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Werther

Bfraser, Chris, A4R,all,

I saw the 1 January extrapolations above. They get frighteningly close to the ’If…then..’-speculation I did a few days earlier. It is not out of the question that we could see a complete melt-out of the slush-zone before minimum this year. And minimum could then present the spread-out remains of the last 1Mkm2 ‘structured sheet’.

One preparation for this awful scenario is unfolding through the rest of winter. Will the maximum volume at the begin of April pass 20.000 km3? It will depend on recovery of the Polar vortex. Ocean heat content isn’t very cooperative. The usual late winter extent sprint doesn’t produce significant volume.
When winter doesn’t produce, weather next summer isn’t even determinant. A new spring ’10-like volume crash will be baked in then.
I don’t believe my prediction, I fear it…

Lanevn

>>Apocalypse4Real

https://sites.google.com/site/apocalypse4realseaice2013/arctic-sea-ice-thickness-2013

Your left model looks broken since Jan 16, maybe wrong legend.

crandles

Lanevn, there is a note about the change from 16 Jan at top of the column.

Jim Hunt

Lanevn - Perhaps that is a question A4R is posing? If I understand correctly the left and right columns are both now produced by the CICE model, yet they do indeed look very different.

Which one is "broken"?

crandles

Werther,

Last year's maximum was 21.923 and we are 1.058 below last year at 31 Dec 12. Did you mean 21 K Km^3 rather than 20 or do you really expect a dramatic failure to add volume from 31 Dec 12 to April max?

crandles

>"Which one is "broken"?"

Perhaps neither: CICE is for danger to shipping which tend to overestimate to reduce shipping dangers by showing the highest thickness in the area concerned.

UK met office has 'modified' perhaps for a best estimate of volume for climate change use so adjusts to an average thickness.

So perhaps different uses causes the differences?

Lanevn

Colors changed but legend still old.

crandles

Why do you think the colours & legend has changed? The thicknesses will have changed because it is a different model. I see nothing to indicate the colours have changed. Changing both model and scale at the same time seems a bad idea and while I accept it is possible, it seems unlikely.

Werther

Crandles, hi,

The freeze between 15/9 and 31/12 seems to have delivered about 10200 km3. The ‘minimum’-ice, 3,2 Mkm2, got from 1.2 to 1.8 m mean, the extent regrowth, app. 9,5 Mkm2 held 7600 km3 by 31/12 (app. 0.8 m mean thickness).

To get to 20.000 km3:
One: the part of last year’ s pack that survived should gain another 40 cm mean
Two: FYI must get to 1.8 m mean thickness
Three: another 1 Mkm2 should at least grow in the Bering, Ochotsk, Barentsz, 0.5 m mean

Between 15/9 and 19/01 NCEP/NCAR shows a mean +7dC temp anomaly, more than the same period in 10-11/11-12. It looks a lot like ’09-’10, but still warmer.

I mean, to compensate for that, the coming 3,5 months have to be cold. Especially over the Arctic Ocean. Even then, I fear there’s too much snow to make it work…

Werther

 photo Temp1000Mbano150912to190113small_zps7bd22623.jpg

This illustrates anomalous temps 15/9/12 - 19/1/13.

Remko Kampen

While last year was a La Niña year and conditions have been more or less neutral since, sea level has made a big jump:

http://sealevel.colorado.edu/content/2013rel1-global-mean-sea-level-time-series-seasonal-signals-removed

So where did that come from?

crandles

>SLR "So where did that come from?"

Perhaps a bounce back from flooding over Australia, northern South America, and Southeast Asia?

http://sealevel.colorado.edu/content/2011-la-ni%C3%B1a-so-strong-oceans-fell

Apocalypse4Real

Lanevn, Werther Crandles and others. The model for the UK Met Godiva output on Google Earth is not broken. Here is what I posted the last couple of days as explanation:

Jan 19:

The UK Met has just released the new sea ice model outout based upon CICE, beginning January 16.

Three facts are readily apparent:

1) The "hole" in the NCOF ice thickness model is gone.

2) The amount of thick MYI is scarily absent. Awe and amazement were my first reactions. Werther, you will appreciate this.

3) The imagery is stunning - both in visual detail - but more than that - the changes in sea ice thickness from the LIM model to to a CICE based forecast.

As much as a meter or more of current ice disappears from what they project is currently in the CAB and the Fram Strait chunk of MYI ice is visible in contrast to FYI flow.

I have placed the NCOF/UK Met and MMAB SSMIS concentration together for side-by side comparison. (I have also changed the Godiva scale for a rerun of imagery from 6 meters as black to 5 meters as black, to match the CICE/HYCOM max ice measure.)

https://sites.google.com/site/apocalypse4realseaice2013/home/sea-ice-concentration-and-thickness-comparison

Also, I have placed the NCOF/UK Met and HYCOM/CICE thickness maps together for comparative purposes.

https://sites.google.com/site/apocalypse4realseaice2013/arctic-sea-ice-thickness-2013

This is initial output. I plan to correspond with the folks at the UK Met this coming week on the change. (I have written to a UK Met scientist I have been in correspondence with on this change).

21 January comment:

I have updated the Arctic sea ice concentration and thickness maps imagery through January 20, and will update next weekend for January 25.

Here is what changed:

The UK Met/NCOF and MMAB SSMIS are updated:

https://sites.google.com/site/apocalypse4realseaice2013/home/sea-ice-concentration-and-thickness-comparison

The comparison of the U Bremen SSMIS and AMSR2 with the ifremer SSMIS reprocessed imagery is updated:

https://sites.google.com/site/apocalypse4realseaice2013/home/sea-ice-concentration-and-thickness-comparison

The ifremer SSMIS runs show the fracturing and thinning of ice in the CAB given the wind patterns around the dominant high pressure.

Finally, I have matched the comparison of the HYCOM-CICE ice thickness data and the UK Met NCOF ice thickness modeling. The scale of the UK Met/NOCF has been changed to 0-5 meters of ice thickness to match the HYCOM-CICE, beginning from January 1, 2013.

The new UK Met ice thickness model, based upon CICE, begins its imagery on January 16, 2013 and is a dramatic change from the prior used LIM based model. The most significant change is that the polar "hole" in the LIM model is gone and that the sea ice thickness is dramatically reduced.

Also, the images are turned to roughly the same orientation.

The UK Met model is more detailed, and the effects of wind and current on ice movement is more apparent in comparing day to day ice thickness changes.

Most of the Arctic sea ice is below 2 meters and seems gathered in lengthy strands, which seem to be shaped by the dominant wind patterns.

The only MYI over 5 meters thick is on the northeast Greenland coast near Station Nord. See:

https://sites.google.com/site/apocalypse4realseaice2013/arctic-sea-ice-thickness-2013

I hope these reposts help clarify concerns. As soon as I have a response on the modeling. I'll pass it along.

Apocalypse4Real

Crandles,

I changed the imagery to a 0-5 meter scale to match the CICE output scale and reposted the UK Met output beginning on January 1. That way everything that is displayed in the comparison between the models has the same scale.

The colors did not change. The ice thickness in the UK Met output did.

