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Author Topic: Fracturing event, Two point Oh  (Read 8747 times)

jdallen

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Fracturing event, Two point Oh
« on: January 08, 2014, 11:26:09 PM »
Last year late January/February, a fracturing event started in the Beaufort.  Thanks to Apocalypse4real, we have an image from last February 8th:
https://5fb597cc-a-62cb3a1a-s-sites.googlegroups.com/site/apocalypse4real/home/arctic-sea-ice-polar-avhrr/AVHRR%20020813%201353.png?attachauth=ANoY7corWCnjCiViXf0rL55WUKpt-SbjzovaqI5j_1iidP-f3iZLhlYx8fQsg_B6PDSHdB0Gmm2Hf3DWHBGqPDzduziUfA37jTgA5cHjVLqMDF_aUDA0L41lxcBv_HnQgSwZ3ATlihjWyaIukG2n6cZ_UH2X9Z-6KDmOJ2ExjldbVAEquDRS4M8Pmc3kEYqtnPoOnaSmJnvZ8cytsqD-8QbmF61euFRZjr9ZAgm76SLAuAmVnOTRZEHbQo8d30AqCL9RdCjprtqo4K29bMrAxBYtIgsuv6Ug8w%3D%3D&attredirects=0

At the time there was considerable expectation that this was dire news for the pack. But then came a cold spring and cool summer, and the ice was saved, against most peoples expectations.

Now, forward to the present.

Here's what it looks like currently:
http://weather.gc.ca/data/satellite/hrpt_dfo_ir_100.jpg

It seems to me this breakup is starting about 30 days earlier.  Predictions, anyone?
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crandles

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Re: Fracturing event, Two point Oh
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2014, 11:46:07 PM »
My speculation is that

A major ice fracturing event in April might be really bad news for the ice. But in February, I suggest it allowed more ice to form as heat was able to escape rapidly. A breakup earlier like Jan is even more in the time when it helps more ice form.

Jim Hunt

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Re: Fracturing event, Two point Oh
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2014, 01:10:17 AM »
Some pictures taken as the New Year dawned (further south at least), from both the Beaufort and Lincoln seas:

« Last Edit: January 09, 2014, 01:18:09 AM by Jim Hunt »
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jdallen

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Re: Fracturing event, Two point Oh
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2014, 02:14:36 AM »
My speculation is that

A major ice fracturing event in April might be really bad news for the ice. But in February, I suggest it allowed more ice to form as heat was able to escape rapidly. A breakup earlier like Jan is even more in the time when it helps more ice form.

A not unreasonable conclusion, but how much new ice was really formed? 

I'm thinking the trade off (more ice for less physical integrity) isn't in the packs favor.  Even with extra ice, last year was saved by cool weather, not increased volume. There also comes to mine, how much the heat released prevents strengthening elsewhere.  It has our attention regardless.
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idunno

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Re: Fracturing event, Two point Oh
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2014, 02:22:06 AM »
I can't really see that there is any very obvious connection between the morphology of the ice in midwinter, and the final minimum in early September, eight months from now.

I think, and have for some time, that the effects of this fracturing should be more dramatic now, in midwinter.

At these latitudes, the surface air temp should be let's say minus 30C. If there is land beneath this air, the surface should be down to around minus 30C also. If there is solid ice, the top surface of that ice should also be down to around 30C.

If the ice cracks, and you have water in contact with the minus 30C air, that water is by definition nearly 30C warmer than it would be if it were ice.

This transfers a massive amount of heat from ocean to atmosphere, until it freezes over again. Water transfers heat to air much faster than ice does. Water has 1,000 times the thermal capacity of air. So one litre of water, that is 30 degrees hotter than the surrounding air, can theoretically heat 30,000 litre of air by 1 degree. And it can and will repeat this trick, as seawater gets denser all the way to its freezing point, unlike fresh water. This means that one litre of water can transfer an awful lot of heat to the air, and then sink; to be replaced by a second litre of water, which can and may go throughthe same process.

I have several times argued on here that I think there is a basis to consider that the effects of an ice-free Arctic in September may prove to be trivial compared to a longer period of ice-free conditions in the Arctic, or extensive areas of open water/mush up there in midwinter.

It could, for example, lead to the disruption and displacement of the polar vortex, I'm guessing. It is certainly a factor, imho, in the fact that Arctic amplification is most marked in the fall and winter.

And just to keep any genuine skeptics happy, it could , imho, also serve to cool the Earth, as it should, I'm guessing, allow quite a bit more heat to escape into space, and thus be a significant negative feedback.

