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Messages - FishOutofWater

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The politics / Re: The Trump Presidency
« on: September 16, 2020, 04:28:36 PM »
Trump is the ultimate diversion. While he gets the spotlight the thieves tied to his regime are stealing everything that isn't bolted down with rockbolts.

Even the virus has become a vehicle for the rich to get richer while regular folks die.

Tabbi is mostly right but he gets it wrong by not highlighting the extraordinary level of corruption and how Trump is enabling and normalizing it. The country is dying and burning and the Trump regime sees this as an opportunity to loot while we are distracted by Trump.

Trump is extraordinarily evil and so are his enablers.

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2020 melting season
« on: September 16, 2020, 03:01:54 AM »
It's not just a SST thing in the Barents, Kara and Laptev seas. The heat goes town to 30m or more. Compare the 30 m Arctic temperatures of this year with 2019 on Mercator ocean and you will see that there's much more ocean heat on the Atlantic side this year than last. On the other hand, there's less heat on the Pacific side. Over both sides, there's much more heat this year, but there is almost always a see saw effect in the Arctic between the Atlantic and Pacific.

Arctic sea ice / Re: MOSAiC news
« on: September 14, 2020, 02:57:08 PM »
As the light goes away and the inversions over the ice intensify the ice edge becomes like a stationary front between air masses because the water still has heat. The pole is shockingly close to the ice edge this September so storms will be intensified by the boundary and can be expected to cause the Mosaic team many challenges.

The large scale synoptic pattern has chains of storms tracking from the north Atlantic into the subpolar seas and into the Arctic ocean proper. The record high heat content of the north Atlantic and possibly the Atlantic side of the Arctic ocean is contributing to the storminess. We won't hear about the impacts of these storms from the PR person, but expect more of them. The effects of the loss of sea ice on the Atlantic side of the Arctic ocean are affecting CFS model forecasts of the location of the polar vortex this fall, causing it to move towards the north Atlantic in the model. If this verifies, storminess will be intensified in the Barents and Kara seas as winter sets in.

I would guess that graupel was falling before it turned to freezing rain. Graupel is icy snow, a tiny ice ball with a core of snow.

Arctic sea ice / Re: MOSAiC news
« on: September 12, 2020, 07:36:15 PM »
The drone photo is both beautiful and shocking because of the blue water in the ponds apparently on 6 September. Because the basic info identifying the photo has been stripped, I'm left wondering if it was actually taken in the month of September at the pole.

With regard to the new ice concentration product, it takes time to become familiar with new tools, graphics and data sets. I'm not ready yet to comment on it and I'm pretty sure that how it is for other people here.

I have actually been restraining my anger at the Mosiac management.  We live in a period where politicians and "authorities" are gaslighting us. Science is under attack, especially in the U.S., right down to forecasts by the National Hurricane Center and reports by the CDC. Scientists need to respond by interacting with the public in a forthright and honest way - with data and figures that have appropriate identification, quality control and quality assurance. I'm not talking about crazy levels of QA/QC like I dealt with in the nuclear waste research business, but reasonable stuff like keeping the basic identifiers on photos.

I'm retired now but I once managed research projects and grants for the feds. If some group did the bullshit that Mosaic management has done, I would be inclined to never give them another dime if it was may say. What they are doing is undermining the public confidence in science. I don't expect them to share all of their data. Much information may need critical review before it is released to the public. I get that. But don't feed me bullshit and deception like we have given from the leaders of Mosaic.

Yes, the research drones are fantastic. I got excited about drones for research when they were used studying volcanic eruptions in Iceland and Hawaii. Great stuff. Great potential.

Arctic sea ice / Re: MOSAiC news
« on: September 12, 2020, 04:54:12 AM »
But these MOSAiC people in charge aren't stupid. They are control freaks right down to their misogynistic dress code. They did have bad luck concerning the virus, and they deserve to be cut some slack about that, but cutting off normal internet communications while the pandemic was ongoing was a brutal and insensitive thing to do to people concerned about aging parents and children at home.

" Tropopause pressure over the entire Arctic gained 25mb of height for 4 months.   Same response in the SH "

Millibars are units of pressure. In meteorology height is measured in meters and so is thickness. The polar troposphere may have expanded upwards in response to warming but it did not expand by 25mb. That does not compute, nor does it make any sense at all.

Antarctica / Re: Ice Apocalypse - MULTIPLE METERS SEA LEVEL RISE
« on: September 09, 2020, 07:59:47 PM »
Yes, Bruce, I'm a geochemist and I've been aware for many years of the role of rock weathering and chemical buffering on global paleoclimates. Natural rock weathering is a slow process. A recent study showed that it may be practical to speed it up by using rock flour from crushed basalt as a soil amendment. This possibility has been known for a long time but the economics were not well known.

Antarctica / Re: Ice Apocalypse - MULTIPLE METERS SEA LEVEL RISE
« on: September 09, 2020, 06:16:42 PM »
CO2 solubility decreases with increasing water temperature so warmer surface waters lead to less oceanic CO2 uptake. Even if we were able to dump dry lake fulls of sodium bicarbonate into the ocean to neutralize the acidity from added CO2, the warm water would take up less CO2. There's a hysteresis problem.

Arctic sea ice / Re: Arctic Ocean salinity, temperature and waves
« on: September 09, 2020, 04:35:56 PM »
Tor there are papers about how Atlantic water has been getting under glaciers on the east coast of Greenland in recent years. After the shelf ice is gone, tides and eddies cause more mixing. This may be happening on the N coast of Greenland. There are multiple topographic highs under water where they could induce increased mixing after ice shelves melted and rates of flow increased.