Hope that helps.

idunno

From Climate Central, Andrew Freedman has lots from Dr Cohen on the ongoing sudden stratospheric warming event, (albeit mainly focussed on its impact on the lower 48), here...

http://www.climatecentral.org/news/stratospheric-phenomenon-is-bringing-frigid-cold-to-us-15479

Jim Hunt

@SATire - We're a bit off topic now I feel, but a few more pence worth from me, from a UK perspective. Perhaps you'd like to continue the conversation on one of my blogs?

I'll quote with approval from Nick Stern pre Bali:

"The problem of climate change involves a fundamental failure of markets: those who damage others by emitting greenhouse gases generally do not pay. Climate change is a result of the greatest market failure the world has seen."

Nothing much happened in Bali, then Chris Huhne said much the same thing pre Durban, but not much happened there either.

Market forces such as FITs and ROCs, plus the current planning policy here have lead to lots of applications for solar PV "farms" from "investors" keen to lock in their "5-8% interest rate at no risk", many of which are on top quality agricultural land. I reckon that's a really bad idea.

@Bob - Australia are another one of the "bad guys", but they do at least have a plan, which involves molten salt rather than "batteries", and even mentions Arctic sea ice on page 1!

Yesterday President Obama said that:

“We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations.”

Do you foresee the US implementing anything like the Oz plan in the near future?

Apocalypse4Real

I think several factors slow the rest of this seasons ice growth:

Warm air temp anomalies: upper atmospheric, and surface temps.

Reforming SLP's: The one in near southern Greenland is pulling above freezing temps over the ice for the last 12 hours over 1/3 the island. The SLP in Barents is the latest of several over the last few weeks, which may be slowing ice growth given wind and eave action.

Winds: Strong winds have been blowing along the Beaufort high pressure and the lows in the Pacific/Gulf of Alaska. Strong winds have continued to push and fracture ice north of Greenland in the CAB.

SST's: In some areas, especially around Svalbard, and in the Barents there have been continued SST anomalies.

One result seems to be higher concentrations and releases of methane. More on that another time.

If we do come out on the low end of ice thickness by the ice max in March, even with ENSO neutral, I think we see new lows in extent and mass in September.

crandles

Werther,

Sorry I am lost. First I don't follow the numbers
>"Two: FYI must get to 1.8 m mean thickness"
AFAICS That would add 9.5 M Km^2 * (1.8m-.8m) = 9.5KKm^3

13.349+9.5 takes us well past 21 K Km^3 without other areas.

Without the numbers, I don't follow the reasoning you are putting forward.

Dec 12 added 3.589 K Km^3 marginally more than 2011's 3.548. Generally patterns are similar. Yet you think Jan to Apr won't get close to last year?

Volume added early in the season potentially might be a bad metric because very low minimum volume leads to rapid growth but perhaps later start. But perhaps you have a more sophisticated method that allows better projection than following pattern of previous years?

If you expect cold to compensate for warmth that would add more ice but you are arguing for less ice at maximum than following pattern of previous year. Is your reasoning based on volume already added early in the freeze season, continuing warmth or more snow depth or something else?

crandles

Correction/clarification:
(Not 'close to last year?' ['s volume] but close to last years Jan to April volume increase.

Jim Hunt

P.S. Following my own Stern link, I stumbled across this. A recent article by a couple of Professors of Economics waxing lyrical about "Moving to Greenland in the face of global warming"

Martin Gisser

On the German SPIEGEL Online article.
http://www.spiegel.de/wissenschaft/natur/stillstand-der-temperatur-erklaerungen-fuer-pause-der-klimaerwaermung-a-877941.html
First I thought it's not too bad for a journalist without any idea of statistiks and science (e.g. 14 years of "no warming" OK, but after 15 years we need to revisit the models). And who of them journalists cares about technical details? Who would have noted the escalator graph
http://www.skepticalscience.com/graphics.php?g=47
What goddam professional journalist would have noted the graph of Foster and Rahmstorf 2011
http://www.skepticalscience.com/16_more_years_of_global_warming.html
?!
At least no quote of Lindzen, Monckton, etc.

Oops. And then I checked the author's credentials. He's not yet demented (b1971) and actually has a degree in geology...

Anyhow, what to expect of the SPIEGEL? I had cancelled my subscription some years back out of disgust over yet another botched climate article (a few were actually good). Or was it yet another Lomborg interview.

Anyhow, German journalism can be worse:
http://florifulgurator.wordpress.com/2012/02/10/liars/

A-Team

To follow up on Bfraser's observation, I think what Chris was saying is to average the absolute volume drop (rather than relative percentage because it's a thermal mass effect) over relevant years (last three) and subtract that from Jan 2013 to see how Sep 2013 looks under a business-as-usual scenario (no end-game unravelling). Since 2013 is starting so low, this gives 2.1 mkm3 for the Sept 2013 minimum, or about 60% of 2012.

Since the Piomas thickness binning distribution has been shifting thinwards over the years, he suggests 2011 to see what the Sep 2013 ice will look like and recent Sept HYCONs to see where it will be. The ice in the thicker bins soon adds up to the 2.1 mkm3, so the quota is already met by markedly less residual area/extent. In other words, mostly open seas but some rotten rafted/ridged/layered multi-year ice packed or grounded along the Canadian archipelago and northern Greenland.

That could be taken as the best case scenario (upper bound), barring rescue by unforseen natural variability. However at some point in sea ice loss, history no longer serves as a guide. Timing of total loss is largely irrelevant -- the lion's share of the planetary heat budget effects of the open summer/frozen winter Arctic Ocean will already be upon us. So the cutting edge of prediction moves away from ice and onto what Jennifer Francis works on.

 photo 2013Sept_zpscfdd1d19.gif

Werther

Crandles, I wasn't intentionally misleading you...
I'll take my time to consider the prognose better.

SATire

Jim Hunt,

sorry for beeing off-topic by citing the SPIEGEL-article to explain the "wind-of-change" towards global warming I feel in Germany. My motivation actually was, that a proper forecast of low sea-ice in the next few years could get a lot of attention, when it finally happens. So - some poeple writing here could say "as I told you" and maybe poeple in USA would understand. Once we would have USA in the boat, the others are more likely to stay inside it, too. Otherwise, they will probably jump out soon.

So, I really want to encourage the experts here to write a forecast in a visible article to help us. I hope you understand.

Best regards,
Jens

Lanevn

>> Apocalypse4Real

So now we can't even compare thickness with prev. year

sigmetnow

Could *drift* become a vital factor in this year’s melt? The remaining thick ice (i.e., green/yellow on the navy animations) is moving rapidly south toward the Alaska/Canada border; about a third has moved below 80N in the past few weeks. Last summer, essentially all ice south of 80N melted completely away (and much of it was thicker than the current pack). If the present drift continues over the next few weeks, doesn’t that pretty much bode “game over” for thick ice this summer?

Chris Reynolds

Ron Steve,

Yes I meant the Eocene.

Bfraser,

Yes I meant 2012.

Werther,

I think there's a few more years in the pack. What I expect to see is increasing areas like the region that got hit by the August cyclone. So we should see greater divergence between Extent and Area, with extent suggesting much more ice than area.

Lots of reading on this thread!

Mike Constable

A-team, think there is a lot going for estimates of 2m km2 (or less) area minimum this year, it will be interesting to see what the polls show beforehand.
Neven, please may we have polls for maxima & date soon?

