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Stiftsche uiterwaard, Varik, Gelderland, The Netherlands
High School for gardening and landscaping, public and private designer and constructor
Interests: Geography, history, arts, philosophy, nature (especially birdwatching)
Recent Activity
Hi DavidR, I agree in larger terms with your posting. Still, although 2012 shows some warmer anomalies in the end July-end August period, the challenge is not that big. 2015 only has to continue some +1-+2dC anomaly over the CAB. That doesn’t seem to be a difficult benchmark to keep up to, given world-wide higher temp and a probably extreme ENSO event. On top of that, the present two-three weeks spell of +4dC anomaly is located exactly over the ‘last stand’ of MYI. Further, the ‘killer’ for ’12 was the GAC2012 storm between 5-10 August that year. The somewhat higher temp anomalies weren’t enough for the record minimum on a stand-alone basis.
Toggle Commented Jul 19, 2015 on Junction June 2015 at Arctic Sea Ice
An illustration to my post last night on the rapid line-up with 2012: The > +4dC anomaly North of Ellesmere through July hurts where it is worst. In this 350K km2 the heart of the remaining MYI is losing volume at freightening speed. The well known structure, large rhomboid floes up to 1600 km2 within broad leads, is gone. It has taken on the form common in more peripheral parts of the sea ice over the last years. It is desintegrating into loose floes in large debris fields. And these are blue with melt ponds and even taking a brownish hue, like in the Chukchi Sea days before complete melt out. This weather pattern and location hasn’t occurred before. I’d call the ‘black swan’ event if it were 2017…
Toggle Commented Jul 19, 2015 on Junction June 2015 at Arctic Sea Ice
Weighing in on the discussion, I’d say that MODIS now ‘s reflecting pretty much 2012 features. As Baffin fast-ice is now collapsing, Hudson Bay is discharging it’s ice cover within the next ten days, extent data should rapidly line up with the record years. In the Pacific sector, ice quality is deteriorating at a freightening speed. As it is, ECMWF forecasts a lingering dipole config for about a week. After that period, Lows should take over reign in the CAB. Some stability might re-appear then. Nevertheless, extreme Pacific SST’s are making their call in the Arctic. In the line of my earlier thought, there’s a perfect fit for this season. It is paving the way for continuation of the fast downward trend and maybe a ‘black swan’-event in ’17. It might even be ’16. There’s not much solace in any news, these days…
Toggle Commented Jul 18, 2015 on Junction June 2015 at Arctic Sea Ice
Thanks, Neven. As you write, there’s a lot of melt ponding right now. Checking MODIS, a lot of signs are coming in that suggest this melt season is on the way to end the short series of ‘rebound’ years. Just listing; Nares Strait is breaking up, plus a big crack through the Kane Basin ice. Kara sea ice is reduced as if it were ’07 or ’12. What’s left is blue from melt ponding. A broad swath based on the New Siberian Islands into the direction of the North Pole is losing concentration fast. Winds, relatively high temps and rain are hitting the ice. Soon, a firm basis for a ‘Laptev Bite’ will be laid. Compared to former years, the axis of the bite is more to the East now. Fast ice in the Southern Laptev is breaking up, right in front of the Lena Delta and near Cape Buor-Khaya. All ice is heavenly blue. Then the CAA. It’s ice is impressively blue. No big break-up yet, but a basis is laid. There are also signs that the Atlantic side will soon give in too. North of Zemlya Frantsa Yosefa there’s already a large icefree piece of ocean. What’s left to the South, in the Barentsz Sea, is thin and should soon pass. Last but not least, the whole Pacific side looks well prepared when and if a significant Pacific Water influx should happen. The present extent stall is a sideshow while all this is happening. If July and August present ‘normal’ weather, at least the volume uptick ’13-’14 could be ended.
