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Welcome back Neven! And the postings are back in shape. (There's a tiny error in the paragraph starting with "It's between 2010 and 2011 now" making it seem that 2010 was still in the lead)


Fixed, thanks!

Christoffer Ladstein

You be sure WE'RE studying the MODIS pics vigorously!!!
Of particular interest: The many cracks and rifts north of Greenland, isn't this worse this year than those in latter years?

My personal belief is that this year will be the "new" 2007, a year to look back at in awe... All info lead to that conclusion: Thinner ice than prior, warmer summers than prior, less volume than prior, so are we to be such surprised by the spectacular headstart this summer?!


Well, I've got some work to do this weekend, but if I finish, I may reward myself (and Neven) by writing a program do produce an image from the TOPAZ ice_x and ice_y data.

You'll be the first to know.....



Bill, we await in anticipation... :-)

BTW, can anyone tell me how the IJIS revisions went in the past two weeks. Still upwards every day by 20-25K?

Yesterday's reported melt has come in at -67K (before revision). Did I jinx it already with my Goddard-esque flurry of posts yesterday?

Christoffer Ladstein

Yes, Neven, still upward revisions in that range! So you sure must have cooled the situation, slipped Arctic ice down our spine, just to remind us how fast things are able to change!

Janne Tuukkanen

Frantic googling for ice vectors :) Little results :(

Medium Resolution Sea Ice Drift (OSI-407) should offer data also during summer months. But the links are dead ("coming soon"). Maybe some sign of public interest... http://saf.met.no/p/ice/index.html

Never got their java applet to run, nice overview images tho: http://www.seaice.dk/latest-ice.html

Forgot satellites, the buoys can't be accused being 'only models': http://iabp.apl.washington.edu/index.html

Janne Tuukkanen

Looks like Cryosat-2 data could also be used for sea current observations. Ocean surface levels reflect in and out flows:


Patrice Pustavrh

An enormous decrease in CT Area (seems a little bit strange to me): from 8.7200527 to 8.4461870 in one day ??? That is 273.865,7 km2 in one day ?? Could it be they have some problems ? On the other hand, new value seems to be more compatible with other measurements comparing to 2010.


Patrice, this is definitely possible. In 2008 there even was a drop of 437K at the start of May!

Jon Torrance

Massive melt pond formation from one day to the next?


Hi All,

Something is likely to be wrong if, on the same day, (17 June) IJIS extent falls by 67k, and CT area by 273k - a discepancy of 206k.

It seems that CT is registering large areas of the strange translucent blue ice in the Canadian Archipelago, Kara, Laptev, East Siberian seas as anything as low as 50% coverage.

On the satellite images, these areas appear to be nearly 100% ice-covered, albeit with strange blue ice.


Idunno, I believe CT Area and IJIS extent don't follow each other synchronously. There are often differences in magnitude. I believe Lodger has stated that CT area follows IJIS extent with a delay of 2-3 days.

Massive melt pond formation from one day to the next?

It could also be that Hudson Bay is getting slaughtered.

Artful Dodger

Clearly, CT SIA in the Canadian Archipelago is at issue, dropping ~100K in the last update:


BTW, the date-stamp 2011.4575 represents data for the 24 hr period spanning June 16, 2011.

Let's wait a few update cycles to see if this drop's a head-fake like 2010, or the start of the real fisticuffs.

Anyone watching MODIS? :^)

Yvan Dutil

Going trough CT, you will see that many regions had a vertical drop in their last data point. Looks like a change of algorithm between winter and summer?

Christoffer Ladstein

The last week have tormented the Canadian Archipelago with plenty degrees above zero, thereby creating enormous amounts of meltwater and meltponds on top of the sea and fjord-ice. So the vertical drop is probably due to these "misreadings".
No matter errors or not, the ice will go to bits in a week or two....Nature's law!

Janne Tuukkanen

I think we could see ice free Pole this year. Russians put their flag down there a few years back, anyone knows if they got some sediment samples up? And if so, is there any results published. I suppose the nearest period Arctic Basing being ice free could be the Holocene Optimum some 6000 years ago.

Artful Dodger

Our friend Patrick Lockerby has posted a new blog entry: "Arctic Ice June 2011"

michael sweet

At the north pole web cam site camera 1 seems to have a melt pond next to the wind generator in the center of the picture. In camera 2 the snow has a poxed look, is that melt ponds about to form? Last year once a few ponds formed the ponds were widespread in two or three days.

Peter Ellis

... I just checked the webcams and came here to post that. Beaten by 6 minutes :-(


And earlier today I wrote in Retrospective 1:

June 25th 2010: Our focus was attracted to the Webcam Puddles that showed up for the first time on the NOAA webcams at the North Pole. There has been some discussion lately of a big crack and pressure ridge that was visible on the images of webcam 2, but no melt puddles as of yet that I'm aware of.

Coincidence, eh?


Hi all,

Just to note that CT area has now fallen by over 1 million over the last 7 days.

This has only happened ever a handful of times during the satellite period.

Over the same period, the anomaly has grown by over 1/2 million, and is now 1.516.

michael sweet

From the North Pole Web Cam site:
"In 2010, the snow became soft Jun 25, similar to many other years, but widespread meltponds formed by Jun 27"

If this is a melt pond it is about 8 days earlier than last year, the previous earliest year. We should know for sure in a few days.


