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Author Topic: What link is there between greenland melt and arctic sea ice?  (Read 4229 times)

Paddy

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How does the amount that Greenland melts affect arctic sea ice, and vice versa?  I can imagine lots of putative positive and negative feedbacks, particularly the following four:
- loss of albedo due to melt on land -> increased warmth -> increased melt on land and at sea
- loss of albedo due to melt at sea -> increased warmth -> increased melt at sea and on land
- a flow of cold fresh water from Greenland slowing the loss of arctic sea ice
- altered rates of iceberg calving also affecting arctic sea ice

What do the numbers say, though?

Buddy

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Re: What link is there between greenland melt and arctic sea ice?
« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2015, 01:42:09 PM »
Good question....and I will be interested to see what the science geeks (said with love and admiration:) have to say about this.

From a 40,000 foot view.....heat either has to (a) warm the ocean, (b) melt ice, (c) warm land area, or (d) warm the atmosphere.  Greenland seems to have been left out of the equation so far this year.  Which means that most of the heat in the upper latitude's has been "elsewhere" in the Arctic/Russia/Canada/Alaska doing its work (melting ice/snow, warming water, and warming the coastal land areas).

Also interesting to note that the SST's have been much cooler this year than last year around Greenland....and those cool SST's likely have something to do with Greenland's lack of melt this year (but which comes first....the chicken or the egg:  Does the lack of Greenland melt cause the cool SST's...or do the cool SST's cause the lack of Greenland melt:).

But the interesting thing to hear from the science folks....will be what that lack of Greenland melt means for the Arctic ice sheet for the rest of this summer.

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oren

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Re: What link is there between greenland melt and arctic sea ice?
« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2015, 02:00:12 PM »
From the layman's point of view I believe the two main effects are:
- a flow of cold fresh water from Greenland slowing the loss of arctic sea ice
- altered rates of iceberg calving also affecting arctic sea ice - I think this is significant only in Nares Strait where the odd Petermann calving can block the strait and reduce export significantly

As to the vice versa, when the sea ice melts or goes away from the glaciers, calving can proceed faster as the back pressure is removed, and warmer sea water can eat away at the glacier.

Onward to someone with real knowledge  ::)

Tor Bejnar

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Re: What link is there between greenland melt and arctic sea ice?
« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2015, 03:19:07 PM »
Just thinking...
If Greenland melt 'takes off', then North Atlantic sea level will likely rise relative to Arctic Ocean sea level.  This may slow the flow of warm Pacific Ocean water through the Arctic: a negative feedback.

Similar to a Southern Ocean expanding winter sea ice theory, freshening of the waters around Greenland may cause thicker ice to form, delaying Nares Strait summertime opening: another possible negative feedback.
Arctic ice is healthy for children and other living things.


JER

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Re: What link is there between greenland melt and arctic sea ice?
« Reply #5 on: July 26, 2015, 12:49:04 AM »
I discussed this issue a bit in this article (large PDF): http://www.lifeonthinice.org/data/web/JERoss_ArcticSeaIce_OceanGeographic_201410_LowRes.pdf

See page 26 of the PDF (page 146 of the magazine), starting with the paragraph that begins, "Is the decline of arctic sea ice playing a role in the recent acceleration of ice loss from the Greenland Ice Sheet?" In particular, see the discussion of the Rennermalm study. BTW, she is now working on a follow-up study.

Also see page 6 of the PDF where I discuss studies focused on the effects of arctic sea ice loss on arctic surface air temperatures over land.

There is also a study currently underway that is examining the possible connections between arctic sea ice loss and increased permafrost thaw and methane release in adjacent land regions.

I'm not a scientist, but I know a lot of them.  ;)
As a result of climate change, "The Arctic is the ecological equivalent of a war zone." -- Jenny E. Ross

A-Team

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Re: What link is there between greenland melt and arctic sea ice?
« Reply #6 on: July 27, 2015, 06:00:53 PM »
Have to say, this is an incredible one person effort, the prose is every bit as excellent (and accurate/comprehensive) as the photography.

(large PDF): http://www.lifeonthinice.org/data/web/JERoss_ArcticSeaIce_OceanGeographic_201410_LowRes.pdf

JER

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Re: What link is there between greenland melt and arctic sea ice?
« Reply #7 on: July 27, 2015, 09:29:29 PM »
Thanks, A-Team! That's extremely gratifying, especially coming from you, and much appreciated.
As a result of climate change, "The Arctic is the ecological equivalent of a war zone." -- Jenny E. Ross

Tor Bejnar

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Re: What link is there between greenland melt and arctic sea ice?
« Reply #8 on: July 28, 2015, 02:58:04 AM »
JER,
I've just had a look at your Life on Thin IceTM website.  Your statement that "Photography can play a vital role in communicating scientific issues effectively to non-scientists ..." is sure demonstrated by your work.  Thank you!  I sure hope many others notice.  I image showing one or another of your pictures in "elevator pitches" as part of 'this is why I care and why you should care too' conversations.

To see more of what Ms. Ross has published, see her Jenny E. Ross Photography website.
Arctic ice is healthy for children and other living things.

JER

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Re: What link is there between greenland melt and arctic sea ice?
« Reply #9 on: July 28, 2015, 07:45:38 AM »
Thanks very much, Tor!
As a result of climate change, "The Arctic is the ecological equivalent of a war zone." -- Jenny E. Ross

Jim Hunt

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Re: What link is there between greenland melt and arctic sea ice?
« Reply #10 on: July 28, 2015, 12:44:25 PM »
Have to say, this is an incredible one person effort, the prose is every bit as excellent (and accurate/comprehensive) as the photography.

Quite so. See also the dedicated thread:

http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,1147.0.html

Jenny on video!
Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one - Albert Einstein