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Messages - Juan C. García

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Arctic sea ice / Re: Latest PIOMAS update (March)
« on: March 05, 2021, 05:12:33 PM »
I have started to process Wipneus' data files on NSIDC area and extent. In my universe 29 Feb does not exist so I deleted those days. The Wipneus regional analysis uses a wider boundary than NSIDC for the Central Arctic Basin, which signifcantly reduces the area of the Beaufort, Chukchi, ESS and Laptev seas (see attached last image).

NSIDC also include part of the Sea of Japan in their Okhosk data, while this is shown separately in the Wipneus area and extent data.
Qu: Does the Wipneus volume data in the Regional files for the Okhotsk Sea include or exclude Sea of japan volume?

Using Wipneus defined boundaries for both volume and area data allows a meaningful calculation of thickness over time. As we have monthly regional data of volume back to 1979, and monthly area data tables are relatively simple to construct from daily data, it is possible to graph trends in volume and thickness going back to 1979. The downside is that short-term daily variations are smoothed away. I attach the thickness graph from daily changes to demonstrate (complete with ghastly colour scheme).

I attach graphs for the CAB going back to 1979.

click image to enlarge

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2020/2021 freezing season
« on: March 04, 2021, 04:16:44 PM »
As for volume models, there's also Nico Sun's AMSR2 SIT model, which recently received an upgrade. I don't see it discussed here very often.

Arctic sea ice / Re: Latest PIOMAS update (March)
« on: March 03, 2021, 06:41:27 PM »
Updated volume and volume-anomaly graphs.

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2020/2021 freezing season
« on: March 01, 2021, 11:52:26 AM »
The massive increase on Feb. 28 was a real game changer:

Not far to go now for a new JAXA max, but the University of Hamburg's "high resolution" AMSR2 metric isn't following suit, especially when you look at sea ice area:

UH data to February 27th:

Consequences / Re: Hurricane Season 2021
« on: February 27, 2021, 06:04:40 AM »
Watch 2020’s Hurricane Season Unfold In a Mesmerizing Four-Minute Timelapse

This week, NASA released a grim four-minute timelapse of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season, a mesmerizing display of last year’s record-breaking string of tropical commotion.

2020’s season “smashed records with an unprecedented 30 named storms, marking the fifth year in a row with above-average hurricane activity,” NASA said in a blog accompanying the video.

The agency’s Scientific Visualization Studio used a complex algorithm to process and merge hordes of data from an array of weather satellites in orbit, combining it with estimates and observations from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center and National Hurricane Center.

The product is a fascinating four-minute and 26-second look at last year’s hurricane activity, unfolding in a colorful display of wispy cyclone formations tumbling across the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea.

... “The bar has been raised,” Brian McNoldy, a senior researcher at the University of Miami’s Marine and Atmospheric Science school, tweeted last week. “When we mention the average number of named storms, hurricanes, & major hurricanes, we’re typically referring to a recent 30-year ‘climate normal’. We’ve been using 1981-2010, but now we have 1991-2020, and the counts have increased by 12-19%.”

Last year’s Atlantic hurricane season was the fifth costliest on record, causing roughly $60 billion in economic damage, according to a report from AccuWeather. The most expensive season on record was in 2017, hitting $306.2 billion in costs.

“Climate normals are updated each decade to keep up with a changing climate,” McNoldy said. “What was normal 50 years ago isn’t normal now.”

Hurricane season, June 1st, 2021, is less than 100 days away.

Consequences / Re: Places becoming less livable
« on: February 27, 2021, 01:27:10 AM »
The Louvre Moves Its Treasures as Climate Change Brings More Floods to Paris

The Paris museum is relocating many artworks not on display to a storage facility in northern France designed to stand up to global warming impacts

... When the River Seine that runs through Paris overflowed this month, officials at the Louvre Museum were relieved some of their most valuable items were safely stored in northern France.

The world's largest and most visited museum, with almost 10 million visitors annually, had already transported some 100,000 at risk art pieces to the new Louvre Conservation Center in Lievin, some 190 km north. The reason? Climate change.

"The current floods show once again how necessary it is to protect our art works from flooding," said Jean-Luc Martinez, Director of the Louvre, which owns about 620,000 artworks, only 35,000 of which are on display in the Parisian former palace.

"Soon this flood danger will - once and for all - be behind us," he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

With climate change, scientists say heavy rains that cause flooding are set to become more frequent, threatening riverside gems like the Louvre, Notre Dame cathedral and the Musee d'Orsay - home to the world's greatest Impressionist paintings.

The problem is not unique to Paris. Italy built flood barriers to protect Venice's historic city centre after salty sea water damaged St Mark's Basilica, while London's Tate galleries sit on flood-prone sites. [

"We have a lot of museums whose collections will be affected if they are not stored properly," said Mechtild Rossler, director of the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, which supports landmark buildings recognised by the U.N. cultural agency.

By mid-2021, Louvre officials hope 250,000 at-risk paintings, sculptures and tapestries - including the Venus de Milo - will be in their new, $120 million home, where they will be safe from floods, heatwaves and other extreme weather.

The Louvre Conservation Center is set to become one of Europe's largest art training and research centres, visited by museum specialists, conservators and academics from around the world, as well as offering art refuge for countries in conflict.


Money Down the Drain: Flood-Prone Miami to Spend Billions Tackling Sea Level Rise

The US city of Miami is to invest billions of dollars to tackle its vulnerability to rising sea levels, a reality that already affects the daily lives of residents used to constant flooding.

Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine-Cava said Friday she will protect communities hardest hit by rising sea levels, which eat away at beaches and leave residents particularly vulnerable to flooding during hurricane season.

"We must continue to focus on restoration, preservation and protection of this sacred space," she told a news conference.

"And so we will be together investing billions of dollars... in our infrastructure so that we can lift this community and others that are so affected by sea level rise," she added.

