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frankendoodle

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When will we see open ocean at the north pole?
« on: March 27, 2013, 09:49:15 PM »
Let's put aside the arbitrary figure of > 1 million km2 for a virtually ice free summer arctic and lets talk about open ocean at 90 degrees N.
Last September satellites showed large ice free areas around 87 degrees N in the Laptev Sea. that's approx. 200 miles from the North Pole. 
http://www.iup.uni-bremen.de:8084/amsr2data/asi_daygrid_swath/n6250/2012/sep//asi-AMSR2-n6250-20120915-v5_visual.png
The question is when will we see open ocean at 90N and more importantly, from what direction and how?

PhilGChapman

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Re: When will we see open ocean at the north pole?
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2013, 01:21:52 AM »
Not sure about when, but as for direction, I reckon from the south  :P Sorry.

icebgone

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Re: When will we see open ocean at the north pole?
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2013, 02:26:10 AM »
Since I believe that area will drop below 1Mk in 2017 I vote for an ice free ocean at the North Pole in late August 2016 say August 25-31 from the Kara Sea.  The ice above the 85th parallel will be the last to go but if it gets thin enough to be driven by wind and tides then open ocean at the North Pole may precede a general melt out.  On the other hand it could be that another example of last year's powerful summer storm coupled with weak unanchored ice could create an open/slushy ocean hole near the North Pole that is to big to call a Polyna but without a connecting channel to a nearby sea.  Perhaps this summer!

HeisenIceBerg

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Re: When will we see open ocean at the north pole?
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2013, 04:38:22 AM »
Hi all.  I just joined the forum today, so, yay first post! :)

In the two biggest melt years of 2007 and 2012, the sea ice edge was closest to the pole from the direstion of the Laptev and Kara seas.  The ice has also been thinning mostly from those directions, with thicker ice in most other directions.  Even now, the ice around the north pole from the direction of the Laptev and Kara seas looks to be younger thinner ice, due to the thicker pack being moved by the gyre toward the Beaufort sea.  So my bet would be that it will melt out from the direction of the Laptev and Kara seas.

In terms of when, I'm far less sure.  With the thinner ice near the pole right now, we could see open ocean there this summer with the right weather conditions, but we could just as easily not see that if the weather isn't right for it.  I would say probably no later than summer 2015 with the way ice has been thinning from that direction.
The HeisenIceBerg uncertainty principle of climate science: The less sure climate scientists are about something, the more sure climate deniers are that it means climate change isn't happening or doesn't matter.

The converse is not true.

frankendoodle

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Re: When will we see open ocean at the north pole?
« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2013, 03:48:26 PM »
@PhilGChapman: Good one, that was funny :)

@icebgone "The ice above the 85th parallel will be the last to go but if it gets thin enough to be driven by wind and tides then open ocean at the North Pole may precede a general melt out."
I disagree, I think the thicker multi year sea ice that collects along the Canadian Archipelago and Greenland's north coast will be the last to go. It is the least vulnerable to transport (which is the reason summer Antarctic sea ice has always been so low) and the thickest by far.

@HeisenIceBerg: First off, great screen name. Secondly, a warm welcome to you (pun intended). Lastly, I'm inclined to agree with your estimations.

Vergent

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Re: When will we see open ocean at the north pole?
« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2013, 07:03:39 PM »
If it does not melt out this summer, it may melt out in late December!

The Met Office global model had a nightmare last fall. It envisioned about 0.3 Mkm^3 of warm Atlantic water flowing into the Arctic Basin between -50m and -300m. In December this water began convection to the surface. In early January the pole was ice free. Around the 10th of January they substituted in new historically normal water and ice layers. They have since shut down the model access.

PIPS2 had the same nightmare in 2011, before it was shut down. If two physics based models say something can happen, it probably can. This warm water inrush is probably like a snowball on a hill. It can come to a halt easily in the beginning, these two models just guessed that the snoball would not stop but it did.

