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Artful Dodger

Yes Redin, the author of the post has permissions. He'll be back soon enough. Til then, DNFTT ;^)


Artful Dodger, etc.

The August 27 Godiva 2 Sea Ice Thickness and Concentration have been updated.


Check at the bottom of the page (scroll down) and the kmz's for 8/27/12 are available. They should be downloadable.


Steve C

Rob Dekker wrote:
"OBUOY4 and the ice it was on has been terminated, during a rolacoaster ride over the past week through the Fram Strait ice cruncher."

Actually,it was just a few hours on Aug 25. With little wind present, it just suddenly started moving west at very improbable speed, until a very sudden stop. It spanned several degrees of longitude across the Fram over a few hours. At the end of this time, the webcam seems to have been knocked around, as it seems to point straight down.

I can only think that some boat snagged it and moved it, or perhaps a whale or shark swallowed some undersea dangling cable. The lack of subsequent movement suggests to me the trip ended with a collision with fast ice.

Very peculiar event, indeed.

O-Buoy, oh boy.


Artful Dodger

Hi. obouy4 must have been recovered by a research vessel. The current picture shows it staring down at some deckplate.


Rob Dekker

Thanks Steve, Lodger,
I think you are right about the recovery, lodger.
Since I'm capturing the images again, if they do the same with OBUOY6, I'll make a short movie out of it..

Artful Dodger

Cool, Rob. I'd buy that for a dollar! (it's a tough life, being a robotic arctic-sea-ice traffic-cop)


CT area:

2012.6466 -2.3111002 2.7270751 5.0381756
2012.6493 -2.3556986 2.6431620 4.9988608
2012.6521 -2.3801892 2.5944920 4.9746809

Seke Rob

? That's the before yesterday's. No update for the 27th yet that came to my corner on this 3rd rock from the sun.

Seke Rob

This... is the new record:

2012.6493 -2.3556986 2.6431620 4.9988608
2012.6521 -2.3801892 2.5944920 4.9746809
2012.6548 -2.3606837 2.5695634 4.9302468



Yah, sorry about that.

Artful Dodger

So, speculating here. DMI 30% threshold SIE is @ ~2.7 M km^2 now. IJIS and NSIDC 15% threshold stands close to 3.9 M km^2

Doing some deft arithmetic, I think that means there is roughly 1.2 M km^2 of SIE with concentrations in the range 15-30%.

To me, that means there's still 1.2 M more extent in play for Summer 2012. If half of that goes, that's 0.6 M fewer square kilometers, which would be a min SIE of 3.3 M km^2.

It's all at risk as long as the winds keep stirring the slushie. Little help please, Werther?

Seke Rob

(Wh)at a loss!


As ever less days and remaining residual melt there is left, the lesser the *projected* 2012 budges. No change from yesterday, still 2.36M as bottom out. Frankly, think we can only stick them up those hands and be at gunpoint mercy at of Nature's revenge.



Did you attempt to download the kmz files?

Scroll to the bottom of the page, the white (or yellow) down arrows enable downloading.

I will post 08/28 as soon as it is available. If you want previous dates posted, name it and I can pull it. It is not straight forward to get it (It is a wacky workaround), so I am being selective on historical data.

Artful Dodger

Thanks A4R, G-Earthling as we speak. "it's so tiny..."



You are welcome. I am interested in your findings.

Jim Williams

I was hunting for information of changes in the Arctic Currents and ran across this Article, unfortunately the paper itself is behind a paywall. Does anyone know anything more about the warming of the current through Fram Strait?


"Water flowing into the Arctic Ocean from the Atlantic Ocean is about 2 °C warmer today than it has been for at least 2,000 years, according to a study published in Science. The findings add to the picture of Earth's warming waters and melting sea ice, and the researchers suggest that the temperature rise is linked to amplification of climate change in the Arctic.

"Robert Spielhagen, a palaeoceanographer at the Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences in Kiel, Germany, and his colleagues focused on the Fram Strait, which runs between Greenland and Norway's Svalbard archipelago, and which hosts the biggest channel of warm water flowing into the Arctic. The current of warm water lies 50 metres below the surface, and can reach a balmy 6 °C in summer — warm in comparison to the frigid Arctic, where icy surface waters can be -2 °C." etc...


