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Tom Lyons

Climate Reanalyzer is producing some rather alarming forecasts isn't it! Above zero C temperatures encroaching from the Pacific side over Alaska, over the enormous polynya in the Beaufort Sea and persisting into a weeks time ahead, also almost reaching into the North Atlantic. it looks as if much of the snow on the ice will melt on the Pacific side, temperatures are wildly above average for Canada and Alaska which will help to fuel this. It is interesting how the lower temperature anomalies seem to be persisting over the Kara and Barents sea and over Russia to the south of those sea's, perhaps this won't hold up much longer once the snow cover there is reduced a bit further. A very interesting and alarming weeks weather ahead i'm sure...


Has there been another very large cracking event in the Beaufort/Arctic Ocean in the past few days?




That is "Spring Break" when the entire pack starts moving in unison clockwise. This usually happens end of May beginning of June.


Thank you, hmm would this one be the earliest "Spring Break" event on the record?


As I just posted on the forum, the Barrow webcam is showing 36F and heavy melt ponding. Seems the pacific heat is already there.



In fact if you watch the latest 24 hour video


You can watch the snow on the shed, to the right of the chimney and down below, simply vanish as the sun comes out and the temp goes up.

Latest still image shows the snow totally gone...



It is usually seen by the "big lead" stretching out in day steps all the way from Banks Island to Greenland for the first time. As just occurred, I didn't keep a record of them, but late May was way early in the 90's, usually sometimes in June. This year is very early indeed. The "big lead" opening up was known in the early 1900's and established early March as the time to sledge to the Pole ever since.


Did not see it in the sidebar news reel, at BBC

Cryosat spacecraft's ice vision is boosted

(Still, but only just, reading climate news and blogs... the inaction...Poor boy Netherlands at the bottom of the EU list), is too depressing... TSIB


Thank's, it would be interesting to see the scale/ timing of this event from the past few years. I'll rifle through the archives see what I can dig up.

Tom Zupancic

Just a short note; there has been a lot of speculation on the forum about the likely outcome of the coming Arctic Sea Ice melt. Having followed this phenomenon, and this forum in particular since 2007, I have just a couple of comments. First, weather always determines what happens. Then, obviously, it takes heat to melt ice. Here it gets more interesting. How much ice (this year starts out with less). But so much has been said about preconditioning (melt pond formation). This affects albedo (after all, where does heat come from... the sun...) So total solar irradiation is key. But I personally have always wondered about heat already in the water... the movement of heat into the Arctic Ocean by various currents, but I'm just a Molecular Biologist. Of course, heat in the atmosphere gets a lot of attention, and the planet is quite unusually warm, as measured in the troposphere, right now. Then, of course, we have weather patterns such as the dipole anomaly that drive ice export through the Fram Straight. Then there is water in the atmosphere. This one confuses me. Does the presence of more water in the air add heat to the artic and promote sea ice melting, or not? What are the relative influences of these various factors (and what am I omitting)?


Water vapour melts ice.


Tom, in the spirit of speculation =)... Warm air with high moisture content has a much grater impact than dry air of the same temperature, water vapor molecules carry a lot of energy. When vapor condenses it transfers its heat content to the ice. But this is thermodynamics 101. The tricky part is with cloud cover, which protects ice from direct sun in the summer and can help reduce the melt.

Anyone please correct me if I'm wrong, but this would mean, high altitude moisture content helps/ low altitude hurts.

Chris Reynolds

Taras, Tom,

A good rule of thumb is that clear skies in May/June/July melt ice. Thin cloud can help by allowing much of the light through but scattering it so the angle of incidence is more dispersed.

But by after about the first week of August sunlight is only as strong as in April, and the infra-red emission from ice can lose more heat into a clear sky than the sun brings in. So in this late summer period you need low relatively thick cloud. This cloud catches the infra red the ice emits and back radiates much of it back down to the surface where it can help with ice melt.

Francis & Hunter is well worth a read.

What I haven't touched upon is heat in the ocean. Holland finds that in modelled sea ice loss events the rapid drops in sea ice happen after pulses of warm water enter the Arctic Ocean.