If the ice on the Atlantic side melts back much further, this will probably be the result.

edit: reduced volume estimate.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2013, 06:18:36 PM by Vergent »

Richard Rathbone

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Re: When will we see open ocean at the north pole?
« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2013, 10:59:25 PM »
If its not this year I'm going to have to cough up on a few wagers. I reckon if conditions are average or favour melting it goes.

slow wing

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Re: When will we see open ocean at the north pole?
« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2013, 03:21:21 AM »
Good question, Frankendoodle. It would even be interesting if you added a poll for the year.


Consider that the ice is going to move around in bulk throughout the melt season, and also that the thinner ice in the Arctic is going to melt out, as usual. So a useful construction is to try to identify where the ice is now that will be over the North Pole around the peak of the melt season, and then to ask whether or not that patch of ice is thick enough to survive the melt season.

Concerning ice direction, we know that the ice drifting over the Pole tends to have come from the Russian side...


Arctic Ocean circulation.
—Image courtesy of Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP), Figure 3.29, AMAP (1998).


Plot showing mean (average) Arctic ice motion from 1978 to 2003. Arrows show the direction and velocity of the ice, with longer arrows representing higher velocities.
—Image courtesy of the National Snow and Ice Data Center, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO
http://nsidc.org/cryosphere/seaice/processes/circulation.html

These drift patterns are determined mostly by the prevailing winds in the Arctic Ocean - particularly the prevalence of high atmospheric pressure regions resulting in clockwise wind circulation around the ocean.


As the other part of the question, the ice thickness maps are showing not much ice left over 2-2.5m anywhere in the Russian half of the Arctic (currently; this image will update)...





Therefore, I'm picking a 75% chance of an ice-free North Pole this year, with the ice clearing from the Russian side and perhaps biased towards the Atlantic side due to currents from the Atlantic.





« Last Edit: March 29, 2013, 03:26:39 AM by slow wing »

Apocalypse4Real

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Re: When will we see open ocean at the north pole?
« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2013, 11:01:34 PM »
Vergent,

The updated MET UK ice thickness, concentration and motion modeling was absorbed into the My Ocean desk project. it is found under "global ocean" at:

http://www.myocean.eu/web/24-catalogue.php

It does not work with Internet Explorer - but does with Google Chrome.

Hope that helps.

A4R

frankendoodle

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Re: When will we see open ocean at the north pole?
« Reply #9 on: March 30, 2013, 12:51:55 AM »
Thanks Apocalypse4Real, that is a very convenient link. Also, 1,000 thanks for the GODIVA 2 link from last year. Those color coded maps have been fantastic.

Vergent, that would be horrific! Not just for the Arctic or global climate, but for Santa Claus. I hope for his sake that Father Christmas's gift bag can also be used as a flotation device :) But Seriously, what would cause surface convection like that? Both within the model and from an observation standpoint.

As for slow wing & Richard Rathbone, I agree that prevailing currents go from the North Pacific to the North Atlantic. I also think if we get transport through the Fram Straight like we did in 2007 then we could possibly see a sailboat at 90N.

jbg

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Re: When will we see open ocean at the north pole?
« Reply #10 on: March 30, 2013, 01:43:56 AM »
Did we see open water at the North Pole during the Viking Era?

Vergent

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Re: When will we see open ocean at the north pole?
« Reply #11 on: March 30, 2013, 03:48:58 AM »
But Seriously, what would cause surface convection like that? Both within the model and from an observation standpoint.

I used the met office model on Godiva 2 to look at temperature and salinity at various depths from last winter and early spring. The cold water under the ice and down to -50m gets saltier and a little colder from the ice thickening . It becomes denser than the warm water below it. The cold water then sinks and the warm water rises.

Next year we could be looking at an ever widening hole at the pole. It would then be ice free in July. The model was showing enough heat down there to melt out the whole arctic basin. Fortunately the ice tethered profilers show that the model was wrong about that.

V

Vergent

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Re: When will we see open ocean at the north pole?
« Reply #12 on: March 30, 2013, 04:08:14 AM »
A4R,

Thank you so much for that link!

