Support the Arctic Sea Ice Forum and Blog

Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.

Messages - Nix

Pages: [1]
Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: March 10, 2019, 08:09:45 PM »
Interesting video on oil production daily...

Arctic sea ice / Re: 2018 sea ice area and extent data
« on: February 17, 2018, 10:58:12 PM »
As the ice cover is lost and the arctic warms most of the sea level rise will likely come from warmer ocean water and thermal expansion of the water... should it not be?

Consequences / Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« on: February 10, 2018, 08:42:08 PM »
A bit more info on Mercury release that AbrubtSLR poster on the 6th... and thanks for all you do...

Researchers have discovered that thawing permafrost in the Northern Hemisphere stores twice as much mercury as the rest of the planet’s soils, atmosphere, and oceans. The finding has significant implications for human health and ecosystems worldwide.
In a new study, scientists measured mercury concentrations in cores of frozen ground—or permafrost—from Alaska and used the data to estimate how much mercury has been trapped in Northern Hemisphere permafrost since the last Ice Age.

They found that Northern Hemisphere permafrost regions contain 1,656 gigagrams of mercury (32 million gallons, or enough to fill 50 Olympic-sized swimming pools), making them the largest known reservoir of mercury on the planet. This amount is nearly twice as much mercury as all soils outside of the northern permafrost region, the ocean, and the atmosphere combined.

The researchers also found that of the 1,656 gigagrams of mercury, 863 gigagrams lie in the surface layer of soil that freezes and thaws each year (27 Olympic-sized swimming pools), and 793 gigagrams are frozen in permafrost (23 Olympic-sized swimming pools).

“This implies permafrost regions contain roughly 10 times the total human mercury emissions over the last 30 years,” said NSIDC scientist Kevin Schaefer, a co-author of the study published today in Geophysical Research Letters, a journal of the American Geophysical Union.

“Previous studies assumed little or no mercury in permafrost regions, but we find the opposite is true,” Schaefer said. “This completely changes our view of how mercury moves through the land and ocean.”

“This discovery is a game-changer,” said Paul Schuster, a hydrologist at the U.S. Geological Survey in Boulder, Colorado and lead author of the study. “We’ve quantified a pool of mercury that had not been done previously with confidence, and the results have profound implications for better understanding the global mercury cycle.”Permafrost is permanently frozen ground and occurs in approximately 22.79 million square kilometers, or about 24 percent of the Northern Hemisphere land surface surrounding the Arctic ocean.

Mercury naturally occurs in the Earth’s crust and typically enters the atmosphere through volcanic eruptions. The element cycles between the atmosphere and ocean quickly. However, mercury deposited on land from the atmosphere binds with organic matter in plants. After the plants die, soil microbes eat the dead organic matter, releasing the mercury back into the atmosphere or water.

In permafrost regions, however, the organic matter gets buried by sediment before it decays and becomes frozen into permafrost. Once frozen, the decay of organic matter stops, and the mercury remains trapped for thousands of years unless liberated by permafrost thaw.

“As long as the permafrost remains frozen, the mercury will stay trapped in the soil,” Schaefer said. Higher air temperatures due to climate change could thaw much of the existing permafrost, allowing the decay of organic matter to resume and releasing mercury that could affect Earth’s ecosystems. The released mercury can accumulate in aquatic and terrestrial food chains and cause harmful neurological and reproductive effects on animals.

“Although measurement of the rate of permafrost thaw was not part of this study, the thawing permafrost provides a potential for mercury to be released—that’s just physics.” Schuster said.

Climate models predict a 30 to 90 percent reduction in permafrost by 2100, depending on actual fuel emissions.

The researchers determined the total amount of mercury locked up in permafrost using field measurements. Between 2004 and 2012, the study authors drilled 13 permafrost soil cores at various sites in Alaska and measured the total amounts of mercury and carbon in each core. They selected sites with a diverse array of soil characteristics to best represent permafrost found around the entire Northern Hemisphere.Schuster, Schaefer, and their colleagues found their measurements were consistent with published data on mercury in non-permafrost and permafrost soils from thousands of other sites worldwide. They used their observed values to calculate the total amount of mercury stored in permafrost in the Northern Hemisphere and to create a map of soil mercury concentrations in the region.

The researchers believe their study gives policymakers and scientists new numbers to work with and calibrate their models as they begin to study this new phenomenon in more detail. The researchers intend to release another study modeling the release of mercury from permafrost due to climate change.

“Permafrost contains a huge amount of mercury,” Schaefer said. “We need to know how much mercury will get released from thawing permafrost, when it will get released

The rest / Interesting view during the Eclipse
« on: August 22, 2017, 06:03:17 AM »
Not sure just what to make of the BLUE bit.