" Changes in ocean heat transport
to the Arctic also play an important
role in increasing the net melt rate.
Over the 20th and 21st centuries,
this heat transport exhibits a
gradual upward trend overlaid by
periods of rapid increase. These
rapid ‘‘pulse-like’’ events lead
changes in the sea ice
by 1 –2 years..."

David Rennie has pointed out in comments at my blog that the NCEP/NCAR reanalysis model had extremely high skin temperature this winter (model equivalent of sea surface temperature). If this carries over to a real high temperature to depth in water that is conveyed into the Arctic Ocean this summer we could see something very exciting indeed this year.


It defies reason to believe that there was more sea ice volume in 2015 than there was in 2007. It is disheartening to see so many try to go through contortions to reconcile PIOMAS ice volumes with other measures.


Tom, you wouldn't happen to know a lot about microbes, would you?

Colorado Bob

Steep declines in #Arctic sea ice continue w/ loss of ~117,000km^2 in last 24-hrs & ~615,000km^2 last 7-days (JAXA)
10:58 PM - 13 May 2016


John Bilsky

I know I've just recently posted my observation about leads throughout the Arctic Ice but I can't help but wonder if what I'm still seeing isn't something relatively new. In my view, much, if not all, of the ice looks like a car windshield that was hit with multiple baseball sized hailstones. Can this apparent newness to me be validated or should I just shut up & be patient and continue watching?


Chris Reynolds


I find it disheartening to see so many try to go through contortions to dismiss the evidence when it doesn't fit their preconceptions.

John Bilsky,

The Arctic ice pack is fractured by nature. During clear sky events even in the dead of winter leads can be seen in low res infra-red weather images from satellite (which means they're large).

Using the date bar on the bottom of WorldView you can go right to the right hand side and scroll years back and forth to see what's odd, in the context of the recent few years anyway.


FWIW, this is my take, which hasn't changed much...

Over this winter, there has been a clear thermal anomaly in the Arctic atmosphere. Of the two possible contibuting agencies, sunlight cannot be responsible. Classic control test...

The extra thermal energy then must originate from seawater currents, which have either been anomalously warm, or closer to the surface than usual. (Extra heat trapped by clouds or CO2 I assume to be trivial, and certainly unlikely to have suddenly brought on such a huge departure from the expected.)

There are IIRC 7 Sverdrups of some current, that originates off Florida as the Gulf Stream, flowing northwards through the Fram Strait, at depth. If it's flowing tens of metres higher in the water column, that's the only likely explanation I could posit for the winter's oddities.

There does seem to be some evidence of some disruption in the Gulf Stream further South, with the persistent North Atlantic cool spot - perhaps a precursor of Hansen's freshwater lens? - suggesting that less thermal energy is flowing from ocean to atmosphere at lower latitudes. And that thermal energy has to go somewhere, and it's heading North. And it may well be slightly warmer, and thus more buoyant, when it gets there.

I can't see any reason why the change in insolation is going to affect this.

So I think that a new minimum is very likely, and with weather conditions conducive to melting - if Apollo joins Poseidon - then ice-free (less than 1Mkm2) is possible.

But then, having seen the latest data from CT, it turns out that Dr Inferno's forecast is also holding up well, so far.


Ice free isn't really that possible this year, or any time within the next five for that matter


"Anyone please correct me if I'm wrong, but this would mean, high altitude moisture content helps/ low altitude hurts. "

Low clouds would save the Arctic Ocean pack ice for as long as Arctic Temperatures are not exceedingly high, something like +4 C average during June-July_August would be game over for the pack. Especially with sea water temperatures keeping very near -1 C. Again, if sea water temps also dramatically increase clouds wont matter.

This said, a great deal of sea ice is vulnerable to compaction during summer, we are now in the great compaction years,
when any melt season turn catastrophic. The potential for such a great melt was likewise since 2007, the variance in extent is largely due to winds and clouds (with sea and air temperatures always important), how they behave over the summer
dictates the the size of the minima.

I have made my projection:


known, and it is holding quite well. Notice the Gyre High tending to move towards the North Atlantic. But it will be over the Gyre area again soon and then migrate and stay more towards Franz Josef lands . The next week or so will be very bad for ice especially for the Beaufort area.


...when any melt season can turn catastrophic.......

