« Barrow Break-up 1 | Main | Barrow Break-up 2 »


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

Lord Soth

The mean average temperture above 80 North has crossed the zero mark.


Not surprizing, it is really heating up on Ellesmere Island in the Canadian High Arctic. 9 degrees in Alert, 14 in Eureka, and 9 in Gris Fiord. Thats 3 new records for June 12.

Things are heating up for a hot summer.

Lord Soth

And at the North Pole (or within 30 km of it) it got up to 3.4 celisis under clear skies and dead calm, on June 11 (date of last records)


From the MODIS image showing false colors,


we have clear skies over the majority of the high arctic. This is not good for the ice, as we approach solar maximun.

Gas Glo

I have also been looking at the graphs at

Click years on left to see different years.

The winter temperatures are much more variable than summer temperatures, as expected summer temperatures held close to melting point but winter temperatures can vary much more.

Also as expected the winter temperatures go from generally below the green average line to above the green average line.

What is puzzling me is the summer temperatures. The last 10 year show temperatures below the average more of the time than above. In the first 10 years the temperatures are more above the average than below. The effect is obviously tiny compared with the trend in winter months. But why would the trend be downward in summer months?

GHG mean more warming in winter than summer but isn't that supposed to still be warming in summer? As well as that, I would have expected less ice now to mean there was more chance of seeing above average temperatures. Am I missing something obvious? Ozone? A multidecadal oscilation (I don't think the years between first 10 and last 10 show much difference to average)?

Lord Soth

Once its gets above freezing in the High Arctic, all the Sun's energy goes into melting the ice, so the temperture will remains just above zero for the high arctic during the summer months.

I don't have a definite answer why the tempertures are a little higher in the later part of the summer, other than some of the high arctic (above 80N) has a bit of land mass and this land mass seems to be the warmest from late july to the middle of august, and this could be pushing the overall temps up in the latter part of the summer.

Eventually, when the high arctic is ice free in late summer, I would expect to see more variability in summer tempertures.

Kevin McKinney

I have a suggestion, gas glo. I don't know (or should I say, "idunno?") my theory nearly well enough to evaluate it, but I'll throw it out there. According to Wikipedia:

Evaporative cooling is a physical phenomenon in which evaporation of a liquid, typically into surrounding air, cools an object or a liquid in contact with it. Latent heat, the amount of heat that is needed to evaporate the liquid, is drawn from the air.

Since (between decreased sea ice area and possibly increased melt ponding) the last 10 years have certainly seen more liquid water-covered area than the previous ten, possibly increased evaporative cooling is holding down air temps a bit, even as warming of land and sea continues?

Kevin McKinney

Just to clarify, that second indented paragraph is not supposed to be indented--it's mine, and not part of the WIkipedia quote. (Busted HTML, darn it. Should have previewed my comment.)

Kevin McKinney

Noting Lord Soth's posts about temperatures, and putting that together with the IJIS SIE curve from 2010 and the current IJIS SIE, it looks as if 2011 might be about to retake the lead in the "race to the bottom."

Kevin McKinney

Noting Lord Soth's posts on temperatures, and thinking about current IJIS SIE and last year's SIE curve, it would seem that 2011 might be about to retake the lead in the 'race to the bottom.'

michael sweet

It is interesting that the temperatures are slightly lower during the summer now than in the past. WUWT claims that means that it is not getting warmer, in spite of the ice melting.

When the ocean is ice covered the surface of the ice is 0C, the melting point of fresh water ice. When the ice starts to melt and open ocean is exposed the ocean is -2C since salt water freezes at a lower temperature than fresh water. Perhaps the cold salt water cools off the atmosphere a little compared to a completely ice covered area. Once all the ice is gone the temperature will start to go up as the water heats up.

Greg Wellman

I think, to the extent the DMI air temp phenomenon under discussion is even significant, that Kevin's suggestion of evaporative cooling is most likely the correct one. My eyeball of MODIS suggests there's been a lot more open water north of 80 these past couple of years than there was before. For example, today's shot for north of Greenland.
When you consider that the upper right corner of that shot is the north pole and that we're not yet halfway through June, that looks pretty darn broken up. Compare it to the 2009 shot for the next day (same day had too much cloud)

While 2011 IJIS SIE is slightly lagging 2010, in area 2011 is slightly leading (both are basically a dead heat) http://www.ijis.iarc.uaf.edu/seaice/extent/AMSRE_Sea_Ice_Area.png

Assuming that PIOMAS is right, we started this melt season with less volume than 2010. The total SIE and SIA have followed a path remarkably similar to 2011, while in detail the ice is distributed a good bit differently. My take on this is that barring some significantly "bad" (for melt) weather between now and July 1, SIE and SIA will get significantly lower than 2010, perhaps bottoming out around the 2007 level.

