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Espen Olsen

Ellesmere / Ward Hunt:

Since the Cracking Event is now hitting directly into the coast where the remains of The Ward Hunt Ice Shelf is, my question is then will it have any repercussion for its survival?

Espen Olsen

Kap Morris Jesup / Greenland:

It is really moving, these hours. Now a crack system is developing north of Kap Morris Jesup 30 W, towards Ellesmere 70 W, within a few days / hours,all open Sea Ice in at least the western part of the Arctic Sea will be mobile!!

Jim Williams

I'm having trouble reconciling all this cracking with the PIOMAS model for the month. I figure the model is based upon the cold snap we had a few weeks ago, but I'm really wondering if there is something going one that wasn't captured in the model. Is more of the ice thin than projected? Why else might supposed MYI areas be collapsing?

Chris Reynolds


PIOMAS overestimates the thickness of thin ice and underestimates the thickness of thick ice (Schweiger 2011). Because most of the pack is thin it may be overestimating thickness/volume - how much is not clear.


"I'm having trouble reconciling all this cracking with the PIOMAS model for the month."

What Chris said.

But also, any estimate of quantity can tell us little about quality of the ice.

As we can see, the ice is thin, brittle, cracking, and some of the FY very briny stuff may well be not much more substantial than slush.

Even a huge quantity of slush will not hold out very well under the relentless gaze of 24-hour sun.


If you think about PIOMAS, if the ice cracks and spreads by say 1%, initially you have the same SIA, but once the ice in the cracks freezes the SIA will increase by 1%. As regards volume as the cracks freeze the volume must also increase, but the growth rate will be faster because the build up of surface ice will be faster than growth under the existing ice for thermodynamic reasons.


Espen Olsen

Modis / Ellesmere:

The new cracks from today above Ellesmere is now visible on Modis, and some of the leads are up to 3 kms in width.



What percentage of the ice, FYI and MYI, is likely to be rotten? All of it?

Espen Olsen

Rotten ice (Norwegian term originates from rotten snow) is when ice/snow reach a certain melting stage, and we are not there yet.

Klon Jay

Ahhh, after seeing this, with the new crack N of Nares, can't wait for next DMI NOAA image update.


Espen Olsen

Ellesmere / Northern Greenland and North Pole:
Latest images from the crack event, the cracks have now reached the crack area in the Fram Strait, best seen here, this means the whole open sea ice pack is now mobile.
(Modis Terra)

Big cracks are also seen seen only "miles" away from the NP, and I am wondering where to place those North Pole Web Cams this season?

Shared Humanity

If much of the MYI north of CA moves into the Beaufort this year, how much will survive the melt season?

Espen Olsen

S H,

Some Sea Ice will end up in Beaufort and some in the Fram Export Zone, that will depend on the weather in the next coming months, but one thing is for sure, this melting season will be one to follow, I am pretty sure we are in Game changer Mode now, and those who are interested better be in a Alert Mode!


spen notes that the Ellesmere event has continued today in a big way with a gigantic oblique shear beginning 18 Mar 13 at 13:00 UTC, saying "only a small piece of solid sea ice north of Ellesmere, Nares and Greenland [aka Lincoln Sea] is left."

Indeed, this was an incredible one-day event and one that Navy Hycom has foreseen rather accurately. It is a continuation of the event that began, as A4R notes above, some 50 days ago. Maybe five nested arc fractures followed by oblique shear in the very most resistant ice.

Using the global view of the Arctic Basin provided by Ascat radar, I counted the pixels in the last unaffected region, the triangle north of Nares/Ellesmere/Greenland (aka Lincoln Sea) at 793, versus 84,782 for the whole Arctic Ocean. So, allowing for basin definition variation and map projection issues etc, about 1% of the surface area of the Arctic remains immune to fracture.

