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There's a recovery this year not just because of the slow start and the lack of ice export. The temperate oceans warmed up in the northern hemisphere increasing the thermal gradient and westerlies around the pole. This was one of the reasons for the cool May and this summer's Arctic weather.

But don't break out the champagne. Another surge of heat is building up in the Atlantic ocean just like happened in 2005 and 2010. The north Atlantic just south of the Arctic seas is very warm. That heat will reach the Arctic in the next few years.

TOPEX & AOML sea surface height maps show that the sea surface heights in the north Atlantic are very high now. That's an indication of the northward movement of warm water off of the tropical Atlantic. And, over the past few months the tropical Atlantic has been warming up back to normal, so there's no end in sight to Atlantic warming. The mid-term prognosis for Arctic sea ice is still very bleak despite these short-term improvements.

John Christensen

Great update, thanks Neven!


Agreed that Atlantic heat is there, but unless we see the NAO going significantly negative, little of that heat will invade the Arctic.

The NAO forecast shows a sligthly negative forecast for the next week in the 0 - -1 area, but prior summers have shown you need negative NAO of -1 - -2 for heat transfer to pick up significantly (which many recent years have had, but not 2012 and 2013):


Hans Gunnstaddar


'Scientists may have cracked the giant Siberian crater mystery — and the news isn’t good'

It may be methane gas, released by the thawing of frozen ground. According to a recent Nature article, “air near the bottom of the crater contained unusually high concentrations of methane — up to 9.6% — in tests conducted at the site on 16 July, says Andrei Plekhanov, an archaeologist at the Scientific Centre of Arctic Studies in Salekhard, Russia. Plekhanov, who led an expedition to the crater, says that air normally contains just 0.000179% methane.”
The scientist said the methane release may be related to Yamal’s unusually hot summers in 2012 and 2013, which were warmer by an average of 5 degrees Celsius. “As temperatures rose, the researchers suggest, permafrost thawed and collapsed, releasing methane that had been trapped in the icy ground,”

What if instead of just a few opening up per melt season, several hundred or even thousands burst forth their methane payload? We may be at the edge of a new tipping point.


What about the debris thrown up around the craters? Would that be there if a methane bubble just burst, or more likely, leaked, from melting permafrost?


I'm not suggesting that the warm water in the far north Atlantic will get into the Arctic ocean this year. Over the next 2 - 5 years warm Atlantic water will enter the Arctic and melt the ice from below. We have seen several surges of warm water over the past decade and there will be another one.

Re: Hole

Methane pushed debris out of the hole in the permafrost but it didn't have to catch fire to burst out the hole, IMO. There's a nearby lake in the movie of the helicopter flight to the pit but the water in the pit itself is very deep down. The depth to the water would be virtually impossible if a pingo had melted because the water level would be set by the lake level. If the lake was on a perched water table, then debris would have gone down the hole with the draining water if a pingo had melted.

Colorado Bob

Attacked by a malware virus today very nasty , watch what you click on as updates. to video files. It high jacked Google chrome .

I think the fucking Russians are coming .

I don’t think much of the Russians , they’ve been thinking the fucking Russians are coming since the 11th century

And they will tell you to update your video drivers, with very good graphics, don’t believe them.
The Russian gangster hackers are coming.

The same lawless BS we've seen from the Russians for a thousand years.

n poor slaves since Vikings showed up.

Colorado Bob

Don't get me wrong , lot's bright people in Russia.

But their fate , has made them gangsters for a thousand years.

They will clean our clock , because we are pussies, and they are brown bears.

Colorado Bob

Until we wake-up , them we crush them like a grape.


Looking at the surface pressure anomaly map for June and July of 2014, it certainly looks much more like 2012 than 2013. This raises the obvious question of just why the melt season was so weak in the Arctic Basin and northern Canadian Archipelago. The Barents and Kara sectors lost massive amounts of heat to cold northerly winds over the winter, but the northern Arctic Basin had record warm temperatures over the winter and also above normal amounts of sunlight during June and July, so why does it also have thicker ice than recent norms?

Melt pond formation there and its associated albedo feedback was much below other recent years. This explains the heat balance equations but raises the question of why melt pond formation was delayed despite weather that would seem to be suited for forming melt ponds.