Anyone have the two-week forecast?


Hi Greg,

My own two week forecast - the ice is too weak.


Comparing 0611 between 2010 and 2011 on CT instantly shows the Arctic sliding into unknown territory... The only protection against feedback guided melt is in what Wayne Davidson calls cloud seeds due to El Nino resurrecting. There we may look for the connection between The Caribbean and the Arctic, as it was suggested earlier this year. Low sea ice concentration in the end of summer seems to correlate to enhanced convection in the tropics (that simplification should be worked out...). The question now is, whether El Nino will endure. If it will, weather patterns in the NH could take unforeseen changes, while preserving sea ice around 3200 km³ / 4,7 mkm². If La Nina/neutral conditions prevail, Arctic cloud cover may be low this summer. That’ll create record loss in extent, producing the unforeseen weather events later.
For now, it’s illustrating to see East Greenland on MODIS. Last year, enduring high SST’s, warm spring resulting in a widespread melt zone even in june. This year, anomalously cold spring. But almost the same melt zone after a week of soaring temps all around Baffin Bay up to Eureka.

The research zone north of Morris Jessup; isn’t that the canoeing theatre for the Norwegian couple? Open water in the leads now up to 35 km², moves to the NE 2 km. Certainly worse compared to 2009!

Andrew Xnn

Gas Glo;

I've also noticed that cooler than average summer temperature trend. This may be due to either higher winds, dew points or cloud cover (which kinda goes with dew point).

Can't say I fully understand it, but do know that snow and ice don't melt as fast at low dew points as they do at high. If the humidity is very low, then there is more evaporate cooling and despite the higher temperature there can be less melting.

Would be more useful to see a trend plot of dew points.

Kevin McKinney

Sure enough, we're now under the 2010 trend line with a mighty century break down to 10,239,375 km2.

Preliminary, of course, but I'll be shocked if the revision comes close to the margin over 2010.


Hi all,

Last year, Neven produced an animation of the sea ice concentration, as per CT, covering the period from 5 June to 15 June.

This is filed here in the archive of June 2010; called "Animation 2 - sea ice concentration". It makes an interesting cross-comparison with today's maps.

My vague impression is that 2011 is looking a little worse than 2010, but we are not yet in completely uncharted territory. It's neck and neck.


Morning Idunno
Maybe I sounded too alarmist yesterday night (we’ll see soon). But the difference between ’10 and ’11 is some 800 km³ ice volume to begin with..

Lord Soth

Current ENSO predictions for June-August is:

83% Neutural, 4% La Nina, 13% El Nino


If Neutral ENSO conditions means low high arctic cloud cover, then we will see a repeat of 2007, but with a head start.

For now, 2011 is Deja Vu of 2010. Things will get really interesting in about two weeks.

Janne Tuukkanen

Looking at uni-Bremen map, I think we could expect NE Passage to open early July. Damn it, late June, I say! Drifting or not.

And the pole cams. Isn't there some slosh on the right side of Cam #2 image? Early melt ponds developing?

This eyeballing all these sea ice maps and curves is turning me an alarmist...

Christoffer Ladstein

Janne: Just keep "dipping" your kids, ha ha! After all, they're finnish and to keep the old SISU feeling that once proudly drove the Russian army away from finnish territory, I suppose you must stick to traditional methods!
And for those that are unaware of the finnish desire for the Sauna: In Finland I'm told that dinner time is set by what sauna times are available, at hotels etc.... NOT opposite! Am I right Janne?

The ice up north is disappering swift these days, and based upon the current situation, where even Ellesmere Island is sweating hard these days, I am likely to predict daily losses close to 100 K, for the rest of June.
And also I find evidence in the ice maps to predict BOTH passages open BEFORE mid-July!
Then we're talking serious business....

Kevin McKinney

Well, the revision took a bite, but, as I expected, didn't get all that close to the 2010 number, so we have a 'lead change' in the 'race to the bottom.'

In other words, June IJIS SIE was 10,250,469 km2, roughly 23K under 2010. We'll have to see if 2011 can build on this lead with the weather that Christoffer mentions.

Gas Glo

Where would you say we are up to on the PIOMAS forecast?