V :-)
« Last Edit: March 30, 2013, 04:34:55 AM by Vergent »

wanderer

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Re: When will we see open ocean at the north pole?
« Reply #13 on: March 30, 2013, 12:23:56 PM »
When?

08:14:2013

ChrisReynolds

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Re: When will we see open ocean at the north pole?
« Reply #14 on: March 30, 2013, 08:44:52 PM »
JBG,

Considering the following:

Historic sea ice charts from DMI.
http://brunnur.vedur.is/pub/trausti/Iskort/Jpg/
Note the 1930s.

Kinnard's 1400 years of sea ice:
http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7162/6443289857_c50e84fabe.jpg

Jakobsson's study on sea ice during the Holocene:
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8477/8270685488_354df119b5_o.jpg

Kaufman's study (2009) "Recent Warming Reverses Long-Term Arctic Cooling" finding that the recent warming is exceptional in the last 2000 years.

Therefore I conclude temperatures are warmer than in last 2k years, sea ice is lower than in the last century, very likely lower than in the last 1400 years, and is likely not to have been as low since approximately 5000 years ago.

So it is implausible that the north pole was ice free during the time of the Vikings.

gfwellman

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Re: When will we see open ocean at the north pole?
« Reply #15 on: March 31, 2013, 05:11:39 AM »
Yes, also implausible based on the travels of the Vikings themselves.  Colonized Iceland, yes.  Colonized Svalbard ... no.  From http://www.spitsbergen-svalbard.com/spitsbergen-information/history/the-vikings.html
Quote
It is difficult to prove whether or not the vikings have really reached today’s Svalbard in 1194, and it is probably rather unlikely, although especially the Norwegians often believe it (surprise…). The names ‘Svalbarði’, the ‘cold rim’, can be found in an Icelandic chronicle and refers to something that was found after a few days sailing north from Iceland. It could also have been Jan Mayen or any other land area in the north Atlantic or simply the pack ice. No archaeological evidence for the presence of vikings on Svalbard has ever been found, neither hard historical evidence.
I think if I was reading ancient literature of a northern seafaring culture and came across the term "cold rim" like that, I would definitely figure that was the edge of the pack ice.

slow wing

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Re: When will we see open ocean at the north pole?
« Reply #16 on: April 01, 2013, 11:25:43 AM »
...
As for slow wing & Richard Rathbone, I agree that prevailing currents go from the North Pacific to the North Atlantic. ...
Cheers, Frankendoodle. For my post above, I had read that the prevailing winds were more important than the currents, but maybe that has changed?

The ice drift map I posted was from a while back - data from 1978-2003. It shows the ice direction at the pole back then averaged 1-2 cm/s and the direction was from around 130E. But perhaps that has changed? Or there is a lot of year-to-year or seasonal variation?

This reconstruction of the past 365 days gives a good indication of ice movement towards the pole in the last melt season...


It can be seen that the ice region that ends up at the Pole in September 2012 starts at around (185W,82.5N) at this time of year last year - the beginning of April 2012. It is the ice at about half way in between two convenient markers: the red dash of thicker ice that starts at (183W,80N) and the point of a green strip that starts at (183W,85N) at the beginning of April 2012.

So the ice last year that travelled over the Pole in September came from almost the direction of Bering Strait, as you said. And it came from around 7.5 degrees South = 7.5*10,000/90 ~ 800 km away from the Pole at the beginning of April 2012.

The strange thing is that the red dash marker then completely changes direction after September, then heading roughly downwards in the direction ~110W. It does jerk around a bit too.


So the upshot is that I no longer believe that the September ice over the Pole in September will necessarily have come from the Russian side - that old pattern didn't apply last year.


IF the ice transport this year will turn out to be the same as last year then the ice currently at (185W,82.5N) will end up over the Pole in September. This is seen to be thicker ice, currently more than 3m thick:



...and so less likely to melt out than the thinner ice on the Eastern side. In that case, we probably won't get open ocean over the Pole this year.

