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jdallen

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Re: The 2015/2016 freezing season
« Reply #200 on: January 05, 2016, 07:23:39 PM »
NSIDC daily Arctic sea ice extent has declined for 2 days in a row.

The January 1st 2016 value of 12.732 million km² is the lowest for the first day of any year in their records that go back to 1979.

Just had a look at the NSIDC Chart (http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/charctic-interactive-sea-ice-graph/), which has Jan 1st 2011 value of 12.596 million km², so unless I can't read a graph (entirely possible) that pushes this year's Jan 1st value into 2nd place. Saying that, yesterday's figure of 12.801 million km² now puts 2016 extent below the same date in 2011, so 2016 has the lowest extent for 4th Jan for the available records.

From what I can see, the 5-day stall in growth so far this week appears unsual for this time of year (i.e. 2 weeks either side of 1st Jan), but not exceptional (see Decembers of '80, '90, '99; Januarys of '03, '06, '07, '12).

Didn't expect the freezing season to be this exciting/terrifying*

*Delete as appropriate
You are of course correct that it is not exceptional.

What Is exceptional is the stacked series of events we have had, that show every indication they will continue.
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BornFromTheVoid

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Re: The 2015/2016 freezing season
« Reply #201 on: January 05, 2016, 09:13:24 PM »
According to the NSIDC daily extent data, this is the first year not to have reached 13 million km2 by this date. Current extent is now 172k below the next lowest year, 2011.
Tomorrow, the same will also be true using the 5 day trailing average.
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LRC1962

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Re: The 2015/2016 freezing season
« Reply #202 on: January 05, 2016, 10:13:04 PM »
But the article doesnt explain the mechanism. I mean the whole Northern hemisphere weather is whacked out (and Southern Hemisphere too wtf). But it is not clear how, at all. 2016 ominous start
Think of a mega fire. You can argue as to what exactly sends a small fire into a mega fire, whether it be drought, weather, terrain, etc., once it is in that state there is no argument as to what is occurring. Now the question becomes how long will it last, and the answer to that can be just as knowledgeable as to how it got started.
Precisely why a weather event is happening can be just as knowledgeable. The evidence seems to me very clear it is happening. The question then becomes, how long will it last and why did it die. The answer to that maybe just as knowledgeable. What we can put into the soup as to cause and effect is, El Nino, global warming, Greenland ice melt, AIS degradation, ocean current slow down, overloaded evaporation, TTTs and RRRs, a butterfly flapping his wings in China. Will this event happen again just because we do not understand a mechanism, in all likelihood yes, will we be able to predict it in the future just because we saw it happen this year, probably no. Why? To quote a song: "It's The End Of The World As We Know It". For that reason I no longer get that uptight about all the terrible events to man has brought upon himself, because it is no longer historic to me, it is just the new normal.
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jdallen

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Re: The 2015/2016 freezing season
« Reply #203 on: January 06, 2016, 12:03:05 AM »
But the article doesnt explain the mechanism. I mean the whole Northern hemisphere weather is whacked out (and Southern Hemisphere too wtf). But it is not clear how, at all. 2016 ominous start
... Will this event happen again just because we do not understand a mechanism, in all likelihood yes, will we be able to predict it in the future just because we saw it happen this year, probably no. Why? To quote a song: "It's The End Of The World As We Know It". ...
I think we are in the grip of a fundamental system change, and expected hysteresis effects are less certain to influence how our climate behaves.

I expect the best we can do at this point is speak in terms of broad probabilities, and expect to encounter frequent outliers.

This year is starting off to look like one of them. I expect to see maximum early and be able to offer an early set of range predictions for the next minimum.
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Jim Hunt

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Re: The 2015/2016 freezing season
« Reply #204 on: January 06, 2016, 12:30:55 AM »
Just had a look at the NSIDC Chart (http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/charctic-interactive-sea-ice-graph/), which has Jan 1st 2011 value of 12.596 million km², so unless I can't read a graph (entirely possible) that pushes this year's Jan 1st value into 2nd place. Saying that, yesterday's figure of 12.801 million km² now puts 2016 extent below the same date in 2011, so 2016 has the lowest extent for 4th Jan for the available records.

That graph shows the 5 day average extent. The daily numbers are available for download from:

ftp://sidads.colorado.edu/pub/DATASETS/NOAA/G02135/north/daily/data/
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jdallen

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Re: The 2015/2016 freezing season
« Reply #205 on: January 08, 2016, 09:36:13 AM »
Current NOAA forecast has a subtropical low spawning off the North American seaboard.  Near hurricane force and huge amounts of precipitation drug out of the tropics... in January.

