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Robert S

Given the amount of energy still in the system, and the overall temperature pattern, I find that result from PIOMAS a bit odd. Has anyone identified what core variables in the model driven that result?


Hi Robert,

Being a staunch critic of PIOMAS at times, I can say it right so far this winter.
There was a lot of open water at minima 2019, this created by-Polar Cold Temperature North Poles , extreme cold vortices hovering above each Northern continents. Being as such a CTNP may bring up warmth on one side of it, but cold much dryer air towards the Arctic ocean on the other, which has occurred for about a month or so. This years circulation by CTNP's positioning has rapidly covered the vast open water areas dramatically increasing ice volume particularly on the Pacific sector of the Pole.

If you want to literally see a recent strong CTNP (a non rogue vortice) in action watch this:


It does not mean the coming ice age, but the coming -way to the South-smaller but extremely cold rogue vortices, Southern people will be feeing like the coming ice age in populated areas, sort triggering brilliant people like President Trump to comment to millions about superbly ignorant climatology. All while forgetting how much warmer the overall winter has become, as they are fond in saying "in your neck of the woods" .


And so we now see what happens when the Arctic circulation pattern becomes freakish, record warming in many places of the world, a none white Christmas, with no immediate cooling in sight. How did this happen:


Look no further but in the Arctic, where record thin or no sea ice played and will play a role. The roller coaster temperature not-so-merry-go-round exists, not in Western Europe and North America at present, but does elsewhere. I guess I can tease the fake anti science sceptic's now; the calendar is not wrong, is warm hey?

Try to remember if you can?


A record shattering Cold Temperature North Pole vortice exists over Ellesmere Island at present. This is extremely interesting, remember the film "Day after Tomorrow" , it portrayed something similar, but very badly maimed the meteorology. A Cold center can usually thrive when weather is stable, the stability here is from enhanced Anthropogenic Warming. There was another failed theory, the "Iris Effect", by professor Lindzen at MIT. This theory called for heat to escape to space when Earth got too warm.


The problem with the Iris effect theory, in terms in what is happening now, is the real current Iris is way too small, swallowed by a sea of warming. Thinner sea ice has also played a role here, it shifted the CTNP back Eastwards over the Archipelago, much apt to deep freeze easily.

Jim Hunt

As anticipation builds for the next monthly release of PIOMAS data here are my own thoughts on the current state of Arctic sea ice thickness and hence volume:


Over the winter of 2018/19 ASCAT revealed that there was a relentless movement of multi-year ice towards both the North Atlantic and the Beaufort Sea. Perhaps a significant amount of the multi-year ice that survived the winter of 2018/19 has now simply melted away in warm water, to be replaced by much less robust first year ice in the area between the North Pole and the Siberian coast?"

Also Stefan Hendricks from AWI has been aiding the further development of a "citizen science" flavour of a "Near Real Time" Arctic sea ice volume metric:


Thanks very much Stefan!


Hey, Jimbo: how are ya? The temps from dmi don't look too bad but we're all still extremely interested.

I hope X-mas and New Years was as good for you as it was for me.

Jim Hunt

Hi AJbT,

I doubt that! My better half and I were confined to bed with "the flu" over Xmas. We had emerged by New Year's Eve, but didn't feel up to attending the village knees up next door.

I'm still coughing and spluttering somewhat, but I'm ensconced back at my keyboard just in time to reenter the Climateball™ arena at an opportune moment:


As for Arctic temperatures, scroll up to read Wayne's report and/or wait and see what Judah Cohen makes of this:


I'm going back to bed now (UTC)!


Well Jim,

As the Polar vortex shrinks in extent, there has been quite exciting


Sure to fool the run of a mill fake skeptic, but otherwise I continue to observe unusual weather patterns, counterintuitive, deeply cold, mainly smaller zones, the biggest feature of this winter was Alaska being the good old cold Alaska. But this may mean a consolidation of the Polar Vortex into a more compact area, expressed in no better way than more sea ice extent with respect to recent previous years......


Inspired by the chart in this blog post: https://neven1.typepad.com/blog/2011/05/piomas-april-2011.html

I made an update version of this, because I was curious whether the trend got verified or not:

Well, as it shows the trends aren't as dramatic now. Seems like, because the dataset isn't really big, the 3 full years in a row (2010, 2011, 2012) underperformed strongly and had a big impact on the polynom trendline. Now, with more data available, it looks more like a variation. However, the days until we see an ice free month are counting. It's only a bit later now.

