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Artful Dodger
Picking your Pocket with the Invisible Hand.
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Hi folks, What a tragic loss for his family, friends, and the science community. He will be sorely missed, but never forgotten. Full Scientist Interviews: Andrew Slater - Aug 2012 Does anyone know what happened? Feel free to send a PM to me on the Forum if you don't feel comfortable sharing here. Best regards, Lodger RIP Drew.
Toggle Commented 5 days ago on In memoriam: Andrew Slater at Arctic Sea Ice
Hi folks, JAXA's five-yr mission for GCOM-W1 (the bird AMSR2 flys on) will be complete in July 2017. While JAXA hopes the instrument will continue to provide data for some time afterward, we will be solidly into 'bonus-minutes' by the 2017 SIE minimum. So we may not be have pole-hole issues at all, more like '89 GHz data hole' issues. In fairness, AMSR-E operated nearly 11 years (h/t Mitsubishi Electric) until the bearings seized in the fall of 2012. So we may get lucky again (if we do, I'm buying another VCR). Cheers, Lodger
Toggle Commented 5 days ago on ASI 2016 update 7: minimum time at Arctic Sea Ice
Hi folks, Yes indeed, nihilism is the flip side of denial and should be one of the 5 stages of grief. But even if you know you're going to hit the wall, it's important to hit the brakes. I think we'll be lucky if we even manage to take our collective foot off the gas before the sea ice is gone. But action remains important. Four years ago, a friend argued that it was already too late for mitigation, and we should spend our money on adaptation. I think his house flooded 3 months later. Some thngs are beyond our ability to adapt. Like when a 7 year old shakes the candy machine, which then falls, crushing him. Whoops, shudda wudda cudda. It's prescience like that expressed most succinctly by that prophet of pugalism Mike Tyson: "everyone has a plan until they get hit in the mouth". To close, I'd remind folks (or inform new comers) that we first discussed the 'North Hole' issue way back during the 2010 melt season. IJIS (the joint U Alaska/JAXA group) made the following comment: Please note that this area is also counted as sea-ice cover in our estimation of sea-ice extent. We may change the policy (i.e., filling the gap with full coverage of sea ice) in the near future due to the recent drastic reduction of Arctic sea ice. We will announce this if it is implemented. Neven has a tag for blog posts on this issue, North Hole. Cheers, Lodger
Toggle Commented 7 days ago on ASI 2016 update 7: minimum time at Arctic Sea Ice
viddaloo wrote | September 15, 2016 at 00:39 Well, I, for one, am not ready to call the Arctic Sea Ice melt season minimum quite yet Hi v, (hi folks) Certainly the Arctic cyclone of 2016 hasn't spun down yet. It's still maintaining a temperature inversion between the 500 hPa and 300 hPa levels over the CAA. (these 2 charts show that it's about the same temperature at 5.500m and at 10.000m, or between about 18,000ft and 30,000 ft) Met 101 tells us when a cooler low layer is overridden by a warmer upper layer, net upward radiation of heat approaches zero. As a consequence, little heat is lost to space while under this inversion, and the surface is thus insulated. BTW, this has been been the state throughout GAC2016. Without a rapid freeze-up, the oldest MY sea ice in the Arctic remains in peril via advection from the CAB thru the CAA and thus South to oblivion. Indeed, the early freeze-up of seasonal sea ice on the European side means nothing. FYI all melts out again the following Summer (earlier and earlier it seems). The [b]WHOLE GAME[/b] is the [b]MYI[/b]. When it's gone, it's a new climate regime in the Arctic: Seasonal sea ice followed by increasing lenghts of ice-free (read stormy) conditions. So enjoy the Fall, and keep watching the MYI export. Personally, I hang on each word written by Werther, with his amazing CAD ice-tracking efforts. The ability to track individual ice flows vectors from passive microwave sources is IMHO invaluable. Thanks for all your contributions, Werther! My guess? I est we lose > 400K km^2 of MYI thru advection before the next melt season begins. We shall see, it will be a interesting Fall/Winter indeed. Cheers, Mate! Lodger
Toggle Commented Sep 15, 2016 on ASI 2016 update 7: minimum time at Arctic Sea Ice
Pardon, Dingos ate my Baby... 18Z EnvCda N.pole Cheers, Lodger
Toggle Commented Aug 31, 2016 on 2016 Mega-Dipole at Arctic Sea Ice
Szívesen, Andy Lee! Did you see the GINORMOUS iceburg off the port side of the C.S. on the far-left of the 14:45 PM port-side image? Must be 10 m in the air, so wot 100m keel to sail? I'd like to know which glacier calved that! I couldn't find a Hungarian version of the Stan Rodger's classic "Northwest Passage", but I hope you enjoy this Polish rendition I posted earlier: (you must click on "Kelvin" in the linked image to go to the song on Youtube). Cheers, Lodger P.S. This MUST be a new RECORD: Seven (7) surface lows in the Arctic Basin/Greenland/Nordic seas simultaneously! Hurray in, this image in this link will be over-written after 18z hrs tomorrow!
