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Permafrost / Arctic Coastal Change
« on: August 10, 2017, 02:49:56 PM »
Hey everyone. I'm currently in the Arctic at the moment, specifically in Inuvik, NW, Canada. This afternoon I'll be leaving for Tuktoyaktuk and will spend the following 2 weeks studying coastal erosion processes at numerous sites all along the Tuktoyaktuk peninsula and out along the Mackenzie delta.

Unfortunately, a combination of haze and forest fire smoke made getting good photos from the flight in next to impossible. The air toward Yellowknife was better though.

I'll be in Tuk with a big team of other researchers, mostly Canadian, but others from all over too. Even the people you meet around are fascinating. For example, the two others sharing the house last night with myself and my supervisor - one is a cultural anthropologist that plans on living with some of the small local communities here and the other is studying methane release from lakes. Never a shortage of really cool people with fascinating projects going on, which I'll definitely discuss more over the coming weeks.

Anyway, busy day ahead loading and prepping for flights and boat trips, so I gotta go now. But I'll keep the updates coming - internet connection dependent of course.

In order to keep some of the other threads on topic, I thought this subject was deserving of it's own thread.
Despite PM imagery being used, to a large degree, for it's ability to peer through clouds and provide data in the dark of the polar night, many believe that cloud cover is still a big problem; causing ice coverage to "appear" to increase when in fact it is melting and generally causing big problems with interpreting concentration data.

So, a few questions arise:
  • Is there evidence to support cloud cover having such a large impact?
  • Has something changed to make this a problem in recent years?
  • What microwave bands are best for overcoming cloud cover issues?
  • What other data sources might be used to deal with the problem?
  • Is there even a problem at all, beyond the usual noise we expect with PM imagery?

Please discuss the ideas and evidence, for and against, for cloud cover interfering with sea ice here :)

A bunch of AMAs today on for World Oceans Day.

Science AMA Series: Hi! I am Jenna Jambeck PhD. of the College of Engineering at the University of Georgia, I specialize in waste management and plastic waste inputs from land into the ocean. AMA for World Oceans Day!

I am Dr. Claire Simeone of the Marine Mammal Center and I am working on the Sea Lion crisis our coasts are facing. Ask Me Anything for World Oceans Day

We're Dr. Samantha Joye, Joseph Montoya, Dana Yoerger, Liz Taylor and more! we are here to talk about the challenges faced by the ocean and in ocean exploration for World Oceans Day, AMA (Ask US Anything)!

Science AMA Series: I am Meg Chadsey, the Ocean Acidification Specialist and NOAA PMEL Liaison for Washington Sea Grant. AMA for World Oceans Day!

Kathy Crane will be doing a questions and answers session (known as an AMA) on this Thursday. He credential are quite impressive, so I'm sure plenty on here would be interested in what she has to say and might have a few questions themselves. I'll post a link to the AMA once it's online, so ye can get some questions in if ye like.

Below is the intro that will accompany AMA:

I’m Kathy Crane, an oceanographer and manager of NOAA’s Arctic Research Program ( We study the Arctic and how its physical environment is changing — and how those changes are impacting ecosystems. I also contribute to the Arctic Council’s Conservation of Flora and Fauna Working group and lead a team of U.S. Arctic experts to design and carry out observations of marine ecosystems all across the Arctic Ocean. In fact, I’ve spent a lot of time doing research in the Arctic. Each year NOAA leads an international group of scientists to produce the Arctic Report Card, an annual update on the Arctic environment. We take a close look at snow, ice, ocean temperatures, fish, other wildlife, air temperatures and climate. Our reports are showing that the Arctic is warming faster than anywhere on earth. These changes don’t stay in the Arctic, but have effects on people, climate and global security well beyond this region. With 2014 being recently confirmed as the warmest year on record for the globe, studying what is happening in the Arctic is more important than ever. I’ll be here from 1:00 pm ET through 3:00 pm ET today answering your questions about Arctic climate research as well as what it’s like to work in this spectacular part of the world … AMA!

