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Messages - uniquorn

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Some people have use for the updated regional data files:


Fram volume export is still summer-low.

Updated volume and volume-anomaly graphs.

PIOMAS has updated the gridded thickness data up to 15 October. Volume was 5.16 [1000km3], second lowest (after 2012) for the day.

Here is the animation for October thus far.

Thank you all for not just laughing at me.  Although it is kind of funny.  What I have posted on this thread is truly thrown together by a completely unqualified researcher in full batshit mode.  There will be a more thorough and thoughtful write up, in time.

Operating theory is "we are in a runaway abrupt climate flip" and I want to disprove it to myself, but bear it in mind that I am completely unconstrained in my thinking & language.  Full power Dunning-Kruger.  This is from a lone mind bent on survival.  I don't have any allegiance or hesitancy based on academic norms.

I managed to click on the running mean AO index from 1950-present over here

Added Paint.exe black line connecting the Jan 1 position for the last couple of years.  It would seem reasonable to guess that the AO index will be hovering around neutral on Jan 1 2020.

Arctic sea ice / Re: MOSAiC news
« on: October 11, 2019, 01:47:19 PM »
Animations of buoys drift speed attached, code on my github, it should be possible to take a set of buoys and calculate their movements respective of each other.. interesting idea

there's accelometer data in the buoy data as well, I assume this can be related to wave height or ice bits bumping into each other?

Also if anyone has good data files for ice concentration/movements please let me know. I saw AMSR2 has hdf files but they're a bit of a pain, preferably something with coordinates.

Arctic sea ice / Re: MOSAiC news
« on: October 11, 2019, 12:16:54 PM »
WV graticule? need final set of buoys? buoys too near the Polarstern? Physics of materials?
Spectacular VIIRS above ... but when I went to the link, it had been over-written by something unrecognizable. That happens all the time at WV as swath updates roll in. I suppose the bright networks of veins are leads (resp. thin ice) with warmer water showing through. These might be worth mapping as lead openings are recurrent weaknesses.

The 43 page explainer for the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite is here:

WorldView doesn't do graticules well, 80º is the first latitude out from the pole with 30º increments on longitudes. Better if NASA provided options for controlling the OpenStreetMap vector graticule and fixed code so animations captured it. It's possible but inconvenient to capture the timestamp on a per swath basis which is critical to synching with other satellites.

While WV does have very accurate mouse-over lat/lon in the corner, those don't stay tied to a floe after image save or screenshot. Mosaic Multisensor offers a very nice graticule on their higher resolution images (from Oct 7th on).

For WV, if your save includes long lines intersecting the 80º circle, that chord length is enough to accurate rescale AMSR2_Large and capture its graticule as overlay for 75º and 85º plus 1º longitude increments.


The ship itself is one big fancy drift buoy, not only reporting its GPS but also whatever parameters those six containers of atmospheric instruments in the bow are recording. Plus its azimuthal heading which the surface velocity profilers do not provide.

A rigid body can undergo translations (GPS) and rotations (azimuth changes) that are not relevant to the brittle failures of concern (opening and closing of leads, over-rafting of floes, slip-strike shearing and pressure ridges/keels).

Mosaic actually likes leads because they release ocean heat to the atmosphere and are important to study for overall energy flows, just not leads that cut LAN and power lines and strand personnel at field stations.

Taking any three buoys that define a good triangle (not co-linear, no overly acute angles), the lengths of the three sides and area enclosed do not change over time in a rigid ice pack. If the area increases, it means leads have opened under extensional forces; if the area decreases, compressional collapses have occurred.

If say 70 buoys are deployed, a goodly system of coupled triangles (the perimeter being the convex hull) emerges for monitoring regional ice deformation. Here ice brittleness increases non-linearly with colder temperatures. Since the SVPs record air temperatures at the ice surface and since the seawater underneath the ice is clamped to -1.7ºC, the temperature profile through say 2m of ice can be estimated.