Toggle Commented Aug 31, 2016 on 2016 Mega-Dipole at Arctic Sea Ice
Hi folks, For the exotourists among you, the Northwest Passage cruise ship Crystal Serenity is about to shoot the Bellot Strait, a 2 km wide 25 km long strait connecting the Gulf of Boothia on the east to Peel Sound on the west. Here is the current view from the bridge (click the image to see it full screen): Also take a look at the scenery to the port (left) and starboard (right) as the ship makes the passage, which should take at least 2 hours. Enjoy! Cheers, Lodger
Toggle Commented Aug 31, 2016 on 2016 Mega-Dipole at Arctic Sea Ice
Hi Nick, Well hmm, say approx. 35 kmh winds with a 1200 km fetch, over 72 hrs? What could possibly go wrong? Reminds me of this scene from LOTR: The Pass of Caradhras. "This will be the death of the Hobbits". By which of course I mean that I hope all the sea bears came ashore early this year in the Beaufort sea. Mortality rates for any mothers with cubs will be appalling during a relentless 2+ week Arctic cyclone. Even big male bears would find it tough to survive a 600 km swim in these conditions. Regards, Lodger
Hi folks, If you thought this melting season was finally grinding to a close, there may be at least one more surprise in store for Arctic watchers. Huricane Gaston is now tracking N. on our favorite Env. Cda N. pole synoptic WX charts (out in the Atlantic at the lattitude of Georgia/N. Carolina as of 18z). Today's 12z GWS model run has the hurricane stalling briefly in the N. Atlantic before coalescing w. the deep low S. of Iceland, then blowing right over top of Reykjavik and N. through the E. Greenland sea to Svalbard. It's still a 10 day forecast though, so YMMV. Could be worse: Yesterday's GSW has Gaston brushing the coast of Norway, blowing overtop of Novaya Zemlya (radiation anyone?) before finally making landfall on the Taymyr peninsula. And then dissipating in the Laptev sea. Ugh. But as always with Arctic amplification and U.S. elections, "objects in (the) mirror are closer than they appear". I'm hoping a record late October minimun shakes loose some votes in the Senate. Cheers, Lodger
Hi folks, Yes indeed shoppers, come see the new models of 'Kelvinators' for 2016. Still available in classic "Arctic White", but now also in the new exciting hybrid model "cold-core at surface/mid levels, with warm-core characteristics at the 200 mb level". Get'em while they last. Arctic sea ice is going fast. Cheers, Lodger
Toggle Commented Aug 23, 2016 on 2016 Arctic cyclone, update 3 at Arctic Sea Ice
Hi Folks, Regardless of the final Summer minimum this year, the icepack faces another real threat this Fall/Winter. With the current separation of the pack at the Lavtev Bight (from 45E to 135E), there is a real risk that the transpolar drift pushes ALL of the multiyear sea ice from the European sector out of the central Arctic via Fram Straight before the next melt season. Constant bleeding. The loss of multiyear ice over Winter would be devastating, given that it takes 2 years to reform MYI with the appropriate low salitity via the brine rejection mechanism. This leaves the remaining reduced MYI pack (about 2M km^2 or so Werther?) to oppose the forces of any GAC17 or GAC18. OMNIMOUS. Think I go read some Goethe. Cheers, Lodger
Toggle Commented Aug 20, 2016 on 2016 Arctic cyclone, update 2 at Arctic Sea Ice
Thanks for the update, Neven. I wonder how much warm water has mixed into the surface layer by this nearly-stationary low-pressure field? Oh for $8M and some air-deployable underwater drones! Data is Golden (Blogs r Cheap ;) and either the Louis or Odin is in just the right place to deploy them and collect the data. Or in a pinch launch an USN C-130 from Thule... Very deep sigh if we miss this data. But who knows, we may yet see this data, just knot in real time. Cheers, Lodger
Toggle Commented Aug 19, 2016 on 2016 Arctic cyclone, update 2 at Arctic Sea Ice
Hi folks, It won't be long before all the sea ice in peripheral seas (ie: Hudson, Baffin, Kara) has melted. Then, with 2012 AMSR2 data coming online July 23, the REAL race can begin. Right now, it's still too close to call. With 2012's sunnier June and 2016's warmer Winter, it may just come down to August weather. Cheers, Lodger P.S. anybody watching Siberian WX/wildfires this Summer? I suspect the 30C temps there in 2012 contributed greatly to the formation, duration, and intensity of GAC2012.
