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Messages - Tealight

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Because of the popularity I made a close-up comparison of the northern branch between the record low conditions in 2015(August or September) and May 2017.

Despite the recent advancement on all sides Jakobshavn is still thinning. I spotted new exposed bedrock 2.5 km upstream. It is clearly distinguishable from the blue melt/rain water. Let's see if the glacier can retreat all the way to previous years in just one melting season.

1st image needs a click to start the animation

Greenland and Arctic Circle / Re: What's new in Greenland?
« on: May 03, 2017, 10:02:38 AM »
.... and it's a little early for the sun to have much warming power that far north.  Is it some unusual cloud condition causing increased downwelling ILR?
   If the forecast verifies, attendant surface melt will be quite early for that location.

Yes it is early, but solar radiation is equal to early August and with the right atmospheric conditions mentioned by AbruptSLR widespread melt can happen. It typically takes until June because the sun first has to melt all the snow and generally heat the land to freezing temperature.

Very nice pictures.  Are they draining off the edge as in the Bell paper ? doi:10.1038/nature22048

Most of the lakes are on the part that is about to calve and probably don't have and any effect on stability.

I've been thinking about that new crevasse (rift, crack) that appears to 'start' at the longitudinal trough (river bed, "feature") that runs down the middle of Petermann Glacier. (screen shot from the 2nd link above) 
... Brunt points out that the rift currently appears to end at a feature running down the center of the glacier. “That’s pretty typical,” she said, citing similar occurrences on ice shelves in Antarctica. ...
I'm surprised this is "typical"! Why would ice shelves have a mid-glacial river bed at which rifts start or end? (I'm confused, unless she's referring to chevron cracks that form semi-parallel relatively short cracks when a somewhat brittle material [like a glacier or ice shelf or cheese or clay] is stretched.) 

I'm not sure there is something as typical rifts/cracks. If something is typical then a glacier flows fasted in the middle, where the ocean is deepest and the lowest friction occurs. Because of the higher speed, the centre of the glacier detaches (cracks) from the main glacier before the sides do. But Petermann Gletscher is squeezed through a small fjord and the edges constantly grind along the rock. If the ice gets struck then cracks develop from the sides.

By the way the centre crack already cut through the main drainage channel. Not good for any rafting fan.

For a change here are some non-cracking news.

The terminus of Petermann Glacier is mostly blown snow free and left behind blue ice. It looks like several melt lakes survived the winter and appear in a deeper blue. I would really like to know how deep they are and how thick the ice cover is.

Great spotting Espen!

To celebrate the occasion I add a full 10m resolution image in true colour of Trekanten.

All you need to do now is get a ship, sail to the island and plant your flag ;D

The bedrock in the fjord is quite irregular varying between 400-600m below sea level and the deepest parts are under 1200m below sea level. Additionally the bedrock is only known to a 100-200m resolution so no one can tell you exactly where the grounding line is. It is probably not a real line and more a few sections where the ice floats and a few where the ice is grounded.

The thickest icebergs I have measured are close to 900m thick and likely drag along the bedrock. 

Jakobshavn Isbrae calved again!

Judging from NASA Worldview it was probably on the 19th April, but we only have high resolution Sentinel 2A images from the 15th and 20th. On the 15th the front position was close to the one in 2004/2005 and almost extended beyond the division between north and south branch. After the calving, the front moved 1.8 km inland to the 2006 level.

The first images is from the 15th April and the second from the 20th April. Click for full resolution.

Scientists just found a strange and worrying crack in one of Greenland’s biggest glaciers

This crack was already known in December last year. I posted an image of it in Reply #438 on: December 01, 2016, 09:39:09 PM »
S1B_20161201_Petermann.jpg (1840.12 kB, 2260x1624 - viewed 79 times.)

Antarctica / Re: Thwaites Glacier Discussion
« on: April 10, 2017, 10:04:11 PM »
The calved iceberg(1) is now visually detached on MODIS. The slightly smaller iceberg(2) right next to it moved a lot further out.