She cited "adaptation action areas" as a first priority to be studied, which would include raising low-lying roads, and waterproofing and converting southern Florida's widely used septic tanks into sewage systems.

The city of Miami Beach—which is part of Miami-Dade County—invested millions of dollars in raising the level of many of its streets in 2016.

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2020/2021 freezing season
« on: February 20, 2021, 12:22:10 AM »
      HYCOM ice thickness paints a completely different picture.  I know this has been discussed.  But which one is the more accurate representation of thickness?
Hold on. I'll get my augur and nip over and check. ;)
Personally I prefer something that is measured rather than a model. Probably best to take Neven's advice and compare, compare, compare.
Linking to that gif might be a bit heavy on volume for some

CS2SMOS merged ice thickness isn't a model. It's an attempt to get the best result by merging two satellite measurements.
CS2SMOS product description
The European Space Agency’s (ESA) Earth Explorer SMOS satellite can detect thin sea ice, whereas  its  companion  CryoSat-2,  designed  to  observe  thicker  perennial  sea  ice,  lacks sensitivity. Using these satellite missions together completes the picture of the changing Arctic sea ice and provides a more accurate and comprehensive view on the actual state of Arctic sea-ice thickness

well, 'completes' is a bit ambitious, 'more accurate' is better, especially as SMOS is daily and CS2 takes a month to cover the whole's only available from october to april..

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2020/2021 freezing season
« on: February 19, 2021, 09:53:21 PM »
CS2SMOS merged and PIOMAS modeled ice thickness, jan31-feb15/16
Broadly in agreement though cs2smos doesn't show any 4m ice. We'll have to wait and see which is right about the Beaufort.
colours were re indexed to prevent dithering

With Beaufort coming into daylight here is a contrasted aqua modis image from feb18 to show structure.

Arctic sea ice / Re: Latest PIOMAS update (February)
« on: February 04, 2021, 12:11:20 PM »
Update Fram volume export graph.

Arctic sea ice / Re: Latest PIOMAS update (February)
« on: February 04, 2021, 12:10:32 PM »
The updated volume and volume-anomaly graphs.

Arctic sea ice / Re: Latest PIOMAS update (February)
« on: February 04, 2021, 11:12:25 AM »
PIOMAS gridded thickness data was updated. Volume calculated for the last day (31st Jan) was 17.6 [1000km3], which is the third lowest figure for that day.

Attached is the animation for January.

Antarctica / Re: Ice Apocalypse - MULTIPLE METERS SEA LEVEL RISE
« on: January 16, 2021, 03:36:18 PM »
According to DeConto and Pollard, ocean temperatures around Antarctic must warm by at least 2C to initiate the massive amounts of hydrofracturing that would enable Marine Ice Cliff Instability (MICI) to occur.  And the "wolfpack" of CMIP6 models that run hot need the southern ocean to run so hot that the clouds above it dry up for their extreme climate sensitivities to kick in.

So what is the Southern Ocean doing?  The linked reference seems to state that it's hotspots have cooled and that after undergoing accelerated warming during "the pause" in global temperature increases from 2003 - 2012 that the warming has slowed down since 2013.

Recent Shift in the Warming of the Southern Oceans Modulated by Decadal Climate Variability
Lina Wang, Kewei Lyu, Wei Zhuang, Weiwei Zhang, Salvienty Makarim, Xiao‐Hai Yan
28 December 2020


It has been reported that the Southern Hemisphere oceans experienced rapid warming during the decade‐long global surface warming slowdown (2003–2012) and the earlier period of the Argo record (2006–2013). In this study, we analyze updated observations to show that this rapid warming has slowed down, leading to less contribution of the Southern Hemisphere oceans to the global ocean heat storage (∼65% over the available Argo period 2006–2019). Two warming hotspot regions, the southeast Indian Ocean and South Pacific Ocean, have experienced cooling over 2013–2019. This decadal shift is related to variations in the Southern Annular Mode (SAM) and Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation (IPO). The isopycnal deepening (shoaling) forced by changing winds dominated the regional ocean temperature changes over the earlier warming (later cooling) period. Our finding demonstrates how decadal variability modulates long‐term climate change and provides important observational information for the ongoing calibration of decadal prediction systems.

First, just because DeConto & Pollard (2016)'s model assumed that the mean ocean temperature around Antarctica increased abruptly by 2C does not mean that:

"According to DeConto and Pollard, ocean temperatures around Antarctic must warm by at least 2C to initiate the massive amounts of hydrofracturing that would enable Marine Ice Cliff Instability (MICI) to occur."

Reasons that this statement by Ken is a red herring include:

1. For DeConto & Pollard (2016)'s model assumption to be reasonable, the only water around Antarctic that needs to increase is the modified CDW that is in contact with the ice shelves buttressing key marine glaciers such as the PIG and Thwaites Glacier.  In this regard, the first image shows that due to the freshening of the Southern Ocean surface waters, beginning around 2030 the depth of the relatively warm modified CDW will sharping shallow to the level of the subsea troughs on the Antarctic continental shelf leading to such key marine glaciers.  Thus, while DeConto & Pollard (2016)'s model did not have high enough resolution to simulate these warm tongues of modified CDW, their assumption that the mean ocean temperature increased by 2C managed to simulate the impact of these tongues of modified CDW reasonably well.

2. In my opinion, the Thwaites Glacier is a special case in that the Thwaites Ice Tongue is already so degraded that it does not need much further degradation by modified CDW to allow a MICI type of mechanism to form at the location indicated in red on the second attached image circa 2035.

Regarding the impact of the climate sensitivity of the 'Wolf Pack' CMIP6 projections, the third image shows that the Wolf Pack member UKESM1-0-LL projects that circa 2035, GMSTA will already exceed 2C.

Regarding the influence of the SAM and the IPO on the cyclic uptake of ocean heat into the Southern Ocean, the fact that this uptake was relatively high from 2003 to 2012 an relatively low from 2013 to 2019; suggests that sometime after about 2022 (or so) this rate of uptake should  become relatively high again thru about 2030-2035; which is when I believe that the Thwaites Glacier may initiate MICI behavior.