Aaron Lewis

It is the 3d week of January, and North America, Europe, and Asia are properly frosty, but the west coast of Greenland was between 34F and 39F with good NE (off the ice) breezes in the last day. The climate models forcing the ice dynamics models are not keeping up with reality, and thus the ice dynamics models will understate the rate of ice movement and sea level rise.

Arctic sea ice is fractured to an extent that we have never seen before at this time of the year. One result is that the relative humidity over the Arctic ocean is high and heat is not being radiated away as fast as it was in the days when the ice was competent to keep water vapor out of the air. While the 2 meter temperature over the ocean looks cold, sea surface temperature remains rather warm for ice formation considering the high surface salinity across much of the Arctic Basin.

Conventional wisdom has it that a negative AO with clockwise circulation of the ice tends to conserve, recirculate, and increase MYI. It is not working this year. Instead, the circulation is fracturing Arctic Basin ice and discarding ice from the Kara Sea. And, the circulation is drawing heat and salt from the Barents sea into the Arctic Basin. The current ice fracture tells us that the GCM are missing more then just ice export, they are missing important latent heat features.

There was a time when I defined "reality" as the consensus of peer reviewed literature. Since 1995, I do not think that peer reviewed literature in climate science and some branches of geology has anything to do with what is actually going on in the world.

General circulation models have become giant Ouija Boards, that tell us what research teams wish for, rather than what is likely to actually happen in the next decade. Climate modelers believe in a narrow range of values and hurl epithets of "denialist" and "Alarmist" at anyone who comes up with different values.

I have a different belief system. I think anyone that gets the right answer consistently is an expert and everyone else is just "folks". The wrong number published in Science or Nature is no better than the wrong number shouted from a soapbox in the park.

Donald

Friends, you have got me playing around with the Piomas data. One more interesting thing that I found is which days of the year show the largest rate of volume decline. Using a linear analysis of data from 2002-12, the result is surprisingly smooth, sort of like a sine wave. The peak volume loss is around July 3, at 944 km3 per year. The minimum volume loss is around April 11, with a volume loss of 538 km3 per year.

The first substantially ice free annual minimum is projected to be September 18, 2016, with a volume of less than 200 km3.

The first interval with volume below 1000 km3 is projected to be September 10-20, 2015.

Again, these are linear projections from daily data; I would expect that as the volume of ice continues to diminish, the actual speed of volume loss will accelerate.

Extrapolating from the minimum volume from each year, irrespective of date, yields only a slightly earlier zero point.

Chris Reynolds

A-Team,

Sorry, but I seem to have led you further than I had intended.

My linking to the last three year's HYCOM's was merely to show how the volume loss seems to be leading to much thinner ice over larger areas. I didn't intend those three years to relate to what I then posted, the 'game' of seeing what the previous three year's Jan to Min losses implied.

With regards the game of subtracting the last three years Jan to Min volume losses from the current volume really only answers the question I posed - what do you get if you do that? It's been on my main spreadsheet for over two weeks. I'd not bothered telling anyone because it seemed a trite reiteration of the work others do on trend extrapolation.

With regards the 'histogram' or statistical distribution of PIOMAS thickness: I wonder if I am taking for granted what I accept, or if I should be prepared to risk being a bore and repeating myself.

Chris Reynolds

A-Team,

I decided to risk being a bore...

Since 2010 the PIOMAS anomalies from mean seasonal cycle (my mean is 1980-1999) have changed massively.
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8517/8383554455_15a479b22d_o.jpg
This is significant* because ice still grows over winter so to get an ice free state by September losses during the melt season must increase - this is what is happening.

*Actually, if PIOMAS is correct, this is even bigger than 2007, after that there was a recovery of sorts, since 2010 both 2011 and 2012 have set records.

By summer the effect is stark.
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8041/7912767338_85bf936aa1_o.jpg
This means that by the end of summer there was no longer enough thick ice to bias the average thickness of PIOMAS grid cells to above 2m thick, as had previously been the case. You get a similar effect in winter if you increase the cut off thickness to 2.5m, this allows for a winter max volume distribution peak at around 1.75m thick, with tails above and below - we're dealing with averages of grid boxes so smearing is inevitable.

This saw the end of a process of long term loss of thick ice, not only seen in PIOMAS but also in aircraft data and DRA submarine transects. Bitz & Roe's explanation of this preferential melt of thick ice is that thin ice can regrow each winter to a thermodynamic limit of around 2m, but thick ice cannot regrow like that, it grows by ridging and deformation to above 2m thick. So as I see it the thin ice has less memory than thick, and the thick ice has borne the brunt of forcing that acts against ice in the Arctic - it remembers the losses, whereas younger ice bounces back each winter.

As I see it, there is now little _area_ of thick ice in the Arctic. Extent may not have changed for the last few years, but I suspect concentration has dropped. Lifetime of ice seems to have dropped to as little as 3 to 4 years max - Maslanik.

So 2010 represents the de facto end of a multi decadal process of thick ice being replaced by thinner younger ice. Yet the loss of volume in PIOMAS has not stalled or reduced. Such a stall or reduction is an expected outcome of the transition because virtually all of the volume loss before 2010 has come from thicker older ice, and thinner ice can grow vigorously to replenish each year, so the annual summer melt is replaced over winter. But this is not happening. Indeed 2012 (first graphic) shows a steeper spring/early summer volume loss, and that was long before the August storm, which had a negligible effect (around day 220, slight down tick).

If the melt is in reality still coming from old ice, as before 2010 in PIOMAS, then we may still see a break in the trend and a long(ish) tail. But if PIOMAS is correct then the very nature of the volume loss process has changed.

PS, it's also worth considering the implications of Vol/Area plots - another implication of PIOMAS volume loss is that greater thinning is needed for the volume loss to tie up with area change.
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8317/7916131908_3e59efde9b_o.jpg
anomalies from mean of PIOMAS vol / CT Area. i.e. calculated thickness.

Chris Reynolds

Actually, a PPS.

Lest you think the 2010 issue is only in a model, here's the CT area anomalies for recent years.
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8050/8405520381_0434e604e3_o.jpg

Check out 2007, 2011, and 2012. Why not 2010? I think 2010 being closer with the pack is that most of the loss that year was from thick ice, so it didn't feed through into an area impact.

2007, 2011 and 2012 all share a June crash, as the ice edge enters the Arctic basin. In part this is due to melt ponds, but melt ponds have a knock on effect later in the season as they have low albedo.

2007 and 2011 track well until the close of the season when 2007 crashes - this is due to the warm ocean in 2007 retarding growth of ice, when the baseline average shows strong growth of ice, hence the anomaly goes negative.

2012 shows steeper area loss, accentuated by the august storm around day 217 (IIRC).

The more I've been looking at the area anomalies, the harder I find it not to see these three years as unique, and two are after 2010....

But I've wittered on about that enough for one night.


idunno,

Thanks very much for the article about Cohen's work and the recent strato warming.

Rob Dekker

OT, but there is movement in the cracks at Pine Island Glacier.
http://rapidfire.sci.gsfc.nasa.gov/imagery/subsets/?subset=Antarctica_r03c02.2013022.terra.250m

PIG has been under clear skies lately, which gives a clear picture. The 'slush' area on the west side of PIG is on the go (darkening and visibly moved (meaning at least 250m since yesterday, and it appear to opened up the west side of the crack a bit more.

