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Messages - Bruce

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51
Arctic sea ice / Re: Home brew AMSR2 extent & area calculation
« on: July 16, 2014, 04:06:45 PM »
I'll second that, jdallen. Franz Victoria Trough is what they normally refer to in different papers I've seen.
Sign me up. I've been looking for a name for that thing.

With that settled, what do we call the channel between Franz Josef Land and Novaya Zemlya?

52
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2014 Melting Season
« on: July 15, 2014, 04:51:00 PM »
I am not sure of what you are talking about ? I don't think so that one is a new one it is along the canadian archipelago.

I think it's Bruce's crack, grown to adolescence, with a steadily increasing rubble zone along the main trend line.
I noticed the expansion yesterday, but was hoping to get a clearer view today. It seems that when the winds/currents are moving the ice from east to west across the Archipelago, the crack turns into wider zone of ground up ice that exits the channel into the Beaufort. But when the counter-clockwise rotation seems to cause a clean break that either fills in or recloses when the rotation stops. It will be interesting to see how wide the crack can get -- there seems to be very little resistance to movement, so I imagine it could get quite wide.

The opening of the Nares is interesting, too. It's still a little plugged, but it looks like a zone of ice north of the mouth is fragmenting and getting ready to wash through. If so, we could see something of a polnya open north of greenland.

Also, I've noticed that while export through the Fram is slow, the strait between Svalbard and Franz Josef Land is absolutely gushing ice into the Barents. This is one of those things that looks like increased extent (and possibly area) but is really just a lot of ice getting melted and leaving thinner ice behind.

53
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2014 Melting Season
« on: July 15, 2014, 04:39:41 PM »
Bruce, no disagreement with your points really. The unknowns invite more room for danger than not, at least in climate systems. I foresee bifurcation of the Arctic not long after the first ice free summer.
What do you mean by bifurcation? A system that oscillates between two quasi-stable states? Like one year (or a few years) we have ice, the next we don't? If so, that's something I've been thinking about lately. I'd hate to see what havoc that plays with the weather in the lower latitudes.

54
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2014 Melting Season
« on: July 15, 2014, 06:19:45 AM »
Quote
[deep octopus]
I'm reminded of an article I read some years back that said that by such and such a year, Mexico City would be the most populated urban area in the world. The article also said that by the same year Mexico City would be so polluted as to be uninhabitable. Obviously both things couldn't be simultaneously true; one factor was a positive feedback on the other, while the other was a negative feedback on the first. It would be very difficult to model that system because you would be extrapolating into unknown territory.

Climate models involve a lot of assumptions. One can justify those assumptions when working with historical data, and when modeling within those parameters one can be reasonably certain that one's results are in the ballpark. But the climate is an extremely complicated system, and when modeling something -- like an ice free arctic -- that has never happened in recorded history, it is very hard to know which factors will dominate and which will turn out to be less relevant. In science, experiment is the usual way to narrow the possibilities and refine the models. With the earth's climate, we don't have that luxury. So nobody really knows what will happen. But experience would suggest that introducing large random perturbations into functioning, well-regulated systems rarely makes them better. But, hey, maybe it'll be lollipops and puppies.

As for this year vs. other years, I agree that it doesn't matter too much if this year or that has somewhat more ice, since the trend is unmistakably down. But I also don't think a year or two of relatively more ice pushes the ultimate melting any further into the future. The reality is that 2007 and 2012 were both unexpected and stunning in the extent to which they broke the previous records. The next time we get stunned like that, its going to take the ice to nearly zero. And that doesn't require the trendline to drop any lower than it is.

55
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2014 Melting Season
« on: July 14, 2014, 07:21:19 PM »
Quote
In the very short term, the particulates in the atmosphere can reduce the insolation.

I believe they also absorb heat and pass that heat onto the air around them.  With their very low albedo not much of the incoming energy should be reflected back out of the atmosphere.

Less insolation at ground level would be expected.

But if the particulates in the air are stopping insolation at ground level that means they're warming the atmosphere, which means more downwelling longwave. Given that the ice albedo at visible light wavelengths is high, but at infra red is low, any increase in downwelling longwave might be significant, despite the seeming importance of a reduction of insolation.