Jim Hunt

The PIOMAS numbers for January have been released, including the gridded thickness maps from the wondrous Wipneus:


Thus far this winter the polar vortex has been remarkably well behaved. By and large cold air air has stayed in the Arctic. There hasn’t been much in the way of cold air intrusions into mid latitudes or warm air intrusions into the Arctic.

Hence it’s not at all surprising that the thickness of sea ice in the Arctic has been increasing slightly more quickly this winter than in other recent years.


"There hasn’t been much in the way of cold air intrusions into mid latitudes or warm air intrusions into the Arctic."

Hear hear Jim

That is because the Polar Vortex was an is smaller, not only because sea ice over all morphology is mainly thinner, but all oceans sst's , except the Pacific equator being particularly warmer. But 2019-20 winter keeps on distancing itself from preceding 8 or 9 winters. In terms of circulation:


With unfamiliar circulation features , quite uncommon. The coming melt season will be exceedingly interesting.


Have you ever heard of the "8 Omicron" midwinter Polar Vortex pattern?

It exists, take a look:


The 8 pattern is not happening in 2020 , making predicting coming weather much easier, unfortunately for rain soaked places throughout the Northern Hemisphere, it does not look any dryer at all.

Only here on a website dedicated to Arctic sea ice will you read such discoveries, because they stem from studying sea ice.

Jim Hunt

Thanks Wayne,

I'll pass that on to Judah Cohen!

Meanwhile the mid-month PIOMAS thickness/volume numbers are out:


Including abnormal variance compared to the CryoSat-2/SMOS "thinness" numbers!

William Fraser

@Jim Hunt, I don't know if you were just trying to get around bots, but I did notice that you have an extra "w" in the URL above.

Jim Hunt

Thanks for the heads up William,

Fat finger trouble on "Snow White's" part! I'll endeavour to fix it.

Meanwhile "she" is already speculating about the forthcoming maximum metric season:


Previewed this time!


Hi Jim and Shalom to Judah

Yes not surprising on the thinness, it is locally much thinner despite prolonged
cloud free skies in what was total darkness. Now I need to have a clearer picture of the nature of CTNP size and strength, it will take 2 months. Sorry about the coming rain!


Not sure I like the shape of the old ice on the AARI map.... plus the decent temperature spike after such steadiness all winter!!


Love your Graphs Jim,

however there is a missing one, inspired by a well known paper , it is safe to say that loss of sea ice thickness releases more energy from the Arctic Ocean. Let's say as an example 7 million square kilometers new ice compared to pre 80's, giving heat from a conservative estimate, say 10 watt/m2 extra heat in the atmosphere, 70,000 Gigawatts , all this straight to the lower atmosphere loaded with extra green house gases. This missing graph would represent the precise calculation of energy from the sea ice surface as it was and as it is now. No small graph.

Such a display would illuminate the very reasoning of which I surmised a shrinking Polar Vortex.


Snow extent seems to be confirming the recent temperature forecasts over at the forum.
DMI doesn't look too bad but I say that with a little hesitation... I think the DMI website may well get overloaded this coming spring, however!


At the Forum I've been receiving a


I'll check back on the 1/2 hour.

Jim Hunt


I emailed Neven about the problem earlier in the day, but currently (16:50 UTC) the ASIF still seems to be down.


Thanks Jim!

I'd just been at your site to try and contact you, then decided to try back here one more time.

I'm amazed at how much I've come to depend on the forum. Hopefully they'll get it straightened out before too long.


Jim Hunt

Normal ASIF service has been resumed!



Jim, how important is snow extent?

Jim Hunt

AJbT - Quoting the NSIDC:

Seasonal snow is an important part of Earth's climate system.

Snow's albedo, or how much sunlight it reflects back into the atmosphere, is very high, reflecting 80 to 90 percent of the incoming sunlight. By contrast, trees, plants, and soil reflect only 10 to 30 percent of sunlight. Snow cover wields the largest influence during springtime (April to May) in the Northern Hemisphere, when days become longer and the amount of sunshine increases over snow-covered areas.


Tim Reynolds

What has happened to Neven and the Arctic Sea Ice blog? No new blog since December.