Chris Reynolds


You are aware that the North Atlantic cool spot is due to the THC shutting down?
i.e. it's not just a factor this year.

You have got me thinking. Air inflows into the Arctic seem to have been warm - I need to do the math on that.

What I have just done the math on is the balance of meridional (North and south) airflows through the atmospheric column. But I only just had the time to do 2012 to 2016, for Jan to March.

Year / Northwards Flow / Southwards Flow
2012 46.5 45.6
2013 37.5 37.1
2014 64.8 64.0
2015 59.9 58.7
2016 55.0 54.3

OK, so the above numbers are for the sum of average atmospheric flow (0 to 360E) for each of the 17 levels in the NCEP/NCAR model from 1000mb to 100mb. This is done for the ring enclosed by 60 to 70degN.

Basically it's a rough and ready measure of the strength of northwards and southwards atmospheric flow. Note how the numbers for each year are roughly equal - what goes up there must come back (air mass isn't being created or destroyed at the pole - on the whole).

What it does show is that the flow this year is not very high compared to the other years shown, i.e. the Arctic was not unusually ventilated this winter.

I'll try to get the temperature data tied into this when I get the chance. But looking at the same cross section (1000mb to 100mb, 60 to 70degN around the globe) the warm inflows seem to be from the North Pacific (over Alaska) and from Eurasia (Lena River to the Kara Sea.

David Rennie has brought my attention to NCEP/NCAR skin temperature (aka SST). If the warming in that metric reflects deeper warming we might well see 2012 beaten.

The problem is we have so little data about the ocean heat situation.


I have also came up with a newish hypothesis:

The temperature of top of sea ice is always colder or equal to to surface air,


Proof can be found with remote sensing:


Now consider a simple fact, if the average Arctic surface air temperature is much greater than 0 C there should be no sea ice, but there is often a mix of water puddles and sea water, the exact number for surface air temperature needs to be found.

Look very carefully at when surface air above 80 N will be above 0:


The earlier the daily mean hits the 0 C mark , like 2012:

http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/meant80n.uk.php ,

the better chance there will be no sea ice at the Pole. If the 0 mark is late, so will most sea ice saved for yet another year.

John Christensen

I really should not be contributing here, but just wanted to put your hypothesis to test wayne:

When going back in the charts of DMI 80N temps, it seems like the years with well-consolidated ice surface could easily have the surface temp above 0 a few days before the average day this should occur.


Possibly, because the top of the ice has melt ponds and so is about 0, allowing the air to be slightly warmer, while shielding the surface from below 0 temp water.
When the ice surface has many fractures, then the colder top layer water could cool down the surface temperature for perhaps 4-10, depending on weather.
In this fashion, an early rise to 0 could mean a relatively consolidated ice surface, while a very late date for reaching 0 (2013 being the best example I see) shows how the water in the highly fractured pack keeps the surface temp down - evidently greatly assisted by the cyclones of that year..


Hi John,

Exactly, this is why 0 C is not the right number, but only well above 0 is a more certain average which would guaranty a total melt. Historically, DMI daily averages were between 0 and 2 for june july august, obviously a total melt must have higher surface temperatures.

However, as a guide, if the 0 C threshold comes very early, it would be a very strong indicator of greater melting to come. Recent years summer melt ponds warming effect may also have been cancelled by open - 1 or -2 C sea water, but a massive calculation requiring extensive data sets may be required to determine the right surface temperature mean. Looking back to 2012 as a a solid reference, the warming was likely the strongest going all the way back to 1998 (with much thicker ice). The 80 Northwards warming at this point in time is warmer than 2012 as well.

Colorado Bob


Colorado Bob


Colorado Bob

I want you guys split hairs over things I will never understand But i understand this -


Chris Reynolds

Idunno posted this but it appeared on the wrong page...

Hi Chris,

WRT your para 1; I am not aware of that. Nor are the authors, nor you. Op cit: your last sentence.

Certainly, with the vast majority of extra thermal energy caused by FCAGW now stored within the oceans, we can expect that major oceans currents will begin to act in unusual, unexpected ways; almost certainly in ways beyond human comprehension, or computation.