At this time of year insolation may win over downwelling longwave, but it's conceivable that reduced insolation due to smoke isn't such a strong factor.
It likely matters where in the atmosphere the particulates are. In the lower atmosphere, I think they would increase warming more or less like they were lying on the surface. In the upper atmosphere, they block insolation and likely reradiate more efficiently outward (kind of a reverse greenhouse effect -- blankets work both ways, after all), leading to a net cooling.

56
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2014 Melting Season
« on: July 14, 2014, 04:55:03 PM »
Couldn't tell you if the Tundra fires smoke is having a warming and/or cooling effect within the Arctic. Krakatoa cooled global surface temperatures and so did Pinatubo -http://www.sciencemag.org/content/296/5568/727.abstract- cloud cover can do both, cool and warm but these massive Tundra fires so close to the NP blanketing the area with smoke/soot apepar to coincide with the sea ice melt slowdown seen in July/August for the last 5 years or so.
I think both can happen. In the very short term, the particulates in the atmosphere can reduce the insolation. Somewhat longer term, the particulates drift into the lower atmosphere and to the ground where they can increase albedo (especially of light colored areas like snow and ice), resulting in regional warming/melting. Longer term, the carbon emitted goes to increasing the overall carbon load of the atmosphere, contributing to global warming.

I doubt this has much to do with the short-term slowing seen in some years. I think that's just a result of the early melt proceeding so rapidly that it takes out the easy targets -- Hudson and Baffin Bays, the western Kara, etc. -- and there is then a slowdown while the melt gathers steam (no pun intended) in the central areas.

Again, volcanoes have been linked pretty definitively to short term cooling on the order of a few years -- though they also spew a fair amount of carbon, so they have longer-term warming effects. The link of that one volcano to the 1000 year cooling is very tenuous and speculative. It's conceivable that that the planet was poised for a cooling period and the volcano acted as something of a trigger, but it would be difficult to explain how the volcano itself had cooling effects hundreds of years after it stopped erupting (unless, of course, it continued erupting for more or less the whole period, which is a different story).

57
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2014 Melting Season
« on: July 14, 2014, 02:20:16 AM »
The Nares Strait went kerblammo.

58
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2014 Melting Season
« on: July 14, 2014, 02:16:49 AM »
These fires in Canada are completely out of control. All that smoke and soot is now drifting out over the Archipelago.

59
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2014 Melting Season
« on: July 12, 2014, 09:49:30 PM »

Fair enough. Globally at least, man-made climate change is set to become faster than at any time since a comet wiped out the dinosaurs.


I'm no expert on paleoclimate, but what about volcanic eruptions?

Or, the results of a huge asteroid impact... perhaps.   
It's a pretty grim state of affairs when the only climate change we can point to that was faster than the current one was when a giant asteroid slammed into the planet and annihilated most of the living things in existence.

60
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2014 Melting Season
« on: July 12, 2014, 09:43:28 PM »
Well said. 

I agree, unfortunately what may be best doesn't increase the likelihood of getting our needs met in that respect.  While I think it is getting better and public perception is slowly changing, will humans ever be able to collectively prioritize against their individual short term interests - enough to make a difference - until some unprecedented, terrible, disaster happens that seems to obviously prove AGW?    Someone please point to where that has happened in the past so that I may rest easy tonight.  :-\   
The response to CFCs destroying the ozone was pretty universal and pretty fast. But that was a situation where you could say "this has to stop or everyone is going to die, and pretty soon." And even then there were detractors claiming that it would cost jobs and ruin the economy, etc. There were also quite a few environmental regulations in the US during the late 60s through the 70s that stopped a lot of dumping of toxic crud in the water and landfills. And again there were detractors claiming the same things.

What's astonishing, though, is that despite the obvious success of those measures (and a very clear picture of what the world would be like without them), there are people claiming that we don't need any new regulations and should get rid of the old ones.

Oh, and lead. Getting lead out of gasoline and many other products was a significant environmental achievement that's had a global impact.