I'm watching climate reanalyzer and the sheer volume of moisture in the northern hemisphere seems huge; it look like SW Europe is going to get VERY wet later in the week.  Add to that, the intrusions of moisture into the arctic seem unending and very substantial.

So, when do we think we'll see the winter max again?

-J
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Okono

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Re: The 2015/2016 freezing season
« Reply #206 on: January 09, 2016, 12:53:05 AM »
One if by land, and two if by sea?  It seems as if the same thermodynamic transport processes needed to reach thermal equilibrium still need to take place, but as the AMOC gets gummed up by fresh water, much of that heat and moisture transport goes airborne, and it wouldn't surprise me to see it end up in the Arctic rather than the North Atlantic.
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jdallen

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Re: The 2015/2016 freezing season
« Reply #207 on: January 09, 2016, 01:45:45 AM »
One if by land, and two if by sea?  It seems as if the same thermodynamic transport processes needed to reach thermal equilibrium still need to take place, but as the AMOC gets gummed up by fresh water, much of that heat and moisture transport goes airborne, and it wouldn't surprise me to see it end up in the Arctic rather than the North Atlantic.
One if by sea, two if by air?

(Edit - odd as there was more)
Some good news - higher pressure and some cooling coming in, according to GFS/Climate Reanalyzer with El Niño heat getting shunted into Southern Europe.

Bad news; heat still driving into the basin across the Kara, ESS, Bering and Alaska. There is reinvigorated Fram export and some intrusions across the CAA as well. 

It will be only 5-10C above normal, instead of 15-25.  :o :o :o
« Last Edit: January 09, 2016, 02:23:22 AM by jdallen »
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jdallen

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Re: The 2015/2016 freezing season
« Reply #208 on: January 10, 2016, 10:07:07 PM »
Some amateur analysis for the upcoming week, looking at C.R./GFS.

Arctic circulation - setup...

Primary features -

Persistent low pressure system over the Gulf of Alaska and Southern Bering

Dominant high pressure over Trans-Ural Asia centered mostly over Mongolia, extending north into the Laptev/ESS side of the Arctic basin

Moderate persistent high pressure over Greenland

Serial movement of low pressure systems along eastern North America, into Northern Europe, swinging northwards across the Kara/Barents basins into the CAB proper

Moderate intermittent import of heat across the CAA into the CAB

While high pressure over the arctic proper is good, it is undermined by the strong flow introduced by the two persistent low pressure centers and flow from lower latitudes brought in particularly on the Pacific side, but still strong from the Kara/Barents bringing heat north from the Black Sea/Caspian.

Sample images I'm attaching are for about 3 days out (01/12), but I think are representative of the general trend I think I'm seeing.
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Jim Hunt

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Re: The 2015/2016 freezing season
« Reply #209 on: January 11, 2016, 04:40:48 PM »
CT area has finally updated again, and as perhaps anticipated has joined NSIDC extent in the "lowest ever reading for the date" category.

Hence I've finally put virtual pen to paper on the Great White Con "New Year 2016 Arctic Meltdown Update"

I reckon it was the wind and waves wot dun it!

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Re: The 2015/2016 freezing season
« Reply #210 on: January 11, 2016, 07:01:01 PM »
I'm withholding judgment until January of 2017 or maybe the summer of 2017...This is a monster El Niño one that is comparable to 1982 and 1998...It always drives temperatures up globally....however I have noticed the North Atlantic is cooling and I have heard predictions this La Niña after the El Niño is expected to drop temps back a minimum of 4C globally... So I reserve judgment on way or another until then

crandles

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Re: The 2015/2016 freezing season
« Reply #211 on: January 11, 2016, 07:15:46 PM »
drop temps back a minimum of 4C globally...

huh? 0.4C globally maybe?

DavidR

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Re: The 2015/2016 freezing season
« Reply #212 on: January 11, 2016, 09:08:22 PM »
I'm withholding judgment until January of 2017 or maybe the summer of 2017...This is a monster El Niño one that is comparable to 1982 and 1998...It always drives temperatures up globally....however I have noticed the North Atlantic is cooling and I have heard predictions this La Niña after the El Niño is expected to drop temps back a minimum of 4C globally... So I reserve judgment on way or another until then
Not sure what judgement you're making but it will need to wait considerably longer than that. The rise in temperature due to this El Nino will continue this year before dropping back next year. 2015 is equivalent to 1997 in this El Nino Cycle and 2016 will be equivalent to  1998, hence much  hotter than 2015. The hottest year of the cycle is the year after the El Nino peaks not the year  before it.  As Crandles points out the max decline will be of the order 0.3-0.4C meaning there is strong possibility we will not see another year as cool as 2014, the previous record holder,  this century.
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AbruptSLR