As you would expect for a winter with well above normal currents of warmer air from lower latitudes, snow depth as reported by CRREL buoys was generally well above normal, but this was far from uniform. Smoke produced by forest fires in 2013 was well below recent norms, and this may have led to brighter snow. Land snow in spring in 2014 was also above recent norms. The 2012 low-pressure ring around the Arctic Ocean shore which indicates storm circulations pulling warmer land air into the Arctic Ocean, was also mostly absent in 2014.

I have no idea which of these factors was most responsible for the relative lack of melt ponds this year.


Winds blowing off the Siberian shores in the Laptev sea region opened the large area of ice free water but that flow brought cool air to central Arctic and the Canadian side of the pole. That's one factor that kept temperatures cool in the central Arctic and held back melting.

Another factor was last winter was extremely stormy from the Labrador sea to the shores of France. Strong storms above and deep convection below in the Labrador sea pulled heat out of the upper layers of the ocean.

But that convection also probably drained relatively fresh cold water from the Canadian Arctic. Warm salty water has already moved into the Labrador, Greenland and Norwegian seas from the north Atlantic. We're going to see some ups and downs but the warming and melting trends continue.


I'm not sure that a post-mortem analysis of this year's sea ice minima is advisable at this time 40 days or so before it may happen. There is some serious action going about:


which may not show because of the way records are kept. A closer look is advisable. As I have foreseen in April the return of High Pressure over the Arctic Basin has returned because sea ice there was much frozen in particular over the Archipelago region (where observations were made) from the lack of solar heat deflected by clouds during the Arctic summer of 2013, as foreseen the Eastern Route is open before the NW passage as well. And the melting appears later than recent years because the South Sub North American Arctic had a much colder than usual winter, affecting the North! For these reasons melting and physical processes of sea ice mechanics would not be the same as previous years.

Hans Gunnstaddar

Although ice volume may not drop as much as other years, ice extent may turn out to be a different story. If you look at the false color sea ice concentration map (top left in graphs), huge areas from the Beaufort over to the ESS appear to be close to dissipating in the next few days. If so, there will be a fast drop in ice extent.


"Until we wake-up , them we crush them like a grape."

CB, if you're going to crush anyone, better crush the people who are very happy to see this Us vs Them mentality. They are not interested in America or Russia, or whatever country they may come from. They are only interested in power and profit, and they use us to further their goals.


Somewhat belated, but not too late I have posted the August polls for NSIDC SIE and CT SIA minimums on the ASIF. Commenter slow wing has posted an August PIOMAS SIV minimum poll.


Colorado, you need some sleep. Rely on your family cause you need it. Be angry at me, but really talk to somebody.

Pete Williamson

One interesting metric might be the total volume of ice to melt ( or be exported) this season compared with previous years. With the maximum volume in March being one of the lowest and the minimum volume (september) looking like it will be at the higher end of the post-2007 years then it could be that volume loss might be at the lower end of the whole. I looked at this number in the past and found that the pre-2007 years all generally had quite similar seasonal volume losses while post-2007 the numbers became more variable. It would be interesting to see whether this year has returned to the pre2007 volume losses or possibly is even lower.

Somebody who has the piomas data could do this calculation upto the present date or maybe its one to save foor the end of the season

Pete Williamson

Correction: the metric i looked at in the past was ice gain ( increase from minimum to maximum). I don't know what the seasonal losses look like for each year making me even more curious to see how this year stacks up

John Christensen

Hi Pete,

You are right that it is interesting to analyze ice loss from max to min and that we see variance here.

Below I added PIOMAS ice volume for day 105 (near max) and day 212 (end of July) for 2003, 07, 12, 13, and 14:

Year Day 105 Day 212 Diff.
2003 27319 13149 14170
2007 23798 9172 14626
2012 23144 6676 16468
2013 23261 7795 15466
2014 23115 9575 13540

As you see, we did not start out this year at a favorable position, but weather was siding with the ice, not bringing much heat to the Arctic region.

When you look at the numbers above, it is also interesting that the melting in 2007 was not as extreme as has often been referenced, but that primarily there was a significant reduction in winter ice build-up in 2006-07.

This lack of freeze can be seen on CT area for fall/early winter of '06, and the reason IMO can be found on the NAO index, which shows a sharp negative spike for the same period, indicating a strong flow of Atlantic moisture moving North and delaying the ice build-up:


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