Hudson Bay looks about on target but with over 1m ice clinging to NZ, the forecast of 4.5m is certainly looking too high. I would say that excluding Hudson, conditions look more like the forecast for ~ 1 July if not a little later.

So about 2 weeks ahead of the forecast, and we are only just approaching the serious part of the melt season! Ouch!

Andrew Xnn

Significant change in arctic temperature anomalies has occurred over the last few days.
Long gone is the massive Russian heat wave.
Instead, there is a low pressure system sending arctic air southward from Barent Sea(which is largely ice free). Central basin remain above average temperatures.

I stick my neck out and suggest that this change may lead to significant export of ice. Of course, it's impossible to predict how long this pattern will hold.

Also, the Hudson Bay is now experiencing above average temperatures. Rapid ice retreat expected during this time.

michael sweet

Now that PIPS2 seems out of commision does anyone know of a resource that projects ice motion daily like PIPS used to do? I liked to watch their ice motion to get an idea of ice export.


96000 pre revision

Lord Soth

Well that will be two days in a row, at the bottom of the IJIS chart.

When's Neven ETA. I vaguely remember something about vacation ?


Not sure about the NWP, but the Northern Sea Route (or Sevmorput, if you prefer) will surely be wide open this year. Just looking at the individual area graphs on Cryosphere Today:

Barents Sea is 3 weeks ahead of normal, Kara is more than a week ahead of 2010 and 5 weeks ahead of normal, Laptev is a week ahead of 2010 and 4 weeks ahead of normal, Chukchi is about 2 weeks ahead of schedule.

Only the East Siberian Sea is normal, but you'd think that with warm water hitting it on either side that it will clear at least as much as last year.

The Canadian side is much closer to normal, notwithstanding warm weather at the moment. We'll see how long that lasts...

Gas Glo

Neven wrote "I'll be going on a two week holiday as of today" on 31 May so anytime soon.

IJIS extent has been falling 68k per day in June but if revision is about 15k last 4 days have been 81k/d.

CT Area has been falling 60k/d in June but last 4 days have averaged 109k/d. So there seems room for further acceleration in IJIS numbers and we are still a week before solstice. Seems like 2 good reasons for further acceleration from 81k/d.


Hi Frank D,

"Only the East Siberian is normal..."

Yeah, but, looking at the latest clear staellite images very closely, the ice in the East Siberian looks extremely translucent. Is is possible that it is actually thinning dramatically, but not actually fracturing, as the weather seems to have been very calm?

"warm water hitting it on either side..."

Yes, and it seems to me that I have never seen so many patches of warm water directly adjacent to ice as in the current SST anomaly maps; most notably around Svarlsbard, but in other areas too.

The ridiculously high temperature in the Gulf of Finland is apparently not a natural phenomenon, and is related to Finnish childcare practices.

For those with an interest in the SSTs, I'd also like to recommend the SST maps on the Danish Metereological Institute site, which also cover the North Atlantic and the Equatorial North Atlantic.

From these, there is an extremely strong pulse of warm water hurrying past approximately New York; and a huge pool of warm water just off Newfoundland, all presumably heading North sometime soon.

Further South, the main Atlantic Gyre is throwing a lot of very warm water at the Carribean right now.

From all of this, I expect the Gulf Stream to be runnning hot this year.

On the Far side, there is also a very hot patch in the Bering Strait, embayed next to Alaska.

Phew! Wot a scorcher!


Did anyone notice the massive albedo change in the Tiksi, Siberia webcam? For those non-regulars, it's on the very bottom of Neven's sea ice graph page:


Also, looking at the atmospheric surface temperatures


it looks like much of the Central Artic Basin is above 0C, along with part of the Chukchi Sea and the East Siberian Sea.

Note that the Beaufort Sea is just below 0C, as is the area just south of Spitzbergen -- perhaps due to evaporation over open water? But that doesn't really make sense, as the area around the North Pole is more open than the Beaufort Sea

And, finally, it looks as though the IJIS extent will probably be crossing 10m on 6/17 at the latest, which would beat the previous record set in 2010 by a day.

Christoffer Ladstein

The fun about the Tiksi web cam, besides from showing the tremendous fast decline in snow, is that they apparently turn the camera in different angles, thereby giving us an exellent lecture in both old Siberian housebuilding and progress of summer.
The Kimmirut camera on the other side of the globe (!) have also been quite interesting keeping an eye on, one day you see a glimpse of a man riding his ATV, another day a snowmobile or a schoolbus, and very soon now I expect to see a big yacht in the harbour, due to the rapidly rising temps, today they had more than 10 C for hours....and the sun must be nagging away both snow and ice, you almost see it evaporate while glaring at the photos!