The US National Ice Center tracks both icebergs as Iceberg B42 and Iceberg B43. The positions can also be seen on Polarview (select icebergs at the bottom)

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2017 melting season
« on: April 08, 2017, 11:35:27 PM »
Tealight, maybe a short explanation would be interesting for people who lurk. I'm guessing you calculate Albedo-Warming Potential by combining sea ice concentration with how much energy is soaked up by open water?

Hang on, it's all there on your website:

Thank you Neven. That's of course important to explain. I just spend too much time on it and know it by heart.

AWP also considers melt ponds mainly in May/June/July.

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2017 melting season
« on: April 08, 2017, 10:48:18 PM »
Everyone who believes in patterns can expect another strong melting season. In my pan-Arctic AWP graphs the cumulative value follows the pattern: 2 strong melting seasons followed by 2 weak melting season and one average melting season before the cycle repeats. However the regional breakdown is very important for the minimum in September. A record high pan-Arctic value doesn't guarantee a new record minimum like 2016 has shown. At least 2017 seems to follow the pattern with a record high AWP to date.

Over longer periods all years shift towards a higher energy absorption. When I did the calculation for 1988 and 1992 they ended up at -50 kWh/m2 and make 2009(-20kWh/m2) or 2013(-13kWh/m2) look like strong melting seasons.

The Pattern
2007   strong
2008   weak
2009   weak
2010   average
2011   strong
2012   strong
2013   weak
2014   weak
2015   average
2016   strong
2017   (strong)

Arctic sea ice / Re: Albedo-Warming Potential
« on: March 25, 2017, 09:04:48 AM »
It tells me that permission is required to view the graphs updated for 2017.

Ah sorry I forgot to make the images public. It should be fixed now.

Arctic sea ice / Re: Albedo-Warming Potential
« on: March 24, 2017, 11:25:44 PM »
I prepared the daily updates of my AWP model for this melting season. In April I have some more time for polishing and might update all regional graphs as well. Until then you can follow the bright colour spectacle on:

Spectacular imagery! BTW SNAP-toolbox can be used to track glacier-speed but I think the parameters take some experimenting.

I played a bit around with the offset tracking tool, but couldn't get it to work for S2A images without orbit data. It's not surprising since it is designed for S1A/B with an orbital file and other metadata.

The calving inactivity makes it easier to roughly calculate the ice volume that is pushed out of the ice sheet. The comparison is again against the 2015 record retreat.

area increase: 26.77 km2
thickness: 800m-900m

volume: 21-24 km3
mass: 19.2-21.6 Gt

If the DMI Surface Mass Budget model is correct then in the blue area fit 4% of the annual snowfall over all of Greenland.

Jakobshavn shows a very interesting calving inactivity. Between the 15th February and 11th March the icebergs just in front of the calving front moved 22-25m per day and the front itself moved 28m per day. Now they are all stuck together and it's very hard to see a distinct front position. If the calving inactivity continues the southern branch will fill the main fjord again and cut the northern branch off. The current front position is about 6.7 km away from the record retreat in 2015.

Click on images for full resolution or to start the gif animation

Arctic sea ice / Re: Albedo-Warming Potential
« on: March 01, 2017, 07:19:43 PM »
September sea-ice extent predicted by June reflected solar radiation

For some of the more "scientifically inclined"....I have a question:

What is PRECISELY meant by "top of the atmosphere reflected solar radiation (RSR)?"

Is it:

A)  Amount of solar radiation MEASURED AT the "top of the atmosphere"?
B)  Amount of solar radiation FROM the top of the atmosphere?
C)  Other...

A non-scientific inquiring mind would like to know.... :)

C)  Amount of reflected solar radiation MEASURED AT the "top of the atmosphere" (measured by satellites)

This is affected by many metrics like snow cover, sea ice, melt ponds and cloud cover. The more solar radiation is reflected from the earth the less energy is absorbed.

Arctic sea ice / Re: Stupid Questions :o
« on: March 01, 2017, 06:38:31 PM »
I think for photosynthesis or toxicity to humans ppm is a good unit, but for climate analysis it doesn't mean anything without an atmospheric mass/pressure.