Mosaic has two different buoy scales, high resolution local on and around the chosen floe and more sparsely regional. There aren't enough buoys out there to do the whole basin. There has been talk of large-scale air drops of passive devices like radar corner reflectors that would show up as points of light on Ascat etc. Hasn't happened.

Someone posted a great animation (can't relocate :() of the ice temperature profile behavior under an upper sinusoidal (seasonal) boundary conditions, plus an explicit solution of the governing heat equation. Thus if the a curve is fitted to the buoy's hourly temperatures, each term in its fourier expansion will have an exact solution -- and these are additive solutions.

However real ice has many issues such as surface snow and its complex aging status, frozen-in air bubbles, variable salinity inclusions, brine pockets, crystal dislocations, adherent algae and copepods etc etc meaning that the heat conductivity parameter isn't constant or known. So it is easier just to freeze in a string of thermistors below the buoy.


We can do a lot better than that cramped meereisportal visual just with a drag-n-drop of all the buoy lat/lon columns onto google earth pro. The advantage of GEP is the liquid rescaling to any zoom, a free parameter for temperature or thickness and mouse-over popups; the disadvantage is there does not seem to be a digitized daily ice edge line around. However there is a way of auto-generating that from say the AMSR2 blue edge.

GEP barely pauses loading a kml file with 250,000 lat/lon waypoints. That would be 30 buoys reporting hourly for a year. Hourly is a bit much given slow drift speeds but it is great for dynamic triangles. There is very little overhead to drawing lines between buoy pairs with the same timestamp.


The AMSR2 images below compare the ice edges on the Siberian side south of the Polarstern on Oct 10th for 2013-2019 (the 2012 is not provided by the UHH archive). The large format 3.125 km does notably better on growing landfast ice. This narrow strip is difficult to image because of the irregular coastline can occupy part of rectangular gridded pixels.

Clearly autumn 2019 is off to a very slow start; the magenta overlay line on earlier years shows how much open water is still left in the Laptev, the star at bottom shows the Polarstern location. I don't expect the 500 km reach of open water to freeze over any time soon because shallow shelf water been increasingly affected by Atlantification. The Laptev had frozen over completely in 2012-13 by the first of the year.

Developers Corner / Re: Test space
« on: October 09, 2019, 02:16:29 PM »
Salinity data needs to be taken from the dat files and added to the data frame first,
 tdata$salinity <- as.numeric(txdata$Salinity)
in the .dat import loop, same place temperature is added, then replace color = ~tempC with color = ~salinity in the plotly setup (it takes columns from the data frame specified at the start)

One problem I'm running into is that you can only use one colorscale per plot, still trying to hack my way around that, until then not sure how to display both data, maybe as circle lines, or offset slightly in one direction to make a two sided curtain..

I made the bathy work on ITP 116 which is floating around the north pole and just crossing the Lomonosov ridge, you can see the buoy got stuck for a while in spot where there's an almost 2km vertical cliff / cutout in the ridge. Takes a bit to load but worth it: (hover over a bathy point to see depth in meters, not to z-axis scale..)

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2019/2020 freezing season
« on: October 09, 2019, 01:52:51 PM »
I'm surprised the extent numbers are low after yesterday's polar crossing waft ripped the ice apart, polar view 8 to 9 oct around 100°E / 84-87°N approximately overlapped (click to play)

Dr. Judah Cohen at the AER Risk Assessment has identified a coupling of tropospheric and stratospheric polar lows, looking forward about 10 days time.  This would create a proper basin in atmospheric heights over the Arctic for a positive arctic oscillation mode, with a slightly less "wavy" jet stream, or at least one that isn't dissolving as much

This forecast is an improvement and it would, for the first time, interrupt the 5 straight months of high anomalies over vast reaches of the Arctic.  We would get less severe weather, and I think zonal flow would start to strengthen.

It was famously predicted, here in this thread, that there will be jet streams at the north pole 4 times, 8 days apart.  I didn't want to predict anything because of how much of a complete nonsense Dunning Kruger I am on this, but I went down the rabbit hole to see for myself, so might as well see what it's worth.
2018/2019 was a cold winter on this chart, never expected it to be so well behaved again?