Your data on airflow eliminates another possible variable from my "control experiment". So I think there is a very good possibility that extra thermal mega-giga-mega-giga-Joules have been flowing Northwards, at a shallower depth, this winter. I can't see why sunrise would affect this.

Weather in May is weather. Has the Arctic been experiencing inreasingly sunnier Mays since 1979?

Changes in ocean currents define new climates. In my view, the Arctic is, bathymetrically, a part of the Atlantic that looked a bit odd, when examined from above.

Weather in May: trivial interannual variation.
CO2: longterm downward trend.
Ocean currents: who knows? There may be some signs of mischief already afoot; and the extra OHC from FCAG can multiply its own effect by misdirecting existing forces, which have been accumulated, and stored as both kinetic and thermal energy, over the previous 4 billion

Posted by: idunno | May 14, 2016 at 23:57

Perhaps I should have been more clear in my last sentence - yes we know about the surface but we don't know depth in detail at real time. As the melt season progresses, if there is unusually warm water it will be further seperated by ice melt stratification of the ocean. A large August storm could stir that up and do a lot of damage late in the season (e.g. might have happened in 2012).

There is cloud fraction data at NSIDC but I have never had the time to investigate it.

The drop into the abyssal deeps of the Arctic Ocean Basin poleward of Svalbard and the Kara Sea largely decouples the N Atlantic and Arctic Ocean proper, allowing the formation of deep Atlantic Water which is seperated from the surface. This is why Barents has seen such staggering declines compared with the Arctic Basin since 1979 (and probably earlier).

Colorado Bob

It was hotter in Fairbanks than Karachi, Pakistan earlier tonight.

I am seriously worried about the boreal forest this year. It seems that it is a forest of matches. waiting for a spark.


Yes Chris, I'd agree that we don't know about thesituation at depth.

While there is an undersea boundary between the Atlantic and the Arctic, the "aperture" through which water can flow on the Atlantic side is ?a thousand times? larger than on the Pacific.

In an ordinary year, Atlantic water heat keeps the AB, Greenland and Barentzs Seas ice free in winter up to around 80N in places. So it is significant. It is partially isolated from the ice at surface by the salinity gradient.

But what would happen if the continued arrival of hotter, more buoyant ex-Gulf Stream water arrived at a shallower depth, over decades.

I would expect this to gradually erode the freshwater layers within the Arctic, and to flush some more of the resultant brine elsewhere, most probably the North Atlantic, via, for example, the Labrador current.

Extra fresher water in the North Atlantic, with perhaps a further contribution from Greenland run-off, could then further exacerbate the situation, by forming a surface layer that would prevent the exchange of heat from the North-flowing Gulf Stream to the atmosphere at lower latitudes. Which might look like this...


...which could further result in warmer, more buoyant water, which has retained more of its heat during its journey, entering the Arctic at a shallower depth, further displacing more of the freshwater layer, and (in winter) releasing a lot of heat to the Arctic atmosphere and (in summer) melting ice.

The energy which has heated the Arctic atmosphere this past winter, if it continues to arrive throughout the summer, will not be released into the atmosphere; and the temp at 80N+ will be as usual, about 2C. It is, in my view, likely to continue to arrive - this may be a cyclical change, but it's as likely to be a decadal rather than a seasonal cycle - and I would expect that the winter energy transfer from ocean to atmosphere will, in summer, become an energy transfer from ocean to ice.


The issue in a nutshell...

The extraordinary temps over the winter suggest that an extra source of additional heat has been arriving in the Arctic. There are a lot of discussions of how this has affected ice formation overwinter. Warm atmosphere=less ice.

I would suggest that it is highly possible that this extra heat input, which caused a warmer winter atmosphere, will continue to input throughout the summer, as it is very possible that it is not seasonally cyclic.


Must keep in mind DMI 80 Northwards graphs are based on models. +1 or 2 C surface weather is very warm near the Pole, after reviewing buoy data, it would be a very rare event. +1 or 2 C over the summer is more a near 80 N latitude temperature. Surface temperatures should not vary a great deal with ground or surface laden with snow or ice. 80 N also includes lands easily exceeding 5 C during the summer, and much wider open sea water areas. 85 Northwards data may be of greater sea ice value.


