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Messages - marcel_g

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Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2019 melting season
« on: September 09, 2019, 04:20:15 AM »

BTW, I am deeply disturbed by the slush that counts for extent these days. I am surprised that it survives for so long thanks to the lucky weather, but it is still a far cry from "the ice is saved".


Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2019 melting season
« on: September 03, 2019, 03:39:31 AM »
Ghost ice in the Beaufort today.

Indeed. Ice is definitely "$&!^", as someone said.

It's fantastic how extent and area stalled so dramatically, even while continued melting is apparent (and before refreeze has really started). PIOMAS also has known limitations for thin ice. It seems that, as the ice continues to thin Arctic-wide and the weather goes bonkers in different ways, we don't have any good way to measure actual melt. I imagine this state of affairs could make for a pretty shocking year... eventually. But I'll go out on a limb and predict that it won't be this year.  :P

PS. Re: Freegrass' animations. I think grixm was referring to storage space on the server. I don't know if this is actually a problem, as I've never seen Neven mention it (if so please do). And there are a large number of downloads of Fregrass' products, so I'd suggest he keeps it up!

Uh, wow. I don't remember seeing it all look like rubble right up to Ellesmere Island. Basically nothing bigger than 10km across. The era of Big Blocks, at 100 km across, appears to be long gone. And that was only 2015. Or 2016, I'm not sure, I'm getting old and senile probably.

The central pack might hold on for a few years as rubble like that, but it really seems like a glass of water where the ice cubes are all almost melted. The water is still 0C and the surface is still mostly ice, but the ice volume is gone, and as soon as the last ice disappears, the temperatures will shoot up dramatically and non-linearly.

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2019 melting season
« on: August 30, 2019, 05:03:49 AM »
Melt is still going strong. Note the sawtooth pattern at the ice edge and the swirls within the pack. Same thing is happening pretty much everywhere there is a clear view. (This image is from Aug 27. )

Looks like a lot of very small floes ready to go poof. If the melt season was 2 weeks longer I think we'd see a massive drop in numbers, but fortunately, it isn't 2 weeks longer yet. Anyone else remember when we were tracking floes like Big Block? 3m thick and 100km across? And when the Russian research scientists could camp out and build an airstrip on the ice? Seems like so long ago, but really it was just a few years ago.

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2019 melting season
« on: August 27, 2019, 05:57:03 AM »
Tomorrow’s concentration map will show an even more disperse and degraded pack than Today’s.
Edit: image is tweaked to reveal intact areas of ice pack. Original:

I would like to go on record as saying that ice looks worse than I have ever seen it at the end of a melt season.
Not even excluding 2016?
2016 at least had that Wrangle arm of ice in the ESS, and another big arm out in the Laptev. The ice did look terrible well into the CAB, but this year it's just looking terrible across almost all of it. I'll be really glad if this rubble can hang on until refreeze, and if those storm forecasts don't come to pass.

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2019 melting season
« on: August 27, 2019, 05:45:02 AM »

There's still the potential to melt out dispersed ice on the Siberian side of the pole but the horse race is now for the second or third position. It's a good thing that 2012 is looking unbeatable. The fires in Siberia and the Amazon have been depressing enough. We don't need to see any new sea ice records this year to get the message across that the climate is in trouble.


Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2019 melting season
« on: August 26, 2019, 09:36:21 AM »
Yeah the ice looks vulnerable in a few places but absent a sustained, high impact cyclone this melt season is effectively over given the dropping temperatures and stalled momentum.  Yes, bottom melt will continue for awhile yet but without some cyclone-driven mixing even that will probably not amount to much.  Less than a week to September now.  Lesser impacts are just too little, too late now.  Just one arctic watcher's opinion but time will soon tell the story and time is running very short for melt this year.

Agreed, there isn't much time. The ice does look bad in a lot of areas, and much of it in the Laptev and Beaufort sides looks ready to go poof. Hopefully the refreeze sets in before that happens though. If the melting season was a couple of weeks longer, I'd guess that losses would be significant still, but fortunately it probably won't go that long, so these large areas of slushy ice might just hold on this year. Phew.

Arctic sea ice / Re: Are you hoping to witness a BOE?
« on: August 23, 2019, 04:31:32 AM »
I'm hoping it doesn't happen, but I'm pretty sure it will. The ice is much thinner, younger, and softer/weaker and not nearly as cold as it was recently. The freezing seasons are less cold and shorter, so less ice gets rebuild every year. Even a few years ago there was a Beaufort arm of old ice that didn't melt out. Now it's just not there.

And once the ice does melt out, it just won't recover very well, it just takes too much energy removed to overcome the conversion back to ice. Like the water in your glass in the summer, it stays at 0C until the last ice melts, and then the temperature shoots up rapidly. Once the last ice melts, ocean temps and surface salinity will shoot up, making refreeze a lot more difficult.

Arctic sea ice / Re: 2019 sea ice area and extent data
« on: August 19, 2019, 06:18:23 AM »

Arctic waters have taken up stunning amounts of heat.

 There's only a very small chance that sea ice extent and area will end up lower this year than 2012, but there is little solace from that when considering long-term Arctic warming.

So what you're saying is, even if this year doesn't break records, subsequent years will show the effects of all that heat build up in the system? If it is, then I'd agree. I'm guessing it'll show up initially as delayed freezing and lower winter maximums.

