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Jeez, I always thought that the reason for the reluctance of the West Kara to freeze last winter was, well, Ob'vious!

I won't apologize...its your fault for bringing up the issue of freshwater discharge.........

As someone who has championed the role of convection (storm caused and otherwise) as a cause for increased in situ melt this year, I say than both Arms are most likely to vaporize (or liquefy) simultaneously.

The LB upwelling (assuming it is caused by Anu's very nice suggested mechanism) will presumably continue to widen the Bite at the expense of in situ ice on either side. If you compare photomontages of this area before and after the storm, you can recognize large chunks of ice that haven't moved much, or have moved in small circles, never leaving the area. Therefore I think the ice is going to meet its fate on the spot.


Boo! Hiss! Bring back Neven!

TWO spelling mistakes in one post (peninsulas and astutely). Neven's only made one spelling mistake in two YEARS, in his second language!

More seriously, the 30 day gif of Sea Surcafe Sanility here...


...seems pertinent.

Andrew Borst

My ignorant guess is that the AOBC upwells there. I don't think this is new but might be stronger.

Good graph in this paper, I think we could drop the question mark on the current that causes the laptev bite.


From the link below,

We attribute the changes in the Atlantic layer to changes (in temperature and salinity and/or volume) in the outflow from the Barents Sea the previous winter, possibly caused by an observed increased flow of ice from the Arctic Ocean into the Barents Sea. The change in water properties also strengthens the cold halocline layer and increases the stability of the upper ocean. This suggests a feedback in which ice exported from the Arctic Ocean into the Barents Sea promotes ice


Alan Clark

Three spelling mistakes - solstice (second para).

Tor Bejnar

I have the privilege of finding #4!

I am happy, however, to have Anu's idea highlighted.

Fairfax Climate Watch

The Aug. 9th Uni Bremen extent map (color enhanced version), when laid on top of that bathymetry map shows a nearly perfectly snug fit of a long stretch of 100% ice cover nestled along the Lomonosov Ridge. Opposite this ice feature is more-or-less a mirrored negative of low sea ice, and it also looks like a plume, starting where the continental shelf descends into the basin. On a similar note, the ice extent towards Europe seems to be fixed upone the location where the European continental shelf ends and the basin begins. The plume characteristic could be coincidence in my opinion, but likely is not. That image suggests to me that in some shape, strong upwelling was underway that day, primarily being influenced by the Lomonosov Ridge.

Aaron Lewis

The LB is right where the mid-Atlantic ridge enters the Eurasian continental shelf, and there is a deep spot. There was a recent earthquake where the East Pacific rise enters Eurasia from the south see http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/eventpage/usc000bz29#summary

So it may just be the Mid-Atlantic Ridge is spreading under the Laptev sea and a small eruption of lava or hydrothermal venting is occurring. When I look at http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/world/russia/seismicity.php I think not! However there is that little Earthquake right where the LB would be. And, this is only a thousand miles from Iceland (along the ridge), which had significant volcanic activity in 2010.

Today, I would not make a bet one way or the other.

Fairfax Climate Watch

It would be nice to know what that feature is. It looks like a series of three craters to me, but the resolution I have is not great.

Doug Lofland

I am new to this blog, but it is the best on the Internet by far. Great job! One thing that I don't see mentioned: As the Arctic eventually becomes liquid closer to the pole, could the more fluid water form a whirlpool type event from the earths rotation? I live and work on the ocean in S. FL, and in the months after the 2007 minimum, there were very high tides, sometimes over a foot above predicted, that occurred in Great Britain, and all the way down the US coast. There were no storms that caused this, and celestial events were already predicted and factored. There was minor flooding in many areas, but no disaster; just a lot of nuisance flooding, i.e., sea water puddles on roads, surf and sand an A1A a couple times, complaints of damage to cars from corrosion. If you look at NOAA online tide stations in Oct to Nov 2007, from Maine to Florida it was evident. Take a bowl of water, put it on a turntable, and spin it. The water pushes out from the center. Cover it with ice cubes, and it's less. Freeze the surface, and it does not push out at all. But the Arctic "bowl" is not round, and has a side open to the Greenland Sea and eventually the North Atlantic. So as the Arctic gets fluid, could water be pushed out into the North Atlantic, and then pulled back in as it freezes in the winter. I watched the Seaice.dk images that winter of the Nares Strait, and posted this animation on Youtube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BLabTAS_MWs Another factor that could influence this would be the recent cyclone, that might have mixed up or destroyed the freshwater lens. Early Arctic mariners called the lens"dead water" because it could stop a ship. Even in the tropics, a surge of rainwater will have a calming effect on an ocean that can last several days. So if the 2012 minimum is like 2007, plus the lens is gone, plus radical melting of Greenland, cause a surge of water that can only go into the North Atlantic? And how fast would a surge move South?