Also, I note that the ice now even on the Russian side is thicker than it was at the same time last year. (Someone just posted that pictorial comparison on one of the other threads - thanks.)

Given the new uncertainties, I can no longer sustain a 70% probability of an ice free North Pole this year. I'm going to drop it to a 50% probability. (And that is even factoring in the recent fracturing that could favour quicker transport than last year.)


In order that I might better understand things, some general questions for those more knowledgeable than I:
1) does average ice drift direction depend on the season? For example, is the average Summer drift direction the same as in the Winter?
2) has the average ice drift direction changed over the years?
3) how much stochastic variability is in the ice drift direction? For example, how accurately can it be predicted where the region of ice is now that will be over the North Pole this September?

If you know the answer to any of these questions, what is the physics behind the answer?

Thanks,
slow wing

« Last Edit: April 01, 2013, 01:32:09 PM by slow wing »

TerryM

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Re: When will we see open ocean at the north pole?
« Reply #17 on: April 01, 2013, 04:58:15 PM »
slow wing

Read a little about the Beaufort Gyre and Transpolar Drift. These are the primary currents effecting the Arctic Ocean.


Today's thinner more diffuse ice pack is generally thought to be more mobile than in the past & also more susceptible to wind while the recent Arctic dipole patterns alter the old +AO, -AO regime.


I personally don't put much faith in the Navy graphics posted - even to check against themselves. The drift buoy maps & data from the ASI daily graphics page are totally reliable.


Terry


BTW
185 W. Lat, is usually expressed as 175 E. Lat. ;)






Vergent

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Re: When will we see open ocean at the north pole?
« Reply #18 on: April 02, 2013, 03:22:03 AM »
Terry,

What do you think of the Mercator Ocean model?



http://bulletin.mercator-ocean.fr/html/produits/psy4v1/psy4v1_courant_fr.jsp

V

BTW

175 E lat. is usually called 175 E Long.

TerryM

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Re: When will we see open ocean at the north pole?
« Reply #19 on: April 02, 2013, 04:43:30 AM »



I don't think Mercator did badly last year, but my recollection is that they only updated weekly? Are the Godiva's available this year? IIRC they at least were showing open water in agreement with MODIS.


Do you think the CAA is going to swallow the MYI to the north this year?


I think Nares will be slow to open, but the CAA will more than make up for it. The "Hot Spot" west of the Mackenzie Delta was something I never really understood last year & I'll be watching for a repeat. Will you be able to provide the water temp at depth graphs again this season?


BTW


Those E Lat's are so hard to sail toward.
Proof that I should drink my coffee prior to typing :(


Terry

crandles

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Re: When will we see open ocean at the north pole?
« Reply #20 on: April 02, 2013, 01:42:47 PM »
Looks like quite extensive areas near or over 3m thick. Even compared to Hycom that looks thick!

Also a minimum ice thickness of -5m seems a little odd??

ChrisReynolds

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Re: When will we see open ocean at the north pole?
« Reply #21 on: April 02, 2013, 03:31:49 PM »
Compare PIOMAS December Average thickness plot:
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8229/8409256532_6b630dffa7_o.jpg

With Mercator Mid December thickness plot:
http://bulletin.mercator-ocean.fr/images/produits/psy4v1/psy4v1_20121205_22984/ocean/regions/arc/psy4v1_20121205_22984_arc_icethick_n0_t0.gif

There's a lot of ice in Mercator that's almost twice as thick as PIOMAS.

I don't use Mercator at all.

Edit correct year of Mercator put in.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2013, 10:17:47 PM by ChrisReynolds »

Apocalypse4Real

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Re: When will we see open ocean at the north pole?
« Reply #22 on: April 02, 2013, 03:51:15 PM »
Mercator does not work well it seems. The My Ocean/Godiva 2 seems a better fit to HYCOM/CICE and prehaps - reality.