Science / Re: Sea Level Rise Accelerating
« on: September 09, 2020, 04:27:54 PM »
Gulf Stream slowdown contributes to SLR on the SE coast of the U.S. Compaction driven subsidence is a major factor in apparent SLR in coastal Louisiana.

Hansen's papers discussed melt driven slowdowns in deep water formation in both hemispheres contributing to ocean heat build up. That started years ago and certainly got going strong in 2010.

Arctic ice loss is affecting the whole NH climate. The polar vortex weakens when warm water moves into the Barents sea. This winter should be very weird very likely with a weak vortex.

Arctic sea ice / Re: Arctic Ocean salinity, temperature and waves
« on: September 09, 2020, 02:03:08 PM »
On the north coast of south America, flow is dominated by large eddies. Easterly and ENE winds howl through the southern Caribbean sea causing upwelling in some areas on the shelf margin and driving what would be a warm current towards the west and WNW. The Coriolis effect makes normal current flow impossible so large eddies form transporting water westwards and somewhat northwards across the Caribbean and into the Gulf of Mexico.

This doesn't happen north of Greenland but if persistent high pressure existed at the north pole eddies might spin from the Fram into the waters north of Greenland carrying warm salty water into the region dominated by cold fresh water. Could that have happened this summer?

As I wrote over at the MOSAiC thread, I wish they had deployed a grid full of buoys to study what's happening between Greenland and the pole.

Arctic sea ice / Re: MOSAiC news
« on: September 09, 2020, 01:40:53 PM »
From the story by the EE News reporter it's hinted that harassment may have come from the crew. This may not be a problem of male scientists misbehaving - although they certainly are capable. It doesn't take much extrapolation to conclude that there was a serious leadership problem. The proper response to sexual harassment is not to tell the women how to dress after an episode of harassment. That's blaming the women for bad behavior by the men.

 If the leaders of this mission wanted to have a dress code they needed to suggest it before the mission began so it could be discussed and so women could plan their wardrobes for the trip. Let's be clear - this was a failure of leadership on top of bad behavior by individuals.

Back to the buoys. Those buoys needed to be deployed between Greenland and the pole, not in some tight group near the pole. They may learn something about dispersion or they may be awaiting an opportunity to deploy them on a larger grid but they blew the chance to study the region that is behaving in the most unusual way this year. I'm a geochemist, not an oceanographer, so I'm not an expert on this, but I don't have confidence that Mercator is getting the details right on what's happening between Greenland and the pole. Every model needs data or it's just garbage in, garbage out. This year's low area, extent and thickness north of Greenland was unprecedented, yet MOSAiC powered right through it, apparently without studying what's going on. I guess that they had already made their plans and they weren't going to disrupt them to do new science.

By the way, the EE article implies that A-Team's observations about the PR lady are on point.

I'm hoping that we will see some great research results from this mission in a few years, but I can't help but feel that they missed unique research opportunities. What is obvious is that the management did not empower women scientists. They did a very poor job of planning on how to deal with harassment before the mission began then dealt with it poorly when it happened.

Arctic sea ice / Re: MOSAiC news
« on: September 09, 2020, 04:39:55 AM »
If you ran the Mercator animation at 100m depth for the whole year you would see that the stormy winter with strong cyclonic conditions in the Arctic ocean favored the influx of Atlantic water into the Barents sea and into the Laptev sea along the continental shelf margin. The relatively fresh water on the moved in the direction of the Fram strait. This is what happens when the polar vortex is strong through the winter. Some fresh water stored in the Beaufort gyre is released when the Beaufort high is replaced by frequent cyclones.

The Fram strait has salty Atlantic water flowing in on the European side and fresh Arctic water flowing out on the Greenland side so the picture gets very complicated near the Fram strait. It's three dimensional and a substantial fraction of Atlantic water gets retroflected back down along the coast of Greenland. Perhaps eddies involving retroflected Atlantic water  formed this summer when high pressure caused consistent anticyclonic winds north of Greenland. Perhaps not. It would be interesting to see sounding profiles at locations from Greenland to the pole.

What ever, much has happened over the past 12 months and that Mercator comparison gif shows a general cyclonic rotation of the salty and fresh water masses, not the details of how it evolved.

And about that dress code. Men need to evolve. The situation on board sounds very paternalistic and hostile to women scientists.

Arctic sea ice / Re: MOSAiC news
« on: September 07, 2020, 05:16:51 AM »
It's about time for the temperatures to drop and the melt to slow down. The sun is close to the horizon at the pole. Temperatures have been in extra time for too long. Yes, excellent graphic.

The paper cited by A-Team is important. The Laptev sea is undergoing "Atlantification". Note that paper discusses conditions from about 3 years or more back before this summer's surge of Atlantic water. I would expect the Atlantification to get worse this fall and winter in response to the surge of Atlantic water.

Location number 10 on the figure of tides and tidal currents shows very weak tides and currents at the pole. That figure is relevant.

Also note that the GAC tapped into a small fraction of the heat in the Atlantic layer which used to be found at depths below 150m, before Atlantification set in. It takes a persistent very strong storm to mix up heat from that depth. This summer's cyclone didn't cause the extent of mixing caused by the GAC. I have not seen evidence that it mixed up water from the Atlantic water layer.