I've been wondering how the ice has managed to survive given the heat build up in 2016-2018, but considering what you're saying, I'd think that in any year past this one the ice will be lucky to survive.

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2019 melting season
« on: August 14, 2019, 06:04:30 AM »
I've been somewhat hesitant to post about the weather forecast, but this week's forecast is too interesting to ignore.
... That seemed reasonable at the time, but this extended warm period along Siberia, and the extended periods of southerly winds from Asia toward the pole makes it interesting. I wonder if there is still enough sun power to really heat that newly open water along the ESS and Laptev, and if the fetch of southerly wind would be enough to transport some of that warmth toward the central ice over the next week or two?

Yes, I have also been wondering if that extended pulse of warmth, wind, and precipitable water that's starting in Russia and carries over the Laptev into the central pack will have a significant effect on the ice in that area. Will there be a late forming Laptev bite?

Hmm, I just looked at climate reanalyzer again, and the forecast has changed, so it's no longer that much warmth and precipitable water being pushed over the ice. So the question's answer is basically no.

There are some low pressure systems entering the arctic though, so the wind looks to be picking up, and it'll be interesting to see how vulnerable the ice edge is at this stage, whether it melts back significantly or not.

On D7-8 (I know too far to be reliable) it looks like a low pressure travels across the arctic and parks itself over the pacific side. It has wind fields, maybe not storm level (I'm not a meteorologist) but they look significant. Also interesting to see what this does to the ice.

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2019 melting season
« on: August 14, 2019, 03:48:04 AM »
I've been somewhat hesitant to post about the weather forecast, but this week's forecast is too interesting to ignore.
... That seemed reasonable at the time, but this extended warm period along Siberia, and the extended periods of southerly winds from Asia toward the pole makes it interesting. I wonder if there is still enough sun power to really heat that newly open water along the ESS and Laptev, and if the fetch of southerly wind would be enough to transport some of that warmth toward the central ice over the next week or two?

Yes, I have also been wondering if that extended pulse of warmth, wind, and precipitable water that's starting in Russia and carries over the Laptev into the central pack will have a significant effect on the ice in that area. Will there be a late forming Laptev bite?

Arctic sea ice / Re: Arctic Image of the Day
« on: August 12, 2019, 11:38:49 AM »
Actually,  after looking at the original more closely, that dark colour might be all melt ponds, and a low sun angle on wet snow/ice. I think only the pressure ridges are showing up white here, maybe because they stick up into the sunlight?

I've attached a crop of the original to try to show some of the detail.

Edit: in any case, there is no way a Russian research team is setting up a research station on that ice! Yikes.

Arctic sea ice / Re: Arctic Image of the Day
« on: August 12, 2019, 08:10:23 AM »
Thanks for the images. Me thinks that ice looks very wet?

It might be, but it also might be the iPhone's automatic HDR function creating some extra contrast. It also might the low level of the sun's angle? I couldn't tell with my own eyes because I'd been sleeping and was pretty much blinded by the ice when I tried to look at it.

Arctic sea ice / Re: Arctic Image of the Day
« on: August 12, 2019, 07:51:15 AM »
Here are a couple of photos I got while flying over the Arctic, from Toronto to Hong Kong on August 1st. (yes, I feel bad about flying due to emissions, but it's not a vacation, we've moved to Jakarta for my wife's work. we will also buy some offsets to try to compensate a bit.)

We were trying to sleep through the 15 hour overnight flight, but I managed to some how wake myself up at the right time to open the window blind and blind myself with the glare.

Again, taken on Aug. 1st, somewhere between Greenland and the North Pole. It seems like a lot of water visible in the leads for this area, even for this time of year. Maybe it's normal recently, but I can't imagine it would've been normal when this area used to be dominated by multiyear ice.

If you want to see the full size images, DM me and I'll email them to you.


Arctic sea ice / Re: Holy Sh!t: Year-Round Arctic BOE Imminent
« on: September 05, 2018, 07:16:55 PM »
wili, I think the title is fine.

My questions about the timing of a summer BOE are:
  • how reliably is the open water going to create cloudy conditions that preserve the ice by preventing pre-conditioning? Every summer? What happens if there is a sunny summer? (Ice goes poof?)
  • how fast is the Atlantification of the Arctic Ocean that FOOW is talking about going to go?
  • how likely are large storms that can cause enough mixing/upwelling to melt out the remaining ice? 

Given those questions, I'm inclined to guess that a summer BOE is going to be arrived at abruptly, rather than gradually. The trend of poor refreezing in the winter, combined with a summer with sunny weather and then some well timed storms could do it in the next 5-10 years. At least that's my guess.

How long it takes before we have a year round BOE is another question, but I suppose we could get an indication of when that would happen by postulating an open water arctic with fully mixed surface water (no halocline), and calculating how much heat loss there is when there's a lot more water vapour in the air in winter, and if that heat loss is enough to refreeze the ocean. I don't have the ability to calculate that, but I suspect that it's in decades rather than centuries.

Someone upthread said there wouldn't be significant impacts? I may have read that wrong, but we're already having significant impacts to Northern Hemisphere jetstream and weather, and they will only get more extreme and worse as the Arctic melts.

Isn't an ice free Arctic supposed to radically warm land areas up to 1500km from the coast? That will melt a lot of permafrost.

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2018 melting season
« on: August 22, 2018, 08:58:09 PM »
Ice over 4 metres thick is pretty much gone.
By mid-September, ice over 3 metres thick could be gone.