I am sure the ppm of CO2 are in volume. The local concentration of CO2 dictates its absorbance and emissivity of IR. You cannot do any calculations or modeling based on the integral amount above your head. And it would vary based on the local pressure.

CO2 concentration alone is a useless unit to do calculations of absorbance and emissivity. 10 CO2 molecules per cm3 at 100% CO2 concentration absorb far less infrared radiation then 50 molecules at 10% CO2 concentration. If another other gas is released into the atmosphere it decreases the CO2 concentration, but the amount of CO2 and its warming effects stay the same.

If you feel funny then you can just release a few trillion tons of whatever gas into the atmosphere and the CO2 concentration will fall by definition to pre-industrial levels. It doesn't stop global warming, but it's enough to fulfill the goals of some lawmakers to bring the CO2 concentration down.

Arctic sea ice / Re: Stupid Questions :o
« on: February 28, 2017, 09:22:50 PM »
Why is CO2 measured in parts per million and not in kg/m2 ? Wouldn't this give us a better comparison to other greenhouse gases like water vapour? When looking at Mars & Venus we can see that it is not the concentration that matters, but the total mass. Both planets have around 96% CO2 concentration, but only Venus is hot because it has a very thick atmosphere. Mars on the other hand has a thin atmosphere and is very cold.

Using a standard atmosphere I get the following conversion:
Pressure   1013.25   hPa
Pressure   101325   N/m2 (kg⋅m⋅s−2/m2)
accelaration:   9.81   m/s2
Atmosphere mass:   10328.74618   kg /m2
CO2 concentration:   405   ppm      
CO2 mass:   4.183   kg/m2

Antarctica / Re: Melt water in Antarctica
« on: February 27, 2017, 09:21:34 PM »
All of the melt lakes on the Amery Ice Shelf have frozen over, but blue water is still visible through the thin ice cover. Maybe some of them won't drain over the winter and will appear again next year.

Alternatively you can use Amazon Web Services. They recently integrated Landsat 8 images into their Sentinel 2 image search. You can even look at the images in your browser without downloading them or using a special software.

A Sentinel 2A image from the 16th February is available. The solar zenith angle is just 81 degrees. (9 degrees above the horizon.) This creates long shadows and reveals steep parts which are normally not visible.

The ice sheet edge is mostly blown snow-free from katabatic winds.

Click on the image for full resolution.

Antarctica / Re: Sea Ice Extent around Antarctica
« on: February 19, 2017, 09:48:18 PM »

1 2017-02-02 2.220714

18 Feb 2017 I assume.

Yes 18th Feb, thanks for spotting.

Antarctica / Re: Sea Ice Extent around Antarctica
« on: February 19, 2017, 09:21:09 PM »
Wipneus replacement post.

SH "NSIDC extent": -49.6k
SH "NSIDC area": -35.04k

This causes 2017 to move to 6th place in annual minimum SH area, skipping one place:

1 2017-02-18 2.220714
2 1997-02-27 2.264152
3 1993-02-19 2.280783
4 2011-02-22 2.318847

1 1993-02-26 1.248163
2 1984-02-27 1.509585
3 1996-02-25 1.535481
4 2000-02-18 1.561033
5 2006-03-04 1.565059
6 2017-02-18 1.565366
7 1999-02-26 1.577058

Seems fast. Can we get a speed calculated from these images?
That's A-teams speciality, but i can give you a rough estimate from the front position.

My time frame is from the last calving on the 12th October to the 9th February (120 days)
In that time the front advanced 105 pixel which is 4200m at 40m resolution. That's 35 meter per day, pretty fast for winter.

Very enlightening animation. ZI never sleeps, although calving seems to be on hold (for the moment).

I know there is no consensus on this, but I could swear the animation shows how the immobile sea ice in the enclosed bay slows down the glacier somewhat (and perhaps stabilizes the front a little bit as well). The debris and icebergs can be seen to be pushed before the advancing glacier, and over time the movement propagates further into the bay.

I am one of them, the sea ice , icebergs, and debris etc. in the bay is just piece of cake, considering the forces coming from behind the glacier!
There must be other reasons for the break in calvings at Zachariae?

As far as I understand glaciers, there are two main forces at play.

