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wili

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Who has the best data and what are they saying?
« on: October 30, 2013, 10:00:08 PM »
Hank at RC had an interesting insight that I think is worth considering here (though he, in his typical humble way, says we should wait till climate scientists weigh in to know it's worth):


Quote
I’ve been wondering why the two climate scientists associated with their respective Navy submarine operations are on record expecting the Arctic sea ice to go away sooner.

It makes sense to me logically that they could have access to information that’s kept secret — and be able to disclose conclusions but not the reasoning.

EOS for 8 October 2013 in their brief back page items (p. 372) mentions

Dokken et al., Paleoceanography, doi:10.1002/palo.20042, 2013

which suggests the past record of extremely fast Greenland temperature increases (“DO events”) could be caused by a breakdown of the layering of Nordic seas: sea ice, then cold fresh water, then below that salt water — and the salt water is circulating so when warmer ocean water moves into that area it first replaces cold bottom layer salt water. Eventually it “breaks the halocline” and the warmth reaches the sea ice, which disappears.

So where’s the halocline, and is it changing?

Well, ask the submariners (and check whatever can be told or inferred from data collected by the no doubt extensive secret monitoring gear the nuclear-capable Navy departments must have spread all across the Arctic ocean over the past 40 years).

I know submariners use the halocline — and any other difference in water salinity or density — to hide, and to channel sound. So do whales and dolphins, of course. But if anyone’s able to ask them, it’d be the Navy.

(Decades ago when I was a marine biology student, a lecturer told us how all the various marine biology labs got their echo-sounding equipment from their countries’ Navy people, and the gear given the scientists had cut-outs to prevent them from working in the frequencies useful for detecting submarines. But each of the nations had cut out different bands, so the marine biologists would get together annually and trade records to fill in the gaps in their pictures)


In response to my further inquiry, he added:

Quote

Maslowski and Wadhams

‘oogled, plenty available, e.g.

http://www.annualreviews.org/doi/full/10.1146/annurev-earth-042711-105345

Apr 29, 2012 – Wadhams, P., N Hughes and J Rodrigues (2011). Arctic sea ice thickness characteristics in winter 2004 and 2007 from submarine sonar …

Just sayin’ — I have to wonder how much more data the Navies of the planet have accumulated, over 50 years of travel and stationkeeping under the Arctic ice.

Thoughts?
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ggelsrinc

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Re: Who has the best data and what are they saying?
« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2013, 11:52:19 PM »
I looked into it a little bit by checking the record of the first nuclear submarines. I know they tested surfacing through the sea ice and they needed to surface to launch cruise missiles. I know they made advancements in sonar and that active sonar gives away a submarine's position. Since the navies had interests in the thickness and position of the sea ice, the thought occurred to me that perhaps they put equipment to measure the sea ice and find other submarines on the ocean floor.

Jim Hunt

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Re: Who has the best data and what are they saying?
« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2013, 12:11:03 AM »
I don't know what's been said on RC, but in possible confirmation of your theory here's what US Rear Admiral Jon White had to say earlier this year:

http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,105.msg1618.html#msg1618

In summary, "largely ice free" for a month in summer by 2023.

Getting back to submarines under the ice, Googling Skate and Seadragon turns up all sorts of interesting stuff, such as this video for example:



Data from that upward looking sonar is available too, but I seem to have lost the link for the moment....

Here's one lot - http://nsidc.org/data/docs/noaa/g01360_upward_looking_sonar/
« Last Edit: October 31, 2013, 12:26:11 AM by Jim Hunt »
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Shared Humanity

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Re: Who has the best data and what are they saying?
« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2013, 05:11:37 PM »
This appears to be just completed research. (Click on link to paper.) Is this credible? What do they know that others are not seeing?

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/earth-insight/2013/dec/09/us-navy-arctic-sea-ice-2016-melt

Laurent

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Re: Who has the best data and what are they saying?
« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2013, 05:40:15 PM »
Have you seen the comment of Connie Quirck on the blog !
I do share the idea of a possible melt around 2016, very probable no need for very complex model !? we are losing around 800 km3 in average (possibly 2000km3 a year like in 2010) and 5000 are remaining...
Quote
http://neven1.typepad.com/blog/2013/12/how-could-arctic-data-be-more-friendly.html#comments

Hi, Bob--

The Guardian is rehashing Maslowski, I'm afraid. Nothing really new there (the linked review paper is from spring 2012.) FWIW, I don't think conventional wisdom among modelers puts the first ice-free summer as far away as 2100 any more; the consensus looks to be more on the order of 2030-2040.

