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Thanks for the comprehensive update. I note that the melting has practically stalled in the last week or so with SIE barely moving at all. When you look at the temperatures around the arctic region. This is barely surprising. It is still around -20C in Nome, - 13C in Nuuk, -15C on the southern rim of Hudson Bay, and-25C around much of the Canadian archipelago. The ice is not going to melt on such conditions.The reality on the ground do not seem to match the model predictions, at least not this year!

Artful Dodger

Hi Phil. Which Models do you have as predicting melt in mid-April in Nome, Hudbay, or the Archipelago?



Sure, I get your point but still a long way from -20C to melting point even if we are still in mid-April! I realise though that this may be freak weather and it could change quickly!

Artful Dodger

Hi Phil. Melt is occurring at the Ice edges, not any of the places you've enumerated. The Ice edge won't pass by those places until June or July.


The weather situation in Arctic regions isn’t that exceptional this time of year. While 2010 gave an early rise in temps for Tiksi, Resolute, Arviat (up to -6/-12/+-0), this year gave a firm drop during the last two weeks. The Archipelago certainly stands out for cold lately.
I think that relates very well to the positive AO/NAO and a strong Arctic vortex high in the atmosphere over the Archipelago. That ties the cold to the region.
Spring seems to arrive from the Siberian side this year. As Neven points out, a dipole is forming, bringing in winds from the Siberian coast. The contrary happens on the Canadian side, northern winds lengthening winters’ grip.
It may very well not be Hudson Bay on the head of melt this time. Given these weather conditions we may look for the Sea of Okhotsk, Bering, Laptev and Kara for some early spectacle.
Overall, I think ocean heat content is still silently at work. Just look at all movement, leads and cracks everywhere on the pack. Weather may differ, but, hélas, forcing goes on. I stick to 3.8 MK in september.


Phil, you're right, I should've mentioned the very low temps on the Canadian side, which also keep the ice bridge in Nares Strait intact. I think I'll alter the post tonight. SSTs are still relatively high though, on the Atlantic side, as well as the Pacific.


Is IJIS still a reliable source of data ? Latest readings are:
13 April SIE( preliminary) : 13,365,000 (-82,000)
13 April SIE ( after correction):13,457,344 ( + 10,156)!!!!
Meanwhile Maisie data (NSIDC) had SIE as follows:
Day 101 (11 April): 14,626,445
Day 102 (12 April): 14,595,492 (-30,953)
Day 103 (13 April): 14,255,286 (-340,206)

BUT...the NSIDC graph is going through the roof!
They have me very confused indeed...

Artful Dodger

Hi Phil, we spoke about apples and oranges earlier... what happens to the MASIE totals if you drop the two regions not reported on the NSIDC graph?

Artful Dodger

March Blended Land and Sea Surface
Temperature Anomalies in degrees Celsius:

Anyone see the methane footprint?


Lodger. Yes I understand that the overall extent with Masie would be higher because they include Sea of Okhotz and the baltic Sea. However, the drop in the other basins should be consistent; According to Masie,Greenland Sea dropped by 68,826, Barents by 80,240 and Baffin by 46,938 between Day 102 and day 103. I thought those areas would be counted by IJIS. There is also the fact that the estimates by IJIS vary widely. I note though that CT has SIA going up by 15k on Day 2794 (Day 103?), This would tie up with IJIS.

Artful Dodger

Climate Progress: Extreme warming forces climate scientists to add hot pink to temperature map

"It’s no surprise that new colors and extended ranges are need, given the accelerated Arctic warming we’ve been seeing."

Lord Soth

The Petermann Ice Island (well the slightly smaller of the two largest chunks PII-A) is now south of Baffin Island.


Currents leaving Hudson Strait, should prevent it from going any further east, and in a week it should be traveling down off the Labrador Coast.

Its amazing how much the ice island has moved during the winter.


Neven: another great update. My posting rate has slowed down a lot, so I come here to see what I would have, should have, ought to have written. :sillychildishgrin:

Lodger: nice pink! I've noticed how many graphs have needed an extended range. PIOMAS, CPC AO index, etc. Maybe one of us should list them in a blog. That would make a nice rebuttal to the 'it isn't warming' crowd.