The first are the millions of tons of ice pushing the front forwards. This pushing force is very strong but also slow. It can't create calvings because it only pushes the ice. However it can move sea ice out of the way.

The second force are winds/currents attacking the ice from below and above. They a lot weaker than the pusing force of ice, but also quicker and can transport loosely connected ice away from the glacier. It's what we call calving. I think sea ice can be strong enough in winter to withstand this second force.

Antarctica / Re: Sea Ice Extent around Antarctica
« on: February 13, 2017, 12:02:17 PM »
Wipneus & Co: do you have any idea about the "big block" that's is floating freely in the Ross Sea (Univ. of Bremens map) and has done so for more than a month now.

That is a huge Iceberg. Iceberg B30 to be exact.

On Polarview you can check radar images and track all big icebergs:

Antarctica / Re: Rift in Larsen C
« on: February 09, 2017, 02:31:24 PM »
First cloud free S2A image is in. I marked the end of the rift with GCP1 (Ground Control Point)

Link to Sentinel Playground,B03,B02/maxcc=22/gain=0.3/time=2015-01-01|2017-02-09/cloudCorrection=none/colCor=/evalscript=

Antarctica / Re: Melt water in Antarctica
« on: February 07, 2017, 08:34:12 PM »
These folks have some historic data on this looking at daily melt but nothing for last year and this.

I did create two graphs from their cumulative data, one for corrected data and one for uncorrected data. Both datasets show very high annual variability and the uncorrected data shows a very small downward trend.

The Cumulative Melting Surface (CMS) for the different regions have been corrected from changes in acquisition hours due to satellite replacements with the method developed by Picard and Fily, 2006... To our opinion, the correction efficiently reduces errors for some regions (Peninsula, DML, Amery, Wilkes, MBL), but is less efficient or may add new errors for other regions (Filchner, Ross). In the latter regions, we recommend to use both the corrected and uncorrected CMS.

Antarctica / Re: Melt water in Antarctica
« on: February 04, 2017, 02:09:52 PM »
Regarding plumes in the water.

I think a mechanism related to wind-blown snow coming off the shelf edge is more likely. Remember, Coriolis force is reversed in the Southern Hemisphere. The rapid disappearance of the sea ice in the top of the image also points to strong winds blowing off-shore.

I agree the plumes look wind-borne.  They move far faster than the floes.  In the very first image of these posted here, you can see that there's clearing of the mist on the leeward side of the floes.  I'd favor fog.  Cold air coming off the ice shelf, flowing over slightly warmer ocean.

Have you guys looked at the 3rd image in full resolution? It can't be snow because the ice sheet surface is too clear to indicate any kind of snow drift. The fine pattern in the water (meter scale) also can't be created by winds blowing over a smooth and uniform surface like the ocean. The coriolis force is on the scale of a few hundred kilometer. I must admit the contrast isn't great and the patterns could be invisible on TN monitors at a bad viewing angle.

The plume is right at the edge of the ice shelf and very locally restrained, just 5km wide. The crevassed surface right at the plume shows that there is a weak point in the ice shelf where meltwater can exit.

Winds blow over the whole ice shelf which is 200km wide. If they were responsible for the plumes we would see them over a wider area.

How do we know it's on the water?

The plume is influenced by icebergs.

Developers Corner / Re: Mapping GeoCoded Data Sets
« on: February 04, 2017, 12:28:25 PM »

You may wish to take a look at:

Perhaps we should take this conversation over to the Developer's Corner?

I had a look at the NOAA reanalysis map and think it's terrible to create a FDD map for the Arctic. You would need transform the mercator projection into a polar sterographic projection. There probably are some libaries which help you to do it, but it will be extra work.

For all of my work I use Python 3 with the Anaconda distribution. It includes essential libaries like numpy and matplotlib to create maps/graphs. I learned the basics of Python in around one month and the rest is googling your needs because 90% of your problems were already solved by someone else.

Antarctica / Re: Melt water in Antarctica
« on: February 03, 2017, 11:38:09 PM »
Looking at the Amery ice sheet again.. I noticed these persistent plumes.

