Arctic. Its big blue time,
but unlike 2008 it will be warm big blue. I wont be surprised if this year will have the earliest appearing melt ponds in history.

Jim Hunt

In a related analysis yours truly reckons that the Northwest Passage is under early pressure also:

The Northwest Passage in 2016

All in all it looks to me at this early stage of the 2016 Arctic sea ice melting season as though one or more of the assorted routes through the Northwest Passage will be open again this coming summer.

Welcome Crystal Serenity?

Protege Cuajimalpa

Nothing important to say on the subject, except that I really appreciate your work, Neven. Thanks!

Bjørge Jansen

Interesting! Also with the Greenland High also emerging next couple of days. Much similarity to the Arctic Dipole we hade summers 2007-2012, except these emerged in late May/early June. Could we get back this pattern with an increased melting rate on the Greenland ice sheet (and ice drift in Fram strait?).

Allen W. McDonnell

Which weather system is the one that causes higher transport out through the FRAM strait? For some reason I can never keep straight which formation has what general effect.

Chuck Simmons

"When this was followed by an early heat wave in May (see here), the ice in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas received a beating it never really recovered from during the rest of the melting season."

I think that might be reading a bit much into it. Looks to me from Wipneus' graphs like after the initial mid-may warming spell, Beaufort stopped melting for awhile.

While high pressure over the Beaufort should certainly crack the ice around the edges, it should otherwise mostly move the ice in a circle. This should tend to move thicker ice off the Archipelago and into the Beaufort and North Chukchi, while moving thinner ice off the Laptev toward the pole. So I'd kind of expect this weather pattern at this time of year to mostly help thicken the ice a bit.

jdallen_wa

I think that might be reading a bit much into it. Looks to me from Wipneus' graphs like after the initial mid-may warming spell, Beaufort stopped melting for awhile.

Hardly the case, I'm afraid. Here's the IJIS numbers in KM2 for melt from day 123 to day 153 (pretty much, May). Last year slowed down not at all. In fact, in this century, it was beaten only by 2010.

1980's Average 1401375
1990's Average 1320294
2000's Average 1433655

2003 1263773
2004 1186791
2005 1429330
2006 1330174
2007 1375929
2008 1465502
2009 1744659
2010 2115267
2011 1685863
2012 1571778
2013 1176072
2014 1421713
2015 1786011

Mid June to Mid-May (day 136-168) is similar.

1980's Average 1376803
1990's Average 1441383
2000's Average 1510134

2003 1325940
2004 1010734
2005 1701421
2006 1458552
2007 1427963
2008 1615886
2009 1761513
2010 2059026
2011 2011501
2012 2326019
2013 1472129
2014 1479012
2015 1607559

... so in short, there was no such slow down taking place. Losses were on a par with the average for that period, which is quite volatile.

While high pressure over the Beaufort should certainly crack the ice around the edges, it should otherwise mostly move the ice in a circle. This should tend to move thicker ice off the Archipelago and into the Beaufort and North Chukchi, while moving thinner ice off the Laptev toward the pole. So I'd kind of expect this weather pattern at this time of year to mostly help thicken the ice a bit.

This is a pretty tenuous assertion to present without some hard numbers to go with it. It also runs counter to what the thermal mechanics are for the region at this time of year. For ice of a meter or over to thicken significantly would require temperatures which stayed persistently well below -20C. You can look at some of the reanalysis here...

http://cci-reanalyzer.org/Reanalysis_daily/

...to get a sense of it. Too much of the heat lost at this point is being replaced by incoming, rapidly increasing insolation.

You *may* get some skin ice form over leads, but the water will not have the time, nor the required heat gradient to permit thickening past a few 10's centimeters. In short, open leads really won't help, and in the near term, and if extensive, will create significant vulnerabilities in the ice when we reach May and June.

jdallen_wa

I need to add a caveat - my numbers *are* for the entire Arctic, so I don't have it broken down in detail.

AbbottisGone

Jim, the nsidc for April 7 seems to show some type of correction.

Does this alter your thoughts on the NW Passage at all?

jdallen_wa

Fortunately, Wipneus has done some excellent work with regional numbers on his thread "Home Brew AMSR2 extent & area calculation".

Here's his change in extent numbers for the Beaufort for the relevant period in 2015

4/15 to 4/22: - 9
4/22 to 4/29: -16
4/29 to 5/06: +15
5/06 to 5/13: -29
5/13 to 5/20: -38
5/20 to 5/27: -35

Bill Fothergill

@ AiG

"nsidc for April 7 seems to show some type of correction"

You may be referring to the magical overnight increase of over 1 million sq kms shown here...

