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Peter Ellis

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Re: Short to Medium Term Arctic Sea Ice Conditions Discussion
« Reply #150 on: May 11, 2013, 07:34:22 PM »
By adjusting the year in the URL of the above image it is possible to compare previous years back to 2009. Previous years show broken ice, the ice is always broken. But 2013 seems to me to be worse.
In the Laptev, sure.  Taken as a whole though, in many areas this years pack currently looks much more solid and less broken up than at the same date in previous years.  There is less open water north of Alaska, less fracturing in the Beaufort, and less open water north of the CA archipelago than in any year since 2009.

I think it would be instructive for everyone to see if they can put the following 5 complete mosaics in order without looking at the dates in the URL bar.

http://tinyurl.com/cg3ekdh
http://tinyurl.com/cyf7olf
http://tinyurl.com/cdr9fkv
http://tinyurl.com/ca2yvy6
http://tinyurl.com/bu8sbw7

ChrisReynolds

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Re: Short to Medium Term Arctic Sea Ice Conditions Discussion
« Reply #151 on: May 11, 2013, 10:09:38 PM »
Peter,

Agreed, it's in the Siberian side that I'm concentrating, and it's from that coast that I expect events to unfold.

Neven

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Re: Short to Medium Term Arctic Sea Ice Conditions Discussion
« Reply #152 on: May 11, 2013, 10:22:25 PM »
http://tinyurl.com/cg3ekdh
http://tinyurl.com/cyf7olf
http://tinyurl.com/cdr9fkv
http://tinyurl.com/ca2yvy6
http://tinyurl.com/bu8sbw7

I thought the third one was 2010, but it was 2009 (also had an open Nares Strait at this time of year).  :)

I think it's a combination of temps and clouds that are keeping the Chukchi, Beaufort and CAA stuck in a prolonged transition period:



Who would've expected that last February? I know I didn't when I wrote the 2012/2013 Winter Analysis barely two weeks ago.

But as soon as a high establishes itself over the Beaufort and pulls in warmer temps, I think the Beaufort will catch up very quickly.
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Apocalypse4Real

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Re: Short to Medium Term Arctic Sea Ice Conditions Discussion
« Reply #153 on: May 12, 2013, 04:06:35 AM »
In the next week, the AO, NAO and PNO all are forecast to go from positive to negative. That should return some warmth to the Arctic.

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Re: Short to Medium Term Arctic Sea Ice Conditions Discussion
« Reply #154 on: May 12, 2013, 07:45:51 PM »
Very nice shot of the Laptev today:

http://rapidfire.sci.gsfc.nasa.gov/imagery/subsets/?subset=Arctic_r04c05.2013132.terra.250m&vectors=coast

ESE wind has increased the opening and the ice is well into melt phase, well past fracturing and into the crumble phase.  Can even see the bigger blocks of ice are breaking into smaller.  Fast ice is getting chipped away at along the edge and there's even a small area along the delta that looks like it's opening up.

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Re: Short to Medium Term Arctic Sea Ice Conditions Discussion
« Reply #155 on: May 12, 2013, 10:52:43 PM »
Lots of new cracks are visible:
http://earthdata.nasa.gov/labs/worldview/


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Neven

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Re: Short to Medium Term Arctic Sea Ice Conditions Discussion
« Reply #157 on: May 15, 2013, 09:21:45 PM »
Wawaweewa:



The Kara is also going to get butchered in next week's high, I expect. It looks much more fragmented than last year between the eastern tip of Novaya Zemlya and Severnaya Zemlya.
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Re: Short to Medium Term Arctic Sea Ice Conditions Discussion
« Reply #158 on: May 16, 2013, 09:43:24 AM »
Models showing dipole anomaly forming a bit in day 4 on.

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Re: Short to Medium Term Arctic Sea Ice Conditions Discussion
« Reply #159 on: May 17, 2013, 09:28:43 AM »
with that said 2013 is falling behind, but the heat will come.

 

and FYI is there to meet it = repeated cycle of melt.

 

anything above 4.0 mil km2 min is a huge success.

 

for one summer.

 

The arctic would need a few small miracles to actually grow over say 5 years.  The current pattern is nice but it's going to not stay the same, not keep SLPS over the arctic and keep it snowy and cloudy.

 

It starts in Canada which has flipped warm.  part of Siberia about to flip cool.  You can see the large field of rising heights, the central Canada warm pool which the surface pressures will escort heat from to the Arctic where it will modify greatly but still be warm and a huge aid in early season melt.