I don,t know if it has been posted: fast bottom melt in the recently deployed new IMB buoys:



Paul Butler

Jim Williams:

They find that surface Atlantic water (AW) in the Fram Strait has warmed by ~2°C during the past ~120 years and also that modern summer temperatures of uppermost AW in the eastern Fram Strait are >1.5°C higher than multidecadal mean temperature maxima during the MCA.

But they also note that

eastern Norwegian Sea SSSTs in the late
1990s do not clearly deviate from those occurring periodically during the MCA (22, 23).

so they conclude that

Our finding of unequaled warm modern AW temperatures in the eastern Fram Strait with respect to the previous 2000 years (including the warm periods in Roman and Medieval times) may thus express another facet of the Arctic amplification of global warming. Recent model results (25, 26) reveal the important role of sea ice and atmospheric pressure fields in the Barents Sea as a possible amplifier, which may, at least in part, be responsible for the exceptionally warm AW advection.

22. N. Koç, E. Jansen, in Climate Development and History of the North Atlantic Realm (Springer-Verlag, Berlin,
2002), pp. 165–173.
23. D. Klitgaard Kristensen et al Paleoceanography 19, PA2007 (2004).
25. Goosse & Holland, J. Clim. 18, 3552 (2005).
26. V. A. Semenov et al GRL 36, L14709 (2009).


Another scarey point is that most of those graphs still seem to be pointing in only one direction. I hope they start flattening out fast because next spring could start very ugly.

David Sanger

Jim, the Spielhagen et al (2011) paper "Enhanced Modern Heat Transfer to the Arctic by Warm Atlantic Water" is here:


(slow server)

Jim Williams

Thanks David.


Picture time


Timothy Chase

LRC wrote:

Another scarey point is that most of those graphs still seem to be pointing in only one direction.
Case in point:

JAXA IJIS Sea Ice Extent

Current trajectory right on top of linear trendline set 90-40 days ago.

LRC wrote:

I hope they start flattening out fast because next spring could start very ugly.
Try CT Sea Ice Area...

It is beginning to pull up. Area pulls up before extent.

Artful Dodger

Hi A4R,

First Google Earth result posted on "Record Dominoes 3" thread on August 29, 2012 at 14:08, in response to the Aug 20 question posted by DrTskoul.

Thanks again, A4R. Excellent resource, especially when integrated with transparent MODIS overlays.


r w Langford

Arctic mean temperature is starting to wander off into its own little world.



That's great to hear. I'll take a look.

The 08/28 Godiva2 Sea Ice Concentration and Thickness imagery are available.

Check the bottom of the page for the kmz files.


George Phillies

Looking at IJIS measurements from past years, one might convince oneself that a normal behavior seen in some years, looking back a while and forward for some weeks, is that the ice amount declines roughly linearly in time. The end comes at different dates in different years. That pattern appears to be repeating this year as the JIS ice quantity appears to be falling close to linearly with time, just at a (much) steeper slope than in other years. Of course, if you believed that, you would conclude that IJIS will bottom someplace near 2-2.5 million square kilometers sometime mid-to-later part of the month.

Steve C

Meanwhile, Jakobshavn Glacier appears to be simply disintegrating:
Jakobshavn glacier, August 20, 2012

August 29, 2012



That is wild - how long is the fracturing section?


SteveC and A4R, I think you're misinterpreting the images - Jakobshavn has basically not changed at all in the past year. The calving front is the two concave lobes at lower right, indented into the main ice sheet. The stuff that fills the fjord to the coast is a great mass of icebergs and brash ice.

Jakobshavn lost some big pieces last year IIRC, but this year the calving front has remained roughly stationary. It's still calving lots of ice from both the northern and southern arms of the ice stream, but flow is replacing the calved ice, leaving both concave calving fronts where they were.


Jim Williams, I've written an extensive piece on Ocean Heat Flux. Just type it in the Search box (can't link to it due to a mega-slow internet connection).