Anyway, I am in danger of running up one of my highest ever scores on the "crackpot index", so I better stop.

http://math.ucr.edu/home/baez/crackpot.html




idunno

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Re: Fracturing event, Two point Oh
« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2014, 02:29:49 AM »
Yeah, scrub the multiply by thirty. It can only heat approx 1,000 litres before it freezes. And then I can't remember the thermal capacity of ice, but its less than water. Then there's some energy transfer during state change to consider. Perhaps. Or not, as the case may be.

QED that I really don't have a clue, but in the hope that this may be of some use to those of you that might...

Cracking causes a massive heatflow from ocean to air. And its effects will be stronger when it is still happening than they will be eight months later.

jdallen

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Re: Fracturing event, Two point Oh
« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2014, 02:40:43 AM »
Yeah, scrub the multiply by thirty. It can only heat approx 1,000 litres before it freezes. And then I can't remember the thermal capacity of ice, but its less than water. Then there's some energy transfer during state change to consider. Perhaps. Or not, as the case may be.

QED that I really don't have a clue, but in the hope that this may be of some use to those of you that might...

Cracking causes a massive heatflow from ocean to air. And its effects will be stronger when it is still happening than they will be eight months later.

It's all about heat of fusion - about 80 calories per gram, or 80 times that necessary to increase the temperature of one gram of H2O one degree C.  That is the 500 lb gorilla in the room, more so I think than the sensible heat, which is still significant.  You will also get added water vapor.

@Jim Hunt - the exodus of ice from Lincoln out through Nares almost spooks me more than the Beaufort being ground to slush for the second year running.
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ChrisReynolds

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Re: Fracturing event, Two point Oh
« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2014, 07:10:19 PM »
Idunno,

Heat flux through leads in the winter has been measured at up to 1000W/m^2 (latent and sensible), like the output of a small kettle or one bar electric fire for every square metre. So yes, the heat output from these leads can be immense. However the atmospheric impact tends only to be for a km or two up into the atmosphere.

As with last year HYCOM (PIPS or whatever) hasn't simulated largescale fracturing but has massed all the openings in one large polynya off Banks Island.
http://www7320.nrlssc.navy.mil/hycomARC/navo/arcticictn/nowcast/ictn2014010818_2014010900_038_arcticictn.001.gif

SCYetti

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Re: Fracturing event, Two point Oh
« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2014, 08:30:14 PM »
I think we sometimes miss the overall point of our arctic studies. I can empathize with many of my ignorant friends who feel that the arctic ice is totally unimportant to their lives. I have never been to the arctic and in my later arthritic years hope to never be made to go there. However climate change. sea-level rise and catastrophic weather affect everybody. This year's cracking as well as last years cracking event are manifestations of energy in the Arctic Ocean and also a manifestation of global warming.

One of the most interesting things that I have learned about the Arctic Ocean is that there is presently enough energy in the arctic waters to keep the ocean ice free year around. This warmth is now at the bottom of the ocean. I suspect that the melting of the polar ice will not nicely fit any linear or logarithmic projections. It will be sudden and we will all say, "WOW."

jdallen

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Re: Fracturing event, Two point Oh
« Reply #9 on: January 09, 2014, 09:15:36 PM »
One of the most interesting things that I have learned about the Arctic Ocean is that there is presently enough energy in the arctic waters to keep the ocean ice free year around. This warmth is now at the bottom of the ocean.

SCYetti - you have a reference? I'd love to see it...

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SCYetti

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Re: Fracturing event, Two point Oh
« Reply #10 on: January 09, 2014, 10:25:27 PM »
I didn't have a specific reference in mind. I thought it was a well known fact that if the heat in the arctic were distributed evenly from top to bottom that the ice would melt. But the salinity of warmer Atlantic water causes it to sink to the bottom leaving fresher colder water at the top. I'll look up a reference and post it later today or tomorrow. 

ChrisReynolds

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Re: Fracturing event, Two point Oh
« Reply #11 on: January 09, 2014, 11:06:05 PM »
I've just blogged my response to the recent break up, people might find it interesting.
http://dosbat.blogspot.co.uk/2014/01/thinner-ice-in-beaufort-and-beaufort.html

SCYetti

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Re: Fracturing event, Two point Oh
« Reply #12 on: January 09, 2014, 11:29:02 PM »
jdallen it appears I was somewhat misinformed or mis-remembered or simply wrong about the warmth of the Arctic ocean at its deepest parts. The warmth is merely about 1 degree C. At least in 1998 the date of the paper I found. The paper did make this statement however:

Unlike tropical oceans, which are temperature-stratified (i.e. there is a thermocline), the Arctic Ocean is salinity-stratified, although at high latitudes the ocean is much less stable. The temperature profile is nearly uniform at 0 to 1 C in the Arctic Ocean, but the salinity increases slightly with depth, especially at 10-100 m below the surface. The presence of this halocline is important in the formation of ice. Because of its salt, ocean water freezes only at -1.8C. And salt water is most dense at its freezing point, unlike fresh water, which is most dense at 4C. So if there were no halocline in the Arctic Ocean, the entire ocean column would have to cool to -1.8 C before its surface could freeze (Note 11.5).
http://www-das.uwyo.edu/~geerts/cwx/notes/chap17/arctic.html