But returning to the topic of Neven's post, I'd like to see more data available as CSVs or something similar; there are a number of products online for which typical home computers don't have appropriate software. (It would be great, for us duffers, to be able to us non-specialist software like Excel--a lot of us will never be reasonably justified in acquiring and learning R.)

I wonder if that could be a citizen scientist initiative, BTW. I know there are a number of initiatives like this one:

http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2012/20121022_oldweatherprojectlaunch.html

Maybe volunteer coders could team with agencies holding records to build programs to reformat data, which the latter could then host? I can imagine some issues with this, but maybe they wouldn't be insuperable.

Shared Humanity

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Re: Who has the best data and what are they saying?
« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2013, 05:54:14 PM »
I was not talking about the Guardian article's assertion about an ice free arctic in 2100. Of course, this is BS. I was talking about the research, just published, that seems fairly confident of an ice free arctic that is imminent (2016). Given the rebound we have seen, what are they looking at?

And I do feel the question is relevant to this post.

ChrisReynolds

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Re: Who has the best data and what are they saying?
« Reply #6 on: December 20, 2013, 06:34:11 PM »
Shared Humanity,

That article is based on a 2012 paper which is available here:
http://www.oc.nps.edu/NAME/Maslowski%20et%20al.%202012%20EPS%20Future%20of%20Arctic%20Sea%20Ice.pdf

JimD

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Re: Who has the best data and what are they saying?
« Reply #7 on: December 20, 2013, 08:41:56 PM »
Is the following accurate??

The 2016 +/- 3 is from Maslowski but it was not made in 2012 but rather in 2007 and has not been replaced by a newer more sophisticated prediction to date.

Maslowski's prediction is not based upon the new high resolution Regional Arctic Systems Model (RASM) he has constructed as some believe and thus is based upon the older less sophisticated method from 2007.  The new model has not yet been used to project when the arctic will be ice free.

Do I remember correctly that Wadhams now believes that the earliest date of an ice free arctic is now 2016 and the range is something like 2019 +/- 3?? I seem to remember reading this but cannot find a link.

Here is an alternate opinion.  I am not familiar with Dr. Serreze.

Quote
Professor Mark Serreze from the US National Snow and Ice Data Centre in Colorado tells us he doesn't see the remainder of Arctic sea ice being lost so soon. He says:

"Seeing an essentially ice free Arctic Ocean in summer by 2016 is extremely unlikely. While we have certainly seen a rapid loss of summer ice in recent decades (compared to the late 1970s, we've lost about 40 per cent of the summer ice cover), losing the remainder over the next few years would be very hard to do."

Guess we need Maslowski to run the new model and see what its results are.

We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

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ChrisReynolds

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Re: Who has the best data and what are they saying?
« Reply #8 on: December 20, 2013, 10:25:41 PM »
Jim,

From the paper I linked to:
Quote
When considering this part [1995 to 2007]of the sea ice–volume time series, one can estimate a negative trend of −1,120 km3 year−1 with a standard deviation of ±2,353 km3 year−1 from combined model and most recent observational estimates for October–November 1996–2007.

Given the estimated trend and the volume estimate for October–November of 2007 at less than 9,000 km3 (Kwok et al. 2009), one can project that at this rate it would take only 9 more years or until 2016 ± 3 years to reach a nearly ice-free Arctic Ocean in summer. Regardless of high uncertainty associated with such an estimate, it does provide a lower bound of the time range for projections of seasonal sea ice cover. (We do note that other published estimates also have large or indeterminate uncertainties.)

So this prediction is based on 2007 data and extrapolating forward the volume losses since then based on the 1995 to 2007 trend.

With regards PIOMAS, I'm using September data, not October/November as used above. Average interannual losses are -564 km^3 per year, StdDev=1,435 km^3 for 1995 to 2007. 1995 turns out to be a reasonable choice for the steepening of the trend as with NAME.

Applying these losses to the 2007 minimum 6528 km^3, gives zero at 11.6 years, call it 12. That's 2019, at the upper end of Maslowski's calculation. Sept 2012 is 3156 km^3 down from 2007, which should have taken 5.6 years, drop the .6 and 2012 was on time - more coincidence than anything. Applying the 1995 to 2007 loss rate of -564 km^3 per year to the 2013 September average volume for PIOMAS (5043km^3) and we have 9 years to zero. That's 2022.

I think the basic message of Maslowski and Wadhams that the end could be a fast crash to very low levels before we see some length of tail (residual remaining ice) needs to be kept in mind, and should not be dismissed out of hand. But the 2016 +/-3 isn't looking so persuasive after 2013. That said Crandles may be correct and I may be wrong, the 2013 volume gain may not impact the coming maximum as much as I suspect.