Could these be melt water, fresh water, flowing along under the ice shelf and then coming to the open ocean? The ocean at the edge of the ice shelf is probably cold enough to freeze some of the fresh water, hence the plume. is the EODIS link.

It fits in with the model of eroding the ice sheet that has been proposed: that fresh melt water flows along under the sheet and cause warm salty water to be drawn under the sheet by convection.

All that blue has to go somewhere, right?

Great observation! These plumes look nothing like sea ice or calved ice debri. They are also quite beautiful on Sentinel 2 images.

Very far inland I found two possible locations where meltwater goes beneath the ice. The first image shows a medium sized river (100m wide) ending apruptly. At the end are a few dark spots which should be holes draining all of the water.

The second image shows a mostly dried up meltwater lake featuring three big dark spots. They appear to be 30-40 meters wide, but it's hard to tell with a 10m resolution. To me 30-40m holes sound resonable compared to observations in Greeland.

Note: The red band (B4) is too sensitive on the Amery ice shelf and screws the colours in an RGB image. 

The third image is the plume Rox mentioned at 10m resolution.

Antarctica / Re: Sea Ice Extent around Antarctica
« on: January 31, 2017, 10:51:38 AM »
/Those figures from Wipneus are intriguing. If extent falls another 10% it will be a new satellite-era low and most contributors seem to expect that will happen. Yet apply a 10% fall to the current area figure and this year would only be in around 15th spot. Another oddity is the 1993 area which is hugely lower than any other year. Any suggestions as to what is/has been going on?

I think in 1993 strong foehn winds moved over the Antarctic Peninsula and reduced the Weddel Sea to rubble. The whole east coast of the Peninsula was ice free. Maybe this was a preconditioning for the Larsen A breakup.

On my website the AWP daily animations show the whole 1992/93 melting season.

Antarctica / Re: Melt water in Antarctica
« on: January 30, 2017, 12:35:43 AM »
P-maker, thanks for clarifiying these surface types. Could you re-post an image with your interpretation? Like most here this is my first season looking at high resolution images of Antarctica. It's time for us to learn the different melt features and your expert knowledge from being in these enviroments is invaluable. 10m resolution isn't always enough and a top down view makes it even harder to identify the correct surface type.

PS: You list three types a,b and c, but two sentences later you mention four surface types.

Antarctica / Re: Melt water in Antarctica
« on: January 29, 2017, 07:20:38 PM »

your image 2 shows wind shadow and scour.  The wind shadow effect occurs where air blowing over an obstruction induces turbulence to leeward which picks up the snow and carries it away leaving the blue ice surface showing.

The same effect occurs where the wind blows around an obstruction and becomes turbulent.

Generally speaking, in satellite images, pale blue is water, dark blue is ice.

Actually melt lakes are dark blue and blue ice is pale. The parts you have labeled melt ponds are just some melt/rain water channels, probably dried out and left light blue ice behind. The big deep blue area has almost the same shade as true melt ponds on the amery ice shelf or the partially melted lake Vida. For a simple wind shadow it is also too finely structured. There has to be some presence of liquid water even if it's not a real melt lake. Perhaps it is some frozen rain that fell on the glacier and the ice free slopes and just accumulated in this area.

Arctic sea ice / Re: Albedo-Warming Potential
« on: January 29, 2017, 02:14:24 AM »
This paper on the impact of an ice free Arctic in September got mentioned in the Scribbler comments section. It assumes a worst case of 2040 as the date for an ice-free September, with no deterioration after that, which leads to a 50% cut in the global carbon budget for a 2 degree temperature rise (including overshoot and negative emissions).

I am not a climate scientist, but their assumptions of (i) 2040 as the earliest possible date for an ice-free September; (ii) no worsening due to feedback - e.g. August becoming ice free; and (iii) the heat imbalance assumptions seem to be a tad conservative. If I understand the paper correctly, less conservative assumptions could more than wipe out the carbon budget. Comments from more qualified individuals would be welcome.

I do have training as an economist, and their assumptions of the ability to ramp up a fossil fuel replacement infrastructure with no bottlenecks or delays as the timeframe shrinks and scale increases means that they very significantly underestimate the costs involved. Such "frictionless" models are the standard unfortunately for the Integrated Climate Models.