61
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2014 Melting Season
« on: July 12, 2014, 06:31:30 PM »

Fair enough. Globally at least, man-made climate change is set to become faster than at any time since a comet wiped out the dinosaurs.


I'm no expert on paleoclimate, but what about volcanic eruptions?
Volcanic eruptions, even large ones, tend to have fairly short-lived effects -- on the order of a few years. Episodes of large scale volcanism that have had long-term climatic effects developed, like most things geologic, over thousands of years. That's a blink of the eye geologically, but doesn't come close to matching the rate of AGW.

62
Arctic sea ice / Re: Home brew AMSR2 extent & area calculation
« on: July 12, 2014, 04:31:28 PM »
I think the ESS will melt apart from the main part very soon, especially if the global gyre going on...Left alone the ESS will be heated faster.Someone did say there is some methane in shallow water there...oups...
Yes, if you examine the MODIS images carefully you'll see that numerous cracks have appeared in the ESS and along the shoreline. The ice throughout seems very thin, and I expect with a little nudge it will fragment and melt out in a few weeks. Still, it has proven resilient so far, so maybe it will break up but not completely melt. The smoke from those fires in Siberia seems to be steadily blowing that way, however, so that's not going to help in the long run.

According to some, there are vast quantities of methane stored in the Siberian continental shelf. There have already been reports of methane bubbling up from the ocean in that area. It would be best if those waters didn't warm up too much.

63
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2014 Melting Season
« on: July 12, 2014, 03:34:11 AM »
I tried to write a thing (which became a diatribe) about how ridiculous my fellow apes tend to be. But then I deleted it. You will figure it out soon enough by yourselves. God's speed. (There is no god.)
I imagine any number of us here have written that diatribe at one time or another. I had one going on this thread but, like you, deleted it. I like it here -- people are intelligent and knowledgable and the conversations are civilized. If we were to rise to the bait of every passing troll (or participant we perceive as a troll), it wouldn't stay that way for very long.

64
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2014 Melting Season
« on: July 11, 2014, 12:41:48 AM »
If the relative size of current flow in this graphic is correct there's a lot of flow through the Nares Straight.  That's right in the middle of where the thickest ice is normally found.  A broken up pack of MYI might head out on that route in larger amounts than via the Fram.
Yeah, I've been harping on that point a bit myself. With the ice so fragmented, it offers no resistance to flowing through various straits and into the Atlantic.

That's a great graphic, BTW. It reminds me how important the arctic is as a thermostat, not only for the atmosphere, but also for the oceans. It has a huge influence on keeping the climate stable throughout the year. What happens when that system gets pushed too far and shifts to a new equilibrium? What does that do to the global climate? What if the "equilibrium" happens to be wild oscillations?

It's not smart to run uncontrolled experiments on the very thing upon which you rely for your survival.

65
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2014 Melting Season
« on: July 10, 2014, 10:33:35 PM »
You wanted fires in Russia, you got them. The Laptev bite is to the left.

These smoke clouds are staggeringly huge. I wonder if all the smoke from these and the Canadian fires will have a cooling effect by blocking incoming sunlight? At least until the fires go out, the particulates settle out, and all that carbon and albedo darkening soot start to work their magic.

(Sorry, forgot the pic.)

66
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2014 Melting Season
« on: July 10, 2014, 10:25:20 PM »
Remember the scale of the Arctic.  If you shrank the Arctic down to a lake 3 or 4 km across that 5m ice would be 5 mm thick.  What looks like a tiny floe on MODIS will be 100s of metres or kilometres across.  We've seen semi-permanent ice shelves 10s to 100s of metres thick in both Arctic and Antarctic crumble within days, so no suprise that 5m thick ice may crumble into 'small' pieces given the right conditions.
I guess my point was just that if that's the thickest, supposedly strongest ice in the basin, why is it crumbling so easily when the strain could (presumably) be accommodated by thinner, weaker ice to the north? But I guess if the ice is anchored to the CAA on one side, and the CAB is being rotated, a weak zone has to appear somewhere. But this development really puts to lie the idea that all of that thick multi-year ice is a stronghold against the melting. It's not. By the end of the summer it could all have migrated to the Beaufort and Chukchi, and melted. Or shot out the Fram, if the rotation shifts direction. Or both, as will probably be the case.