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Re: The 2015/2016 freezing season
« Reply #213 on: January 11, 2016, 09:49:30 PM »
I'm withholding judgment until January of 2017 or maybe the summer of 2017...This is a monster El Niño one that is comparable to 1982 and 1998...It always drives temperatures up globally....however I have noticed the North Atlantic is cooling and I have heard predictions this La Niña after the El Niño is expected to drop temps back a minimum of 4C globally... So I reserve judgment on way or another until then
Not sure what judgement you're making but it will need to wait considerably longer than that. The rise in temperature due to this El Nino will continue this year before dropping back next year. 2015 is equivalent to 1997 in this El Nino Cycle and 2016 will be equivalent to  1998, hence much  hotter than 2015. The hottest year of the cycle is the year after the El Nino peaks not the year  before it.  As Crandles points out the max decline will be of the order 0.3-0.4C meaning there is strong possibility we will not see another year as cool as 2014, the previous record holder,  this century.

Per the attached plot by Gavin Schmidt, after the 97-98 El Nino the global mean temperature temporarily dropped about 0.2C in one year due to the La Nina event in 98.  I would not be surprised it we peaked at 1.2C (above pre-industrial) by mid-2016 before dropping back to just above 1.1C by the end of 2016.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2016, 12:22:57 AM by AbruptSLR »
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ktonine

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Re: The 2015/2016 freezing season
« Reply #214 on: January 12, 2016, 12:09:41 AM »
... I have heard predictions this La Niña after the El Niño is expected to drop temps back a minimum of 4C globally...

Please, do tell us who has made these predictions.  It's always good to know who the complete blooming idiots are - so one can avoid them if nothing else.  A 4C drop in global temperatures would take us back more than 10,000 years - to the end of the last ice age.  I'd be willing to bet a decade's worth of wages that that ain't happening anytime soon.

jdallen

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Re: The 2015/2016 freezing season
« Reply #215 on: January 12, 2016, 12:25:46 AM »
... I have heard predictions this La Niña after the El Niño is expected to drop temps back a minimum of 4C globally...

Please, do tell us who has made these predictions.  It's always good to know who the complete blooming idiots are - so one can avoid them if nothing else.  A 4C drop in global temperatures would take us back more than 10,000 years - to the end of the last ice age.  I'd be willing to bet a decade's worth of wages that that ain't happening anytime soon.
I suspect a decimal failed to stick when the number was entered.  I recall hearing/seeing discussion of a 0.4C fall off.  Perhaps possible mid 20th century, but unlikely now.  0.1 or 0.2 at most, I expect.
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Jim Hunt

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Re: The 2015/2016 freezing season
« Reply #216 on: January 12, 2016, 03:10:19 PM »
I have somewhat belatedly discovered that the latest edition of Arctic Sea Ice News has been out for a few days:

http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/2016/01/2015-in-review/

They mention the "brief polar heat wave":

Quote
An exceptional weather event during the last days of the year brought a heat wave with surface air temperatures up to 23 degrees Celsius (50 degrees Fahrenheit) above average in the far north, and a brief period when surface temperatures at the North Pole approached or perhaps even exceeded the freezing mark. A temperature of +0.7 degrees Celsius was briefly recorded by a buoy weather station near the North Pole on December 30, 2015. The event was linked to the combination of a very strong low pressure system near Iceland and a somewhat less intense low pressure system located near the North Pole.

However they pass no comment on my "10 meter waves" theory. Perhaps I should send the NSIDC some moving pictures?

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Re: The 2015/2016 freezing season
« Reply #217 on: January 12, 2016, 07:58:55 PM »
The waves have been assisted by an anomalously warm ocean which has persisted for over a week with actual temps. of about 10c., anom. of about 8.5c I'm wondering how close this is to the surface under the ice, and whether any bottom melt is occurring.


Jim Hunt

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Re: The 2015/2016 freezing season
« Reply #218 on: January 12, 2016, 09:57:56 PM »
The waves have been assisted by an anomalously warm ocean

Thanks for those pictures John. Until I looked at them I hadn't realised that in amongst all the other options Earth allows you to display significant wave height. Here what it shows for December 31st 2015.
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pearscot

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Re: The 2015/2016 freezing season
« Reply #219 on: January 14, 2016, 04:10:55 AM »
I'm very interested to see what comes of the newly formed subtropical system that's headed toward Greenland. Although it's not extremely strong (990mb, 50mph winds) it is still headed straight north. 