2016, 04, 06, 14.016,
2016, 04, 07, 15.034,

ftp://sidads.colorado.edu/DATASETS/NOAA/G02135/north/daily/data/NH_seaice_extent_nrt.csv

If so, "correction" may not have been the most appropriate choice of words. It would appear that there is a sensor problem on board the F-17 DMSP.

For a discussion of this, please see page 3 of this linked thread on the Forum...
http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,1457.100.html

The NSIDC figures for the 6th (possibly 5th - I can't remember) also initially showed a hike of perhaps >100k, but this was indeed corrected prior to the addition of the next data batch. Both Bremen and Jaxa continue to show falling extent values.

Jim can obviously speak for himself, but I'd be surprised if his views regarding the NWP 2016 opening have failed to remain unchanged.

(That last sentence somehow developed a weird life of its own. I meant to say " Jim's views will almost certainly stay the same".)

AbbottisGone

Born from the void has a very interesting second graph with a positively whacked out dark purple line: thanx for sharing!

Neven
Which weather system is the one that causes higher transport out through the FRAM strait? For some reason I can never keep straight which formation has what general effect.

Hi, Allen. When you look at an sea level pressure map (SLP) like the ECMWF collage forecast I did, you see all these lines called isobars. These isobars show you the direction of the wind. If the centre of the pressure area is high (anti-cyclone), winds blow in a clockwise manner. If pressure is low (cyclone), winds blow anti-clockwise.

If there's a high over the Beaufort Sea/Central Arctic, clockwise blowing winds (Beaufort Gyre) will push the ice towards the Atlantic via Fram Strait. The Arctic Oscillation will be in its negative phase.

Neven
"When this was followed by an early heat wave in May (see here), the ice in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas received a beating it never really recovered from during the rest of the melting season."

I think that might be reading a bit much into it. Looks to me from Wipneus' graphs like after the initial mid-may warming spell, Beaufort stopped melting for awhile.

Maybe I should've worded that better. What I meant, was that the early heat wave in the Beaufort (it was cold almost everywhere else) helped precondition the ice on the Pacific side of the Arctic, so that eventually almost all of it (including a lot of MYI) melted out.

While high pressure over the Beaufort should certainly crack the ice around the edges, it should otherwise mostly move the ice in a circle. This should tend to move thicker ice off the Archipelago and into the Beaufort and North Chukchi, while moving thinner ice off the Laptev toward the pole. So I'd kind of expect this weather pattern at this time of year to mostly help thicken the ice a bit.

That's the question, isn't it? We're in the transition phase between freezing and melting season. Even if the polynyas off the coast of Canada and Alaska freeze over, they won't stay frozen for long, and so things will heat up there early. The MYI moving into the Beaufort further west, will be interspersed with fragile ice (last year was extreme). The troops stick together less:

So, even if the ice does get thicker, it won't be much as the volume max is reached around this time. In February and March the effect is much more positive. Now it's a Pyrrhic victory. Never mind the fact that a lot of ice is pushed towards and through Fram Strait.

The only good thing about it is that the ice in the East Siberian Sea gets compressed (as PIOMAS seems to suggest).

Either way, we'll see what the effect is in the coming weeks. I'm not optimistic, given temperatures so far, but who knows.

Jim Hunt

AiG - No, my views haven't changed because of the F-17 glitch! For an alternative perspective see e.g.:

https://ads.nipr.ac.jp/vishop/vishop-extent.html?N

Bill - You may be interested in taking a look at the disgraceful way in which a friendly frog's helpful commentary has been "disappeared" by the Willis n Watts duo:

http://GreatWhiteCon.info/2016/03/hadisst-historical-arctic-sea-ice-data/#comment-214156

Perhaps Bill is guilty merely by his association with Neven and/or Snow White?

What do you suppose would happen should Snow White kiss that frog?

Bill Fothergill

@ Allen McD

Neven has already given the directions of cyclonic/anti-cyclonic wind patterns, but please remember that this applies only to the Northern Hemisphere, and that directions are correspondingly reversed in the antipodes.

Despite getting this wedged into my brain during 1st Year physics, for yonks I had trouble actually remembering which way the pseudo force known as Coriolis Acceleration operated. The epiphany was to forget Coriolis, and instead think in terms of Newton's First Law.

Consider any line of latitude drawn all the way round the globe. The length of this "circle" would therefore be given by 2*Pi*R(cosL) (to a good approximation, as the Earth is not spherical)
where R = planetary Radius
and L = Latitude

Now consider what is the distance round a line of somewhat higher or lower latitude. (In either hemisphere)

Next imagine a parcel of air at a given longitude on your original line of latitude. If this parcel is effectively stationary, then, along with the ground beneath it, the parcel will do one revolution in 24 hours.