Arctic sea ice / Re: MOSAiC news
« on: September 05, 2020, 03:51:07 AM »
I was quoting A-Team in blue or teal. I have been watching thickness models for years and I'm not convinced that any of them are accurately describing what has been happening to the Arctic sea ice. Hycom drops too quickly from 2m to 1m thickness, then takes forever to melt out. Of course, it all ends up corrected with the ice is completely melted out. PIOMAS makes the ice too thick between Greenland and the pole. The DMI model hasn't stood up to scrutiny here and I have spent little time with it. I haven't looked at the NOAA thickness model enough to comment.

Maybe the MOSAiC reports will end up in improved thickness models in 5 years. Maybe we'll have a blue ocean event in 5 years. What ever, I find the interface between the MOSAiC group and the rest of us to be unsatisfactory. Thanks to Uniquorn for plotting up the buoy data. That's helpful.

Arctic sea ice / Re: MOSAiC news
« on: September 04, 2020, 05:06:33 PM »
I suspect that all of the thickness models are wrong. PIOMAS is apparently wrong on the high side between Greenland and the pole. HYCOM is apparently wrong on the low side near the pole and probably in many other areas as well. And MOSAIC is giving us the mushroom treatment on the thickness measurements that they have made. Thanks, A-Team for parsing what MOSAIC's PR said between the lines. The confusion here was pretty much inevitable given the poor reporting by MOSAiC's PR officer. [A-Team quoted in blue]

How representative are these core thicknesses? Mosaic has seven methods for accurately measuring ice thickness: en route bow/side em, helicopter-flown em-bird, Polar 6 em-bird, sled em sensor, drilling for buoys, hole excavating for oceanography, and coring for biogeochemistry.

The first four can add up to tens of thousands of km of accurately determined ice thickness along swaths and rasters. None of this data has been disclosed nor will be disclosed prior to 2023. Mosaic did release various over and under camp maps for the first floe in November but in no case were thickness scales included or maps updated over the drift.

In summary, they have considerable context for the 30 core thicknesses but we do not. It's terribly naive to think site bias wasn't mitigated (how could they wring a publication out of the data?)

The main tidal component is pretty close to zero at the pole.

Of course, there are other components, but they are amplified by being near land masses and submarine topography.

Arctic sea ice / Re: Latest PIOMAS update (September 2020)
« on: September 04, 2020, 02:58:31 AM »
PIOMAS is missing whatever happened north of Greenland to the pole and it's also not getting the obvious low ice areas on the north coast of Ellesmere Island. To misquote a famous songwriter, "Something's happening and we don't know what it is do we Mr. Jones."

I'm not sure what's more important than the unprecedented melt region the Polarstern blasted through between Greenland and the pole, but I hope that they are studying that more important thing.

I find this PIOMAS volume map disquieting. The results do not appear to fit what we have observed.

I'm not going to argue with a basic atmospheric physics text. I'll go with that textbook definition of omega.

We need to be very careful in our analyses to examine summer and winter polar dynamics separately because of the importance of the stratospheric polar vortex in the dark months.

There is a paper on that weather phenomenon that produces heavy rain in China and snow in Tibet. The warm and the cold are coupled dynamically. I'm not going to look for it now, but it's out there in the met. journals.

You have it backwards. There has been subsidence in the stratosphere this summer at the pole. There has been subsidence in the troposphere as well. That's why the surface pressure has been high and the air column has been warm and thick. There has been an enormous amount of uplift and rain in China which has had bad floods on major rivers.

Arctic sea ice / Re: MOSAiC news
« on: September 02, 2020, 12:51:52 AM »
Juilenne Stroeve's research which is trying to use 2 satellite radar bands to separate measurements of snow depth and ice thickness makes sense, but it looks like the Polarstern took off at a critical time for studying the melting of snow and the beginning of melt pond season this spring.

This is a very frustrating story. My key take from it was, based on the photo, there was very little snow. What ever, they pretty much wasted the scientist's time as far as I can tell.

A first taste of spring

The turning point came on 19 April in the form of a brief but massive inflow of warm air into the Central Arctic. Within the space of a day, the air temperature at the snow’s surface in the MOSAiC Ice Camp rose from minus 7.4 degrees to minus 0.2 degrees Celsius. The warm spell only lasted 24 hours, but it was enough to make a lasting change in the snow layer. “The warm air at the snow’s surface immediately brought the top third of the snow layer up to the melting point,” reports the scientist. Afterwards the entire snow layer froze again. But by that point, the warmth had already left its mark on the snow. “We assume that, in this brief warm phase, the first of many large snow crystals began to melt, changing their shape and becoming smaller, even though we couldn’t yet see these changes in detail in the overall snow cover,” says Arndt.

The only thing that could be seen with the naked eye was a clearly recognisable glazed layer. “From above, the snow looked as if the entire area was starting to melt. But in fact, following the inflow of warm air, the surface refroze and became reflective like a mirror,” the researcher reports.

The opportunity to personally experience such a warm spell in the Central Arctic was the highlight of the spring for Stefanie Arndt and the other researchers on board Polarstern. All the research groups intensified their measurements in order to document the effects of this event at all levels – from the atmosphere to the ocean. But it soon became clear: it would take more than just a brief influx of warmth to set off the melting season in the Central Arctic. It would take a special event – which occurred almost four weeks later, on 12 May.

This all sounds interesting except that anyone who has ever lived in a cold region for a winter knows that you can't form a snowball in cold dry snow. It doesn't take a physicist. That said, it all goes south from that point. Literally.