Fairfax Climate Watch

On closer examination, it looks like 4 volcanic craters, the largest roughly 40km in diameter.

Also, I found this informative:

Fairfax Climate Watch

If it is volcanic activity punching the hole in the ice there, then that would mean significant energy inputs towards mixing in the Amundsen Basin.

This could clear up a lot on the issue of mixing in the Amundsen Basin, since its been looking to me like some kind of upwelling is occurring there along the ridges, but without wind to drive it. But volcanic plumes from up to four approx. 40km wide volcanos could drive the upwelling.

That then raises many new questions. The two immediate ones I have are:
1) Can this volcanic activity reach a level to alter the paths or speed of ocean currents outside the Arctic?

2) With the ice already at very low thicknesses, what impact might such volcanic activity have on the ice itself, and the atmosphere above?

Artful Dodger

Wottle ya know? A third major Arctic ocean current, the Arctic Circumpolar Boundary Current: (ACBC)

Steve C

A few thoughts about the Laptev Bite and possible geothermal origin. The Mid-Atlantic spreading ridge essentially changes name to the Gakkel ridge in the Arctic. It's slowly-spreading but has apparently produced volcanoes, as M. Owens has shown here.

A USGS map of the Russian end of the Gakkel Ridge is here:
The tip of the red line seems to me to correlate quite closely with the Laptev Bite.

Interestingly, this spreading ridge has a number of active geothermal vents, apart from volcanoes:
"Discovery of abundant hydrothermal venting on the ultraslow-spreading Gakkel ridge in the Arctic Ocean"

Arguing against a geothermal vent causing this localized melt, the temperature "signature" of these vents is a mere 0.06 C warming at a km or so above the vents.

But maybe we've found hints of a full-fledged volcano there. If so, I propose a name: "Neven's Volcano."

Fairfax Climate Watch

hmm, I don't know if that would be an honor... or something else...to have a volcano named after you..


Just to add to the mix try http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/satellite/index.uk.php
set to 15 days and animate/loop, it appears to show an eastward shift of energy on both counts that passes through/under this area. Follows directly the clearing of strait between S.Z. and Taymyr

Fairfax Climate Watch

I read the ACBC takes 20 years to complete its circuit. Is this fast enough to transport heat into the LB?


How this post "jumped out of order" while editing I don't know - apologize - maybe the same wayward fingers that cause misspelling / typos.

Remko Kampen

Sea ice area according to NSDIC: record fell yesterday.


M. Owens

If the volcanic action results in added heat to the water with upwelling, especially from along the Mid-Atlantic Ridge North of Iceland into the Arctic via the Barents, Kara Seas, and Northern Sea Route - it's getting attention from places other than me.

"it's going to cause a set back for AGW and give skeptics / deniers information to call folks like me 'extreme alarmists' - while not wishing to give them a 'heads-up' it an issue that is rising - JackT"

Seke Rob

Remko, we record that here as the CT record (the site publishing the chart).

Remko Kampen

The CT record, thanks Seke Rob. Well, I guess all records have gone now.

Seke Rob

No, the NSIDC-SIE is one of them still to go [see Arctic-ROOS thread]. It cant be but shortly.

Account Deleted

What are being called arms look more like toes to me with two already broken off and the remaining two being crushed. Looks painful.

Dave Leaton

Jack, everything is fodder for denialist misinterpretation. In this case, they'd have to demonstrate that Arctic vulcanism has increased significantly over the past 30 years.

Fairfax Climate Watch

In my experience, which includes circulating various political petitions in person, and other frequent conversations with members of my peers and non-peers regarding climate change, I can say that deniers reject the truth in more ways than one.

In fact, their mind states often border a mental pathology which extends beyond their views on global warming and negatively impacts many other aspects of their personal lives.

Another key feature they share: very large shortcomings in basic math and science education.