Dmi temp has gone colder than normal: neven is being responsible by not trying to say things are happening when they are not....


The likely lowest extent in history of the lower in altitude Arctic Polar Vortex has been occurring this winter:


Some similarities with 2012 pattern has been noted. The colder surface temperatures within the CTNP's are quite interesting as well, , again part of a newer climate surfacing.

Doc Snow

Quiet around here--hope you're OK, Neven!

But clearly the melt season is yet again underway, and yet again, it's running pretty low--currently 3rd-lowest ever (behind 2019 and 2016).

Of course, one needn't look very hard to be reminded that the early runnings aren't necessarily very indicative of how the season as a whole plays out; 2012, still the record-low Fall minimum, was running (at this point) not only above the 2010s average, but also above the 2000s average--and in mid-April threatened to reach the 1990s average!


Jim Hunt

Neven's OK, but the ASIF seems to be down again just at the moment?

Meanwhile the March PIOMAS numbers have been released:


The PIOMAS "modelled" numbers put volume at the end of March as 7th lowest. However CryoSat-2 "measured" thickness paints a rather different picture. Compare and contrast:

Jim Hunt

A message from Neven over on the Arctic Sea Ice Forum:

"Who would like to take over the ASIF?"

Answers on a virtual postcard to:



Jim, you had a graph explaining that sea ice in the northwest passage was way down: how significant do you find this? Is it just another anomaly among the many indicators of a complex system, meaning it's no big deal necessarily, or do you think that perhaps it could be a big deal?

Jim Hunt

Mornin' AJbT (UTC),

Have you got a link to the graph you're referring to? There are an awful lot to choose from!




(First graph on your "Northwest passage page...)

Jim Hunt

Thanks. That one's a bit out of date!

I'll update it when I have a spare 5 minutes, which won't be for a while! See:

"David Rose’s Great Covid-19 Con?"

The NWP area is only really relevant once the melting season is well under way. Presumably your question is a general one, rather than specific to mid April?


Jim, yes my question was a bit on the general side but I am glad for the feedback: it gives me real food for thought!

Katherine Schexneider

Test. I am interested in your blog site and am doing a trial post.

Jim Hunt

Welcome Katherine,

What is your particular interest?

Jim Hunt

I did warn you AJ! Here you go:

It's way past my usual bedtime (UTC) so further discussion will have to wait. In the meantime please see:



Ah, Jim, just for completenesses sake, why is the NWP area only really relevant once the melting season is fully underway? What does it function as in terms of being an indicator of climate change?

In other words, is it unique in some way?

Jim Hunt


When I have a spare 5 minutes I'll prepare a "spring" NWP graph, although personally I reckon a different combination of areas would be more enlightening at this point in the "melting season".

However that won't happen for quite some time. On top of everything else I'm currently preparing an in depth report on a determined arsonist who has no qualms about exterminating large numbers of defenceless wildlife in my very own parish:



Jim, that sounds out of bounds, and of course there really is no rush,(as I suspect you suspect...), because you have no doubt already served your cause to humanity!


DMI temp is looking nasty!


DMI is straight out looking concerning now!


2 months passed already, with multiple daily observations at crucial late winter period, giving this first report:


This projection foresees a departure in general circulations.

It does not look good for sea ice again, the data was observed during extreme events. IN addition, consider the lessening of pollution world wide a time to contemplate the truer colours of sunsets as well. You might be shocked. But lesser particulate pollution means more sea ice melting and warmer temperatures where you live, another shock in the making.

More finer data on the next report by week end.


I have corrected the software glitch:


more details are slowly coming out:


Jim Hunt

Intriguing "unorthodox methods" Wayne!

In slightly more orthodox fashion, my alter ego's latest reanalysed "measured" Arctic sea ice volume numbers have just been released:


It now seems certain that the CryoSat-2/SMOS Arctic sea ice volume maximum was 18469 km³ on April 6th


So, why are these results so markedly different to PIOMAS!


Hi Jim,

My methods will be orthodox or standard when someone else practices them :)

Speaking of my strongest technique requiring a lot of work, the refraction of the vertical sun disk, if I had an alarm bell, I would ring it very loud now. The sun disks are expanding fast, as I write this, in the West - Northwest sector from center of Arctic archipelago. Never observed likewise since 2003 and thousands of such observations, this sector usually had glacial cold atmosphere since it is from a just risen and low High Arctic sun . At any rate predictions are finally all done for the record:


my predictions over the years were quite good about everything except sea ice extent, but hurray I was right last year.... I might be getting a hold of it.