It's worth noting the Giss temperature for April was 1.11C, which is below the 1.35 in February. That's a sign that the effects of the El Nino are fading. With the coming La Nina, we can expect temperatures to fall more in the next several months.



” +1 or 2 C surface weather is very warm near the Pole”

I really like your suggested new indicator. If some of the good folks at DMI would be kind enough to take a couple of hours off to calculate the following indicator each year since 1958 and post the number here, my guess would be that such a list of numbers would spur an intensive activity amongst this crowd:

Indicator: Date#80N>0C

(Date number, when the average Arctic air temperature above 80 degrees North crosses 0 degrees Celsius for five consecutive days)

This would give us a fairly robust number for when nearly all the snow and multi-year ice surfaces are melting in the Arctic.

Chris Reynolds


Nino 3.4 has only recently peaked.

There is a three month lag of Global Temperature following an El Nino.

We might still get May and Possibly June out of the EN, which makes a new record for 2016 global temperature more likely.

Chris Reynolds


You might find a recent comment to Kevin O'Neill over at my blog interesting.

The winter warmth actually declined in April, my data in the above post merely asserts a continuation of this decline.

The first column is the average anomaly from 1951 to 1980 for the 10 year period 2015 to 2006 north of 85degN in ncep/ncar (no ocean anomalies to skew the result). Columns are months, January to May. The second column is the deviation of the 2016 anomalies from that 10 year average

1.6 2.5
1.8 3.0
1.5 1.2
1.4 0.1

In the first column the average anomaly falls in May, this is the effect you talk of regards anomalies falling as surface melt pegs temperatures to zero (I think this is happenin to air before it gets into this region as this region is still -19degC). That april and march have near identical anomalies shows that the winter amplification of warming is still active in both April and May.

Now to the second column. By April the temperature anomaly from 1951 to 1980 has dropped off from that in Jan to Mar.

Therefore what I outline in the main post is merely a continuation of the April drop off of anomalous heat, and is not due to the summer reduction of anomalous temperature due to melt.

The process that drove the extreme winter warming is over and the temperatures are now at more normal levels (for recent years - which are extremely warm n the long term context).

So I think the worst of the warming is over, not that April was cool or May will be - May so far looks to be about average for recent years - i.e. very warm!

In writing my post on GISS April data I have a new hunch as to what has been going on. I think we've seen a very strong El Nino amplified by the Arctic - Arctic Amplification.
GISS Banded temperatures:

Just look at the Arctic contribution!!!

And the impact on the Pole Equator temperature difference is marked, it was below 10% down this JFM.

The changes over the last decade haven't just reduced the pole equator difference as a number. That difference has reduced because the amplification factor of the Arctic region (its 'gain') has gone up. So the perturbation of the EN has been more radically amplfied than, for example, the large EN back in 1998.

Increased amplification (increased gain) in an amplifier can increase instability, which often manifests as oscillation, or locking up/down to the power rail. Bode plots would be the way to look at that. But with seasonality with negative feedbacks that should present some sort of contribution to a transition.

This is really naive but...

Maybe pole-equator difference is the wrong way to look at this problem, maybe we should look at the ratio Pole / Equator = Gain?

Chris Reynolds


But with seasonality with negative feedbacks that should _NOT_ present some sort of contribution to a transition.


I used to post here as NLPatents. It's been a while.

Watching the ominous summer approach. Back in 2012/2013 some of the exponential projections on sea ice decline actually had September 2016 as virtually ice free date. Scary stuff. Those living in the Canadian boreal forest anxiously watching the wildfires near Fort McMurray.

Is the thought that lowering albedo from the ash deposited on ice will encourage melting; or is the ash in the air going to lower temperatures. If there is another thread on this - please direct me. And thank you,



There is a thread on the forum discussing wildfires. You might like to try your question there. Although there hasn't been much comment since last season I am sure a question from you would reignite it.


From other comments in other threads,the answer might well be:

Yes lower albedo caused by smoke particles will increase melt particularly in Greenland.

And yes ash in the atmosphere will increase cloud cover, but cause heat retention leading to increased melting. However that is just my impression from random comments.

Bill Fothergill

RE: Wildfires

"... I am sure a question from you would reignite it ..."