Finally, remembering Newton's First, consider what happens to that air parcel if, in response to a nearby region of either higher or lower pressure, it moves poleward or equator-ward. Specifically, which way is it going to start turning, left or right?

I still have trouble remembering the deflection direction, but it only takes a second or so to work it out from first principles.

Bill Fothergill

@ AiG

Another factor which could affect the 2016 NWP opening can be seen on the first chart shown in Neven's OP.

Whilst the wind direction shown in red persists, this is serving to flush ice away from Victoria Island, and consequently from the exit points (assuming E to W travel) for two of the routes.


@ Neven

OK, I'll ask the dumb question. On the first chart, what precisely does "Anal Surface" stand for?


@ Jim

One of your little playmates loves to tell porkies about global sea ice area - specifically that there has been effectively no change shown in the CT database.

Well, the numbers don't seem to agree.

There are 37 complete years' worth of measurements in that dataset. However, since 37 is Prime, that makes it problematic to split up into even sized chunks.

So, arguably the next best thing is to take out 1979 and split the remainder into four 9-year periods. These can then be compared with each other, and with the 1979-2008 overall (mean) average of 19 million sq kms.

Unless I've managed to screw up the calculations, the annual (mean) averages (in millions of sq kms) are as follows...

1979 av 19.67
1980-88 19.27
1989-97 19.1
1998-06 18.73
2007-15 18.44

Oh, and the rolling 365-day average is presently 18.2 million sq kms.

Neven
OK, I'll ask the dumb question. On the first chart, what precisely does "Anal Surface" stand for?

It's that thing with an H in the middle. ;-)

navegante

Today's view of Beaufort from space is already pretty impressive (eosdis worldview). There are yet four more days of strong pull. Regardless of its significance, this must be an awesome view for an astronaut.

AbbottisGone

Link?

navegante

I can give you a link:

https://worldview.earthdata.nasa.gov/?p=arctic&l=VIIRS_SNPP_CorrectedReflectance_TrueColor(hidden),MODIS_Aqua_CorrectedReflectance_TrueColor,MODIS_Terra_CorrectedReflectance_TrueColor(hidden),Reference_Labels(hidden),Reference_Features(hidden),Coastlines&t=2016-04-09&v=-2320578.4088844596,-631497.1206678529,-1583298.4088844596,515382.8793321471

About ice drift predictions until April 13 I found them here:
http://www7320.nrlssc.navy.mil/hycomARC/navo/arc_list_arcticicespddrf.html

Jim Hunt

AiG - See also:

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

not to mention:

http://GreatWhiteCon.info/resources/arctic-sea-ice-images/winter-2015-16-images/#Beaufort

Joe Wentrup

In the last two days there's happening something strange with the NSIDC and Cryosphere Today data. Anybody knows what's happening there? To me it looks like a satellite glitch.

Bill Fothergill

@ Joe W

"To me it looks like a satellite glitch"

Spot on. See, amongst others, my post (above) timed at 10:05 on April 9th, or Jim Hunt's at 15:17 on the same day.

Sarat

This has been going on for a few days now.

The ageing satellite issue made the news recently, hope their concerns about Cryosat are not coming true:

http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-35886817

AbbottisGone

Wow, thankyou navegante and Jim!

AbbottisGone

Nice link, Taras.

I wonder if the last few years of interesting results from cryosat-2 now come under question?

Neven
I wonder if the last few years of interesting results from cryosat-2 now come under question?

I wonder what made you think that? Did you actually read the article?

ESA's CryoSat mission manager Tommaso Parrinello told me at EGU2015 last year that ideally CryoSat-2 keeps functioning and measuring sea ice thickness long enough so that data from ICESat-2* can be compared and calibrated, and enable a continuous long-term trend analysis.

It would be great if on the European side something is done as well. The more satellites looking at sea ice thickness, the merrier. Not just for the coming decade or two, but also after that to assess the crucial recovery of sea ice, if the world decides to get serious about AGW.

* Should be launched in 2017.

Jim Hunt

Neven - See also this re Sentinel 3 on the "European side":

http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,1377.msg71174.html#msg71174

I'm not clear if that means Sentinel could act as a "CryoSat replacement" though.

Sarat

Abbottis, I have second Naven here, I was only trying to highlight the need for more dedicated equipment.

Data in the past few days is very clearly different as compared to the rest of the perfectly sound record. (You can see the current problem by the strange noise all over the Antarctic/Arctic sea ice extent maps and the hokey stick curves in the charts.)

Sarat

Also NSIDC just posted this:
http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/2016/04/a-problem-with-the-f17-dmsp-satellite/

Neven

Thanks for the info, Taras. Let's hope they find out soon, and let's hope they can solve it! Every bit of data is important.