 The contrast is remarkable

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2016 melting season
« on: September 17, 2016, 05:56:54 AM »
Interesting weather news looking to affect the late season of the melt season what do Ya'll think?

An amplified jet stream pattern will set-up next week and this will bring a sharp contrast in temperatures across North America. Summer-like heat could become the story in the Great Lakes, but parts of the West will be feeling a wintery chill with more snow in the Rockies and possibly into the Foothills of Alberta.
The pattern change will start to develop during the weekend and early next week as a deep trough digs into southwestern Canada and the western U.S. This will send temperatures tumbling, first in BC and then spreading east across the Prairies. As the pattern becomes more amplified, a ridge will build into the Great Lakes, allowing unseasonal warmth to surge north. The warmest and coldest areas will see temperatures that are at least 5 to 10 degrees above or below seasonal. Parts of Southern Ontario, including Toronto may see one more 30 degree day at the end of next week.

Amplified flow – deep troughs and strong ridges – is common enough in the transitional autumn season, but this particular pattern change has an interesting connection to ongoing active weather in a region far removed from Canada: the western Pacific basin.
A pair of intense typhoons, Meranti and Malakas, have made their impacts felt across the western Pacific in recent days. And though these powerful storms are thousands of miles away from Canada, they will have an impact on weather patterns across the Northern Hemisphere, including our upcoming pattern change.Meteorologists use the term “teleconnection” for an atmospheric or oceanic feature in one part of the globe that have an effect somewhere else far away. A classic example of a teleconnection is the El Nino Southern Oscillation. This pattern, which relates to water temperatures and air pressure patterns in the equatorial Pacific, has a major and well-documented effect on North American weather. If you enjoyed last year’s mild winter in Canada, you have a teleconnection to thank.

The tracks of western Pacific typhoons are a different type of teleconnection, and they can give us important clues about how weather patterns will change over North America in the following 7-10 days. Specifically, a recurving typhoon like Malakas is often a sure sign of a deep trough developing over North America the next week.

This is not a direct cause-and-effect relationship – the typhoon doesn’t cause the North American trough, but there is a linkage. The typhoon pumps heat into the ridge commonly found to the east of Japan. This in turn causes a trough to dig in over the Bering Sea, which builds a ridge over the Gulf of Alaska. Finally, a trough begins to dig in over British Columbia, which builds a ridge into the Great Lakes.You can think of it as a domino effect, or perhaps more precisely, like kids on a playground making waves in a jump rope. Although in this case the jump rope is the jet stream, and the kid tugging on the end is the typhoon.
This image shows the forecast jet stream pattern over the North Pacific for next week. As you can see, the jump rope is making some wild swings, just as you would expect in the wake of a typhoon. A strong jet max is located northeast of Japan, and a powerful ridge over the Gulf of Alaska is bookended by deep troughs on either side. The trough impacting British Columbia will be the driver for next week’s pattern change.

What makes this relationship particularly useful for forecasters, is that the track the typhoon takes can help us forecast the position of the trough 7-10 days later. It tells us not only that there will be a trough, but where it is likely to be. If the typhoon tracks east of Japan, the trough is often found in eastern North America. A typhoon recurving further west, off Taiwan (as is the case with Malakas) suggests a trough over western and central North America, with ridging and warm weather developing near the Great Lakes.

Each weather pattern is different, and the relationship between typhoons and troughs isn’t always perfect. But teleconnections are a valuable tool that forecasters use in long range and seasonal forecasts. They can help us make sense of model madness, and lend confidence to our ideas about upcoming pattern changes.

Arctic sea ice / Re: Northwest Passage thread
« on: August 02, 2016, 05:04:52 AM »
Not all the canadian maps are upta date yet the ones that are are still Interesting

Here is the link to the Canadian ice services

Arctic sea ice / Re: Northwest Passage thread
« on: July 20, 2016, 07:32:43 AM »

Arctic sea ice / Re: Northwest Passage thread
« on: July 20, 2016, 07:28:01 AM »
Remarkably it looks possible that by the end of July the Passage may be open

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2016 melting season
« on: July 20, 2016, 07:24:45 AM »
 good article at Nasa today
July 19, 2016
2016 Climate Trends Continue to Break Records
Two key climate change indicators -- global surface temperatures and Arctic sea ice extent -- have broken numerous records through the first half of 2016, according to NASA analyses of ground-based observations and satellite data.

Each of the first six months of 2016 set a record as the warmest respective month globally in the modern temperature record, which dates to 1880, according to scientists at NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York. The six-month period from January to June was also the planet's warmest half-year on record, with an average temperature 1.3 degrees Celsius (2.4 degrees Fahrenheit) warmer than the late nineteenth century.

