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Artful Dodger

Nice work Nevin. It's not surprising that PIPS 2.0 shows little difference between years, since it's model uses 1979 climate forcings, rather than dynamically collected weather data.

It might also be worth reminding Readers about the Navy's plan to replace PIPS, as you've written about previously.

Warm thoughts, Lodger.

Andrew Xnn

Looks like May 10,2011 is the first year that there is no significant sea ice south of the Hudson Strait for this date. During previous years, the sea ice ran for hundreds of miles south of the strait.

It was also very slow to freeze up last fall.

Kevin McKinney

Yes, the paucity of ice on Canada's east coast last winter was really remarkable (and, in fact, remarked upon.) It caused some difficulties for, and displacement of, the seals who normally use that ice for a nursery.

I think it's unclear what impact that will have on the seal population so far, but the harp seal, at least, is anything but threatened at the moment, with population estimates approaching 10 million (IIRC.)

Of course, if this winter turns out not to be an isolated anomaly (which would not surprise me in the least) that could change.

There was once a whole bunch of passenger pigeons, too.

Enno Zinngrebe

From the AWI german article that was put in the other thread, by Chris K, being German I try to translate:


one of the centerpieces of the mission were large-area ice thickness measurements in the inner arctic, done in close cooperation between AWI and Univ. Alberta scientists. They used a four meter long electromagnetic ice thickness sensor, called EM-Bird. For the investigations, the Polar 5 [a plane] dragged the sensor suspended from an 80m cable in about 15m height above the ice. A preliminary look at the measurements shows that the one-year ice in the Beaufort Sea () this year is 20-30 cm thinner than in the previous two years. The ice thickness was in 2009 on average 1.7 m, in 2010 on average 1.6 m, and 2011 on average 1.4 m. "I would expect that this thin first year ice will not survive the summer melt", estimates Dr Stefan Hendricks. In several weeks, his colleagues from the Marine Ice Group at the AWI will present their model estimates for the summer ice minimum of 2011, which will make use of the now-measured new data.


I hope this is useful for those who don´t speak German. All errors of translation mine of course etc.


Enno, thanks a lot for the translation. I have used part of it for an update of this blog post. Thanks also goes to Chris K. for linking to the AWI article.

Great stuff!

michael sweet

Thanks for the translation. If the ice is that much thinner than in the past in the Beaufort sea what does that portend for the rest of the Arctic? Hopefully when the June Search projections come out we will get to learn about more of this data. Presumably other scientists have data from other parts of the Arctic. It was warm through most of the Arctic last winter, if the ice is that thin everywhere it will be an interesting melt season.

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