Also up at more haggard Barrow things finally seem to gear up a bit after a couple harsh weeks, and are we to expect the shore ice to go offshore again in 3-4 days? Last year that took place 26.June.

The forcasts are "always" unreliable, at Longyearbyen, Svalbard, they some days ago forecasted 0 C for today, but the truth have been +9,3 C, and these temps must be much because of the warm seawater, as noted above by idunno!?

1 good reason for huge IJIS extent losses the remains of the month is the fact that we're actually behind last year fast decline in the Hudson Bay. 10-30 K daily loss there combined with an overall critical situation (hey! The Ice in THIN!, just look at the MODIS-pics!), will most certainly bring the IJIS numbers close to 8,5 mill km2 'till 1. July.

For those with particular interest, take a look at the MODIS-pics for today just south of the Disco-bay at the western side of Greenland:

There you see so clearly the proof of hot weather, green lakes and rivers due to melttwater from the nearby glaciers, water full of silt, small particles that the ice have torn away from the underlaying rock. (This phenomen is alone worthy a visit to a glacier.)
In the pic you also see a lot of small pools and lakes on top of the glacieredge, very early you ask me, but anyway, the Heat Is On, and what's the toll gonna be this year, we'll better hang around and see what the experts are able to summarize in the end of the melt season!

Andrew Xnn

Kimmirut is reporting a high of 12.5C for the day. However, dewpoint is about 2.5C. So, humidity is very low and there is a lot of evaporation going on vs melting.

Lord Soth

June 15 IIJS Preliminary has a lost of 128,281

Good chance of another century melt, after the revision.

Kevin McKinney

In other words, 10,049,688 km2. It is impressive.


Hello fellow Arctic aficionados and friends!

Just a short note to let you know that I'm back, fully recharged and all. We extended our holiday for a few days, despite my Arctic addiction.

I need a bit of time to dig through all the excellent comments to get up-to-date and will then churn out a few posts.

But it's amazing to see how much has changed in just these two weeks!


Hurray ! Nice to see you back !

Gas Glo

Cryosphere today has lots of green (~70%) and even black (0%) where we can see blue ice on Modis - lots of blue ice yesterday in NW passage as well as Seberian coast.

Is this a sign that colour may well be melt water ponds (at least where CT is showing too low a coverage)?

Lord Soth

Welcome back Neven, just in time for the second IJIS century break of the season.

It looks like we are also going to drop below 10 Million, two days ahead of 2010.

I'm not sure what is going on with Cryosphere Today; a couple of days ago, they had a large increase in ice, but the next day they removed that spike. They must be having validation problems, as it appears that any bluish ice is being reported as open water.


The Bremen image for today is a bit wow.

Greg Wellman

>The Bremen image for today is a bit wow.

Hello, Northern Sea Route! Ok, not quite, but I think it's a reasonable prediction that the NSR will have a record early opening.


Hi all,

The Arctic Monitoring and Assessmant Programme ahs just released a major report - Snow Water Ice Permafrost in the Arctic:



... and IJIS 16 June = 9,938,000, pre-revision.

A record-early fall below 10M km2, by just one day, I believe.

But it ain't hanging around, 111,000 down since yesterday's pre-revision score.


by just one day, I believe
By two, I think - 2011 is day 167, 2010 was day 169.

Its also a record for shortest duration above 10M. This IJIS average is 213.5 days above 10M per year. The previous low was 2006-07 at 204 days. With the late freeze last year and record pace this year, we made 199 days above 10M.

Next target: 9 million by 27th June, to beat 2010's record.

Kevin McKinney

Ack--just posted this info on another thread here--and got the 2010 date wrong to boot.



Mike's suggestion - The blue colouring of landfast ice may be related to the loss of snow cover and appearance of a thin melt/rain layer of fresh water. That may work like a mirror, creating a diamond-like lucidity and prismatic blue hue. It shows clearly the fine pattern of cracks in the ice below.
Though the melt ponds on the snow covered floes in deeper water also create a blueish effect, that lacks the lucidity. Why? Maybe the landfast ice is less saline, while the floes in deeper water are first created out of nilas and hold more pockets and bubbles of air (whitening them). Skating Dutch canals made me realise how much forms simple frozen water can take...

The comments to this entry are closed.