Looks like this year has a lot more green and turquiose than those other years, and less of the purple and blue areas, which seem to represent the ice that will melt out before the end of melt season. So a less exciting melt season, but thankfully the ice seems to have dodged another bullet this year.

I looked at the wind forecast on climate reanalyzer, and it looks like there will be some windiness that will attack the ice in the Laptev and ESS, but maybe not sustained enough to cause enough dispersion to melt a lot of ice.

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2018 melting season
« on: August 22, 2018, 08:51:53 PM »
I'm going to do a no-no for this forum and link a video from what you would call a skeptic of sorts. It does have relevance to the TSI subject. It's only 6 minutes and if you can forget the source for a second- I would like to know what you think.  Is it hogwash or has any merit?
I'll understand if I'm banned for this :)

The speaker talks about facts, but he didn't bring any. It may be that an extra strong flash of solar outburst may have a small and short-lived influence on earth's temperature. But I completely miss the development of the changes in quantitative numbers over the last 140 years. I am no climate scientist so I can not judge whether the changes are around 0,1% as he complains about or bigger as he says they would be. We should let "potholer" analyse this video and ask real scientists like Rahmstorf, Mann, Beckwith or Hansen to evaluate the content.
For me this video is in line with all the other AGW denier videos, well-made but without any useable content.

Don't waste anyone's time with this. It looks to me like a common troll tactic that I've heard of called "just asking questions" ( ) , seems innocuous enough at first glance, but it's designed to take a discussion off the rails or, in this case, completely off topic.

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2018 melting season
« on: August 02, 2018, 09:40:15 PM »
The models are showing a never-ending heatwave over the High Arctic. This is through 216 and each frame between now and then is just about as horrible.

While the forecast looks like a lot of clear skies over this area, how does the temperature anomaly at 850mb translate into surface heat or ice melting?

We can see heat and wind and moisture coming in from Svalbard area on the Atlantic side, so I’d guess we’ll see melting on that front too.

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2018 melting season
« on: August 01, 2018, 03:12:44 AM »
Some really warm air is entering the basin around Svalbard, and will proceed across the basin over the next few days, expelling all the cold air to the peripheries, under a high. More excitement(how much can the ice take?). I've include the 850hPa forecast for late tomorrow

That warm air is also bringing what looks like sustained wind blowing from svalbard across to the chukchi, in kind of a reverse transpolar drift. I wonder how much ice will shift over to the pacific side? If it does, will it melt, is the open water on the Pacific side warm enough to melt it? In any case, the Atlantic front is going to get pushed back and melt quite a bit.

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2018 melting season
« on: July 16, 2018, 04:11:56 PM »
I just had a quick look at climate reanalyzer, and it seems like the next 6 days aren't going to have much in the way of ice melting weather. Only a couple of short lived warm air temperature areas over the Beaufort and general cloudiness over much of the Arctic.

There does seem to be quite a bit more wind than previously seen over this melt season, so it'll be interesting to see if there will be dispersion and extra melting along the ice edges as the wind hits them.

Around day 8 (yes, I know, too far away to be reliable) there seems to be a lot of wind, warmth and a large plume of precipitable water. It'll be very interesting to see how this will affect the ice if it does come to pass. (Attached Images are from about 8 days out)

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2018 melting season
« on: June 13, 2018, 08:09:23 PM »
The amazing Greenland vortex we have seen this late spring is a very anomalous feature which our discussion is ignoring while we argue over details about extent and area that will be wiped out in a few weeks time.

The 90 pattern of winds and currents has been very efficiently transporting cold water into the Labrador sea, followed by deep convection as it mixes with warm Gulf stream water. This weather/current pattern is speeding up the rate of transport of Gulf Stream water across the temperate north Atlantic then up the coast of Norway. There has been a stunning anomalous amount of northwards heat transport in the north Atlantic over the past 90 days that will affect the Arctic for many months.

How do you think this north Atlantic heat transport will affect the ice on the Atlantic side? I'm asking because I don't really know what the mechanisms are for affecting the ice.

Will there be storms that bring warmth and waves to melt the ice back into the CAB? Or will the warm water currents melt ice until they hit the bathometric drop offs and then sink too low to melt ice any further into the CAB?

Or will there be ice retention in the CAB because the winds are no longer exporting ice out of the Fram?

My guess right now is that the ESS and Laptev will melt pretty far into the CAB due to all the warmth and sun they're getting, but the Beaufort and CAB north of the CAA will hold on because they're getting mostly cloud weather.

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2018 melting season
« on: June 12, 2018, 08:49:07 PM »
As we are getting closer to the solstice it seems, at this moment, more and more likely that the the sea ice in ESS, Chukchi, Laptev, Barents and Kara Sea will take a major damage this season. OTOH, it looks like the sea ice in Beaufort, CAA and the adjacent areas north of Greenland will be spared this season.

This idea is based upon the GFS monthly forecast that hints of a more cyclonic weather pattern over the North American side while high pressure will remain in charge over the Siberian side.


Yes, having half the Arctic consistently sunny and warm and the other half consistently cooler and cloudy is really interesting. I don't remember anything similar since I've started reading this forum in 2015. Like LMV says, this could save half the ice. Half a bullet dodged I guess?

I wonder how much damage large cyclones later on in the season could do though? If they disperse the ice from the cloudy sector into the warmed up salty open water, it could trigger extra melt later on. That would be a second bullet to dodge.