The weather forecast would have spelled slowdown in 2010 and 2011 (and previous years), but this "slushie" year is different.


Hi Skywatcher, Steve C,
Apart from my posts on 24 and 27 june this calving passed rather unnoticed. The red parts had an area of ca. 16 km2.
I would still like this to be confirmed by professionals.
What I like about Steve's pics is that they illustrate a flushing of all debris over the sill at the mouth of the fjord. Bergs were grounded there. Our blogfriend Twemoran often checks on high tides. This could be the effect.


Day 243
UB shows an ice sheet that could completely fit within the area north of 80degrees. Without the area taken in over there by Ellesmere and Greenland.
DMI pressure shows the set-up of winds on the Atlantic side. Waiting is now for the impact. First results could be clear through MODIS later today (if not cloudy).
Healy is now 1245 km N of Barrow. Well into the pack as shown by UB. Still a lot of open water.


Hi Werther - I see what you mean about the June calving event, but since then, the calving front has advanced to the point that it is in a very similar position to where it was one year ago (I'm looking at 2012242 and 2011233 on the r02c02 MODIS subset). But in between times, (e.g. 2012200), there have obviously been some big calving events, as you've noted. Clearly the calving front fluctuates a fair bit, perhaps not surprisingly as we know a vast amount of ice goes through the calving front (ice flow >20m/day). So unlike Petermann, what's lost can 'grow back' pretty quickly! It will be interesting to keep an eye on it in coming years, as you have done.


Steve wrote

Jakobshavn Glacier appears to be simply disintegrating


Skywatcher replied:

but this year the calving front has remained roughly stationary

The former doesn't contradict the latter.

It's true, and clearly visible at both the images, the calving front hasn't retreated.

On the other hand, it's obvious the ice has darkened, has darkened substantially.

Ice is getting darker means there is developping fluid water under the surface.

The darker a glacier's surface ice is getting, all the more fluid water is developping under it's surface.

So apparently an important melt has developped in no more than 9 days. Basically from the fjord with open water till the glaciers "tongue".

And it well could be, if it would stay like that there wouldn't be an Illulisat glacier anymore within 3 years.

Espen Olsen


"And it well could be, if it would stay like that there wouldn't be an Illulisat glacier anymore within 3 years."

Is that not a too dramatic statement?

Roman Polach

It looks like for DMI melt season already ended:



Masie down 784K in 4 days!
Now 4259834.21 lower than 2011. (Not sure about 2007.)

So the extra ice IMS/MASIE has seems as if it can melt out quickly. Perhaps when supply of small bits dries up because pack is starting to freeze up?

With CT Area still going down, I doubt DMI melt season has ended - it often seems to go horizontal and area usually reaches minimum before extent for obvious reasons.


MASIE 2011 minimum was 4302977.96 on day 257, beaten that 16 days earlier.

On day 241 of 2011 MASIE was at 4889458.95. So this year we are currently 630k lower.


Do people agree that we might be about to see another big blob float away from the main ice pack in the central arctic?

Similar to that we saw in the Chukchi Sea area after the cyclone?



CT area is now below half the minima of eight previous years, something which hadn't happend for a single year until 2012.

Day (area) (2x area): year(s) passed (area)
232 (2.74199) (5.48398): 1980 (5.50771)
235 (2.65255) (5.30510): 1983 (5.38693), 1986 (5.38184), 1979 (5.30673)
237 (2.64316) (5.28632): 1987 (5.28899)
238 (2.59449) (5.18898): 1996 (5.23818)
239 (2.56956) (5.13912): 1988 (5.14489)
240 (2.52242) (5.04484): 1982 (5.13906)

Artful Dodger

Hi Efredri, ... (continued on Record dominoes 3: Cryosphere Today SIA)

r w Langford

An interesting report on mixing differences of bottom melted multi year ice compared to first year saltier ice. This increased mixing caused by saltier first year ice is bringing warmer deep water to the surface. Another nail in the ice coffin.


r w langford

The disruption of the cold water lens could answer a lot of questions. Having 200 meters of warm water directly under the ice can't be good, and is another reason for the need for a large MYI fraction.

