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Messages - Comradez

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Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2020/2021 freezing season
« on: October 15, 2020, 07:24:37 PM »
Thank you Aslan!  That is a very revealing graphic, and something worth keeping an eye on during the winter season.  It shows that the important thing, when judging whether open ocean in the winter is a positive or negative feedback, is the heat vented to space from the top of the atmospheric column, not the heat vented from the surface to slightly above the surface.  If the layer slightly above the surface is almost as opaque to IR as sea ice is, then that near-surface atmospheric layer basically functions like replacement sea ice—except it is "sea ice" that also lets the water column below it mix up warmer, saltier water to the surface, so double no-bueno there. 

Consequences / Re: Weird Weather and anecdotal stories about climate change
« on: September 16, 2020, 07:40:53 PM »
Hey, so apparently there is a tropical cyclone in the Mediterranean right now.  Could possibly reach hurricane strength before slamming into Greece.  Named Udine / Ianos

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2020 melting season
« on: July 31, 2020, 04:35:18 PM »
The ice in the Chukchi and Beaufort is now pre-conditioned to the same sort of honeycomb-like status that it was in by the start of August in 2012.  Now a second mega-cyclone in mid-August is all that would be needed to deliver the finishing blow to the ice there. 

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2020 melting season
« on: July 21, 2020, 04:18:14 PM »
I wouldn't be so confident as some posters here that the seemingly solid pack in the CAB will hold up well this coming month.  Take a look at what one seemingly solid stretch of the pack along the Laptev front from July 16th to today (click to animate).  Note that:
1.  This was without a Great Arctic Cyclone.
2.  This is not mere dispersion.  The extent front has been marching southwards the whole time.  It's just that the ice in the middle is disintegrating faster than the extent front can catch up to it to re-compactify. 

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2020 melting season
« on: July 17, 2020, 07:54:03 PM »
If you want a preview of the coming week for that gray slush ice in the East Siberian Sea, check out what happened to similarly-looking remnant ice in the Laptev the last couple of days.  (Click to animate gif).

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2020 melting season
« on: July 16, 2020, 02:49:08 PM », if this verifies, the poor Laptev is toast. 

Don't worry:  at the surface this will "only" translate into balmy 1.5C air blowing in at 36 km/hr.

Belkovsky, Kotelny, oooh I wanna take me
To Stolbovoy, Zhokhova, come on pretty mama
The Kolyma, The Lena, hey, why don't we float on down to
Laptev shoals
It's melting fast so we can take it slow
That's where we wanna go
Way up near Laptev shoals

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2020 melting season
« on: July 13, 2020, 11:20:07 PM »
The more the high pressure center drifts towards the ESS, bakes the already-fragile ice there with clear skies, and pulls balmy air off Siberia and over the warming Laptev towards the weak flank of the CAB, the worse it is going to be for the ice.  What are SSTs going to be in the Laptev by mid-August at this rate? 

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2020 melting season
« on: July 11, 2020, 04:13:51 PM »
Wow, GFS, ECMWF, and Nullschool all agree on the Great Arctic Anti-Cyclone (GAAC) sticking around for at least another week, albeit weakening somewhat.  In addition, the backside of the GAAC in the Chukchi and ESS is slated to have cooler air aloft (850 mb at -5C) and chilly temperatures at the surface (as low as -0.5C), so there may be some surface refreezing there.  But it is also slated to have very strong winds, so it may not be great for the slushy ice there anyways, sitting adjacent to some 2C water and with upwelling likely from the choppy seas. 

And then on the front side (Laptev/Kara front), the warm air aloft (5C) and surface temps (1C) are going to be replenished from a warm air mass coming off of the Taymyr Peninsula.  There will also be very strong winds here.  We may actually see the Atlantic ice front really crumble beyond the continental shelf line in a big way for the first time in recorded history this summer, if this consistent southerly fetch from the GAAC keeps up. 

Also, the Beaufort is slated to have cool air aloft (as the cool backside of the GAAC develops towards the Chukchi), but then followed a few days later by gentle warm southerly winds coming off the Mackenzie Delta and clear skies. 

The CAA looks like it will have good conditions for melting throughout.  The recent slowdown in area drops probably has to do with melt ponds draining here.  The ice in a lot of the channels is transitioning to a very thin grayish appearance (Tanquary fiord on Ellesmere Island is a good example of this).  Once that benchmark is reached, expect full melt-out 2-3 weeks later. 

And finally, Hudson Bay and Baffin Bay are doing their usual thing.  Not late or early, and looking quite irrelevant to the melt in the rest of the arctic.  Ice will be gone in these spots by Aug. 1st.  Expect that to factor into some big area & extent drops. 