Antarctica / Re: Ice Apocalypse - MULTIPLE METERS SEA LEVEL RISE
« on: January 08, 2021, 05:24:51 PM »
Per Copernicus, the 2020 GMSTA was tied for the warmest year on record at 1.25C above pre-industrial (see the attached image).

Title: "Copernicus: 2020 warmest year on record for Europe; globally, 2020 ties with 2016 for warmest year recorded"

Extract: "The Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) today reveals that globally 2020 was tied with the previous warmest year 2016, making it the sixth in a series of exceptionally warm years starting in 2015, and 2011-2020 the warmest decade recorded.

•   2020 was 0.6°C warmer than the standard 1981-2010 reference period and around 1.25°C above the 1850-1900 pre-industrial period"

Arctic sea ice / Re: 2020 Sea ice area and extent data
« on: January 02, 2021, 11:14:50 AM »
Big thanks to Juan and Gero for their important daily contributions. 2020 is finally over...

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2020/2021 freezing season
« on: December 28, 2020, 06:25:57 AM »
December 17-27.


Antarctica / Re: What's new in Antarctica ?
« on: December 20, 2020, 11:52:30 AM »
The University of Chile has recorded a massive spike in seismic activity in Antarctica and said since the end of August, more than 30,000 earth tremors have rocked the world’s southernmost continent.
Scientists with the university’s National Seismological Center said the small quakes – including one stronger shake of magnitude 6 – were detected in the Bransfield Strait, a 96 km wide ocean channel between the South Shetland Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula, Reuters reported.
Several tectonic plates and microplates meet near the strait, leading to frequent rumbling, but the past three months have been unusual, according to the center.
“Most of the seismicity is concentrated at the beginning of the sequence, mainly during the month of September, with more than a thousand earthquakes a day,” the center said.
Reuters reported the shakes have become so frequent that the strait itself, once increasing in width at a rate of about 7 or 8 mm a year, is now expanding 15 cm a year.
“It’s a 20-fold increase … which suggests that right this minute … the Shetland Islands are separating more quickly from the Antarctic peninsula,” said Sergio Barrientos, the center’s director.

That is a pretty impressive increase...

Consequences / Re: Hurricane Season 2020
« on: December 17, 2020, 01:54:16 PM »

Consequences / Re: Hurricane Season 2020
« on: December 17, 2020, 10:36:11 AM »
Cyclone Yasa: Category 5 cyclone hits Fiji causing landslides, flooding, 345kmh gusts, and 14-metre swells.

This will be catastrophic.
My thoughts are for all my friends in the Fiji community and for any cruisers stuck there for cyclone season due to NZ boarders being closed. 

Global warming.

More energy = stronger storms.

Arctic sea ice / Re: What's new in the Arctic ?
« on: December 09, 2020, 04:58:38 AM »
Francis and Wu are investigating early northern Arctic terrestrial snow melt as helping *slow* late summer sea ice melt.



Arctic sea ice / Re: What's new in the Arctic ?
« on: December 09, 2020, 12:22:08 AM »
2020 Arctic Report Card summary --
The Arctic is getting hotter, greener and less icy much faster than expected, report finds

Inside Climate News version

Edit - The Arctic Report Card 2020 is online, with a summary at

Science / Re: 2020 Mauna Loa CO2 levels
« on: December 08, 2020, 09:48:52 PM »
The official average CO2 level at Mauna Loa has been calculated.

November 2020:       412.89 ppm
November 2019:       410.25 ppm
Last updated: December 8, 2020

The annual increase is 2.64 ppm. Last November it had been at 2.23 ppm.

The index [1980 = 100] has increased to 121.9

Science / Re: Trends in atmospheric CH4
« on: December 08, 2020, 09:45:19 PM »
Here is the latest monthly average of Mauna Loa CH4 concentration:

August 2020:     1876.9 ppb
August 2019:     1863.0 ppb
Last updated: December 05, 2020

This is an annual increase of 13.9 ppb. This is the highest annual increase since February 2015!

I set an index = 100 for the 1980 average [1601.2 ppb]. August 2020 is at 117.2 compared to that index.

Consequences / Re: Weird Weather and anecdotal stories about climate change
« on: December 08, 2020, 07:21:01 PM »
I have another blog post over on netweather. Looking at some examples of how Arctic Amplification is altering mid-latitude winter weather and contributing to more extremes.

Arctic sea ice / Re: Latest PIOMAS update (December)
« on: December 06, 2020, 03:01:31 PM »
The updated volume and volume-anomaly graphs.

Arctic sea ice / Re: Latest PIOMAS update (December)
« on: December 06, 2020, 03:00:10 PM »
PIOMAS gridded data was updated upto day 335, which is 30th Nov or 1st of December depending on your calendar. On day 335 volume, calculated from this thickness, reached 9/86 [1000]km3], which is the lowest value except for 2016.

Here is the animation for November.

Antarctica / Re: Ice Apocalypse - MULTIPLE METERS SEA LEVEL RISE
« on: November 30, 2020, 08:27:17 PM »
A newly published study (November 27, 2020) finds that the Atlantic Meridonal Overturning Circulation (AMOC) has been more stable than models projected.  It turns out consensus scientists may be overestimating the future impact of warming on the AMOC.  One can only hope that the CMIP 7 models get it right.


The Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) is crucially important to global climate. Model simulations suggest that the AMOC may have been weakening over decades. However, existing array-based AMOC observations are not long enough to capture multidecadal changes. Here, we use repeated hydrographic sections in the subtropical and subpolar North Atlantic, combined with an inverse model constrained using satellite altimetry, to jointly analyze AMOC and hydrographic changes over the past three decades. We show that the AMOC state in the past decade is not distinctly different from that in the 1990s in the North Atlantic, with a remarkably stable partition of the subpolar overturning occurring prominently in the eastern basins rather than in the Labrador Sea. In contrast, profound hydrographic and oxygen changes, particularly in the subpolar North Atlantic, are observed over the same period, suggesting a much higher decoupling between the AMOC and ocean interior property fields than previously thought.