Well what have I heard a dozen times?  That the recovery enables the big anomaly.  A big melt year will be preceded by a recovery year.

In systems thinking you could also identify a return to normal right before an outright crash.  Resistance right at the breaking point.

What I do, is just like... we could be experiencing mixed modes of ice age inter-glacial vs. Eocene Hothouse and be losing angular momentum as a result.  That would, complete wild guess, be a feedback that is not assessed.  Climate models are tested for retained atmospheric angular momentum, because it is a value that is assumed to be conserved in our future.  Well if there's this much mixing, where's the friction?  Adiabatic heating and wave interference along with heavier storm bursts.  Raising the tropopause 15 meters worldwide was a really bad idea.  It allows waves from the tropics to cross over the north pole.

So I am extremely interested in how this forecast plays out.  I want to be wrong about there being perpetual splashes of jet stream across the Arctic four or eight days apart, making it look like the whole atmosphere is stalling. 

It never should have lasted this long.  Since May 1 2019.  I thought it would not have lasted this long, but stratospheric polar vortex was always gonna stomp all over this thing in the end.  There will be a stratospheric PV formation just like every winter.  It will catch a wave and begin to pinball around the Arctic in November, and it will experience a messy destruction in January or February with cruel cold Arctic outbreaks in the Upper Plains & Great Lakes, and this will be completely normal and boring compared to the past five months of 2019.

I know some predictive tools have been bullish on a very strong polar vortex signal with definite AO+ NAO+ going back 6 weeks.  Now it's showing up in the weather models.

If this is coming true, then there will not be a large heat anomaly and accompanying jet stream ridge breaking off into a cut off high in the vicinity of the North Pole on October 16-18 and there is hope for a real change in the pattern.

and if not*, I will bug out early, see you in Patagonia where we will eat beavers and wait for land to open up in Antarctica

I will be watching the ocean heat anomalies

I will be watching the polar cap height FOR SOME BLUE

The AO index and predictability:

And I will be watching very closely for evidence we aren't bleeding AAM like we're dying

Developers Corner / Re: Dev library
« on: October 07, 2019, 12:15:30 AM »
hmm doesn't sound like you're seeing what I see, only tested with chrome, less then GB mem use & 20 secs loading or so, data download should only be 10MB.

The controls are supposed to let you pan/zoom/orbit the thing

Sample of ITP116 attached (one of the nicest)

Developers Corner / Re: Dev library
« on: October 06, 2019, 10:54:16 PM »
In the spirit of sharing I stole the genius of the best libraries around.. plotly does more than I could have dreamed of and exports to WebGL, takes some time to load but worth it :D

Smallest example:
check the rest on, the biggest ones have crashed my browser on occasion, would like to hear how it works for other people. Could optimize with averaging some data points if needed or other 'd0h' moments.

code updated on much quicker and awesome

Arctic sea ice / Re: MOSAiC news
« on: October 06, 2019, 02:24:20 PM »
Below are some floe tracking images that tie precise lat/lon positions into the WorldView visible dates when floes are more intuitively portrayed in clear weather. The first provides 16 days of daily displacements of the PS Floe based on their archived mix of radar images. Based on a fairly strong anticyclonic OsiSaf today, I expect Floe movement to the 'right' overnight.

The Floe is embedded in a larger context that moves as a semi-rigid block; indeed the whole ice pack is still exhibiting coherence but daily morphological plasticity as can be seen in the translucent greenish animation from earlier in Sept. (Ascat arrives as grayscale but two other channels for color can be made from fourier bandpass filtering that emphasize different scales of contrast variability.)

Sentinel imagery that Uniq has been posting is far higher quality but involves handling large initial files in unpopular jp2 format. The 16bit depth provides much more latitude in contrast adjustment though the gains are not as phenomenal as with 8bit Ascat. At the end of the day, everything has to be posted in 8bit x 3.