Earlier this year, a very strong system flew across the Atlantic and made its way into the arctic causing some disturbances.  I wonder if this new system will be the same? Not only will it inject heat into the arctic, but also humidity and could possibly have implications on the polar vortex.  Exciting times indeed; not to mention the fact that this will be a strong El Nino year which could also affect melt. 
pls!

jdallen

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Re: The 2015/2016 freezing season
« Reply #220 on: January 14, 2016, 08:19:27 AM »
I'm very interested to see what comes of the newly formed subtropical system that's headed toward Greenland. Although it's not extremely strong (990mb, 50mph winds) it is still headed straight north. 

Earlier this year, a very strong system flew across the Atlantic and made its way into the arctic causing some disturbances.  I wonder if this new system will be the same? Not only will it inject heat into the arctic, but also humidity and could possibly have implications on the polar vortex.  Exciting times indeed; not to mention the fact that this will be a strong El Nino year which could also affect melt.
990 is really quite strong, actually :)

More to the point will be the sheer volume of heat it will drag north from the Tropics.

We will see how it makes itself felt in about 10 days.  Between now and then, most of the energy will probably get spent over northern Europe.  That which does not will be pulled into the Barents/Kara, and get "pin balled" into the Arctic proper.

I don't see anything positive for refreeze coming from it.
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Jim Hunt

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Re: The 2015/2016 freezing season
« Reply #221 on: January 14, 2016, 10:50:49 AM »
I'm very interested to see what comes of the newly formed subtropical system that's headed toward Greenland.

Me too!

"Subtropical Storm Alex Arrives in the North Atlantic"

Alex in the Atlantic plus Pali in the Pacific together provide an unprecedented start to the 2016 cyclone season:

http://GreatWhiteCon.info/2016/01/new-year-2016-arctic-meltdown-update/#comment-213169


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johnm33

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Re: The 2015/2016 freezing season
« Reply #222 on: January 14, 2016, 11:21:39 AM »
It's already far too warm up there

and it looks like it's leaking out of every crack in the ice http://earth.nullschool.net/#current/ocean/surface/currents/overlay=sea_surface_temp_anomaly/orthographic=-48.36,96.11,1024/loc=30.164,75.751

Jim Hunt

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Re: The 2015/2016 freezing season
« Reply #223 on: January 14, 2016, 12:16:47 PM »
It looks like it's leaking out of every crack in the ice

See also DMI sea ice temperature:

http://GreatWhiteCon.info/resources/arctic-sea-ice-graphs/#DmiTemp

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Laurent

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Re: The 2015/2016 freezing season
« Reply #224 on: January 14, 2016, 12:29:03 PM »
It seems to me the situation is pretty unusual...
I thought we were going in a one cell atmospheric system with the jet stream being pushed further north. But what I am seeing is a jet stream (globally) being pushed further south... All the heat in between the jet and the pole is free to go, no barrier.

Jim Hunt

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Re: The 2015/2016 freezing season
« Reply #225 on: January 14, 2016, 02:03:11 PM »
But what I am seeing is a jet stream (globally) being pushed further south... All the heat in between the jet and the pole is free to go, no barrier.

Some of that cold air is currently heading in my direction!

http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/public/weather/warnings/#?tab=warnings&map=Warnings&zoom=5&lon=-3.50&lat=55.50&fcTime=1452729600&regionName=sw

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Re: The 2015/2016 freezing season
« Reply #226 on: January 14, 2016, 03:02:19 PM »
That looks like the northern subtropical jet is more to the north than is common. I guess this is expansion of the Hadley by El Nino release of heat. It's looking like a two-cell system in the NH on many locations. A stable two cell system would only be possible with low pressures in arctic in winter, pretty uncommon stuff. During summers not so much remembering GAC and other arctic cyclones seen in recent years.

Jim Hunt

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Re: The 2015/2016 freezing season
« Reply #227 on: January 14, 2016, 07:38:32 PM »
I've been perusing the local surf forecast today. You can read all about it at:

Is the Son of Storm Frank Heading for the Arctic?

I realise it's a long way off, but here's the ECMWF current +192h forecast for the son of Storm Frank:

« Last Edit: January 14, 2016, 08:23:31 PM by Jim Hunt »
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Re: The 2015/2016 freezing season
« Reply #228 on: January 15, 2016, 03:19:35 AM »
Alright, so hurricane (hurricane in January in the Atlantic?!) is now at 85 mph with a pressure of 981mb.  That is very impressive to me.  Not only does El Nino tend to limit the Atlantic hurricane season due to win sheer, but Alex has a well formed eye and is quite symmetrical.  Obviously, it will weaken as it heads north and hits much cooler water, but this system is extremely interesting.  I wonder what its implications will be on the Arctic.  It would be an interesting case study to see if it impacted and created a dipole that sent cold air to the south.  Nonetheless, I find weather absolutely fascinating and this is a rare storm. 