Whatever ‘meltpond-june’ may or may not bring, the recent large Low has had an effect on ice distribution in the CAB. This 500 km radius circle around the pole is from today’s MODIS, enhanced picture (bright -10/contrast +22/mid-tones -64). It shows a lot of torn leads and open water, as the surface winds have dispersed while compacting elsewhere. It looks like the large swath of thinner ice in the ‘Laptev-bite-to-come’ has been messed up most. I’ll post a larger version on the Forum.
I’ve read Neven’s post this morning, when just one entry had been made. That first one was about McKibben ‘going overboard’. I did consider weighing in, but felt not compelled enough. The daily streak of info I gather on a variety of AGW and climate change issues is enough to keep me busy. I don’t want to involve myself in policy discussions that will prove to be ‘overboard’ soon enough. Tonight I see a full blown thread. So there’s enough interest. Keeping in mind that the blog is about Arctic Sea Ice, and there’s more than enough space to debate these policy aspects on the Forum, I’ll be short here. There are lots of people committing themselves to a green transition. There’s an overwhelming bunch of scientific work done that supports the need for very urgent action. But opposition is strong and a depressing amount of economic activity still is in the BAU-sector. McKibben is not in my ‘most-read’ category. But I know his commitment to ‘’, earth day and climate march-action. Activism is needed to avoid complacency. What has actually been realised in terms of transition is by far not enough. That’s why I think McKibben did nail it indeed. The stuff does have to be left in the ground. Given the course AGW is taking, it is not of main interest that a rapid phase out of FF’s will hurt BAU-economic standards. Better endure economic pain now, than loose what will after all be really precious; this planets’ unique biosphere.
Toggle Commented May 14, 2015 on Bill McKibben nails it at Arctic Sea Ice
I have been going over details in MODIS tile r04c02 after the sad news concerning arctic explorers De Roo and Cornelissen. I guess in an attempt to rationalize what might have happened. On the pic, I marked the main Devon and Cornwallis islands, as well as smaller Dundas and Baillie Hamilton. In the blue ovals, the known regular polynia’s have been highlighted. To the left, ‘Hell’s Gate’, to the top the Penny Strait polynia’s, center the two Queens-Wellington Strait polynia’s. With arrows I marked three other polynia’s near Baring Island in the Queens Strait. These are also regular, as they are also indicated in a study by Hannah et al, “Polynyas and Tidal Currents in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago”, 2007. Baring Island seems to have been a beacon in the adjusted route that both explorers were on. History, MODIS and NCEP/NCAR all indicate that there’s no exceptional 2015 situation; the sea ice is usually very ‘disturbed’ in this area. Tidal water movement between the islands mix warmer Atlantic water and keep the polynia’s open even in colder winters. Although April brought some anomalous warmer temps to the region, there’s not much indication that this contributed essentially to the fate of the two Dutch researchers. The region always has some treacherous ice features that have taken a toll. May they rest in peace, their names to be remembered in a large list of brave explorers and scientists that have given their lives in these inhospitable Arctic quarters.
Recent posting in reaction to ‘a possible ice free central Arctic’ seem to have missed a lot of our discussions on the concept of bifurcation, that describes how such tipping point behaviour could indeed create the conditions to make it happen. I’m not going to repeat it in length, the interested can find out themselves by digging through the very informative past of Neven’s blog and Forum. Here, I’ll just postulate that it isn’t crucial for the Arctic night to get to high mean temps in the lower troposphere. For those who make wild claims on ice growth, reveal your sources. The region around Ostrov Wrangelja had mean winter temp anomaly in the +4 - +5 dC range (NCEP/NCAR). I suggest there’s merit in the example of Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus. Go back to simple and honest gardening. Even when your main great contribution to the discussion has been filing nonsense and not an act of great value for society.
Toggle Commented Apr 2, 2015 on The Ns are calling the maximum at Arctic Sea Ice
The excitement over the yearly max is just a detail within the bigger story. I've come to see 'winter power' as important. These small samples of NCEP/NCAR show -4-+4 dC temp anomaly on 1000Mb. Period 1/10 to 15/03, winters 12-13, 13-14, 14-15. Make your own judgement. I'll get back to this later, but look at the difference in the Barentsz-Kara and Baffin regions.