Lord Soth: I think I see the ice island in the 250m resolution MODIS images. Thanks for the link.

I have been very slow to write my April update - now posted. High blood pressure often makes it hard to stay focused.

I have made some projections, including a new Petermann calving this year of about 200 km2.

Bering, Chukchi, Beaufort and East Siberian seas - ice is very mobile and will soon begin melting out.

Laptev, Kara and Barents Seas - ice advected south is replaced by ice breaking and spreading out from the coast and between islands. ( This explains the uptick in CT tale of the tape, imo. )

I project an end of season extent range between 3.9 million km2 and 4.5 million km2.

Patrice Pustavrh

Hi Patrick, nice to see you here. I am just adding a link to your blog:

L. Hamilton

The Petermann bits could become famous again, eh? Should be a photo op as they reach blue water. And imagine the tourist potential if large pieces drift by St John.


Now that NOAA has new webcams set up at the North Pole, I've updated the Arctic sea ice graphs page, adding webcams at the bottom.

I found a website with steerable cameras on the coast of the Bering Strait (Kivalina, Little Diomede, Shismaref), which is pretty cool (for Arctic geeks).

I've also added the daily mean composite page from the PSD of NOAA's ESRL, not to be mixed up with the PSC of the UW's APL (don't you just love all those acronyms?).

Artful Dodger

Petermann's Progress:

Petermann Iceberg has drifted about 2,200 km since departing Kane Basin on Sep 24, 2010.


It's now entered Hudson Strait.


Artful Dodger

NH Snow Depth over Ice - 5 day
NASA Aqua/JAXA AMSR-E Level 3 data
(April 7-11, 2011):

The black area represents multiyear sea ice, which has the same albedo as snow-covered first-year sea ice.

Compare to the map for the same period in 2007


Interesting, Lodger. Can you conclude anything from this comparison? Like: a few more centimeters of snow this year means the ice was slightly better insulated and perhaps grew less?


Chasing Ice: Teaser Trailer

Christoffer Ladstein

Neven, that was an awesome trailer, I would love to have his work! But if this is a teaser, do tell me where to get the long version!!

Here in Norway, spring lasted only 2 weeks, then we just took a great leap directly into summer (my plum threes situated along the sunny garagewall, will start blossoming in a day or two, 2-3 weeks before "normal" years...), crazy really, and we're very likely to smash the April of 1921. And based upon the anomaly charts I can't imagine what they're going through in the northern Siberia, the tundra must "evaporate" fast bringing flood to the northern directed rivers, filling up the Kara & East Siberian sea with huge amount of freshwater! Will this hencefort lead to a quicker meltout of the seaice which seem to be 1-2 meter thick presently?!

On the opposite side we find Greenland, Canada/Alaska in a freezing deadlock, I feel pitty for you, but perhaps this will change when the AO turns negative in a few more days?!


No worries, Christoffer. I'm living in Austria. I'm already eating ripe plums (just kidding). ;-)

And based upon the anomaly charts I can't imagine what they're going through in the northern Siberia, the tundra must "evaporate" fast bringing flood to the northern directed rivers, filling up the Kara & East Siberian sea with huge amount of freshwater! Will this hencefort lead to a quicker meltout of the seaice which seem to be 1-2 meter thick presently?!

Well, I'll tell you something: this is exactly what I was looking at today, not sure if it was worth a blog post of its own.

Yesterday, I noticed for the first time on the NCEP SST anomaly map that some Russian rivers that have their estuaries on the Siberian coast seemed to be looking pretty hot.

The mighty Ob looks 8 degrees hotter than normal, the Yenisey and Lena just below that (map of Russian rivers. At the estuaries the anomalies go negative, which is a bit weird, especially considering the relatively high air temps in Siberia. One would expect that warmer river water to have some effect downstream. Or is it negligible? That was what I was thinking yesterday evening.

And then today I had a closer look at the DMI/COI SST anomaly map, with some pink and red suddenly showing up on parts of the Siberian coasts, right where the Ob and Yenisey reach the Kara Sea.

