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Wayne, I was about to quote you from another thread: ”we have to inform the public about this as best we can.” Agree, and please let me have a go at it: In line with Glenn Doty’s assertion, I’m convinced that events this winter have shown us elements of the tipping point we have reached: 1) Previously, proper deep water formation in the Nordic seas happened when cold Arctic air masses came off the Greenland Ice sheet or off the MYI cold pool in the Arctic Ocean. Nowadays, lukewarm deep water is formed when warm saline Atlantic water hits the cold ice edge north of Svalbard and – at the same time - melts it from below. 2) Over the past 30-40 years, marginal sea ice extent in e.g. the Sea of Okhotsk and the Gulf of St. Lawrence have gone down in line with global warming. This winter, cold continents produce thrilling temperatures which may help to grow large, but thin, marginal sea ice extents off the coastlines of North America and Asia. These two in combination have led us to the calamity we are in now. Volume is record low as Neven described and a thin veneer of thin ice at lower latitudes may lure the public to believe that everything is hunky dory. It isn’t! 3) In Antarctica, sea ice extent was until last year growing out from the coastlines in part due to stronger Katabatic winds. Now, the upwelling of deep and warmer ocean waters and fresh meltwater close to coast is having a detrimental effect on both the sea ice and the shelf ice near the grounding line. Both of these are now melting from the coast outwards. 4) Antarctic Foehn winds previously were sporadic phenomena of no major importance for surface melting. Now, oceanic air masses advected to Antarctica contain more moisture, hence the adiabatic heating on the upslope is bigger and thus the melting/sublimation potential on the downhill side is even bigger than before. These two in combination will also lead to accelerated melt of both shelf and sea ice from both top and bottom, which is another part of the tipping point story to be told this year. It is the un-observed parts of these changing physics, which really worries me, and the lack of documentation which makes it difficult to tell a coherent story until you actually see the ice vanish in front of your own eyes. Please pick any active thread on the forum and see for yourself how this year’s melt unfolds.
Toggle Commented Jan 9, 2017 on PIOMAS January 2017 at Arctic Sea Ice
'Elisee Reclus', please say hello to you 'missus from me' and - following up on Neil's fine remark - keep up the good work of moving further away from the coast in Florida.
Toggle Commented Dec 19, 2016 on PIOMAS December 2016 at Arctic Sea Ice
Neven, Thank you for posting a link to that old French chap. Apparently, the real Reclus was banned from the curriculum, when I studied geography. I assume he was either a positivist or too deterministic to be edible at that time. However, your link also provided wonderful links to a subject new to me – Bioregionalism - and further links to wonderful initiatives, such as this one: This gave me great hopes for the future, and you could even compare the Cascadian region - "a land of falling waters." - with your home turf – the Arctic region – “a land of melting ice”. Concerning the fake Reclus, you should not worry. I had enough information to look up a couple of her books on the Internet, and even if she decides to register under a new name, I am sure I will be able to recognize her writing style. Cheers P
Toggle Commented Dec 17, 2016 on PIOMAS December 2016 at Arctic Sea Ice
Susan, I did not try to play ”clever-clever” last Tuesday. It had been a really lousy day at work. A promising project had just poured more than a million Euros down the drain, and there was nothing I could do about it. Bill Gates and his mates had just announced their one billion USD ‘Breakthrough Energy Ventures fund’ and I had looked in vain for anything related to wind, solar and bio. On top of that, I read on the Forum that Trump had appointed the Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson as new Secretary of State in order to harvest a 500 billion USD windfall contract for drilling with Putin in the Russian Arctic. I mean, look at the scale of these numbers! On top of that, I had to read through ‘Ivanka’s’ refusal to accept that any major changes in Arctic sea ice volume would happen “… in a few generations, or lifetimes…“. In this country, life expectancy for women is close to 80 years and a generation is normally close to 30 years. Thus, when Elisee Reclus, or whatever her name is, tries to tell us that we will be just fine over the next 60 to 160 years, I felt obliged to tell her, that she was not aligned with the main part of the crowd here. I’ll admit, that I was provoked by her remarks: “sue me!” and “ponds freeze over briefly in Florida” , but I still don’t regret asking her to back off for the time being. I hope you will concur that emotions are allowed, but when they disturb the facts, we should all be ware and help each other to keep a steady course through muddy waters.
