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Messages - Niall Dollard

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Arctic sea ice / Re: Arctic Image of the Day
« on: April 09, 2020, 01:57:00 AM »
Midnight looking north over the frozen harbour at Longyearbyen, Svalbard.

The orange glow shows that it's only 10 days before the sun will be up all day there (April 19th !).

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2020 melting season
« on: April 07, 2020, 12:14:53 PM »
Persistent east winds have caused open water to appear in the eastern Hudson Bay. This is early in the season for break up.

I presume if winds turn west or northwest again this would close in ?

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: April 06, 2020, 09:37:49 PM »
Finland today had -1 deaths !

Easter occuring early  ? No it was an adjustment on yesterday's figures.

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2020 melting season
« on: April 04, 2020, 12:05:52 PM »
Thanks for those comments Charles, HapHazard and El Cid.

I don't mind doing more when I can but I'm limited in that I havent taken that many screenshots from other years (unfortuantely).

Next one I have is May 1st 2018. So I could do a comparison this year with that one.

Just looking back at last year and the chart for 13th April 19 still showed a lot of pink - and we all know what happened after that.

This is what makes me all the more concerned this year, that we are only barely starting the melt season and condition is poor in many areas, especially the Russian side.

It will be interesting to see the next PIOMAS volume update to end of March. I imagine there won't be much of an increase on the mid-March and we are very near the volume max for the year,   

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: April 03, 2020, 04:19:18 PM »
Deaths per million population at 1pm UTC 3rd April.

Note: Some countries have not yet updated their figures for today.

It's been a cold (by night) start to April in central Europe. New monthly records in Czech republic and Hungary.

Attached list of Czech stations breaking their long term April extreme minimum.

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2020 melting season
« on: April 03, 2020, 01:46:48 PM »
Around this time of year I usually take a screenshot of the ESRL Ice thickness assessment. Here are the years 2018, 2019 compared with forecast thickness 7th April 2020. (not on exact same dates but within +/- 1 week).

It does n't augur well for the coming summer.

The legend is the same for each chart with max pink colour indicating thickness of 1.6m or more. For resistence against the Arctic melt season you would be hoping for pink colour spread across the whole Arctic by now. But we are far from that.

Four areas in particular have thicknesses a lot lower than previous years:

1. Kara

Very thin and expect it will melt out quickly this year. Maybe not as crucial as other areas as it usually melts out every year anyway. Having said that an early melt would not be good for preserving ice in the main basin.

2. Polarstern

(dubbed this area - after where the Polarstern research vessel started out last Autumn). This area is near the heart of the basin and is thin. As much of the good ice heads south into the Fram, outlook for this area is not good at all. Could we see the ice edge retreat back to the pole this year with most of the ice only on the American side and maybe a typical arm heading out towards the ESS ?

3. Western Beaufort/Northern Chukchi

Thinner than usual. Legacy of late freeze ups, Pacific infiltration. This century these areas melt out every year but like the Kara an early melt out would make for an aggressive melt attack on the Basin.

4. Laptev

A lot thinner than usual. Legacy of the record mild winter over Russia. Expect an early appearance of the Laptev polynya and maybe eventually melting back to the pole ?

Filed under category "Weird". Weird for Svalbard that is.

At Svalbard Airport, Longyearbyen, the mean temperature for the month of March 2020 has been below normal.

This is the first below normal* month there since November 2010. A run of 111 months !

*the normal period used is 1961-1990. 

The sun has returned to Victoria Fjord and here is that large cigar shaped piece embedded in the sea ice after overwintering.

It's located about 25 kms from the mouth of the fjord. Who knows will it escape into the Nares Strait this year ? 

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2020 melting season
« on: March 29, 2020, 10:55:23 AM »
March 28th, 2020:
     13,559,443 km2, a drop of -19,954 km2.
     2020 is now the lowest on record.   :P

Greatest comeback since the 2005 UEFA Champions League Final

But not as great as the 1999 UEFA Champions League final. You would need a BOE for that !  :)

Arctic sea ice / Re: Arctic Image of the Day
« on: March 27, 2020, 11:30:55 PM »
Pancake ice in the harbour at Longyearbyen, Svalbard. Still taken from webcam image this morning 27th March.