The whole ice cap is mobile. It doesn't have to move by internal deformation, it can just float wherever the wind and currents push it. I expect that this year or next we'll see the whole cap pull away from Greenland and the CAA leaving open water in between.

We're basically at the point where there will be first and second year ice, and nothing else.

67
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2014 Melting Season
« on: July 10, 2014, 06:16:13 AM »
I don't get it. This plot indicates that there is 5 meter thick ice pushed up against the Archipelago, but the MODIS image in my previous post shows it crumbling like dried out cupcake.

68
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2014 Melting Season
« on: July 10, 2014, 05:59:42 AM »
The Big Crack already more or less extends from the Beaufort to the Atlantic, and it continues to fragment and widen.

69
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2014 Melting Season
« on: July 10, 2014, 05:52:59 AM »
I might be even more concerned about the heat whipping up Siberian wildfires, with indirect effects of soot affecting Greenland and multi-year ice elsewhere, for years to come.
We've had continuous fires in northern Canada for weeks now. Why not add Siberia for good measure?

70
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2014 Melting Season
« on: July 10, 2014, 05:50:48 AM »
Another 100K day on IARC-JAXA. That's three in a row. In the last 20 days, it's averaged almost 102K per day. Extent is now below every year except 2011 and 2012. And now we're in the warm part of the season. Doesn't bode well for the ice, sorry to say.

71
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2014 Melting Season
« on: July 09, 2014, 05:29:31 PM »
The Canadian Basin looks like ****.
Let's face it, almost all of the ice looks like that now. There are only a few areas of the CAB that have large expanses of intact ice. Everything else is that kind of slush or, worse, isolated floes wandering around waiting to melt (like the Laptev-Kara region).

72
Arctic sea ice / Re: Home brew AMSR2 extent & area calculation
« on: July 09, 2014, 04:35:03 PM »
It's under cloud cover today, but it was there yesterday and there was no sign of it on MODIS.

73
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2014 Melting Season
« on: July 08, 2014, 10:06:10 PM »
MODIS is showing the pack ice beginning to separate from the fast ice around ESS under the heavy rotation of the Beaufort high. This drift that's pulling the pack ice from ESS should continue for a few more days. I'm also anticipating the pack ice to break away from Alaska at last within the next few days. But for the cloud coverage yesterday, it looks as though the Laptev bite is also continuing to gape ever wider.
Today and tomorrow are the beginning of what may be a very interesting few days. IJIS was back over 100K yesterday (109K, actually) and there's a big change in the drift patterns. I suspect that you're right about the ESS and Laptev. In addition the area north of greenland and the CAA where the Big Crack showed up will be under a lot of pressure -- not melting, but a lot of shear stress. The open water in the Kara and Chukchi will likely expand, as well. And I suspect there will be a lot of export through the Fram and the two straits to the east, all of which will eventually melt.

74
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2014 Melting Season
« on: July 08, 2014, 04:51:59 PM »
Looks like we have a polynya opening up in the north pole again.
I'm not sure what that is. I can't find anything obvious on the MODIS images that it corresponds to. May be just a glitch. We'll see if it's still there tomorrow.

75
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2014 Melting Season
« on: July 08, 2014, 07:14:31 AM »
And just to emphasize the that the quality of the ice is different from 2012, here is a shot of the area north of Greenland from today. In 2012, it was mostly a solid sheet. Now it's heavily fractured and crumbling to pieces. It will be interesting to see if there are any solid expanses of ice at the end of the season. My guess is "no." I think we're going to see something new. And not in a good way.

76
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2014 Melting Season
« on: July 08, 2014, 07:08:57 AM »

Wipneus and Chris Reynolds will probably soon have stuff up, but in the meantime I've received this from someone at the PSC:



This confirms that 2014 will most probably not be like 2013, but I would need to see more comparisons to estimate chances of making it to the top 3.
Nice plot, Neven. Everywhere 2014 has more ice is either going to melt or never would melt. Everywhere 2014 has less ice has already melted or almost certainly will melt. So I've got to think that unless the weather is very ice-preserving for the rest of the summer, we're going to come in lower than 2013.