Observations from the subtropical RAPID array (Rapid Climate Change-Meridional Overturning Circulation and Heatflux Array–Western Boundary Time Series) suggest a weakening AMOC between 2004 and 2012 (14), but a subsequent recovery until September 2018 has left no significant declining trend of the AMOC (15). In the SPNA, the OSNAP (Overturning in the Subpolar North Atlantic Program) record is still too short for identifying long-term changes (16). In the South Atlantic, there have also been efforts to estimate the AMOC using array observations, for instance, at 34.5°S (17). Despite the fact that these array observations have revolutionized our view on the AMOC, the relatively short records, especially in the SPNA, limit our understanding of the AMOC in previous decades.


Despite profound upper-layer water property changes in the SPNA, our results demonstrate a comparatively stable overturning in the region during the past three decades. This circulation pattern is consistent with the weak variability in the North Atlantic Current (NAC) on decadal time scales (fig. S11) that is the primary upper-limb source of the subpolar overturning, and with a stable overflow transport in the AMOC lower limb during the last decades (23, 38). Surface buoyancy fluxes induce large variations in water mass transformation in the subpolar basins (39). However, previous studies have shown that the deep waters recirculate in the subpolar basins subsequent to their formation for up to decades before exporting to the subtropics (and thus affecting the AMOC), mainly due to the existence of the interior pathways (13, 40). This is consistent with the water mass transformation analysis (39), which shows variations of about 2 Sv in the subpolar AMOC on decadal time scales in response to the surface buoyancy forcing at high latitudes. In addition, there exists a density-compensating effect between temperature and salinity changes in the subpolar basins, which is most prominent in the Labrador Sea (27, 37) and, to a lesser extent, in the eastern subpolar gyre (41). Those characteristics of the SPNA all disfavor a marked shift of the AMOC state (42). Last, our results support the subpolar AMOC’s weak response to the Labrador Sea changes, as suggested by recent OSNAP observations (16). During the years of strong deep convection in the Labrador Sea and Irminger Sea (i.e., the early 1990s and 2014–2015) (19, 20), the AMOC in the western and eastern SPNA was not stronger compared to periods of weak convection.

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2020/2021 freezing season
« on: November 28, 2020, 01:13:27 PM »
cs2smos merged sea ice thickness, oct22-nov25. The thicker short wrangel arm area north of ESS appears to have dispersed. smos also picking up the lower concentration area north west of Mackenzie Bay (see post #855 up thread)
click for animation

Reasonably cloudless over the Beaufort since nov21

Antarctica / Re: Ice Apocalypse - MULTIPLE METERS SEA LEVEL RISE
« on: November 26, 2020, 12:14:20 AM »
How would " increased freshwater inflow into the Arctic Ocean ... work to destabilize the halocline in that ocean"?  I've read elsewhere (other ASIF threads, and maybe this one, too) that rivers (dumping fresh water into the Arctic) support the reestablishment of the halocline where storms and currents have somewhat mixed the top 30 or 50 meters.


While you are correct that increasing influx of fresh riverine water into the Arctic Ocean increases the thickness of the halocline layer; which reduces heat flux from the Atlantic layer to the Arctic atmosphere. 

Nevertheless, as the first linked reference cites, excess fresh surface water is frequently heated in the northern Chukchi Sea and then stored in the interior of the Beaufort Gyre.  So more freshwater discharge into the Arctic Ocean will increase the heat stored in the Beaufort Gyre; which when released (during a temporary reversal of the Beaufort Gyre) will melt large areas of Arctic sea ice; which, will destabilize the halocline releasing more heat from the Atlantic layer into the Arctic atmosphere thus accelerating Arctic Amplification.

Mary-Louise Timmermans, John Toole and Richard Krishfield (29 Aug 2018), "Warming of the interior Arctic Ocean linked to sea ice losses at the basin margins", Science Advances , Vol. 4, no. 8, eaat6773, DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aat6773

Abstract: "Arctic Ocean measurements reveal a near doubling of ocean heat content relative to the freezing temperature in the Beaufort Gyre halocline over the past three decades (1987–2017). This warming is linked to anomalous solar heating of surface waters in the northern Chukchi Sea, a main entryway for halocline waters to join the interior Beaufort Gyre. Summer solar heat absorption by the surface waters has increased fivefold over the same time period, chiefly because of reduced sea ice coverage. It is shown that the solar heating, considered together with subduction rates of surface water in this region, is sufficient to account for the observed halocline warming. Heat absorption at the basin margins and its subsequent accumulation in the ocean interior, therefore, have consequences for Beaufort Gyre sea ice beyond the summer season."


Also, the second linked reference indicates that in addition to the freshwater accumulated in the Beaufort Gyre the entire Arctic Ocean surface layer has been accumulating atypically high volumes of freshwater that are only recently beginning to leak atypically high volumes of freshwater into the North Atlantic.  This implies that for many years now the full impacts of unusually high (anthropogenically driven) discharges of freshwater into the Arctic Ocean (and then on to the North Atlantic) have been masked.  As thick layers of freshwater in the Arctic Ocean reduce the rate of heat flux from the deeper/warming layers of ocean water into the Arctic atmosphere, this atypically high accumulation of freshwater in the Arctic Ocean surface layers implies that in recent years the Arctic has been cooler than it otherwise would have been (without this atypically high accumulation).  Thus if/when the Beaufort Gyre finally reverses it will likely not only release excessively high freshwater volumes accumulated in the Gyre into the North Atlantic, but it would likely also flush excess freshwater from the atypically high accumulations from the ocean surface layers in much of the Arctic Ocean and would likely melt large portions of the existing sea ice; which, would flush even more freshwater into the North Atlantic where this additional freshwater flux would serve to rapidly slow the AMOC:

Alexandra Jahn and Rory Laiho (27 July 2020), "Forced Changes in the Arctic Freshwater Budget Emerge in the Early 21st Century", Geophysical Research Letters,

Arctic liquid freshwater (FW) storage has shown a large increase over the past decades, posing the question: Is the Arctic FW budget already showing clear signs of anthropogenic climate change, or are the observed changes the result of multi‐decadal variability? We show that the observed change in liquid and solid Arctic FW storage is likely already driven by the changing climate, based on ensemble simulations from a state‐of‐the‐art climate model. Generally, the emergence of forced changes in Arctic FW fluxes occurs earlier for oceanic fluxes than for atmospheric or land fluxes. Nares Strait liquid FW flux is the first to show emergence outside the range of background variability, with this change potentially already occurring. Other FW fluxes have likely started to shift but have not yet emerged into a completely different regime. Future emissions reductions have the potential to avoid the emergence of some FW fluxes beyond the background variability.

Plain Language Summary
The surface waters of the Arctic Ocean are fresher than the rest of the world oceans, due to the input of large amounts of river runoff. The very fresh surface ocean affects the ocean circulation and climate not just in the Arctic Ocean, but also at lower latitudes, especially in the North Atlantic. The last two decades have seen a freshening of the surface Arctic Ocean, for reasons that are currently unknown. Here we demonstrate that this freshening is likely already driven by climate change. Furthermore, we find that due to man‐made climate change, Arctic freshwater fluxes to the North Atlantic are also likely to soon start showing signs of change beyond the range of the variability we have observed in the past. The information provided here about the expected timing of the emergence of climate change signals will allow us to monitor upcoming changes in real time, to better understand how changes in the Arctic Ocean can impact climate worldwide.

Key points
•   The observed increase in Arctic liquid freshwater (FW) storage is likely already driven by climate change
•   A forced change in liquid FW flux through Nares Strait is likely to emerge within the next decade
•   The already changing nature of many FW budget terms can delay detection of shift and emergence from observations


Policy and solutions / Re: Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS)
« on: November 25, 2020, 06:57:51 PM »
Carbon sequestration investments may be included in a new US stimulus plan early next year.

Biden calls for major investments into carbon removal tech

The president-elect’s transition plan also recommends research and development funding for batteries, renewable hydrogen and advanced nuclear.

James Temple
November 9, 2020

President-elect Joe Biden wasted little time setting a new tone on climate change.

On Sunday, one day after major outlets called the presidential election for the former vice president, the Biden-Harris transition team released documents laying out the incoming administration’s early priorities, including a blueprint for “tackling the climate crisis.”

Most of the details were drawn directly from Biden’s sweeping campaign climate plan, which would dedicate $1.7 trillion to overhaul energy, transportation, agriculture, and other sectors. But the list of areas in which Biden hopes to make “far-reaching investments” includes at least one new term: negative-emissions technologies.That phrase encompasses a number of approaches for drawing greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere. These can include carbon-sucking machines that companies like Climeworks and Carbon Engineering are developing; methods to speed up natural processes through which minerals capture and lock away carbon; and schemes that rely on plants to absorb carbon dioxide, then convert them into fuel sources and capture any resulting emissions (a process known as “bioenergy with carbon capture and sequestration”).

Scientists say that removing billions of tons of carbon dioxide per year by midcentury will be essential for preventing very dangerous levels of global warming.

Policy observers believe that there could be opportunities to incorporate significant research and development funding for clean energy in upcoming economic stimulus packages, noting that such measures have bipartisan support. Indeed, Congress largely beat back the Trump administration’s repeated efforts to slash federal investments in these areas during the last four years.

Policy and solutions / Re: Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS)
« on: November 25, 2020, 06:50:02 PM »
As companies seek to reach net zero or even sequester all of their historic emissions, "carbontech" firms are becoming economically viable.

Carbontech is getting ready for its market moment

By Heather Clancy
October 28, 2020

It may be a little early to start writing about trends for 2021, but I’m going to do it anyway. What’s on my mind? Carbontech, a category of climate tech I’d love to see break through next year. It's the exciting idea that we can take something that could be considered waste, draw it out of the atmosphere and turn it into a source of revenue or economic growth.

There are signs that give me optimism. This morning, digital payments company Stripe announced a plan to let its merchant customers divert a portion of their revenue to carbon removal projects. The move follows Stripe’s own pledge to put $1 million into four "high potential" projects earlier this year, and the two initiatives are related. The specific technologies that Stripe is funding are carbon-sequestering concrete (CarbonCure), geologic storage (Charm Industrial), direct air capture (Climeworks) and ocean mineralization (Project Vesta).

Lest I forget, another well-known commerce player, Shopify, last month picked carbon removal and carbontech as a focus for its Sustainability Fund, which commits $5 million annually to climate-tech solutions. Some companies it is supporting are the same as Stripe (CarbonCure, Charm Industrial and Climeworks). It is also including ocean sequestration in the mix through its support of Planetary Hydrogen. And it is also letting merchants add options for offsetting that buyers can select during transactions.

How ginormous could the carbontech market get? According to nonprofit Carbon180, the total addressable market for products that could be affected is $6 trillion — with the biggest opportunities for using "waste CO2" found in transportation fuels and building materials. Captured carbon also could be a resource for food, fertilizers, polymers and chemicals. (Before you ask, very few innovators that CCN is tracking are focused on enhanced oil recovery applications.)

Science / Re: Trends in atmospheric CH4
« on: November 25, 2020, 09:34:38 AM »
A bit of a different perspective. In June/July, the methane concentration usually dips below the value from the preceding winter. However, this year, this effect was very limited. The value is barely below the last local minimum from February. The last time something similar happened was in 2014, and back then what happened next was the biggest autumn jump we've seen since the 20th century, with the winter of 2015 being around 15-16 ppm higher than the winter of 2014. Will this happen this year too?