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2018 melting season
« on: June 07, 2018, 03:03:35 PM »
If I’m reading climate reanalyzer correctly, it looks like after the cyclone works it’s way across the Arctic Ocean, there’s going to be full sunshine and very warm temps, for a week, for all of the Laptev, ESS, and Chukchi, pretty much all the way to the Pole. Starting in less than 3 days, so part of that forecast is reliable, part is getting too far out.

I’d be surprised if that doesn’t generate a lot of melt ponding and preconditioning of the ice right before the solstice. That’s a very large area of  FYI.

The only positive I could see was that the Beaufort and the CAB north of the CAA will stay cloudy for pretty much the whole forecast.

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2018 melting season
« on: June 06, 2018, 05:10:56 PM »
I'm also very curious as to what will happen to the ice with this cyclone. It looks like the area between Laptev and CAA will get churned up, first with winds pushing the ice towards Svalbard, and then with winds pushing it back.

Laptev looks to get wind and warmth, so how much will it melt back?
how much will that gap open up as the ice gets pushed towards CAA? How much melting will occur under the storm in the CAB? Enough to cause melt ponds? The storm looks to bring cloudy weather, so perhaps maybe not?

On the Pacific side at around 5 days out however, things look bad for the ice. If the forecast holds, that whole side will be getting at least a few days of sunshine and warmth. I sure hope the forecast is wrong.

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2018 melting season
« on: June 04, 2018, 09:24:13 PM »

Well, this is certainly one of those Holy Shit predictions that make this thread impossible to put down. For me anyway.

After this melt season has kind of muddled along, and I was thinking there might be a chance that it could get cloudy just in time for June and stave off the melt ponds and solar absorption.

But looking at those images, and climate reanalyzer and it seems that the only positive in the next few days is going to be that the arctic won't be completely sunny, but that is a lot of heat and moisture plowing all the way across the entire CAB.

If the sun comes out afterwards, then wow.

Arctic sea ice / Re: Home brew AMSR2 extent & area calculation
« on: May 15, 2018, 04:48:43 PM »
Melt Ponds?
Maybe it’s wind pushing the ice?  we probably need a worldview image of that area to get past guessing about it.

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2018 melting season
« on: May 09, 2018, 09:48:26 PM »
10 day forecast. (Max temperature.)

Personally I'd be happier if we kept this thread closer to the observations. I can wait ten days to see what happened, whereas looking forward ten days from now is a total crapshoot (especially with GFS).

Personally, I always find the "oh shit, look what's coming for the Arctic" forecasts that are a big part of the melting season threads to be valuable. Granted, the <5 day forecasts are a lot better than the 5-10 day forecasts. I guess I'm here because I want to have some clue as to what's going to happen. There is also a lot of discussion about what actually happened, and why, but the forecasts really get my curiousity going.

Arctic sea ice / Re: Operation IceBridge - Arctic Spring 2017
« on: July 26, 2017, 03:40:59 PM »
saw an article on IceBridge with this image.  It does seem like melt ponds need large slabs of ice to form efficiently.

Thanks for posting that, it's a neat image.

How big is that floe, though? Since we can see the shadows from the ridges at its edge, I'd guess it can't be more than 100m across. Which is far smaller than the resolution we get from the satellite images, and the floes we see on the satellite images are measured in km. From that frame of reference I'd argue that it's actually a quite small piece of ice and yet still has melt ponds.

Which would mean that melt ponds are still an important indicator on the fractured ice we're seeing on the satellite images, until the floes get down to a size where they look like gray slush.

Arctic sea ice / Re: Latest PIOMAS update (mid July update)
« on: July 18, 2017, 03:50:59 PM »
Thanks Wipneus, always interesting!

So the current ice thickness contours are fairly simple in shape: nearly triangular at 1.75m, 1.50m, 1.25m and weighted to the Atlantic side; and with the Pacific side filled out to form more of a trapezoid at the 1.00m contour.

I kind of expect some of that 1.0m contour to survive, considering how cloudy the last week or so has been. A lot of that depends on where the winds blow the ice over the next month or so, and whether all the rain that Climate Reanalyzer has been showing all over the ice has indeed been rain, rather than snow. If the winds blow the pack over the now open peripheral seas, then a lot of the 1m and even thicker ice will melt too.

Who knows though, maybe large areas of the ice have been absorbing heat and are ready to go poof.

Arctic sea ice / Re: Arctic Image of the Day
« on: July 12, 2017, 03:49:37 PM »
Those ice floes turned out to be bigger than they first seemed -- as I should have expected, since most of the volume is under the waterline.

Really neat to see these photos, thanks numerobis!

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2017 melting season
« on: June 28, 2017, 10:09:35 PM »
Intersting ECMWF 12z op run depicting a return to more cyclonic weather again after D6-D7. Let's see what the ensemble says!

Yes, very interesting, especially as GFS/Reanalyzer is showing that Beaufort, ESS, and CAA are going to get warm temps and mostly clear skies for the next 5 days. That ice is already blue in Worldview, and is mostly < 2m, so I'm guessing that sun and warmth will have a significant affect on those areas. Maybe the more cyclonic weather you mention brings enough cloud cover to give the ice a chance of surviving?

Laptev and CAB seem to be getting mostly cloud and rain for the next 5 days, so maybe those areas won't melt as much?