Moreover,  The ice coverage is relatively small, and what does exist is mostly first year ice.  This is the melting season I have wondered about since 2012 and it is finally here. Clearly there are more factors playing into it that I can describe, but this will certainly be a year to follow. Lastly, I find it interesting that both this and last winter have seen quite small ice coverage (in terms of surface area) going into the melting season (I realize it's a long way off, but if trends continue as such).
pls!

Jim Hunt

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Re: The 2015/2016 freezing season
« Reply #229 on: January 15, 2016, 09:32:33 AM »
Alex is now forecast to carry hurricane force winds almost all the way to Greenland:

Hurricane Alex Heads for Greenland

Quote
The cyclone should begin extratropical transition in the next few hours, and the global models suggest there will be enough baroclinic forcing to maintain hurricane-force winds through and after the transition despite the cold water.
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Jim Hunt

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Re: The 2015/2016 freezing season
« Reply #230 on: January 16, 2016, 01:49:04 PM »
The Son of Storm Frank has yet to materialise, but nonetheless the JAXA/ADS (or whatever you like to call it) extent is still below 13 million km², and the lowest ever level for the date (since their records began!):

http://GreatWhiteCon.info/2016/01/new-year-2016-arctic-meltdown-update/#comment-213188
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Jim Hunt

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Re: The 2015/2016 freezing season
« Reply #231 on: January 16, 2016, 02:08:32 PM »
Speaking of storms reminds me that whilst the UK Met Office say that:

Quote
[Alex] is heading up towards Greenland in fact. But this ex hurricane, what that’s doing is adding extra energy into the jet stream which is the driving force of our weather at the moment. That in turn is adding extra complications to the computer models that generate the forecast for the weather here across the UK…..

ECMWF +168h nonetheless currently looks like this:



Not so far into the future, Alex et al. are currently sending a nice swell in my direction, whilst promising some warm, blustery conditions for southern Greenland:

http://econnexus.org/hurricane-alex-heads-for-greenland/#comment-492753
« Last Edit: January 16, 2016, 02:14:41 PM by Jim Hunt »
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Shared Humanity

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Re: The 2015/2016 freezing season
« Reply #232 on: January 16, 2016, 03:59:59 PM »
The Son of Storm Frank has yet to materialise, but nonetheless the JAXA/ADS (or whatever you like to call it) extent is still below 13 million km², and the lowest ever level for the date (since their records began!):

http://GreatWhiteCon.info/2016/01/new-year-2016-arctic-meltdown-update/#comment-213188

Two of the years that 2016 is currently battling with to remain lowest ever for a specific date are 2006 and 2011. Looking at the chart, both 2006 and 2011 continued to show below average growth so it will be interesting to see if 2016 can remain number 1.

It may be a coincidence but both 2006 and 2011 preceded the years that had spectacular crashes of sea ice. Something to watch? If the freeze this season continues to track with these two years, is there any reason for us to be concerned about the 2017 melt season?

If there is such a causation or linkage, what would it be? Would warm winters and poor ice growth in a winter set the stage for the crash? And, if this were the case, shouldn't we expect it to show up in the following melt season and not the the melt season of the next year?
« Last Edit: January 16, 2016, 04:19:47 PM by Shared Humanity »

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Re: The 2015/2016 freezing season
« Reply #233 on: January 16, 2016, 04:17:11 PM »
Speaking of storms reminds me that whilst the UK Met Office say that:

Quote
[Alex] is heading up towards Greenland in fact. But this ex hurricane, what that’s doing is adding extra energy into the jet stream which is the driving force of our weather at the moment. That in turn is adding extra complications to the computer models that generate the forecast for the weather here across the UK…..

ECMWF +168h nonetheless currently looks like this:



Not so far into the future, Alex et al. are currently sending a nice swell in my direction, whilst promising some warm, blustery conditions for southern Greenland:

http://econnexus.org/hurricane-alex-heads-for-greenland/#comment-492753

Looking at that second chart with the projected track of Alex, I am very concerned about the strong 2nd low in the North Atlantic, northeast of Newfoundland. Is there a possibility that these two lows will merge and blow up? This is not uncommon behavior in the Atlantic although it usually occurs at lower latitudes and drives Nor'easters along the U.S. coast. The force of these Nor'easters,  particularly the amounts of precipitation they cause in the form of rain and snow, cause a lot of damage in the U.S. Something to watch?

crandles

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Re: The 2015/2016 freezing season
« Reply #234 on: January 16, 2016, 04:24:18 PM »

If there is such a causation or linkage, what would it be? Would warm winters and poor ice growth in a winter set the stage for the crash? And, if this were the case, shouldn't we expect it to show up in the following melt season and not the the melt season in the next year?