No confirmation of calving of the immense ice island it will shed, but good to keep a close eye on.

Aaron Lewis

Donald,
I stand by the estimate I made last summer that 2013 SIA will go to less than 15%, so extent will be negligible.

Today I think it might get down into that range a couple of weeks earlier, but that does not really change anything.

A-Team

Cracked indeed. Clear weather over the Arctic too -- a continuous crack has developed from the CAA up to, through and beyond the North Pole, 15 degrees of latitude or 1,655 km.

Looking at the bigger picture in the Beaufort and Navy sea ice drift speed imagery, that whole enchilade appears torqued clockwise, creating a series of quasi-parallel curved cracks, suggesting the sea ice is quite weak in this area, not to be able to resist these forces.

 photo NPcrack_zps8a01d6e1.jpg

Apocalypse4Real

Chris,

Thanks for the tirade - not bored at all. In fact, your chart of sea ice by thickness by year/Sept. is sobering. Is there any way to produce it including the 2012 bar?

A Team,

The imagery above is crazy for this time of year but substantiates my conjecure that wind is having a major effect on the ice, adn may inhibit its thickening very quickly.

Apocalypse4Real

I received a reply from the UK Met in regard to the new Godiva 2 output based upon the CICE Model.

"The ice is too thin in our model, but the NRL output on your page looks pretty sensible for this time of year. Although both systems use the CICE ice model, they will be configured differently, and they also use different ocean models under the ice and different data assimilation schemes. We assimilate ice concentration observations, but at present this has a side-effect of reducing the ice thickness. The reasons for this are under investigation."

Given this response, it is seems preliminary to accept the thickness model as is, yet if we think the CICE model is too thick, perhaps we have a "range of thickness" to consider as the potential.

Anyone have any idea if the CRYOSAT 2 runs available yet and are they being incorporated into any real time sea ice thickness modeling?

wayne

"On the German SPIEGEL Online article."

Spiegel should look at the current North American temperature layout, whereas its colder in some greater parts South of the Arctic than the Arctic itself. Temperature trends cherry picked neatly to prove a point or another are meaningless, the contemplation of a complex climate system and the attempt to understand it is useful and is time well spent, has meaning to be explained. With respect to the far North being warmer than the South, that is more a fact about planetary climate really changing than any cherry.

A team, that big lead is like an imprint from the moon:

http://www.calculatorcat.com/moon_phases/phasenow.php

its a tidal event (more crescent leads to come) which has occurred for as long as there was sea ice. However, the great mosaic like structures of thousands of old frozen and fresh leads is newish, literally exposing weaker thinner ice features spanning the entire Arctic ocean.

wayne

By the way, one of the cold temperature North Poles is near Montreal instead of Northern Ellesmere at the moment. There are at least two along with the split tropospheric and stratospheric vortex personality of current winter.

Rob Dekker

SATire,
I'm sorry that I'm a bit late, but I would like to respond to some of the developments in Germany that you reported.

Regarding de Spiegel article and perception it creates that German politicians have listened too much to "alamist" scientists, this is of course all rhetoric, which plays on the moment.

We all know that even the most "alarmist" scientists underestimated Nature's response to our GHG emissions.
Even the guys at Spiegel know that. They publish any way, since they play on the inherent emotional resistance in humans to accept responsibility for unforeseen results of prior change until we are faced with clear evidence of the consequences.

Regarding the many respondents that "want their money back", I can't suppress the feeling that these are the same guys who did NOT take advantage of government incentives to change and install renewable energy solutions themselves. Thus, they are the couch potatoes and they are just angry with themselves for not acting.

And regarding energy policy in Germany in general, I do not understand why Germany is still burning brown coal. Why not replace these dirty plants by dual-rankine gas turbine power plants, fueled by natural gas ? That will lower the remaining fossil fuel carbon footprint by a factor 2 or 3, and can alternatively be fueled by bio-gas (syngas) for 100% renewable footprint, and they run at much higher efficiency and for sure pollute a lot less.
Is the issue in Germany carbon footprint or is it energy independence from foreign countries ?

Regarding renewable energy outside of Germany, here in California there is somewhat of a silent "renewable revolution" going on. It's not just the bigger projects like Ivanpah (400 MW) and Hidden Valley (500 MW) and 50 similar large scale solar projects in the state of California alone, but it's also the smaller scale PV projects on marginal farm lands and on rooftops, which will add multiple GWs of solar across California in the next two years and much more thereafter. We even will reach the point where daytime electricity pricing is lower than nighttime very soon, after which companies will step in that offer grid storage solutions.

Here, the incentive here is not (so much) government involvement, but pure economics : Solar PV panels now cost less than $1/Watt, and that single Watt installed creates $10-$15 worth of electricity over the panel's lifetime (here in the South-West). That is a great ROI, which sets a low-bound on the price of electricity, simply due to continued technical innovation, cost reduction and economies of scale.

Renewables are a no-brainer, even economically speaking, and the fossil fuel industry knows that.
They can't stop it, so their best bet is to delay it.

No wonder the fossil fuel industry and their political sock puppets are throwing in everything and the kitchen sink to cast doubt on the science of man-made global warming, create fake scandals about climate scientists, and try anything they can to question the economics of renewables. After all, their lavish profits from digging up OUR fossil fuels from OUR soil are at stake.

Werther

Rob, SATire,

On the topic of ‘societies deeply embedded in oil and gas’…
I have seen the scale of German brown coal exploitation, while passing the ‘Dieville’ geological formation on the road to Cologne. It is one of these anchored economic activities that are as hard to abolish as drugs for a junky.

The Netherlands have ‘m, too. The country is rapidly depleting 1500 billion m3 of natural gas since 1960 and, being completely addicted, now looks to be distributing partner for Russian natural gas.

Of course, the Netherlands is one of the home-bases for Royal Dutch Shell.

Because I’m radicalising fast over global warming, I’ve been ‘dreaming’ of slicing the large energy companies into controllable entities, partly nationalising what is rightfully an asset of all society.

These companies form an enormous obstruction against effectively addressing AGW.

Can you understand my ‘gène’ to see the continued ‘ trade-missions’ our government organises to FI Oman, Qatar and now Brunei? Spearheaded by the Royal family they visit the Shell-enterprises. Our media cultivate a national pride on this.

How on earth can a serious energy re-orientation be achieved under these political conditions?

crandles

Not bored at all either

>"So 2010 represents the de facto end of a multi decadal process of thick ice being replaced by thinner younger ice. Yet the loss of volume in PIOMAS has not stalled or reduced."

It may appear a de facto end by your over 2m under 2m split. That counts MPTI as gone. Isn't the reality that thin MYI has a different albedo to FYI and the September minimum gives a good idea of the area involved. So maybe it isn't a de facto end and process continues until all the MYI has gone not just the MPTI.