Is that you trying to spark a debate, David?


Yvan Dutil

@NickWhalenMP Wow a Canadian MP! Feel free to ask any question. This blog is almost a public service ;)

P.S.: I you want to talk about voting reform, call me ;)


Chris Reynolds, I am not the only one who thinks PIOMAS is not all it's cracked up to be. The A-Team also think there may be problems with it.

Hans Gunnstaddar

I thought this posted article may be of interest to those wondering if EN is waning. Maybe it is, but you wouldn't know from April's new world temp. record.


For the seventh consecutive month, global temperatures have hit new record highs. Temperatures in April were 1.11 degree Celsius warmer this year than the average April temps for 1951-1980, according to a new NASA report. The duration of the warming trend suggests that 2016 may wind up being the hottest year on record, a designation previously given to the year 2015.

Nasa’s global temperature records began in 1880, and since then, scientists have been studying warming patterns closely. On Saturday, NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies released its latest surface temperature analysis, which shows that April’s temperatures were not just warmer than previous Aprils in history, but hotter by a large margin. The new record set last month broke the previous one by 0.24C (set in 2010), which was 0.87C above the baseline average for April.

The warming streak for the past seven months can be attributed in part to this year’s massive El Niño, which is a band of warm ocean water in the Equatorial Pacific that influences surface and air temperatures around the globe. Although the effects this year were expected to be substantial, 2016’s El Niño phase isn’t the biggest on record, and rapid global warming is also to blame for the consistent record-breaking temps.

Again, the real news here is not that April’s temperatures busted previous records, but that they did so by such a huge margin. “The interesting thing is the scale at which we’re breaking records,” Andy Pitman, director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science at the University of New South Wales in Australia told the Guardian. “It’s clearly all heading in the wrong direction.”

Colorado Bob

RE -

Ash on the ice -

Global Warming to Spur More Fires in Alaska, in Turn Causing More Warming

"We know some of these areas haven't burned in thousands of years," said University of Montana fire ecology researcher Philip Higuera, who led the study along with Adam Young, an affiliate scientist at the University of Montana.

Across the state's North Slope, above the Arctic Circle, the shift is "far outside the range of natural variability we've seen in the last 6,000 to 32,000 years," Higuera said. ....................... "That four-fold increase by 2100, that's just huge. It's indescribable what that would mean to the landscape and the carbon cycle," said Michelle Mack, a professor of ecosystem ecology at Northern Arizona University, who was not involved in the study.

The statistical increase means that instead of a fire burning every 1,000 years in a given area, there will be a chance of a fire about every 200 years in that same area, Higuera explained.



It is really bad for Arctic sea ice now, but not as terrible as to say everything will melt this season. We haven't reached the stage when a melt minima consists of a small tide driven pack ice standing against the Canadian Arctic Archipelago shores. This is the major step before it all melts. The precursor is the North Pole clear of any ice for the first time in a very very long time.

At this stage, a lot of sea ice has warmed because of a huge Arctic insolation period comprising a considerable Arctic area. During recent not so distant past long nights, a cold winter imprinted deeply within a thick sea ice pack, perpetuating cooling throughout the summer, insuring its survival. We had no large imprint , we have much thinner ice, massive spring big blue sky sun got rid of this past winters weak freezing memory. There is not many doubts about this coming melt. Now the white curtain waits its turn to withdraw at the Pole, we will be looking at millions of years of white, unveiling blue back to an epoch without humans.

Aaron Lewis

TennyNaumer, I concur.
I think the 2015 ice was porous and weak. There might have been a volume volume of ice in 2015, but it contained a lot air so the mass of ice was much lower than indicated by the volume. It floated high and fooled the eyes in the sky. We all wanted ice recovery, and some allowed themselves to be fooled.
Speed of ice drift has been increasing showing the ice is weaker. And this spring, it burst open. In 2007, the ice was still competent enough to tolerate some wind.


Thank you, Aaron. Yes, perhaps we should be talking about mass and density and not just volume since the character of the ice now is so completely different from what it was back in say 2006-2010. It is not dense blue multi-year ice, but rather slushy and full of holes. Its overall temperature must also be higher than it would have been in 2007. A friend who is an engineer said that once an algorithm goes wrong in a particular direction, if things continue in that direction, the error will become larger and larger. IMO this is what is occurring with the PIOMAS.