Toggle Commented Dec 17, 2016 on PIOMAS December 2016 at Arctic Sea Ice
Neven, Beethoven’s 5th Symphony was the only one I could think of. According to Wikpedia, it was well received in 1808 – including these kind words from a guy called Hoffmann: “Radiant beams shoot through this region's deep night, and we become aware of gigantic shadows which, rocking back and forth, close in on us and destroy everything within us except the pain of endless longing—a longing in which every pleasure that rose up in jubilant tones sinks and succumbs, and only through this pain, which, while consuming but not destroying love, hope, and joy, tries to burst our breasts with full-voiced harmonies of all the passions, we live on and are captivated beholders of the spirits.” I do enjoy music from time to time, as you may very well know, but not right now. When ‘Ivanka’ puts up statements like: “Everything will be fine 100 years from now”, I must react. Every day is ‘Judgement Day’ in my view. I consider Arctic oil exploration rigs weapons of mass destruction. Please think about what would happen, if the Chinese – for some odd reason – decided to spray soot over Himalaya in order to get rid of the remaining glaciers before 2035. The Indians would be furious and fight back to avoid the drowning of millions of people in their low-lying valleys. In principle – Moscow and Washington DC have now joined forces and will attempt to spray oil over the remaining Arctic sea ice floes. Who cares, you might say: “ Sit down, have a glass of wine and listen to some music”. Not today Neven. Never!
Toggle Commented Dec 14, 2016 on PIOMAS December 2016 at Arctic Sea Ice
Neven, I'll think about the Beethoven thing, and come back with an answer to you valid question tomorrow. Cheers P
Toggle Commented Dec 13, 2016 on PIOMAS December 2016 at Arctic Sea Ice
Elisee Reclus – Ivanka, is that you? Not in order to confuse things any further, but your statement: "I find it difficult to accept that in a few generations, or lifetimes, the planet will become uninhabitable." is completely at odds with the sentiments here. Please go away, write up your lists of all concerned government officials, please do as they did in Australia: shut down one of the world´s leading research organizations, since the debate about climate change was apparently over, and then get back to your dad and tell him, that he is utterly wrong, when he appoints the Exxon chief in order to drill for more oil. The Indians won’t have it, and particularly not in the Russian Arctic.
Toggle Commented Dec 13, 2016 on PIOMAS December 2016 at Arctic Sea Ice
Bill, since the brain is just a big muscle, it could somehow benefit from a massage from time to time. I think I meant message above, but you got the point anyway. Cheers P
Toggle Commented Nov 30, 2016 on Sabbatical (I hope) at Arctic Sea Ice
NeilT, That is a fine massage for a grandson, but when it comes down to your own son and the shit will hit the fan just around the corner, things may look differently. Part of the problem is that my son recentlly finished his education, but right now is beginning to realize that his education did not prepare him for neither the Trump-isolationism nor the Arctic sea ice vanishing at record speed.
Toggle Commented Nov 29, 2016 on Sabbatical (I hope) at Arctic Sea Ice
NeilT: "They will also be the next generation of CEO's and Directors." I am not so sure. Even though you and I - and maybe others - have lured ourselves into thinking that this will be the case, I have heard from reliable sources, that the recent US tragedy has led to depression amongst those well educated youngsters, whom you have such high hopes for. What do you do, when they do not know enough about sea ice, but know too much about previous world wars? If they see the patterns from WW I and WW II repeat themselves in front of their own eyes, what would your advice be under these circumstances?.