Each of the first six months of 2016 set a record as the warmest respective month globally in the modern temperature record, which dates to 1880. Meanwhile, five of the first six months set records for the smallest monthly Arctic sea ice extent since consistent satellite records began in 1979.
This video is public domain and can be downloaded from the Scientific Visualization Studio.
Five of the first six months of 2016 also set records for the smallest respective monthly Arctic sea ice extent since consistent satellite records began in 1979, according to analyses developed by scientists at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, in Greenbelt, Maryland. The one exception, March, recorded the second smallest extent for that month.

While these two key climate indicators have broken records in 2016, NASA scientists said it is more significant that global temperature and Arctic sea ice are continuing their decades-long trends of change. Both trends are ultimately driven by rising concentrations of heat-trapping carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

The extent of Arctic sea ice at the peak of the summer melt season now typically covers 40 percent less area than it did in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Arctic sea ice extent in September, the seasonal low point in the annual cycle, has been declining at a rate of 13.4 percent per decade.

overhead view of sea ice showing brown sediments
Chunks of sea ice, melt ponds and open water are all seen in this image captured at an altitude of 1,500 feet by the NASA's Digital Mapping System instrument during an Operation IceBridge flight over the Chukchi Sea on Saturday, July 16, 2016.
Credits: NASA/Goddard/Operation IceBridge
"While the El Niño event in the tropical Pacific this winter gave a boost to global temperatures from October onwards, it is the underlying trend which is producing these record numbers," GISS Director Gavin Schmidt said.

Previous El Niño events have driven temperatures to what were then record levels, such as in 1998. But in 2016, even as the effects of the recent El Niño taper off, global temperatures have risen well beyond those of 18 years ago because of the overall warming that has taken place in that time.

graph showing upward trend
The first six months of 2016 were the warmest six-month period in NASA's modern temperature record, which dates to 1880.
Credits: NASA/Goddard Institute for Space Studies
The global trend in rising temperatures is outpaced by the regional warming in the Arctic, said Walt Meier, a sea ice scientist at NASA Goddard.

"It has been a record year so far for global temperatures, but the record high temperatures in the Arctic over the past six months have been even more extreme," Meier said. "This warmth as well as unusual weather patterns have led to the record low sea ice extents so far this year."

NASA tracks temperature and sea ice as part of its effort to understand the Earth as a system and to understand how Earth is changing. In addition to maintaining 19 Earth-observing space missions, NASA also sends researchers around the globe to investigate different facets of the planet at closer range. Right now, NASA researchers are working across the Arctic to better understand both the processes driving increased sea ice melt and the impacts of rising temperatures on Arctic ecosystems.

NASA's long-running Operation IceBridge campaign last week began a series of airborne measurements of melt ponds on the surface of the Arctic sea ice cap. Melt ponds are shallow pools of water that form as ice melts. Their darker surface can absorb more sunlight and accelerate the melting process. IceBridge is flying out of Barrow, Alaska, during sea ice melt season to capture melt pond observations at a scale never before achieved. Recent studies have found that the formation of melt ponds early in the summer is a good predictor of the yearly minimum sea ice extent in September.

"No one has ever, from a remote sensing standpoint, mapped the large-scale depth of melt ponds on sea ice," said Nathan Kurtz, IceBridge’s project scientist and a sea ice researcher at NASA Goddard. "The information we’ll collect is going to show how much water is retained in melt ponds and what kind of topography is needed on the sea ice to constrain them, which will help improve melt pond models."

Operation IceBridge is a NASA airborne mission that has been flying multiple campaigns at both poles each year since 2009, with a goal of maintaining critical continuity of observations of sea ice and the ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica.

At the same time, NASA researchers began in earnest this year a nearly decade-long, multi-faceted field study of Arctic ecosystems in Alaska and Canada. The Arctic-Boreal Vulnerability Experiment (ABoVE) will study how forests, permafrost and other ecosystems are responding to rising temperatures in the Arctic, where climate change is unfolding faster than anywhere else on the planet.

ABoVE consists of dozens individual experiments that over years will study the region's changing forests, the cycle of carbon movement between the atmosphere and land, thawing permafrost, the relationship between fire and climate change, and more.

For more information on NASA's Earth science activities, visit:

For more information about NASA's IceBridge, visit:

For more information about the ABoVE mission, visit:

By Patrick Lynch

NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2015 melting season
« on: July 10, 2015, 11:27:15 PM »
Hello to All

I Have enjoyed the Sea ice forum and the wealth of information Displayed and all the  Discussion that takes place along with it... Hope this works

Interesting display of the Pacific heating and snow ice cover...

Pages: [1]