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Artful Dodger

Good find, Werther and Neven ;^)

50 cm of sea ice is about 12 days worth of bottom melt at the seasonal average rate of -4 cm per day... vast areas of dark ocean will be open just in time for the summer solstice and the following 4 weeks of near maximum solar insolation
(click this image for more on Annual Solar Insolation):

The Chart above shows that between May 21 and July 21st each year, the further North above the Arctic Circle (66.6 Degrees N latitude), the GREATER the energy delivered by the Sun. That is, MORE insolation available for top melt, and more bottom melt where there are large sections of open water.

These are part of the positive feedbacks that result in Arctic Amplification, and in turn accelerating Climate Change. 2013 promises to be the convergence of both an El Nino year and near the top of the solar cycle. All this will be on top of the already strong Arctic warming...

Meltdown 2013?

Artful Dodger

Vilkitsky Strait is at 77°57′N latitude, and so lies about half-way between the Arctic Circle and the North Pole on the Insolation Chart above.

That means an average of more than 350 watts of solar energy strike each square meter of the Vilkitsky Strait right now. This insolation increases to 400 w/m^2 by June 20, then stays above 350 until July 20...

So, a late freeze-up this year? Then an even greater expanse of thin sea ice for Spring 2013?

Piotr Djaków



This will likely then lead to another problem year for the glaciers of Svernaya Zemlya . Just returned from Eastern Snow Conference where Joan Ramage of Lehigh, reported on the greater number of melt days for the glaciers on the Kara Sea side of the archipelago versus the Laptev side. Also will be watching this summer for new islands off of Devon Island.

Piotr Djaków

Entire 2011 was very warm in the Kara Sea

Monthly anomalies > +15 deg. C. in February.

Arctic temperature anomalies fro ERA INTERIM reanalisys:


Piotr Djaków wrote:

ERA INTERIM reanalisys

Peter, maybe it's just me, but here none of the links you posted are valid ...

Piotr Djaków

There was some serious server problems. Now it seems to be ok.


Piotr Djaków wrote:

Now it seems to be ok.

Indeed it is. Thank you.


Piotr Djaków wrote:

ERA INTERIM reanalisys

Well, apparently we have overestimated the cold spell in Alaska and the Bering Sea.

November 2011 and January 2012 were deep under avarage. However, December 2011 just a bit, and from Februari 2012 on above or far above average. As well as the entire Arctic.

Explains why the melting is going that fats now.


Over the past 4 days there has been a lot of change in the Eastern Siberian side of the Arctic sea ice. This early opening is appearing to be on the cards.

Though as always the weather and the arctic are fickle.


The UB picture looks quite colorful today. Are those likely to be real openings, or melt ponds, or data errors that will be gone tomorrow?

michael sweet

UB often has a lot of melt ponds at this time of year. If you wait a week or so melt ponds become obvious. Real melt the ice is gone, for melt ponds the ice is still there. You can also cross check at Arctic.io and see what the picture looks like.

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