Warm water arriving now might keep the area/extent down by stopping thin ice growing at the edge of the pack but this might have little effect on volume within the ice pack where it matters for a minimum. If the water arriving continues to be warm for the next 18 months then it will have time to reduce the volume.

I would suggest it is far too easy to make up something like that and this probably isn't the cause. Even if this was the explanation for 2006 and 2011, the water need not stay warm this time and therefore this needn't result in 2017 being a record low.

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Re: The 2015/2016 freezing season
« Reply #235 on: January 16, 2016, 04:30:54 PM »
Thank you Crandles. I read most of your posts regarding volume and you certainly have me convinced that volume is the single most important metric for sea ice health even as we focus most of our attention on extent and area. I was actually hoping you would weigh in on my question as I consider you one of the resident experts on volume.

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Re: The 2015/2016 freezing season
« Reply #236 on: January 17, 2016, 01:11:49 AM »
Looking at that second chart with the projected track of Alex, I am very concerned about the strong 2nd low in the North Atlantic, northeast of Newfoundland. Is there a possibility that these two lows will merge and blow up?

See for example the GFS animation on Meteociel.

On the current forecast it looks like they merge, with more of the same following on behind.
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jdallen

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Re: The 2015/2016 freezing season
« Reply #237 on: January 17, 2016, 09:03:36 AM »
<snippage

It may be a coincidence but both 2006 and 2011 preceded the years that had spectacular crashes of sea ice. Something to watch? If the freeze this season continues to track with these two years, is there any reason for us to be concerned about the 2017 melt season?

I expect there is reason for us to be concerned about *both* 2017 and this year, 2016.

Let's just "blue sky" extrapolate a bit here;

In the winter of 2015, the maximum extent reached was 14.54 KM2.

This season, the max we reach will quite probably be within 500,000KM2 of this figure, quite possibly lower.

If we use the 2015 figure as a starting point, if we consider the behavior of the system in 2006 and 2011 as basis points, we would not be out of line to imagine that 2016's sea ice loss during the melt season to be close to or equal to 2012's.

If this happens, that would mean we would lose 11.8 million KM2 of ice during melt.  It's happened before, it is not a stretch to imagine it happening again, especially with so much heat now loose in the system.

If that happens, and we use 2015 as a base starting poinit

If, following the experience of 2012, we loose a similar extent, that could put 2016's end of season extent at 3.2 million KM2 - well under 2012. 

We really aren't even stretching that hard to imagine this kind of outcome; we've seen these numbers before.

Now here's the kicker; considering the significant increase in enthalpy in the system over all, I think these numbers may be conservative.

Mull that a bit folks; I'll be interested to read your comments.
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jdallen

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Re: The 2015/2016 freezing season
« Reply #238 on: January 17, 2016, 09:06:58 AM »
Looking at that second chart with the projected track of Alex, I am very concerned about the strong 2nd low in the North Atlantic, northeast of Newfoundland. Is there a possibility that these two lows will merge and blow up?

See for example the GFS animation on Meteociel.

On the current forecast it looks like they merge, with more of the same following on behind.
Net effect:  HUGE input of heat from lower latitudes into the arctic.  There's a staggering amount of energy in those systems driven by the increased moisture in the atmosphere.  They're levering heat out of the equatorial Atlantic and NW Africa across Europe and into the western Arctic.

I'm not able to fathom what the effect of that will be yet, but it can't be good.
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Re: The 2015/2016 freezing season
« Reply #239 on: January 17, 2016, 09:10:08 AM »
Thank you Crandles. I read most of your posts regarding volume and you certainly have me convinced that volume is the single most important metric for sea ice health even as we focus most of our attention on extent and area. I was actually hoping you would weigh in on my question as I consider you one of the resident experts on volume.
I generally concur - volume rules.

That said, reduced extent, especially during the high insolation periods of late spring early summer, can be as critical as volume reduction.

I think we could still have bastions of high volume - especially along the CAA; but I don't think they will prevent wholesale reductions of extent and area across most of the basin - with requisite ice-negative impact on weather.
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Re: The 2015/2016 freezing season
« Reply #240 on: January 17, 2016, 11:32:55 AM »
It also depends on volume distribution. If most of the volume difference with post-2010 years is sitting north of the CAA and Greenland (as PIOMAS is suggesting, I believe), then this is no argument against a low minimum, although it will prevent ice-free conditions, of course.
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Re: The 2015/2016 freezing season
« Reply #241 on: January 17, 2016, 12:42:23 PM »
Welcome back Neven - I trust your feet and floor are now dry?