Toggle Commented Nov 29, 2016 on Sabbatical (I hope) at Arctic Sea Ice
Neil T: "I'm just going to sit back and watch now." Please don't. Now is the time to rise and shine, use your intellect to combat stupidity and fight for your ca(u)se. Being (almost) right in about 10 years time is not going to help anyone besides you. Every day counts from now on...
Toggle Commented Nov 17, 2016 on PIOMAS November 2016 at Arctic Sea Ice
Hi John Happy to see you re-surface after three years of dormancy. It will be quite interesting to see the Trump advisors turn to building resilient infrastructures, sustainable transport solutions and healthy fastfood for the Trump supporters. Cheers P
Toggle Commented Nov 10, 2016 on PIOMAS November 2016 at Arctic Sea Ice
Neven, quite lyrical, but still a splendid summary of what actually happened. Thanks!
Rob, Amazing what you and others have achieved through an open and friendly dialogue in this thread. To me it will be the "Dekker et al., 2016" series until further evidence appears.
Jim, You will have to follow the rules. Once you’re out you’re out. However, should the Scottish people decide otherwise to leave the UK and join the EU again, the road is open for all kinds of minority fractions to join, provided the EU will allow it. But remember, it goes both ways. If a minority like the Bretons, the Basques or FC Barcelona suddenly starts to exit also, you will probably face stiff head winds no matter how legitimate your demands for EU-membership are. On the contrary, after reading some of the “walk the talk” threads, I imagine it is better to be self-reliant in SW England than to be member of a dysfunctional community. I will promise to be an ambassador for whichever cause you may come up with, as long as it does not involve the media in your country. Once upon a time there was something rotten in the state of Denmark. Now your media outlets have decided to set the standards so low that even words are no longer adequate to describe the minimum.
Toggle Commented Sep 22, 2016 on ASI 2016 update 7: minimum time at Arctic Sea Ice
Jim, sorry mate After the Brexit, you are all on your own. In the old days, in a fog situation, the "continent was isolated". Now, you are left with your own media outlets - God Bless You - and the Yanks are flanking out with their own even poorer media outlets. I really couldn't care less.
Toggle Commented Sep 21, 2016 on ASI 2016 update 7: minimum time at Arctic Sea Ice
Since this place is also for news, I just wanted to lead your attention to this recent tragedy in Norway: (in Norwegian) Apparently 322 reindeer were killed at once the other day, presumably struck by lightning. This tragedy comes after 15 lone male reindeer have been found dead in 2014 and 2015, also in Norway. The mysterious deaths begs the question, whether old survival strategies for reindeer are still valid? If you are a lone male outside the herd, you should not stand alone on a high rock during thunderstorms. If you are part of a herd of young and/or a female reindeer, you should not stand so close to your mates during thunderstorms.
Toggle Commented Aug 28, 2016 on Iced lightning at Arctic Sea Ice
Neven, the dwindling Arctic sea ice was just featured prominently during the 2016 Olympics opening ceremony in Rio. Their advice was to sow more seeds, plant more trees and save more lives. Our commercial TV channels are having a hard time swallowing these messages... Have a good evening
Toggle Commented Aug 5, 2016 on PIOMAS August 2016 at Arctic Sea Ice
Rob, No need to humiliate anyone here. On the contrary, you deserve all our respect for providing your evidence in such a clear way. I’m happy you have allowed an 8 % window to go lower than extent observed in 2012. One aspect, which may eventually help to improve your – already excellent – modelling work, could come from the fact that this year is also clearly a “post-ENSO” year. If you compare your estimates for 1998 and 2007 (also clearly post-ENSO years) , you will see that your estimates were roughly a quarter and half a M sq. km respectively higher than observed. Assuming a 10 year doubling time for such an accumulated post-ENSO heating signal, 2016 could well be the year that your estimate turns out to be about 1 M sq. km too high. Should we end up near 3 M sq. km by September this year, it may be valuable to try to include such a factor in your model. I still consider 2012 to be an outlier due to the GAC.
