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L. Hamilton

This sounds serious for villages like Kivalina, which is built on a low gravel bar between Chukchi Sea and a lagoon.

Artful Dodger

This will be a 100% mortality event for any Polar Bear swimming in the Chukchi Sea. I expect it will also be a high mortality event for young sea mammals, like Walrus pups. I will be instructive to watch the sea ice edge in the Chukchi over the next 2-3 days.


I've updated the post with a storm surge prediction. On Jeff Masters' blog there is a very informative image of Kivalina.

This will be a 100% mortality event for any Polar Bear swimming in the Chukchi Sea.

Is Eric May flying around in his chopper to shoot down any nosey scientists? ;-)

Bob Wallace

It would be most interesting if this strong wind were to compress the existing ice and drive extent measurements downward.

Chris Biscan

This storm has helped seal 2011 moving into dead last on sea ice extent. And will on area as it catches up,

Crazy. This could help November set record lows by months end in monthly sea ice extent.


Hi all, First post for me. It was cool to follow the "ice extent minimum" stories with you.

Check out recent Arctic ice drift maps at http://osisaf.met.no/p/iceproduct_daily.php?&prod=Drift&area=NH

Recent days clearly show a retreat in ice coverage (and breaking-up of Marginal Ice Zone - in grey) as strong winds blow from Chukchi Sea. Might show even stronger effects in the coming days...

Christoffer Ladstein

Great, Tom!
And also the chart from DMI show a DROP in extent, amazing at this point of season, but as so wisely mentioned above: the nilas/new ice is worthy less than the Greek economy these days....

Christoffer Ladstein

I'm Glad I'm not an estate owner in Kivalina, Alaska; in my opinion I can't understand those deciding to settle there in the first place, but again, the times 'a changing!

Rob Dekker

Hi guys,

CapitalClimate presents a lot of detail on this mega-storm as well :

Chris Biscan


Unreal. Has to be the largest loss on the data set in NOvember.


Very impressive. Thanks for that, Chris.

Probably a lot of ridging, meaning thicker ice come next melting season.

L. Hamilton

Christoffer, you're right that Kivalina is in a precarious location, even before the modern era of climate change. The Inupiat people who settled there (and whose descendents today comprise most of the population) almost certainly knew that, but they weren't consulted when the U.S. decided to establish the town.

A local view of Kivalina's history can be found here:

Good aerial view here, you can see the problem:

Although the Army Corps of Engineers has constructed a $16 million barrier (as they do) to protect Kivalina, the people are facing tough choices on the "front line" of Arctic change. I wish them well.

Rob Dekker

Just FYI, for anyone interested in the slightly longer term effects of this storm on Arctic sea ice, here is the latest profile from ITP55 :

ITP55 was located about 100 km from the ice margin at the time of the storm (Nov 11) and the profile shows the temperature and salinity under the ice. At the time of the storm, the upper layer of water was fresh (salinity less than 25 psu). After the storm, the the salinity gradient was disrupted in the upper 50 meters, with more saltier water reaching the surface.

It then took a week or two for heat (at 50-75m) to convect upward, and overall, after 4 weeks, the upper 75 meter of the water under the ice was disrupted, with significant amounts of heat "bubbling" upward.

It is difficult (without a thorough heat content investigation through the upper layers) to determine exactly how much heat made it to the surface, but a back-of-the-envelope calculation reveals that enough heat to (bottom) melt some 10cm of ice should have convected upward due to the stratification disruption that this storm caused.

These are very rough numbers, and only at one spot under the ice, about 100km from the ice margin, so the overall effect of the storm (especially closer to the ice margin) may have been larger (or smaller) than that.


How stormy is it by Svalbard now?

Andrew Xnn

Paint.net is free:


and can be used to cut images
down to 420 pixels wide so
they fit better.

michael sweet


This graph shows 50 knot winds near St. Nord in East Greenland but the wind near Svalbard is only 10 knots. The red flags show one line for each ten knots of wind and a triangle for 50 knots (for less than 30 knots the flags are not red). There was a big windstorm in the North Sea yesterday.

Rob Dekker

Not to redirect attention away from the developments in the Northern Atlantic, but in the Beaufort, ITP55 continues to amaze :

IPT55 already showed that the Arctic hurricane from Nov 11 caused disruption of Arctic stratification down to 75 meters under the ice, a hundred km away from the ice margin, releasing significant heat from below that was accumulated during the summer melt season.

Now this same thethered profiler shows a massive amount of heat being released from the depths of the Arctic. Difficult to assess exactly how much heat is bubbling up, and it is unlikely that this is all caused by the Nov 11 hurricane, but significant amounts of warm salty water are making it to the surface, disrupting the stratification layer down to 700 meters depth or more.

Did anyone see such deep ocean salinity disruptions before ? What causes it, and how much heat is released to the surface ?

Rob Dekker

Here is the profile from ITP55 again :

The hurricane occurred aroound day 316.

Artful Dodger

Hi folks,

Further to the big storm of Nov 2011, here are two other resources:

Kivalina: A Climate Change Story
By Christine Shearer
ISBN: 9781608461288
Published: July, 2011

A new article by Christine was featured on Climate Progress yesterday:


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