When the floes turn greyFreshly fallen snow crystals possess a multitude of tiny surfaces and edges. These reflect the sun-light so that to observers the snow layer appears white. But when the snow becomes warmer, the heat causes the various microstructures to melt into each other. The edges become rounder and the crystals clump together, creating sticky snow that can be formed into snowballs. “If this process continues for two to three days, the previously white snow turns grey, since the altered optical properties mean that it no longer reflects the entire spectrum of the sun’s rays. Instead, it absorbs more and more sunlight, causing the snow to become warmer and to melt further from within. It collapses and becomes wetter, turning into grey slush, and forming the first puddles of meltwater in depressions on the sea ice,” explains Stefanie Arndt.The onset of melting on the sea ice in spring also marks the end of the AWI ice-thickness meas-urements using the CryoSat satellite. When the snow is wet, the satellite’s radar signal is no longer reflected clearly enough. The researchers then have difficulty determining on the basis of the measurement data whether the signal has been reflected by a snow-and-ice layer, or by open wa-ter. They therefore discontinue the measurements during the summer.Unfortunately, in the third and fourth weeks of May, Stefanie Arndt was only able to observe the beginning of the snow melting from on board Polarstern. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, during this key phase for the sea-ice physicists the ship was on her way to Svalbard for a personnel rota-tion. By the time the ship returned to the MOSAiC floe, it was already mid-June.

Oops. In this case the Polarstern did not even serve as a giant polluted buoy. It went south at an absolutely critical time and abandoned what ever research might have been done. I feel sorry for the scientist in this story.

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2020 melting season
« on: September 01, 2020, 08:09:25 PM »
The Barents and Kara seas were stormy (low pressure) last winter. That advected Atlantic water into those seas and those same winds compacted floes of ice on the New Siberian islands. The very thick piles of ice that built up in winter have been very slow to melt out despite the heat and warm water this summer. It's an anomaly that doesn't have much significance when you look at the big picture in the Arctic this summer.

Arctic sea ice / Re: MOSAiC news
« on: August 27, 2020, 05:43:04 PM »
The pace and style of old academia, as done by the Polarstern scientists is failing us. By the time they get their results published those results will be out of date. Yes, the basic science has not changed, but the ice conditions have deteriorated over the past 3 years.

We are mostly flying blind on this forum, speculating or measuring insignificant changes to infinitesimally diminishing significance.

I plead guilty to speculating about what's happening below the ice between Greenland and the pole. The key factor was probably the unprecedented clear weather and direct sunlight, but we need buoys down there recording what's happening and we need real time analysis by knowledgeable scientists like A-Team. I agree with him about the deployment of surface and below surface instruments. Satellite measurements have limited capabilities as we can see with our own eyes from the photos at the pole.

The Arctic is melting rapidly while the traditional scientists play their old academic games. And the atmospheric circulation is shifting all the way up to the upper stratosphere while they dither over which ice floe to moor on. (The rapid jump in the QBO this summer is very unsettling.)

Thanks A-Team for your analysis.

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2020 melting season
« on: August 17, 2020, 11:11:39 PM »
Mercator ocean shows a current at 100m running through the Nares strait and wrapping around the north coast of Greenland. The Coriolis effect turns currents with a northwards component to the right in the NH so the current is very likely a warm current running northeastwards through the Nares strait which then keeps turning right along the continental shelf of northern Greenland. The current maps for 30m and 0m show eddies, complexity and directional ambiguity but I'm confident that there has been some upwelling in areas where the ice has been transported away from the coast.
I very much doubt that there is a warm current flowing north through the Nares strait. There is a tidal current in the Nares, but the general flow is of cold water going south. See this paper for more details, "Propagation and Vertical Structure of the Tidal Flow in Nares Strait".

There is apparently a current flowing from the mouth of the Nares north-east along the Greenland coast. I have suggested that this is the northward pulse of the tidal current, similar to what I have experienced alongt he coast of Sicily south of the Messina strait, a narrow and periodic, but at times surprisingly vigorous, current.
I am currently reading a paper from 2015 link. Random extracts attached..
My take on it..
Ice Arches matter - none this year?
The main current is heading south, at the western edge when there is landfast ice, on the centreline when ice is mobile or non-existent..
A narrow current heads north.

With global heating+arctic amplification say goodbye to landfast ice for longer periods of the year?

But much better for people who know what they are talking about to comment.
Modeled ocean circulation in Nares Strait and its dependence on landfast‐ice cover


Ice conditions typically alternate between landfast and mobile states that are associated with the formation and breakdown of ice arches across Smith Sound and northern Robeson Channel [Kwok et al., 2010]. In years in which neither ice arch forms, such as 2007, ice fluxes roughly 2–3 times those of a typical year have been inferred [Kwok et al., 2010] and modeled [Rasmussen et al., 2010].

The multiyear Canadian Archipelago Throughflow Study [CATS; Münchow and Melling, 2008] maintained a mooring array across southern Kennedy Channel (roughly 80.5°N, Figure 1) from 2003 to 2012.

In the annual mean, flow across most of Kennedy Channel is southward with a vertically averaged magnitude of about 7 cm s−1 on the western side of the channel. On the eastern edge of the channel (south of Franklin Island located at 80.8°N, 66.5°W), a narrow current heads to the north with a depth mean of roughly 4 cm s−1. Rabe et al. [2012] showed that the mean structure of the main southward current is markedly different under landfast and mobile ice conditions, with important implications for seasonal and interannual variability of freshwater transport through the strait.