With further losses of MYI through the CA this year it has to be assumed that this process will become even more important in the year(s?) ahead.

This could be huge.



Piomas surprised me by coming out with an"interim" number for sea ice volume (through 8/25). While it is clearly well below the record, it struck me that it probably was not going to lead to the kind of numbers that would mean that next year was automatically going to be an utter disaster. Rather than do anything really sophisticated in the way of analysis, i simply downloaded the additional daily data values and built a table showing the range of the ratio of (8/1 -9/15)/(8/1-8/25). Not surprisingly, there is not a lot of additional volume loss beyond 8/25 in the historical record. Not that we couldn't get more , but the kind of very low projected value that i had in early july doesn't look to be in the cards. (2.3 or thereabouts). why the model didn't work very well is an interesting problem that i have begun to chew on. (more on this real soon now). (incidentally, after the July number came out i redid the projection and the new projection was 3.6). the current set of results, (3.1 to 3.4 ) doesn't give those of us who worry about the arctic any comfort, but it also doesn't suggest that 2013 will be the year the arctic will be effectively ice free.

table showing range of final projected sea ice volume.
1.11 2.41092 0.23892 3.36008
1.18 2.56296 0.39096 3.20804
1.22 2.64984 0.47784 3.12116

col (1) is ratio of final arctic sea ice vol (proxy is value for 9/15) less 8/1 to 8/25 less 8/1 Upper and lower values taken from a histogram of all data from 1979 to 2011.

colum (2) is observed change (2.171) times column (1). Column (3) is the additional loss estimated to occur by the minimum, and col (4) is the observed value on 8/25 less the projected change. ( projections are largely mechanical exercises--as compared to predictions--where in my book anyway,, the analyst should have some skin in the game).



My simple projection was that this year should hit around 3.2. I think that that is going to be about right. This is just a quadratic projection, which matches my understanding of the very basic physics.

Alan Clark

The latest volume figure is right on the "expected" value on this graph, as it was at the start of August:


The cyclone seems to have no effect, apart from a small but temporary reduction in ice volume relative to what was "expected". I find that surprising, given the large reduction in area this month.

Peter Ellis

I find that surprising

Why? Look at the area graph and see if you could spot the effect of the GAC if you didn't already know when it was. Heck, do the same for the IJIS / NSIDC / Bremen area graphs. If you fit a trendline through July, it continues essentially unchanged right through the GAC and beyond. If anything, it pulls up a tiny bit just before the GAC, and then drops back down to the overall trend. The only graph where the GAC has an immediate and obvious effect is DMI, and even then, if you put the trendline before/after, there's not much effect.

Like the recent NSIDC update says, the GAC mainly cleared out a lot of ice that was already beginning to go, and it's not clear how much of a net effect it had. Yes, it pulled up some deeper warm water and advected some warmer air from Siberia. But it also brought clouds, dropped snow, reduced insolation etc. Most of the effects were localised and transient.

All of the extent graphs are nigh on straight from the start of June to the end of August, and THAT is the big story. Not the GAC, the real game changer this ear is that melt just didn't level off in August (and still hasn't). That's driven by melting in the central pack, up above 80 degrees N, well beyond the immediate effects of the cyclone. It's almost certainly down to the pack just being thinner overall so that more of it finally gives up during the bottom-melt part of the season.

One year, some time before 2020, we'll have a year pretty much like this one, except that the line will be about 30% steeper, which means that instead of taking us from 12 down to 3, it'll take us from 12 to zero.

Peter Ellis

And yes, looking at the way the line just keeps on trucking, I wouldn't be surprised to see it get near 3 this year.

Rob Dekker

Good news : A lot of new buoys have been installed in the West Arctic ice margin :

I already mentioned OBUOY7 and 8 yesterday, but also new buoys have been put in place that give us info from under the ice :

For one : CRREL has installed 3 brand new Ice Mass Balance (IMB) buoys in the ice margin : buoys 2012L, 2012I and 2012J.

These IMBs measure thickness of the ice over time, which is very useful info, especially during this transition from melt to freeze.