I am on a quest for knowledge and being challenged on my facts is actually helpful. So, thanks jdallen

Jim Hunt

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Re: Fracturing event, Two point Oh
« Reply #13 on: January 10, 2014, 01:15:34 AM »
I've just stumbled across an article on the Environment Canada site about what I guess we should call fracturing event Zero point Oh, which started in December 2007. The article includes an animation showing how things progressed, and this still from January 9th 2008:



 
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jdallen

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Re: Fracturing event, Two point Oh
« Reply #14 on: January 10, 2014, 05:11:55 AM »
I've just stumbled across an article on the Environment Canada site about what I guess we should call fracturing event Zero point Oh, which started in December 2007. The article includes an animation showing how things progressed, and this still from January 9th 2008:

That's... rather nasty looking. The current event seems to be getting more active as well.

-J
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jdallen

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Re: Fracturing event, Two point Oh
« Reply #15 on: January 10, 2014, 05:14:58 AM »
jdallen it appears I was somewhat misinformed or mis-remembered or simply wrong about the warmth of the Arctic ocean at its deepest parts. The warmth is merely about 1 degree C. At least
http://www-das.uwyo.edu/~geerts/cwx/notes/chap17/arctic.html

I am on a quest for knowledge and being challenged on my facts is actually helpful. So, thanks jdallen

No desire to challenge was implied though I will admit doubt.  I was genuinely curious, and being aware of the influx of warmer, saltier Atlantic water at depth, the idea actually is plausible.

If there were more turn over in the vertical water column, I *do* think the sensible heat in the arctic *would* be sufficient to prevent winter refreeze in the deeper basin.  Give us enough Eichman pumping, and maybe we will start to see that.
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Shared Humanity

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Re: Fracturing event, Two point Oh
« Reply #16 on: January 10, 2014, 06:38:38 PM »
If anyone has not gone over to read Chris Reynolds blog comments which is linked above, I encourage you to do so.

Great work, Chris.

ChrisReynolds

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Re: Fracturing event, Two point Oh
« Reply #17 on: January 10, 2014, 06:45:04 PM »
Thanks Shared Humanity.

sidd

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Re: Fracturing event, Two point Oh
« Reply #18 on: January 11, 2014, 09:32:22 PM »
Re: Arctic ocean heat content

Korhonen et al. (2013), Time and space variability of freshwater content, heat content and
seasonal ice melt in the Arctic Ocean from 1991 to 2011

doi:10.5194/os-9-1015-2013

I quote the last sentences:

"However, even in the Nansen
Basin, where the Atlantic Water is the warmest and the upper
halocline is generally absent, the seasonal ice melt appears
independent from the increasing Atlantic heat content. Dur-
ing the 2000s, freshening of the upper ocean is decreasing
the depth of winter convection and the established stratifica-
tion restricts, at least during summer, the upward mixing of
Atlantic heat. Comparison of the hydrographic melt estimate
to the potential ice melt obtained from reanalysed heat fluxes
indicates that the seasonal ice melt rather reflects the vari-
ability in atmospheric heat fluxes than changes in the deep
ocean heat content."

Perhaps this post should be on another thread; moderators, please move as necessary. I posted this here because of the earlier discussion on Arctic OHC

sidd

ChrisReynolds

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Re: Fracturing event, Two point Oh
« Reply #19 on: January 12, 2014, 11:05:25 AM »
Thanks Sidd,

There's a pdf of a slideshow presentation on that paper here:
http://www.asof.awi.de/fileadmin/user_upload/Pictures/Pres_Helsinki_Nov4/asof2013_korhonen.pdf

The source paper is here:
http://www.ocean-sci.net/9/1015/2013/os-9-1015-2013.pdf

The reason this excites me is that I've long been sceptical of a strong role for AW in the melt, this paper seems to show that AW can't be an active player in the summer. That just leaves winter as an unknown, and I suspect that there may be a small role in winter.

jdallen

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Re: Fracturing event, Two point Oh
« Reply #20 on: January 16, 2014, 03:10:53 AM »
I think we may be able to conclude, there is no fast ice along the CAA now.

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Chuck Yokota

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Re: Fracturing event, Two point Oh
« Reply #21 on: January 16, 2014, 03:37:20 AM »
An unforeseen effect of the many leads formed by the fracturing events is the changes to the Arctic atmosphere chemical makeup, as reported in Neven's latest post on the Blog.