Dr Serreze is one of the world's leading cryosphere scientists.

jdallen

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Re: Who has the best data and what are they saying?
« Reply #9 on: December 21, 2013, 12:35:42 AM »

Quote
When considering this part [1995 to 2007]of the sea ice–volume time series, one can estimate a negative trend of −1,120 km3 year−1 with a standard deviation of ±2,353 km3 year−1 from combined model

I think the basic message of Maslowski and Wadhams that the end could be a fast crash to very low levels before we see some length of tail (residual remaining ice) needs to be kept in mind, and should not be dismissed out of hand. But the 2016 +/-3 isn't looking so persuasive after 2013. That said Crandles may be correct and I may be wrong, the 2013 volume gain may not impact the coming maximum as much as I suspect.

Dr Serreze is one of the world's leading cryosphere scientists.

I think 2013 is well within the Standard deviation noted above, and doesn't necessarily indicate a break in trend.  It is in the nature of the system to be very noisy, as even before the sharp draw down of ice starting in the 90s, I think on examination we could find that degree of deviation resulting from known cycles of climate.  What is different now is, that deviation is a far larger percentage of total volume, reflecting the increasing total heat in the Arctic.  I think we will need several 2013s before we may conclude their trend loss of 1100KM3/yr is tapering off.
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ChrisReynolds

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Re: Who has the best data and what are they saying?
« Reply #10 on: December 21, 2013, 08:29:08 AM »
I'm not at all saying the trend is tapering off. As I've explained in my most recent blog post I think there is still good reason to expect a rapid drop of volume to a virtually sea ice free state. That's not to say I expect it 100%, I just don't discount the possibility. And I've explained previously why I see 2013 as a blip, not the start of a change of trend. However this year is likely to mean peak volume takes us back several years.

jdallen

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Re: Who has the best data and what are they saying?
« Reply #11 on: December 21, 2013, 09:26:46 AM »
I'm not at all saying the trend is tapering off. As I've explained in my most recent blog post I think there is still good reason to expect a rapid drop of volume to a virtually sea ice free state. That's not to say I expect it 100%, I just don't discount the possibility. And I've explained previously why I see 2013 as a blip, not the start of a change of trend. However this year is likely to mean peak volume takes us back several years.

Duly noted.  I will observe, mostly anecdotally, with one exception, each "recovery" of ice volume in the last 35 years, has been followed by a significant decline, on average of almost 1500KM3.  That would drop us back to 2012.  Half the time, that decline has been higher, by 2300+ KM3.  A very small sample, but demonstrative.  I think there is a 50% chance we could drop as low as 2700KM3 at next seasons minimum.
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ChrisReynolds

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Re: Who has the best data and what are they saying?
« Reply #12 on: December 21, 2013, 04:58:07 PM »
It's feasible. A lot depends on the Spring Volume Loss shown in PIOMAS. The gridded data is monthly, but still the SVL shows up in the difference between June and May. It's largely due to an increase recent years in losses (May - June) in Beaufort to Kara, but post 2010 (when the SVL really gets remarkable) the increase is due to losses in the Central Arctic. The loss in the Central Arctic seems to be due to a step drop in thickness over 2010, but the loss over Beaufort to Kara doesn't seem to be associated with a drop in thickness which suggests an atmospheric cause - I'm looking into that.

jdallen

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Re: Who has the best data and what are they saying?
« Reply #13 on: December 21, 2013, 06:56:50 PM »
I'll be watching with interest.  Musing over the minimums, I'm going to alter my prediction somewhat.  I think it 90% probable the next minimum will be between 3500 to 6500 KM3.  If volume drops rather than rises, my previous observation may apply.
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Bob Wallace

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Re: Who has the best data and what are they saying?
« Reply #14 on: December 21, 2013, 08:45:41 PM »
Ice is pouring out the Fram, and it's some of the thicker ice.

The Fram seems to be wide open, unsure if it has ever been as open before.

http://www7320.nrlssc.navy.mil/hycomARC/navo/arcticictn_nowcast_anim30d.gif

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Re: Who has the best data and what are they saying?
« Reply #15 on: December 21, 2013, 09:20:42 PM »
Ice is pouring out the Fram, and it's some of the thicker ice.