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2017 melting season
« on: June 27, 2017, 04:53:41 PM »
The Jaxa extent data and a simple arithmetic projection (based on previous 10 year average melting) says the prospects for a new record low are diminishing rapidly, and 1 million km2 is beyond reason. Also the JAXA sea ice thickness image for June 26 one year ago looks more favourable for melting than this year's image.

IMHO, the volume metric still has a good chance of accelerating its decreases again and possibly staying ahead of even 2012's dramatic drop. I'm basing this on the following reasons: a) most of 2017's anomalous thickness, and therefore, its extra volume, is located in that blob near Svalbard, which means it is going to melt out almost completely, (assuming PIOMAS is relatively correct) b) 2017 has a higher proportion of FYI, which is thinner and more saline, with a lower melting temperature, so it has a higher chance of doing that 'poof' thing that we have witnessed so many times on the periphery in previous years, c) lack of Freezing Degree Days over the winter means that most of the ice was anomalously warm going into the melt season, so it needs measurably less energy to melt, and
d) as noted in other posts, the current weather forecast doesn't look great for the ice's chances of survival, especially considering that the meltponding seems to have spread rapidly across huge areas of the CAB. There is still a lot of potential sunlight left on the calendar.

I could be wrong, and I'm not great with weather maps, so if I'm off please corrrect me, but going by Climate Reanalyzer, it looks like the (already weak looking) Pacific side is going to get hit with rain, warm temperatures, and then a lot of sunshine. (Image is the forecast for 60 hours, I believe). The Atlantic side doesn't seems to fare only slightly better.

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2017 melting season
« on: June 14, 2017, 04:03:24 PM »

there is 1 fact to which i agree, nothing is totally certain 😉

as to the rest of your assumption, i disagree, especially to the "sealing" part, it just does not sound right to me, future events and analyzes will show, let's wait and see 😎

Ok, let's wait and see.  8)

It is possible that the generally younger thinner ice behaves differently than the older thicker ice, so melt ponding behaviour might be different, but I'm not certain that it has. And this year, it might very well happen that the thin ice succumbs to open water + wave action + bottom melt even if there isn't a build up of meltponds + albedo drop + insolation.

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2017 melting season
« on: June 13, 2017, 06:06:08 PM »
I don't think the melt pond info is necessarily prognostic, especially where there is new snow over new ice, as is the case over most of the area currently exhibiting anomalously low melt-pond fraction.

Earlier today I posted on one of the extent prediction threads about this year's ice in Laptev, ESS, and the CAB north of both. Much of it is started off as open water off the coast in March this year or later, and was snowed on when it was only a few CM thick. It has not been subjected to the normal ridge-promoting onshore-offshore oscillation, but rather has been marching north, under an insulating blanket of snow, in mostly barely-freezing weather, to fill the void left by the MYI exiting the Fram, for the past three months.

Today was literally the first day this year that any of this ice has seen above freezing temps, and it already appears to be wilting fast. Tomorrow and the next day, it's going to get rained upon. I honestly will be quite surprised if any of that anomalously-low melt pond ice is still there at the end of July.

thanks a lot for blowing that horn, the days of melt-ponding being a main indicator are coming to an end IMO because the melt-water will drain through fissures and leads in significant amount.

I don't think this is at all certain for 2 reasons.

1) Meltwater doesn't drain through fissures or pores in the ice, as a recent study has shown, because the seawater and the ice will be a lower temperature (~1.8C) so any meltwater flowing down freezes quickly and forms a seal to prevent any more draining through the ice.

2) for meltponds to drain off the sides of the floes in a quantity significant enough to make a difference, I would think that the size of the melt ponds would have to be relatively close to the size of the floes. Yes, the ice is all broken up and looks a mess right now, but the broken pieces we're looking at are still sizeable, often 100km across. Meltponds seem to be in the order of magnitude of meters, not kilometers, so yes, while there are more edges to drain ponds, it's an order of magnitude problem, so there aren't enough edges to drain enough meltponds to say that meltponds don't count anymore.

My thought experiment would be to take a smallish floe that's 10km x 10km square, so 100 sq km. A ~25% meltponded piece of ice would have say 1 melt pond for every 100 sq m (10m x 10m)(assuming the photos we see of ice and meltponds are representative), and if evenly distributed, the floe would have ~1,000,000 meltponds. To count the ones draining at the edges would be 10,000 m / 10m = 1000 on each edge, so 4000 in total.

Which means the broken up ice cap in this case would have allowed 0.4% of the meltponds to drain. I'd think that the floes would have to get under 1 sq. km for this to have an effect, and on a satellite image that would probably look like slush, I'd guess.

WHile I'm guessing the increasing open water and increasing leads within the pack will cause the  upcoming bottom melt will have a big affect on how much of the ice survives this year, I think that the lateness of the meltponding isn't insignificant and may well help a lot of it survive by keeping the albedo higher for longer, thus decreasing the solar energy absorbed.

We still have to see what the weather holds though, as the melt ponds could still increase a lot within the next few weeks, with still a lot of insolation available in July.

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2017 melting season
« on: May 23, 2017, 08:47:02 PM »
The people saying that the ice is breaking up in smaller blocks appear to be right.
Was the winter freeze, with all its anomalously warm temps., only enough to cement small, broken-up blocks together, rather than create any significant new thickness or extent, creating an illusion of relative stability in area?
"""Polar bear scientists see unusual sea ice breakup""

That would be my vote. Someone mentioned on this forum a while back that ice temperature affects its mechanical strength, so that -20C ice is 5x stronger than -10C ice. (Hopefully I'm not misremembering that.) Assuming that the FDD anomaly affects not only ice thickness but ice temperature as well.