Toggle Commented Jul 15, 2016 on 2016 melting momentum, part 3 at Arctic Sea Ice
Wow, Wayne. 20.2°C at CYCB today at solar noon, and still more than 3 weeks until 1st "sunset" (well, "1st moment of twilight"). So how do you say "scorchio" in Inuinnaqtun? The "Qimmiit" must be suffering in that heat. Hope they get a polar dip to cool off! Cheers, Lodger P.S. Nevin (if you don't already own one) I think we've found your hat! ;^)
[pardon the double-post; right thread this time :^] wayne wrote | June 30, 2016 at 07:03 "Its 2102 all over again, until something more dramatic occurs." Hi Wayne, Not to Rush things, but with CICE models running aboot a century behind the actual sea ice, I think its more like "2112 redux". "I wandered home though silent streets And fell into a fitful sleep Escape to realms beyond the night Dream can't you show me the light?" The True North has seen more change in the past 40 years than in the last 8,000. How dramatic is that? Bonne fête du Canada! Happy Canada D'eh! ;^) Cheers, Lodger
Toggle Commented Jun 30, 2016 on ASI 2016 update 3: crunch time at Arctic Sea Ice
wayne wrote | June 30, 2016 at 07:03 "Its 2102 all over again, until something more dramatic occurs." Hi Wayne, Not to Rush things, but with CICE models running aboot a century behind the actual sea ice, I think its more like "2112 redux". "I wandered home though silent streets And fell into a fitful sleep Escape to realms beyond the night Dream can't you show me the light?" The True North has seen more change in the past 40 years than in the last 8,000. How dramatic is that? Bonne fête du Canada! Happy Canada D'eh! ;^) Cheers, Lodger
Toggle Commented Jun 30, 2016 on 2016 melting momentum, part 1 at Arctic Sea Ice
Hi folks, I reckon each of us should take a few minutes to look at Pistone (2014), free PDF from the link above. Here's why: (bold is mine) Significance: "The Arctic sea ice retreat has been one of the most dramatic climate changes in recent decades. Nearly 50 y ago it was predicted that a darkening of the Arctic associated with disappearing ice would be a consequence of global warming. Using satellite measurements, this analysis directly quantifies how much the Arctic as viewed from space has darkened in response to the recent sea ice retreat. We find that this decline has caused 6.4 ± 0.9 W/m2 of radiative heating since 1979, considerably larger than expectations from models and recent less direct estimates. Averaged globally, this albedo change is equivalent to 25% of the direct forcing from CO2 during the past 30 y." So there you have it: Arctic amplification due to the albedo flip. Just like Grandpa said it would. Now let's roll some coal (or perhaps not!) Rolling Coal Videos - Blowing Up Prius Drivers Cheers, Lodger
Toggle Commented Jun 19, 2016 on 2016 melting momentum, part 1 at Arctic Sea Ice
sofouuk wrote: ...this year to be fair I have to declare The melting could well be titanic. Aha, good one! Mind you, back in 1912 ice sank the ship. By 2012, coal sinks the ice. ;^) Oh, see how NASA quanifies sea ice albedo change via satellite data: Pistone K, Eisenman I, Ramanathan V. Observational determination of albedo decrease caused by vanishing Arctic sea ice. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 2014;111(9):3322-3326. doi:10.1073/pnas.1318201111. Cheers, Lodger
Toggle Commented Jun 19, 2016 on 2016 melting momentum, part 1 at Arctic Sea Ice
"Obiwan, how can I do the Albedo Flip?" "Luke, you must use your Melting Momentum"... Cheers, Lodger
Toggle Commented Jun 17, 2016 on 2016 melting momentum, part 1 at Arctic Sea Ice
Hi folks, We are truly fortunate to have somebody like Neven to support and inform the amateur sea ice community of citizen scientists. I have dabbled on other blogs or forums over the years, leaving some due to specious moderators, refusing to participate in others due to deliberate denial motivated by monetary gain. Neven has struck the right balance on this blog between avocacy, information, and dissenting discussion. I find the words that best describe Neven's service here as "authentic" (ie: true, correct, and exacting). Thank-you, Brother. Cheers, Lodger P.S. Oh, and n"ice" post). ;^)
