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Record rainfall for the day at Barrow, and the day isn't even over.

Together with 12 °C and rather strong SW winds.

A lot of moist and warmth right into the Arctic. And another blow to the eco system.


That ice on the Bremen map this morning is in some state. I cant remember seeing it where it is almost as if some is being split from the main pack.

Chris Biscan


Ice is collapsing, this was during vortex, now HP is coming back.


Was there any question about that? "Expelliarmus!"


Matthew Opitz, that black line has to go around the MYI pressed against the CA and Greenland. I don't think that will melt out in place this year. On the other hand, like Philip says, more ice will disappear in the Beaufort, Laptev and East Siberian Sea.


The navy ARC maps show ice in a region of small floes with lots of holes to be up to 2m thick. Is that realistic, or can we assume it's partially rotten and will melt out faster?


Sorry Neven, this is OT (delete as you wish) but some readers may not have caught up with this story & enjoy a chance for a bit of a grin, afterall all the rest of 'your' news is pretty grim stuff.
Shell's Noble Discoverer ran ?aground in Alaska the other day, this is the vessel 'our Lucy L.' aka Xena climbed up for the Greenpeace demo. Looks like she didn't really need to, these folk can shoot themselves in the foot all on their own.
This 'ship guys' blog has some interesting chat about the skills of crew & this vessel!
Looks to me like their spill containment barge in Washington still hasn't been OKed either:

Clare in NZ


The Barrow webcam is up again.


But Clare (good to see you BTW), Shell says it's all because of the mega-thick ice. ;-)

Jon Torrance

Also, if this came to pass, would this not amount to a new record for extent and area?

I'm not sure it would - your ice stronghold certainly contains some area that was open water on 9/24/2007. Of course, it also excludes some areas that still had 15% or more ice cover on 9/24/2007. A better area measuring tool than my eyeballs is required to answer the question.

That said, if there's anything I've learned following Arctic sea ice fairly closely for a few seasons, it's that just because the Beaufort, Chukchi and/or East Siberian seas and adjacent parts of the Arctic Basin contain large areas of fragile looking, low concentration ice in late July or early August doesn't mean it's all going to melt away by September. Maybe it will this time. I certainly think it could if the weather for the next couple of months turns out highly favourable to melting. But a lot of ice has managed to survive the melt season despite looking ready to melt away in a flash for weeks on end just in the last couple of years. It could well happen again this year.


Today saw the publication of a report on climate effects, ordered by the Dutch government.
Throughout this report, there is a strong sense of the attitude the makers of the study had towards the challenges climate change delivers.
In a way, it reflects a philosophical stance, an example is why I chose the avatar ‘Werther’. The attitude on the basis of the report is technical.

Western science has, since the days of Newton, relied on measurements and the appliance of fixes on that basis. That was excellent to address individual challenges within a fixed boundary of time and space.

Let’s get to the culprit (of the report): “climate change perseveres, but is probably manageable in the Netherlands”.
Now leave out ‘probably’ and that was what filtered through on the Dutch media today.

We have a serious conflict in grasping reality. Schopenhauer’s “the world as will and imagination” is certainly not going to apply to nature. We are not in control.

Another media soundbite that got to me today.
At least/last, the remarkable Greenland melt came through in Dutch media. They referred to NASA.
The conclusion: “if this is going to happen more often we have to take care…”

There is no sense of urgency...

Oh yeah, Werther stands of course for the contrary of Newton’s approach. The feel-factor.
I signed for the Savethearctic action. For what it’s worth again…

Artful Dodger

Werther, I'm curious. How does the Dutch media handle sea level rise? And who are the major shareholders of your media corporations?


In a way, it reflects a philosophical stance, an example is why I chose the avatar ‘Werther’.

Werther as in Goethe's Werther?

Most people, whether in the Netherlands or elsewhere, even if they believe AGW is probably real, still think it's taking place on another planet. Somewhere else. Not here.


Hi Lodger,
Both curiosities deserve a good deep dive in a societies' subconsciousness and policies (they'r not far apart).
For a start, as grumpy as I feel, I'd say the Netherlands is a dirty little gas-and-oil state with high stakes in Shell. But we think of ourselves as an example of morality and eco-friendlyness.
For the media, I'd say for a start they are very, very dependent on marketing/advertisement. Follow the money... For content, they rely on some traditional, state-funded organisations (KNMI FI)and the large international media sources.