I am very aware that the mean flow is down the Nares strait. We had an extended period this summer when ice did not flow down the strait and katabatic winds blew off the ice plateau of Greenland down to the north coast and offshore for hundreds of miles into the Arctic. Those offshore winds pushed the ice towards the pole, opening up the large, anomalous area of open water. Direct offshore southerly winds induce a long shore current from west to east on the north shore of Greenland due to the way the Coriolis effect. Winds blew up the Fram strait on offshore along the coast of Greenland enhancing the flow of the normally narrow current, extending it up the north shore of Greenland at the 100m level. That's how I'm interpreting the map based on the weather and the flow of ice at the surface.

When water moves in directions against the Coriolis effect it forms loops, gyres and eddies if it isn't forced through a channel. That may be happening around northern Greenland at the surface to 30m depth levels as shown on the Mercator maps.

I know my interpretation needs more data to support it, but it would help explain the very unusual ice movements and loss of ice north of Greenland.

Added info see -

Water flowing on the NW coast of Greenland may be Atlantic water that flowed back from Siberia along the Lomonosov ridge that is heading back out the Fram strait. That water might be involved in near surface eddies  I suspect that more research is needed to understand what we have been watching on the north coast of Greenland the past 6 weeks. The lack of ice from the N coast Greenland to the pole we have been observing is not normal. In normal years ice piles up there. Something is likely different below the sea surface as well.

Note that surface eddies can drive a subsurface current in the opposite direction to the movement of the surface eddies. This has been observed in the south Atlantic in the northwards eddy movement from the tip of South Africa. There's an undercurrent moving towards South Africa. I suspect that the situation on the north slope of Greenland is complicated and the loss of ice shelves is related to warm water coming up from below. The loss of these shelves is going to change the behavior of the whole Arctic system as ice moves more freely around the Arctic and upwelling and downwelling along continental shelf slopes is enhanced. And I think it is enhancing the melting of sea ice this summer. The vector winds (see below) this July were not normal and must have affected the ocean currents.

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2020 melting season
« on: August 17, 2020, 12:56:34 PM »
Mercator ocean shows a current at 100m running through the Nares strait and wrapping around the north coast of Greenland. The Coriolis effect turns currents with a northwards component to the right in the NH so the current is very likely a warm current running northeastwards through the Nares strait which then keeps turning right along the continental shelf of northern Greenland. The current maps for 30m and 0m show eddies, complexity and directional ambiguity but I'm confident that there has been some upwelling in areas where the ice has been transported away from the coast.

The politics / Re: Elections 2020 USA
« on: August 15, 2020, 02:44:16 AM »
Biden was involved in legislation that helped increase the concentration of wealth and I agree with Neven about the underlying conditions that lead to fascism but obviously Neven does not live here because he does not get it that Trump is a pig fucker who must be removed from office before he kills us or starts a civil war.

Forget ideology. Trump is letting hundreds of thousands of people die because he is a mad man. The U.S. is one of the worst fucking places in tho world for the virus and the Republican areas like the Florida panhandle are COVID disaster areas because the idiots living there have been convinced that something as simple as wearing a face mask is taking away their freedoms, or worse, they believed that the whole thing was a hoax based on insane right wing conspiracy theories and Trump's ranting and raving.

I have temporarily lived next to Trumpers. They were hard core racists. Racism, not economics, is the driving force behind Trump's white working class support. Trump is completely fucking over working people now, but some still support him because of his racist policies.

Walking the walk / Re: Gardening
« on: August 15, 2020, 12:45:52 AM »
I envy all of you with cool low humidity weather. I have been dealing with dew points from around 23C to 25C and high temperatures from 32C to 37C. I much prefer spring gardening here and I can show you the weeds to prove it. My garden looked so pretty in April and May.

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2020 melting season
« on: August 15, 2020, 12:19:22 AM »
A-Team was correct about the strong drift and the wind field that affected the science mission. However, there were strong cyclonic wind anomalies in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas that kept thick ice in the Beaufort sea this spring. The present melt pattern was set up by the winter weather which caused ice to be very thin in the Siberian seas this spring and quite thick in the Beaufort sea.

With the changing weather pattern - strong winds from the Laptev and Kara seas blowing towards the Greenland sea, the unusual openings and holes north of Greenland seem likely to close up while the Laptev bite grows.

And quite an impressive storm is headed from my shores to the shores of the U.K. Tropical storm Kyle will merge with vorticity spinning down from west of Greenland, creating an unseasonable hurricane force summer storm west of the British Isles.There's going to be a massive cold blast down the coast of Greenland to the Isles after the storm passes. That means we are going to see an unusual amount of ice pushed through the Fram strait for this time of year. Jim's gonna be freezing going for those 20 second period waves at Nazarre on his rhino chaser. It looks like energy now associated with Kyle will whip it's way into the deep low that is forecast for the Kara sea. (Unless butterflies start their migration south, wrecking the forecast.)
Click bottom image to animate.

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2020 melting season
« on: August 13, 2020, 09:22:14 PM »
The ECMWF continues to forecast much warmer than normal temperatures for Alaska's north slope and the Beaufort sea for the next ten days. Yes, this is normally the time of the year when temperatures in the Beaufort sea start sinking back towards the freezing point of fresh water. However, this mid to late August warmer than normal air temperatures combined with heat in the upper 50m of the water column will continue to melt the ice. Moreover, as the ice blows with the wind some of ice will come in contact with higher salinity water which will enhance melting.