In the file names, 20191004T064336 parses out to 2019 Oct 04 at UTC time 06:43.36. The two images are then 06:27 - 06:43 apart or 16 minutes short of 48 hours, critical to accurate measurement of floe motion. It's possible to make 'interferometric' color images from just two frames in ImageJ; these have excellent prospects for displaying deformation over the whole region. As always we are very dependent on satellite providers for spot-on pixel geo-registration.


The dark blob in the center corresponds to the ice oddity in the first image of #77. It has stood out for since last autumn out as a relatively white region in plain Ascat; it is one of the last regions of thick MYI; it barely experienced TPD last winter.

The third image illustrates tracking of an unrelated floe in Modis Terra. Note daily or better coverage is needed to define motion as the 'shortcut' shown does not capture details of multi-day motion.

The fourth image shows the all-weather forward view from the bridge. The dark triangle is aft. While the floe shapes seems terribly distorted, publications have used it in the past to measure floe jostling and ice deformation. This clip is from an earlier voyage. The PS may have it turned on while moored but is not uploading it to a public archive as far as I know. ship radar N-ICE2015

Arctic sea ice / Re: Latest PIOMAS update (October 2019)
« on: October 06, 2019, 10:38:20 AM »
Finally a linear trend. The 2019 data point lies near perfect on the trend line. That means that the zero ice extrapolation has not shifted either and stays at 2032. That, and the fact that is has not changed much for many years gives some confidence to this date.

So for comparison I have added the same graph that I posted in 2012: also a 2032 zero ice extrapolation. The 'prediction' for 2019 is spot-on.

Arctic sea ice / Re: Latest PIOMAS update (October 2019)
« on: October 06, 2019, 10:29:10 AM »
Same as the previous but now a Gompertz regression, preferred by some. The Gompertz function approaches but never reaches zero, but still the same postponement to later and later dates is clear.

Arctic sea ice / Re: Latest PIOMAS update (October 2019)
« on: October 06, 2019, 10:15:12 AM »
Here is the exponential fit. The 2019 minimum is above the trend, shifting the extrapolated zero ice after  2025 where with only data up to 2018 it was 2014.

Arctic sea ice / Re: Latest PIOMAS update (October 2019)
« on: October 06, 2019, 09:57:04 AM »
Continuing with the graphs...

Here is the updated Fram volume export graph. September export was below normal.

Arctic sea ice / Re: MOSAiC news
« on: October 05, 2019, 10:05:14 PM »
Right, the big issue now is how fast the Polarstern's safety zone will grow to the south (towards New Siberian Islands). A buffer for long reach swells would really improve their situation, as would solidified adjacent ice.

Sept 2019 is an especially unfavorable for late open water/slush in the northern Laptev mooring area as the PS team is well aware (3rd and 4th graphics). The latter appends Oct 2018, though that scarcely provides a prediction for this autumn.

I found some trackable features for Oct 04 back to Sep 21 enveloping the Chosen Floe (which itself is not so trackable) and was able to follow them back into Modis/Worldview daylight. The ice has been going around in an aimless circles with no sign of TransPolar Drift onset. Despite leads opening and closing, this region of ice has been moving mostly like a rigid block.

Last May, we found the best way to quantify deformation was via Delaunay triangulation. That is, if three features form a triangle, its changing lengths and angles -- whose values ImageJ conveniently tabulates in CSV -- describe ice deformation since triangles unlike quadrilaterals etc are rigid. This method was used in a recent N-ICE2015 article for the same purpose.

Sentinel-1 does not fly over every day by any means. They seem to be using other sources of imagery in a mix-and-match manner. For example, Sept 25th is a just an exact copy of Sept 26th in the region shown.

The satellite usage table below from Mosaic's main planning document shows the options (needs a click to be readable; color legend is screwed up). Naturally, they have a budge gto buy commercial coverage as needed.

Arctic sea ice / Re: Latest PIOMAS update (October 2019)
« on: October 05, 2019, 09:13:14 AM »
More graphs to prepare (the ones with annual minimum), but that will be much later. Paint job to do.

