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Topics - Lord M Vader

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Arctic sea ice / The 2020 melting season
« on: March 13, 2020, 10:24:24 PM »
The last couple of days have seen a decline in the sea ice extent in Arctic, mostly confined to peripheral areas. Whether this downward trend is signaling the "onset" of the melting is an open question. However, we are in the middle of March and this year the upcoming weeks will probably be terribly slow for most of us. So, if Neven is OK with maning an exception for this year I hope we can start the discussions about the 2020 melting season.

The strong polar vortex that bottled up the cold air over the central Arctic basin should have strengthened the ice enough to make the 2020 minimum end up higher than the last few years. At least if we Have a moderately bad summer.

I hope everyone in here will be with us through the whole season and many more years ahead. Stay safe out there!


<edit Neven: I don't have time to follow current events in the Arctic, so I can't assess whether it's too early for this thread or not, which means I'll leave it open. I did adjust the title though. If there's a second max, this is on you, LMV.  ;) >

Arctic sea ice / 2020 refreezing season
« on: August 16, 2019, 07:55:14 PM »
While it might be somewhat early to discuss how the upcoming refreezing season will evolve I will at least open up the topic for discussion as the melting season is quickly winding down.

First, 2019 has been a very bad year for the ice and will by extent numbers most likely end up being second lowest on record behind 2012. It remains to see where the volume will end up. We might imagine just how bad the season would have been if the weather pattern hadn't eased during July. Especially the ESS would have been warmer as pointed out by Friv in the melting thread.

However, as most people know 2012 was followed by two very good years for ice retention which 2013 and 2014 actually was. Since then, we have seen a Super El Nino and we now have a warmer world.

Another thing that will make its appearence is the Arctic amplification. Remember that 2012 refroze quickly after minima was achieved? Given all that heat that has been stored in Chukchi and Berings Sea, the refreezing should likely be much slower than back in 2012. And, regent winters have been warmer than 2013.

Can we hope for another 2013? I am pessimistic that we will have such luck again. More likely is a troublesome refreezing season. Another question is for how much longer we'll see -AO dominate? Worst possibly outcome is if 2019 is going to be a "prepper" year followed by an egen worse 2020....

Arctic sea ice / The 2018 melting season
« on: March 19, 2018, 08:12:14 PM »
As the SIE has dropped the last few days and the forecast calls for southerlies to enter Berings Sea now I think we can call the maximum and also declare the 2018 Melting season started! And I think a lot of people here thinks it quite fitting to start the melting season thread with a century break... :)

Personally, I think we will end up somewhere around 4,5 Mn km2 by the middle of September.

Now, let's get this show on the road! :)

Consequences / Hurricane season 2017
« on: May 05, 2017, 11:19:24 PM »
As NOAA now give an invest in the Eastern Pacific a 40% chance to develop during the next 5 days, I think it's fair to start this thread as the "real" hurricane season is underway both in EPAC and NATL. TCs in Northern Indian Ocean as well in Western North Pacific will also be handled here.

Antarctica / Latest GIOMAS/PIOMAS volume data for Antarctica
« on: January 04, 2017, 04:03:34 PM »
From Wipneus page where data from GIOMAS and PIOMAS for Antarctica are available. I think it's time for a thread that looks at the volume data around Antarctica given the record low extent numbers there.

While the extent numbers currently are at a record low level I doubt that the minimum volume as well as the SIE minimum will be at record low level given that the modeled average sea ice thickness around Antarctica have had a positive upward trend wrt the ice thickness. What will determine the final outcome for this melting season is whether the sea ice in the Ross Sea will melt out or not.

The only thing I miss from Wipneus site is similar thickness maps like the one for the Arctic basin.

Courtesy: Wipneus/Arctische Penguin

Arctic sea ice / The Arctic t-shirt!!
« on: December 13, 2016, 10:06:59 PM »
People, how many of you have seen the Arctic t-shirt from Rapanui? :) It should be something for most of us here on the Arctic forum! :)

Of course, they will need to update the t-shirt if 2017 breaks the record...