Vergent

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Re: When will we see open ocean at the north pole?
« Reply #23 on: April 02, 2013, 05:53:27 PM »
All of these models will be in perfect agreement in the very near future. 0 = 0 = 0 = 0

V


Nightvid Cole

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Re: When will we see open ocean at the north pole?
« Reply #24 on: April 02, 2013, 07:04:46 PM »
Terry,

What do you think of the Mercator Ocean model?



http://bulletin.mercator-ocean.fr/html/produits/psy4v1/psy4v1_courant_fr.jsp

V

BTW

175 E lat. is usually called 175 E Long.

Ice over 3.25 meters thick near the New Siberian Islands? This is madness. All other sources seem to agree that ice in that region is first-year ice, which reaches a maximum thickness of 2 meters.

I think the modellers must have done a poor job with their sanity checks.

Vergent

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Re: When will we see open ocean at the north pole?
« Reply #25 on: April 02, 2013, 07:27:45 PM »
Mercator does not work well it seems. The My Ocean/Godiva 2 seems a better fit to HYCOM/CICE and prehaps - reality.

A4R,

Reality check. The first two images below are Lance Modis grid r05c02 the first day 91, 2013 the second day 90, 2012(clouds). The third is the the current HRPT (NOAA) via Canada. I have adjusted the curves on a photoshop clone to differentiate between warmer, lower albedo, frozen leads and the thicker, colder older ice.

All of the dark ice is less than a meter thick. All of this new ice will be gone in June. All of this area will have a forcing of 300 W/m^2 to melt the surrounding ice. This is much more area than we had last year, but last years area was enough to be devastating.

V

ritter

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Re: When will we see open ocean at the north pole?
« Reply #26 on: April 02, 2013, 07:37:43 PM »
Reality check.

Yikes. That looks bad.

johnm33

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Re: When will we see open ocean at the north pole?
« Reply #27 on: April 02, 2013, 08:48:14 PM »
Could the greater extent of thicker ice be due to snow cover showing up as ice, what about the ice in lincoln ? seems to be gone, didn't expect that for at least another 2 weeks.

TerryM

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Re: When will we see open ocean at the north pole?
« Reply #28 on: April 03, 2013, 04:59:08 PM »
what about the ice in lincoln ? seems to be gone, didn't expect that for at least another 2 weeks.


Lincoln seems OK - Were you looking near Banks Island?


Terry

Nightvid Cole

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Re: When will we see open ocean at the north pole?
« Reply #29 on: April 03, 2013, 06:43:24 PM »
Compare PIOMAS December Average thickness plot:
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8229/8409256532_6b630dffa7_o.jpg

With Mercator Mid December thickness plot:
http://bulletin.mercator-ocean.fr/images/produits/psy4v1/psy4v1_20111221_22634/ocean/regions/arc/psy4v1_20111221_22634_arc_icethick_n0_t0.gif

There's a lot of ice in Mercator that's almost twice as thick as PIOMAS.

I don't use Mercator at all.

I'm assuming that you didn't realize that you are
comparing Dec 2012 PIOMAS to Dec 2011 Mercator?

johnm33

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Re: When will we see open ocean at the north pole?
« Reply #30 on: April 03, 2013, 08:33:41 PM »
Terry i was looking at the mercator image above ,  nowhere else shows that, so is it just wrong or an indication of very thin cover?

crandles

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Re: When will we see open ocean at the north pole?
« Reply #31 on: April 03, 2013, 09:20:42 PM »

I'm assuming that you didn't realize that you are
comparing Dec 2012 PIOMAS to Dec 2011 Mercator?

I didn't realise that. The only date I saw on the image was 27 Mar 13.



Above image appears to be dated 3rd April 2013 and looks similar

On
http://bulletin.mercator-ocean.fr/html/produits/psy4v1/ocean/regions/bull_ocean_arc_fr.jsp?nom=psy4v1_20130403_23103
there is a heading which google translates to

Regional Bulletin 3 April 2013 valid until April 9, 2013

So I am confused as to why you think it is 2011.