Apocalypse4Real

Chris,

Since you and others have been looking at sea ice modeling, I ran across the following NSIDC animation. Thought it might be of interest. It is from 2007. Shows how much our views have changed.

http://idn.ceos.org/KeywordSearch/Metadata.do?Portal=climatediagnostics&KeywordPath=Parameters%7CCRYOSPHERE&OrigMetadataNode=GCMD&EntryId=GFDL_Arctic_Sea_Ice_Changes_1860-2100&MetadataView=VisView&MetadataType=0&lbnode=mdlb5

idunno

Skpetical science has an interesting piece on Arctic methane:

http://www.skepticalscience.com/crycapfour.html

Chris Reynolds

A4R,

I will do so tonight, I have updated my series of PIOMAS thickness map plots. Can't upload them as Windows 8 is being a pain on doing that. Right now Flickr is also playing up - won't accept new uploads due to being busy, I'll try later. But...

Most of the sea ice is currently (December 2012 average) around or below 1.25m. Only 2007 had a similarly broad swathe as thin in December, and 2012 beats that easily. When I can I'll post images on my blog, hopefully Flickr will be running OK later.

Crandles,

Accepted, but what then has caused the change in seasonal cycle in PIOMAS? Something big happened in the PIOMAS model in 2010, this occurred at the same time as the loss of a lot of thick ice off the CAA, and a steep drop in the thickness profile towards thinner ice. I agree that thinner and more broken remnants of MYI is still there, but for the annual volume losses to have increased this suggests the loss is not just coming from the reduced volume of MYI - actually on second thoughts, could it be that the more fragmented and thinner MYI is undergoing a rapid demise? The volume/surface area ratio of thinner more fragmented ice would facilitate this. That said, there does appear to be a thinning of _all_ the ice over the last three years - where you'd expect MYI and where you'd expect FYI. I will post the images and won't leave you arguing without information I have.

crandles

2010 melt was the biggest at 18.974, but there had been other years with over 18 so it is all that massive a change.

>"What then has caused the change in seasonal cycle in PIOMAS?"

FYI in place of MYI reduces albedo and it is easier to melt which should cause an increase in the volume loss. The increase doesn't seem much judging from albedo change figures. The timing is odd. I am thinking this points me towards competing effects:

Albedo and FYI being easier to melt encourages earlier melt. Maybe this is cut off by counteracting effects after 29 Jun.

Melt occurs a lot around perimeter of pack with wave action and water heated by sun going under pack. So perhaps length of ice pack perimeter is important? As we get earlier melt the perimeter is reduced and this cuts down on the volume loss and the anomaly trend after 29 Jun. Not quite sure where that leaves any hope of a physical extrapolation or what happens to the heat budget. However something like this might be very good news for a long ice survival tail.

As I don't follow the heat budget implications, it may well need something more than just length of ice pack perimeter to explain why the melt volume isn't rising more rapidly.


>"That said, there does appear to be a thinning of _all_ the ice"

If thin ice responds rapidly by conducting a lot more heat to be lost to space, this suggests to me there is a huge forcing reducing thermodynamic max thickness. Are GHG levels and upward heat flux the main drivers? Should we be looking at thickness levels at which growth levels out in winter as the cause of thinning of _all_ the ice?

crandles

Correction:
2010 melt was the biggest at 18.974, but there had been other years with over 18 so is it all that massive a change?

Chris Reynolds

Graphics etc on PIOMAS 2012 data here:
http://dosbat.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/piomas-gridded-data-2012-is-here.html

Crandles,

Yes there are melt events of a similar size.
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8438/7911627906_4b1c45096e_o.jpg
But none of them produced the change in anomalies. That is a sharp change from 2010.

I've also been pondering the role of basic geometry in the change from anomaly drop to anomaly climb and levelling through July and the rest of the summer. The anomaly is the difference between a long term average (which I set pre 2000) and the current year. So the anomaly period covers recession at a lower latitude with more insolation. I've yet to get round to looking into whether there's been a change in rates of change around minima as the ice has receded - it's on my list.

With regards April to June - Conduction of heat may be a factor here as well, the ice could simply be warmer. I've been tracking surface based warm anomalies in the relevant period that imply surface warming. 2010 seemed initially to be an issue of loss, but when I dug deeper lack of thickening turned out to be a factor. In a similar way the volume anomaly could be contributed to by a lack of thickening in the central pack, thickening that did happen during the baseline period to a more active degree, there are areas of gain in thickness as late as May.

With regards warming: The icon by my posts is one such image. For example:

May-June 2002-2012.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KRjEzsipAHI
Feb-April 2002-2012.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=krbXFf-5kHQ

I had been wondering how NCEP/NCAR could spot this from sparse data over the pole. However Screen & Simmonds use NCEP/NCAR and attribute recent warming to sea ice changes. So if it's good enough for them, I think it's reasonable to look at the ice as a suspect in the warming, although the 2010 warming seems to be connected with a massive high pressure system and open skies over the CAA - it is a massive warming.

Now I have three years of PIOMAS data to go on I should have enough to figure out what's going on. A quick browse using an above and below 2m split (dictated this time by the data - large losses at just over 2m), shows that the increase in volume loss between April and June for the last 3 years are attributable to losses from grid boxes reporting over 2m, so it's not from the peripheral seas (as implied by area anomalies). I'll see what else I can find, may be worth plotting some more map plots to see if there's any pattern in the declines. But I'm having the rest of the night off now.

A-Team

Last thing we needed: ice now "melting from the inside." I came across this piece the other day from AWI called "Why Arctic Sea Ice Melts So Quickly". It summarizes a 29 Dec 2012 GPL paywalled article (I have access) on sunlight penetration of the Arctic ice, as measured synchronously above and below (ROV spectral radiometer 250–2500 nm).

"The decisive aspect here is the smoother [less hummocky] surface of this young ice, permitting the melt water to spread over large areas and form a network of many individual melt ponds," said Marcel Nicolaus, a sea ice physicist and melt pond expert at the Alfred Wegener Institute. Young thin ice with many melt ponds allowed three times as much light to pass through than older ice. It also absorbed 50 percent more solar radiation [internally], which causes more melting and means the thin ice reflected less of the sun's rays than thick ice. The ice melts from inside outto a certain extent."

Neither water nor ice have suitable extinction coefficients at these wavelengths, so what traps the sunlight within the ice? I would say many rounds of Mie and Rayleigh scattering off salt, frozen-in snow, bubbles and impurities followed by absorption by soot and similar.

Melt ponds form skylights, in terms of algal growth. The effect has been considered in recent papers of KR Arrigo: even under full melt-out conditions AND phosphate supplementation, there are no prospects for a significant carbon sink in the Arctic Ocean. I'll say no more since Neven has hinted at a dedicated section.

http://www.awi.de/en/news/press_releases/detail/item/meltponds_acclerate_the_melting_of_the_arctic_sea_ice/?cHash=e8e2e428c03f1b17a6a5076243c1023b

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2012GL053738/abstract

 photo meltPondHeat_zpsb9c5d390.jpg

A-Team

There must be 12-15 quasi-redundant systems out there for viewing the state of Arctic sea ice, perhaps the not-invented-here syndrome gone global. There's a lot to be said for unprocessed satellite imagery -- take your pick between algorithms showing ice 5 meters thick off northern Greenland versus a field campaign finding gravel bars and shallows out past Stray Dog West island. (Plate tectonic movement mashed Greenland 100 km north into the Lomonosov Ridge.)

http://www.esquire.com/features/esquire-100/endoftheearth1007

The Canadian Weather Office provides one of the better interfaces for real-time satellite photos and animations, considering that each pass has somewhat different coverage. At the link below, open the 'large' file under Northern Canada and Arctic Ocean' for an overview and 'medium' link for animations (be sure to set that at the bottom for all 103 images).

http://www.weatheroffice.gc.ca/satellite/index_e.html

I've attached better imagery of the current crack network and the Navy ice speed/drift graphic of the same day.

 photo strayDog_zps0e33f50b.jpg

Steve Bloom

Thanks for the link on the Nicolaus paper info, A-Team. I looked for a free version and couldn't find one, but did see a closely related paper at TCD, which looks interesting.

