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Werther
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
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. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=arA98s5nj5I 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
I agree, NeilT. Coincidentally, I just commented this on the 'Melt Season' thread on the Forum: "Eyeballing, it looks to me there's not much left of what I've been calling 'mesh-pattern' ice..."
Toggle Commented Aug 10, 2014 on ASI 2014 update 7: late momentum at Arctic Sea Ice
Having been distracted for a while, my activities on the topic were limited to lurking. Because I haven’t done any work on the data, there’s no reason to fill the blog with brouhaha. Others have been doing a great job on some of the subjects that have occupied me through the last couple of years. Nevertheless, what I’ve seen keeps amazing me, like last season. It looks like the state of the sea ice is in a quite stable regime since ’07, that year, ’10 and ’12 showing the low limit of the ice parameters, ’08, ’09, ’13 and probably ’14 the upper one. It amazes me, because I had expected no regime at all. A sort of chaotic break-down, a decade long, ending in FI Dr. Wadhams’ forecast of a first ice-free minimum around 2016 +/- two years. I’ve been wrong before. I expected the NW-European rivers to enter a period of yearly dangerous flooding after the near-disasters on the lower Rhine in ’95 and ’98. It didn’t shape up like that. Even though sometimes not that far away river basins were hit by nasty flooding, some more than once during the last ten years. Maybe we should just count our luck. The biosphere may be a tad more resilient and balanced than I and other alarmed people had assumed. But I hope the time given doesn’t lure humanity into a sense that there’s no need for urgency to mitigate and adapt. BTW thanks Neven. I posted without having read nor having looked around. I'll pick up...
Toggle Commented Aug 10, 2014 on ASI 2014 update 7: late momentum at Arctic Sea Ice
Day 186 brought a good bright day over an important part of the CAB. The part North of CAA and Greenland that 'holds' te mesh-pack. The good view stretched North of Svalbard into the Frantsa Yosefa region. There was a band of good visibility right through to the Laptev Bite. And The Beaufort Sea was well in view. So what? Well, the 'mesh-pack' looks replaced, almost fitting tile r04c03 (N CAA) but pretty sliced up by broad leads. The Lincoln Sea ice is melting; it's all blue. The Beaufort is heavily melting. Melt ponds are visible almost everywhere (grey shades)and the fragmented floes in the Siberian side of the CAB are slowly making place for more 'holes'. From a quality point of view, this season is on track for considerable damage.
Toggle Commented Jul 6, 2014 on ASI 2014 update 4: high times at Arctic Sea Ice
Following the reading of the ‘melt season’-thread at the Forum, I’d like to make a short post here. An attempt to summarize. On the metrics SIA/SIE I was wrong last year. But even then, Sep ’13, I didn’t feel like my ‘credibility’ was torn. It doesn’t really matter to me anyway. The (partly masochistic) joy is in witnessing the ride, whatever it may bring. Anyway, I still think that the trend since 2006 is always down, with steps (especially ’10 and ’12). There’s no metric on ice quality. So my standpoint about last year cannot be made hard. Although I voted for an SIE/SIA minimum between ’13 and ’12, based on quality the sea ice could go almost anywhere. Busy interpreting the differences in CAD, on a regional basis, my first impression on the whole state is that the safe ‘mesh-pattern’ MYI swath against the CA is now just over 1.1 Mkm2. Down again. The rest is awfully volatile. In comparison to 2012, hold in the mind that the structural losses were immense. Both winters after that had bad ‘winter-power’(13-14 the worst), not much was ‘repaired’ through these freeze periods. Last summer, although anomalously cold, didn’t ‘repair’ anything, it was just a delay. So June 2014 the status quo is pretty much where it was left September 2012 from a quality standpoint. With three months of summer to go. In an ever toastier environment….