That is, the Lincoln Sea is tucked in between Ellesmere and Greenland in such a way that fractures pass it by. This is also quite a cold spot, and an area between the Beaufort Gyre and Fram Current where ice can pile up and thicken.

Whether it can remain in place without buttressing is another matter.

Espen Olsen


I am so sorry that I don't have my Photoshop license anymore, because I really have some ideas where I think I could make use of it, but I am happy you are showing the whole "live" action we are watching in a very a "graphic" way, you really deserves the honor of bringing this around the GLOBE!!

Espen Olsen


Don't worry! Lincoln Sea will open to later, that is pretty normal, that is melt dominated though ( I believe)!


[Typepad seems to be allowing a max of 2-3 sentences per post today so bear with me.]

I'm thinking that this buttressing lies behind the fracture pattern we see. That is, it might well begin with extensional tension from wind and currents but once the first fracture line opens, there's no mechanism to continue the tug. However unbalanced forces cause more arc-calving near the front line.

A similar phenomenon is seen at Needles Natl Park near Moab. The Colorado River has cut a deep trench to the west, leaving forces on the Paradox Formation unbalanced. The deeply buried salt -- thousands of feet thick -- then flows in the direction of imbalance, creating The Grabens on the surface and landslides along the river.

Our 50-day (and counting) event is completely unprecedented for early onset, extent, and effect on multi-year ice within the satellite record, as far as we know . (Dear trolls: it's put up or shut up here -- upload dated imagery and link to its govt archive or don't bother to post).


This colossal event has nothing but negative implications for summer melt. However we'll be hard-pressed to say in September how much of a catastrophic loss would have happened anyway -- without all the melt ponds and floe mobilization.

An ocean of first year ice (ie complete refreeze in fall) is the worst case scenario: maximal heat adsorption in the summer, minimal heat loss in the winter (snow on top of thin ice is an excellent isolator).

So a round of applause please for A4R! Without catching the methane data as it flies by, we'll have nothing to work with come October.

Might give Gimp a whirl, Espen. It is freeware. 18 years of development. It is more powerful than Photoshop in some ways. Chris has gotten it going rather quickly -- I hope more people will try it. http://www.gimp.org/downloads/

Espen Olsen


Gimp is maybe as good or better than Photoshop, but I don't have the stamina to go true a new Graphic Soft Ware set up.

Soon we will only have FYI left in the Arctic Sea, so you better get used to it!

Nightvid Cole


Are you ready for the big one ?


A-Team, thanks for the congrats, but I have really learned and appreciate what you Chris, Espen, Crandles and others have done to educate me.

I am keeping up with the methane, and I think, with the ice potential breakup this fall - a greater concern in regard to what is happening with the ice and methane.

The CH4 is updated through March 15, and I'll get more up later today. I have some people I need to email about this...

I just got back from work, and my jaw about hit the desk! Incredible what transpired in one day!


The extensive cracking in the Beaufort was spectacular no doubt, but isn't the cracking in the area North of Ellesmere Island and the Lincoln Sea not a recurring phenomenon? Or is this very early for the time of year as well?

Jim Hunt

If you'll forgive the poetic licence Neven, my literary take on recent events, including the latest satellite image:


Out flew the web and floated wide
The mirror crack'd from side to side;
"The curse is come upon me," cried
The Lady of Shalott.


Has anyone contacted SkS on this matter?

Craig Merry



Craig Merry @ March 19, 2013 at 02:15

Sorry, I should have written it out - Skeptical Science.

Brian Johnson

Jim - Thanks for the excellent Tennyson quote and blog post; the latest images, coupled with A-Team's work, create a definitive summation of the situation.
The old breakfast commercial comes to mind:
"This is the Arctic. This is the Arctic on Oil (Crack). Any Questions?"

John Christensen

Ice drift speed;

Nightvid Cole brought the chart with expected ice drift speed for 3/17, which looks alarming especially due to the drifting towards Fram Strait.