Any paper that only considers carbon emmisions will fail to predict the current Arctic warming trend. Especially this and last years warming is driven by heat and moisture import from lower latitudes. Combined with low albedo in spring these effects have far more influence than CO2.

Regarding the CO2 emissions scenario projecting a decline by mid-century. This is wishful thinking even if we eliminate all fossil fuel burning. Humans have been emitting CO2 and CH4 for over 8000 years due to agriculture. The increased land use (at least in Australia and America) and intensity of agriculture since the industrial revolution should at least keep the CO2 levels at a constant high level.

I'd suggest this presentation from the American Geophysical Union (AGU) for a more detailed view on past emissions:

Arctic sea ice / Re: Stupid Questions :o
« on: January 29, 2017, 01:44:08 AM »
How come all the models and papers talk about a shutdown in the thermohaline circulation when the data we are watching this winter is the North Atlantic Drift flowing into the Arctic Ocean?

I guess I just know the right question to ask Google.

The thermohaline circulation in the North Atlantic is driven by cold salty water sinking to the bottom off the coast of Greenland. If the Atlantic warms then the water isn't dense enough to sink to the sea floor. Someone or his model concluded that this would completly stop the thermohaline circulation.

I think the circulation just shifts further north into the Barents Sea and beyond. The Arctic has the right topographical features for it. All cold salty water can sink into the Arctic Basin and exit through the deep Fram straight where it rejoins the current thermohaline circulation.

Antarctica / Re: Melt water in Antarctica
« on: January 28, 2017, 02:07:46 AM »
It's time for a few more high resolution images. This time from the McMurdo Dry Valleys and the surrounding areas. The terrain is generally very steep and meltwater or rain just runs down the glacier. Some ice-free slopes dump all their precipitation on the ice.

All images are at 10m resolution
1st image: Meltwater running off the glacier onto sea ice
2nd image: Edit: Probably slush (snow saturated with meltwater) The big blue area is 18km2
3rd image: Partially melted Lake Vida
4th image: More water run-off from slopes

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2016/2017 freezing season
« on: January 24, 2017, 01:27:36 AM »
The PVE calculator I used disagrees with you. ;) ...

No, the PVE calculator is just difficult to read or to understand  ;D  Most of my own model is based on the same equations so the values can't be very different.

I think you used this calculator:

You used the first column which represents a solar panel always facing directly at the sun and casting a very long shadow. Power on a horizontal surface is in the second column and it needs about one month longer until it reaches 4 kWh/m2/day.

Day   Incident Power (kWh/m2/day)   Power on the Horizontal (kWh/m2/day) Module Power (kWh/m2/day)

75   3.856923341866521   1.100733999658897   1.100733999658897
80   4.605744543852684   1.4687667699512705   1.4687667699512705
85   5.35922353218696   1.886772712206999   1.886772712206999
90   6.115949541402507   2.3521579159398143   2.3521579159398143
95   6.864241115902642   2.857111468681582   2.857111468681582
100   7.592727383268329   3.3918631410856124   3.3918631410856124
105   8.303139265459384   3.9510724588132673   3.9510724588132673

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2016/2017 freezing season
« on: January 23, 2017, 10:20:00 PM »
4KWH/M2/Day about March 12th.  That's my "dinner napkin" estimate for the energy level after subtracting for albedo at which incoming insolation will be high enough to balance outgoing radiative losses.

Change March to April and you are pretty close. On the 12th of March Barrow has mostly a few hours of sunrise and sunset, but no real daylight intensity. Maybe you forgot the projection effect in your calculations.

Arctic sea ice / Re: Albedo-Warming Potential
« on: January 23, 2017, 12:36:45 AM »
But I was asking specifically about your response to this comment in the SIPN report :
Because the sea ice edge is generally moving northward during the spring and early summer, the edge is moving away from the regions where anomalies in the cumulative AWP are building. However, when the sea ice edge expands southward again in the fall, it can re-encounter the regions of significant cumulative AWP. Thus, there can be a connection between patterns of spring and fall sea ice concentration anomalies that is nearly independent of mid summer conditions.

