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Thanks so much dabize & Neven - any chance we can keep this going through the end of the melt?


Bob Wallace

What about making the water blue and the ice white (and gray)?

Much easier for the casual viewer (when I 'borrow' it for Weather Underground).

Paul Klemencic

It will be really helpful for the casual viewer to locate the North Pole by a dot on the image.


+1. awesome


Thank you also dabize and Neven. These images really illustrate the thinning of the ice. Now, if we could just overlay these images with the ice thickness! I expect to see a new low total ice quantity for July once Wipneus' graphs are updated. All evidence is pointing toward an earlier Arctic ice melt out than has previously been accepted. What is the minimum ice level that qualifies for melt out consideration?

Steve Bloom

Really great work. If possible, it might be interesting to see a comparison with 2007.

Nightvid Cole

PIOMAS has updated!!!


MODIS Composite with ARC thickness coloring

I hope that helps our analyses.


Thank you Dr Tskoul. Visual conformation of charts and graphs helps me to understand ice conditions and what is likely to happen next.


Wow, Dr. Tskoul. very nice indeed.

Is the thickness data from the CICE animations?

BTW, Bob, I was tearing my hair out trying to get that ice to be blue! In the end it didn't seem to be worth it.......it always looked different every time.

The white ice shows relative thickness too - especially with the red channel background behind it.

I'll be happy to do the same thing with each image this summer as it comes out. Anyone can do it using Photoshop and ImageJ, but I know I'm going to do it anyway, so why not send it to Neven?


% coverage of image
73.6 7/2
71.2 7/9
67.4 7/15
61.7 7/23
53.2 7/30

Just made binary images of the blue channel using the July MODIS composites and ran them through ImageJ (Analyze Particles pulldown)

No doubt there are plenty of issues with the threshold (I used 50% intensity +), but the acceleration of area loss is clearly visible over time


I'll be happy to do the same thing with each image this summer as it comes out. Anyone can do it using Photoshop and ImageJ, but I know I'm going to do it anyway, so why not send it to Neven?

And I'll update the animation. :-)

PIOMAS has updated!!!

And there I was thinking I would have a couple of quiet days. ;-)


Just now, you have to peek through the smoke clouds to see the Bering Sea. Extraordinary amount of smoke blowing east from tundra fires...mostly transparent to Bands 3-6-7 though


Looking at the Arctic Mosaic just now. This here on the edge of Chukchi and Arctic Basin (I think) is ridiculous. How much of that gets counted for extent?

Patrice Monroe Pustavrh

I think quite a lot. If you switch to low resolution (4 km) on area 4x4 pixels (roughly the size of sensors), there are only 3 pixels of white enough to count this as an icy cell. But it depends on microwave image and there can be completely different picture based on that.


Hi Neven,

Sent you a reconstruction of changes in a a CAB MODIS panel (r04c03) with the onset of melting. This is habit forming.......

They look to me as if bottom melt in situ is indeed a major (or possibly THE major) mechanism for ice loss this season....

Artful Dodger

Neven asked: "How much of that gets counted for extent?"

Nearly all of it... here is a graph of IJIS SIE for Aug 3, 2012 (the Chukchi sea is at the bottom):


Create your own blink animations with "Another Sea-Ice Image Overlay", here.

Account Deleted

With potentially a 1/2 to 3/4 of a meter of bottom melt still to come in August, I don't think much of it will be around to be counted by the end of the month.

Patrice Monroe Pustavrh

A little bit off topic, but I think there seem to be large algae bloom visible north of Norway:

Timothy Astin

Yes, marine nanoplankton in bloom. The bloom is much more likely to be of coccoliths than algae. If they are coccoliths, then we have an example of a (minor) negative feedback from the loss of sea ice, as the coccoliths take up some carbon dioxide into their skeletons. And given the apparent dominance of positive feedbacks to the continuing reduction in arctic ice, we could do with a few more negative feedbacks.

Artful Dodger

Welcome, Dr. Tim. Are you doing any paleoclimate research now? Looking forward to your contributions!

Alberto Silva

"we have an example of a (minor) negative feedback from the loss of sea ice, as the coccoliths take up some carbon dioxide into their skeletons"

Sadly this is not true. The chemical equation of calcification (the reaction that coccoliths use to make their Calcium Carbonate shells) is:

2 H2CO3-(ac) + Ca++(ac) = CaCO3(s) + CO2(g) + H2O(l)

2 bicarbonate ions + 1 calcium ion = calcium carbonate + carbon dioxide + water

See here:


With more coccolitophore blooms, expect greater emissions of CO2 from seawater (actually less net carbon sequestration into the oceans).

Sorry for the bad news, Timothy Astin. Fortunately this is a very slow feedback, unlike the much faster ice/snow albedo feedback that is now turning the map of SST anomalies into a bloody scene.


Alberto Silva, et al,

That chemistry equation may be technically accurate, but doesn't convey the proper implications for CO2 flux. Those two bicarbonate ions most likely started out as CO2 in the atmosphere. The CO2 molecule on the right is likely to combine with H2O to form carbonic acid in solution, as this is all in an aqueous medium. The calcium carbonate has a fair chance of becoming ocean floor sediment in the end.

Thus, the formation of calcium carbonate is a net carbon sink. I don't think this is much of a climate feedback at all, because these plankton thrive best where there are other nutrients, and this tends to be in colder waters.

When the surface waters of the arctic become warmer than the deep waters all year round, then delivery of oxygen to the deep oceans will stop, and we'll be facing another Permian Extinction.

[Ocean life] "died from a lack of dissolved oxygen in the water, an excess of carbon dioxide, a reduced ability to make shells from calcium carbonate, altered ocean acidity and higher water temperatures. They also concluded that all these stresses happened rapidly and that each one amplified the effects of the others."


At Tiksi 22 °C !

It's "hotter" there as in the whole BeNeLux.
And as a matter rof fact, the summer at Tiksi has been much better too. (-:

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