Even better : CRREL (US Navy) cooperated with the Russians, and two of these IMB buoys (I and J) are placed on the Russian side of the West Arctic, an area from which we amateurs normally get very little data. And now we get data from two IMB bouys in the ice margin. Awesome !

2012J has been in place for two weeks now, and shows that ice there on the Russian side has been bottom-melting at a rate of about 2cm/day (even though atmospheric temps are dropping below freezing). The ocean has a LOT of heat to get rid of apparently...

Buoy 2012L is at the OBUOY7 location in the northern Beaufort, and just started recording a few days ago.

For two, NPS installed 3 new Ocean Flux buoys in just the last few days :
These buoys measure temperature of water and water movement under the ice very accurately, so that they can calculate heat flux (bottom melt rate).

AOFB24 (again at the location of OBUOY7) shows that a couple of days ago, started recording 50 W/m^2 (1.3 cm/day bottom melt), but this heat flux is dwindling fast.
Bottom-melt will soon be over...

Finally, the good folks at Woods Hole have installed ITP 65 (at the OBUOY7 site again), but I have not seen the data on their web site yet.

A Facebook User

PIOMAS data through Aug 25 are posted now. Next update probably a few days into September. Axel


There is a factor that PIOMAS does not include in their calculations and that is the quality of the ice. MYI ice is very dense and pure and therefore needs a lot of energy to melt. That is no longer around. I believe that even the thickest ice that is still around is structurally very weak in comparison and even a perfect ice making winter would not improve things enough that even a summer like this year would not take a farther big bite out of the ice.
Do not get me wrong in that I am belittling the importance of volume I just think that the character of the Arctic ice has changed so much in the last 5 years that the quality (granted a much harder measure to make quantitatively) of the ice has now far more important then even volume. It is my belief that that is why the ice is melting in the way it has, because no one really appreciated how pure the condition even the thick ice is in.
(My 2 cents from a very amateur neophyte.)

Artful Dodger

Hi, LRC.

I've asked Axel previously here at the ASI blog about how PIOMAS treats multiyear ice wrt ice age/salinity/heat of fusion, but I haven't seen a response. Nor have I seen a discussion of the issue in the UWash/PRC paper on PIOMAS validation and reliability.

So I think we don't know how ice quality is treated, but we also can't say that it isn't treated in PIOMAS.

Perhaps if you have a few moments, you could comment further, Axel?



Kris, you know that in the Jakobshavn images above the long white arm that extends from lower right to upper left is not the glacier, right? It is a mass of icebergs and other ice debris being churned out by the calving fronts which are at the far lower-right of the image. So there has been neither a major recent disintegrating nor collapsing of Jakobshavn as you suggest. What's happened is that the dam, created by big icebergs grounded at the fjord mouth, has released, allowing a lot of the smaller berg debris to escape into the open ocean.

In a glacier ablation area, once the surface snow has melted and you're left with bare, solid ice, you don't get colour changes driven by "developing fluid water under the surface", as the ice is simply not that permeable. Water can accumulate in snow-covered areas, changing the colour of slush, and obviously can pond on the ice surface as supraglacial ponds or lakes. Not so much in heavily-crevassed areas near the calving fronts though (dark grey bits at the far lower-right of the images above), and not into bare ice (as the lower parts are at this time of year).

Noel Ward

I think LRC has a good point. Anyone who lives in a NH area that gets a real winter with consistent cold can attest to the durability (or not!) of ice formed at different times during a winter.

While it is not scientifically accurate or truly comparable, I know the ice around the deeply shaded glacial erratic in my woods behaves and melts quite differently (slower) than the ice that accumulates in areas with more sun. The shaded ice is hard and resists melting, while the other stuff is fragile and goes away much sooner.

If this is the case over a few months, it certainly matters over multiple winters with ice in the Arctic. Quality of ice is hard to measure, especially remotely(!), but is a factor in how the FY ice that accumulates this winter behaves come next summer.