77
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2014 Melting Season
« on: July 07, 2014, 11:17:22 PM »
So according to PIOMAS there's now just under 15000 km3 in their count-area, about 2500 more than '11-'12 and even some 700km3 more than last year?

I'd very much like some words of the PIOMAS-team on this...

Here's what they'd say:

Quote
The uncertainty of the  monthly averaged ice volume anomaly is estimated as ±0.75  10^3 km^3. Total volume uncertainties are larger than those for the anomaly because model biases are removed when calculating the anomalies. The uncertainty for October total ice volume is estimated to be  ±1.35 10^3 km^3 .

So I wouldn't read too much into small differences in the total. They could easily be off by 2500 km^3.

78
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2014 Melting Season
« on: July 07, 2014, 05:51:23 AM »
[...]I'm wondering how much of an impact the warm river water discharge from Mackenzie will contribute to bottom melting in Beaufort. At least according to Nghiem et al. 2014 ("Effects of Mackenzie River discharge and bathymetry on sea ice in the Beaufort Sea"), this was an important component of the 2012 melt-out of Beaufort. I suspect this will come to the aid of melting ice, even if weather doesn't cooperate for a few days within the Arctic basin. Compared to last year, there is much more fragmenting in Beaufort into ice floes, and a greater ice retreat.
I think you're absolutely right. I suspect this is a factor in several areas of the arctic. With effectively all of the NH snow melting earlier and earlier, you have a lot of dark land and plants soaking up warmth and rain carrying that warmth into the arctic ocean. Not to mention, as the permafrost thaws, it will decay with exothermic reactions that will pump even more heat into the system. And then there's the methane. And these fires aren't helping matters -- not their heat, but the CO2.

Honestly, the system could be in a runaway feedback cycle already, and we just don't realize it yet.

79
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2014 Melting Season
« on: July 07, 2014, 05:39:04 AM »
So I'm going to go out on a limb and say that the ESS is going to break up over the next week.

80
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2014 Melting Season
« on: July 07, 2014, 03:05:38 AM »
Hey, look, Great Bear Lake melted while the clouds were hiding it. I expect the melting will proceed into the archipelago now -- you can see the breakup in the lower right of the pic, but that should start to increase now that things have warmed up.

Also, those fires on the left of the image are incredibly persistent. They've been burning for weeks. You'd think some rain would have put them out by now. The smoke they're generating is incredible -- and I don't even want to think about the amount of carbon they're putting back into the atmosphere.


81
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2014 Melting Season
« on: July 07, 2014, 02:49:47 AM »
Speaking of melt ponds. Did anyone notice that NPEO webcam #2 seems to have died? #1 died a while ago, but below is the last image from #2, and that was July 1. It was almost melt ponding then, and it spent the next few days above zero, so I gotta think it was pretty soggy. It seems to have jumped to sub zero temps today, but the sensor may be lying in a pool of slush.


82
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2014 Melting Season
« on: July 07, 2014, 02:41:58 AM »
It just seems strange the way concentration can be 100 percent where it's clearly not and over a large area. 
This is a point I was trying to make earlier. CT area seems to map high concentrations to 100%, even when they're maybe 95% or less. So I think CT is overestimating what's out there. It's also seems very sensitive to clouds, so you have to look at an average of what it is saying.

But what none of it is telling us is how utterly fractured and thin most of the ice cap is. So if we get sunshine, it's going to melt. And if we get a big storm, it's going to melt. And if we get two straight months of cool, calm, cloudy weather... well... pigs are gonna fly.

83
Arctic sea ice / Re: Home brew AMSR2 extent & area calculation
« on: July 06, 2014, 04:03:38 PM »
Wipneus -- Thanks for the explanation, that makes sense. I'll look around and see if I can find a data set that will let us do this. It would be interesting to watch the melt and subsequent freeze up including the lakes and rivers.