The question I have: I would assume that the ice pack has a tendency to spread out since there is less resistance in spreading rather than compacting, and also since the higher temperatures over open water should create 'off-shore' winds towards open water further spreading the ice. If that is correct (?), what would be 'normal' ice drifting speed and when is it considered 'high/above normal'?

Glenn Tamblyn

I have just put some of these images up in comments on a post about Andy Lee Robinson's PIOMAS graphics at SkS - http://www.skepticalscience.com/feb-2013-sea-ice-spiral.html

Neven, you might want to consider a cross-post on this at SkS, it might be a big story - drop Dana a note

Glenn Tamblyn

nightvid cole

So the BG spins hard clockwise a week or so ago, breaking things up. Then across Ellesmere / Greenland it reverses, pushing towards the Fram.

Is Mother Nature trying to tell us something?

Espen Olsen


Yes cracking is to some extend normal north of Ellesmere and in the Lincoln Sea, but the cracks this season are arch formed towards the coast, normally in the past we saw cracks developing in straight lines from the Lincoln Sea area and out. But as you noted this normally happens later in the season, and not this early.

Neven, you might want to consider a cross-post on this at SkS, it might be a big story - drop Dana a note.

Glenn, I'll see what I can do. It definitely could be the prelude of a big story. But like A-Team said: "Beginning of the end, end of the beginning, or just a bad hair day for the ice pack -- we'll have to wait and see."

Yes cracking is to some extend normal north of Ellesmere and in the Lincoln Sea, but the cracks this season are arch formed towards the coast, normally in the past we saw cracks developing in straight lines from the Lincoln Sea area and out. But as you noted this normally happens later in the season, and not this early.

I think you're mostly right, Espen. I remember being amazed by the cracking close to the Lincoln Sea, back when I started the blog in 2010. But that was in June...


Nightvid has us looking ahead to potentially provocative ice circulation!

The Navy provides ice speed in cm/sec. A representative speed in mid-March is about 10 cm/sec which works out to ~8.6 km/day or ~7 pixels at the Beaufort/Ellesmere infrared imagery resolution.

We don't see the ice actually showing daily displacements like that because these are instantaneous velocities -- once a day snapshots of an ever changing velocity vector field (actually, their arrows are curved so represent streamlines). If you look at the same point on 3 successive days, the direction and rate of movement can shift rapidly. Thus net motion of the ice can largely average out.

John C asks about the statistical distribution of velocities and where the next few days sit relative to seasonal norms. Since they've flattened the streamlines onto their 20 contour color bins we would have to ask -- I've found them helpful in the past -- for the underlying numerical data set that was plotted.

For a quick approximation, try the PS/Gimp color picker in non-contiguous mode to count the pixels in each velocity bin (after masking down to just the Arctic Ocean). That is feasible for a month (20x30 = 600 mouse clicks) but not for a year (7200 clicks).

The Navy animations arrive in gif compression format but that is lossless and readily undone with Filters -> Animation -> Unoptimize with the side benefit of free masking once the base layer is tossed. Cropping down 19-24 March just to the Arctic Ocean and slowing their 130ms frame speed to 300ms with a 1500 ms pause on the 24th gives their forecast:

 photo navyMar19_zps6635dd38.gif


"Arctic Storm Shatters Thin Sea Ice"

Right???? I am still puzzled by Walt's analysis of a weak February 8 Storm shattering the ice over the SW Quadrant of the North American Pole side. It was after all mostly a mega HIGH pressure breaking thin ice as if it was frozen vinyl record being cut, where the breaks first occurred well away from the said Low. Not that this cyclone didn't do anything, because when it comes to sea ice, everything with respect to weather makes a contribution, like a graffiti wall made up by , first a wall, then the artists, weather leaves a unique imprint of the ice, the artists being the wind, pressure, tides, currents and sea ice momentum (I apologize to not name them all).