Otto Lehikoinen

"quality of the ice"
at least 5 types of different ices have their own words in finnish:


but they're hard to recognize even when walking on them. 'kohva' traps more air (forms from wet snow) than others (hence it's kinda foggier-grey when even a bit dirty), then there's the capillary action in the nearly invisible cracks on melting ice that some claim makes a different sound when skiing/walking on it than the more solid areas of melting ice. It would be nice to know the weather conditions when the ice formed on a location to be safer, but often this knowledge is not available. Further, the bottom melt on locations may change due the changes in currents so local knowledge of the currents isn't always enough to stay on top of the ice.


New thin ice, nilas, in the latest snapshots from Healy: http://icefloe.net/Aloftcon_Photos/albums/2012/20120831-0801.jpeg

Espen Olsen


That was a bit early?

Alan Clark

The decrease in extent from July 1 to Aug 1 was 2.590 million. The decrease from Aug 1 to Aug 30 was exactly the same, so the decline so far this month is more than in July!

Espen Olsen

Petermann II 2012

It looks like we have a freeze in both comments and polar sea water?

The Petermann ice island is still on the move, 1/3 true Kane Basin and 200 kms left before it reaches Baffin!


Can Not remember if I have said this before, but I am finding out how spoiled I am living in Canada. My favorite broadcaster seems to be one of the best in the world at giving a good picture of what is happening in the Arctic and that is the CBC.


August 29 sea ice and concentration are up including kmz's


Russell McKane

IRAC- JAXA 3,801,406 km2 down a.18,000
CT 2.52616 up approx 400km2
Some Nilas in Healy Photo's and possible refreeze beginning in http://lance-modis.eosdis.nasa.gov/imagery/subsets/?subset=Arctic_r03c04.2012244.terra things are beginning to slow down at last. I think it will be more like last year an early finish to the season.


MASIE is down to 4.027 a 95k drop.

Jim Williams

It's getting to the point where how the different organizations treat the data hole at the North Pole is significant. I think most of them assume it is solid ice.


Record lovers,

Take note of the "hotty" Cold Bay.

As has been stated bij this record report.[= 16,1 °C]

Otto Lehikoinen

Someone asked recently if James Bay or Hudson could stay ice free in future winters,
It looks like the first ice free winter on either would be during an El Nino:


As James Bay is on the latitude of north Germany, it's not a question of insolation but the currents and rainfall setting the freezing temperature for the shallow bay. Water there is normally somewhat brackish due the river runoff so the temperature is higher for the ice formation than that in the Arctic Ocean.

However the el Nino has been noted to decrease precipitation on the areas draining to Hudson and James, so after a strong el Nino early in the autumn with continued nino phase through winter would be my guess for first ice free Hudson/James. Imho this upcoming event is too late for that.


Otto Lehikoinen wrote:

so after a strong el Nino early in the autumn with continued nino phase through winter would be my guess for first ice free Hudson/James.
There have been other "strong" el niño years
in the past. Why then would a new one be so very special in respect to James- and Hudson bays?
Remember, not only the 2010 el niño but especially the 1988 el niño brought much additional humidity to the Oregon's and Quebec's lattitude.

No, to me it looks like to long a shot.

Espen Olsen

I actually believe Hudson Bay and esp. Fox Basin will be one of the last places where the ice will survive in summers, even when the Arctic Sea is open / ice free in the summer, the reason for that is the lack of strong currents and sweet water.

Artful Dodger

The trend in Hudson Bay is for earlier melt out and later freeze up. The open water season is more than 60 days longer now than just a decade ago.


Artful Dodger made the remark:

The open water season is more than 60 days longer now than just a decade ago.

Right indeed. But it's certainly not related to just to "el niño".

And I do agree with the reasons Rob has put to us, Hudson Bay might be very recalcitrant a bay.

We might compare with the Caspian Sea of which the Northern half freezes every year solid.
Actually, it's Northern borders are alreay freezing up now.

BTW, which one do you prefer, the Cockney "AD" or the serious "L*"?

Artful Dodger

Hi Kris, either is fine ;^)

I think the only way Hudson Bay becomes the last bastion of Winter sea ice is if everywhere else warms up much more quickly. Hudbay is already seasonally ice free, and moving inexoribly toward perennially ice free.