Jim, Chris, yes, that is an enormous dip on CT-SIA. I have no time to check this thoroughly in CAD. Anyway, from what I did pick up on MODIS, the steep drop does make some sense. In a mere two days the area with melt ponds and extensive snow melt has 'exploded', FI over Hudson Bay and - Strait, Foxe Basin, Baffin Bay. But gaining traction in the Beaufort, Chukchi and on the East Siberian landfast ice, too. On top of that, even the Central Arctic Basin shows incredible lead-extension. The Frantsa Yosefa region is splintering up just like last year. Some effects of cloud moisture cannot be ruled out, like the melt-pond-fooling. But it is exciting to watch. Even the Nares-cork seems to be under pression...
Iceman, hi, Why would the sea ice in the Beaufort Sea be less conducive to melt pond formation now? As far as I know, the big intrusion of MYI into there was during winter '12-'13. Still, by 17 June last year the whole stretch Banks-Taymir was coverd by blue- and greyish hues indicating extensive melt pond formation. Given the flow last winter, I don't expect much more MYI to have gathered up there. For the prognosis, sure, as June is summer, large swaths of the Arctic Basin regularly get melt temperatures. Expect the whole same stretch to get ´blue´ next week. I can´t see more than Rosel´s abstract, but that lead suits my own expectations. If a weather pattern producing compaction and insolation would have lasted for two weeks in July/August last year, it would have produced what most of us expected. Finally, I managed to do a basic CAD supported count on temp anomaly for May ´12, ´13 and ´14. The correlation (NCEP-NCAR): +1.6dC/+0.1dC/+1.0dC. Starting from there, I see a lot of support for SIE/SIA minimum getting close to a second place this year.
Some last muses... So there it is. I’m starting to look for ice quality difference (as I have lots of MODIS material saved from June-Sep ’10-’13). There’s no objective measure on that approach. Even last summer it was my own personal impression that this quality did steadily become worse. Even though the numerical approaches looked like ‘rebound’. I haven’t disputed that, because it is like arguing on different views. Whatever this years outcome may be. The buffering capacity of all biospheric systems on the planet is collapsing. The already built-up ‘bank-account’ and the relentless GHG-output growth will have rapid consequences. Modelling can be done until the bucket is kicked. Zooming in on just counting pixels too. It’s easy to miss the big picture like that. I think FI Wadham's view on first ice-free minimum is still relevant.
On melt ponds, I never had the impression that May would show the first important growth of these. Ususally they form during June, remember FI the timing visible on the Polar cams. Where the first signs show is usually Bering (ice already gone now), Mackenzie Gulf, Amundsen Gulf, the fastice against N Siberia. In my opinion, melt ponding is a significant starter of the process in the Arctic Basin and its adjacent parts of Beaufort, Chukchi and East Sib Seas, about 5 Mkm2. For the whole rest, getting ‘grey and blue’ is just a stage in the seasonal swing to open ocean. On the relevant part, melt ponding will start around third week of June, when conditions are right. It corresponds with the ‘June cliff’ in volume during the period ’07-’12 (cf. Chris Reynolds).
Thanks, Neven! I have a couple of 'nuances', mainly on temps/DMI and the relevance of melt ponds. This is on temps: DMI +80dN mean temps don’t tell the whole story. During May, on average the sea ice is spread out over the whole Arctic Ocean. DMI temp is relevant for app. 3.3 Mkm2 ice cover in the essential part of the CAB. The part which was thought to have at least not lost more of its supposed remaining coherence last summer. For the vast part of the Arctic Ocean, some 10 Mkm2, DMI mean temp doesn’t say anything. The lot of it will melt out anyway. As, in my opinion, ‘winter power’ hasn’t been conducive for ice growth in the whole peripheral circle Beaufort Sea-Laptev Sea, there is not much chance for even a 2013-like summer to let ice remain like it did in the Beaufort and East Sib Sea last year. When NCEP/NCAR is analyzed for the Arctic Ocean proper over May, there’s not that much difference with the ’12 mean temps. The difference with ’13 is large. And ’14 was lots warmer than ’07. Charts/maps would be great here, but that’s better on the thread.