Arctic sea ice / Re: Latest PIOMAS update (October 2019)
« on: October 05, 2019, 09:04:04 AM »
The volume and volume-anomaly graphs.

Arctic sea ice / Re: Latest PIOMAS update (October 2019)
« on: October 05, 2019, 08:57:45 AM »
PIOMAS gridded thickness data has updated. Volume calculated from thickness was 4.57[1000km3] on 30th September, second lowest for the day.
The 2019 minimum was around the 10th, 4.06[1000km3]. As these number are not exactly the same as the official PIOMAS volume numbers, wait for the release of those.

Here is the animation.

Here are the updated volume and volume-anomaly graphs. Click to enlarge.

The PIOMAS gridded thickness data was updated to the 15th of September. Volume (calculated from thickness) on that date was 4.06 [1000km3], second lowest for the day. The number  have been nearly constant at 4.05-4.06 for several days. Because my calculation sometimes differ with the official volume data by 0.01 I do not know if we have reached the minimum (my feeling is, it has).

Here is the animation of September thus far. 

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2019 melting season
« on: September 20, 2019, 05:25:14 AM »
I get that, but I mean, does this mean another cold winter where I am? How long is this going to go on before it transitions to something else? What will that something else be?

I know the answers are probably not well studied, but surely this can't be a complete surprise. You mention the word quadrupole being used in 2013 after all.

Now we are going off topic and should start a new thread on Atmosphere

Essentially it wants to be an equable climate but it stayed too cold at the pole to allow it.  Like the Southern Hemisphere.  Well, we hit the point where that's no longer working.

now we're seeing a mix of interglacial / equable climate regimes blending together.

It is changing faster than it is warming.  It's the dynamics that are in trouble.  Almost every year will be palpably worse.  That is abrupt climate change featuring a runaway of the climate structure.

Jet streams will start dissolving as big packets of tropical height atmosphere flood to the pole.

There are many places to do research to understand this line of thinking

In cooperation with the Operation Ice Bridge Team and especially Sea Ice Scientist Linette Boisvert NASA who sent me many images and a few videos from their trip across Zachariae Isstrøm on September 5 2019, the delay in the publishing is due to the poor internet band width at Thule Airbase.
We start this round of images from the top of Zachariae Isstrøm including the giant meltponds then passing the calving front across the Zach Bay and at the end we reach the former glacier tongue of Zachariae Isttrøm, now a death piece of glacier ice, enjoy and again thanks to Linette:

Here is actually a very up to date image of the tongue, taken yesterday by the Icebridge Team:

Has there been any deterioration of the portion that has separated from the glacier?

Here is animation showing the deteriotion from 2009 to 2019:

Arctic sea ice / Re: Home brew AMSR2 extent & area calculation
« on: September 04, 2019, 09:07:31 AM »
A late century drop in extent shows there are still possibilities for second lowest place ( in my limited data set).

Here is an animation of the Arctic Basin compared with 2012. Click to start.

Arctic sea ice / Re: Latest PIOMAS update (September 2019)
« on: September 04, 2019, 08:52:08 AM »
The thickness map on 2019-08-31, compared with previous years and the differences. All need a click for full size.

Arctic sea ice / Re: Latest PIOMAS update (September 2019)
« on: September 04, 2019, 08:46:25 AM »
Fram volume export was about normal for August: low.

Arctic sea ice / Re: Latest PIOMAS update (September 2019)
« on: September 04, 2019, 08:42:20 AM »
The volume and volume-anomaly graphs.

Arctic sea ice / Re: Latest PIOMAS update (September 2019)
« on: September 04, 2019, 08:28:36 AM »
PIOMAS gridded thickness data has updated (official volume data not yet). Volume on 31st August was 4.17 [1000km3], second lowest behind 2012 (3.93[1000km3]).

Here is the animation for August.