I have reviewed the latest forecast map set and observed that winds may favor closing some of the open areas north of Greenland.  High pressure between Greenland and the pole will probably favor enhancement of the Laptev bite and closure of the gaps between Greenland and the pole. We'll see.

I don't claim to know how this melt season will end up but it's far from over. Winter is coming but we have another month of melting.

Click to see latest ECMWF animation of anomalous warmth forecast over the Beaufort sea.

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2020 melting season
« on: August 13, 2020, 03:50:52 PM »
The Slater model predicted the slowdown in extent loss 50 days ahead of the slowdown. There was a change in the weather about 2 months ago that staved off complete collapse. Of course, there was also the issue of easy to melt thin ice melting out rapidly in the heat of early July leaving the thicker harder to melt multi year ice behind to melt out slowly.

Last winter should have been very good for ice because the polar vortex was strong all winter keeping the cold air pretty well locked up in the Arctic but the weather was not particularly cold despite the strength of the vortex because of the heat that got through the thin ice. However, the lack of a Beaufort high last winter protected the ice on the Canadian side of the pole and made for a much slower start to the melt season in the Beaufort sea.

The long term damage being done this year is the Atlantification of the Siberian side of the Arctic ocean. That warm salty water will be releasing copious amounts of heat throughout the fall and winter months and will cause the polar vortex to be displaced towards Scandinavia affecting NH weather next year. The memory effects of the big melt this July will carry over into next summer.

In many ways the weather is like a casino but ocean heat changes the odds. As the weather transitions towards winter as the days rapidly darken near the pole ocean heat will increase the chances of strong storms near the ice water interface and could still bring some surprises at the end of the melting season. We are well into bottom melt season so the mixing up of ocean heat will be critical to the minimum ice extent. Predicting that minimum will be a matter of luck because we could still get a really strong Arctic cyclone more intense than the one in late July, but no one can predict one now.

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2020 melting season
« on: August 13, 2020, 02:10:28 AM »

Most weather forecasters are predicting cooler temperatures for northern Alaska over the next fortnight.  Hence, I would side with weatherdude.

ahh... I forgot, you are the other one, not much of a surprise. Since when doesn northern Alaska decide over the ate of the ice. Even if at 0C would a storm now destroy the beaufort ice and then from a sea-ice in salty waters perspective temps around 0C means melt and this is the coldest average one will get north of Alaka over the next 5-10 days that are in question.

The very thin ice in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas is going to be blasted by warm southerly winds over the next week to ten days. The American and European models are in basic agreement on this. I don't know the details of local forecasting in Alaska but I have been reading weather maps since I was ten years old and temperature forecast maps are about as simple as they get. And, you know, it certainly looks to me like it's going to be warmer than normal on the north slope for the next week. I'm showing both the American and European models because they tell similar stories the ECM at 850 mb and the GFS at the surface. Click figures to animate.

Thanks A-Team for coming back and giving us some excellent observations, analyses and animations.

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2020 melting season
« on: August 12, 2020, 09:12:38 PM »
Weatherdude, perhaps you should ask for a change of your user name. Yes, if you mean in six months it's going to get cold, you're right, winter is coming. However, in terms of the melting season, the Euro is setting up a dipole with a blast of heat at the Beaufort and the cold lows aloft over the water covered parts of the Arctic. That's going to shove the extent off a cliff over the next ten days.

That's a 5 wave pattern on the 500mb hemispheric which can get stuck in place so it's going to get interesting for the next few weeks. We might see a dipole with storms over the warm water areas on the Siberian and Kara seas.

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2020 melting season
« on: July 31, 2020, 02:10:19 PM »
The remnants of hurricane Isaias will ultimately be taken up into the large north Atlantic low southeast of Greenland and will likely contribute to building a blocking high over Scandinavia and the Barents sea. This evolving forecast may bring more Atlantic heat to the Arctic. This year's active hurricane season and this summer's melt pattern is related to a build up of heat in the north Atlantic ocean and advection of that heat into the Arctic. Of course, there is also a crazy amount of heat that has been advected from the Eurasian continent towards the Arctic. The hurricane will be a bit player in this story.

Note, according to the Climate Reanalyzer, northern hemisphere sea surface temperatures are 1.0 Celsius above the old normal, I believe 1970 to 2000. (There are problems with the normals shifting on different SST anomaly maps.)

Global tropical convection, the MJO, has been stuck over the African/Eurasian sector since June. This ties in with the situation in the Arctic via Rossby waves. Several excellent papers have been cited in comments above related to the crazy weather we have been watching. It's all tied together, but the hurricane won't be an issue for the ice. How the stratospheric polar vortex develops will be a major issue over the rest of the melting season because it may bring on more cyclonic activity like the not so great Arctic cyclone we just observed.

Arctic sea ice / Re: Arctic Ocean salinity, temperature and waves
« on: July 28, 2020, 04:23:31 PM »
It's not just some of the thickest ice that will go south through the "garlic press" into oblivion. Some of the fresh water layer at 30m depth is headed for the "garlic press" too.  That 30m salinity animation has a lot of different things going on.

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2020 melting season
« on: July 28, 2020, 02:56:44 PM »
The SIPN report is interesting. Thanks for the link to it. It's clear to me that the most of the models of the experts are not incorporating the effects of the weather, in particular the anomalous amounts of sunshine this summer. The lack of clouds over the pole has given us the best view of the ice we have ever had in midsummer.

