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Chris Reynolds

The IceBridge data portal is here:

Large text files containing ice and snow thickness (and other data), with time date, and latitude/longitude of each sample are available here:

Wayne Kernochan

Hi all,

Just a quick delurk to say that Joe Romm has posted a piece (www.climateprogress.com) stating that data are making a "super El Nino" starting in April and cresting in 2015 between 60-75% likely. As we've discussed in the past, this seems to have follow-on effects on Arctic sea ice melt. If not this year, therefore, then next year we may well anticipate record Arctic sea ice melt.

Btw, Joe also stated that if such a "super El Nino" occurs, it is likely not merely to break but to shatter previous record global temperatures. He noted that a previous such "super El Nino" was in 1997-1998, causing that unusually high global temperature; and global warming has continued apace since then.


More on the possible Super El Nino here: http://robertscribbler.wordpress.com/2014/03/25/monster-el-nino-emerging-from-the-depths-nose-of-massive-kelvin-wave-breaks-surface-in-eastern-pacific/

Colorado Bob

New study shows major increase in West Antarctic glacial loss

Six massive glaciers in West Antarctica are moving faster than they did 40 years ago, causing more ice to discharge into the ocean and global sea level to rise, according to new research.

The amount of ice draining collectively from those half-dozen glaciers increased by 77 percent from 1973 to 2013, scientists report this month in Geophysical Research Letters, a journal of the American Geophysical Union. Pine Island Glacier, the most active of the studied glaciers, has accelerated by 75 percent in 40 years, according to the paper. Thwaites Glacier, the widest glacier, started to accelerate in 2006, following a decade of stability.

The study is the first to look at the ice coming off the six most active West Antarctic glaciers over such an extended time period, said Jeremie Mouginot, a glaciologist at University of California-Irvine (UC-Irvine) who co-authored the paper. Almost 10 percent of the world's sea-level rise per year comes from just these six glaciers, he said.


Colorado Bob

The research team also found that the Pine Island Glacier is accelerating along its entire drainage system—up to 230 kilometers (155 miles) inland from where it meets the ocean.

"This paper is important in showing that a glacier can actually 'feel' what is happening far downstream of itself," said Thomas. "It means that if you disturb the ice sheet near the coast, the glaciers will feel the push and rapidly respond hundreds of kilometers inland."


There's a great thread on the ASIF for discussing the potential El Niño, either average or super.

Jai Mitchell

If this super El Nino follows the 1998 one we could see a .8C globally averaged temperature rise (sea and land GISS) in the course of 2 years. This would push the global average to 1.4C above pre-industrial.


There are many more awesome images available courtesy of Michael Studinger, Mission Scientist for Operation Icebridge:


Kevin McKinney

"This would push the global average to 1.4C above pre-industrial."

A very interesting prospect, to say the least. Not the least interesting bit would be its effect upon the public discourse around climate change.

Stefan Hendricks

Small Comment: That are not melt ponds but spots of bare thin ice. It is warm but not that warm.


Perhaps, Nevin will allow me to re-phrase his statement to "Look at the change in ALBEDO!".


Thanks, Stefan, I'm amending that part straight away. And thanks for the great pictures!


And while I was amending, a question popped up: What is better for the ice - or less worse - melt ponds or spots of bare thin ice? :-)

Stefan Hendricks

Well, not easy to answer since the initial situation is not the same. If you have bare ice (with relatively low albedo compared to snow covered ice) it will melt pretty fast. The effect of meltponds (from melting snow) would only kick in later. But in the end, for the ice here the question is moot. It has formed so recently, that it will be gone soon, snow cover or not.

Steve Bloom

"A very interesting prospect, to say the least. Not the least interesting bit would be its effect upon the public discourse around climate change."

Probably not, or at least not because of the temp change alone. After all it's just a single year, and will enable a surefire successful prediction that the following year will be cooler.

Jai Mitchell

when they said that the north pole was ice free (when the ice-fasted buoy cam was taking pictures of a melt pool) it took about 1 week for the melt pond to break through and drain.

when it did the rate of surface ice loss was more than had occurred before or after.

In fact, the surface ice loss for that region during that 1 week of pond cover was more than the entire mass loss during the entire melt season that year.

here is the animation: http://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2013/07/open-water-at-north-pole.html

here is the "before" pic

here is the "after" pic

only 11 days between the two pics

compare with total before and total after




Jai - There was much discussion on the forum last summer about melt ponds in general, and the "North Pool" in particular. Start here and read on!


You may wish to check out what the ice mass balance buoys in the region had to say on the matter.

Despite all the press publicity at that time the webcams weren't anywhere near the North Pole by then and weren't revealing open water either, although occasionally a lead seemed to be visible in the background,

When there was in fact evidence of significant areas of open water at the North Pole later in the season the mass media were strangely silent on the matter:




IPCC 2 trailer...


Colorado Bob

"Chasing Ice" Photographer Focuses on Melting Glaciers in Antarctica

Explorer James Balog took a trip south to record melting ice in Antarctica.

Traveling to the Antarctic aboard the National Geographic Explorer, his team spent the month of February installing nine time-lapse cameras that will take pictures of the Antarctic glaciers roughly once every hour during daylight—capturing about 4,000 images of the ice over the next nine months.

National Geographic spoke remotely with the explorer as he made his way back from the expedition.

Why did you head to Antarctica?

Our project, the Extreme Ice Survey, has been looking at retreating ice in the Northern Hemisphere. I always wanted to have cameras down here in the Southern Hemisphere, on the Antarctic Peninsula and on South Georgia (Island). And this expedition has given us a fantastic opportunity to do just that.

Wayne Kernochan

Fascinating stuff in a Daily Kos article about the potential super El Nino (although since it's written by amateurs, a little grain of salt recommended): http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/03/28/1287920/-Huge-Wave-in-Pacific-Ocean-About-to-Hit-West-Coast-Will-Have-Global-Impacts

p.s. sorry Neven, I haven't got the hang of posting to your thread yet :(

Nightvid Cole

Just Freakin' call the max already, will ya?

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