In short, they suffer from non-acknowledged mental problems and have a poor education which leaves them ill-equipped to make sense of the reality around them, on all levels! I don't give such people the time of day on such an important issue.

When I find out that someone rejects climate change science, I take several quick steps. First, if the conversation has been friendly and polite thus far, I ask or comment something to determine their level of conviction, something like, “well the science has changed a lot lately, you might change your mind if I told you about some of the recent developments.” If the person responds to this with a definitively closed mind, I cease discussion, and leave at the first possible opportunity, and avoid interactions of any sort with that person in the future, if at all possible. This is because these people are not rational, and they are prone to erratic behavior, so I treat them like I would most homeless people: with respect, but the firm knowledge that they have big problems that could lead to harming me if I get too close. I am not a social worker or psychiatrist.

As far as the impact of deniers in the public discussion – I think a similar approach should work, namely, ignoring them and refusing to acknowledge their arguments or perspectives. When giving a public speech, if some drunkard starts throwing garbage at you, would you argue with him not to throw things, or take other more quick and decisive actions to remove him and continue the speech? If we allow these drunkard-like rejecters to have power over us, we’ll suffer for it.

So no. If discussing volcanism in the Arctic gives the losing side something to say, then so be it. They will always have something to say, regardless of the truth because they don’t need the truth to construct their fantasies and inflations.

Jim Williams

M.Owens, I agree. Block early. Block often. We are well past the point where there is any debate about climate change....

...Well...actually...I think what we're seeing now is the effects from the Industrial Revolution of the Nineteenth Century. "You ain't seen nothing yet."

Ready for the rollercoaster ride?


But maybe we've found hints of a full-fledged volcano there. If so, I propose a name: "Neven's Volcano."

I'm sorry, that name is reserved for my wife. :-p

Fairfax Climate Watch

Looking over the CT archive, I see what looks to like it could be the signature of the ACBC in the LB area. I note this in at least one third of the years. If this is the ACBC’s signature in the reduced ice concentration of the LB during these years, then it seems like volcanism could have piggybacked onto the ACBC to cause the higher degree of melting above the Amundsen Basin.

Seke Rob

Aaron Lewis, your Earthquake observation interests me [live on an Italian crack], and opened the Quake-Catcher Network (QCN) jobs' 3D graphics that's running on my laptop taking about 0.05% of one CPU thread [using the system's accelerometer] and pulls in all other quake registrations of the past 14 days. The connection to the fault as shown by the USGS to the fault going across the Arctic, passing under the "Laptev Bite", is not evident, no quake either of any strength near the LB. http://i137.photobucket.com/albums/q210/Sekerob/Climate/QCNGraphics.png Is that red spot on the Russian map really recent... it says "Seismicity Map - 1900 to Present. Is this one of those burbs that could get blown up by the likes of this Australian guy [forgot his name... was it Ian Plimer?]... Suddenly the ice starts melting, or is it that the water general temperature is now getting to the point where that 0.06C at 1000 meters vertical from vent is starting to act up. For me no bets either.

Aaron Lewis

Mostly, what caught my eye was the funny shape and depth at the "end" of the Gakkel.(I live on a live crack in California. I just use USGS mostly as I do not worry as much about the coming BigOne as I do about AGW.)

Looks like you have more tools and background on the topic than I do.

I think that even a tiny temperature differential could drive vertical currents in a body of water as still as the iced over Arctic. With less ice, there will likely be more current (of all sources), and it will make less difference.

Over all, I do not think that even a new volcano the size of Iceland would make any difference in the context of AGW.

Fairfax Climate Watch


(the most recent bathymetry map).

Tor Bejnar
Fairfax Climate Watch

Following up on the ACBC:



There is another effect I am observing in the Godiva2 thickness imagery. The narrow lt 1 to 1.5 m thick band of sea ice (dark blue)that stretches from north of Greenland, past the NP and towards the East Siberian Sea is beginning to lengthen.

The model movement seems to portray warming water that is reducing ice thickness, and simultaneously creating a stream of current moving the ice across the Arctic towards the Barents. The band of 2 meter plus ice the (light blue) is narrowing.

Flip back and forth between the 081912 and 081212 imagery for a better illustration.


A4R It also looks like there's a current of sorts flowing between nares and the pole, on the concentration images, giving a hint that the pack could split into three, unless it's consolidated by the weather.

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