For a sample of the general format and style, here's a few examples of the recent climate related AMAs.

Science AMA Series: I'm Michael E. Mann, Distinguished Professor of Meteorology at Penn State, Ask Me Almost Anything!

Science AMA Series: I'm Richard Betts, Climate Scientist, Met Office Hadley Centre and Exeter University and IPCC AR5 Lead Author, AMA!

Science AMA Series: I'm Prof. Stephan Lewandowsky, I study the cognitive science of conspiratorial thinking and the rejection of climate science, AMA!

(kinda related!) Science AMA Series:I’m David Dunning, a social psychologist whose research focuses on accuracy and illusion in self-judgment (you may have heard of the Dunning-Kruger effect). How good are we at “knowing thyself”? AMA!

Permafrost / Reddit AMA on Climate Change and Wetlands
« on: February 06, 2015, 02:30:29 PM »
Today's AMA (questions and answers) on /r/science on reddit might be of interest to some here:

Science AMA Series: We are Maureen Ryan, Noll Steinweg, and Mara Healy. We study wetlands and look at how they respond to climate change. AMA!

For the past few years we’ve worked on a project looking at wetland hydrology and animal use in the Pacific Northwest. We’re interested in how wetlands dry up and get wet again, how they respond to precipitation events, and how different animals (mainly amphibians) use the wetlands based on the wetland’s hydrology. We’re interested in how wetlands respond to climate change and what animals will be able to use wetlands in the future.
Currently we’re working to expand the scope of our temporary wetland monitoring to the east coast of North America. For the past four years we’ve worked in mountain wetlands in Washington State, but this spring we will be working with vernal pools in Massachusetts. Learn more about our current project here:
We will be back later to answer your questions, as us anything!

Here's the link:

Arctic sea ice / Arctic Refreeze Discussion: 2014/2015
« on: September 22, 2014, 07:59:57 PM »
Looks like it's time for a new thread. Seems most measures have hit their minimum and are now on the way up.
The ECM shows colder than average uppers over the next 5 days, so an opportunity for some above average ice growth.




As the ocean releases its heat, we will likely see above average surface temps persisting for a while though, as has been the case in most recent autumns.

Based off the NSIDC extent (using a 5 day running average), below is a graph of the largest 7 day extent increases recorded for each year since 1979

It will be interesting to see where 2014 ends up!

Glaciers / The international workshop on calving at LGGE, Grenoble
« on: June 23, 2014, 03:28:19 PM »
I thought some people might find this useful. From Cryolist.

The presentations and videos from the 7 keynote lectures

The forum / Milestones
« on: April 02, 2014, 03:12:57 PM »
I noticed that March has beaten the monthly record for page views, beating the July 2013 total of 466,108 with a new total of 505,510. I guess that makes March the most popular month for the forum so far and the first to beat the half million mark, so congrats to Neven, team and all!
Not bad for early Spring either.

Arctic sea ice / New Sea Ice Website
« on: February 14, 2014, 03:41:23 PM »
For anyone subscribed to cyolist, this message has just been sent out.

Dear cryolisters,

We would like to draw your attention towards an ongoing demonstration phase of  the ANISTIAMO project. ANISTIAMO is an ESA funded project to improve Maritime Surveillance and Arctic Sea Ice Information.

For the demonstration phase we provide sea ice thickness and drift products for the Barents and Kara seas. Also the ice concentration charts by
JAXA over the same area are available on our website.  The products are available at  All products can be viewed freely but if you want to download them, possible also in numerical format (netCDF file), registration is mandatory.
Feedback about the products and the website is strongly encouraged. Please send any comments you may have to

Best regards,

Markku Similä
Finnish Meteorological Institute

Here's the site
Latest thickness data for the Barents/Kara Region

Rutgers have released the July stats, which show July 2013 as having the 8th lowest snow cover extent on record (May and June were both 3rd lowest).