Toggle Commented Jun 8, 2016 on PIOMAS June 2016 at Arctic Sea Ice
Hi Neven, Good update, and Welcome to the Scorch! Indeed, this pre-viz of dramatic Arctic sea ice collapse was created by Scientists in 1969: Scorchio! Cheers, Lodger
Toggle Commented May 28, 2016 on ASI 2016 update 1: both sides at Arctic Sea Ice
Hi John, Well, in terms of "missing something", there are three things in play in the water column: the thermocline (the temperature gradient), the halocline (the salinity gradient), and the pycnocline (the density gradient). When predicting whether a horizontal flow will sink or remain on the surface when it meets another, it's the pycnocline that matters. An example follows. This graph shows the salinity-temperature curve for sea water of equal density: Imagine that points A and B represent two physically separate surface water masses, where Pt A is stationary inside the Arctic pack ice, and Pt B is in the Gulf Stream, headed North. Both water masses begin with densities of 1.0275 g/cm^3 (see that they are on the same curve on the graph above). Pt A is at 0C and 34.25 PSU, while Pt B is at 10C and 35.62 PSU. Now if the water represented by Pt B cools to 4C during it's trip North on the surface, it's density increases to about 1.283 g/cm^3. So when B meets A, B sinks below A because it has greater density. That's how the pycnocline works. Think of it like a very long incline plane, where things (water masses) always roll down hill. Hope that helps ;^) It's obvious by reading the literature of the day that, even 50 yrs ago, scientists were concerned about the overturning circulation in the central Arctic. This ability to tap into a virtually inexhaustible reservoir of heat during the long polar night could ensure that once the fresher surface layer disappears, the pack ice isn't going to reform. Sure, some fast ice will form around the cold continental shores of the Arctic and in shallow seas, but the central Arctic basin will be open all Winter long, heated from below by the overturning circulation, and insulated from space by clouds above. And further, churned continuously by wind and waves caused by unceasing storms, driven by the temperature gradient between the central Arctic SST near 0 Celcius, and the land masses of central Siberia and Cda/AK near -30 C. So we have to ask how could the polar mixed layer break down, if reduced river outflow is insufficient? We witnesses two of these factors in abundance during GAC2012: Mechanical mixing due to wave action, and Ekman pumping due to strong wind fields over a large area and a steep horizontal pressure gradient. I don't really *care* that much about final September SIE. It could be ZERO, but if the fresh surface layer survives, the sea ice WILL reform. I have full confidence in that. There is an equilbrium state, and that includes pack ice when the Arctic has a fresh surface layer. But September SIE could just as well be over a million, but if the surface layer breaks down due to powerful fall storms, the ice pack could be gone by New Year's day. And never come back. It's the tipping point, but we just don't know where SIE will be when that threshold is crossed. I DO *care* about changes in the halocline profile of the water column. I think it's the independant variable in this planetary climatic experiment, and SIE is a dependant variable (with albedo feedbacks). I say we need better monitoring of conditions in the central basin water column. But alas, this is not easy to measure with a satellite. I'm all in favour of a fleet of new gliders to profile the water column. Anybody got a spare winning Powerball ticket? The planet you save could be your own. Cheers, Lodger