Chris Alemany

I mostly lurk, but just wanted to say this blog and its regular commenters continue to be simultaneously baffling, fascinating, and terrifying. Thank you, sort of.

Steve Bloom

And yet another blocking event paper (press release), this one finding that they're responsible for a recent trend in cold Eurasian winters. I can't see the paper, but from the release it looks like the trend again started around 2003.

wayne

As mentioned yesterday more leads will form, and they show well.
Current full moon tidal lead examples can be seen on my blog:

http://eh2r.blogspot.ca/

It gets better in April.

Rob Dekker

A-team,
There are these ah-ha moments, and you just created one with me (from the graphics in your January 23, 2013 at 23:25 post).
These suggest that up to half of solar insolation on FYI (and still 1/3 on MYI) gets absorbed all through the ice itself.

If that is correct, then at the end of summer, the ice remaining will be filled with water, rather than being solid ice.

That explains not just the "false bottoms" that are often observed in Arctic sea ice, but also explains why it takes a long time, often deep into winter before Arctic ice to gain thickness, even though atmospheric temperatures are deep below freezing, and the CRREL ice mass buoys record. Check for example how this thin ice in the Arctic did not accumulate ice thickness until the end of December, even though the surface temps were 20 below zero for months :
http://imb.crrel.usace.army.mil/Provisional/2012I.htm

Of course, if a great part of remaining ice volume at the end of summer is actually water surrounded by ice, then the actual ice volume numbers at the end of summer, based on ice thickness are an overestimate.

I wonder if PIOMAS models this effect of water accumulation inside melting sea ice.

Very interesting and thank you for that post.

Boa05att

Climate change brings colder winters to Europe and Asia

http://environmentalresearchweb.org/cws/article/news/52135

Apocalypse4Real

Chris Reynolds,

I passed on your PIOMAS findings and info link to dosbat to someone I am in correspondence with at UK Met NCOF regarding their new ice thickness modeling.

They are interested in your results and how you generated them.

In my opinion, your results generally confirm that their model is not underestimating ice thickness.

SATire

A-Team,

that crack between Ellesmere and north pole is also visible in IJIS using RGB: http://www.ijis.iarc.uaf.edu/cgi-bin/seaice-monitor.cgi?lang=e

It looks like all the older ice surviving last September (the blue one in RGB) is cracked in two pieces - one turning to the (soon-to-be) sunny coast of Beaufort and the other part staying in queue to take the Fram street.
I am not sure, whether this is as dramatic as it looks like. Maybe older sattelites just did not have the needed resolution and things like this were hidden in earlier days. Maybe it is another sign of doom for the ice...

Donald

Following up on SATire, the Ellesmere crack appeared rather suddenly between Jan 21 and Jan 22. Overlaying the wind speed and direction for those days on the same chart shows that there was a substantial onshore wind which bifurcated to the east and west more or less along the crack line. I suppose that wind, which seems unusual to this novice, created the stress which broke the ice.

Jim Hunt

@Rob - For techie stuff on the Delta-Eddington parameterization used inside CCSM/CICE see:

http://nldr.library.ucar.edu/collections/technotes/asset-000-000-000-832.pdf

and here's Schweiger et. al. on "Uncertainty in Modeled Arctic Sea Ice Volume"

http://psc.apl.washington.edu/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/schweiger/pubs/IceVolume-2011-06-02-accepted-with-figures.pdf

@A4R - Your site says contact you via here! Any chance you could let me know details of your contact at the Met Office also?

Chris Reynolds

A4R,

HYCOM lacks a long term publicly available hindcast. But if other assimilating models are backing up PIOMAS, as HYCOM seems to be in the limited period of the last three years, then I think this is telling us something very useful - that free running GCMs are missing something out that models driven by observational atmospheric data are not. I suspect the clue is in the atmosphere, the atmosphere drove 2007 (supported by scientific research), and I think the atmosphere drove 2010 (supported only by the musings of an amateur). But after 2010 I think we're seeing the process being more driven by the radical change of characteristics of the bulk of the sea ice itself.

A-Team, Steve,

The Niclaus paper was presented around the net initially on the basis of warming of the ocean. But the calculation I've posted previously shows that the change from MYI to FYI implies an insolation forcing increase of over 30W/m^2 over the late melt season for each square meter where the ice has transitioned from MYI to FYI. So it's probably much larger overall than the solar heat input into the ocean.

Steve,

As Blocking events in winter cause cold anomalies, the question regards winter blocking events is what's causing the increase, and I think Cohen is on the right track with regards that issue. I'm now coming to think of my correlations with blocking and Arctic-Mid Lat temperature difference as being more of a proxy than indicating direct cause. i.e. the reduction of temperature gradient may be a direct factor (e.g. Francis & Vavrus - bigger amplitude of the Jetstream), but there are other issues, such as Cohen's link with Eurasian snow advance at play. These are all happening against the background of a reduction of temperature gradient driven by massive Arctic warming. The only problem with this is that before correlating I detrended...

I'm still thinking about it...

PS as far as I've seen from going back over some of Cohen's papers just now there is no implication of a 2003 breakpoint.

Kris

Boa05att told:

Climate change brings colder winters to Europe and Asia

Correction: Kate tries to sell us stories like that.

To begin with, she puts as premise Winters in EurAsia were getting colder and colder hitherto. Which is completely false a statement.

As far as I am concerned, this is outright nonsense. Looks to me more as a denier's trick.

wayne

These Ellesmere to North Pole "cracks" are tidal events getting more and more prominent as the full moon approaches, remember the same winds from the strong high pressure system lasted for weeks, and also I prove on my blog that they coincide with tide events with latest update. http://eh2r.blogspot.ca/

  They occurred in the past even with the thickest ice like during the 80's.

Twemoran

Rob

Rather than
"the ice remaining will be filled with water, rather than being solid ice"
is it possible that the absorbed insolation is simply moving the ice through the latent heat range without changing ice temperature at all?

What if rather than requiring enough energy to raise the temperature of the ice by 80c before it will melt, a large portion of the remaining ice would need only an additional 10c or 20c to complete the phase change?

This would leave us with solid ice, still at 0c requiring far less energy to complete it's transformation to the liquid state. The ice sheet would have to shed itself of this hidden (latent) energy before it could begin to expand again in the winter, possibly explaining the lag until late December that you have noted.

Terry

Chris Reynolds

Kris,

"To begin with, she puts as premise Winters in EurAsia were getting colder and colder hitherto. Which is completely false a statement."

I'm sorry but this is wrong.

NASA GISS trends 1988 to 2010, Dec/Jan/Feb.
http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7031/6602152833_dc5bd3073d_o.gif

Cohen, 2012, "Arctic warming, increasing snow cover and widespread boreal winter cooling." PDF paywall free.