Sorry, forgot the sea level rise... The report, the technical approach is maybe best illustrated by the words of an official engineer during the KNMI-06 scenario presentation.
'We shove 40 million tons of sand on the Dutch cosat now... it's no problem to make that 80 or 100 million'.
Where we get the energy from to realise that is obvious.
We feel safe behind our dikes and dams, even when the lowest point is minus 7 metres, not far from where I live...

Janne Tuukkanen

I suppose, in strictly engineering point of view Dutch are right. The levees and flood control mechanisms could be upgraded to cope sea level rise and future storm surges. If the rise is somewhere around one meter during the century ballpark.

But, say in Bangladesh, the gap between needs and resources available is overwhelming. No way. Ever.

Or the lower Mississippi area, where there are resources, but also multitude of problems. Even without rising seas the geological future of New Orleans seems bleak. Lost wetlands, ever rising river, probably increase in rainfall and intensity of hurricanes. What you need is record flood, saturated levees and Cat 4 landfall... And whatever USACE manages to do, eventually the river will break to Atchafalaya, ruining the economy if climate change won't.

Oh, and in Finland we quite often forget the Baltic Sea is still a sea, connected to the ocean, and not an oversized lake. If you put half a meter more water on it and good westerly gale for a week, the life around the Gulf of Finland will be interesting say the least.

Peter Ellis

Eh, the Netherlands is the last place on Earth I'd expect to give a shit about sea level rise, precisely because so much is already below sea level. It's like suspending an extra piano above Damocles - the sword's quite deadly enough on its own.


I'd say the Netherlands is a dirty little gas-and-oil state with high stakes in Shell. But we think of ourselves as an example of morality and eco-friendlyness.

You can never be ecofriendly with 17 million people in a relatively small area. Which is why I left: to enable my fellow countrymen to become more ecofriendly! ;-)


Peter, I think Goethe would have liked the Damocles archetype.
That's what you get when the paradigma is a business as usual scenario. You just project known data to the future and assume that resources are unlimited.
To be honest, today's maddening report admits that there are voids in knowledge, on the melt-behaviour of icesheets, the Gulfstream etc. They rely on inertia within the climate system and the gravitation aspect (Mitrovica et al 2001) to give some slack.
But, see Box' article on Greenland, I doubt if we're being given that slack.

I Ballantinegray1

I suppose there is always a coffee shop to hand if the worry becomes too great?

As for the rest of the season? Well we have all warned folk about ever thinning ice at the start of the season and ever earlier 'open water' to warm up the basin ever earlier and cause us issues come the last third of the season?

One of these years will show that sickening area loss that goes on and on, come August, when the pack at it's most prone?

How much ice last year was just 30cm thick come re-freeze (or 3 more days melt)?

This year we have thin ice in the central basin so how will warm water import, via the trans polar drift, impact here?

Sad though it is I have to wonder if part of me would welcome a seasonal pack just to punish those who have successfully filibustered climate change into the low key affair the media portrays it to be?

Where are the coffee shops when you need them?

I have to try and stand back and see just how the pack carries this years melt season (and stacks up the next one?). How much of the 'recovery' older ice is sat in Fram station right now waiting on the first winter storm to send them south? (into the empty warm waters of SE Greenland coast?)

How long will we see sea areas fend off ice growth this year (will Beaufort have open water all winter?). How quickly will England go back onto hose pipe bans once the jet nudges south and leaves us with blocking high after blocking high? (from one in Hebden Bridge and it's double strike floods)

The rotund one isn't even lubricating her vocal chords yet....let's see what the next 6 weeks bring?

Matthew Opitz

No way Beaufort has open water all winter this year. Not quite there yet. Kara Sea, on the other hand...

Rob Dekker

Janne said :

I suppose, in strictly engineering point of view Dutch are right. The levees and flood control mechanisms could be upgraded to cope sea level rise and future storm surges. If the rise is somewhere around one meter during the century ballpark.
But, say in Bangladesh, the gap between needs and resources available is overwhelming. No way. Ever.

Very well said, Janne.
I think the problem right now is that we are still arguing from an ideological point of view instead of a rational one :
The argument between "we should not risk destroying our own civilization and cause massive species extinctions as well", versus, "change is good, and warm is better than cold" whereas it would probably be more convincing to most of us if the bill would be presented in clear terms : If we burn this much fossil fuel, this is what it will cost to fix identifiable damage on this-and-that timeframe. And define who would pay that bill, whatever it may turn out to be.
Once we have done that, the price on fossil carbon is determined, and we can take it from there.

Without a clear-headed cost-benefit analysis, we will be arguing until the cows come home, and nothing happens.