 

MIjiYKh.gif

 

The Beaufort gets smoked like a fat Mary Jane.  Puff Puff melt.  On top of those problems for the arctic you can see shredder II sitting over the Kara pumping even warmer air into that part of the ice pack's edge. This is where the summer melt war is won. These little trenches where powerful solar energy meets quickly falling albedo meets warm moist Southerly flow.

 

 

I see the colder protected area's, I know that ice will melt slower.  But not talking about the obvious is not neglecting it.  But tracking where the higher melt is going on is far more vital to longer predictions.

 

This is why 2012 caught folks sleeping at the wheel only concerned with numbers on the area and extent charts.  While the folks seeing the melt in the trenches knew it was only a matter of time.  It was a 3-4 day period from  2011 record on Jaxa, it was the record on Bremen.  We have to look at May, August, Sept, differently now.

 

June and July will be big if not August will be big.  One way or another FYI can't as a large hole stop the melt process once albedo  is that compromised.  The difference in melt becomes to big to stop.

 





 

By 192 the Euro is still raking the Canadian arctic.  Just like last season.  If this patterns emerges as is expected as of now, expect a large pool of water to be open in the Beaufort by May 25th.




 

By 240 the Euro is still roasting the Beaufort side.  With a variable of a Southerly flow but it's warm and Sunny for such a long period.  But now there would be no snow left in the interior with a warming hole of water near the shore with ice collapsing.

 

 

 

 

The Kara is also toast.  Constant sunlight and South Westerly winds off the land/Barents will crush the Kara.

 

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Re: Short to Medium Term Arctic Sea Ice Conditions Discussion
« Reply #160 on: May 18, 2013, 03:17:36 AM »
I think given the forecast, this time the Beaufort melt has begun, perhaps not like a "fat Mary Jane", but it has begun.

Laurent

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Re: Short to Medium Term Arctic Sea Ice Conditions Discussion
« Reply #161 on: May 18, 2013, 05:06:22 PM »
I did a double view around the arctic comparing different places between the 17 may 2012 and 17 may 2013.
Here is the Baffin sea

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Re: Short to Medium Term Arctic Sea Ice Conditions Discussion
« Reply #162 on: May 18, 2013, 05:13:49 PM »
Here is the north of greenland :

Laurent

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Re: Short to Medium Term Arctic Sea Ice Conditions Discussion
« Reply #163 on: May 18, 2013, 05:15:00 PM »
here is the north of Ellesmer :

Laurent

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Re: Short to Medium Term Arctic Sea Ice Conditions Discussion
« Reply #164 on: May 18, 2013, 05:15:47 PM »
here is Beaufort sea :

Laurent

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Re: Short to Medium Term Arctic Sea Ice Conditions Discussion
« Reply #165 on: May 18, 2013, 05:16:19 PM »
Here is Laptev : You can see some algae blum in the red circle. (!?)
There was some clouds in 2012 but you can see the shape.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2013, 05:26:16 PM by Laurent »

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Re: Short to Medium Term Arctic Sea Ice Conditions Discussion
« Reply #166 on: May 18, 2013, 05:24:04 PM »
Here is Chukchi sea :

So It does seem to me we are slightly in advance compare to last year, except in the Beaufort and Chukchi sea.
The beaufort we know there is a big amount of multi year ice that has been sent over there !
In the Chukchi the situation may change very fast (in the arctic over all)!
This year the anchor that was there around Ellesmer seems to be gone so there is a possibily that the whole ice sheet is sent toward Fram strait at the end of august, what do you think ?
« Last Edit: May 18, 2013, 07:50:52 PM by Laurent »

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Re: Short to Medium Term Arctic Sea Ice Conditions Discussion
« Reply #167 on: May 18, 2013, 07:24:50 PM »
Like Friv has shown the Beaufort will deal with some serious Sun for the first time since the melting season began, starting in a couple of days. It will be interesting to see how the ice reacts.
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Re: Short to Medium Term Arctic Sea Ice Conditions Discussion
« Reply #168 on: May 19, 2013, 02:42:07 PM »
Arctic area graph and forecast are not looking very good with regards the ice concentration.