One must read this one first:


before going into details.

Jim Hunt

The high resolution AMSR2 Arctic sea ice area and extent metrics are now both “lowest for the date” in the AMSR2 record:



The #1 event in the High Arctic at present is the adiabatic nature of upper air profiles, numerous, very early on the season. The other is the JAXA map North Atlantic melting pattern, very similar to my hand sketch seen here:


This is the first part of annual projection to read first done before JAXA colours.

Jeffrey Strathern

I miss this site being more active.. I hope it will come back to life with more current data. Covid-19 has us house bound and there is opportunity to focus on other issues such as global warming. Good luck to all.


Cleaner Atmosphere + likely biggest N.H. Ozone Hole in recorded history + Polar Vortex center settling over the North Pole = Super summer melt

Here I log its beginning:


Not that cleaner air is bad, but as a matter of coincidence, a pristine atmosphere at middle of summer, after years, decades of polluted particulate air spells further doom, might not have been so if the economies grinded to a halt last September.

Jim Hunt

Hi Jeffrey,

If it's action you're after there's lots going on over at the companion Arctic Sea Ice Forum:


Failing that here's my own analysis of the early days of the 2020 melting season:


Things do not look good good for ice retention at present.

Albedo reduction across much of the CAB has already started

Kevin McKinney

Second Jeffery's comment--I miss the Blog! Forum's great, but not quite my cup of tea.

Melt season is just not quite the same without you, Neven!

Kevin McKinney

Thanks, Jim! That's helpful...


Kevin, sorry for not being around. If you see me write on the ASIF, it's because I'm looking for distractions/escape. I try to follow the data, but my mind is just all over the place due to stress or a midlife crisis or who knows what.

One thing I do know, is that the build-up of melting momentum seems to be very large right now.


Kevin, occasionally "Guest Bloggers" have posted segements on the Arctic Sea Ice Blog with Neven's approval. Maybe some of the scientists and/or Arctic Sea Ice or Green;and experts could contact Neven and write some appropriate articles? I miss the updates here as well.


I hope you are feeling well, Neven.

There was a band with Eric Clapton, Ginger Baker, Steve Winwood and someone else I forget: called Blind Faith. One of the best records my Dad had in my opinion. They had a song called "Do what you like!"

It's a great song. Apparently it was a jazz band but everyone forgot to tell Eric Clapton so he's just playing his incredible blues regardless of the madness of everyone else.

Great Stuff.

Kevin McKinney

Blind Faith 4th member: the unlucky Ric Grech.


AJBT has it right, Neven--do what you have to do. But know you are appreciated!


I guarantee it wont be so quiet soon, there are many geophysical features combining to make 2020 seriously challenge 2012 minima extent. One is lots of snow, an illusion giver, who knows if instruments depict correct sea ice thickness when there is a lot of snow? With greater snow cover the sea ice is naturally thinner. 2 is general circulation, quite different than last year, mainly driven by a rapidly shrinking Polar Vortex. How dissimilar? Arctic 25 May had warmest density weighted atmosphere since 2012, despite the albedo cooling plenty of snow cover. There is also something which has contributed to the sea ice ice overall being thinner, it must be the upper Arctic Ocean temperature column. So expect in coming days a rapid disintegration of sea ice extent, that's when the snow carpet finally mostly sublimates, lifts the illusion and announces the visual onset of the strong melt season.


I remember travelling on sea ice, quite a pleasant wonderful sensation, until thick snow masks the just frozen leads. A very dangerous scene. And so is the case for 2020, with sea ice seemingly melting at a significant rate, all while not seeing the thinner sea ice spots quite well. That is the key in judging the melting pace. Where are the leads? While we wait to see them more, land offers a different melting race, the snow cover vanish, of which 2020 is in the "lead" , funny how this sounds:



Wow the North Pole is the Cold Temperature North Pole. Exactly like foreseen, also projected but not mentioned, it will be hot,
everywhere but for a few places, like rainy Norway. How hot? if the CTNP is at the Pole nothing pretty much will drive weather to move far away from the Pole. Absent strong circulation currents gives yet another warmest year in history, with the expected by many GC models its nefarious effects. So when I project a High (in April) to be straight over North American Continent in June July, it will not move fast, with all the weather (or super heat) it will give.