What to think of this? Has this happened (often) before? What could the effect be? Not only on the ice of course, but also on salinity levels (if relevant at this time).


On second thought, that pink and red near Severnaya Zemlya has got to be an artifact:

Gas Glo

I assume rivers would normally be ice covered with temps of -4C (perhaps even -8C) if it is now water at 0C that would give an anomaly of 4C and hence red. It might of course just be a mixture of water and ice - just enough to detect the liquid response.

The pink and red near Severnaya Zemlya is odd. On modis, I don't see any clear water so I think it should be grey. Given the modis picture, why would a liquid response be detected?

Christoffer Ladstein

Wunderbar, Neven! Ski am ein Gletcher, I assume?!

Based upon the latest images and weather report,the odd circumstances close to Severnaya Zemlya could be small open gaps in the ice which have caused more seawater to be splashing "on top", combined with sleet and rain, I have seen degrees above 0 been reported, making it more reasonable!?
The whole ice in the Barents-/Karasea seem to be cracking up completely in a week or two if this continues! After all, these parts of Siberia normally ought to have at least -15 at time of the year, so they're 1-2 month ahead of schedule!
Imagine a mighty storm at these latitudes, that would be an apparant deathwarrant for the seaice...

Gas Glo

Talking of plums ripening ...

CO2 per ftp://ftp.cmdl.noaa.gov/ccg/co2/trends/co2_mm_mlo.txt

Jan 2010 to Jan 2011 shows a rise of 2.7 ppm pa but March to March shows a rise of only 1.39. Seems a rather rapid decline. Could early Spring in NH really be having that sort of effect? Would such effect be seen at Mauna Loa by March?

Probably a large part of it could just be noise about the upward trend.

Daniel Bailey

Re: pink and red near Severnaya Zemlya

Couldn't possibly be something lurking below, coming to the surface after aeons in the abyssal darkness?

Yes, that means the blog post on methane clathrates: "Wakening the Kraken" is now available for perusment/amusement/bemusement at Skeptical Science.

Enjoy it in your own particular..idiom.

The Yooper


'Wakening the Kraken'? Do you really think I'm going to read something with that title? I'm shitting my pants as it is.

I had a comic about that Kraken when I was a little boy. That was one scary monster!

Peter Ellis

Even better, it's (I presume) also a reference to the classic John Wyndham novel "The Kraken Wakes" - in which a major sub-plot just happens to involve humanity's response to the melting of the polar ice caps.


Interesting negative feedback: Salt clouds relieve some Arctic warming


We have a small century break today, before revision.

Peter Ellis

Only true if "small" means "slightly less than" :-)

Yesterday: 13105000
Today: 13009844
Difference: 95156

Maybe they revised within the last 20 minutes?


You're right, I misplaced that 10. Why won't they give me my century break? Now I have to think up a title for the next SIE update. ;-)

Peter Ellis

Revised back up to 13054688 - revisions have been all over the shop since the tsunami in Japan. I suspect they're doing the processing somewhere else and the algorithms aren't up and running as smoothly as they were previously.

Probably best to run this season's commentary a day or two "behind" the published numbers or it's just chaos.

Gas Glo

>"Why won't they give me my century break? Now I have to think up a title for the next SIE update. ;-)"

It is preliminary so it will almost certainly disappear, but exactly 100,000 drop this morning:

4 25 2011 13006719
4 26 2011 12906719

Gas Glo

More impressive, as it is less likely to disappear, is the CT area:
2011.3096 -0.6769230 12.3236446 13.0005674
2011.3124 -0.7391226 12.2218637 12.9609861

a drop of 102k.


Update. Update. Update.

My Arctic brolly has arrived!!!

It is absolutely, stunningly beautiful. (And it works smoothly too.)

Yippeeee! Of course, the sun is now out. I'll have to wait a bit to use it properly.

Artful Dodger

Adelady, mine arrived today too, all the way from Fairbanks, AK. Too bad now I need Arctic galoshes ;^)


Any word on why the MODIS mosaics have been so funky for the last few days?

Can't see anything on their website. Sun seems quiet. Both Aqua and Terra seem to be fritzing...