I did a ‘florida-recount’ on my 90.000 km² research area north of Greenland. Based on the very clear MODIS pic day 163 my CAD found some 400 more or less unified floes larger than 16 km². They accounted for almost 43% of the total area.
MODIS let me trace some 200 polynia’s, most of them very small (median 2,3 km²), the largest area 209 km² just to the NE of Cape Morris Jesup. That total is almost insignificant (0,5%).
But the alarming part of the story is 56,9% leads filled with ‘rubble’. The rubble consists of floes smaller than 16 km². I didn’t get myself mad at digitalising all of that debris, but the ones I picked up being worth the agony (some 170) made up for just 3,7% of the total lead area (51199 km²).
Most of the area is really crumbled. It seems almost impossible to cross and I awe at the task the Norse canoeing couple has put itself on.
For the big picture; extrapolating the results for the Arctic Basin over 80 degrees north gives some more slack in volume than I got last week. Thickness 2,5 m for the large floes/1,4 m for the rubble in the leads stands for 5200 km³ as of day 163 (within my math, my former teachers always liked my methods, not my accuracy...).
Does that sound comforting?


Werther, that sounds very interesting. Have you tried doing the same for 2010 and 2009, for comparison's sake?


WebCam 1: now it is clear, it is melt


Thanks, Paolo. Blog post is up.


Hi all,

Sea Surface Temps in the Bering Strait and entrance to the Choo-choo (spelling forgotten) Sea have shot right up in the last few days.

Also, there has been a large warm patch developing in the Pacific, considerably to the North of where I think an El Nino normally occurs.

Janne Tuukkanen

I found a thing with PLENTY of arrows in it:



WOW, Janne! Thanks a lot! You have no idea how much this means to me. I've put it on the daily graphs page straight away.

Peter Ellis

Unfortunately, the caption says that those are the *annual* ice flow vectors (i.e. averaged over a whole year). The only bits that actually update are the yellow/blue triangles denoting active buoys.


Darn it! You're right, Peter. I can't believe I overlooked the word 'annual' when I was trying to find out where they got those arrows from.

Sniff... :-(

Christoffer Ladstein

Losing one battle perhaps....but not the War!

How come all these webcams are not functioning any more, Neven?


As stated above the DMI ice displacement product "will not be updated between May and September (both month inclusive), due to dubious quality during ice surface melt". But PIPS was operational throughout the whole melting season last year, so it is strange that it has been offline for so long.

I have sent two messages to the Naval Research Laboratory, but no answer as of yet.


Hi all,

A very merry solstice to y'all.

Anybody who's actually in a good mood will probably find it abruptly wrecked by a new report just out from the International Programme for the State of the Ocean, @:


Precis: they're buggered; we're doomed.

Janne Tuukkanen

Stupid, stupid, stupid me!

Ok. Antes up!

I don't know Russian, but google translation and the map itself definitely look promising:


On the basis of numerical thermodynamic model of the evolution of the ice cover is projected complex oceanographic and ice characteristics - the average sea ice drift, direction and speed of currents, denivelyatsiya surface level and other indicators. District - SLO. The lead time - up to 7 days, the refresh rate - 1 per week (Thursday). Development and support: zav.otd."



Hi Janne,

Great Find!

Also, if you click on the map, this brings up a "GIF1" file - manually changing this to "GIF2", "GIF3", etc brings up ice displacement maps for the subsequent days of the week.

Lord Soth

Great find Janne.

That's the same ice drift prediciton map that dispappeared in the middle of last summer. It is a great short term prediction tool for extent.

Neven is going to be very happy.

Kevin McKinney

And we have another lead change; a couple of days of lacklustre (50kish) declines have left 2010 at the head of the IJIS pack.


And likely to stay ahead for a bit - 2010 logged its best 7-day total between 23rd and 29th June. Peeled off 688600 sq km's in a week (9th biggest single-week melt in the IJIS books).

2011 is going to struggle to match that. 2010 will probably stay ahead until it's distinct flattening from around 7th July.

Janne Tuukkanen

There's something rotten in the state of Beaufort sea. Might entail big drop. Don't know if the negative phase of the oscillation matters? (Anyway, I've ordered it to turn positive mid July, when my vacation begins :)


Thanks again, Janne! I think this time you really hit the jackpot. I regularly watched this map last year, when all of a sudden it vanished. I often checked if it was back, but now it really is.

Remind me to send you an Arctic umbrella (as soon as I convinced Lodger to give me his). ;-)

Lord Soth

NSIDC is showing a steady decline.


I believe they use a 5 day average, but with four days of 50K or less ice loss, we should have seen a change in the slope. They also use larger cell sizes and overestimate the amount of sea ice, this time of year.

I suspect the slowdown in IJIS is artificial and is caused by the spreading of the pack by weather.

The ice in Hudson Bay alone is going fast,under clear sky and high pressure and should account for what we are seeing in IJIS ice loss alone.


The 2011 Arctic sea ice extent minimum prediction pool on Lounge of the Lab Lemming is open.

Artful Dodger

The new link to NASA's Arctic Mosaic is:



There's some impressively warm water flowing in from the Pacific side: http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/satellite/index.uk.php
(and switch to "anomalies")

Wasn't warm water from the Pacific a feature of 2007 too?

Artful Dodger

Hi Neven. Could you please add a link to NSIDC's MASIE (Multisensor Analyzed Sea Ice Extent) page on your Arctic Sea Ice Graphs page? Prost!


There already was a link there to the CSV-file containing all the data, but I've added a link to the homepage. I wish they had a live image of that extent map though, so I could put it between the other ones.

I have an occasional look at the MASIE data. How do you like it, Lodger?


Impresive low ice concentrations in the Beaufort sea on Cryosphere Today.

Lord Soth

Based on the russian ice drift prediction map, it appears that we are heading into a few days of ice compaction.

We should see 1 or 2 century breaks (or near misses) over the next three to four days.


Indeed, Lord Soth. It's getting high time for a new update. Sorry for the delay (it's all PIPS' fault).

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