Antarctica / Re: Pine Island Glacier (PIG) Calving and Discussion
« on: November 24, 2020, 05:27:00 PM »
I think this is the video in question.

Antarctica / Re: Ice Apocalypse - MULTIPLE METERS SEA LEVEL RISE
« on: November 23, 2020, 03:57:31 PM »
Re: I understand ice doesn't like to be stacked more than about 100 meters

Technically, 100 meter freeboard on exposed cliff face. Slitely less for non marine stack of ice. You can have a mile thick ice sheet sloping down to a  hundred meter face.

A) yes
B) yes
C) no

I will let ASLR fill in the caveats. But it might be more useful if one were to search the previous posts on this thread and others. For example, that 100m number comes from a Bassis and Walker paper in 2011,


If anyone is interested in the numerous caveats on the topic of different combinations of key parameters necessary to trigger an MICI type of collapse then I recommend searching for "WAIS Workshop 2020" and for Reply #3821 watch Session 6 starting at 1:30 for the Bassis findings with numerous caveats.  That said, when considering all of Bassis' numerous caveats it remains clear to me that the Thwaites Gateway near the base of the Thwaites Ice Tongue is likely poised to initiate an MICI-type of collapse of the entire Byrd Subglacial Basin ,BSB, (& beyond) likely sometime between 2030 and 2040 (which could well raise sea level by over 1m in less than a year).   Reasons to single out the Thwaites Gateway include:

1. As shown in the first attached image from Milillo et al 2019 (Fig 1, panels D&F) the southern side of the subglacial cavity in this gateway already has a ~140m high ice face freeboard (hf) that is buttressed by icebergs floating over the subglacial cavity with the icebergs pinned by lightly ground downstream ice (that is subject to becoming ungrounded by 2030 2040 due both to thinning of the ice at the base of the Thwaites Ice Tongue due to a likely acceleration of the ice velocities when the chain of upstream subglacial lakes drain [projected to occur circa 2035, & see the second and third attached images] and due to warm modified CDW melting the grounded ice perimeter from below, particularly during a Super El Nino events [projected to occur circa 2035-36]).

2. As the Thwaites Gateway is about 50km wide, there is relatively little lateral restraint to limit MICI-behavior as I note that Jakobshavn Glacier already exhibits ice cliff failures but only very limited MICI-behavior because its ice face is currently positioned on a positive bed slope and the ice cliff propagation is restrained by lateral restraint from the sides of the relatively narrow fjord that Jakobshavn is located in.

3. Bassis (WAIS Workshop 2020) finds that the dominant factor/parameter for sustaining MICI-propagation upstream is the rate of increase of ice thickness upstream of the bare ice cliff face, and the fourth attached cartoon illustrates that there is both a steep negative bed slope upstream of this area as well as a relatively rapid increase in ice surface elevation upstream of this Thwaites Gateway area.

Antarctica / Re: Pine Island Glacier (PIG) Calving and Discussion
« on: November 21, 2020, 10:03:49 PM »
New high quality Sentinel2 image, I take this opportunity to show the rapid changes at the SIS and at the SSM (the SdDZ Damage Zone)

> animation based on the two images of 11/11 and 21/11 (10 days apart, homogeneous orbits), centred on the marginal rifts of the SIS. One can see the rapid changes not only in WmR4, but also in the other rifts, which will soon lead to calvings in this sector.

> animation based on the two images of 17/11 and 21/11 (4 days apart, the orbits are not homogeneous, but they show the speed of change), centred on the SSM and the SdDZ

Large images, click to animate

update: blocks B1, B2 and B3 move relative to the SIS (slightly)

Permafrost / Re: Arctic Methane Release
« on: November 21, 2020, 03:05:09 AM »
Bubbling methane craters and super seeps - is this the worrying new face of the undersea Arctic?

Bubbling methane craters and super seeps - is this the worrying new face of the undersea Arctic?
By Valeria Sukhova, Olga Gertcyk
19 November 2020

Video and pictures from latest research mission show gas release in the Laptev and the East Siberian seas.

A team of 69 scientists from ten countries documented bubble clouds rising from a depth of around 300 metres (985ft) along a 150km (93 mile) undersea slope in the Laptev Sea, and confirmed high methane concentrations by hundreds of onboard chemical analysis. Picture: TPU

Scientists have shared the first results of a trip to the world’s largest deposit of subsea permafrost and shallow methane hydrates.

Fields of methane discharge continue to grow all along the East Siberian Arctic Ocean Shelf, with concentration of atmospheric methane above the fields reaching 16-32ppm (parts per million).

This is up to 15 times above the planetary average of 1.85ppm.

The preliminary results are from this year’s only international scientific expedition to the eastern Arctic.

Methane bubbling in the Eastern Arctic, video from this autumn international expedition to the Laptev and to the East Siberian Sea 

A team of 69 scientists from ten countries documented bubble clouds rising from a depth of around 300 metres (985ft) along a 150km (93 mile) undersea slope in the Laptev Sea, and confirmed high methane concentrations by hundreds of onboard chemical analysis.

A second discovery is pockmarks and craters sunk deep in shelf sediments of both the Laptev and East Siberian seas, actively venting bubbles and strong methane signals.

‘All previously discovered fields of methane discharge showed an increase to various degrees, now we need to figure out exactly how much they grew,’ said the head of the expedition Professor Igor Semiletov.

‘One of the new discoveries was a field of sea bottom craters in the shallow part of the Laptev Sea, some of them 30 metres (98 ft) in diameter.

‘They look like holes in the permafrost and, as our studies showed, they were formed by massive methane discharge.

‘Also two more powerful seeps emitting methane through iceberg furrows were discovered in the East Siberian Sea

For the first time the scientists managed to take samples of bottom sediments in a methane seep near the delta of River Lena, one of Siberia’s giant waterways.