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Re: Short to Medium Term Arctic Sea Ice Conditions Discussion
« Reply #169 on: May 19, 2013, 08:02:38 PM »

Lance image from 5/17 on Greenland and Elsmere's northern coasts. As we have seen, the "crack" on the left extends to about the Chukchi Sea and the one on the right meets the Atlantic. They are only about 300km apart. This 300km is all that is keeping the sea ice sheet from separating from Greenland and the CA. This also happens to be the place where all the multi year "tough ice" has massed. As it is now, this ice that has traditionally collected on north of GL and the CA is being exposed to open water from the south. I believe this is a first that has happened. I know fissures in the Beaufort are fairly common, but have they ever reached as far as GL and the CA before!?  And if so, was it to this extent? 

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Re: Short to Medium Term Arctic Sea Ice Conditions Discussion
« Reply #170 on: May 21, 2013, 10:07:54 PM »
For the first time in a long time, we have a strong southerly flow acrose the Aleutians and Bering Sea northward - with the first solid hints of a hemispheric pattern change (seasonally forced) that should see bring Temps into the 50's and 60's in the Interior of AK - along with a decided warming trend well north into the high arctic of North America in about 10-14 days.

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Re: Short to Medium Term Arctic Sea Ice Conditions Discussion
« Reply #171 on: May 22, 2013, 04:31:13 AM »
Last nights Euro shows big heating coming.

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Juan C. García

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Re: Short to Medium Term Arctic Sea Ice Conditions Discussion
« Reply #172 on: May 22, 2013, 07:22:21 AM »

¿Are there 25 polynyas? ¿Would these 25 polynyas be a normal scenario on May 21? If it is true that they capture the heat and they melt their surroundings, then it seems that we are in trouble. It is just starting the melting season.
Which is the best answer to Sep-2012 ASI lost (compared to 1979-2000)?
50% [NSIDC Extent] or
73% [PIOMAS Volume]

Volume is harder to measure than extent, but 3-dimensional space is real, 2D's hide ~50% thickness gone.
-> IPCC/NSIDC trends [based on extent] underestimate the real speed of ASI lost.

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Re: Short to Medium Term Arctic Sea Ice Conditions Discussion
« Reply #173 on: May 22, 2013, 08:46:52 AM »
00z GFS: Says warmth comith



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Re: Short to Medium Term Arctic Sea Ice Conditions Discussion
« Reply #174 on: May 22, 2013, 10:57:47 AM »
Euro shows the Pacific side get crushed:

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Neven

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Re: Short to Medium Term Arctic Sea Ice Conditions Discussion
« Reply #175 on: May 22, 2013, 12:36:13 PM »
Given the forecasts and the satellite images I'm also expecting an acceleration in extent and area numbers. The cold has postponed long enough now.
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Jim Pettit

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Re: Short to Medium Term Arctic Sea Ice Conditions Discussion
« Reply #176 on: May 23, 2013, 02:05:31 PM »
Given the forecasts and the satellite images I'm also expecting an acceleration in extent and area numbers. The cold has postponed long enough now.

Yes, it has. I expect that things will change pretty quickly over the next several weeks. Some quick sea ice area stats:

--Over the past two weeks, CT SIA has dropped by just 476k km2. In the preceding two week period, it had dropped by 1.152 million km2, or nearly two-and-a-half times as much.

--On Day 117, 2013 SIA was running 436k below 2012; it's now 250k above it.

--2013 SIA is currently the second highest it's been on this date since 2002; only 2009 was higher (by just 42k)

--SIA is currently 340k above the 2010s average, and even 67k above the 2000s average.

--To drop below 10 million km2 by the end of the month, as has happened the past three years straight and four of the past five years, SIA would need to decrease by an average of about 117k every day for the next ten. Given that area has seen only two century breaks in the past 18 days,  and given that the cold may still hang on through much of the Arctic for another several days, it's extremely unlikely area will fall below 10 million km2 until possibly as late as the second week of June--though, admittedly, there may (and most likely will) be a number of very big daily decreases once the warmth returns and all that thin ice is melted/flushed...

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Re: Short to Medium Term Arctic Sea Ice Conditions Discussion
« Reply #177 on: May 23, 2013, 08:57:13 PM »
Greetings all;

An amateur here wrapping his mind around the subject. Looking at this from a "bottom up" perspective, I have been looking for information about water temperature driven melt rates. I did find this ancient artifact: http://www.igsoc.org:8080/annals/1/igs_annals_vol01_year1980_pg119-122.pdf

My thinking here is driven in part by the dramatic collapse of ice in the Beaufort last season. My hypothesis is that given the drop in volume and average thickness, that percentage wise, significant melting is underway out of sight, even without insolation and high temperatures. Based on very sketchy calcs this could be several cm/ day. 