Greenland and Arctic Circle / Re: The Nares Strait thread
« on: August 27, 2019, 12:47:16 AM »
" Your comments and thoughts, please."
 Far from shore, I suspect that the pressure gradient between the Arctic and Labrador seas is increasingly being met by deep currents of Atlantic waters making their way around N. Greenland through Nares and into Baffin. If Petermann breaks soon that would add confidence to my thoughts, as the breakout of waters from the north side of Humbolt already has. IF my guess has merit then the surface flows, normally southbound become more prone to tidal, even wind, driven changes. So whilst the ice coming from the north will be driven against the coast of Ellesmere to accelerate it to equilibrium with tangential rotational speed once the surface flow is northbound the ice will switch sides and be slowed down by Greenland.

Arctic sea ice / Re: The Rammb Slider Thread
« on: August 24, 2019, 11:43:15 PM »
Greenland sea 149 hours.

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2019 melting season
« on: August 23, 2019, 05:53:48 PM »
NW off Greenland

Band I2 increased contrast.


And the updated Fram volume export graph.

The volume and volume-anomaly graphs.

Here is the animation for August until now.

PIOMAS gridded thickness data was updated., last date was 2019-08-17. Volume calculated from thickness was 4.81 [1000km3], second lowest behind 2012 (4.68 [1000km3]).

graphs are being prepared...

Arctic sea ice / Re: The Rammb Slider Thread
« on: August 11, 2019, 01:51:03 AM »
Glad that it was well received.

Clear skies around the pole today.
Needs click, contrast slightly enhanced for detail.

Arctic sea ice / Re: Null School Sea Surface Temperature Anomalies
« on: August 07, 2019, 08:53:21 AM »
Thank you so much for your help Petm! Like I said before, I'm a complete amateur who's trying to understand what's happening with the climate. I have much to learn!

That Danish website is awesome! I saw it before, but never really used it. I like the ice thickness tool. How reliable is this model? If this is right, that would mean that a whole lot of ice could melt out from Laptev to svalbard, because it's only 50 cm thick over a quarter of the pack. A little wind, and poof?
Comparing this thickness map with the unihamburg amsr2-uhh concentration map, there are a few areas where there are significant discrepancies between the maps. Of course thickness and concentration are different things, but in the two marked areas there seems to be very little ice concentration left, even though the thickness indicates quite a thick ice there, especially in the red circles.

However in the low thickness area extending almost to the pole, the concentrations seem to be quite high. If nothing else, this should show that different models and different metrics paint a completely different picture of the ice at the moment.

Arctic sea ice / Re: meaningless freezingseason/melting season chatter.
« on: August 05, 2019, 10:16:54 PM »
So sunlight at 30 deegrees above horizon takes twice as long to reach the earth through an evenly thick atmosphere as would sunligt at 90 degrees. But since the atmosphere is only half as thick in the Arctic, it turns out that the sunlight at 30 degrees in the Artctic travels about the same distance through air as sunlight in the Tropics.

That could be a heuristic for summer solstice.  But it's already August, and the sun angle in the high Arctic is dropping quickly.

The sun at the North Pole is at an angle of only 17° above the horizon right now.   The path through the atmosphere is already 36% longer now than at summer solstice ( sin(23.5°)/sin(17°) ≈ 1.36 ).   At the end of August, the angle will be only 9° and the path will be 2.5 times longer than at solstice ( sin(23.5°)/sin(9°) ≈ 2.55).

This also shows up in the surface insolation graph I posted yesterday:

Top-of-atmosphere insolation at the North Pole at this time of year (5 August) is about 75% of its value at solstice, whereas surface insolation is about 60% of its value at solstice.  This discrepancy gets even larger in the next few weeks.

Arctic sea ice / Re: Latest PIOMAS update (August 2019)
« on: August 04, 2019, 09:22:53 AM »
2019-0-31 thickness map, a comparison with previous years and their differences (need clicks for the true size).

Arctic sea ice / Re: Latest PIOMAS update (August 2019)
« on: August 04, 2019, 09:16:23 AM »
Fram volume export is low as expected for July.

Arctic sea ice / Re: Latest PIOMAS update (August 2019)
« on: August 04, 2019, 09:12:40 AM »
Updated volume and volume-anomaly graphs.

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