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2017 melting season
« on: April 26, 2017, 07:30:32 PM »
The changes we are observing in the arctic are the result of continual and growing perturbation from a roughly equilibrium state, caused by building AGW.  This perturbation has caused measurable and growing changes in many monitoring variables (extent, area, volume) over the past few decades.  I think Bill's analysis relies on the assumption that the rate of change of the perturbation over time going forward will remain constant.  I am not convinced this is a valid assumption.  I believe the rate of change of the cumulative forcings may well change at an increasing rate in the future.

Past performance is not a reliable predictor of future performance.

This is a good point. I have another thought, but I'm not sure I can articulate it well. I'll give it a try: I also wonder if the attempt at statistical predicting like Bill's analysis is also missing the geographical consideration of the difference between the Arctic Basin and the peripheral seas, with respect to melting feedbacks. Since Hudson, Bering, Baffin, Okhotsk are all included in the volume and extent measurements.

Basically, in the beginning, the open water was really only in the peripheral seas by the end of the summer. Then the ice in the Arctic basin protected itself by preventing preventing solar energy gain (albedo), and by preventing wave action from disrupting the halocline/layering of water under the ice, and by keeping the relative humidity of the region low, allowing a lot of heat to escape once freezing season started up.

Now, (starting at some point around 2000?) every year there is a vast extent of open water within the Arctic basin, so the halocline/thermal layering of the ocean is disrupted, the water is gaining a lot more solar energy, the atmosphere is more humid, trapping even more energy. All this really affects the freezing season, reducing the volume of ice left to melt by the following melt season.

My question is, would we find out something interesting if did this kind of analysis by doing it on 2 different time periods: pre-Arctic basin open water, and post Arctic basin open water?

What happens to the trends if you have one for 1979-2000 and one for 2001-2016?

Arctic sea ice / Re: What are you expecting to see this melt Season?
« on: January 11, 2017, 07:16:26 PM »
My guess is that freezing season leaves the ice thin, and the extent is a record low. I'm guessing the maximum is a record for lowest max, and then the spring melting season keeps extent and area in record territory.

Until June, where the melt rates level off much like they did last year because there will be a lot more cloudy weather in the arctic in the summer, maybe due to the amount of open water, but there will again be a lot of early melting causing open water intrusions in the chukchi, beaufort, barents, kara, so there will be again a lot of warm water early on.

Even with the cloudy weather, the ice will be so weak it'll melt back a lot and just become slush, so that even if extent isn't an eye popping record, the area and volume metrics will be.

Not sure it'll get below the 1 Million sq km threshold, but it'll still be crap ice that's left, and refreeze will be really slow and weak.

Arctic sea ice / Re: What's new in the Arctic ?
« on: January 11, 2017, 06:47:12 PM »
Buddy, it seems we're witnessing first hand an amazing drama/contest over the future of human civilization, and drilling in the Arctic is symbolic of how that fight is going.

Interesting times indeed......and the Arctic is an incredibly important battleground for multiple reasons.

And in the words of the immortal Babe Ruth:  "It's hard to beat a person who never gives up."

Go get 'em Buddy! I also agree with Obama and McKibben and everyone else that it's going to be people power that forces the changes. The looming Trumpist nightmare in the US might be a serious set back for a while, but people over there in the US, and here in Canada, and everywhere, need to keep fighting for every 0.1C limit we can get.

Arctic sea ice / Re: What's new in the Arctic ?
« on: January 11, 2017, 06:41:49 PM »
The big question is how far past 2C and what are the impacts? My opinion is 2.4C increases our chances much more than 2.5C, so it's well worth fighting for every 0.1C we can get.

I love that!  100% agree, and I will also steal this quote and use it often.  sorry but you can't stop me ;)
no worries anotheramethyst!  8)

I'm pretty sure I borrowed that idea from Robert Scribbler and Alex Steffen.


Arctic sea ice / Re: What's new in the Arctic ?
« on: January 10, 2017, 03:12:17 PM »
Buddy, it seems we're witnessing first hand an amazing drama/contest over the future of human civilization, and drilling in the Arctic is symbolic of how that fight is going.

Renewables and EVs now look like they're inevitable (eg. Tesla's rubber is hitting the road, as they've started actual battery production at the Gigafactory, Samsung just announced a next gen battery ), but on the other hand oil and coal and gas still occupy something like 90% of energy consumption, compared to 1-2% for renewables, so we really don't know if renewables are going to get deployed fast enough to win this one. Their deployment rates will have to keep doubling every few years, which is possible, but I'm not sure if it'll be enough. Kevin Anderson sure doesn't think we will avoid catastrophe.

Things will get really interesting if there is an oil supply restriction that causes an oil price spike in 2018 ( ) - would an economic crash cause people to switch to EVs faster, or would they hang on to their ICEs for longer because of economic uncertainty? Or would a global economic crash slow down capital expenditures on renewables? Or would it restrict riskier expenditures like Arctic drilling? Russia is probably committed to Arctic exploration no matter what happens or what the cost is, I expect Putin to double down no matter what. His whole structure of power is based on producing oil.