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2020 melting season
« on: March 26, 2020, 11:50:11 AM »
Yes the Timmerman's et al study is a very important one.

But also yes Uniquorn, I am struggling to see any other evidence that would back up the thinning in the central Beaufort.

I've perused much of the data available on the ESRL website but can't see anything to confirm concentration down to 75 % (as indicated by Bremen).

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2020 melting season
« on: March 24, 2020, 12:55:56 PM »
Re Bremen image and Beaufort.

It didn't look so bad on the 19th compared to 22nd.

I wonder is it sensor related or is that Beaufort thinning real ?

Arctic sea ice / Re: Arctic Image of the Day
« on: March 24, 2020, 12:43:17 AM »
Freegrass, we do have a dedicated separate thread for these images.


Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2020 melting season
« on: March 19, 2020, 10:39:11 PM »
Welcome TybeeDave and don't be shy !

Re the Fram foam, I wouldnt call it foam. These are strips of sea ice that are pulled off the main pack.

We see it a lot in the Bering Sea where the ice is often thin and can break away easily. Here is an image from the Bering on March 3rd. Strips of ice are very close to St. Paul Island (arrowed). This was about as far as it got this year.

This was more or less predicted by NWS Anchorage in their outlook post on Feb 25th. Quote :


"There is a 30 percent chance that the sea ice will make it to Saint Paul Island this season. The most likely scenario that would allow sea ice to reach the island is if northerly winds and cold air
persist for several days. If sea ice does reach Saint Paul Island, we expect it to generally be in the form of strips of sea ice that are pulled off the main pack. The northerly winds and cold air would likely have to persist for a couple weeks or more for the main ice pack to reach the island."

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2019/2020 freezing season
« on: March 19, 2020, 10:18:37 PM »
Interesting that 2012 was not in the 10 lowest maxes and then produced the lowest minimum !

And also that 2013 was not in the top ten either. Only 6 months or so earlier and ice was at its lowest extent on record.

However I am not surprised that 2017 had the lowest max. Of all the satellite images of the Arctic  since then,  I still consider the ice was in its worst condition in late Summer 2016. It was very spread out and full of holes. The 2016/2017 freezing season then was very slow to start and temperatures remained relatively mild over the Arctic Basin.

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2019/2020 freezing season
« on: March 19, 2020, 12:09:04 PM »
Accepting that the max is over, according to the NSIDC extent trailing 5 day mean data, the max of 15.05 million km2 was reached on March 5th.

This is the 11th lowest max in the series going back to 1979.

In order of lowest:


Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2019/2020 freezing season
« on: March 19, 2020, 09:32:40 AM »
Thanks Juan.

 :Thanks for those links, VGV..

I've a small nitpick with the thread title. Unless you intended it to read in an "Ali G" style (why ?). grammaticly it should read : Are Our Children Learning ?  :)

Arctic sea ice / Re: Arctic Image of the Day
« on: March 05, 2020, 09:34:13 PM »
Preparing the surface of the river ice on the Tanana River, Alaska, for the raising of the tripod this weekend. Lots of festivities organised for the annual Nenana Ice Classic

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2019/2020 freezing season
« on: March 04, 2020, 11:53:15 PM »
I'm curious... When you have the ice pack cracked up and smashed together like it is now, don't a lot of the ice slabs stick out deep underneath the ice pack? And would that cause that ice to melt out quickly with bottom melt?

Not certain if this is a full answer to your question FG, but have a read of this snippet taken from a recent blog from the MOSAiC page :

According to the sea-ice expert, “Over the past few months, we’ve been able to observe winter at the North Pole more consistently and precisely than ever before. The ice thickness has doubled to an average of 160 centimetres since December, which corresponds to a growth rate of roughly ten centimetres per week.”

In addition, with the aid of helicopter laser-scanner readings, Polarstern’s radar system, and buoys, the researchers were able to observe how the ice deformed, and channels opened and closed again. Thanks to the warming of the Arctic Ocean, smaller and thinner ice floes are becoming more common. Driven by the wind, they can collide and overlap, producing pack ice hummocks up to four metres tall. Since a great deal of their mass lies underwater, some hummocks are 20 to 30 metres thick – a phenomenon that now represents a challenge for the resupply icebreakers.