NEVEN & Co: if this thread is too much off topic to be here, I'm sure you know where it should be placed! :)

Best, LMV

Antarctica / Sea Ice Extent around Antarctica
« on: October 11, 2016, 08:20:11 PM »
As the melting season for the antarctic sea ice seems to have started I think we need a thread which is thought to be used anytime at year to discuss the SIE around Antarctica.

It's fitting that the first post wrt Antarctica SIE is that this years maximum SIE was exceptionally early. According to NSIDC the maximum occurred already by August 31 which is the first time it happens since satellites became operational in 1979 for surveillance of the sea ice there.

To find a lower SIE value for the date of October 10 we need to go back to 1986 and 1984 which were the only other years with a lower SIE for the date. October 10 in 1987 were more or less equal with yesterdays value, though slightly higher.

Arctic sea ice / Slater's thread
« on: September 20, 2016, 08:42:45 AM »
Neven has published a sad blog text due to Andrew Slaters unexpectedly leaving the world. That's why I think there should be a "Slater thread".

Personally, it was not until this spring I became aware of Slaters excellent page and started to follow it. I have for a while wondered why the page hadn't been updated but I would never have expected such a tragic reason for that! :(

Best, LMV

Antarctica / Antarctica melting season 2015/2016
« on: September 19, 2015, 07:49:32 PM »
While not as interesting as the Arctic sea ice, the sea ice surrounding Antarctica may actually be trending down right now. If so, would it be a record early maximum there? And, as the Arctic is refreezing now it might be interesting to watch what the ice around Antarctica will do as we are heading for a record warm year.

Second, todays SIE map from University of Bremen (UiB) reveals some interesting features. Most intersting is the area with low concentration in the Ross Sea. Two other things that I see is the very low sea ice concentration in the Bellingshausen Sea as well as the small polynya at the tip of the West Antarctic peninsula. Courtesy: University of Bremen.


Arctic sea ice / Links to a number of sea ice pages
« on: June 26, 2015, 01:41:48 PM »
While there is a lot of information to access I think it would be proper to launch a number of links to the various numbers of pages that are surveiling the sea ice in Arctic. all of these agencies have various methods to determine the sea ice extent, sea ice area, sea ice thickness, volume etc.

National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC): (main page) (compare current year with others)

University of Bremen (UiB): (main page) (Data archive back to 2012){%22image%22:%22image-1%22,%22sensor%22:%22AMSR_ICE%22,%22color%22:false,%22region%22:%22BeaufortArcticArchipelago/%22} This one is really good as you can choose concentration for different regions and zoom too! :D

Nansen Environmental  & Remote Sensing Center: (main page) (Data from satellites, sea ice conc, area and extent numbers and a lot more!) For ex. here is SIE and SIA estimations. (link to different forecasting systems - explore for yourself!)

From NERSC I found this link with a lot of useful parameters, for ex ice thickness:

What this one is good for I can't find out, perhaps some one else can do a better job and understand how to get good maps..

Other interesting links from NERSC:

From DMI: (also with volume estimation)

From Norway MET: (different products, but with archive back to 1998 for Spitzbergen and East Greenland!)

Wipneus png-site:

Polar Science Center (PSC):

Hope there is something useful to be used in this forum! :)

Best, LMV

Arctic sea ice / The 2015 melting season
« on: February 12, 2015, 09:16:52 PM »
About 1-1½ month from now we should start to see slow reductions in the SIE. Being somewhat early I thought we should begin this thread and speculate in whether this melt season will be just as boring as the last one or if we'are going to see some action in the Arctic.