I figure this new Scandinavian scientific paper might be of general interest. Please feel free to move this elsewhere if you disagree!

The impact of melt ponds on summertime microwave brightness temperatures and sea ice concentrations

I'm off to get wet by immersing myself in the North Atlantic, thanks to the efforts of ex Hurricane Alex on my behalf.
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Re: The 2015/2016 freezing season
« Reply #242 on: January 17, 2016, 12:54:13 PM »
Thank you Crandles. I read most of your posts regarding volume and you certainly have me convinced that volume is the single most important metric for sea ice health even as we focus most of our attention on extent and area. I was actually hoping you would weigh in on my question as I consider you one of the resident experts on volume.
I generally concur - volume rules.

That said, reduced extent, especially during the high insolation periods of late spring early summer, can be as critical as volume reduction.

I think we could still have bastions of high volume - especially along the CAA; but I don't think they will prevent wholesale reductions of extent and area across most of the basin - with requisite ice-negative impact on weather.

JD consider also that from November until May is when the Fram Export (see Wipneus' graph below) and I believe, associated Polar drift and Beaufort Gyre, stretch the central ice toward Atlantic and Beaufort mostly, so the distribution of ice can change a lot. Although with the current Weird Weather Burst (WWB hehe), who knows.




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Re: The 2015/2016 freezing season
« Reply #243 on: January 17, 2016, 01:16:04 PM »
It also depends on volume distribution. If most of the volume difference with post-2010 years is sitting north of the CAA and Greenland (as PIOMAS is suggesting, I believe), then this is no argument against a low minimum, although it will prevent ice-free conditions, of course.

Yes fully agree with that. The volume near CAA and Greenland probably matters least and that is where the majority of difference with the low years is. However that doesn't say how this year compares to previous years in other areas.

So where matters most and is this years distribution in those locations higher or lower than the lowest years?

(2010,11 and 12 were lowest years for volume so we should compare to Dec 09, 10 and 11 ie middle row of
http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=119.0;attach=23438;image )

Is it a case of the further from CAA the more important it is? I.e. around edges of Arctic basin matters for a fast start to season? Maybe ice about to exit Fram, also Hudson, CAA, Okhotz matters little as it will melt whatever and little connection to basin to cause a fast start?

On that basis versus Dec 2009 the ice looks in bad shape. Versus Dec 2010 the Atlantic ice looks vulnerable but Pacific side ice looks strong this isn't true in all the images so to some extent this may be that Dec 2010 was unusual in being vulnerable to Pacific melting. Versus Dec 2011 the picture is more mixed (perhaps slightly opposite to versus Dec 10 comparison).

OTOH versus Dec 2012 the ice looks in good condition and 2013 had high minimum ice volume.

My conclusion: the differences away from the near CAA and Greenland safe zone don't look huge, weather would seem likely to dominate over whether the distribution looks good or bad.

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Re: The 2015/2016 freezing season
« Reply #244 on: January 17, 2016, 06:00:25 PM »
Welcome back Neven - I trust your feet and floor are now dry?

Yes, one week later and things are under control again. Now it's one more week of hard work and everything will be back to normal. Normal being me looking at Arctic sea ice.  ;D
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Re: The 2015/2016 freezing season
« Reply #245 on: January 17, 2016, 09:56:13 PM »
<snippage>

JD consider also that from November until May is when the Fram Export (see Wipneus' graph below) and I believe, associated Polar drift and Beaufort Gyre, stretch the central ice toward Atlantic and Beaufort mostly, so the distribution of ice can change a lot. Although with the current Weird Weather Burst (WWB hehe), who knows.

Weather is the wild card, and is being very wild.

I'm not sure the export is more or less active November to May.  This year, I don't think increased export is affecting the older ice as much as it did in the past.  Looking at HYCOM, the implication is that most of the export is relatively recent - mostly 2nd year ice, rather than older thicker pack, and mostly from the NW Arctic above the circum Laptev, Kara and Barent's regions. That actually can be mostly replaced in short order. It also isn't that much more durable than first year ice.

With the current distribution, I'm concerned less about export through the Fram, and more about the concentration of older ice in the Beaufort and close by.  While we have been focused so tightly on the Atlantic side, there *have* been persistent and very high anomalies over the CAA and Beaufort - almost as constant as what we've been seeing in NW basin. As a result, I am worried about an early Arctic spring over northern Canada and what that might do.

