« The Climate Consequences of Arctic Ocean Drilling | Main | Arctic freezing season ends with a loud crack »


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


#DeniersTax: I'm really going to miss Intrade this summer. Hopefully someone will take advantage of the new internet gambling laws in NV, NJ and DE, which the DOJ surprisingly announced they wouldn't mess with, and bring back some prediction markets where I can get back to collecting my climate change denier's tax.

Kevin McKinney

Ah, 'chastising the ungodly,' quite in the tradition of Simon Templar--sometimes pecuniary revenge can be quite sweet...


I commented some time ago that I expected based on the trends that we would see the first ice free arctic summer day/week in 2015, possibly 2014 or 2016.

I also commented that I had somewhat expected and yet had not seen a change of state, that there hadn't been a step change as new conditions take over.

With the extensive shattering of the ice, including the multi year ice, I think we are now seeing precisely that. The ice has become thin enough that at the very end we are seeing a change in the governing forces. Now breakage of the thin sheet is taking over.

Unsurprisingly that increases the exposed surface, and allows for greater wave action to stir the ocean beneath. The calm flat surface is no longer an impediment.

It is still too early to say with any certainty, but I expect we have a very good chance that this will be the first year of at least a day with essentially no ocean ice (<1% of total area) in the entire arctic. I think the probability is now greater than 50%.

If it isn't this year, it is hard to see how the ice can recover sufficiently to prevent 2014 from being the year of the first ice free arctic summer.

And once that happens, the warming takes on new power. Very quickly we should see the melt extend far into the fall. Within a year of the first ice free summer arctic day we should see the first ice free arctic month, and possibly 2-3 months.

The breakdown of the jet stream that I think everyone here expected before it began, will continue and get worse.

As was noted today or yesterday, it may mean the complete breakdown of the northern circulation as the ferrel cell moves north due to the loss of thermal gradient.

It is all so stunning. Even expecting this doesn't make it any easier.

We are now embarked on a great transformation of the entire Earth.

We long ago passed the point of no return. The roller coaster long ago passed zenith and is now rocketing down the highest ride imaginable.


Jim Hunt

The mirror crack'd from side to side

With apologies to Sidney Harold Meteyard. Did I mention that my middle name is Holman?

Kevin McKinney

Nice, Jim! So, "the curse is come upon [us]," is it?

Oh, well, at least we're finally seeing the emergence of a "Post-Raphaelite" school of image-making. Just in time, apparently...

Susan Anderson

Jim Hunt, was just thinking of that quote in this context. That is brilliant too! Also viewing this video of snowbound cars in Cumbria:

(yes, highlands near Scotland, quite different from the southwest, I know. Our base was Port Isaac. Promise to desist on OT now.)

I would like to know what the prognosis for the Gulf Stream is, currently (AMOC).

Jim Hunt

Three people died in the West Country floods:


I'm in my customary position as the South West's least popular commentator! See this video for more on the AMOC:


The "conventional wisdom" is that the GIS would have to melt over a ludicrously short time period of time to stop it completely.

Conrad Schmidt

Could the cracked moving ice result in smaller melt ponds, thereby slowing the melting process?

Espen Olsen


That is a possibility, with the cracks we will probably not see the blue ice we saw last year, and many melt ponds will not be developed, the cracks will simply work like drains.


Interesting question, Conrad. Someone else asked the same thing yesterday or the day before.

Intuitively one would say: yes, less melt ponds, because they get drained. But I think it's also important to remember that although ice floes look small when seen from a satellite, they are actually huge, spanning several miles/kilometres across. In other words, there is plenty of room for melt ponds.

Melt ponds is the first thing I'm looking out for when the melting season gets underway, as it played quite an important role last year, I believe.

Jim Hunt

Thanks for your kind words Kevin.

I'm not sure that "the curse is come upon us" just yet. It certainly looks (to me at least) as though it's closing in rather more quickly than most would have us believe.

As Sam puts it "The calm flat surface is no longer an impediment."

To winds or waves or tides or sunbeams.

The comments to this entry are closed.