If you ask me I think we'll see a rather good melt on the Siberian side where the ice is thin while the Canadian side should melt slowly as the sea ice there has armored itself during the last two seasons. But in the whole I don't expect any huge melt this season either. One reason for that is for instance the Arctic Oscillation (AO) which have been mainly weak positive for about 2 years now. I think we'll see some years now with positive AO dominating with a more modest melting as low pressures will be in charge in the Arctic during the summers allowing the sea ice to rebuilding itself until next switch to negative AOs when we'll see a huge blow of the Arctic sea ice as the global warming continues.

Finally, I don't expect this years SIE minimum to be below 4 Mn km2 per IARC-JAXA numbers. My guess is that we'll be somewhere in the range 4,2-5,1 Mn km2.

Consequences / Brazil's water crisis in Sao Paulo
« on: February 02, 2015, 10:38:04 PM »
About a year ago, Wili started the thread "CA Drought Emergency Declared" found here:,729.0.html

Right now, another water crisis is more imminent. In Saõ Paulo the Cantareira reservoar is virtually empty on water. Todays number for the volume there is 5,0% of the normal. In that number one have included the technical reserves. If not, the current volume value should be below 5,0%. The Cantareira system is supplying about 6,5 million people with water. The technical reserve which they are now utilizing is what one wouldn't "healthy water", more garbage water...

In April, the dry season starts so there is a small window to get some decent amount of rains. For the other basins the situation is not just as bad as in Cantareira, just almost. Alto Tieto have a volume of 11% for now, Alto Cotia and Rio Claro are both just below 30%, Guarapinga is at 48% while Rio Grande has a volume of 75%.

As the conditions seems to worsen for Brazil I think we should discuss the problem which I believe will have even stronger impacts than the drought in California...

You are finding daily volume values for the Cantareira system at:

Sabesps main page is at:

For those of who talks portugese you will have no problems to understand. For the rest of us we have to use google translate or a dictionary :P

Arctic sea ice / Arctic sea ice area and extent data
« on: January 09, 2015, 07:03:42 PM »
As 2014 now is history I think it's fitting to have a thread that isn't limited by a certain year. My idea is that this thread will be runned "forever". What's your ideas about that?

IJIS extent (8 January):

12 572 767 km2

Down 9953 km2 from previous day.

Second lowest value for this date.

Edit: I borrowed some of the text data from Jim Pettits post #1135 in the thread "2014 sea ice area and extent data". The extent data from IJIS differs however due to the human factor which happens everyone of us...


Arctic sea ice / Arctic weather winter 2014/2015
« on: August 21, 2014, 06:32:39 PM »
While we are at most a month ahead of the yearly minima I think this thread will be needed. We are now seeing the second year in a row with a modest melting in the Arctic. In fact, this will also be the first time for "many" years as there haven't been a difference of more than 10 mn km2 from the yearly maxima to the yearly minima. So far, only 8,9 Mn km2 have melted away. This have had the consequences that some people here at the forum are discussing whether the Arctic is being geo engineered secretly. There have also been discussions about how important an early onset of the melt season is to reach low values in September. I think we also need to incorporate the weather during the winters too...

What we have seen during both 2013 and 2014 are very favorable pre-conditions for low melting through summer. The summer of 2013 was, as we have stated, cold in the CAB (according to DMI) with a very late melt onset and an early melting offset. One consequence from this was that the snow pack didn't melt out completely but was later accumulated during the winter which was mainly dominated by cyclones.  This year we have seen very few indications of melt ponds which may be the result of a thicker snow cover which have protected the ice.

In 2009 there was also a cold summer but the winter of 2010 was dominated by high pressures (correct me if I'm wrong!) which should have implicated a low snow cover onto the ice in spring 2010 followed by quite favorable weather conditions for melting. This pattern was repeated both 2011 and 2012 and we ended up with having the lowest SIE as ever have been observed.

The best/worst case scenario IMO for the winter of 2014/2015 are as follow:

Best: high pressures dominating from september-november when refreezing occurs followed by cyclonic activity during the rest of the winter. With a HP early in the season refreezing will be quick and should allow for a thick ice cover.