In view of the earlier fracturing events this year, and seemingly granularized pack, this would lead to even further loss of physical integrity. As such, a early summer physical shock from a storm or anticyclone might precipitate melting as we saw last year, only over a larger area. I would love to see discussion and/or criticism from more knowledgeable members.
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Re: Short to Medium Term Arctic Sea Ice Conditions Discussion
« Reply #178 on: May 23, 2013, 10:51:43 PM »
Let's wait for the new PIOMAS-Update!
If volume is lower than in 2012 despite larger or equal extent&area, the "bottom up" perspective could be a good explanation.

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Re: Short to Medium Term Arctic Sea Ice Conditions Discussion
« Reply #179 on: May 23, 2013, 11:58:13 PM »
With the full moon in a day or so I expect increased turbulence around the Russian islands, across the Canadian arctic and through the archipelago, and if the ice is as fragile as I think an acceleration out of Fram. May be time to buckle up.

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Re: Short to Medium Term Arctic Sea Ice Conditions Discussion
« Reply #180 on: May 24, 2013, 01:00:06 AM »
I wish we had a hardness measure to go along with volume.

I'm sure most of us have experienced rock-hard ice and ice that crushes with only modest amounts of pressure.  I wonder if hardness is a "fourth dimension" we should be watching.  It sure seems like the current stuff is breaking up easily, would be nice to have numbers.

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Re: Short to Medium Term Arctic Sea Ice Conditions Discussion
« Reply #181 on: May 24, 2013, 01:33:34 AM »
Regarding fragility and export out of the Fram - ice in the "chute" is already pretty fiercely torn up.  The driver there seems more tied to the AO and prevailing wind driving ice to it.  In examining it, I have seen that the total extent driven out is negligible compared to that destroyed by melt.  I offer that the key negative feedback provided by the Fram is export of multi year ice which would otherwise survive the melt season. I think the key impact of fragility will be more fracturing, leading to increased surface to volume ratios ( think more floes 30M or smaller for this to be serious), more leads, lower albedo permitting greater local heat capture.  Open water effectively "focuses" heat, allowing heat from a larger area to work on a smaller area of ice.

Regarding hardness - that's tough, *but* age can give us at least rough sense of it. I know I have seen some fairly detailed postings on that. I'll have to see if I can dredge them up.
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Re: Short to Medium Term Arctic Sea Ice Conditions Discussion
« Reply #182 on: May 24, 2013, 01:57:29 AM »
This looks interesting...regarding ice properties.

http://www.tms.org/pubs/journals/JOM/9902/Schulson-9902.html
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Re: Short to Medium Term Arctic Sea Ice Conditions Discussion
« Reply #183 on: May 24, 2013, 09:07:39 PM »
The 12z long range Euro would delay the onset of rapid melt like we haven't seen since pre 2007.
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Re: Short to Medium Term Arctic Sea Ice Conditions Discussion
« Reply #184 on: May 24, 2013, 11:47:33 PM »
The 12z long range Euro would delay the onset of rapid melt like we haven't seen since pre 2007.

I think the 'critical period' is really from about June 5th to 15th, as this is when the snowmelt mostly occurs over the Arctic basin proper and thus reduces the ice albedo and increases heating of water beneath the ice, which results in bottom melt later in the season.

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Re: Short to Medium Term Arctic Sea Ice Conditions Discussion
« Reply #185 on: May 25, 2013, 11:42:20 AM »
SATs may be low, but SSTs are already moving in last year's direction:

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Re: Short to Medium Term Arctic Sea Ice Conditions Discussion
« Reply #186 on: May 25, 2013, 02:28:12 PM »
Ice Concentration in the CAB takes a real hit in the next 5 days. See the HYCOM concentration forecast:

http://www7320.nrlssc.navy.mil/hycomARC/navo/arcticicen_nowcast_anim30d.gif

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Re: Short to Medium Term Arctic Sea Ice Conditions Discussion
« Reply #187 on: May 25, 2013, 03:31:15 PM »
Ice Concentration in the CAB takes a real hit in the next 5 days. See the HYCOM concentration forecast:

http://www7320.nrlssc.navy.mil/hycomARC/navo/arcticicen_nowcast_anim30d.gif

Looking at that animation around the Svalbard and Franz Josef Islands, it looks like ice movement towards the Fram is a primary reason.