Edit
D'oh. I see Chris did link a Dec 2011 mercator image. Sorry about that confusion.
Comparisons to Hycom were March 2013 to March 2013. We tend to think Hycom is biased high for naval navigation safety reasons but Mercator looks substantially thicker again.

Mid Dec 2012 image is
http://bulletin.mercator-ocean.fr/images/produits/psy4v1/psy4v1_20121212_22991/ocean/regions/arc/psy4v1_20121212_22991_arc_icethick_n0_t0.gif

There is still a lot of greeny yellow shades circa 2.75m which is only 1.5m per Piomas.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2013, 09:34:58 PM by crandles »

TerryM

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Re: When will we see open ocean at the north pole?
« Reply #32 on: April 03, 2013, 09:47:34 PM »
Terry i was looking at the mercator image above ,  nowhere else shows that, so is it just wrong or an indication of very thin cover?


Sorry, I thought you were referencing Vergent's post above yours. Mercator seems to be indicating very thin ice. There's a ploynia that usually forms at the entrance to Nares Strait once advection starts, but that might be a while this year.


At this stage of the season MODIS is available & barring cloudiness is my preferred way to view things. The Environment Canada site is very good for the western half.


Terry

ChrisReynolds

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Re: When will we see open ocean at the north pole?
« Reply #33 on: April 03, 2013, 10:23:41 PM »
Thanks for catching that slip up Nightvid,

Mercator is still too thick compared to PIOMAS, it's showing just below 3m where PIOMAS shows around 1.5m across the bulk of the pack. For completeness posted again, although the original comment is now corrected.

PIOMAS
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8229/8409256532_6b630dffa7_o.jpg

Mercator
http://bulletin.mercator-ocean.fr/images/produits/psy4v1/psy4v1_20121205_22984/ocean/regions/arc/psy4v1_20121205_22984_arc_icethick_n0_t0.gif

frankendoodle

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Re: When will we see open ocean at the north pole?
« Reply #34 on: April 04, 2013, 04:26:42 PM »
Between the 2012 summer minimum and the 2013 winter maximum, sea ice extent increased a near record 11.72 million square kilometers. That's 78% first year ice we are seeing right now.
 http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/
NSIDC also brings up the migration of multiyear ice to the Beaufort Sea, a recent hot spot for melting the past few years. If you go to Neven's blog you will see an animation from A-Team tracking the large fissures in the western Beaufort since Feb. This lends credence as to how thin/brittle the first year ice is. So, unless all the other first year ice is several times as thick as its been in the past, Mecator is inaccurate (as models tend to be).

frankendoodle

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Re: When will we see open ocean at the north pole?
« Reply #35 on: April 04, 2013, 04:30:32 PM »
On another quick note, NSIDC stated on their news section:
"a substantial amount of first-year ice may be covering the pole as we enter the melt season"
Also that some multi-year ice has been transported out via the Fram Straight.

slow wing

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Re: When will we see open ocean at the north pole?
« Reply #36 on: April 13, 2013, 12:22:14 PM »
slow wing

Read a little about the Beaufort Gyre and Transpolar Drift. These are the primary currents effecting the Arctic Ocean.


Today's thinner more diffuse ice pack is generally thought to be more mobile than in the past & also more susceptible to wind while the recent Arctic dipole patterns alter the old +AO, -AO regime.


I personally don't put much faith in the Navy graphics posted - even to check against themselves. The drift buoy maps & data from the ASI daily graphics page are totally reliable.


Terry
...
Hi Terry

  The movement of the ice over the past 2 months can now be seen from A-team's outstanding graphic that he posted on  Neven's blog site:


Lines at the end of the animation show how far the ice in various places has moved in a little over two months. If the currents stay similar (a big 'if') then the ice might have moved around 2.5 times as far again by mid-September, which is about 5 months away.

So it looks like some ice that is currently around the middle of the East Siberian Sea might arrive at the North Pole in September, or else possibly have melted out while heading there.