Worst: cyclonic weather with a small amount of snow during september-november followed by persistent high pressure domes. Snow is, as we know, a good isolator and only a few centimeters of snow make the ice growth much slower than otherwise.

Forecast for the next month: I think we'll see a mix of HP and LP through the next month. AO have been very stable and neutral or weak negative for two months now.

A question for Neven, ChrisReynolds, Friv, Deep Octopus et al is how an eventual El Niño will affect the Arctic weather pattern during the winters?

Arctic sea ice / When will the Arctic Sea Ice Extent minima be reached?
« on: August 15, 2014, 05:05:17 PM »
The September SIE minima is nearing. When do you think the minima of 2014 will occur? The minima date will be determined by IARC-JAXAs numbers.

Antarctica / Will Antarctica sea ice set a new record in 2014?
« on: June 20, 2014, 05:05:33 PM »
While our main focus have been on the sea ice in the Arctic regions and whether this melt season will end up close to 2010-2012 and 2007 things are quite interesting on Antarctica. Bremen have estimated the sea ice in Antarctica to be the highest on record for this time at year and above 2010 Meanwhile, Cryosphere Today seems to concur about this. The anomaly are right now one of the absolutely highest ever, reaching 1,692 Mn km2 above the normal from 1979-2008. While records have been shattered in Arctic the same have been true for Antarctica but on the opposite side. both minimas and maximas there have been the highest on record there for the last couple of years.

Antarctica sea ice doesn't get the same attention due to that the sea ice there for example use to be thinner and younger. The sea ice there also have a higher occurrence to be affected by the strong winds pounding the continent almost infinitely.. And it doesn't have the same effects on the global climate as the sea ice in Arctic does..

But nonetheless, it will be interesting to see if there will be a new september sea ice maxima record this year. What do you guys think?

Source: University of Bremen.

Given how unreliable the forecast models have been to give more accurate forecasts spanning more than 4 days maybe this tread is necessary? I'm just guessing here, but I think that virtually everyone here at ASIF is waiting for some real action right now. I admit that I myself want to see it and I think we all get somewhat frustrated as this have turned out to be constantly delayed for a longer while now.

So, given the treads nick we can see that the models call for a transitioning to a more anticyclonic weather pattern in about 72 hours which also seems to persist for at least a couple of days. The HP also looks to strengthen which should yield a substantially drop in the SIE next week. The GFS 12z run also doesn't want the real warm air from Russia to enter the Arctic but at best be confined to the coastline. The latest GFS seems more realistic than the earlier one which put the warm Russian air into the basin.

Arctic sea ice / Northern Sea Route thread
« on: May 09, 2014, 09:05:19 PM »
Well, as Pmt started the Northwest Passage I thought that we would need a thread about the Northeast Passage... Last year the passage was open for some weeks as the ice around Severnaya Zemlya finally broke up in august.. So, what can we expect this year? Personally, I think that the Northeast Passage (hereafter "NEP") will continue to be ice free for about 9 of 10 years. The reasons for that are following:

1) the ice in the NEP is much thinner and therefore much more likely to melt out during the melt season.

2) despite such unfavorable conditions for melting ice as 2013 offered the NEP managed to become ice free even if it only was for a limited time. In fact, most of the thickest ice surrounding the NEP is today just west and north of Severnaya Zemlya.

I'm going to say some words about the NWP too. I think it will be highly unlikely that we'll see an ice free NWP this year. The western part of the Northern Route is blocked by, according to ACFNS, almost 5 m thick ice and the "Amundsen path" will probably open up almost everywhere except for the area in the middle of the Northern Route. Given that the weather pattern have been quite persistent now for a while which likely will continue for some time forward there will probably not be too much warming there as would be necessary to melt out all that thick ice in the Northern Route to make the NWP ice free...

Someone may argue if it would be better to put the NWP-thread and the new NEP-thread together. If you think that would be to prefer I won't oppose it.

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