This is a slight improvement on recent years, but seems largely due to the reduced melt on Greenland and slightly more snow around north east Canada.

Arctic background / Arctic sea ice albedo diminishing
« on: August 06, 2013, 12:52:30 AM »
From NewScientist

Arctic ice is losing its reflective sheen. It's common knowledge that each summer, more and more of the ice melts leaving the dark waters of the ocean uncovered – a process that accelerates global warming by reducing the amount of solar radiation reflected back into space. Now it turns out that the surviving sea ice is also becoming darker and less reflective.

For the first time, a detailed analysis of 30 years of satellite data for the Arctic Ocean has quantified how much the albedo, or reflectivity, of Arctic ice is diminishing. Aku Riihela of the Finnish Meteorological Institute told New Scientist he estimates that darker ice means the Arctic Ocean's albedo at the end of the summer is of the order of 15 per cent weaker today than it was 30 years ago.

The cause of the darkening, says Riihela, is partly due to thinning ice and the formation of open water fissures, and partly because in the warmer air, ponds of liquid water form on the surface of the ice. The shallow ponds on the ice can dramatically reduce reflectivity and increase the amount of solar radiation that the ice absorbs. "This shows that the increasing melt affects the inner Arctic sea ice, too," said Riihela.

The Nature abstract is here

Observed changes in the albedo of the Arctic sea-ice zone for the period 1982–2009

The surface albedo of the Arctic sea-ice zone is a crucial component in the energy budget of the Arctic region1, 2. The treatment of sea-ice albedo has been identified as an important source of variability in the future sea-ice mass loss forecasts in coupled climate models3. There is a clear need to establish data sets of Arctic sea-ice albedo to study the changes based on observational data and to aid future modelling efforts. Here we present an analysis of observed changes in the mean albedo of the Arctic sea-ice zone using a data set consisting of 28 years of homogenized satellite data4. Along with the albedo reduction resulting from the well-known loss of late-summer sea-ice cover5, 6, we show that the mean albedo of the remaining Arctic sea-ice zone is decreasing. The change per decade in the mean August sea-ice zone albedo is −0.029±0.011. All albedo trends, except for the sea-ice zone in May, are significant with a 99% confidence interval. Variations in mean sea-ice albedo can be explained using sea-ice concentration, surface air temperature and elapsed time from onset of melt as drivers.

Consequences / Global Surface Air Temperatures
« on: July 18, 2013, 08:18:03 PM »
I thought a thread to discuss the current and near term global temperatures might be useful.

To start off with, the NCDC June data has been updated, and it was the joint 5th warmest June on record, and 7th warmest year to date (0.07C above last year and 0.13C below the warmest on record, 2010). All the while, ENSO remains of the negative side of neutral
Global Highlights

  • The combined average temperature over global land and ocean surfaces for June 2013 tied with 2006 as the fifth highest on record, at 0.64°C (1.15°F) above the 20th century average of 15.5°C (59.9°F).

  • The global land surface temperature was 1.05°C (1.89°F) above the 20th century average of 13.3°C (55.9°F), marking the third warmest June on record. For the ocean, the June global sea surface temperature was 0.48°C (0.86°F) above the 20th century average of 16.4°C (61.5°F), the 10th warmest June on record.

  • The combined global land and ocean average surface temperature for the January–June period (year-to-date) was 0.59°C (1.06°F) above the 20th century average of 13.5°C (56.3°F), tying with 2003 as the seventh warmest such period on record

With upper ocean heat content building again across the ENSO region, I wouldn't be surprised to the next batch of ENSO forecast have us on the +ve side of neutral by Autumn, with maybe Nino developing during winter?

Should that happen, we could potentially challenge for a top 3 year.

The rest / Other climate forums
« on: July 07, 2013, 02:03:11 PM »
Unfortunately, it seems the netweather forum is going down the climate denier route.