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Re: The 2015/2016 freezing season
« Reply #246 on: January 18, 2016, 05:01:11 AM »
Some conjecture... El Nino, though it is a huge deal on tropospheric temperatures on the year it has happened, does not spread its influence over the whole globe at once. This has got to do with the simultaneous mess it works on the Pacific equatorial currents, that does influence the whole cycle of oceanic gyres on earth that are north of Antarctic Circumpolar Current. The tropospheric heat punch El Nino delivers should indeed take a while to get noticed on other tropical basins. The huge amounts of rain (where it rains) would be ever so slightly warmer than normal during the year El Nino has happened. These then flow back out to sea in a year or so, so the year after every coastal current and oceanic gyre (partly via air) would have had time to catch the El Nino influence. As the currents of the world return to their normal ways after El Nino the influence could be noticed all over the world. Too bad (for the guy trying to catch these) they are not uniform so in some areas these are very hard to catch. Oceanic gyres aren't too quick to respond to this so I'd throw in a number of 18 months, as the limit of the influence of a single El Nino episode. Thus it could (and I mean it!) be 2017 is the year for Arctic to notice the El Nino we're witnessing, at least by then the Kuroshio current should be back up in strength (has it waned during this nino?), throwing its heat towards north, and the Atlantic has received the warmer rains produced by Nino.

But but, 'won't the clouds from el nino spewed moisture reach higher and thus rain cooler?', I hear some denier asking, and my answer would be, yes, eventually, but they are out of their normal habitat so initially they rain just where the normal clouds rain. not a good answer I admit but the only one I can come up with this early (6 AM here).

MMh, that sound like El Nino is a big and a huge deal, almost like there's nothing else to follow, well, it is a big deal, but the reason (to me) why it's so hot this time around is AGW, so there (huh, saved the scientificallic point, at the last moment).

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Re: The 2015/2016 freezing season
« Reply #247 on: January 18, 2016, 06:57:30 AM »
<snippage>

MMh, that sound like El Nino is a big and a huge deal, almost like there's nothing else to follow, well, it is a big deal, but the reason (to me) why it's so hot this time around is AGW, so there (huh, saved the scientificallic point, at the last moment).

I agree, the greatest effects will be 18-24 months in our future as the heat fully distributes around the globe.  However, short term, I think we need to keep in mind two words:

Arctic Amplification

I think we are seeing the prompt effects of that, as pertains to El Nino, right now.  Heat being imported via moisture and sensible heat are replacing heat which should be radiating out of the top of the globe.  That heat is preventing energy from leaving the 800lb gorilla in the Arctic, which is the enthalpy of the Arctic Ocean.

The amount of energy year over year that the Arctic sees really hasn't changed that dramatically. It still has the same annual insolation.  CO2 forcing is still represents only about a 0.2% increase in the prompt energy available (I think most of us here also understand just how huge a change that represents over time...).

... But that energy that hangs around year over year... even a few tenths of a degree of increase in Ocean surface temperature represents such a profound, monstrous increase in energy available... and it expresses itself in how soon the ice starts melting, how long that ice continues to melt, and how much longer it takes for the ocean to refreeze.

Let's consider just the impact of that heat say, starting the melt season a week earlier. On the far end, consider it extending the melt season a week longer.  In a strong melt year, that could Easily result in the additional loss of over a million KM2 of extent.

That's what I think El Nino (and the unmasking of AGW heat it represents) portends for us.  Not direct energy acting on the ice, but rather the climate goal posts getting moved.  The energy has always been available to melt the ice in the Arctic.  AGW just makes it more probable that it will reach it.  El Nino is giving AGW a kick in the pants.
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Re: The 2015/2016 freezing season
« Reply #248 on: January 18, 2016, 07:32:44 AM »
It seems fairly safe to assume 2016 will be among the lowest (3?) maxima, however perhaps of equal interest is the date of maximum.

By pure speculation based on the injection of warmth into the Arctic it appears likely to expect a maximum for extent/area in the second half of February, modulo sudden colder weather.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2016, 07:46:08 AM by plg »
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crandles

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Re: The 2015/2016 freezing season
« Reply #249 on: January 18, 2016, 02:47:50 PM »
It seems fairly safe to assume 2016 will be among the lowest (3?) maxima, however perhaps of equal interest is the date of maximum.

By pure speculation based on the injection of warmth into the Arctic it appears likely to expect a maximum for extent/area in the second half of February, modulo sudden colder weather.

Too low now (due to recent warm winds) would suggest to me a late maximum like 2012. But depends a lot on weather near the minimum which we cannot predict.