Jim Hunt

OSI-SAF have already announced they are switching satellites from DMSP F-17 to F-18:

http://GreatWhiteCon.info/2016/03/nsidc-announce-the-2016-arctic-sea-ice-maximum-extent/#comment-214218

Rob Dekker

With this satellite glitch, it is interesting to see which reports use F-17 as their source, on Neven's Arctic Sea Ice graph page :
https://sites.google.com/site/arcticseaicegraphs/
NSIDC obviously, but also Arctic Roos (NORSEX) and DMI and Cryosphere Today.
Bremen is unaffected (since they use AMSR2 ?).
Also the regional graphs are affected :
https://sites.google.com/site/arcticseaicegraphs/regional
although noticable only for the Barents, the Greenland Sea, and possibly the Okhotsk.

Now let's hope that NSIDC can quickly calibrate the F-18 source to take over. But needless to say that with only one satellite working properly, SSMI records, which so dilligently provided a continuous record over the past 30 years are now in danger of becoming dis-continuous...

Jim Hunt

Quite so Rob. The DoD is rapidly running out of weather satellites, let alone SSMIS equipped ones. Maybe F-20 will be unmothballed now?

An in depth analysis of the current issues from yours truly:

"Satellite Problems With Arctic Sea Ice Measurement"

Skeptical sorts across the cryoblogosphere are in meltdown mode at the moment. They seem to be unaware that satellites don’t last forever in the harsh environment of space, and the individual scientific instruments carried by a satellite don’t either. Some failures are more spectacular than others however.

Rob Dekker

Found this latest NSIDC announcement about the F-17 trouble on your site, Jim :
http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/2016/04/sensor-on-f-17-experiencing-difficulties-sea-ice-time-series-temporarily-suspended/

Jim Hunt

Rob - I'm attempting to arrange an interview with somebody from the NSIDC regarding both the F-17 issue and the current state of the Beaufort Sea ice.

More news on that front as and when they wake up in Boulder. Meanwhile several of the usual suspects have been surreally suggesting that "Global sea ice makes a strong comeback!". I'm afraid Snow White wasn't inclined to take that load of old ballcocks lying down. Read all about it at:

Global Sea Ice “Comeback” Conspiracy

Both Prof. Curry and non Prof. Watts adorned their “Tweets” with a graph allegedly comparing “global temperature” with “tropical temperature”, but provided no graph of “polar temperature”.

Bill Fothergill

RE: (Mis)use of the HadISST dataset.

Earlier in this thread, Jim mentioned an "analysis" of the HadISST dataset.

This appears to have been done in blissful ignorance of an admonishment (or admonition, if you prefer that form of the noun) given by UCAR/NCAR. Amongst their list of Key Limitations of the HadISST dataset, they state quite clearly that...

"Higher resolution and more homogeneous (single algorithm) data are available for the modern satellite period, 1979-present."

https://climatedataguide.ucar.edu/climate-data/sea-ice-concentration-data-hadisst

This, of course, begs one very obvious question. Why, therefore, would someone elect to ignore a "higher resolution and more homogeneous" dataset?

Answers on a postcard please, to ... you know where!

Jim Hunt

My latest video of the Beaufort & Chukchi seas:

https://youtu.be/hHf7Raxs5rM

According to an expert in such matters:

https://twitter.com/sineadlfarrell/status/720470923967610880

The sea ice has been quite dynamic in this area for about 2 months now. Active Beaufort gyre. While common at this time of year, it's a significant break-out in terms of scale. Now it's down to synoptic conditions.

The current forecast suggests the Gyre is going to keep on spinning for a while yet.

Jim Hunt

Bill - Because for some strange reason known only to themselves Willis n Willard wanted data going back as far as 1974!

I did endeavour to ask some (im)pertinent questions of the dynamic duo, but my enquiries were swiftly cast upon the WUWT cutting room floor:

http://GreatWhiteCon.info/2016/04/the-awful-terrible-horrible-arctic-sea-ice-crisis/

Please feel free to wander over there and take part in our ground breaking sea ice Rorschach test.

navegante

Jim, your video looks so much as the start of your other video of 2015. If this drift continues until the 20th as predicted, the resulting open water might stay open. Right now it still seems to refreeze.

D-Luke

Another large high pressure system predicted next week. This should stir things up a bit more.

MusicScienceGuy

This is pretty dramatic. Has there ever been such a flow of Sea ice out of Fram Straight before?
http://www7320.nrlssc.navy.mil/hycomARC/navo/arcticicespddrfnowcast.gif
What percentage of the MYI per day is leaving for the Atlantic?

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