In any case, the mass of m3 of ice now must be lower than it was in 2007, due to its lower density. Thus, it should also melt faster. And, I think we are seeing this.

Chris Reynolds


Be specific and I will analyse your concerns, right here in the comments - but possibly not until the weekend.


I'm back, everyone. I'll need a day or two to dig through all the comments and info (although I did manage to stay up-to-date in the Internet café) and then the regular programme will be resumed.



Sea ice extent super low numbers are simply stunning, even with this writer well experienced and use to surprises, this moment tops them all.

Also, for the hard core students:


There is likely a calculation or measurement flaw with remote sensing, not that it affects Global Temperature numbers, but highly possible making the famous sea ice models fail.


Chris, I'm working 12 hours a day right now as an internal auditor and won't have time to be more "specific." I think the issues raised are more than sufficient.


Very latest news directly from sea ice and air right above looks not promising , from earliest signs of bottom First Melt in early March
to likely more than 12 hours bottom melting observed yesterday, the earliest again , never seen in May:



Very interesting report, Wayne. I think a slight modification to your theory of bottom melting might be considered. Remember, the ice is thick and has thermal inertia so the middle of the ice is colder than the top or bottom in the spring transition. At some point in the transition the middle of the ice warms up and heat flow goes from the atmosphere to the bottom of the ice. Because it takes heat to melt ice heat doesn't diffuse from the atmosphere to the ocean. However, solar radiation is able to penetrate ice without snow cover and heat the water under the ice. Thus at some point the ice is melting both from above and below while the ice's temperature is held constant because all heat flow goes into melting.

Just a few random thoughts. -Fish


Thanks D,

I first think that there is a lot of chemistry going about. Something in your ball park. A few years back it got more interesting, when North Pole scuba divers touched the bottom of 2 meter or so sea ice , an it broke, interesting especially when it was -11 C outside.

The high salt content of the freshest newest layer of ice is very high. When there is no negative thermal flux towards space, the sea water temperature gathers more heat otherwise lost, and there is a melting. This said, not very much, because further up in the ice column, the ice is not as salty, requires warmer water to melt, and takes a longer slower process to do so. With no thermal flux, 0, heat gathers from the underlying warmer sea water layer, eventually enough to melt the next salty layer. While the late spring melt ponds on top, do the same process, but again it is slowed but just how much the sea ice core temp is cold. However the earlier it starts the more gets melted.

Chemistry of the top, when newly formed sea ice is exceedingly fascinating, because sea ice as you said, is a good insulator, but allows infrared to escape to air. What is mostly captivating is that the thinnest sea ice thermal activity is nearly identical to the thickest, except for amplitude in horizon altitude variations. I believe that the chemistry plays a role, unknown,
needing further study.

Colorado Bob

Demystifying Climate: And It’s All Free
By: Dr. Ricky Rood , 11:48 PM GMT on May 19, 2016

Ever now and then I need an easy blog. This is one of them.

First, some time ago, I mentioned that I was collaborating with Andrew Gettelman on a book. It’s out! It’s free! That is, the electronic version is free. The title is Demystifying Climate Models: A Users Guide to Earth Systems Models. There is a real paper book that you can buy, and I am sure that Springer would appreciate the business.



@ Tenney, May 18 05:10,

Bill Gates once said if you automate an inefficient process you simply increase that inefficiency.


Chris Reynolds


I know the feeling, I'm a manager of a calibration laboratory (well three operations - Electrical/Electronic, Temperature, On-site). I worked 06:30 to 19:30 yesterday, not unusual.

Anyway, check out the PIOMAS site.

They have updated a comparison between PIOMAS and Cryosat2.
That shows the difference between Feb 2012 and Feb 2016 in Cryosat 2(left) and PIOMAS (right).

The agreement is very good.


Chris, please have a good look at your graph of "Long term April regional average thickness," in particular at the bars for ESS and Chukchi.

Chris Reynolds


If you have a point make it. I am fully cognisant with the data.

John Christensen

Somewhat off topic, but wanted to share that large oil companies continue following the money, not the science:


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