The Fram seems to be wide open, unsure if it has ever been as open before.

http://www7320.nrlssc.navy.mil/hycomARC/navo/arcticictn_nowcast_anim30d.gif

Looking at the animation, it is striking how thin the ice is around the pole.

jdallen

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Re: Who has the best data and what are they saying?
« Reply #16 on: December 21, 2013, 11:28:15 PM »
Ice is pouring out the Fram, and it's some of the thicker ice.

The Fram seems to be wide open, unsure if it has ever been as open before.

http://www7320.nrlssc.navy.mil/hycomARC/navo/arcticictn_nowcast_anim30d.gif

In contrast to the "recovery" of ice elsewhere, some previously stable and significant chunks of fast ice broke up along the coast on the Greenland side of the Fram.  There is no doubt less resistance to ice moving through the gap.  I think likely more relevant is the coherence and strength of the ice itself.  While more of it, there is also little question that the pack was shattered last year in ways not previously seen.  That also would reduce resistance to flow and increase its vulnerability to wind and wave.  What you see may be the consequences of that.
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Bob Wallace

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Re: Who has the best data and what are they saying?
« Reply #17 on: December 21, 2013, 11:44:54 PM »
A couple years back I started wondering if the end of the Arctic sea ice would basically be a great flushing out the Fram.

With the straight wide open and a highly fractured ice, conditions are ripe for winds to clean out the basin at the end of a freeze season.

If the pack were to move toward the Fram might the exposed water behind heat up and provide a driving wind?

Richard Rathbone

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Re: Who has the best data and what are they saying?
« Reply #18 on: December 22, 2013, 12:02:19 PM »
A couple years back I started wondering if the end of the Arctic sea ice would basically be a great flushing out the Fram.

With the straight wide open and a highly fractured ice, conditions are ripe for winds to clean out the basin at the end of a freeze season.

If the pack were to move toward the Fram might the exposed water behind heat up and provide a driving wind?

I don't think that feedback is large enough to drive it, but the Fram staying open is part of the 2007-2012 summer pattern.

Peter Ellis

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Re: Who has the best data and what are they saying?
« Reply #19 on: December 22, 2013, 04:34:24 PM »
If the pack were to move toward the Fram might the exposed water behind heat up and provide a driving wind?
Uh, it's the middle of the Arctic winter.  How on Earth is the exposed water supposed to warm up?

ChrisReynolds

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Re: Who has the best data and what are they saying?
« Reply #20 on: December 22, 2013, 04:47:03 PM »
If the pack were to move toward the Fram might the exposed water behind heat up and provide a driving wind?
Uh, it's the middle of the Arctic winter.  How on Earth is the exposed water supposed to warm up?

Doesn't he mean exposed water warming the atmosphere without the insulation of ice?

Locally within the Arctic loss of sea ice causes a baroclinic impact where temperature and pressure lines (isotherms and isobars) are misaligned, so density depends on both pressure and temperature. In meteorology this state is the underlying basis of frontal systems causing winds.

But I'm not sure the winds have to blow out of the Fram Strait.

Bob Wallace

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Re: Who has the best data and what are they saying?
« Reply #21 on: December 22, 2013, 10:47:51 PM »
If the pack were to move toward the Fram might the exposed water behind heat up and provide a driving wind?
Uh, it's the middle of the Arctic winter.  How on Earth is the exposed water supposed to warm up?

I'm thinking forward to the coming melt season.  A wide open Fram and a broken ice pack should mean the opportunity for a lot of ice transport.

There's a big danger in predicting the future behavior of the melt based on past melt behavior when the nature of the beast has changed.

ChrisReynolds

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Re: Who has the best data and what are they saying?
« Reply #22 on: December 23, 2013, 07:41:33 PM »
Bob,

Quote
There's a big danger in predicting the future behavior of the melt based on past melt behavior when the nature of the beast has changed.

I think that expecting new behaviour can however be risky in terms of making predictions or suppositions. During the summer my prediction from June was challenged on the basis that the ice state had changed, yet even with an unusual summer (low ice and poor melt weather) my prediction was successful. The important point being that the prediction was based on past behaviour of the ice.

There are certain changes that are out of the normal behaviour of the ice, e.g. the June CT Area cliff, I can't recall stumbling across such changes during winter.

Laurent

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Re: Who has the best data and what are they saying?
« Reply #23 on: December 30, 2013, 04:32:30 PM »
Underwater "tree rings" show 650 years of sea ice change
http://news.utoronto.ca/underwater-tree-rings-show-650-years-sea-ice-change

wili

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Re: Who has the best data and what are they saying?
« Reply #24 on: January 03, 2014, 11:26:05 AM »
Good catch, L. Another nail in the coffin of claims that the sea ice extent fluctuations may be part of some natural cycle.
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."