Toggle Commented Mar 17, 2015 on Mad max? at Arctic Sea Ice
Evening, George, While Bostonians are probably digging out, over here we are experiencing the other side of winter's coin. There are two ways to process data to have an indication of winter's strength. One is average temp. The other is about cold extremes. In the Netherlands a 'cold number' is produced through summing all daily average temps under zero dC. Climatology produces about 50 as a normal, though our erratic winters can get to 300. Nowhere in the data is a two year pair of 'extremely mild winter' to be found. The call can be made after 31 March, but, as cold is not in sight for the next 14 days, it looks like that record will be booked. The numbers: '13-'14 0.0 (! nada, not even one day on average) '14-'15: 7.8 (int.23 feb).
Toggle Commented Feb 23, 2015 on Shock news! at Arctic Sea Ice
I've been eyeballing your 'Shock news', Jim. Is it the Sea of Ochotsk? Ice in the Bering Sea has been low all year, but seems to be in a slow freezing mode now.I see no other exceptional differences with recent years for the date.
Toggle Commented Feb 18, 2015 on Erase and rewind at Arctic Sea Ice
Thanks, Andreas, that was a beautiful exposé of mechanics!
Toggle Commented Feb 13, 2015 on Erase and rewind at Arctic Sea Ice
If the temperature reanalysis under supervision of NCEP/NCAR needs any re-evaluation, I’d suggest to do the homework on the raw data for a check-up. There are eight relevant, long time reporting Russian weather stations around the rim of the Kara Sea: Malye Karmakuly (though on the Barentsz Sea side of Novaya Zemlya) Amderma Ostrov Belyy ( GMO im Popova) Ostrov Dikson Ostrov Golomjannyj Ostrov Vize Polar GMO im E.T. Krenkelj (Ostrov Kheysa) Mys Zelanija Good luck and let your inspiration be Christopher Bookers’ ridiculous Paraguay data flaw. Speaking for myself, I’ve been fiddling with these temp data and SST’s intensively in the period October ’10 – January ’12, a period featuring ‘The Kara Bulge’. A 500Mb pressure dome resembling a bit the ‘Ridiculous Ridge’. A nickname I think VaughA introduced for the long lasting ridging over the Gulf of Alaska stretching South well down to the Californian Pacific. There is nothing in the data that looked unrealistic to me. In fact, the relative warming in the Kara Sea in the period (appr!) ’05-’13 is in line with strong influx of Atlantic waters through the Barentsz Gate and the West Spitsbergen Drift during that period. As described by Årthun et al 2011. The present ice extent in the Kara - and Barentsz Seas reflect a temporary dip in this influx. During summer ’14 it coincided with strong ridging on the axis Greenland-Scandinavia and mean Northern winds in the region Svalbard-Frantsa Yosefa. It is one of the factors that produced the ‘rebound’ in summer maximum extent as well as the ‘not so much melt’- volume effect in PIOMAS. For a reminder; ‘winter power ’12-‘13’ showing +2-+5dC mean anomaly over the Kara Sea. Nothing indicates that ‘they have no clue’:
Toggle Commented Feb 12, 2015 on PIOMAS February 2015 at Arctic Sea Ice
Kara Sea forecasts… ‘Winter Power’, mean temp anomaly on 1000Mb by NCEP/NCAR. This detail represents the period 1 October – 5 February. Step is 1 dC, range is -2 dC near the basis of polu’ostrov Jamal (indeed, Kara region) to +5 dC around ostrov Wrangelja. The stubborn north Kara Sea icefield during summer ’13 came about after a winter with mean +2-+5dC anomaly in the Kara. Last winter (13-14) had +/-0-+4dC anomaly. In my eyes, winter power may be a good proxy for mean Arctic ice accretion, but not for regional extrapolation into the melt season. Certainly not in peripheral seas. I suppose there could be an effect near Severnaya Zemlya at 80dN, but at the Southern part, Baydaratskaya Guba, 70dN, summer weather will almost certainly overrule winter power, even though it had -2dC anomaly. Nevertheless, Rosneft will have a difficult task coming spring producing oil in the Pechora Sea.