Is the Beaufort Gyre firing up?

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Re: Short to Medium Term Arctic Sea Ice Conditions Discussion
« Reply #188 on: May 25, 2013, 05:28:14 PM »
Looking at ECWMF this is due to a large intense low pressure moving from Barents across the central Arctic.
http://www.wetterzentrale.de/topkarten/fsecmeur.html
This seems to be the cause of the fracturing in HYCOM and massive drop in concentration.

It is also apparent in a drop in grid box thickness due to thinning, see the thickness plots, top left quarter close to the pole at the end of this sequence.
http://www7320.nrlssc.navy.mil/hycomARC/navo/arcticictn_nowcast_anim30d.gif

Shared Humanity,

The Beaufort Gyre is off Alaska, total different area. No there's no increase in the gyre apparent.
http://www7320.nrlssc.navy.mil/hycomARC/navo/arcticicespddrf_nowcast_anim30d.gif

We're getting this stuff from here:
http://www7320.nrlssc.navy.mil/hycomARC/arctic.html

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Re: Short to Medium Term Arctic Sea Ice Conditions Discussion
« Reply #189 on: May 25, 2013, 05:46:33 PM »
PS.

Reference:
A cyclone statistics for the Arctic based on European Centre re-analysis data.
http://www.dvfu.ru/meteo/library/00750233.pdf
The low pressure causing the drop in thickness and concentration is towards the intense end of typical lows for the 1986 to 1991 period. Summer (April to September) lows have typical range of 980 to 1020 hPa, the low in the next few days is 990hPa at its deepest.

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Re: Short to Medium Term Arctic Sea Ice Conditions Discussion
« Reply #190 on: May 25, 2013, 10:46:47 PM »
.... My blood just ran cold.

Look at the HYCOM thickness model, at the quadrant north of 80, from 90E to 180E.

If observations even come close to matching the model, this would be unprecedented, and terrifying.  It implies areas of ice, 100s of thousands of square KM in area, in the high arctic, dropping below 2 meters in thickness, at the *start* of the melting season.

Also disturbing is the general contraction of the thicker ice, and the resumption of "leakage" of it out the Fram.

This, is really, really scary.
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Re: Short to Medium Term Arctic Sea Ice Conditions Discussion
« Reply #191 on: May 26, 2013, 11:51:04 AM »
 A couple of speculative thoughts, to my eyes there seems to be a strike of eddy kinetic energy coming through Bering around the 15th,[ on the hycom links above] and subsequent pressure waves working through the pack visible as an accelration through Nares and to a lesser degree Fram.
 Does anyone know the physics when it comes to ice moving north/south, at the pole there's no rotational energy so as it moves south does it lose temp. as it's rotational rate picks up, or conversely  as it moves north does it melt?

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Re: Short to Medium Term Arctic Sea Ice Conditions Discussion
« Reply #192 on: May 26, 2013, 12:15:45 PM »
.... My blood just ran cold.

Look at the HYCOM thickness model, at the quadrant north of 80, from 90E to 180E.
Look also at last year, when it was substantially worse.
http://www7320.nrlssc.navy.mil/hycomARC/navo/arcticictn/nowcast/ictn2013052418_2013052500_035_arcticictn.001.gif
http://www7320.nrlssc.navy.mil/hycomARC/navo/arcticictn/nowcast/ictn2012052418_2012052500_035_arcticictn.001.gif

It's as best to look at all the data and model outputs, from this year and others, before crying doom - see also people pointing at normal shore leads and breakup patterns and claiming that this represents doom.  It really is still too early to have a good idea about what's going to happen this season.

Does anyone know the physics when it comes to ice moving north/south, at the pole there's no rotational energy so as it moves south does it lose temp. as it's rotational rate picks up, or conversely  as it moves north does it melt?
Neither.  As ice (or water) moves north or south it gets deflected eastwards or westwards.  This is what causes the rotation of weather systems, oppositely in each hemisphere, it's called the Coriolis effect, and is very well understood.  It has absolutely NOTHING to do with temperature and melting.  To suggest otherwise is a gross violation of conservation of momentum.

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Re: Short to Medium Term Arctic Sea Ice Conditions Discussion
« Reply #193 on: May 26, 2013, 06:04:34 PM »
Johnm33,

It's a low pressure system (cyclone). When you see such swirls (and there's one in the next day or two on HYCOM forecast), or when you see larger shifts in ice movement always look to the atmosphere.