Chris, I was using a rounded number around and approximate date. To be precise I was referring to the drop in temperature from 258 K to 248 K over a handful of days close to the middle of the day 50 to 100 time frame. A few days later the DMI 80N temperature even dropped an additional 3 K to a level close to 245 K ( = -28 degrees C ). This winter we have hardly moved below 250 K. Anyway, it was just a quick thought I had this morning. I suggest we move back on topic, which is supposedly this season's apparent lack of melt ponds.
Toggle Commented Jun 17, 2016 on 2016 melting momentum, part 1 at Arctic Sea Ice
John, If you take a closer look at the DMI 80N graph for 2012, you will see a nice 10 K "flash freeze" around day # 75. That ought to be enogh to keep the sea ice back then in good shape for the melt season to arrive.
Toggle Commented Jun 17, 2016 on 2016 melting momentum, part 1 at Arctic Sea Ice
In order not to confuse things more than they already are, I suggest some kind of housekeeping across this blog and the ASI Forum, Wipneus has increasingly alluded to “melt ponds” seen in pictures of the marginal zone of the Greenland Ice sheet (see latest example here:,154.msg80469.html#msg80469 ). He may have been looking in vain for melt ponds on the sea ice, but then turned to the ice sheet looking for some blue spots to show us. On the glacier, these are normally called melt lakes. Judging from the absence of melt ponds on large swathes of sea ice this spring/early sumemr, one can only speculate whether a combination of thin, salty, rotten sea ice and heavy melting from “blow torches” may have led to an apparent absence of melt ponds this year. The melt water could have drained though the sea ice nearly immediately, since there have been no episodes of “flash freezing” this winter as judged from the DMI 80N graph. On the glacier – au contraire – where the underlying glacier ice is thick, old and solid, these huge amounts of melt water have so far not been able to make it to the bottom, thus lakes are still blue and running full. Just a thought…
Toggle Commented Jun 17, 2016 on 2016 melting momentum, part 1 at Arctic Sea Ice
John, point taken Could DMI have run into an simple "overflow" problem?. Browsing through the various DMI charts, I came to notice that SST anomalies off SW Alaska and in the NE Baltic both exceeded 4 deg C yesterday. I also noticed that the SST anomaly scale on the Arctic SST anomaly map (yesterday) was different from the other anomaly scales. Hence I came to think of a simple programmer's bug, but who would have thought about that without your Divine intervention John?
Toggle Commented May 30, 2016 on ASI 2016 update 1: both sides at Arctic Sea Ice
Navegante, “Are there two diffetent urls perhaps?” Neven, In a Neoliberal context, DMI is heavily financed by lucrative advertisement contracts. Hence DMI is trying to attract traffic to their web site, which will be exposed to ads. Recent examples on their web site were holiday offers on a low-lying island in the Indian Ocean and another ad about how to negotiate financial risks these days. If you go to this site: and choose ‘Two days before Tomorrow’ (i.e. yesterday), you will get something like an observation-based SST anomaly map for the Arctic, that is if you get your set points right. DMI has unfortunately decided to extend their anomaly scale to the extremes of -50 deg C and + 20 deg C – both are meaningless today and they will only give you a pale yellow and a pale green approximation of reality. Sorry to say this again, but business interests have taken over both the Weather Channel and now apparently DMI as well…
Toggle Commented May 29, 2016 on ASI 2016 update 1: both sides at Arctic Sea Ice
Wayne: ” +1 or 2 C surface weather is very warm near the Pole” I really like your suggested new indicator. If some of the good folks at DMI would be kind enough to take a couple of hours off to calculate the following indicator each year since 1958 and post the number here, my guess would be that such a list of numbers would spur an intensive activity amongst this crowd: Indicator: Date#80N>0C (Date number, when the average Arctic air temperature above 80 degrees North crosses 0 degrees Celsius for five consecutive days) This would give us a fairly robust number for when nearly all the snow and multi-year ice surfaces are melting in the Arctic.
Toggle Commented May 15, 2016 on PIOMAS May 2016 at Arctic Sea Ice