Arctic sea ice / Re: Albedo-Warming Potential
« on: July 08, 2020, 04:38:20 PM »
Keep in mind what "albedo warming potential" means, with emphasis on *potential.*

It means, assuming cloud-free skies. 

So, for example, if an earlier year might have had 27% CAB AWP, you'd need to still check what the actual cloud-cover was like for that year to see how much of that albedo warming potential translated into albedo warming actuality (AWA).  It could be the case that the CAB was almost totally cloud-covered during that time, in which case the AWP of 27% might translate into a AWA of near 0%. 

By contrast, let's say in 2020 the CAB AWP is 20%.  If cloud cover over the CAB is only on average, say, only 10% (because of a mega high pressure system), then the AWA would be more like 18%. 

I don't known what the actual numbers would be, but I hope this clears up some confusion about why people are so impressed by the mega high pressure system right now over the CAB, and why actual albedo warming (AWA) is likely to be much higher this year than past years even though past years might have had slightly higher AWP. 

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2020 melting season
« on: July 07, 2020, 08:22:05 PM »
For what it's worth, I do notice on the nullschool runs today that the 850 mb temps are also slated to cool somewhat towards the end of this week (although still slated to be about 4C over the CAB on average, which is still bad enough to melt a lot of ice when combined with direct insolation).  It's possible the warm air aloft needs to be replenished by more hot rising air coming off the continents if the 850 mb layer wants to stay as warm as it has been. 

If the 850 mb temps are slated to drop from almost 10C to 4C, then it would only make sense for surface temps to drop from about 2C to just slightly above 0C.  There will still be melting...just not at as furious of a pace as it has been the past couple of days. 

So yes, I think the minor fluctuations in surface temp are meaningful, but probably not as meaningful as the 850 mb temps or the insolation. 

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2020 melting season
« on: July 02, 2020, 02:08:20 AM »
At least temperature-wise, it looks like the CAB is slated to get a bit cooler once the big high pressure sets up.  The forecast is for the flow to be almost universally from the CAB outwards onto the landmasses.  This big high will certainly be a test of whether warm air advection from surrounding landmasses or direct insolation near the summer solstice is more effective at melting ice. 

Edit:  Interestingly, if you look at the current conditions on nullschool at the 850 mb level, 84.61 N, 122.28 E (roughly right in between Severnaya Zemlya and the North Pole) currently has 13.7 C with 55 km/h winds.  That's gotta be having an effect, no?  (The surface is 1.2 C with 31 km/h winds).  Interestingly, the 700 mb level there is still 2.0 C.  That's quite a pool of warm air aloft!)

Consequences / Re: World of 2100
« on: June 17, 2020, 08:34:31 PM »
I have been thinking of writing a novel based around the year 2100 that takes place in a prison colony in the Canadian arctic after a political upheaval of some sort in North America.  This would take place in a scenario of climate change that has not been mitigated by any coordinated policy response (i.e. business as usual). 

I'm trying to decide where the prison colony would logically be situated.  The main requirement for story purposes is that it would need to be somewhere in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, i.e. off of the North American mainland. 

The general idea is that the prison colony would have a central hub with guards' quarters, a port, power plant, district heating, dorms, and other central facilities in which the inmates would stay for the winter season, but there would also be scattered homesteads for each inmate in the surrounding countryside on which they might be allowed to go off and more or less do their own thing during the warm season.  Therefore, I'm looking for a spot that would have the potential for:
1. Port facilities.
2. River.
3. Southerly enough to have potential for making transition from tundra to taiga climate by 2100, and possibly supporting some farming.

I've picked out two possible settings for the fictional prison colony in which my characters would be set:

1.  On Victoria Island, with the port just north of Edinburgh Island (there appears to be deep water right up to the sheltered coastline at 68.558 N, 110.933 W).  Homesteads would be spread out northwards along the Nakyoktok River that flows into Johansen Bay.  See:

Pros:  Somewhat sheltered from the ocean.  Might eventually have warm-ish summers if the sea ice in nearby Coronation Gulf were to start melting significantly earlier, such as by late May. 
Cons:  Hilly terrain.  Very poor (almost non-existent) soil.  Figure8blog described the neraby coastline as, "low and dreary, reddish dirt with as much differentiation mile after mile as that between infield and pitchers mound. Up close, the hills look neatly swept clean of life. Nothing sticks up higher than a medium sized rock. I think somewhere a giant groundsman is dragging his chain link fence across the land, readying the entire Arctic for the words, “Play ball!”"
How much different would this be in the year 2100 even with climate change?
Note:  Currently land with Inuit claims, but I'm assuming some sort of political upheaval infringes on this.  This imperialism itself would factor into the plot of the story. 