Now for a real synopsis, where the Cyclone gangs do leave their mark, consider their latest incursions driven by unusual jet stream pattern creating the temporary return of the most famous lead of them all, the Big Lead. http://eh2r.blogspot.ca/



"leaves a unique imprint on the ice" that is better...


Morning Wayne,

It looks like the unusual cracking is related to (1) weather as it has unfolded through the last weeks (2) the general winter ’12-’13 pattern.

On (1) thanks for pointing at that Baffin Low coming in and the relation to the jet stream pattern. Yes, the loop-show on the Squall-jet stream site is impressive through the last four days. These sub-loops on the main Polar Jet accord nicely to the deep Rossby wave intrusions on the American side.

On (2), while still busy on summarizing/analysing the NCEP/NCAR decadal maps, obviously the momentary weather fits the general winter steering pattern on 500Mb. Geopotential high, axis banana shaped from Bering to Labrador and the focus on North Greenland. Low over Keewatin and part of the CAA.

Makes me wonder how fast Baffin Bay will melt out.

PS three days without any freeze at Jakobshavn has brought a 900 km2 darker melt-imprint around Sermeq Kujalleq.
PPS The calving front came back almost to where it was before the June '12 retreat.


Maybe I should have said, "or a couple of bad hair months."

I don't see a great deal to be gained by getting out too far ahead of events, though it's good to be thinking about possible implications of what we are seeing.

This summer will play out however it plays out, soon enough. We're just here to witness and to document, not make fools of ourselves like the climate modelers.

It's not like giving out a tsunami warning. There, peope can take effective evasive action in response to a good prediction. Here there's nothing they can do -- they're screwed.

Live-blogging the collapse of the Arctic could have longer term educational value. While it's way too late to be thinking about ice recovery in our lifetimes, we might be able to mitigate or slow the next domino to fall by curbing emissions. Ok, not the next 2-3 dominoes but maybe some after that.

Next fall the story will shift -- if it hasn't already -- to "oops, what happened to the Arctic isn't staying in the Arctic".

Espen Olsen

The Beaufort, CAA, Ellesmere and Lincoln Sea cracking systems are now joining forces with the Kap Morris Jesup / Fram Strait cracking systems. A new huge crack just appeared above NG between 0 W and 30 W.


Espen, A-Team, and all, I just posted the longer fracture line. It is over 1,500 miles long.

See the ASIF: http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,92.0.html#lastPost

Espen Olsen


Yes pretty impressive, I see you also got the latest new crack above Kap Morris Jesup?


Yes, I higlighted it as well since it ties into the main system.

Still amazing to see the rapidity of these developments.

Espen Olsen

Here is the Modis/Terra image of today, showing the newly formed cracks, North of Kap Morris Jesup:


Espen Olsen

Lincoln Sea:

Fissures/fractures crossing the remaining "solid" sea ice triangle starting from the coast of Greenland, are clearly seen using the latest Modis/Terra 250 meter enlargement:


Charles Craver

Yeah, the cracking from Morris Jesup is basically merging with that coming across the Lincoln Sea. I had hoped the MYI around Lincoln would hold faster than this.

this is truly amazing to watch in real time. kinda horriying, but amazing nonetheless.

Craig Merry

Espen- I was just looking at that image as well and was amazed- does anyone know when the last time this particular area had seen cracks this size?

wouldn't this be "unprecedented" in our modern area?

Craig Merry

Modern *era

Espen Olsen


No not "unprecedented" but not in this scale, but I am sure it is the first time in modern history we can watch crisscrossing cracks all over the Arctic Sea this early in the season.

Espen Olsen

Jøkelbugt / North East Greenland,

The fast sea ice of the coast of Joekelbugt / Shannon Island is already disintegrating, I wonder where we are only 2 months from?
Because that is way too early.

Robert Fanney

It's been pretty warm over Baffin/Greenland recently...