Antarctica / Re: Ice Apocalypse - MULTIPLE METERS SEA LEVEL RISE
« on: November 19, 2020, 09:44:33 PM »
For what it is worth, an abrupt slowdown of the MOC due to a freshwater hosing event (or a chain of events) would increase hypoxia conditions in large portion of the ocean.  In this regard, I wonder whether future SSTA values may be higher that projected due to reduced biological mixing of the upper layers of the ocean due to such possible increased hypoxia conditions in many regions (see the linked reference about current trends of hypoxia conditions):

Deutsch, C., Penn, J.L. & Seibel, B. Metabolic trait diversity shapes marine biogeography. Nature 585, 557–562 (2020).

Climate and physiology shape biogeography, yet the range limits of species can rarely be ascribed to the quantitative traits of organisms. Here we evaluate whether the geographical range boundaries of species coincide with ecophysiological limits to acquisition of aerobic energy for a global cross-section of the biodiversity of marine animals. We observe a tight correlation between the metabolic rate and the efficacy of oxygen supply, and between the temperature sensitivities of these traits, which suggests that marine animals are under strong selection for the tolerance of low O2 (hypoxia). The breadth of the resulting physiological tolerances of marine animals predicts a variety of geographical niches—from the tropics to high latitudes and from shallow to deep water—which better align with species distributions than do models based on either temperature or oxygen alone. For all studied species, thermal and hypoxic limits are substantially reduced by the energetic demands of ecological activity, a trait that varies similarly among marine and terrestrial taxa. Active temperature-dependent hypoxia thus links the biogeography of diverse marine species to fundamental energetic requirements that are shared across the animal kingdom.

Edit: I note that the current poleward migration of marine life with likely further accelerate the increase of SSTA in the equatorial oceans with continued global warming.

Arctic sea ice / Re: Latest PIOMAS update (November mid-monthly update)
« on: November 18, 2020, 09:41:20 AM »
Updated volume and volume-anomaly graphs.

Arctic sea ice / Re: Latest PIOMAS update (November mid-monthly update)
« on: November 18, 2020, 09:33:25 AM »
PIOMAS has updated the gridded thickness data to day 320 (16th or 15th of November). Calculated volume on day 320 was 8.07 [1000km3], second lowest, slightly over the 8.00[1000km3] in 2016 .

Here is the animation for November so far.

Arctic sea ice / Re: 2020 Sea ice area and extent data
« on: November 15, 2020, 06:19:27 AM »
I love you folks. Just wanted to say that. Thanks.

The rest / Re: Animation project on sea ice collapse
« on: November 07, 2020, 11:45:41 AM »

Science / Re: Where are we now in CO2e , which pathway are we on?
« on: November 06, 2020, 10:50:22 PM »
Yes, of course. See my posting Oct 10, where I state that the true value is higher than that I had just posted. I only take care of these four "NOAA gases" because their concentration is followed on a daily (CO2) or monthly basis (CH4, N2O, SF6) by NOAA.
In the end I think that the absolute value itself is not too interesting. So I focus on the increase which I think is concerning, and please do not forget the slightly exponential development of all of these four gases, where we all should have taken a U-turn decades ago...

Science / Re: Where are we now in CO2e , which pathway are we on?
« on: November 06, 2020, 07:42:33 PM »
To finalize my update on greenhouse gases here is the summary of the four postings in the individual gas concentration threads.

More radiative forcing of the "NOAA gases" (CO2, CH4, N2O, SF6) in July 2020 than in July 2019, but less than in June 2020, because CO2 and CH4 reach their seasonal maximum in May.

The values [W/m²], change to June 2020 and change to July 2019:
CO2 2.136    (- 0.025)    (+ 0.034)   
CH4 0.519    (- 0.000)    (+ 0.005)
N2O 0.206   (+ 0.001)    (+ 0.004)
SF6  0.0054 (+ 0.0001)  (+ 0.0002)
sum  2.865  (- 0.026)    (+ 0.043) (rounding differences)

The relative annual increase is 1.49 %, a little bit higher than June 2020.

This recalculates to a CO2eq of 474.8 ppm (annual increase of 3.7 ppm).

Consequences / Re: Weird Weather and anecdotal stories about climate change
« on: November 05, 2020, 04:35:39 PM »
And therefore "Climate Weirding" (popularized by Katharine Hayhoe)

Arctic sea ice / Re: Latest PIOMAS update (November)
« on: November 04, 2020, 05:12:10 PM »
2020 Andy Lee Robinson video.
Arctic sea ice minimum volumes (1979-2020).

It ends with 4,030 km3 instead of 4,161 km3.
4,030 km3 is minimum of the daily volume,
4,161 km3 is the September Monthly average volume.

Trump Administration Ends Gray Wolf's Endangered Species Protections

The Trump administration has removed endangered species protections from the gray wolf, a species once persecuted to near-extinction in the US, in a move that has been condemned as premature by conservationists.

The wolves have been provided federal protection for more than 45 years but this is no longer needed according to David Bernhardt, the US interior secretary, who announced the decision in Minnesota on Thursday.

... With no federal safeguards, gray wolves will be subject to a patchwork of state and local laws, some of which will allow the trapping and killing of the animals. Many ranchers still view wolves as a threat to livestock, while hunters consider them unhelpful competition for deer and elk. William Perry Pendley, the acting director of the Bureau of Land Management, once wrote to Disney to complain that its movie White Fang was too kind to wolves.

Protections for wolves have already been lifted in Idaho, Wyoming and Montana, leading to the deaths of more than 500 wolves in Idaho just in the past year, according to analysis by environment groups.


Trump Administration Strips Protection from US’s Largest Forest

The Trump administration has lifted environmental protection in Tongass National Forest, opening up more than three million hectares in the United States’s largest forest to logging despite opposition from environmental groups and Indigenous leaders.

In an official notice of the decision on Thursday, the US Department of Agriculture said Tongass would be exempt from a 2001 federal law known as the “Roadless Rule” that prohibits timber harvest and road construction in specific areas.