I use Shutter for manual screen captures - http://shutter-project.org/

It can be used from the command line, and has the ability to capture a screen shot from a URL. However it doesn't seem to wait long enough for nullschool.net to load before clicking its shutter. Manual versus automatic:

It's open source, so someone with time and ambition should be able to find a spot in the program to put a rendering delay and a "--delay" option on the command line. Or you could try asking the authors to include a delay in the next release. Maybe the group of us could even scrounge up some cash for a donation that would grease the wheels a bit. If another solution isn't found, that is.

84
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2014 Melting Season
« on: July 06, 2014, 06:38:32 AM »
Friv, I don't know if I'm the one you're arguing with, but I don't think we actually disagree on anything.

My point the last couple of days -- that extent and possibly area losses are going to slow down -- is just a short term prediction. Like, for the last couple of days, today, and maybe tomorrow or so. (It even turns out I was right: IJIS went from over 100K per day to 80K to 70K and today (July 5) was 51K, the slowest day in a while). But the current drift conditions are temporary, and all that is happening is that ice is moving into areas where it is easier to melt, leaving less and less in the core areas to survive the summer.

But I agree with you that it won't last. I've studied the images, and I've never before seen the ice so fractured and vulnerable. If we get three weeks of ice-melting weather over the next two months, and the rest is just normal, there won't be much left of anything < 2m thickness.

And I also agree that 2013 would have been a record or near-record year had it not been for very favorable (ice-preserving) weather in the late summer.

But 2013 did its damage, and the winter was not very cold, and so we are tracking with the record years despite the fact that the summer, so far, has been pretty mild. Maybe that will continue and 2014 will end up just another middle of the pack year. Or maybe it will warm up and we'll see something remarkable. It's still the arctic, so it is very hard to predict.

85
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2014 Melting Season
« on: July 05, 2014, 09:25:10 PM »
Here's why I think we're seeing extent losses slow. Ice is being pushed into most of the open areas: The Barents, Greenland, Laptev, Beaufort, Kare, ESS -- all are seeing ice flushed into them. Only the Chukchi is immune.

86
Arctic sea ice / Re: Home brew AMSR2 extent & area calculation
« on: July 05, 2014, 04:55:21 PM »
Wipneus, I like the animations you make of the concentration data. If you're looking to things to highlight, I have a suggestion: One way that I can tell when melt will reach a certain near shore area is by watching how the melt proceeds in the lakes, ponds, and rivers adjacent to it. It would be interesting to see one of your animations for maybe the past two weeks of the region south of the ESS (which we haven't been able to see for a while because of the clouds), or the area south of the CAA -- either the region around the Great Bear Lake or farther to the east.


87
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2014 Melting Season
« on: July 05, 2014, 04:40:56 PM »
I wouldn't be surprised to see flat or even positive changes in extent or even area today and maybe tomorrow. The Greenland and Barents Seas will be getting ice shoved into them, and below you can see what is happening in the Laptev: on the left, loose ice floes are being pushed into the polyna, and on the right, the fast ice that broke up is spreading and migrating. Obviously, there isn't more ice than there was before -- there is, in fact, less, and it's more vulnerable than ever -- but the metrics by which we measure ice can give the wrong impression sometimes. Extent doesn't diminish until there is almost no ice, and area doesn't seem to handle the high concentrations very well (like 80% to 95%). So ice that spreads out, which I think will be the dynamic more and more as time passes, doesn't get accurately measured by anything but volume -- if that.


88
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2014 Melting Season
« on: July 04, 2014, 09:48:53 PM »
Here are the HYCOM drift maps for today and the next three days. Interesting to note that despite some changes, there is consistent flow across the pole and through the Fram Strait and the one east of it (whatever it is called, the one between Svalbard and Franz Josef Land). So I think we'll see increases in the Greenland and Barents Seas. But the Chukchi and Laptev look like they'll open up.

The 6th and 7th look kind of like an ice grinding machine. The ice is already pretty fragmented, but I suspect by the middle of next week there won't be much solid ice left.