Rob wrote:

we will be arguing until the cows come home

Wouldn't that rather be "until the cows are swimming home"?

I couldn't resist, just a joke, sorry. :-)


About the costs, well, Rob, one amazing point from the report by the Dutch Office for Habitation Planning (PBL Planbureau v.d. Leefomgeving) is that they foresee benefits in agriculture and tourism. They foresee a better concurrence position in tourism because the mediterranean region won't be as attractive through drought and heat.
Count your blessings???



An ignorant transatlantic question:

Don't the BSL areas of Holland have issues with the water table now (soil saturation/drainage, saline intrusion)?

I always thought that the Netherlands reclaimed the polders from the Zuider Zee primarily to increase farmland, so this issue must have been dealt with somehow...

Or is your weather so overcast/rainy and/or the North Sea so fresh that it isn't much of an issue?


Does the pack look even more religeous today? (ie more holes/holier)


It does to me, but the cloud cover is a real problem in assessing the daily images. One tends to subconsciously assume that the (white) cloud is ice, even when it is clearly not. This affects the overall impression.

Today, there is a bit less cloud near the Chukchi vortex - hence an increase in apparent religiosity.........


Evening Dabize,
I’ll give your question a short reply, have to get some sleep.
The Netherlands has a fourth layer of government dedicated to watermanagement. The roots of these institutions, which are regionally based, lay in the middle ages. They are responsible for both the aspects you mentioned:
on saturation/drainage: a more or less exact water level is held day and night through powerful water pumping stations. The BSL part has an immensely dense system of waterditches and canals to hold and conduct ground- and rainwater. Drainage has been installed in some 40% of the grounds.
On saline intrusion: demands great effort; a lot of BSL polders are often ‘washed’ with fresh water from the Rhine and Maas. Pressure on the freatic surface is high in the deeper stretches. To prohibit wells breaking through, in a lot of canal bottoms heavy sandlayers have to be installed to counter the pressure.
Just two items; maybe not on topic here, but illustrative of the cost to maintain BSL lands. And the costs will get higher.
PS now that I’m writing this, I suddenly get why our approach is rather technical.

Chris Biscan


While everyone has been stuck on the amazing Greenland situation.

Both the GFS and Euro in 5-6 days develop crippling Dipole Anomalies. I mean bleeping crippling, they also torch the hell out of Greenland and the Canadian Archipelago.

It's quite incredible to say the least.


OT as usual. Thanks Neven, I'm here most days....lurking, learning. I want my new planned series of Arctic artworks to be as multilayered & with accurate details as possible. But things are changing soooo fast I'd better get cracking & finish stuff before it gets too out of date!
As Doug B said elsewhere a while back " Follow every bump in every graph at Neven's Blog. A place where people of all sorts chill out over ice". I thought this a perfect tagline if you ever needed one.
PS I 'imported' my Dutch hubby to help with the vege gardening, he happily left there too.


Chris Biscan,
I’ve been watching GFS and ECMWF too. The point is, there’s so much latent heat available in the lower troposphere. It doesn’t really matter whether the pattern comes about exactly like modelled.
The heat will get into the Arctic. If it does like ECMWF, then expect a melt week like first week of August 2007. It will fix the slush (ESAS/Chukchi/Basin). May get to 1 MKM2 in 7 days.
If not, this year may resemble last year. It’s going to be an exciting two weeks.
BTW the South Dome on Greenland is in positive degrees again.



Thanks very much for that info - one never hears about that side of things over here. Seems to me that the Dutch have earned their sang froid about AGW more than anyone else has- as they have learned to live with this on a daily basis and have mastered the details as nobody else has done. Its amazing to me how comprehensive their response to 1953 was in particular. They will be a tremendous resource for the rest of the (wealthy) world in dealing with sea level rise. That may help London and Shanghai a bit, but not Calcutta, Dacca and even New Orlens, though.


With yesterday's decrease of nearly 84,000 km2, SIA needs to only drop another 1.416 million km2 over the next seven weeks (or so) to set a new minimum record this year. To compare where things stand:

--The 1979-2011 average drop from day 208 (yesterday) to minimum has been 1.646 million, with a median of 1.684 million. The largest additional drop from this day forward has been 2.214 million (2008), while the lowest has been 0.924 million (1997). 23 of the 33 years in the record have seen decreases after day 208 that would set a new record minimum were they to be repeated this year.

--Over the last ten years, the average post-day 208 decrease has been slightly higher, about 1.69 million, with a median of 1.685 million. The largest drop from this day forward has, again, been 2.214 million (2008), while the lowest has been 1.191 million (2005). Eight of those past ten years have seen post-day 208 decreases that would set a new record minimum were they to be repeated this year.