Wind is the primary driver of ice movement. Other factors are far less significant.

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Re: Short to Medium Term Arctic Sea Ice Conditions Discussion
« Reply #194 on: May 26, 2013, 07:40:59 PM »
Hi Chris,

The CAB Arctic Low has pressures as low as 984 mb in the OSU model runs over the next five days with it increasing to around 999 mb on 30 May. What is significant is that it parks in the CAB for almost five days straight.

Attached is the May 26 2013 1800 OSU forecast. The forecast is available at:

http://polarmet.osu.edu/nwp/animation.php?model=arctic_wrf&run=00&var=plot001

The HYCOM impact reveals this velocity and motion pattern forecast for May 30 2013 attached.

It does seem to foretell increased flow through the Fram and some MYI ice may go with it.

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Re: Short to Medium Term Arctic Sea Ice Conditions Discussion
« Reply #195 on: May 26, 2013, 08:48:05 PM »
A4R

ECWMF and GFS both forecast 990mb, but the 6mb difference probably isn't worth arguing over.

What's struck me about HYCOM is the larger area movement into the Atlantic, which I think could be a greater amount than Fram, and will be equally doomed to melt. However it's not an either/or, it's both.

Time is a factor, and at least until the end of this week HYCOM suggests increased Fram and Atlantic movement/export.

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Re: Short to Medium Term Arctic Sea Ice Conditions Discussion
« Reply #196 on: May 27, 2013, 09:05:49 AM »
MOdels continue the slow melt into early June.

Laptev and the Pacific rim are the warmest, ice will cripple slowly along the big Pacific side.  So big melt this year is likely, but slower.
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Re: Short to Medium Term Arctic Sea Ice Conditions Discussion
« Reply #197 on: May 27, 2013, 12:28:50 PM »
Frivolousz,

I've been comparing 24th of the month for March through August using HYCOM. As far as I can see what's going on at this time is not really relevant for the main melt. As PIOMAS shows volume loss is greatest in June to August with July being by far the greatest month.

Here are the differences between monthly averages

Year   2010   2011   2012   2013
Jan   3.14   3.17   3.63   3.47
Feb   2.64   2.99   2.51   3.27
Mar   2.36   1.99   2.15   2.52
Apr   0.82   0.91   0.88   0.75
May   -2.04   -1.59   -1.61   
Jun   -4.87   -4.54   -5.43   
Jul   -6.66   -6.73   -6.37   
Aug   -4.04   -3.85   -3.96   
Sep   -1.05   -0.85   -0.99   
Oct   1.51   1.32   1.29   
Nov   3.22   3.51   3.22   
Dec   3.39   3.52   3.78   

It won't be until early July when we get June PIOMAS data that we can say anything about this year. And with respect to area/extent the ice edge doesn't seriously start to recede in the Arctic Ocean until June.

PS 'big melt but slower' isn't really feasible as the above numbers show. Changes in insolation mean if something is going to happen it must happen by July.

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Re: Short to Medium Term Arctic Sea Ice Conditions Discussion
« Reply #198 on: May 27, 2013, 03:44:15 PM »
If I read the Bremen map correct, we will soon see some heavy melting and would not be surprised to see even 3 centuries at a time:

http://www.iup.uni-bremen.de:8084/amsr2/arctic_AMSR2_nic.png
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Re: Short to Medium Term Arctic Sea Ice Conditions Discussion
« Reply #199 on: May 27, 2013, 11:24:04 PM »
'big melt but slower' I'm not happy with this phrase too. However, it shows some insight and I'd like to propose a slightly different view: When sea ice is moved away from the coast winter coldness replaces open ocean easily with fresh but thin ice. Somewhere else - e.g. Atlantic - thicker ice then consequently gets pushed into warm water. Overall there are large areas with fresh ice and areas of thicker ice slowly melting from the bottom, resulting in a impressive sea ice extent imposter effect.

I think we see just a crippled reality when using 2D maps, they do not tell how thin these surprising extra square miles are. When all the thin ice created during the second half of the winter (think cracks) has melted, we'll probably see the another strange effect: 2D melting slows down, because the 'low hanging floes' have already disappeared.

In short things may look completely different, when temperatures raise a few more degrees. So, the phrase could be 'late melt but steeper'.