This section is partly my own work and I've know this exact part for over a month (The majority of the report was written in November and December. In January we did mostly polishing work). What do you expect me to reply to myself? It is just a much better wording then what I said in May 2016 on the "Quantifying albedo effect" thread.

...The model doesn't calculate if the energy is used for melting more ice or if it increases water temperature which delays refreezing and limits ice thickening in winter

Of course I'm happy that my model encouraged the SIPN network to consider forecasting fall sea ice concentrations as well. The cumulative AWP is good at showing the rough regions for low fall sea ice concentration, but there needs to be a forcing component. The Beaufort Gyre for example rotated all of the Beaufort anomalies clockwise.

Arctic sea ice / Re: Albedo-Warming Potential
« on: January 21, 2017, 07:23:40 PM »
Tealight, your work received special attention in the SIPN post-season report :

With two paragraphs, some graphics, and some pretty intelligent responses. Stuff like this :
Because the sea ice edge is generally moving northward during the spring and early summer, the edge is moving away from the regions where anomalies in the cumulative AWP are building. However, when the sea ice edge expands southward again in the fall, it can re-encounter the regions of significant cumulative AWP. Thus, there can be a connection between patterns of spring and fall sea ice concentration anomalies that is nearly independent of mid summer conditions.

Looking forward to your reply on that assessment, and keep up the great work you are doing !

Well of course it received special attention. After all i volunteered to be part of the Action Team and offered my calculation to be included in the meltseason review. But my main intend to join the Action team was to promote other forcasting metrics besides extent and highlight the very low compactness of last years melting season. This is an issue we discussed heavily on the forum its time for professionals to consider other metrics than extent too. I feel with these two main inputs the SIPN if better prepared for the future. My participation is the reason why I put my real name on my maps and graphs. For scientific publications it's more appropiate. Under "Report Credits" I'm mentioned as an Action Team Member.

Action Team Members:
Gisele Arruda; Oxford Brookes University.
Ed Blockley; Polar Climate Group, Met Office Hadley Centre.
Frank Kauker; Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research.
Alek Petty; NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and University of Maryland.
François Massonnet; Université catholique de Louvain (UCL), Brussels and Catalan Institute of Climate Sciences (IC3, Barcelona, Spain).
Nico Sun; CryosphereComputing.

With 25 years  I'm still at the beginning of my career, unlike most of the forum members. Maybe being part of the report could help me with my future endeavours.

@Bill Fothergill
I'm not really happy with the description and calculation of FDD myself, but we would need to discuss it in another thread. There are specific reasons why I created it as I did.

Arctic sea ice / Re: 2017 sea ice area and extent data
« on: January 20, 2017, 07:34:05 PM »
Are the NSIDC links moved are just experiencing tech problems?

They have moved , with some other changes as well:

On 31 Jan the ftp will be closed and all that data can only be accessed from the protected (user+password, free registration) https connection. Start here and find the rest:


Wipneus, have you already switched your scripted data downloads to the HTTPS? If so, what method did you use to access the data?

Antarctica / Re: Melt water in Antarctica
« on: January 19, 2017, 07:08:26 PM »
These folks have some historic data on this looking at daily melt but nothing for last year and this.

Thanks for the link :)

Maybe I can create some graphs from their data.

Arctic sea ice / Re: Albedo-Warming Potential
« on: January 17, 2017, 06:31:39 PM »
So far I've only calculated anomaly values of the Albedo-Warming Potential (AWP). This is great when comparing individual years against each other, but it doesn't directly show us which regions contribute most to the overall warming. My first calculation with absolute values are for 2016. On the cumulative map you can see that the southern Beaufort Sea had higher AWP then the always open ocean around Svalbard. It's more southern latitude is more significant then ice free conditions during the first month of the astronomical summer.

The daily animations are great to get a feeling for solar intensity. Let me know how useful you find the absolute AWP.