I've become the 3rd "pro-AGWer" to get a temporary ban from there in the last month. They've set up a thread for the "sceptics" there for them to spread their denier propaganda unchallenged, and the people whom the mods deem non "sceptics" are not allowed to post in that thread, challenge the denial propaganda or point out the false information being spread. I questioned the rationale behind it, and got banned!
I fear netweather is going to become another denier forum, which is unfortunate, as it was great for a while. The two main moderators of the climate and environment area are ardent climate deniers, and have been using the banhammer on anyone or questions them lately.
I guess I won't be submitting a poll to ARCUS on behalf of netweather anymore!

Anyway, more time to post here :D

I wonder is this a problem in other forums that have climate areas? Has anyone had similar experiences elsewhere?

Developers Corner / The Programming Thread
« on: March 20, 2013, 09:32:30 PM »
Hi folks,

As part of my MSc course this year, I've had a module in python programming. While I certainly don't consider myself at all a natural, or particularly adept at it, I have enjoyed it and would like to improve my abilities.
As something of an added impetus, for my dissertation this summer, I've decided to look at how last years unusual weather conditions and surface melt across Greenland affected supraglacial lakes in southwest Greenland, using an algorithm to automate the process, similar to that outlined in a recent paper by Liang et al.

I've literally had 8 python classes so far and have no other programming experience, so I've a fairly steep learning curve ahead of me!

Anywho, I'm wondering if anyone has any tips for books or websites that give a good crash course I could use. Paid and free recommendations both appreciated. General tips very much welcome too!


I hope the mods don't mind me starting up a thread?

I thought a thread for discussing and forecasting the impact of synoptic weather conditions, SST and the like on the Arctic sea ice would prove useful.
This would be primarily for the short to medium term (few days to few weeks ahead).

To start off with, I'll quote a post from netweather

The Northern Hemisphere animation on meteociel gives a good overview of the patterns to be expected over the Arctic in the next week or so.

The dipole looks like hanging on for even longer, and looks likely to give a near opposite pattern over the Artic for the first 2 weeks of March compared to last year. Because of this, I think we've reached our peak extent for the Bering Sea, but may continue to see some slow growth over the Greenland and Barents area during March and early April if the dipole pattern continues.

Air Pressure Anomaly................... Continuation of Dipole Pattern Upper Air............... Sea Level Pressure Dipole
First 2 weeks March 2012.............. 8-10 Day 500mb Geopotential Height Anom..........GEFS NH SLP Mean Day 8

No dramatic losses in extent/area for the next few weeks at least, unless the Bering sea ice takes an unexpected dive.

Consequences / Arctic Amplification and Extreme Weather
« on: February 26, 2013, 11:24:29 AM »
Yet more evidence of the link

Weather Extremes Provoked by Trapping of Giant Waves in the Atmosphere

The world has suffered from severe regional weather extremes in recent years, such as the heat wave in the United States in 2011 or the one in Russia 2010 coinciding with the unprecedented Pakistan flood. Behind these devastating individual events there is a common physical cause, propose scientists of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). The study will be published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and suggests that man-made climate change repeatedly disturbs the patterns of atmospheric flow around the globe's Northern hemisphere through a subtle resonance mechanism...

...Anomalous surface temperatures are disturbing the air flows
Climate change caused by greenhouse-gas emissions from fossil-fuel burning does not mean uniform global warming -- in the Arctic, the relative increase of temperatures, amplified by the loss of snow and ice, is higher than on average. This in turn reduces the temperature difference between the Arctic and, for example, Europe, yet temperature differences are a main driver of air flow. Additionally, continents generally warm and cool more readily than the oceans. "These two factors are crucial for the mechanism we detected," says Petoukhov. "They result in an unnatural pattern of the mid-latitude air flow, so that for extended periods the slow synoptic waves get trapped."

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