I realized the possible dangers in extrapolating this way, but, well, there you are...

Chris Biscan

It will take a volcano for a new SIA to not be reached.

As for Jaxa, windsat and their lower resolution could prevent one. Pending the shape of the ice.

If AMSR-2 was up and running, I have no doubt Bremen and Jaxa would both set new min's.

Like how last year Jaxa was 300,000km2 above Bremen because of two things.

Jaxa used 12.5km grid cells, bremen 6.25km and jaxa used channel 23 and 37 for there spatial footprint for temperature brightness, Bremen used channel 89 and it's high resolution.


Certainly would need a Krakatau [Pinatubo a burb by comparison] to even dent the chances of not passing anything before 2007. The energy is already in the system and it taking quite some time to get the full kick of volcanic impact, plus it has to be at the right latitude.

Given the extreme solar exposure warnings [7] I heard off in passing through Schiphol to include ozone development at ground level on Thursday/Friday, and same here meridionale Italy [40C today], could it be the UV factor is giving the extra kick [that ozone layer damage again]? For now, July 23 data has passed all years 1 day minimum prior to 1996: http://bit.ly/CTNHMn .

P.S. A discussion Krakatau, Pinatubo and the monstrum of all, Toba:


Latter link has a small chart that can be viewed larger, putting various eruptions in perspective [don't be deceived by the height of the lines... it's the scale on left

P.P.S. Few more days and MASIE passes JAXA. The 15% v 30% concentration is also interesting in how they develop: http://bit.ly/MASDMI

Tor Bejnar

I’m inspired by the “from this day to the end of the melt loss” considerations of others, and looking at the apparently-no-longer-popular http://i137.photobucket.com/albums/q210/Sekerob/Climate/Arctic_SIA_Days_Million_Decline_Steps.png .)

As the end of the melting season approaches each year, the melt rate approaches zero, regardless of area/extent, and the date of minimum extent has only varied by about 20, maybe 25, days over the 30 years of satellite data. Although many years never had the current area/extent, all years around today had extent losses of between 100K/9-19 days (per Seke Rob’s photobucket graph on Neven’s graphs page). The brown (days to 1st day below 9.0M) extent loss rate has always been in the 100K/8-18 days range. On the other hand, the purple (days to 1st day below 7.0M) extent loss rate (when realized) was always 100K/20 days or more before 1998, and has always been below 100K/17 days after 2001 (with a mix during the 4 years - ’98-01 - in between). I see linear trends and non-linear trends in all this data.

The graph (or virtual graph) I’m seeing, but don’t know how to create, is inspired by Wipneus’s PIOMAS graphs showing curve-fitting formulae projecting ice volume decline. Curve-fitting can also be applied to project ice area/extent for dates in the future. Based on the “ignored” Seke Rob graph referenced above, one can extend the average lines (“1st Day below 7M” etc.) into the future. But there are more possibilities here.

1) First, I notice that all of the line-segment connected data in this Seke Rob graph appear to show linear trends. Second, the average lines drawn (or not)(for the century crossings) appear to be virtually parallel for <9M and <8M, while the slope of subsequent average lines get progressively steeper. There must be physical causes for the observed changing slopes, but that is for others to discern. For well over a year, I've been considering the apparent predictability of the changes in the different trend lines.

Now, I’d like to graph not only “1st Day < 7M” data points (as Seke Rob has done) but also “1st Day < 7.1M” etc., creating 10 trend lines for every existing one. I expect all the extra average lines to parallel or change slope in a similar manner to the existing century crossing lines. But do they? All these lines can be projected into the future, suggesting a certain date for any particular area or extent.

2) Not only can projections be extended to the right, but they can be extended upwards as well. For example, 1996 could have a projected (phantom) “1st Day below 5M” of about day #258, by extending the series of area (by date) of that year. (This could be done graphically by plotting Day-of-Year against Area and fitting some curve (exponential, log, 2nd degree poly?) to mathematically project an area for any particular day “as if it had continued melting”. This extrapolation would create phantom data points for past years that never melted enough, and would provide some “data” with which to produce a “1st Day below 4M” average trend line and, ultimately a “1st Day below 1M” average trend line. (Will these trend lines remain linear?) These lines based in part or entirely on phantom data can be projected into the future. When does the “1st Day below 1M” trend line enter the realm of possibility – in what year does that line get down to day 250 or 265?

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