My guess? 40 years, +/- 10 ( or +3 watts/m^2 forcing ) for the Central Arctic to reach it's first sea ice free Winter. So if Hudbay can last that long, it wins.



Remember that James Bay is now being fed by the largest hydo project in the world - at least until 3 Gorges comes on line.

All the major rivers on the Quebec side have now been diverted & the reservoir is ridiculously huge. I visited the area prior to the last river coming on line. I didn't tour the facility but assume they're tapping the cold bottom waters.



> Posted by: r w Langford | August 30, 2012 at 17:15
A snippet from your reference - link:
"We're trying to understand why the ice is melting so fast," said Simon Boxall of the Catlin Arctic Survey. "It's not just down to simple warming. There are more complicated processes."

The speed at which sea ice is disappearing in the Arctic has far exceeded almost all predictions and alarmed climate scientists.

Yes, we have very good indicators of how the ice "is"

When they (Catlin) release more data and the cruise of the Swedish Icebreaker Oden tabulates and more data is available, perhaps we will gain some more understanding of why most of the 'MODELS' have under-estimated rate of melting.

Jim Williams

Espen Olsen: "I actually believe Hudson Bay and esp. Fox Basin will be one of the last places where the ice will survive in summers, even when the Arctic Sea is open / ice free in the summer, the reason for that is the lack of strong currents and sweet water."

I would have tended to say that too, given that it's shallow water, but if you look at http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/recent365.anom.region.13.html you'll see that Hudson Bay is already losing its "table top" of completely frozen Winters. If it's already not completely freezing up that doesn't bode well for the future.

Seke Rob

MASIE has done it's thing

31-Aug-2012 2012244 4122141,18
1-Sep-2012 2012245 4027497,41
2-Sep-2012 2012246 3935061,38

Interestingly, Kara was a few days reported as ice free [not any day last year], then 3K showed up again. Their CAB indicates now a close match to 2011. http://bit.ly/MASIEA

Seke Rob

The CAB comment was on the Eyeball of the above linked chart, but ftp://sidads.colorado.edu/DATASETS/NOAA/G02186/plots/r11_Central_Arctic_ts.png is showing firmly below 2011, in numbers -64.6K km^3


Central Basin ice extent and area is still getting smaller.
One of the sectors that contribute is straight north above Frantsa Yosefa Islands. Southern winds pushed the ice boundary to the north. The loss is 30K in two days.
It doesn’t look like compaction; there's only a small band where ice rubble gathers. To the north there’s a 350 km broad band of loose floes, 60% on the south side, 90% where it arises from the rest of the structured mesh pattern ice sheet.

Winds and waters are warm enough to keep this going for a while. But it looks like the structured sheet, about 1 Mkm2, can enter the coming winter ‘safe’.
The slushee will get a snow cover soon. Will it refreeze enough for a ‘normal’ start of next melt season?


Werther wrote:

One of the sectors that contribute is straight north above Frantsa Yosefa Islands. Southern winds pushed the ice boundary to the north.

IMHO even so important at that side is the Gulf stream.

Remember, in September 2007 the line Greenland-->Svalbard-->Franz-Josef-Land-->Severnaya Zemlya-->Siberian coast remained blocked by a solid ice dam.

A barrage broken now till the North of Severnaya Zemlya, till ± 200 km North of these Islands.

On the Uni-Bremen map of 1 September 2012 you still can see the bow excavated by the Gulf stream around the Northern top of Severnaya Zemlya. And at present it's merely visible anymore due to the continuous bottom melting.

So, the Gulf Stream penetrating deeper into the Arctic means there will be more of convection.
But we only can speculate about the consequences of course.

BTW: "Artic Parade" updated to 1 September 2012 now.

And also the 2007 NSIDC and IARC-JAXA "records" have been altered according to the latest statements of these organisations.


Oh boy!

IARC-JAXA latest value now at 3.679.844 km2.

again minus 30.000 km² in respect to yesterday.
Will it ever end?


The forecasts seem to have warm air being supplied to that vunerable lobe nearest SZ. It looks pretty threadbare on Modis today so further area losses look possible to me.

