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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:

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