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Author Topic: Weddell Sea Polynya Opening  (Read 4789 times)

seaice.de

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Weddell Sea Polynya Opening
« on: August 06, 2016, 04:43:59 PM »

AbruptSLR

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Re: Weddell Sea Polynya Opening
« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2016, 11:56:45 PM »
Per the attached NSIDC daily Antarctic ice concentration plot for August 06, 2016 the polynya looks somewhat less impressive.
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seaice.de

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Re: Weddell Sea Polynya Opening
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2016, 12:03:42 PM »
Weddell Polynya is now almost one week open. Nothing compared to 1974-1976 but still very interesting. Did not appear since August 1994 (to my knowledge).

Click to start animation

seaice.de

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Re: Weddell Sea Polynya Opening
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2016, 12:05:48 PM »
About 1994 Weddell Polynya: http://earth.esa.int/workshops/ers97/papers/drinkwater/

ESMR image of 1974-1976 below

FishOutofWater

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Re: Weddell Sea Polynya Opening
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2016, 02:39:36 PM »
This is big news if it gets going because deep water formation around Antarctica has declined substantially since the 1970's and the Weddell sea polynya was the source of the coldest bottom water in the oceans. Thanks for posting the imagery.

Because the winds and currents have tightened up around Antarctica, I doubt that we'll see anything close to the size of the polynya in the 1970s, but it bears watching. This will be interesting.

Tor Bejnar

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Re: Weddell Sea Polynya Opening
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2016, 05:12:14 PM »
Thanks, Fish, for confirming my vague memory about this.  For others, Wikipedia has some background.
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AbruptSLR

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Re: Weddell Sea Polynya Opening
« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2016, 07:46:36 PM »
Weddell Polynya is now almost one week open. Nothing compared to 1974-1976 but still very interesting. Did not appear since August 1994 (to my knowledge).

Per the first attached image of the CCI SH 5-day forecast for the surface atmospheric temperature anom issued August 5 2016, the air is relatively warm about the Weddell Polynya and may be currently providing sufficient energy, that when combined with the bottom ice melt from ocean water up-well (see the upward pointing arrow [the black circle with a center dot] in the second attached image near the location of the Weddell Polynya), to allow the polynya to form (at least until the atmospheric conditions change).
« Last Edit: August 09, 2016, 07:58:29 PM by AbruptSLR »
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Tealight

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Re: Weddell Sea Polynya Opening
« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2016, 12:27:34 AM »
Never heard of it before. Should be interesting to watch over the coming weeks.

The area is already visible in colour on Suomi images: http://go.nasa.gov/2b4BnzS

FishOutofWater

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Re: Weddell Sea Polynya Opening
« Reply #8 on: August 10, 2016, 12:49:13 AM »
A series of storms has passed through the Weddell sea. The polynya started opening up on about 1 August as divergence from an intense low pressure area opened a hole in the ice pack. It's visible on 2 August here:

https://worldview.earthdata.nasa.gov/?p=antarctic&l=VIIRS_SNPP_CorrectedReflectance_TrueColor,MODIS_Aqua_CorrectedReflectance_TrueColor(hidden),MODIS_Terra_CorrectedReflectance_TrueColor,Coastlines(hidden)&t=2016-08-02&v=-1337085.5869243322,1986631.3008029945,1534210.4130756678,3563591.3008029945

I suppose I could download the image but if folks go back to 2Aug16 from the link Tealight provided the storm and the opening polynya are visible. Multiple storms moved over the Weddell sea to open up the polynya in today's image. It will be very interesting to see if it maintains itself by upwelling and subsidence after being initiated by storms.

seaice.de

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Re: Weddell Sea Polynya Opening
« Reply #9 on: August 11, 2016, 07:39:47 AM »
Now the polynyna is refreezing again. Although it was probably not as large as 1994 it was still a very interesting phenomenon.

I found one Sentinel 1 SAR image that captured half of the polynya.

seaice.de

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Re: Weddell Sea Polynya Opening
« Reply #10 on: August 12, 2016, 06:15:24 PM »
Open Ocean Polynya time again:

1) Weddell Polynya is still visible

2) Cosmonaut Polynya is developing to a large extent

Comiso, J. C., and A. L. Gordon (1987), Recurring polynyas over the Cosmonaut Sea and the Maud Rise, J. Geophys. Res., 92(C3), 2819–2833, doi:10.1029/JC092iC03p02819.
http://www.ldeo.columbia.edu/~agordon/publications/comiso_gordon_recurringPolynyas_JGR1987.pdf

FishOutofWater

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Re: Weddell Sea Polynya Opening
« Reply #11 on: August 20, 2016, 04:20:53 PM »
Intense storms opened up the polynya but conditions have changed since the 1970s so it closed back up. I suspect that the near surface waters are lighter and less saline because of glacial melting from below. It would be great to have some scientific measurements of the water column properties when it's possible.


seaice.de

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Re: Weddell Sea Polynya Opening
« Reply #12 on: September 03, 2016, 04:40:38 PM »
The 2016 Weddell Polynya became a NASA image of the Day http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=88656

Tealight

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Re: Weddell Sea Polynya Opening
« Reply #13 on: October 30, 2016, 11:30:40 PM »
A small hole opened up again but compared to ice missing further north the area isn't relevant.

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seaice.de

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Re: Weddell Sea Polynya Opening
« Reply #15 on: October 02, 2017, 08:30:56 PM »

seaice.de

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Re: Weddell Sea Polynya Opening
« Reply #16 on: October 02, 2017, 08:43:25 PM »
The open water Weddell Polynya is still open and I suppose the upwelling warm water will lead to further enhanced melting. Have a look at Wipneus graphs for the Weddell extent

https://sites.google.com/site/arctischepinguin/home/sea-ice-extent-area/grf/uh-amsr2-ant-extent-overview.png

Click to start animation

gerontocrat

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Re: Weddell Sea Polynya Opening
« Reply #17 on: October 03, 2017, 04:04:28 PM »
I've been watching it for weeks and never knew it was such a matter of interest.

How much heat is released into the atmosphere from below?
Is it enough to influence air temperatures in the Weddell sea? (temp anomaly in next few days from cci-reanalyzer are high).
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Watching_from_Canberra

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Re: Weddell Sea Polynya Opening
« Reply #18 on: October 11, 2017, 12:41:43 PM »
I saw this mentioned in a tweet on my timeline today:
https://twitter.com/ConnorSouthard/status/917755027275513857

One of the comments referred to the following article:
https://m.phys.org/news/2017-09-antarctica-weddell-polynya-kiel-climate.html

Pmt111500

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Re: Weddell Sea Polynya Opening
« Reply #19 on: October 12, 2017, 02:06:22 PM »
Well, it's not of annual occurrence, so I guess it's a bit of a 'mystery'. Souther Ocean polynya, maybe abnormally large, but Weddel Gyre is one of the places melting early in the Southern Ocean spring. Pretty close to the mainland Antarctica too, so maybe the use of the adjective 'mysterious' is warranted. (Saw on an article about this, and misread it)  Upwelling area known for millennia by the southern whales and krill.
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solartim27

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Re: Weddell Sea Polynya Opening
« Reply #20 on: October 12, 2017, 09:36:18 PM »
FNORD

Susan Anderson

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Re: Weddell Sea Polynya Opening
« Reply #21 on: October 13, 2017, 02:27:00 AM »
Been following SOCCOM for some time (family in Princeton). ClimateCentral did some good coverage. Great stuff!