For all the amateur enthusiasts here take note, most of the experts will be proven wrong. We don't know how the melting season will end but it is pretty clear already that the predictions of most of those models are way off.

Something very different has happened with the weather the past 2 years. Spring has come on very fast and the atmosphere over the pole has been very warm aloft. We will learn more about this weird polar weather from folks like Judah Cohen and Zach Labe than we will from these experts on ice. It's the changing weather that is making these forecasts go south.

Increasing amounts of ocean heat in the northern hemisphere are destabilizing the weather. The lower atmosphere is anomalously thick in the tropics and anomalously thick at the north pole because there's excess heat in the tropical and temperate oceans and the polar seas. That's why we are seeing more blocking highs and more warm air domes over the north pole.

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2020 melting season
« on: July 27, 2020, 02:43:01 PM »
One interesting feature on the extent graphs is the stall that happened in 2012 at the 6 level just as it is doing this year. One other very low September extent year also stalled at the 6 level.

I'm glad that there is a diversity of opinion about the final extent level this September, but anyone who thinks that the Beaufort sea ice will get through the next 6 weeks intact is wildly optimistic. If we're lucky some big blocks exported from the CAA shores will survive. The Uni Bremen concentration maps show what poor shape the matrix of the Beaufort ice is in. The storm will mix up water from below and that matrix will be gone, exposing the thicker blocks that rotated into the Beaufort under high pressure.

I can't take the criticism too seriously. It doesn't hold up to scrutiny. Agreed, Friv.

You may be right.  But it's pretty cheap to call the incredible analysis that dozens of members here contribute as crazy and then not actually offer any substance to back youe position.  Please no hard feelings.

Arctic sea ice / Re: Reversal of the Siberian Coastal Current
« on: July 27, 2020, 02:24:23 PM »
There are several canyons on the Beaufort sea side of the Chukchi shelf. The Mercator animation shows shelf water flowing into those canyons and into the Beaufort sea. The problem for the ESS shelf is not Pacific water. The Siberian shelf is has a large influx of water from Siberian rivers. With this summer's record heat, the river water is hot when it enters the Siberian seas. That's the water that may be affecting the permafrost in the Siberian shelf sediments.

The Coriolis effect always applies and will tend to turn water to the right if there isn't an effect of weather, physical obstacles like islands, or ocean dynamics like eddies and flow down submarine canyons.

Arctic sea ice / Re: Reversal of the Siberian Coastal Current
« on: July 26, 2020, 09:59:07 PM »
It's even more disturbing that a current from the Bering strait flowing on the east Siberia shoreline. High pressure can do that. Salty water is flowing off the Chukchi platform into the Beaufort sea at the 100m level. The surge of Pacific water is affecting the whole Chukchi platform and is beginning to affect the adjacent seas down to 100 meters depth. Another explanation of this feature might be the upwelling of Atlantic layer water on the continental shelf margin.

Arctic sea ice / Re: Reversal of the Siberian Coastal Current
« on: July 26, 2020, 09:25:16 PM »
It's real.

Prolonged high pressure caused easterly winds around the Arctic shores and shelves and high sea surface heights built up offshore while lower sea surface heights were near shore in the eastern Siberian and Chukchi seas. It's not just an effect of mixing and no sea ice like I previously concluded.

Take a look at the Mercator SSH maps and animations and you will see the anomalous SSH pattern caused by many days of high pressure over the pole.

You can see a surge of warm water through the Bering Strait at 30 m into the Chukchi sea that goes both towards Siberia and Towards the Alaskan coast over the past 50 days. Some of that is normal seasonal warming of the water. However, high pressure over the pole causes and influx of water towards the high pressure area. This influx of warm, somewhat salty water will add to the melting of the remaining sea ice as the storm disperses ice into the warm water over the next 5 days. For an animation at Mercator click the link:

You know, what's even more disturbing than the flux of water into the Chukchi sea is the powerful flux of saline Atlantic water into the Laptev sea. This prolonged high pressure event has pulled large amounts of saline water into the coastal seas of the Arctic ocean.

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2020 melting season
« on: July 25, 2020, 08:53:58 PM »
We have an absolutely insane week of weather ahead. Please observe the deep low in the Chukchi & Beaufort seas, the hurricane developing in the main development region of the Atlantic and the crazy storm that tracks from the coast of Spain to the east coast of central Greenland advecting north African air towards the pole. There's strong agreement of the ECMWF and GFS on all three storms, giving us confidence in the forecast. The ECMWF takes the hurricane into the Caribbean while the GFS takes it north of the Caribbean but there's really strong agreement on the 2 storms that will advect enormous amounts of heat from the north American and Atlantic sides towards the pole.

I should be posting this in all caps for drama, but it's not my style.

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2020 melting season
« on: July 25, 2020, 08:19:28 PM »
Now the ECMWF has a convincing forecast that agrees well with the GFS of a deep low that is in pretty much the worst possible location for the ice. The ice will be mixed into the ridiculously warm waters on the Siberian side. Now it's looking like this is going to be an historic year for sea ice.

Insane warm air advection from the CAA and hot compressing air downsloping off of Greenland towards the pole and across to Siberia. With strong winds to mix the heat down to the ice.

click to play (courtesy of Tropical Tidbits)

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2020 melting season
« on: July 25, 2020, 01:49:13 PM »
GC - Thanks for that explanation of Nico Sun's AWP. It is not a potential field as in physics.