Toggle Commented Feb 10, 2015 on PIOMAS February 2015 at Arctic Sea Ice
Jim, hi, Have you found an access to daily Arctic Sentinel-1 imagery yet? Maybe Wipneus has. I see DMI has been collecting some around Greenland since last October. The images do give an exciting lot of info on structure and movement of the ice. On first sight, the pixel when downloading them as jpg looks even smaller than in MODIS. Combined with MODIS (which remains the leading source for me because I’ve been using them quite some time) and ASCAT (which provides a good, though less detailed, oversight) the SAR images will give much better handle on interpretation of ice quality next summer. BTW the SAR images of Nares Strait are impressive; it looks like the ice out there is more mobile than ever.
Toggle Commented Feb 8, 2015 on PIOMAS February 2015 at Arctic Sea Ice
Thanks, Neven! Not much to post on lately, waiting for sunshine to revive the MODIS tiles. I saw yesterday the Beaufort Sea is getting visible N of the Mackenzie delta. The enhanced picture shows the usual thin ice and loose floe distribution north of the fast ice. Soon the usual spring polinya over there may start to form. The lack of winter power out there might help. Positive mean winter temp anomaly varies from +2dC (Toktoyaktuk region) to +4dC (Barrow region). The whole stretch from Bering Sea through the Strait and well into the Chukchi Sea looks like it may settle for a surprising early melt season.
Toggle Commented Feb 7, 2015 on PIOMAS February 2015 at Arctic Sea Ice
Ah, Maslowsky, Novastellar! We often discussed his estimations on the blog. But that link is on an article more than one year old. A lot has happened since. Sea ice volume as depicted by PIOMAS has rebounced to 2006 ranges. Nevertheless, I still stick to what I posted on the 'First ice free'-thread on the Forum. Based on ice quality and ongoing forcing any year now could be the timespan for a 'black-swan' event. I supposed '17 to be a possible year. But it could be '16 after all. Like NeilT describes above, winter power seems to diminish each new season. And, how high I esteem the work by the PIOMAS-team, based on six years of ice-watching through MODIS I still think the volume doesn't represent the actual state of the ice.
Toggle Commented Jan 13, 2015 on PIOMAS January 2015 at Arctic Sea Ice
For tonight,I wish all of the blogfriends a merry Christmas and some solace from climate-stress in love and friendship. You can read my Christmas story 9inspired by an AGU-lecture)on the Forum, in the Weird weather-thread. Maybe wait till after Christmas eve...
The first video press conference I could find illuminates the work done last summer abord the Polarstern near NE Greenland/Fram Strait. At app. 13:00 min it gets interesting as Dr Antje Boetius explains the scientific findings. The part 18-20:00 presents some great footage of the underside of the floes. Enjoy!
.... C11A-0341Effects of the Sea Ice Floe Size Distribution on Polar Ocean Properties and Air-Sea Exchange Christopher Horvat and Eli Tziperman, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, United States Hi Steve, Good luck and have a great time! I started to sort through the monday sessions and this contribution above caught my interest. It seems to relate to the quality of the ice-pack, to what I've been checking on MODIS for some years now. If mean floe size is diminishing, I'd be very interested in the feedback that has on short term volume and extent numbers. I wonder if it could have had an influence on '13 and '14 low summer melt. Best, Werther
That's right, Wayne. Not boring at all. Drop for the day about 33K, which is extreme that late in the season. Only 2005 had such decline for the day (-50K). Interesting, sea ice declines while peripheral lands start to get a first snow cover. NW passage is almost blown open, sea ice in the East Siberian Sea is reduced to scattered floes and ice-milk.