Mean time back at the exploration ranch, a surprise from Jupiter, always a fun place to wonder and wander about considering Earthly troubles:


There is a suggestive visual link between sea ice melting patterns "Goodbye Waves" and Jupiter's upper atmosphere.

Despite what Elon Musk thinks, we have a better chance living off the moons of Jupiter, I fancy Europa, than bombarded by constant deadly radiation. Imagine watching Jupiter masterpiece colours from your living room window :)


The lesser degree of Covid-19 related worldwide industrial activity worked Earth's climate system two ways, one favouring lesser particulates hence a slow down in the snow melting process, secondly accelerating sea ice melt when most of the snow cleared:


Here we have example of what a lot of snow does, it causes a false sense of sea ice consolidation, when in fact it created thinner sea ice between the thicker pans and so we see here the result, a very loose pack well past the Atlantic front, it does not look good for sea ice yet again.


If there is any doubt about sorry state of Arctic sea ice, gaze how quickly the thickest sea ice got pushed away from Canadian Archipelago NW shore in less than 24 hours.
Again further signals of current massive melting:



We're looking at the Nares Strait and waiting for the Ice Arch to collapse. It's due:

"Despite warm temperatures over most of the Arctic this winter, and despite the extent of Arctic sea ice hitting the fourth-lowest on record in May of this year, the ice arch remained intact in late June. The light blue tint of the ice arch suggests that the ice has thinned and is becoming wet as it melts. It doesn’t appear to be quite as wet and thin as the fingers of ice on the shores and between Canadian islands, but bits of dark open water at the coast of Ellesmere Island and very dark ice off of Greenland suggest that collapse should occur shortly."

Doc Snow

Per NSIDC, in July:

"June 2020 sea ice extent averaged 10.58 million square kilometers (4.08 million square miles), placing it at third lowest in the satellite record for the month. This was 170,000 square kilometers (65,600 square miles) above the record low set in 2016. Ice loss during June was particularly pronounced in the Kara and Laptev Seas, where extent was well below average. In other areas of the Arctic Ocean, extents were near or slightly below average. Since June 19, sea ice extent in the Laptev Sea has been at a record low for this time of year."

And David, thanks for the Nares obs!

Doc Snow

Per JAXA, 2020 is running record low, and has been since the beginning of the month. As of writing, we're at 8.37 million km2--that's 170k below the nearest 'competitor', which is 2016. (Ultimately, as many here will recall, 2016 ended up 3rd-lowest ever at minimum.) And at present, the lead seems to be increasing. (Pun semi-intentional.)

It's a simplistic speculation, I suppose, but possibly a clearer atmosphere due to temporary Covid-19-driven 'deindustrialization' could be taking us toward a really gangbusting melt season this year.


A gang busting melt season for sure. And I'm guessing that that large high pressure area centered over the entire Arctic isn't doing the ice any favors either.

Is it too early to start prognostication on the minimum extent for the year?

Neven... We miss you. Hope you're doing well.


Hi Doc Snow, it is not speculation, you can see the clearer cleaner air practically every where on Earth, enjoy it while you can, bluer skies, "whiter sunsets" with not so red horizons at dusk, there are also tons of measurements about this....



This is it for 2012 record, I confirm my April Projection, of less sea ice than 12, likely none at the Pole. The projection did not include this "warm" High ideally located
with likely Russian origins amongst other reasons.

Neven is doing good resting from too much work, twice the man when the break is over :)


We can readily see the record speed of sea ice vanishing, particularly at the Atlantic front, especially when the clouds are thin and sea ice pans are hopelessly surrounded by warm open water:


Doc Snow

Gangbusters for sure, the better part of a half-million km2 ahead of any previous year!


(Or navigate via the graphs tab/menu.)


The North Pole was particularly veiled by clouds despite the long lasting Arctic Ocean High Pressure. Got a look at it now and it has no signs of pack ice due to compaction, but plenty lake ponds, the North Atlantic front has a lot of different ice
melting dynamics as well.



Current high speed melt pace is giving some specific fusion geometries not readily seen otherwise:


The chances of 2012 still being all time lowest extent at minima, dwindle day by day.