Area usually heads up before extent minimum is reached. If area does manage to decline for the next week with that lobe melting out, then I doubt there would then be much gap between area minimum and extent minimum. But I could easily be completely wrong.



Area will expand - but the remaining ice may get mashed in the forecasted low of 0906-0908. See my recent post on "More details on PIOMAS loss."

Artful Dodger

ASI Checkpoint, September 1st, 2012:

The remaining Arctic sea ice (2.444 M km^2) could now neatly fit inside the Mediterranean Sea (2.499 M km^2 area)

... or Western Australia: (2,645,615 km^2)


Artful Dodger

Whoops, spoke too soon! CT just updated: 2.372 M km^2 now, anomaly is -2.417 M km^2.

Well, that's the game then. SIA is now less than 50% of climate average while simultaneously being the lowest ever recorded.



Artful Dodger

Central Basin sea ice area has gone below the 2 Million square kilometer for the first time in the satellite record, as of Sep 2, 2012.


Artful Dodger

Here are the two most recent CT SIA data pts:

2012.6685 -2.3629770 2.4443736 4.8073506
2012.6713 -2.4166009 2.3722196 4.7888203

The latest decrease is -72.2 K km^2.

The last 7-days average decrease is -32 K km^2.

CT SIA sits at 49.54% of climate level for Sep 2, 2012.

Seke Rob

What can one say: http://bit.ly/CTNHM2 ... 2.26 new computed bottom, but it's just a computation :(

Soon [post-haste] will have to rescale Y2-axis, to allow further decline on Y1-axis ... impossible to hide :(((

Jim Williams

The CT SIA curve is starting to bottom out, but it sure doesn't look flat yet. In fact, my untrained eye would say it's still a bit steeper than normal.


Only partly visible for now at IARC-JAXA 4th of September image but already undeniable, quite a bit out of the Arctic shelf at the Beaufort Sea side!

And the situation isn't much better at the Severnaya Zemlya side.

A landing of SIE under 3,5 million km² seems "inevitabile"...

Jim Williams

If I search on "gulf stream arctic ocean" or "north atlantic drift arctic ocean" I get links to lots of speculation on future slowing of the circulation, but I get nothing on the rather obvious real changes in the Barents, and even the Arctic Basin and Kara Sea since 2005. Changes completely at odds with the speculation.

Anyone know of any good studies of what is going on in the area...rather than guessing about what could happen? (I am going to have to read about "Agulhas leakage", but that still comes under speculation.)

Enno Zinngrebe

Hallo Jim

Is this:


something like what you are looking for?


Ghoti Of Lod


A study this year suggests the risk of the great conveyor stopping due to salinity changes is unlikely.


Jim Williams

Thank you very much Enno Zinngrebe. Yes.

Janne Tuukkanen

This might be a duplicate, but I haven't noticed these links before. English language pages about the trip to the Arctic by the icebreaker Oden.

Official LOMROG III expedition pages:


A blog by Swedish researchers:



I noticed today that the CT Area of 2.372 is less than the anomaly of 2.417. This is really weird and I wonder if this phenomenon has a name?



It's enough to send you up the apples to see Uncle!


What are we up to on dominos?

Domino 10 MASIE (doubting 2007 was under 4)

Domino 11 50% of normal record - CT Area 2.372 vs normal 4.789

Domino 12 NSIDC Record low Monthly average area Aug 2012 2.52 beats Sept 2007's 2.78 !!
Previous Aug record was 3.00.

The Extent for Aug 2012 of 4.72 is a record low for Aug months beating Aug 2007 5.36 (but it doesn't beat Sept 2007 4.30). (I don't think I am going to count Aug extent as a domino else we end up with record low Jun and July average area dominos and if thoses why not daily area and extent records ...)


And Michael is moving to New Found Land/South Greenland ...

Kevin McKinney

OT, really, but some here--those who don't mind a dash of politics--may be interested in this reflection on the RNC 2012:


Timothy Chase

Kevin, that is a well-written piece. I have seen a number of the points in that essay elsewhere, but the author does a very good job of bringing it all together. Well-integrated and fair. Doc has a talent. I will have to check out some of his other writing. Thank you for pointing this out.

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