Link for daily animations(loads 30MB, not great for mobile users)

Some details
Snow/Ice energy absorption is approximated to 20% of that of water
Cumulative values saturate at 1200 kwh/m2 (55N)
Daily values saturate at 8kwh/m2 (60N) on 21st June
The average values are calculated over all ocean pixels and are not very relevant.

Although the solar radiation on top of the atmosphere near the north pole is highest on earth on 21st June, not all of it makes it to the surface. Due to the low solar angle the atmosphere absorbs/reflects more of the incoming radiation and the surface radiation is slightly lower then further south. This must be considered when accessing the albedo effect. (It is not a total radiation balance)

Antarctica / Re: Halley base shut down and new crack in Brunt shelf
« on: January 17, 2017, 05:33:00 PM »
Is the new crack visible on satellite images? I had a quick look but don't know the best resources to use.

I've only seen the new crack on Sentinel 2A images (10m resolution). Sentinel 1 just doesn't have enough resolution and clarity. The crack is at most 40m wide and over 40km long so I can't show it over its full length, it would be an over 4000 pixel wide image. The last cloud free image is from the 30th December, maybe the crack has grown since then.

Click on images for full resolution.

Antarctica / Re: Stupid Questions
« on: January 17, 2017, 04:57:08 PM »
@Tealight        You probably were right about that being old tongue ice. I think it may have been there a long time and had old hard frozen snow on it, perhaps giving it the visual difference; maybe or maybe not.
Whatever the case, I think it's days are numbered now.
Also, thanks for spotting it when you did, as it has been interesting to watch.

I closely followed the area everyday. On radar it now looks more similar to sea ice ice. Maybe the snow has melted away and exposed the regular sea ice. It will be interesting to see it melt away completely.

Antarctica / Re: What's new in Antarctica ?
« on: January 14, 2017, 08:02:26 PM »
Iceberg B31 (calved in November 2013, from Pine Island Glacier) was mostly visible for a few days. It appears to stay in the same position, but it spins at around 50 degrees per day or a full rotation in 7 days. The edges are around 10km from the rotation center so they move at 9km/day linear speed. Does this greatly increase the melt rate?

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2016/2017 freezing season
« on: January 13, 2017, 10:36:47 PM »

The graph is inspired by ktonine who posted graphs with thickness estimates before me. Let me know if you want some changes or improvements.

Nice work. Think I would prefer version with start as 1 Sept rather than starting on 1 Jan, and so maybe have the anomalies graph start at 1 Sept?

It might be a bad idea to clutter it up too much. Showing range from following what happened in previous years with lowest and highest FDD from last data to end of season might be an interesting extra. Perhaps if you are able to show numeric values for this (and for season to date and previous lowest on record for the date) rather than extra lines on chart which would/could clutter it up. (Or maybe if you cannot display data, and the graph is 274 days wide then maybe a line from the low range value on day 276 to the high range value on day 277 could indicate that range.

Hope you can follow what I am suggesting from that.

I've already written the code for the seasonal anomaly graph, but I forgot to enable it after testing. On my website I repositioned all graphs. Freezing-Season graphs are now shown first and individual years below.

Your second suggestion is doable, but would need quite a few of extra steps. Right now I just add 2017 values to the last 2016 value. This is a fixed point and easy to do. If I want to show whats possible in the future I have to adjust the last measured point and the starting point of my future projection every day. 2017 will probably be warmest on record anyway so you can just project less FDD then last year.

Arctic sea ice / Re: Albedo-Warming Potential
« on: January 12, 2017, 08:07:30 PM »
I used this app on my phone for the past 3-4 years. It's pretty great if you want to know more details like time of Sunrise and Sunset. The widget updates every minute or so.

During twilight the sky is illuminated, but no significant amount of sunlight reaches the surface.

Antarctica / Re: Melt water in Antarctica
« on: January 10, 2017, 08:14:59 PM »
I'm only aware of a map by NASA which shows the first year of surface melt in an area, but not the melt area per year. The affected area is small in comparison to Antarctica, but probably similar to the melt area in Greenland.

Maybe the NSIDC can release a version of Greenland-Today for Antarctica. The sensor and algorithm to derive melt area should be very similar. All they have to do is create a new webpage and database for it.

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