Science / Re: Satellite Temperature Record
« on: March 03, 2020, 08:43:00 AM »
February 2020 had the third highest monthly anomaly, in all the various re-incarnations of the UAH temperature series. And no big El Nino this time.

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2019/2020 freezing season
« on: March 01, 2020, 11:29:00 AM »
Thanks Aluminium.

The state of the Russian side now, Kara to Laptev, is worrying.

Arctic background / Re: Baltic Images
« on: February 29, 2020, 05:12:43 PM »
No measurable snow at Helsinki for both January and February 2020.

(chart courtesy Mika Ratanen)

Consequences / Re: Weird Weather and anecdotal stories about climate change
« on: February 25, 2020, 12:27:26 AM »
Never ending amount of records being broken at weather stations throughout Europe this winter. Just a few I've collated:

* Austria. The mountain station at Sonnblick (3106m ASL) set a new February alltime max of +3.6 C on 16/02/20. Records date back to 1886.

* Austria. Innsbruck Airport recorded a max of 20.5 C yesterday 23rd Feb. This was just shy of the old record of 20.6 C set on a sunny day back on 24th Feb 2008. But what made Innsbruck 2020 temperature all the more remarkable was that it was set on a day without sunshine and was set during the nighttime at circa 9pm local time.

* Switzerland. A provisional new national February max record was set today at Biasca. 24.6 C

* France. Numerous stations today set new February station records eg. Nimes 25.1 C .The old record of 24.6 C was set, yes you've guessed it, just last year on 28/02/2019.

It seems like some places will be setting new monthly records every year !

Arctic sea ice / Re: Arctic Image of the Day
« on: February 22, 2020, 05:12:47 PM »
Light level building up but extremely cold, door still shut ;)

On Feb 2nd it dipped to -40 F/C. This was the first time at Ukqiagvik Airport it went to -40 or lower since Feb 2012.

Prior to 2000, only three of previous 80 winters failed to reach -40F/C. Since then, 11 winters have not been that low.

Consequences / Re: Effects of Climate Change on the biosphere
« on: February 20, 2020, 11:34:34 AM »
Increased greening of the World since the 1980s is estimated here to have cut back global temperatures by about 0.2 C.

In other words we would be 0.2 C warmer already without the extra plant life. Shows us how difficult it would be to bring down global temperatures, in the next few centuries.

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2019/2020 freezing season
« on: January 31, 2020, 12:07:48 AM »
Agreed, I was conflating "statistical insignificance" with meaningless.  Yes, there is value in knowing that something doesn't work.

Yes same here. That was my intention.

There should be no bravado about the current state of the Arctic.

Arctic sea ice / Re: Arctic Image of the Day
« on: January 30, 2020, 12:01:11 AM »
Sentinel view of Bering Sea Ice edge nearing St Matthew Island on Jan 27th

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2019/2020 freezing season
« on: January 29, 2020, 01:52:41 AM »
Possibly.  However, the sea ice extent this year is greater than 8 of the past 10 years.  The only two years with greater extent were 2013 & 14, which also had the highest minima over the past decade.

Looking at extent figures now (Jan 27th) is not much guarantee of a high minimum come September.

Example 1 : 2007 . The joint second lowest min on record. Yet extent on Jan 27th 2007 was higher than it is currently in 2020. A lot can happen.

Example 2 : 2012. The lowest year of all. Jaxa extent on Jan 27th 2012 was only 115 k less than extent is currently

Re the ice thickness  charts, I am not that confident in what they show. Some are better than others.

Last year over on the Nares Strait thread, we were saying that the ice north of Greenland in the Lincoln Sea must be thin as it kept fragmenting and there was no arch in the strait. Yet the 2019 chart above appears to show thicker ice above Greenland than this year.

Instead last December the arch did form. Was the ice than thicker this winter contrary to what the charts indicate.

Or is arch formation more to do with tides, currents and surface winds coming together at the right time rather than how thick the ice is ?   