Doc Snow

Yes, now 640k ahead of 2016, which had been the record-holder for this date. Watching this one...


This current Arctic Ocean long lasting anticyclone has significantly accelerated this years all time liquefaction of sea ice. Turns out to be a twist in this story, thinner sea ice may be why this High is till present:


Astounding images came through of sea ice melting nowhere near open sea water.

Doc Snow

Still 620k ahead of the nearest year, which at this point is 2019, not 2016. That translates to about 6 days worth of melt. And the Arctic basin is looking pretty toasty just now, if I'm reading the weather maps rightly. This season continues to be... interesting.


Interesting in terms of the Geophysics yes, not enough for the fake skeptics in realizing that they were horribly wrong about AGW. It reminds
me of current Covid pandemic, unless truly epic death and lifestyle changes happen, deniers doing nothing, business as usual types, sway and encourage some same ilk leaders to continue their tragic wrong ways. At any rate, current melting makes all but certain 2012 record shattered. You need look at how it happens nearly live, namely by the warmed open waters lethally engulfing sea ice:


Jim Hunt

Apparently it's been quite warm in Resolute recently?


"Observed at: Resolute Airport
Date: 5:00 PM CDT Saturday 25 July 2020
Temperature: 19.8°C
Dew point: 10.2°C
Humidity: 54%"

Cast your votes in the "When will the Northwest Passage 'open' in 2020?" poll on the ASIF now!


Doc Snow

Down now to 370k 'lead' over 2019, consequent to a big slowdown in melt over the last 4 days. But this is the earliest date to see extent below 6 million km2, if I'm not mistaken.

Jim Hunt

Maybe the recent hurricane force winds up there have something to do with the alleged "slowdown" Doc?

Much more analysis at Twatter and beyond:



Very correct Jim as usual,

A more refined definition would be that the current circulation pattern is normal , while the long lasting June 30 steady anticyclone, just passed, exacerbated a massive exodus of sea ice towards Fram, while the current Gyre based Low pressure reverted the flow. Strong winds explain this as well:


The 50K a day JAXA melt numbers are about to get bigger shortly.

Doc Snow

Thanks to both for that. I was curious as to mechanism, and it didn't appear to be temperature-related, as best as I could divine. So wind-driven advection makes sense.

I note your prediction, Wayne, and stand ready to tip my hat if it proves out!

As of this morning, we're now just 220 km2 ahead of 2019, and 350 ahead of 2012. (That's yesterday's data, as the site hasn't updated for the day yet, as of this writing.) The human world is providing lots of drama, so I think melt-watching is not as popular as in the past, but it's sure not because this melt season is boring in its own terms. And if Wayne is right, I think the Arctic will attract some more attention despite intense competition in the news cycle.


Doc Snow

I doubt that sea ice attracts a lot of world wide attention, primarily because very little known death and destruction comes out from it, sensational news worthy items it is not, might as well have ice melting on the moon. I never failed pointing out that no sea ice in a huge area around the Pole would attract some news, but then after the 2nd or 3rd summer this happens, pleasure yachts will be sailing small circles around the world in a few seconds, a new added tourism attraction cruise will surely arise.

However, here is the twist, a different lesser in strength cryosphere changes world wide atmospheric circulations, ensuing death and destruction, of not only humans, but a multitude of living organisms. In the future these murder victims will be publicized with galore news channels transmissions, but the culprit will be left a mystery, at least for those who choose to burry their critical thinking.

Doc Snow

Well, the slowdown in the extent loss trend has now extended nearly two weeks, with the result that we are now just 110 km2 ahead of 2019, and 115 of 2012 (which began its record-making 'kick' just about at this time in that year.)

If we're to see an especially low minimum in 2020, that 50k-a-day rate will have to change, and change soon.

Andy Lee Robinson

Looks like the cyclone minced up the ice and spread it out, increasing the extent into warmer water and decreasing its thickness.
Seems possible that this disturbed ice could melt quite quickly if weather allows.
How much remains to be seen.

Doc Snow

Well, it's not melting as of 8/9/20, apparently. Now we're 260k km2 *behind* 2012, and a bit behind last year as well. (Though the melt rate has increased a bit over the last couple of days, logging 90k to finish 8/9.)

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