There is also much talk of the developing world leapfrogging coal based grids and going straight to distributed renewables, much as they leapfrogged landline telephones and went straight to cells, but if they're starving and impoverished due to climate induced droughts + a global financial meltdown, will that transition actually happen? I guess that depends on the proportion of people in the developing world who are affected that way compared to the number of people who manage to stay out of poverty.

I check sites like cleantechnica every day, just to look for some positive news in this ongoing battle. I have no idea how it's going to go, except that even if we as the human race do really well, we're still going to get into a climatic danger zone somewhere over 2C. The big question is how far past 2C and what are the impacts? My opinion is 2.4C increases our chances much more than 2.5C, so it's well worth fighting for every 0.1C we can get.

Arctic sea ice / Re: Choosing a Base to compare ASI lost on PIOMAS Volume
« on: January 04, 2017, 03:36:20 PM »
I selected 80-89, because I agree with what jai and crandles are saying here about not needing a 30 year baseline and shorter averages are pretty robust, especially in the earlier periods. I think 79-2000 is also a good baseline, because it doesn't have as much change baked into as the longer ones. The changes have been happening so fast that I think a 30 year baseline is somewhat misleading.

Science / Re: Scientists scramble to safeguard data ahead of 'scrubbers'
« on: December 21, 2016, 06:06:43 PM »
This is 1933 all over again. Except the US are now the Nazis.

Ever wonder what you would have done if you had lived in 1930's Germany as an intellectual. No need to wonder anymore. You are there.

So what WILL you do.

They are compiling names for God's sake. What does it take, people?

America Erwache!

Cid_Yama, I have a feeling it's not going to be that bad, even if it will be bad. That's just a hunch though, and I'm very anxious about it even though I'm Canadian.

There are a lot of parallels to 1930s Germany, but there are a lot of differences, including the fact that Americans have been relatively free and democratic for a long time, so while they might not have been ready for a radically norm-breaking fascist candidate to win, I expect them to push back fairly hard. That being said, I don't expect the Republicans to not take advantage of their current dominance to 'rig' the next elections, so the US might end up under 1 party rule for a long time.
(by rigging I mean more voter suppression, more gerry-mandering, more stacked courts which will decide in their favour or ignore their corruption, using the IRS to audit opponents, libel lawsuiting people into silence, etc.)

The Nazis consolidated their power by beating and murdering and terrorizing their opponents while the police and the courts turned blind eyes, and maybe I'm naive, but I just can't see that happening on the same scale in the US.

Yes, the Trump regime will be authoritarian, at the least, and yes, it'll be really bad for minorities and Muslims, but I expect Trump to be focused on using the presidency for making money for himself and his Russian investors. His administration will be incredibly corrupt, but I'm not sure if it's going to be overtly murderous. Then again, he has no problem with what Duterte is doing in the Phillipines, so there's a good likelihood it gets nasty.

Who knows, this whole thing keeps me pretty stressed and I haven't figured out if the worst case scenarios in my mind are overreactions or if the idea that it just can't get that bad is the human thing where you can't imagine people violating the norms you've lived with for your whole life, and maybe comes from the diet of tv and movies that mostly have happy endings.

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2016/2017 freezing season
« on: December 16, 2016, 05:27:44 PM »
Some people might find the first part of this post interesting, and maybe worth following up there:

(the rest is interesting but OT in this thread)

The rest is very relevant to abrupt SLR and Antarctic glaciation and sea ice. Wow. I strongly recommend that everyone reads it. It looks like Hansen is right about rapid SLR.


The process that stops the stops the self-reinforcing pattern is rapid ice melt, especially Greenland ice melt. The cold fresh water layer puts a lid on the heat.

Very interesting indeed Fish, but there's a photo of a chart in that article that shows what looks like Global Mean Sea Level (GMSL) for three of the UN climate change scenarios, and while that chart shows that abrupt sea level rise starting around 2060 for RCP 8.5, that line only goes to 0.64 +/- 0.49m by 2100, which is no where close to the possibilities that Hansen is talking about. If I remember correctly, Hansen was talking about something like meters over decades, so 3m or more by 2100.

Maybe that chart is out of context though, maybe it's only talking about sea level contributions by specific parts of Antarctica or something like that. That level of contribution seems really low for any scenario, as I thought the current conservative estimates put us at 1-2m by 2100.

I also hope you're right about a colder freshwater lens putting a brake on the melting process. Less surface melting and hydrofracturing seems like a plausible mechanism for slowing it down, even though it seems to be accelerating right now.

Science / Re: Scientists scramble to safeguard data ahead of 'scrubbers'
« on: December 14, 2016, 10:36:35 PM »
I'm really glad for Eric Holthaus and the other scientists spearheading this effort. They're right to be paranoid that their research will be a target for destruction.

Here in Canada, the previous government (Stephen Harper's Conservatives) destroyed decades worth of unique and important fisheries science research pretty much just out of spite. They claimed they were digitizing it but they actually just dumped all the research into dumpsters. Harper also tried to shut down the lakes / fresh water research centre for similar spiteful reasons, which was instrumental in learning about the effects of acid rain.

So in this case, where the fossil fuel monetary stakes are really high, there's a very good chance that Trump's people will attempt to destroy everything they can get their hands on.

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2016/2017 freezing season
« on: November 08, 2016, 03:00:57 PM »
observation of Hadley Cell expansion into Arctic

I'm not qualified enough to know whether it's rare for specific storm systems to get slurped up like that, but I suspect it happens from time to time.

