« Melting of the Arctic sea ice | Main | A drastically greener Arctic to come »


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


The image below has extracted the cracks from ambient background using an old Indian trick called grain merge on coherent time-separated infrared imagery. While some crack intersections etc are missing, points in a field of lines are in effect a set of measure zero.

The image -- which is a representative mid-latitude chunk of the Beaufort -- contains 234,230 pixels, of which 25,190 are white (cracks). That pencils out to 10.7% of the ice being newly frozen in opening fractures. And these are just the cracks wide enough to be seen on this mid-resolution imagery (1.7 km).

This ice will never attain the freeboard of the ambient ice because ice temperatures are already rapidly warming according to the ever downshifting scale on the avhrr imagery, and so will accumulate melt pond water as the local low point, lose their solar reflectance, melt through and drain.

 photo crackEstimate_zpse5ac0f01.png

Steve Bloom

In case no one has already posted it, here's a nice NASA EO graphic and article showing surface temp anomalies 3/14-3/20. The NH jet circulation pattern is strikingly apparent. Note that the other major poleward jet excursion in the NW Pacific region is missed by the graphic, although its presence can be inferred from the relative warming in far eastern Siberia.

John Dorsa

A thought from A-Team's 1:05 post

We have lingered in the chambers of the sea
By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown 130
Till human voices wake us, and we drown.

Steve Bloom

Thanks for the link to the Greenland post from Fairfax Climate Watch, John. The extensive peripheral snow melt so early in the year is a surprise, although I suppose not a shocker.

I was especially interested to see the reference to liquid water starting to persist in the firn under the thicker snow cover consequent to warming. Somehow I doubt that the models anticipated this effect (hard to do so, to be fair). It sounds like it has the potential to greatly accelerate the rate of ice sheet melting.

Neven, I notice by way of John's link that NSIDC has started a new sub-site Greenland Ice Sheet Today, including melt graphics updated daily as well as periodic posts. Maybe a post here to help draw attention to it?


Steve, I will definitely post on that soon. Glad I didn't so far, because they had a glitch.

BTW, I released a couple of comments from the spam filter. I don't know what's wrong, but am getting increasingly annoyed. Spam is one thing, perfectly legitimate comments getting tagged as spam is quite another. My apologies for the inconvenience.


Interesting April NSIDC- Update:

Jim Hunt

Thanks very much for your 04:21 suggestion John:


Jim Hunt

John C,

It looks like you're in with an excellent chance of providing the first correct answer to my All Fools' Quiz!


Jim Hunt

Wanderer - Interesting indeed!

Spring has sprung in the Arctic. The "Goat's head" is in plain view. "A-Team" and Neven are however conspicuous only by their absence!

Climate Changes

@ wanderer
"The month was also notable for continued fracturing of the ice cover in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas north of Alaska, as seen in a new animation by the NASA Earth Observatory ."

What I find interesting is that no mention is made of the rest of the Arctic basin. There were/are cracks in Kara, Laptev and north of greenland too... pretty much everywhere you look.

Shared Humanity

Reading the links on the condition of the Greenland snow cover, it seems we may have our attention drawn to the growing horror on the GIS this melt season.

Chris Reynolds

Joint second coldest March since records began 100 years ago. The coldest March was in 1962.

Espen Olsen


Does that mean you can get a real cold beer in the UK this season, sounds good?

Jim Hunt

Hi Espen,

Sounds horrible! "Real Ale" should be served "at cellar temperature 12-14 C":


Getting back on topic, the coldest March in the UK for 50 years has for some strange reason coincided with a rather warm March in West Greenland, amongst other places:


Chris Reynolds

Don't know Espen, I no longer drink. :)

Espen Olsen

Not that I prefer cold beers, but UK is famed for "warm/flat" beers, I myself prefers Guinness, because of the albedo effect!!

Chris Reynolds

I do allow myself a high quality decent size bottle of cider which is consumed sparingly over the weekend of the Glastonbury Festival, so I'll be drinking this year as I watch the BBC, with the prospect of my own bed rather than a muddy tent. Festivals are best viewed at a distance.


Going to a concert tonight, I had the following reflection:

With a President like this: http://www.forseti.is/media/PDF/2013_02_26_NewArctic.pdf

you may wonder, whether Monarchy is the right way forward...

Climate Changes

After glaring at some papers, articles and studies I'm starting to wonder if the origin of the SSW's increased intensity is the heat/energy that usually moves East across the Pacific during el NiƱo years. Instead, as the Walker circulation and Jet stream weaken, the energy appears to be shifting north/northeast... and onto the Arctic.... straight from the Indian/western pacific oceans. To all you pundits out there, is this possible?

The comments to this entry are closed.