Paul Beckwith

Arctic Oscillation Index approaching 5 standard deviations in negative, projected to go even lower. This is flushing cold air out and warm air into the Arctic region... http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/precip/CWlink/daily_ao_index/ao.sprd2.gif

Paul Beckwith

I just made a movie of the 10 day forecast (day by day) from GFSx, here is the link to my Google drive... amazing ridging and fracturing... https://docs.google.com/file/d/0ByLujhsHsxP7QXlTN3M1b0NBNzQ/edit?usp=sharing

Paul Beckwith

Not to be missed. The Greenland high could reach 1070 mb in next few days; that will bring huge temperatures. 1085 in Mongolia Dec 19, 2001 is world record highest.

What a difference a year makes! Last March the U.S. was basking in a heat wave, but fast forward to March 2013 and winter storms are more the norm.

Turns out each has been the result of large-scale blocking patterns, or "stuck" weather patterns. Here's the lowdown:


Paul Beckwith

For the record; I do not think that any sea ice will survive this summer. An event unprecedented in human history is today, this very moment, transpiring in the Arctic Ocean. The cracks in the sea ice that I reported on my Sierra Club Canada blog and elsewhere over the last several days have spread and at this moment the entire sea ice sheet (or about 99% of it) covering the Arctic Ocean is on the move. Clockwise. The ice is thin, and slushy, and breaking apart. This is abrupt climate change in real-time. Humans have benefited greatly from a stable climate for the last 11,000 years or roughly 400 generations. Not any more....


Got that right, Paul.

Another incredible day. A bit of clouds, I enhanced through them on an Arctic Composite to capture the event as a still.

 photo yellowCracking_zps380b4527.gif

Melt season is already undeway over at the Beaufort and is picking up speed:

 photo meltSeason3_zps19d2846f.gif

Paul Beckwith

Some recent blogs I am involved in on Arctic meteorololgy, methane, and geoengineering...



Geoengineering, can we cool the Arctic? http://arctic-news.blogspot.ca/2013/01/anthropogenic-arctic-volcano-can-calm-climate.html



Thanks for the visual confirmation of what I posted earlier today -- that the fracturing extends all the way to Franz Joaeph from Greenland.

I have a request. It is important and I think you did this before. Doing this will make an informative difference.

Can you take an AVHRR image, clean up the clouds to reveal fracturing, then overlay it with a HYCOM CICE thickness image?

What I need to depict is how much fracturing is taking place in the 2+ meter ice.

I'll post two images "Short to Medium Term" ASIF thread:


I will really appreciate this.


The post-Holocene climate -- that might be termed the Endocene -- is bringing a swift end to the Anthropocene (or Age of Arrogance). It seems like we have entered the Endocene today:

 photo endocene5_zps6a1ff4bb.png


Paul, "Geoengineering, can we cool the Arctic?"

If the Bering Strait were to be damned or filled in how would that effect the Arctic?

Robert Fanney

@ Paul

Yeah, I blogged a bit about that blocking pattern a couple of days ago. One of those things you kinda hope you misinterpreted but didn't.

Thanks for the links. Will have a good look at those.

And now I see the cracks are all the way from Beaufort to Svalbard. Moving pretty amazingly fast.

Also saw how NSIDC had to recalibrate their Greenland melt early. Seems like everything's happening early this year.

Robert Fanney

@ A-Team

Dumbassic. Love it!


A4R, yes I did that before, no problem to do it again. This whole situation needs to be documented.

But please settle on the date pairs you want -- HYCOM CICE thickness goes future forward for a week and obviously the remote sensing does not.

The AVHRR doesn't really cover the whole Arctic Basin and dark clouds cannot be entirely removed. I can composite high res Beaufort and Ellesmere but this has less coverage than the low res Arctic Composite.

Radar does cover the whole Arctic but it does not capture quite the detail of the fracturing.

Then there is the issue of final posted pixel width. On imagery I prefer to stick with native resolution.

However here the ice thickness image has quite poor resolution to begin with. Hmmm, look at the two versions I posted earlier ...