89
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2014 Melting Season
« on: July 04, 2014, 06:28:42 AM »
IJIS number for July 3 was -88K. So we've had a couple of days of slowdown, but we're essentially tied with 2012 and 2011, and only lag 2010 by 100K or so (but 2010's slowdown began about now). It seems like the easy, "sure thing," ice has melted, and if this year is going to stay with the record low years, it's going to have to pick up the pace in the Kara, Laptev, Beaufort, CAA, and maybe the Chukchi. I think the ESS will explode shortly, but the extent won't decline for some time after that as the ice floes spread out. The Greenland Sea may even gain some ice from the looks of the HYCOM drift maps. The CAB, as far as I can tell, is a big slushy mess, but there is a lot of it, so it will take some time. My guess is a few more days of slower melt, and then we'll see where the weather takes us.

Now that I've said that, I wouldn't be in the least bit surprised to see a week of record melt. The ice is crap, and the weather has finally started to warm up.

90
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2014 Melting Season
« on: July 04, 2014, 01:10:46 AM »
The Archipelago is starting to fall apart.

91
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2014 Melting Season
« on: July 03, 2014, 04:46:55 PM »
Polar Low

"[...] The systems usually have a horizontal length scale of less than 1,000 kilometres (620 mi) [...] "

Granted, it's less than 1000 km, but it's a lot less than 1000 km.

It would be nice if the little guy ran over a buoy so we could get some temp/wind/pressure readings.

92
Arctic sea ice / Re: Home brew AMSR2 extent & area calculation
« on: July 03, 2014, 04:32:46 PM »
There are an enormous amount of domestic things that require my attention in these months.
Just wanted to add my voice to the others thanking you for your work here. What you're doing is important and very much appreciated. I'm sure it takes quite a bit of effort to stay on top of everything, and the results are really impressive. Thanks.

93
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2014 Melting Season
« on: July 03, 2014, 12:29:47 AM »
Smoke from fires now drifting straight out over the Beaufort. Can't possibly help matters. I suppose that also means that warm air is blowing from the land out over the ice.

94
Arctic sea ice / Re: NARES BREAKUP
« on: July 02, 2014, 04:33:33 PM »
This sequence in Nares is pretty extraordinary...
Yes, it's fascinating to watch. Here's yesterday's shot upstream a bit from your shots. You can see that another chunk has broken off. And further up, at the top of the strait, there's open water and very thin ice, suggesting that the whole thing will likely go pretty soon.

95
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2014 Melting Season
« on: July 02, 2014, 01:19:56 AM »
NSIDC has released the June 2014 data and graphs.
[ snip]
Air temperature anomaly at 925hPa, june 2014:

So, despite average or cooler than average temperatures more or less everywhere, we END the month in the hunt for all-time lows. Can there be any doubt that we're in a "new normal?" And can there be any doubt that if it warms up for a bit in July or August, the whole place is going to just fall apart?

96
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2014 Melting Season
« on: July 02, 2014, 12:30:50 AM »
Boom!

97
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2014 Melting Season
« on: July 02, 2014, 12:29:56 AM »
The Big Crack continues its long trek to the Atlantic...

98
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2014 Melting Season
« on: July 01, 2014, 07:11:40 PM »
The continuous fog is something most of us tracking the ice now for 5-10 years+ haven't ever seen like this.  Strange.
I wonder if the fog is the result of the ice being so fractured -- the warm(ish) ocean water could be dumping large amounts of moisture into the air, which then hugs the ground and doesn't clear because of the relatively moderate winds.

99
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2014 Melting Season
« on: July 01, 2014, 12:15:08 AM »
It was a little hard to see a lot of detail in the Big Crack today due to some thin cloud cover, but it appears that the system of cracks has made its way about half way across the top of Greenland. Another day of these conditions (and the drift forecast suggests we'll have another day of it, at least) and the crack will span all the way from the Beaufort to the Greenland Sea. Impressive.

100
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2014 Melting Season
« on: June 30, 2014, 09:37:53 PM »
Is this normal?  http://rapidfire.sci.gsfc.nasa.gov/imagery/subsets/?subset=Arctic_r02c02.2014181.terra.500m
Yes (for an ice sheet that is melting, that is). Those melt ponds can grow very large. It will be interesting to watch them if things warm up in July. (Of course, the bigger they get, them more likely the water is to find a path out -- either across the surface or through fissures in the ice down to the rock below.)

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