R. Gates

Chris & Kris,

The weakening of the Arctic vortex and domination of NH winter variability by SSW events during the time frame in question is certainly high on the list of factors that have forced cold and snow to lower latitudes during the winter months. When the vortex is broken down as frequently as it has over the past few decades from minor and major SSW events, the "freezer door" stays open longer and you will get the kinds of cooling we've seen in lower latitudes with warming near the pole from the descending air and higher pressure.

LRC

http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/article.html
Titled: Bitter cold and heavy lake effect snows continue in the Midwest and Northeast U.S.
Is about the Great Lakes but does show very graphically that climate is changing dramatically. Can remember back in the 80's that Toronto Harbour was frozen so hard that the ferries could not move for a few weeks every winter. Now may see a very thin layer of ice a very few days every winter.

Chris Reynolds

Before I close down for the night, here's another graphic. I've just discovered Excel lets me paste into my photo editor!

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8051/8412623216_234bdebe49_o.jpg

Volume is, as usual for me, broken down into 0.25m 'buckets' I've found the maximum volume for any bucket in a given month. The graphic above shows the peak volume in any thickness category (bucket) for each month since 1978. So the numbers are the thickness category, starting at 3.5m (and over). Colouring and data bars graphically show the changes.

2012 really stands out!

R Gates,

I'm still trying to get the whole issue of snow changes and winter and summer weather into my head. The more papers I read the more complex it becomes.

Jim Hunt

I don't think this one's been mentioned yet - RealClimate compares the Greenland melt of 2012 with similar events in the Eemian:

http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2013/01/the-greenland-melt/

"The big news is that this group has managed to obtain and use the information in ice from the Eemian. The findings are spectacular."

Derek

Could the persistent CAB high pressure move significant multiyear ice into the Beaufort sea. It would be difficult for it to survive a summer there.

http://www7320.nrlssc.navy.mil/hycomARC/navo/arcticictn_nowcast_anim30d.gif

crandles

2012 really stands out!

November record low thickness
or

the 6 months March to August all with the most volume category being thicker than last year.

Bit odd following this:

With average thickness having reduced presumably we have lost a lot of volume in thicker categories than the max vol category.

2010 also stands out for 5 months with thicker than last year categories.

L. Hamilton

Since this is an Open Thread, I'll take the opportunity to share something published today that's not Arctic but might be of interest to those who puzzle about US public opinion. First the graphic:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v224/Chiloe/Climate/TS_figure2_caption.png

And the abstract, from the American Meteorological Society Journal Weather, Climate, and Society:

Blowin' in the wind: Short-term weather and belief in anthropogenic climate change
Hamilton & Stampone (2013)

"A series of polls provide new tests for how weather influences public beliefs about climate change. Statewide data from 5,000 random-sample telephone interviews conducted on 99 days over two and a half years (2010 to 2012) are merged with temperature and precipitation indicators derived from USHCN station records. The surveys carry a question designed around scientific consensus statements that climate change is happening now, caused mainly by human activities. Alternatively, respondents can state that climate change is not happening, or that it is happening but mainly for natural reasons. Belief that humans are changing the climate is predicted by temperature anomalies on the interview and previous day, controlling for season, survey and individual characteristics. Temperature effects concentrate among one subgroup, however: individuals who identify themselves as Independent, rather than aligned with a political party. Interviewed on unseasonably warm days, Independents tend to agree with the scientific consensus regarding anthropogenic climate change. On unseasonably cool days, they tend not to. Although temperature effects are sharpest for just a 2-day window, we see positive effects for longer windows as well. As future climate change shifts the distribution of anomalies and extremes, this will first affect beliefs among unaligned voters."

http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/WCAS-D-12-00048.1

Steve Bloom

Man oh man, Larry, every time I think my view of human perceptiveness has sunk as low as it possibly can, something like this comes along. :(

Very useful information, though, and FWIW very bad news for Republican die-hards.

Steve Bloom

Chris, I wasn't trying to be precise re 2003, but based my remark on "they found a persistent weakening of both cyclones and anticyclones between the 1990s and early 2000s, and a pronounced intensification of anticyclone activity afterwards." Obviously I should read the paper.

Apocalypse4Real

Hi Jim,

My contact at the UK Met/NCOF wishes to remain unnamed and let the NCOF be the named source of my quoted comments.

I'll update the website with new data over the weekend, pretty done in tonight - another 14 hour day at work.

wayne

LRC, Lake Ontario was not known as a great swimming Lake because it was brrrr so cold during summer. Not anymore, had a great dip in +26 and warmer water this summer past. It is a wonder , truly puzzling, so many evidences of Global warming everywhere and yet we have guys making world tours to audiences claiming no such thing,

Twemoran

Larry

A new context for the phrase "Fair weather friends."

Terry

Chris Reynolds

Crandles,

or...

August onwards peak volume in 1m thick category, with the first appearance of the 0.5m category. Incidentally, in December 2012 there is no reported grid box volume for ice categories, 2.75m to 3.5m - that's a first.

Steve,

It was me trying to find additional changes in the early 2000s. At least that paper supports what I've found, I was beginning to wonder after Jennifer Francis said she'd not found a trend in blocking - reported up thread. PS - IIRC Xiangdong Zhang et al, 2008, "Recent radical shifts of atmospheric circulations and rapid changes in Arctic climate system." is the paper that finds an intensification of the AD from around 2003.

Jim Hunt

Hi A4R,

I feel sure your contact wishes to remain anonymous in public. I was hoping to get in touch with you privately, but there is no obvious way of doing so!

In all the circumstances I was further hoping you might send me a private message instead. See my profile for further information.

Rob Dekker

Jim, thanks for that link to CCSM models. It appears that these guys took albedo and other parameters another step closer to hard core physics. That is encouraging, and maybe their effort explains partly why the CCSM4 results obtain a better fit with reality than the CCSM3 models (see Stroeve et al 2012).

I don't see that they addressed absorption profiles though, and how that affects melting of FYI versus MYI, but on second thought, I think that my conclusion that "the ice remaining will be filled with water" may be incorrect.

Also, Terry, thanks for your response, but I think I was mistaken (assuming internal melt and thus latent heat build-up inside sea ice) and this is why :

During the melting season, the top layer of melting sea ice will be at 0 C (melting point of fresh water), while the bottom will be at -1.6 C (freezing point of salt water). Thus, anywhere in the ice layer, temperature will be below melting point of fresh water. If solar energy gets inserted all through that ice, then if the ice is mostly fresh (such as in MYI), it will be very hard to get a phase transition inside the ice (especially towards the bottom). It is more likely that any absorbed heat will increase the local temperature a bit (closer to 0 C but still below it), which will cause a heat flux up towards the surface, where it will cause surface melt) or downward (towards the -1.6 C ice/ocean water boundary), which will cause bottom-melt, but I would be surprised if we would actually get some ice to melt inside the ice pack with this heat absorbed inside the ice.

So there may not be any latent heat build-up inside the ice with this mechanism, and thus my ah-ha moment may have been pre-mature.

That still leaves the late ice growth as shown in the CRREL ice mass buoys unexplained.

Werther

On the North Ellesmere lead…

While Wayne has informed us on the tidal origins of these sort of cracks, this specific one is getting amazing properties.