Steve Bloom

Paul, I appreciate your efforts, but for the sake of your own credibility as a nascent scientist (recalling the fate of your prediction from last season) you need to be a little more careful with this stuff. We just don't know enough to have confidence in predictions of ice behavior within a single season. Given the uniqueness of the present cracking, I (along with most of the regulars here) have come to the similar conclusions, but to repeat the point it's hard to be certain.

Robert Fanney

@ Villa


Sounds like a stupendously bad idea ripe for inviting the curse of unintended consequences.

I like option A better.

Option A being transitioning away from fossil fuels yesterday.


@ Robert,

Just what I thought. Tongue in cheek. :-)

Robert Fanney

@ Villa

Gotit ;). Damning the Beaufort sounded t in c to me. Just agreeing is all.

Steve Bloom

A-Team, is that your chart? Nice work if so. I'd love to pass it around, although I suspect it would meet with more acceptance if the representative animals were amended to correct ones.


@ A-Team,

"I can composite high res Beaufort and Ellesmere but this has less coverage than the low res Arctic Composite."

If you can composite high res Beaufort and Ellesmerem, and cut down the NRL Ice thickness I posted - for March 19, at:


A-team said "However here the ice thickness image has quite poor resolution to begin with."

That's OK, the point will be made. This will be appreciated, I will post the corresponding higher res Beaufort and Ellesmere for overlay with the ice thickness at the same thread.


Jon Hurn

Anyone prepared to call the max SIA yet...?

Paul Beckwith

Villabolo, Poor gramma; damned should be dammed, effect should be affect. Sulfur works well when a volcano pops off; more comes out of coal power plant smokestacks than we would need in stratosphere. Easiest thing to do.

Steve, You got me, no more cyclones appeared last year. No worries about my cred, although I do worry about the modellers and IPCC cred.

Arctic methane, surface, Mar 1 to 10th (Yurganov)

At 600 mb

Seems logical that lots of methane is also under the sea ice, anyone see it coming out of cracks? Can it be weakening the ice?

Meteorology: I put latest GFSx images from unisys 10 day forecast into a movie... https://docs.google.com/file/d/0ByLujhsHsxP7QXlTN3M1b0NBNzQ/edit?usp=sharing


I like others love A-Team's new chart depicting the current transition to the Endocene era.

It's obvious that the Creators (He/She/Spirit/Mythological Figure/Yet Undefined Being) are about to make the following announcement:

"The Humanoid Experiment on Planet Earth is Hereby Cancelled!!"

I too thought the Dumb-assic period was a hoot.

However I would amend that announcement.

"The Humanoid's currently Experimenting on Planet Earth are About to be Cancelled!!"


Looking at the latest AMSR2 image from Uni Bremen


Do I really see a large amount of ice being exported south of Svalbard?

I've never seen that before in March and wondered if it's FYI or MYI. Or do I have it wrong and it's new ice growing there?

I'm guessing that with the high level of movement in the Arctic Basin is likely to cause a lot of export at a time when the pack should be relatively stable. After all the Max SIA is about now, it should, really, be as stable as it gets.

Jim Hunt

The cracks are creeping around Cape Morris Jesup towards Nord this morning:

and what's more DMI seem to have fixed their typo!


Steve B, you are welcome to stub in different animals appropriate to each geological period.

Mine came from a quick google image search for icons that would be recognizable in the tiny space available. I'm aware that a smokestack is not an animal.

The sedimentary sequences are preposterous, don't correspond to anything and don't even agree with each other.

Most people get Dumbassic but miss Nozoic (no animals = extinction crisis) and Endocene (end o' time).

Sole authority over geological terminology resides in the International Commission on Stratigraphy. The Dumbassic has not been submitted to or approved by the ICS at this time.

The spoof resides in a spreadsheet table so it is easy to change both the scale and component parts. I think it would make a very amusing tee-shirt or wall chart.