Toggle Commented Sep 14, 2014 on New NASA videos at Arctic Sea Ice
Morning, Neven, Your summary is pretty right. It's just that your interpretation 'the ice...thickened some more' could be better imaged as 'didn't thin as much as other post '07 years'. We'll have to wait and see whether next winter will indeed induce good thickening. A priori, I'm skeptical that that thickening will be enough to produce much sustained volume growth.
Toggle Commented Sep 11, 2014 on PIOMAS September 2014 at Arctic Sea Ice
Hi Jay, I just read your post. I think your observations are interesting. That sort of pattern captured my attention too. But on the suggestion of 'geo-engineering'... I see the pattern(s) more in the sphere of 'teleconnections', natural responses to the growing heat imbalance. Why would the Californian economy be sacrificed imminently for an attempt that could, at best, provide uncertain results?
Toggle Commented Sep 10, 2014 on PIOMAS September 2014 at Arctic Sea Ice
Through the last few years, I acquired the notion that it’s not much use to focus solely on the ‘run for the yearly sea ice minimum’. My interest lies in the broad picture of change, climate-wise and ecological. I haven’t done much homework, so haven’t been posting much through July-September. Nevertheless, I’ve been following the Forum threads on ENSO, home brew extent and area. Of course I let my eyes wander over the daily Lance Modis pics. The same goes for OSDPD SST. Etcetera. It is very interesting to learn how the ice pack seems to hold on, based on the parameters extent, area, volume. Because it is encircled by unusual high SST’s on the Northern Hemisphere. It’s the Barentsz Sea and, to lesser extent, Kara Sea, that remain a tad colder than the climatology. I’ll try to express why that feature may have played an important role in keeping the parameters ‘comfortingly high’ (at least, no disaster yet). But first, against the Barentsz/Kara ‘cold’, stands the ‘Bering heat’. I can’t remember seeing that Sea that warm through the last decade. The ‘run for the yearly minimum’ may well be not as important compared to the gradual, year-round accretion of heat and, corresponding, the degradation of ‘winter power’. Of course, the Bering Sea cannot be held representative for the Arctic Ocean. But, an effect even stronger than last winter, there will probably not be much ice out there in the coming months. Will that be noticeable in the peripheral Arctic Seas? I’m not sure how strong the warming in their waters is. Nevertheless, there’s a good chance winter will again prove to be not the best season possible for the ice (relatively of course; ice will form). What role did the Barentsz/Kara sector play this melt season? The main atmospheric feature over the North Atlantic has been high pressure. Both on 1000 and 500 Mb. Attached to the Greenland Ridge, it effectively blocked the ‘Fram train’. Wind steering over Frantsa Yosefa has also been dominated by a persistent Low near Severnaya Zemlya. It kept the Barentsz cold. It held extent high in Victoria Strait. There was the usual fragmentation in the whole sector Pole/Svalbard/Fr.Yosefa. But relatively little melt. And much more extent than we were used to all past decade. The whole atmospheric pattern didn’t support compression into the North Atlantic sector and strong melt when ice would even have had a chance to pass into the Greenland and Barentsz Seas. Though the Alaskan and Kolyma coasts were warm enough, winds usually blew clockwise, not penetrating deep into the Central Arctic Basin. In that config, the ‘Laptev Bite’ was the only interesting feature this summer, where winds did transport warmth from the South. As a detail, late this season Foxe Basin and, though to lesser extent, Gulf of Boothia are nearly icefree. These details, the Bering Sea, the SST’s, the possible ENSO driven ocean-atmosphere coupling next season, all combine to stay alert. Even in winter.
Toggle Commented Sep 10, 2014 on PIOMAS September 2014 at Arctic Sea Ice
Thanks, Wayne, I'm sure a lot of us have been watching this scene for weeks. I think it is the first time the scene seems to reveal that what started as a meltpool over a FYI regrowth between last years splinters, now is in contact with the underlying ocean.
Toggle Commented Aug 11, 2014 on ASI 2014 update 7: late momentum at Arctic Sea Ice