« Sea ice extent update 10: leg broken? | Main | Sea ice extent update 11: the tables are turning »


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

Steve Bloom

I don't think the tongue material is properly referred to as sea ice.


"I do not approve of appealing to authority, but there's nothing wrong with sucking up to authority, is there?"
Neven: you really made me laugh out loud with that one! Nice! :-)

Steve: the tongue is, of course, glacial ice. Until recent decades it extended right up to Nares Strait. It then receded, but the bay was filled with melange - not exactly sea ice. Last year the area around the end of the tongue seemed filled with more sea ice than melange. I think that the Petermann sea ice/ melange, and the ice from Kane Basin, is holding down SSTs.

Kevin McKinney

Just shy of a century break for the prelim for the 2nd. Still the curve appears to have more of an upturn due to the averaging.

Still a race, it would appear.


I don't think the tongue material is properly referred to as sea ice.

Sure, but what is breaking off isn't tongue material either, is it? In all three pictures/animations you see the same basic shape for 2008, 2009 and 2010. I would guess that that's the glacier and the stuff in front of it is ice that froze there during winter.


I agree Neven that the glacier ice front did not change in 2009 and yes what is disappearing is just the sea ice in front of the glacier tongue. The reason this tongue is vulnerable is that it is only on the order of 70 meters thick at the end with less than 10 m of free board. This is typical for a small ice shelf not a big Greenland outlet glacier. I do expect a notable calving retreat this summer. The reduced snowcover indicates a more advanced stage of melting in the region this year, which was the case in 2008 as well.


Thanks, Mauri! A 'notable calving retreat' should make for some spectacular pictures. That's the only fun thing about it, though.



I really like your animations.

Can you share some details on how you make them?

I use ImageJ, what software do you use?

How do you label your individual images with year and day of year. I find that very helpful in following time sequence.


Can you share some details on how you make them?

Sure. I use Photoshop to put the dates on images, by making templates first. I then copy the MODIS image into the template, change the date and save the image. I do it for all images, which is a bit of a hassle, but I don't how to do it otherwise yet.

For this image for Petermann glacier I figured out yesterday how to use guide lines so I can make templates that make it easier to cut out the part that I need from the high resolution (250m) images.

I then use the program Easy GIF Animator to make the animations. It's a great little program that allows you to resize the image or change saved animations (like I'm doing with the McClure Strait animation that is updated every day for the time being).


Neven: not yet in today's mosaic as I write this, but I picked it up in a near-real-time image.

It's a biggy!



Holy Mary, that is HUGE! That has to be the most impressive image of this melting season so far.

Everyone, check that out. Now.


I'm too worn out to make any sort of accurate estimate of size. 300km2 maybe, or is that too much?

Help! Pixel counters wanted. No pay, just kudos. :-)


The main lump is 250 km2. There's an additional 20km2 diffuse white patch between the main piece and the west shore of the fjord, which may or may not be attached to the shore and/or the floating ice. There's probably an additional 10 km2 or so of loose ice floating around the margins.

So, somewhere between 250 to 280 km2. Pretty close to your estimate!


Grateful to you for those figures, friend.


Petermann's glacier have broken my heart.its because lol too long followed this rip apart

Jim Dowling

Hey Patrick. Well done on being way ahead of mass media.
BBC covered it today. 260 sq/km is their estimate of the size of it.

The comments to this entry are closed.