2.  On Banks Island, near the Kellett River, just north of Sachs Harbour. 

Pros:  Flatter, slightly better soil (less eroded).  Also, a nearby harbor and community already exists (albeit not a very deep one).
Cons:  Less sheltered from the ocean.  Summers would probably remain cooler, even if the Beaufort were to melt much earlier in the season.  Also, the existing residents of Sachs Harbour would probably have something to say about a prison colony being set up not far from them.  Could be an interesting plot point.
Note:  Currently bird sanctuary land, but I'm assuming some sort of political upheaval infringes on this.  This imperialism itself would factor into the plot of the story.

Permafrost / Re: Northern Hemisphere Winter 2019-2020 Snowcover / Misc Obs
« on: February 24, 2020, 06:38:52 PM »
Wow, Northern hemisphere snow cover has gotta be approaching 2 standard deviations below normal now.  The albedo difference will now be having a signficant impact. 

Cryosphere Computing now has the northern hemisphere ice extent anomaly at -203,735 km^2 and the snow extent anomaly at -2,673,110 km^2...or a combined anomaly of -2,876,845 km^2.  This will be an interesting number to track this upcoming melting season.

Arctic sea ice / Re: When will the Arctic Go Ice Free?
« on: September 08, 2019, 05:59:38 PM »
It just occurred to me today that, while this stall in sea ice area and extent declines that we have seen in August and early September 2019 may be frustrating for those of us who predicted a lower minimum this year, this year's melt chronology and the sort of shallow, saucer-shaped trajectory of sea ice area and extent is sort of "ideal" from the standpoint of encouraging heat accumulation in the arctic.  The peripheral seas opened up very early and started soaking up the sun not long after the summer solstice, resulting in sky-high accumulated albedo warming potential for this season, but the CAB has been resistant to melting.  Consequently, not as much heat will be lost from the CAB now that the sun is setting.

By contrast, a pattern of melt that would not favor heat accumulation would be where declines in June, Juy, and early August are sluggish, but where the arctic witnesses a sudden spurt of melting in late August and early September from bottom-melt and wind-driven processes, after the sun has already become ineffective. 

2012 was more of the second type of melt chronology, and I bet the GAC ended up venting a lot of heat from the ocean...perhaps accounting for the rebound of ice coverage in 2013.  I would not expect a similar sort of rebound this time around in 2020.  Quite the opposite, in fact.  Next year will have even more melting momentum.  I anticipate the Bering and Chukchi seas will be especially fragile and prone to melting unprecedentedly early.  I question how far south the ice will even get in the Bering Sea this winter...

Arctic sea ice / Re: 2019 vs 2012
« on: July 14, 2019, 09:44:22 PM »
I did an in-depth video analysis of 2012 vs. 2019 with regards to a portion of the Central Arctic Basin around 80N and 150W that borders on the Beaufort and Chukchi.

I think 2019 actually looks worse than 2012 in this important region.  Even without a Great Arctic Cyclone, 2019 may challenge 2012 everywhere outside of the CAA, where 2012 will probably have an edge.

After looking at the worldview imagery of this region in June and July of 2012 and 2016, I've noticed some patterns:
1.  This ice never gets pushed north away from the coast by wind or currents.  The ice on either side of it does, in the Beaufort and Chukchi proper, but right it this area on the border between the two seas it just doesn't.  In fact, if anything this ice has a tendency to be pushed into the coast and replenished from the north, east, and west.  Something most be going on with ocean currents and subsea topography there.  Which brings me to...
2.  Hanna Shoal.  If you look at the region on July 22nd and July 23rd of 2012 and rock the image back and forth, it is obvious that one icefield located right near Hanna Shoal does not move along with the rest of the pack...and in fact, it never moves the entire season!  It eventually melts out in September, so I doubt it was an iceberg.  The ocean must be exceptionally shallow at that spot to ground a <2 meter icefield.  This topography could be protecting the ice in the area. 

Long story short, the Chukchi could get torched all the way to Wrangel Island, and the Beaufort ice pushed halfway across the Central Arctic Basin, and yet I think there will still be ice in this border region between the two seas well into July because that ice basically has no choice but to melt in-situ, with how the currents in the area seem to work.  That said, I voted June 8-17 because this year the entire arctic icepack is mobile enough to make room for the surrounding ice to sail northward like never before, and there is less ice than ever in the Chukchi with which to replenish this area, which means we would just need the southerly transpolar winds to continue to be predominant another couple of weeks to produce something unprecedented. 

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