On AVHHR today it shows at least 550 km long. A mean width of 12.5 km and an area of at least 7500 km2 now make it visible even on the UB extent map.

Meanwhile, todays ECMWF map shows 55-60 km E winds on the west side. The daily composites for 22/01 show vector winds way (22 m/s) above the climo.

Steve Bloom

Chris, just to make sure there's no confusion, my comment above about JF's view of blocking turned out to be based on her 2012 video (from a year ago). The 2013 ppt (from a week ago) does include a slide about blocking, and the video with her comments on it should be available within a few days.

Actually, since the recent presentation still doesn't seem to have much on blocking, I wonder if she knows about the Russian paper. You've been in touch with her already, so maybe send it along to be sure. She might also be interested in your rather riveting graphics.

I have a feeling we're going to be seeing a lot more papers on this general subject in the near future.

David Green

Hi first time posting, I have been waiting for someone to mention the open water at Smith sound, I have been following Arctic sea ice decline since 2006 and have never seen this before. Admittedly I have not follewed winter this closely before.
Is this an some artifact or is it real, if its real why has it not frozen over yet, is it ocean heat welling up similar to the Latev bite ? .

wayne

Werther, opening more than 20 nautical miles at later period in the spring was not that unusual. I have on CD further examples which show the high tide ebbs moving from one lead to the next, will post a few Mpegs whenever I find the disk. If you save the pictures on this event you might capture the phenomenon by placing the highest possible resolution pictures in an animation loop. Calculations need be made on the extra tidal current occurring at new and full moons. Haven't seen one yet.

Neven

David Green, welcome. The open water there is known as the North Water Polynya. It's real, but not unusual. That's to say, I haven't kept an eye on it this year, so I don't know if it's more extensive than at other times.

Darren Wood

You saw it first here folks, sand and water to produce hydrogen with no additional energy needed, how long until this gets buried by the oil cartels?
http://www.buffalo.edu/news/releases/2013/01/017.html

Neven

Darren, are you a real person? If you don't react to this by the end of the day, I'm removing your comment as spam.

Others: please, don't react.

Chris Reynolds

Steve,

Thanks for clarifying. But I'm not sure what 'the Russian paper is'. If I should remember I can only apologise and blame a long and busy week...

Darren Wood,

And how much energy goes into making the silicon nano-spheres?

R. Gates

A couple of thoughts related to the progress of sea ice growth the rest of this winter and the 2013 melt season:

The big SSW event of the Arctic that began in late December and shattered the polar vortex is fading and we are seeing temperatures falling at the upper levels of the stratosphere and the polar vortex begin to reform there, those it is still very early:

http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/stratosphere/strat-trop/gif_files/time_pres_TEMP_ANOM_JFM_NH_2013.gif

http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/stratosphere/strat-trop/gif_files/time_pres_UGRD_MEAN_JFM_NH_2013.gif

Though the SSW occurred earlier in January than 2010, the reformation of the vortex and the cooler stratospheric temperatures could follow the sequence from that year:

http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/stratosphere/strat-trop/gif_files/time_pres_TEMP_ANOM_ALL_NH_2010.gif

Note the pretty warm temps that we see at the lowest levels of the troposphere that linger over the Arctic much of the spring and summer that can be traced directly back to the SSW of 2010.

The other factor in the melt season is of course the warm water at deeper levels that continues to be advected into the Arctic from the Atlantic. The latest figures shows there's a record high ocean heat content for the Atlantic down to 2000 meters:

http://data.nodc.noaa.gov/woa/DATA_ANALYSIS/3M_HEAT_CONTENT/DATA/basin/3month/h22-a0-2000m10-12.dat

It's way early and nearly anything can of course happen, but the 2013 melt season for the Arctic has the potential to be quite a healthy one based on the current atmospheric and ocean dynamics.

Chris Reynolds

R Gates,

Thanks for the analysis. One question right now, what are the acronyms for the ocean temperature data. Actually one more - do you know how that data is gathered? model or data (e.g. Argo).

Neven

Thanks from me too, R. Gates. Very interesting, all of that SSW-stuff.

R. Gates

Chris,

Here's a full explanation of the data fields:

http://www.nodc.noaa.gov/OC5/3M_HEAT_CONTENT/basin_data.html

And the this is not model but Argo data at the 2000 meter level, which we now have about a decades worth.

idunno


The academic journal "The Cryosphere" has started to pre-publish some papers while they are still in peer-review, seeking crowd-sourced input.

So, relevent to Rob's dicussion, of Atlantic heat content, see the paper from 16 January, here...

http://www.the-cryosphere-discuss.net/papers_in_open_discussion.html

I think that this is an excellent idea. Several contributors here may be able to usefully contribute to the review process; and it speeds up the dissemination of the latest research.

Twemoran

Rob

I think we usually assume that when ice has reached 0C & more energy is added the end result will be water, but it requires a huge amount of energy to effect the phase transition.

What I'm postulating is that in fall there may be vast quantities of ice at 0C or -1,6C that has taken in so much latent heat that even with atmospheric temperatures of -20C some considerable time will be required before the temperature of the ice can drop.

Without phase change I think the only way for the energy to escape would be by convection to the surfaces of the ice, then either convection or radiation from there. Neither process would be very efficient with relatively low deltas so I can imagine that a thick, uncracked mass of ice could require considerable time before it dropped below the freezing point and accretion could begin.

Another thought just struck me. Is it possible that in large solid ice masses some of the latent heat could remain trapped through the winter season leading to a more rapid melt the following spring? If this were so it might help explain the preferential melt of MYI.

Terry

Espen Olsen

A study in ice formation, watch how similar it looks compared to much further north:

The sea between Denmark (left) and Sweden to the right

http://www.dmi.dk/dmi/klar_til_en_isvinter_-_hvis_den_kommer

Steve Bloom

Chris, the Russian paper reference was in my original comment on this blog. Lupo tells me it has been peer-reviewed and an English translation will be available within a few months. Here again is the Google translation of the abstract:

Heat wave in the summer of 2010 in European Russia initiated long (about two months) blocking of the zonal circulation in the troposphere in mid-latitude Northern Hemisphere (SP) [1,2]. Whether it was possible to expect a long block? Can today's models describes those processes? What are the likely trends manifestations of similar events in the future? To answer these questions analyzed the characteristics of the activity in blokingovoy atmosphere of the joint venture on the basis of reanalysis data and numerical modeling calculations for the twentieth and twenty-first centuries in various scenarios of anthropogenic impact. The results indicate that using current climate models can reproduce numerically especially regional anomalies associated with atmospheric blocking, along with trends.

The paper itself is very thick going because of the translation artifacts, but that sounds like it might be an attribution claim, rather a big deal if so.

It was only bizarre happenstance that caused me to stumble across this paper, which is why I wondered above if Jennifer Francis and other non-Russians researching Arctic atmospheric circulation changes even know about it.

David Green

Hi Neven , like I said don't track this time of year generally if its normal I wonder what the dynamic are that keep that much water open .

David Green

Oh yes and thanks for the link its very intriguing .the warm current keeping the water ice free . I wonder if the size will increase as global tempretures rise ? .

Steve Bloom

The new, must-watch Jennifer Francis video is now up!

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