Feel free to pass around any graphic that I post, without restriction for non-commercial use.


Neil T, hi,

On the ice near the Franz Josef Islands (and appearing in the Barentsz Sea).

I had a good, detailed look on the MODIS tile yesterday. Within the fresh leads, part of the recent torque event, an older pattern of cracks show up. They’re not deeply covered by snow and stem from the earlier spread.
The floes are mainly FYI. Within, it seems possible to identify small parts of 2 and 3 year ice. That stems from the myriad of remains on the SW side of last Septembers’ Laptev Bite.

South of Svalbard lies tiny Bear Island. As a colder oceanic counterstream leads up there, ice out there is common at the end of winter.

The last four cold weeks have amassed the FYI North of Fr Josef to 1,8 m thickness, 0,8 m to the South. Movement of the floes leads to continual growth of new FYI, which is also forming in earlier open seas.

So far, the good part (as it might constitute 250 km3 of ice that wasn’t there last year).
The prognosis for the melt season there is still grim. The basis within the floes are bits and pieces of ’11 and ’12 ice. Through the mobility of the pack, they’ll be torn apart as spring kicks in.


Here's what the last 30 days of ice pack motion actually looked like -- the reality of it is fairly complicated.

Indeed the whole ice sheet is in motion but then it always has been, at least in recent years. See for example the Navy Hycom year-long animations.

The animation below is enhanced for multi-year ice as preceived by Jaxa-Ijis color radar:

 photo MarchMovement100_zpsbffe95b8.gif


Interesting observations there, Werther.

Here is what the ice penetrating radar looks like on 19 Mar 13 for the Fr Josef area, 3x over 1x.

 photo frJosef_zps5a7e9c0b.png



Thanks for the great slide show segment and image of sea ice thickness as of today.


Shared Humanity

A-Team......Looking at the animation, I wonder if the goats head will be transported out the Fram this melt season?


SharedH, Hard to say, the goat's hea feature has hung on for several years, puzzling in itself. I have not yet looked in 2009 or earlier to see how it arose. And what keeps it attached to the main body of thick ice?

A4R, Only moderate haze can be removed. The clouds have been too thick but there was a dramatic Beaufort shot this morning, 130320.1144.4 and in a couple of hours it may be completely clear. It is not going to work compositing Beaufort and Ellesmere avhrr because their total width would be 1850 x 2 = 3700 pixels wide before taking out redundant coverage whereas Navy NRL is about 375.

That is, If I dumb down the avhrr composite 10x to Navy size, fine resolution of cracks will disappear. Might as well have used Arctic Composite. Even its cracks won't show. So might as well just have used radar as it is essentially Navy scale. Alternatively the cracks would have to be widened in enhancement so that they still showed upon reduction. Or Navy blown up to excessive width. So it's best for now just to use the two previous overlays I provided.

 photo airClears_zps16438168.jpg
 photo colorMar20_zpsb38feb66.jpg

Robert Fanney

@ Paul

The constant presence of sulfur dioxide in the stratosphere has a deleterious impact on ozone. And long-term low levels of ozone are very bad for plants and animals. It would also have to be endlessly maintained (a constant seeding project requiring endless funding). As GHGs increase, the level of sulfur dioxide would have to increase. Lastly, it does nothing for ocean acidification.

SO2 injection would be a desperate stop-gap with bad collateral impacts. This, to my mind, is not a good way to deal with the climate crisis.

Robert Fanney

@ A-Team

How about a T-shirt used to raise money for charity/non-profit (350.org etc)? I know someone who could set up the T design and we could include links to the T-shirt fundraiser on our respective blogs?

Espen Olsen

Lincoln Sea;

Almost half of the fast sea in Lincoln Sea went away, in just 24 hrs.


Jim Hunt

The sun is now shining and the webcam is now working at Barrow:


What's that in the distance?