Lodger and adelady, please exchange e-mails if you wish to discuss your umbrellas. ;-)


Indeed, Gas Glo, some big drops. CAPIE has gone down as well, but is still within the group of trend lines (towards the end of May is when the CAPIE season begins).

Big ice displacement arrows too:

Winds are blowing cold air from the CA towards the Arctic Basin. It was fascinating to see the green colours (warmer temps) move from Siberia to Canada on the DMI temperature graph, and now you see the blue colours dividing the greens following that wind and the arrows on the PIPS ice displacement map (causing the drop on the DMI 80N temperature graph).

I'm an idiot for not saving those images every day. Would have made a beautiful animation.

I find this whole transition period extremely interesting to watch.

Artful Dodger

NORAD and USNORTHCOM Commander's Blog - The Arctic Challenge: (prepare for MilSpeak)

"With [the 2011 Unified Command Plan] realignment USNORTHCOM (U.S. Northern Command) now has a larger portion of the Arctic region in its AOR (area of responsibility), expanded to include the North Pole and the Bering Strait, while USEUCOM’s (U.S. European Command) AOR was extended to include the water space of the Laptev and Eastern Siberian Seas north of the Russian Federation where they have key cooperation responsibilities. Additionally, USNORTHCOM has been given the responsibility within DOD to advocate for Arctic capabilities."

I sincerely hope USEUCOM will monitor Methane Clathrates in the East Siberian Sea. You can read more about Unified Command Plan 2011 here. The new regions map is here. Greenland is now under USEUCOM, and USPACOM (U.S. Pacific Command) no longer includes any portion of the Arctic, but now includes all of Antarctica's land mass, and over half of it's Oceans.

Gas Glo

CT area seems to be plumeting:

2011.3096 -0.6769230 12.3236446 13.0005674
2011.3124 -0.7391226 12.2218637 12.9609861
2011.3151 -0.7788661 12.1344996 12.9133654
2011.3177 -0.8982086 11.9653473 12.8635559

358k drop in 3 days, 169k in last day, 119k less than expected change.


Indeed, Gas Glo. 169K, no small feat. Maybe it's time I make a CT SIA spreadsheet and count all the century breaks.

CAPIE has gone down fast as well and is currently at 92.56%. That's the lowest ratio in the period 2006-2011. Mind you, my numbers are less accurate than Lodger's.

Very big arrows for tomorrow, so we're not done yet:

Looks like I'll have something to write about for the next SIE update when the month is done.


Check out the SIA graph for IJIS-JAXA as well. It's very close to 2007 levels.

L. Hamilton

Although IJIS has no century breaks so far this year, Uni Bremen has 5, most recently on Apr 4.

Not much change over the past weekend, but for Apr 25, 26, 27 the UB declines were 80s or 90s.


Where are you getting the UBremen data? I see only the graphs.


Did anyone notice the hole just north of Franz Josef Land? It's huge, so huge in fact that I don't know if we can call it a polynya, showing up as it does on the CT and UniB concentration maps (not to mention MODIS).

We were talking about parts of the ice pack getting separated from the main pack at the end of last year's melting season, but with a bit of imagination I see it happening to the ice between Svalbard and Franz Josef Land. Amazing.

Christoffer Ladstein

Am I wild to predict this years first century break tomorrow morning, or not later than 1.th of May!? Only 1 week earlier than last year that would be...

Account Deleted

Looks like things might start moving in the Hudson bay area. The Uni Cologne current weather maps is starting to show some warmish temps in that region.


Colin, if this is your first comment here: Welcome!

Christoffer, you were a bit wild, but if things continue as they are I think we should see a century break soon. Luckily there were a lot of them during the Snooker World Championship (final today). ;-)

And CT SIA had another one reported at 115K (3rd in 5 days).

Account Deleted

Hi Neven,

First post for this year and first in my name (previous post were as Sepilok and a bizarre Yahoo id).

Thanks for keeping the site up and running, and for the interesting Topics. I've been meaning to offer to make your site C neutral, by offsetting the carbon emissions - via restoration of degraded areas. Any idea on the size of your emissions ;)

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