The ice all around that region was seen to be between 1.6-2.0 metres thick in March from this graph by Wipneus of the gridded PIOMAS data (that you might believe more, Terry?)...


(If image doesn't show then look here.)


So the question of whether we will see open ocean this year at the North Pole becomes whether any of the ice in that region that is heading towards the pole will melt out on the way.

It's not obvious to me one way or the other whether that will happen or not, so I still think it is a toss-up. What do others think?



TerryM

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Re: When will we see open ocean at the north pole?
« Reply #37 on: April 13, 2013, 09:32:52 PM »
Slow wing


The Transpolar Drift shows very clearly on A-Team's animation, I don't know if this is an increase over past years advection through Fram or not. I am expecting a late opening of Nares because of PII2012-A-1, and for the CAA to open again this year.
I hadn't expected to see the thickness we're getting on the Russian side. Could the strong Beaufort Gyre be responsible?
The thick ice on the Russian side is all FYI & may not last any longer than the thick ice piled up by the "ice hurricane" on the Canadian side last year. If it proves ephemeral there's little to stop  the melt from the Beaufort Sea and a watery pole is possible with melt coming at it from both sides.
Any thoughts on the possibility of a repeat of the GAC of 2012?
Another thing I'm watching for is a repeat of the "Hot Spot" off the Mackenzie delta.


Terry

Jim Williams

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Re: When will we see open ocean at the north pole?
« Reply #38 on: April 13, 2013, 11:55:56 PM »
Any thoughts on the possibility of a repeat of the GAC of 2012?

The relative high over Greenland surrounded by lows is more pronounced than it was last year at this time.  I'd say that's a set up for stormy weather.

frankendoodle

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Re: When will we see open ocean at the north pole?
« Reply #39 on: June 02, 2013, 07:37:14 PM »
Jim and Terry were on a very apropos thread about the GAC 2012 possible repeat. We've just had a modest arctic cyclone in late May of 2013. While not as powerful as GAC12 it has had an unprecedented effect on the CAB cap.


I'm posting this here because there might be polynyas and even open fissures at 90N right now. I know that is open to debate and welcome it. I wish the LANCE MODIS images weren't so cloudy over the north pole right now. More than that, I wish the satellite images didn't have those @#$% blind spots!


PhilDPortsmouth

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Re: When will we see open ocean at the north pole?
« Reply #41 on: June 07, 2013, 09:32:36 AM »
The colour AMSR2 is looking like we might get open water at or around the pole very soon. Have we ever seen a melt season 'from the inside out' before?

misfratz

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Re: When will we see open ocean at the north pole?
« Reply #42 on: June 07, 2013, 10:43:46 AM »
The colour AMSR2 is looking like we might get open water at or around the pole very soon. Have we ever seen a melt season 'from the inside out' before?
Not as far as I recall, however it may not turn out this way.

If a high pressure establishes itself to direct sunshine on the open water there, the winds will then act to compact the remaining sea ice. This will act to massively reduce the sea-ice extent - as happened in 2007 - but will also act to close a lot of the open water in the central Arctic.

Conversely, if there continue to be a large number of low pressure systems swirling around churning up the ice then the cloud will act to shield the ice from the sun. This is particularly important for the next month, as we are now two weeks from the summer solstice.

So I think the only thing that could bring about a large hole in the sea-ice in this way would be warm ocean water as mentioned occurred in the models up-thread. On that subject I would say that the relatively coarse resolution of the models often means that they overdo ocean heat transport and fail to capture some of the ocean bathymetry that plays a large role in deep ocean currents. I'd want an expert to tell me what happened in the examples given.

Neven

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Re: When will we see open ocean at the north pole?
« Reply #43 on: June 07, 2013, 10:51:30 AM »
The colour AMSR2 is looking like we might get open water at or around the pole very soon. Have we ever seen a melt season 'from the inside out' before?