Espen Olsen

Where to go this weekend?

The best place for a Gin Fizz party is up north, plenty of crushed ice!


@ Robert Fanney

"How about a T-shirt used to raise money..."

How about organizing a cruise to the Arctic to raise money?

Robert Fanney

@ Jim

Open water...

Are the sea ice measurements counting this as ice?

Jim Hunt

@Robert - I don't know what the algos make of it, but a visual inspection of a plan view suggests a large area of open water in the vicinity yesterday:

Jim Hunt

P.S. My "width" instruction doesn't seem to have done much good. Try opening the image in a new tab.

Robert Fanney

Thanks so much for this Jim! Wow. That satellite image is just stunning!

Looks like Navy, at least, is still reading this as thin ice.

Jim Hunt

This one's not "stunning" in quite the same way, but DMI are now revealing yawning chasms around Morris Jesup, where a few hours ago there were merely "cracks":

Click to see a larger version

Robert Fanney

@ Jim

Oh I think it is. Some of that looks like surface melt and/or flooding of the ice. Are these shots for the Canadian Weather Office? Very clear images.

Robert Fanney

Mis-reading some of it... That's a cloud to the upper right. But the melt to the left is still pretty clear.

Robert Fanney

Sorry, typing before composing my thoughts...

So DMI is showing this one? It does appear to be rather large, though no so large as Barrow. One other opening that caught my eye was near Prince Patrick Is.

Pretty clear on the Canadian Weather Office shot here:


Espen Olsen

Lincoln Sea / Station Nord Greenland:

With almost only half of the remaining "solid" sea ice left in Lincoln Sea, and a small part above Station Nord and that is gone in a few days, the whole coast line from Banks Island (Canada) to Flade Isblink (Greenland), is free of solid sea ice, I am convinced we can call this a historic moment at least when the date is only March 20.

Joekelbugt and South;

The amount of solid sea ice is very low too, even compared to recent years, and the sea ice is showing signs of disintegration from above Île de France to Shannon Island in the south.

Chris Reynolds


IR images are showing you emission of infra-red. It is quite possible for thin ice to be radiating so much IR that it appears black. For example try comparing the cracks shown in black on IR images with how they look in the visible spectrum on MODIS.

Jim Hunt

Sure Chris. Take a look at the Barrow webcam (visible light) video though!


Robert F, i'm ok with tee shirt with proceeds to 350.org.

I'm seeing some great stuff on the forums ... not going to post there for now, have my hands full just with the ideas here.

Jim H, be careful there, that black patch between Barrow and the Bering Straits is not open water. It is just warm ice -- I've been baffled/fooled by AVHRR too because of their dumb (yes dumb) utilization of the 0-255 grayscale range in their key. The web cam is not suitable -- oblique and very short range.

Below I show color radar from the same date, the original beaufort 130319.1335.4, the original colored according to their infrared temperature bins. and the original inverted and enhanced for ice features.

 photo barrow_zps2c33dd40.jpg

Steve Bloom

A-Team, mostly it was the Triassic T-rex and the Paleocene elephant that I noticed instantly and I expect would set paleontologist teeth on edge, but it's easy enough to make more accurate substitutions. I doubt there would be squawks about the smokestacks (what better representation of the current era, after all?) or to the unavoidable distortion of the time scale (although I expect they would strongly prefer that the rock layers be lined up).

I'm happy to work on it, and as my identity is no secret I'm also happy to give you my email address for the file(s) or pointers thereto: stevebloom55 -at- gmail. Or just post the links here, whatever makes more sense.

Probably you're right that people unfamiliar with stratigraphy won't get the entire joke, but IMO at least some of the word-play will come through, plus of course the sledgehammer symbolism of the smokestacks followed by the expired rodent.

Steve Bloom

Just to state an obvious thought, which is while this present behavior is no guarantee of an initial ice-free period, probably we would expect some sort of extreme early-season behavior as a harbinger.

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