Hi folks, So the study of a perennially sea-ice free Arctic is by no means a recent research topic. See this review of the "state of the science" from more than 50 years ago: Fletcher, J.O. The Heat Budget of the Arctic Basin and its Relation to Climate, The RAND Corporation, Santa Monica, California, R-444-PR, October 1965. Fletcher (1965), in an extensive evaluation (194 pages) of existing literature dealing with the heat budget of the Arctic, visualizes an ice-free Arctic in roughly the following manner: In the Summer the ocean world absorb and store up to 90 percent of all incoming solar radiation. This would imply a slightly cooler atmosphere and hence a small increase in the intensity of atmospheric circulation. Greater amounts of evaporation would produce general cloudiness over the area. During the Winter the ocean would slowly release heat stored from the summer. Surface temperatures would be slightly above freezing in contrast to -35C under present conditions. Advection of heat from lower latitudes would thus be characterized by a constant, vigorous, year-round zonal flow with cool moist Summers and warm moist Winters. Again, paywall issues with the full 192 page report, but the above precis was included in the introduction to Norbert Untersteiner's 1969 report for the RAND Corporation. (Yes, the one and same eminent Professor of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Washington whom Neven recently eulogized). And yes, you can download the report in full for free from the link above. (RIP, Professor U.) Cheers, Lodger
Rob Dekker | May 17, 2016 at 06:00 asked: "That article appears to be behind a paywall. Can you summarize its findings and how it relates to the statement of "an essentially ice free Arctic winter" over the next couple of decades." Hi Rob, Yeah, the full article is paywalled. I can check at my University to see if we have the journal where it was published: "Eos, Transactions American Geophysical Union" Vol 56, from July 1975. But an even more interesting paper to find might be this one, which examines the Soviet river diversion proposal with a numerical model: Semtner Jr, A. J. (1984). The climatic response of the Arctic Ocean to Soviet river diversions. Climatic change, 6(2), 109-130. Now this paper is also [bloody] paywalled, but the [free] 513 word Abstract is much more statisfying. Some highlights are: A numerical model is constructed to evaluate the effect of river diversions on the circulation of the Arctic Ocean, including the climatically important response in the extent of sea ice. Three equilibrium solutions are obtained by eighty-year integrations from simple initial conditions: the first with inflow from all rivers, the second with one-third of the inflow diverted from four major rivers (the Ob, Yenesei, Dvina, and Pechora), and the third with total diversion from those rivers. When runoff into the marginal Kara and Barents Seas is diverted, either in part or in full, almost no effect on the halocline results in the Central Arctic. In particular, deep convection does not develop in the Eurasian Basin, the possibility of which was suggested by Aagaard and Coachman (1975). The vertical stability within the two marginal seas is considerably decreased by the total diversion of four rivers, but not to the point of convective overturning. The ice extent remains nearly the same as before within the Kara and Barents Seas. This result agreed with other research conducted by Soviet scientists, in that simply diverting Western Siberian rivers would not be sufficient to remove the pack ice. So this proposal (and it was just that) failed because they didn't think it would acheive the goal, NOT because it was considered a bad idea to rid themselves to that bothersome sea ice! [smdh] Remember through all this the cause-and-effect we are examining: convective overturning in the Arctic basin and sea ice persistence. And so, more about a scenario envisioned in Fletcher (1965) leading to an sea ice-free Arctic in my next comment. ;^) Cheers, Lodger
Hi folks, Quick correction to my comment above regarding units for salinity (h/t to "John" over at Tamino's): "Ocean salinity is defined as the salt concentration (e.g., Sodium and Chlorure) in sea water. It is measured in unit of PSU (Practical Salinity Unit). It is equivalent to per thousand or (or g/kg. The 25 PSU value for sea surface salinity is important as the threshold where overturning cirulation starts to occur in a cooling water column, bringing up heat from below. A "fresher" layer will freeze as it cools, a saltier layer will sink forcing warmer water to the surface. If the warm layer is a thousand meter thick, it's not going to freeze in a single Winter." More here, as usual. :^) Cheers, Lodger