I would still like to see some research, past or present, that indicates collapse of atmospheric circulation on that magnitude is even a theoretical possibility.  Perturbations, sure, but I've been perturbed since the day I was

"The large scale atmospheric circulation 'cells' shift polewards in warmer periods (e.g. interglacials compared to glacials), but remain largely constant as they are, fundamentally, a property of the Earth's size, rotation rate, heating and atmospheric depth, all of which change little.

I'm definitely willing to be proven wrong, but I remain skeptical about the claims.

This page has some summaries of plausible theories for what could cause an equable climate.

One of them is that Hadley cells extend all the way to the poles. Another is that tropical storms could bring heat to the poles, but says that phenomena hasn't been observed and is very unlikely that a tropical storm could transfer heat to the Arctic. However, these pages were obviously posted before what we've been seeing this past winter and this fall.

Is it possible that it could be a combination of the various theories of an equable climate that could make it happen? The weakening of the jet stream and the increase in the magnitude of the Rossby waves (one theory) now allows tropical storms to carry their heat and moisture into the arctic (another theory), helped along by the wintertime convective cloud feedback that prevents winter cooling (another theory)?

I have no idea how plausible that is, but I whenever I remember that systems don't usually change in linear incremental ways, I really wonder how fast this system is going to flip to a new state?

Arctic sea ice / Re: Home brew AMSR2 extent & area calculation
« on: November 01, 2016, 04:01:30 PM »
Well said Archimid

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2016/2017 freezing season
« on: October 26, 2016, 09:02:29 PM »
Oh, I agree with your points, wasn't disagreeing with you just mentioning. :)
I think what you may be failing to remember is that only the surface area of the ice is effective to produce cooling, and so while the amount of ice on Greenland is far higher than the amount of Arctic sea ice, the effective cooling of the Greenland ice sheet is less than it is for the sea ice because the area that is in direct contact with air is much lower for Greenland than it is for the sea ice.
That is incorrect. As Greenland melts it becomes more porous and the gigantic fractures running through the ice sheet turn it into swiss cheese. In fact, air passing through/over Greenland encounters substantially more ice surface area that it does over the Arctic. The melt ponds that disappear as they drain through the sheet also create huge tunnels/chasms for air to funnel through which further enhances Greenland's cooling abilities.

Hahahaha. Nope. He's quite correct.

That's pretty funny though. Greenland dissipating heat from air because it's porous like a radiator. heh heh.

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2016/2017 freezing season
« on: October 26, 2016, 08:59:43 PM »

It must be remembered that record snowfalls in September/October have a much larger impact on global albedo balance than they would in Dec/Jan as well. A substantial increase in autumnal snow cover will have a very large effect on planetary albedo forcing and I think (which is another reason that the anomalies this yr have been so persistently - across Eurasia).

Haha, Has an albedo effect? Did you even check the amount of sunlight of the angle of the sun at northern latitudes? Eg. Northern Quebec right now gets ~8hrs of sunlight, and the sun doesn't get up to 20degrees. There really isn't much sun's energy to deflect at this time of the year compared to the amount that the arctic ocean gets in midsummer.

Also, I think you're confusing the amount of snow with coverage. The snow isn't going to be falling earlier or further south, it's just going to be deeper. But deeper snow still melts off pretty quickly in May, so it will have very little effect on global albedo or the sea ice melt season.

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2016/2017 freezing season
« on: October 26, 2016, 04:22:21 PM »
I'm just not seeing how bbr's hypothesis works. Sure a melting greenland might cause a drop in nearby sea surface temps, causing an increase in the severity of north atlantic storms, and maybe some places like northern europe might get cooler overall due to weather pattern shifts, but the bottom line is that there already is an enormous amount of extra heat in the earth's system, and that will rapidly accelerate in the Arctic as more and more ocean becomes open water.

I really doubt that how the air swirls around Greenland is really going to somehow get that heat out into space or absorb it into the ice sheet.

I think it might snow a lot more over northern lands because of the moisture coming off of an open Arctic Ocean, but to imagine a general cooling trend to happen, we'd have to imagine that a significant amount of that snow would have to last all the way through the summer. And if the Arctic is mostly open in the summer and the avg temps are going to be or already are 5C higher than they were pre-Anthropocene, then there's no way land snow won't melt out quickly.

I think it's more plausible that we end up with an equable climate at some point if the loss of Arctic sea ice stops the jet stream and polar cell from forming and there's no longer a barrier to heat from the tropics dissipating into the Arctic, but I'm just guessing there.

Arctic sea ice / Re: Home brew AMSR2 extent & area calculation
« on: October 18, 2016, 09:28:51 PM »

The near total lack of thick ice compared with other years striking, total volume is tracking well below 2012 (and 2013 -2015).

I know I'm not adding to the discussion here, but holy crap, that is striking.

Arctic sea ice / Re: Albedo-Warming Potential
« on: October 18, 2016, 09:26:38 PM »
Thanks for these very interesting graphs Tealight!

I was wondering about the units of the pan-Arctic chart that shows the different regions together:

Are the different regions weighted for area, or are the units just in KWh/M2?

If the latter, it would be really interesting to see a chart that multiplied the albedo cumulative forcing by the area of the region, and then put all the regions together, so we could see how the regions stack up relative to each other in terms of overall energy gain.

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