Arctic background / Re: Arctic Maps
« on: January 27, 2020, 10:20:12 PM »
I had a look to see if this map link to free download access of nautical maps for North America was already added to this thread - but I couldnt find it.

Here is an example of chart for Northern Bering Sea (hope it's not too big!)

Arctic sea ice / Re: Arctic Image of the Day
« on: January 19, 2020, 02:43:26 PM »
On the 15th january it reached a maximum of 11 C at Stockholm Observatory.

As night fell that mild air spread further east and at midnight (0 UTC on 16th) it was 8 C at St Petersburg, Russia.

Midnight, at mid winter, at 60 north in Russia. 8 C and no snow.

St Petersburg has seen very little snow in the past 30 days. Only days with trace or more were:

Dec 28 - trace
Dec 30 - 1cm
Jan 5 - trace
Jan 6 - trace
Jan 7 - 1cm
Jan 12 - 1cm


Arctic background / Re: Baltic Images
« on: January 16, 2020, 10:06:49 PM »
But back to the Baltic.

Per SMHI, anomalies from the 1961-1990 mean are running at +10 C for the first 16 days of the year over much of northern Sweden

Arctic background / Re: Baltic Images
« on: January 16, 2020, 09:54:44 PM »

Arctic background / Re: Baltic Images
« on: January 15, 2020, 10:55:17 PM »
(Jääkartta from the pdf linked by blueice. reads like Jakarta)
I thought it was on Balti but now I see it is on Jäava.

What have you started Nanning ?   :)

Okay. One last one.

Why do Swedish naval ships have barcodes on the sides ?

So they can Scandinavian.  :D

January 12

NWS New York NY: "As of 1:30pm, new record highs have been set at Central Park (68°), Newark (69°), JFK (68°), Islip (68°), and Bridgeport (69°), breaking records previously set in 2017 and 2018. Islip and Bridgeport broke their records by 10° and 14°, respectively!"

68°F is 20°C

It's not clear from the tweet but just to clarify those records are date (day) records  - except for Bridgeport which set a new record for the month of January.

These temps in celsius are
23,3 C
21,1 C
18,8 C

And RI is Rhode Island.

Thanks Kassy.  :)

Yes I would normally do the conversion to Celsius. I don't have any particular liking for degrees F. But let me explain why I left the American figures in Fahrenheit

As far as I am aware, the US National Weather Service record/report the values only to nearest degree F.

By quoting a celsius figure to one decimal place gives the impression that the value is precise to 0.1 C, whereas in actuality the max at Boston may have been anywhere between 73.5 F and 74.4 F ! 

Boston MA (74 F) and Providence RI (70 F) set new January all time max records.

Arctic sea ice / Re: Arctic Image of the Day
« on: January 13, 2020, 01:16:40 AM »
How in bloody heck can there be open water there? Been checking temps for all of Alaska for close to three weeks and it ain't been near zero up at Barrow, Prudoe Bay, Fairbanks...even Nome. Guess SST is still fighting it

It's the Barrow Coastal Polynya (BCP), which forms episodically off the Alaska coast in winter.

Consequences / Re: Wildfires
« on: January 10, 2020, 01:34:37 AM »
Kangaroo island. One month apart.

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2019/2020 freezing season
« on: January 03, 2020, 10:50:53 AM »
Did Nullschool change it's data set for ocean temperature? That Svalbard hotspot is gone, and the overall look is different.,59.73,873

Happy New Year to you too Freegrass !

Yes it has been a very mild winter in Europe so far. This morning for example it is + 2 C in Moscow, +4 C in St Petersburg and +5 C in Helsinki.

Yes Nullschool have changed their data source see these two images. New source (which is more correct for SST in my opinion is OSTIA/UK Met +GHRSST + CMEMS

Old source I gleaned from the old nullchool thread was RTG SST/NCEP

Sunndalsøra now holds the Norwegian national monthly max record for each of the three winter months Dec, Jan, Feb.