The Tongass – sometimes referred to as “America’s Amazon” – spans nearly seven million hectares (17 million acres) across southeast Alaska, including the capital, Juneau, and is home to diverse wildlife and trees. It is considered the largest contiguous temperate rainforest in the world.

Alaska’s Republican governor, Mike Dunleavy, welcomed the Trump administration’s decision, which opens up 55 percent of the forest (3.9 million hectares/9.6 million acres) to timber harvest activities and road-building.

In August, the Trump administration opened up part of another key ecological site in Alaska, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, to oil and gas exploration.

The rest / Animation project on sea ice collapse
« on: October 29, 2020, 05:27:30 PM »
I had just began learning to play "The sunken cathedral" by Debussy, when the idea for an animation appeared out of nowhere in my head.

The script is very simple: sea ice, sunken cathedral beneath the ice, ice melts, methane accumulates on the top of the cathedral, a whale breathes methane and dies, sea floor destabilizes, cathedral implodes, current sweeps the silt and reveals lots of human bones and life goes on.

On text it's not very pretty, but with the images and music it will be very poetic.

I will posting the work in progress here.

Permafrost / Re: Permafrost general science thread
« on: October 27, 2020, 04:57:15 PM »
But we have to wait for a peer-reviewd paper next year to find out how whoops! it really is.
'Sleeping giant' Arctic methane deposits starting to release, scientists find
Exclusive: expedition discovers new source of greenhouse gas off East Siberian coast has been triggered

Scientists have found evidence that frozen methane deposits in the Arctic Ocean – known as the “sleeping giants of the carbon cycle” – have started to be released over a large area of the continental slope off the East Siberian coast, the Guardian can reveal.

High levels of the potent greenhouse gas have been detected down to a depth of 350 metres in the Laptev Sea near Russia, prompting concern among researchers that a new climate feedback loop may have been triggered that could accelerate the pace of global heating.

The slope sediments in the Arctic contain a huge quantity of frozen methane and other gases – known as hydrates. Methane has a warming effect 80 times stronger than carbon dioxide over 20 years. The United States Geological Survey has previously listed Arctic hydrate destabilisation as one of four most serious scenarios for abrupt climate change.

The international team onboard the Russian research ship R/V Akademik Keldysh said most of the bubbles currently are dissolving in the water but methane levels at the surface are four to eight times what would normally be expected and this is venting into the atmosphere.

At this moment, there is unlikely to be any major impact on global warming, but the point is that this process has now been triggered. This East Siberian slope methane hydrate system has been perturbed and the process will be ongoing,” said the Swedish scientist Örjan Gustafsson of Stockholm University in a satellite call from the vessel.

The scientists – who are part of a multi-year International Shelf Study Expedition – stressed their findings are preliminary. The scale of methane releases will not be confirmed until they return, analyse the data and have their studies published in a peer-reviewed journal.

But the discovery of potentially destabilised slope frozen methane raises concerns that a new tipping point has been reached that could increase the speed of global heating. The Arctic is considered ground zero in the debate about the vulnerability of frozen methane deposits in the ocean. With the Arctic temperature now rising more than twice as fast as the global average, the question of when – or even whether – they will be released into the atmosphere has been a matter of considerable uncertainty in climate computer models.

The 60-member team on the Akademik Keldysh believe they are the first to observationally confirm the methane release is already under way across a wide area of the slope about 600km offshore.

The latest discovery potentially marks the third source of methane emissions from the region. Semiletov, who has been studying this area for two decades, has previously reported the gas is being released from the shelf of the Arctic – the biggest of any sea.

For the second year in a row, his team have found crater-like pockmarks in the shallower parts of the Laptev Sea and East Siberian Sea that are discharging bubble jets of methane, which is reaching the sea surface at levels tens to hundreds of times higher than normal. This is similar to the craters and sinkholes reported from inland Siberian tundra earlier this autumn.

Consequences / Re: Hurricane Season 2020
« on: October 25, 2020, 04:57:40 PM »
Eric Holthaus (@EricHolthaus) 10/25/20, 10:45 AM
We now have Tropical Storm Zeta.
⬇️ 8am map below.

Zeta is the 27th named storm of the 2020 Atlantic Hurricane season, 1 behind the record of 28 in 2005.
It's also the 4th storm to threaten the Yucatan peninsula this year, and the 7th storm to threaten Louisiana.

Hurricane Delta hit just two weeks ago:

Hurricane Delta at the human scale (with interviews from Cancun and Lake Charles)   - The Phoenix

Consequences / Re: Wildfires
« on: October 23, 2020, 08:59:05 AM »
Colorado wildfire smoke turns Minnesota's sky and snow orange

Our surreal orange sky Thursday featured lightning, thunder and orange-tinted snow

Consequences / Re: Wildfires
« on: October 23, 2020, 03:26:24 AM »
Colorado Fire Grows By Over 100,000 Acres In 1 Day, Hits Rocky Mountain National Park

Already battling the largest fire in state history, Colorado is now dealing with another blaze that grew by more than 100,000 acres in a day.

The flames traveled east, fueled by beetle-eaten pine trees and dry winds. Hundreds evacuated. The fire jumped the Continental Divide, which is 10,000 to 12,000 feet above sea level. Conditions forced the closing of Rocky Mountain National Park.

The fire, called East Troublesome after a nearby creek, has spread to more than 125,000 acres. Smoke plumes stretched 40,000 feet in the air. The nearby town of Grand Lake was forced to evacuate.

... "The growth that you see on this fire is unheard of," Grand County Sheriff Brett Schroetlin said during a Thursday press conference. "We plan for the worst. This is the worst of the worst of the worst. And no matter how we look at it, we can't control Mother Nature." ... "It was basically out of a movie. It was a firestorm in downtown Grand Lake. Smoke and embers flying around. It was just a chaotic scene,"

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