Like I wrote on the ASIB yesterday:

"my rule of thumb with Uni Bremen SIC maps, is that if a large yellow-green region shows up and stays in the exact same spot for three days, it could be real. If it shifts every day, appears and disappears etc., it's a sensor artifact, due to clouds, melt pond or whatever. If this concentration 'hole' is still in the same spot tomorrow and the day after that, there might be something below the clouds that we're not seeing. I don't believe we will, but you never know, especially in the Arctic."

Now there was a yellow 'hole' near the Pole, but although it is still there today, its shape has shifted considerably. And today suddenly there are swathes of yellow all over the place.

Today:



Yesterday:



Conclusion: Don't let yourself get carried away too quickly by Uni Bremen SIC maps. Give it some time so that things can sort themselves out (and check the LANCE-MODIS satellite images for corroboration). We might get to see holes within the pack, probably to an even greater degree than in 2010 (the year of the holes), but not right now. Like Misfratz explains, the holes that popped up because of that cyclone have already closed up again. At least I'm not seeing them anymore on LANCE-MODIS.
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wanderer

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Re: When will we see open ocean at the north pole?
« Reply #44 on: June 07, 2013, 02:04:12 PM »
Neven, are you sure you don't see them?
http://earthdata.nasa.gov/labs/worldview/


Neven

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Re: When will we see open ocean at the north pole?
« Reply #45 on: June 07, 2013, 02:15:59 PM »
Neven, are you sure you don't see them?
http://earthdata.nasa.gov/labs/worldview/

Yes, that's not nearly as big as what we see (constantly changing) on the UB SIC maps. I'm not saying there's nothing going on down there, or that there isn't any slushification going on. I'm just saying that you have to take ACNFS forecasts and shifting swathes on UB SIC maps with a grain of salt.

Things are bad enough as they are. They're interesting enough as they are. There's no need to be on the lookout for Day After Tomorrow-type events. I'm not accusing anyone of anything, like alarmism or whatever.

This used to happen to me all the time, and still does. The Arctic is full of surprises. But this isn't it. Yet.
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wanderer

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Re: When will we see open ocean at the north pole?
« Reply #46 on: June 07, 2013, 02:38:32 PM »
You are right, I think the ice is in such a bad condition, that these small gaps are bad enough.
Maybe the rotten condition of the shattered ice confuses the satellites...

The next weeks will give answers on how bad it is and wether we see really big holes.

Shared Humanity

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Re: When will we see open ocean at the north pole?
« Reply #47 on: June 07, 2013, 04:02:21 PM »
Looking at the CT image for June 6, it seems to suggest that the persistent cyclone has been pushing the sea ice up against the coast of Alaska and eastern Russia while reducing concentration in the CAB. We even see slight reductions near the CA and Greenland where much of the MYI hangs out. It almost seems as if the cyclone is also pushing the MYI towards the Fram. With volume still not dropping fast, can we determine if much or any of the MYI has been moved into the Beaufort, Chukchi, East Siberian and Laptev seas? Could this suggest a large drop in volume this year?


http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/NEWIMAGES/arctic.seaice.color.000.png

There has been a lot of discussion on other threads about the possibility of stronger cyclones this year due to the energy available as open water forms. The GAC of 2012 may be the new normal. With the current state of the ice in the CAB, could we be setting up for a final flushing of Arctic sea ice? The image is beginning to look like a large toilet bowl.

If we do see more and stronger cyclones in the CAB this year, we will have open water at the North pole before the end of this melt season.

One caveat.......with many of the models and images being called into question here, is the CT image an accurate picture of SIA? If not, I'll go back to lurking.

frankendoodle

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Re: When will we see open ocean at the north pole?
« Reply #48 on: June 11, 2013, 12:32:30 AM »
Ladies and gentlemen, we have leeds at 90N. I direct your attention to NPEO Camera #1
 

Check out the archives as well, it's been their for awhile now. Open water in early June, unless I am missing something.

Peter Ellis

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Re: When will we see open ocean at the north pole?
« Reply #49 on: June 11, 2013, 10:10:19 AM »
Leads are common: there are almost certainly leads every year in the vicinity of the Pole.  That's not the same as open water.