The big problem with the concept is that the high Arctic has a 6 week period of intense insolation so the assumption that weather tends to average out may be false. It surely is false this year. I won't repost the maps of outgoing longwave radiation but they prove that more shortwave radiation has been reaching the surface and more longwave radiation has been emitted back to space. I think that Nico has done excellent work, but we need to recognize its limitations.

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2020 melting season
« on: July 25, 2020, 12:28:18 PM »
Yossarian, the location of this low is very bad for the ice because it will pull continental heat over the pole while concentrating dispersion at the ice edge in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas. The ice dispersion will be in the location where it can inflict the most melting. That Beaufort and Chukchi ice has ocean heat under it and we're not talking about 300m down, either. We're talking about heat that's pretty close to the surface, in the top 100m of the ocean.

This moderately strong storm is positioned to do some damage.

The forum / Re: Forum Decorum
« on: July 25, 2020, 01:59:14 AM »
BBR - that snowfall theory is not even your theory. It's a very, very old theory that has not stood up to the tests of time and detailed scientific research. When the evidence does not support you, move on. There are many, many scientific publications about ice age initiation and there is a long history of those publications proving that snowfall theory wrong.

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2020 melting season
« on: July 24, 2020, 10:02:50 PM »
Did someone mention vorticity? The expanded jet stream we have seen the last 2 summers following the intense end warmings of the winter stratospheric polar vortex has very effectively exported cold air out of the polar regions and imported warm air from the hot continents. In the summer of 2013 we saw very pulled back jet stream which locked in over the Arctic ocean shoreline keeping the central Arctic cold.

This melting season is built on top of stored heat from the very warm conditions last summer. The apparently benign end to last year's melting season resulted in less heat extraction from the Beaufort and Chukchi sea region than in a year with lots of action like 2012.

Note that potential vorticity animations always have strung out fields, but this summer the PV fields are very strung out. I think that this animation gives a good example of an aspect of how Arctic amplification is working by wave energy rapidly transferring heat to the polar regions.

I agree with Friv that the Atlantification is strong this summer and the latest ECMWF run looks bad for the ice especially on the Atlantic side. One of the worst aspects of strong downslope winds off of Greenland is the way the Coriolis effect will extend the flow of waters from the west Greenland current up the right hand side of the Nares strait, then up the NW shore of Greenland.

Animation of 12Z GFS forecast PV and past 72 hours courtesy of Levi Cowan at Tropical Tidbits.

Please click to animate.

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2020 melting season
« on: July 23, 2020, 02:51:24 PM »
Moderate wind speeds such as 30 kts can develop pretty good wave heights if they are sustained over long fetches of open water. If those waves then move into ice, they may accelerate melting. The Beaufort high is able to move and melt ice in May by forcing upwelling along the coast when winds are maintained for a week.

However, weak lows that move around will not do what the GAC did. The warms winds coming off the continents will do more to damage the ice than weak lows moving about the Arctic ocean. Sustained intense lows like the GAC pull up water from below on the right hand side of the moving storm near the center of the low. Weak lows that meander may disperse the ice a bit but that's all. Gerontocrat is quite correct that the power of weak lows is far, far less than storms like the GAC. We should not be making comparisons of the impacts of the GAC with these weak lows.

Many of us watched the pole cam and saw moderate sized ridges form in the summer months but they covered a small percentage of the total area in the images and didn't contribute to the amount of compaction that some posters are asserting. I think that Oren was spot on when he wrote that our measure of compaction is apparently high because extent is at a record low.

Enough said.

The forum / Re: Forum Decorum
« on: July 22, 2020, 11:01:13 PM »
Oren, this is good on-line anger management advice in any forum or place of comments. Remember, many more people are reading your words than the people you are arguing with and post accordingly.

"My standing advice to posters who go rogue and start spreading anger around the forum - please don't. Nothing good will ever come out of it. The moderator has to moderate you because otherwise the forum is ruined, and you will just become more and more frustrated. Take a breather, stop posting for a day or two, do other things, then come back with a clean slate. People will think better of you that way."

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2020 melting season
« on: July 22, 2020, 10:56:21 PM »
Note that worldview shows cracks up and down the main channel and ice may be beginning to flow through the Davis strait. It certainly is cracking up and moving at the south end towards Baffin bay.

The dominoes are beginning to fall on the north American side of the Arctic.

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2020 melting season
« on: July 22, 2020, 09:23:08 PM »
The melting season in the CAA runs later than the central Arctic and is going to be in full swing over the next ten days as storms that develop on the coast of Alaska pull warm southerly winds up over the CAA and into the central Arctic. The storminess will also stir up heat in the Beaufort sea while dispersing the ice there. The melt season is shifting gears but it's a long way from done.

Consequences / Re: Hurricane Season 2020
« on: July 22, 2020, 06:33:15 PM »
Levi Cowan's video blog on the Atlantic  tropical systems last night was excellent. In July the Saharal air layer (SAL) is generally intense and the flow above the 850 layer is often quite rapid. That hot dry air aloft disrupts tropical development, but if a tropical storm can intensify while still in the moist tropical air of the ITCZ - the tropical convergence zone, it can generate it's own envelope of warm humid air that acts as a shield from mid level dry air intrusion.

Freegrass, that region became ice free and salinity rose as waves and winds mixed up saltier water from below. The current did not reverse. The water is a little bit deeper where the salinity rose than it s further west on the Siberian shelf where river water dominates.

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