Greenland and Arctic Circle / Re: The Nares Strait thread
« on: January 02, 2020, 11:41:29 AM »
A new year and an updated list of the arch start date. (Arches that is within the Strait and not temporary hold ups in the Lincoln Sea):

2020 - December 17 (2019)
2019 - No arch
2018 - March 1st
2017 - No arch (in the strait proper)
2016 - December 6th (2015)
2015 - February 13th
2014 - January 5th (northern arch started - southern just after)
2013 - November 8th (2012)
2012 - December 6th (2011)
2011 - January 29th
2010 - No arch
2009 - Visible sat image shows arch at extreme north end of channel on March 10. Start date was sometime before this.
2008 - April 1st
2007 - No arch

Greenland and Arctic Circle / Re: The Nares Strait thread
« on: January 02, 2020, 09:53:19 AM »
1st Jan 2020 image in the Kane Basin shows that the more usual southerly drift has returned and ice from the Kennedy channel has joined back up with the arch. Still looking strong.

Meanwhile I see temperatures at Alert have dipped below -40 C. I dont recall that happening last winter.

Greenland and Arctic Circle / Re: The Nares Strait thread
« on: December 29, 2019, 01:01:33 AM »
This paper might be of interest BL. But it does get quite technical.

Inevitably the transport of heat and water with different salinity is quite complex through the Nares but the modelling notes big differences dependent whether the arch forms or not.

"  The alteration in current structure produces a systematic change in the spatial distribution of salt and heat within the model domain. Low-salinity water is transported midstrait in the ocean-only simulation,and along the eastern boundary in the ocean-ice simulation. The transport of intermediate salinity water is offset to the west in the ice-ocean simulation relative to the ocean-only simulation. Within the oceanonly simulation, intermediate salinity water is also carried northward along the eastern side of the strait.
In both simulations, high-salinity water (S > 34.8 ) is constrained to recirculations that are located north and south of a sill in Kane Basin; these recirculations are intensified in the ocean-only simulation"

They also say along the eastern side of the strait, temperatures above 100 m tend to be 0.5-1.0  C warmer in the ocean-only simulation than  in the ocean-ice simulation. 

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2019/2020 freezing season
« on: December 29, 2019, 12:25:40 AM »
Quote from: mabarnes

Thanks again ... I think I need to read more history ... it's fascinating!

No problem !

And the next chapter to read up on is what can happen to disturb the polar vortex - namely Sudden Stratospheric Warming (SSW).

Sudden warming in the stratosphere near the pole can have a significant effect on conditions down in the troposphere. There have been SSW events in recent winters but this winter, warmings have been only peripheral, so no sign of any major SSW yet this winter.

Edit : And hurrah - I see that has tipped me over the 500 posts and into the Grease Ice !  ;D

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2019/2020 freezing season
« on: December 27, 2019, 01:52:07 PM »

To the "old hands" out there ... wondering if this is what the "old normal" used to look like...? 
A glimpse of the past, for a week at least...?

This present NH mean sea level set-up reminds me very much of December 1988. That was the month that began a very mild winter in western Europe and the time when I first started to take notice of "global warming" or whatever it was called back then.

Here is the Dec 1988 pattern and the current GFS 10 mean forecast.

Greenland and Arctic Circle / Re: The Nares Strait thread
« on: December 26, 2019, 03:23:38 PM »
A crack has formed about 80km northeast of the arch edge in the Kane Basin.

It is only visible on the Sentinel 1B image on Christmas Day (The 1A image on the same date does not show it.)

Winds in the Basin are slight and if anything blowing from a SW direction at the north of the Top of the Kane Basin and a little stronger in the Kennedy Channel.

Not sure if the crack is due to ice pulling NE up the Kennedy or if the ice has pulled a little to the SW.  I think I would prefer the former and hope the arch holds.

Consequences / Re: Places becoming less livable
« on: December 24, 2019, 02:19:20 AM »


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency was called to investigate and determined the liquid likely was groundwater contaminated with hexavalent chromium, according to The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE).

State officials said the liquid was entering a storm sewer on I-696. While the spill is taking place outside Macomb County, any material that enters storm drains along I-696 eventually travels to Lake St. Clair, according to a news release from Macomb County Public Works.

According to the U.S. Occupational Health and Safety Administration, hexavalent chromium is known to cause cancer at high levels of exposure.

Hinkley still toxic from hexavalent chromium

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