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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
When one with great interest in the geophysics of our planet is on this for over ten years, one starts to get some sense for the short term and chaotical variance of all processes. What is going on since 7 September has a direct relation to the structure-loss of the complete Arctic sea ice pack. It is mobile and dispersed. The open ocean waters in between, having a thin, sweeter top layer, is soon ready to support formation of nilas and guard fresh fallen snow against dissolving. The satellite sensors pick this up as extent growth. They did so in earlier years too, nothing new here except for the intensively broken up structure of the pack nowadays. This extent growth doesn’t tell us much about the real state of the ice nor about the nature of the coming winter season.
Toggle Commented Sep 30, 2016 on ASI 2016 update 7: minimum time at Arctic Sea Ice
You're right, Wayne. Any ship with a strengthened bow and some motor power could cross the 'Laptev-arm' North of Frantsa Yosefa right up to the N Pole.
Lodger, hi, Good to hear from you! I’d suggest reading ‘Journey to Italy’, which has a nice, laid back sense, being a diary of an early tourist trip made by one who has the magic eye for the artistic side. On remaining multi year ice, your assumption of about 2 Mkm2 is quite accurate. I had day 233 in my CAD frame this morning. The remaining 1 Mkm2 ‘safe haven’ still shows the best concentration. But it has almost lost its former ‘mesh-structure’. Just under 200Kkm2 left, pressed against the entrance of Nares Strait in the Lincoln Sea. The cyclone, which centered about 335 km NNW of Ellesmere yesterday, has messed up the N of CAA part of the ‘safe haven’. With the help of Ascat and the 2015 ice age map, I suppose all of the 1 Mkm2 ‘safe haven’ is MYI 3-5 and more years old. Then there’s a neighbouring stretch, about 700Kkm2, reaching from Fram Strait, just along the Pole, up to the Beaufort sector on the latitude of McClintock Sound, which varies between 3 and 5 years old and is mostly in bad shape. The flawed and battered ‘arms’ in the direction of Wrangel Island are made up by 4-5 year old MYI in the process of elimination. I’d say it’s about 100Kkm2, however, there are lots of small particles floating free over the whole Bering sector. All of the ice in the direction of the Laptev Sea is FYI. This feature was protected through domination of light, counterclock-wise winds. All together, it’s a weak, almost terrible, situation. Given that the ’12 pack at minimum still had a large high concentration core (which isn’t that large now) and also considering the ’13 and ’14 lower melt years (which let more volume being spared), I think at minimum this year volume will again be near the lowest ever.
Toggle Commented Aug 21, 2016 on 2016 Arctic cyclone, update 2 at Arctic Sea Ice
Picked up MODIS lurking after my holiday. Thanks for the update, Neven. It’s a complicated situation. There are similarities to ’13, but as I concluded before my holiday, there’s hardly any mesh-grid shaped structure left. Just a few 100K’s SW of the Pole direction Greenland. With that in mind, I agree with Wayne. In the ECMWF forecasts, Lows in the lower troposphere and in the upper level at 500Mb keep dominating Arctic weather. Summers ’13 and ’14 indicated that spread-out floes in the CAB have a good chance of survival. That’s why I think there’s not a top three minimum in the box, extent-wise. Even though there’s generally more heat around, other factors prohibit the CAB to really get into trouble. I agree with Fish that a possible crash is in preparation for ’17. Part of that would be another weak ‘winter power’ refreeze season.
Toggle Commented Jul 27, 2016 on ASI 2016 update 4: breaking point at Arctic Sea Ice
I agree, Sam. Today day 175 I see little of the mesh-shaped grid leads/floes I once considered to be 'safe pack'.
Toggle Commented Jun 23, 2016 on 2016 melting momentum, part 2 at Arctic Sea Ice
MSG, I agree. Today's MODIS shows floe-minimizing lead formation even close to the NP. Still, it could work out similar to '13. But on a worse parallel because of less 'winter power' and a generally warmer biosphere...
Toggle Commented Jun 9, 2016 on PIOMAS June 2016 at Arctic Sea Ice
Thanks, Neven, Your 'hands-on' approach on the blog fixes attention on the most eyecatching events in the Arctic. Whereas the Forum is much more opaque, specially for guests. Rob, you are right, the 215K open water is close to the 250K late July 2012. The main difference is that '12 had 3,5 Mkm2 broken floes right up into the CAB by that time. '16 has two months to fix that gap. Doesn't seem hard to do...
Toggle Commented May 22, 2016 on Beaufort final update at Arctic Sea Ice
To contribute to Neven’s wonderful compilation, I’ve calculated the mean temp anomaly for the period 1 October – 25 March based on this CAD drawing: For the Arctic Ocean the calculation added up to a +4.2 dC anomaly. That might not sound as spectacular compared to the data that have been circling around the Blog and Forum during the last few months. But I did this FI at the end of ’13-’14, which produced IIRC a mean between +1 and +2 (which was pretty awesome in those days). My friends, +4.2 over such a large area and during six months is terrifying… I’ll put a larger version up on the Forum.
Toggle Commented Mar 30, 2016 on 2015/2016 Winter analysis at Arctic Sea Ice
Relevant to this discussion on PIOMAS might be to point at actual temperatures as they happened this winter. I enhanced visibility on this NCEP/NCAR graph by colouring the range from 0 to -30dC in 5dC steps: Though the Beaufort Sea hasn't been the most remarkable anomalous region, there's big difference between -25dC mean and -15!
Toggle Commented Mar 21, 2016 on PIOMAS March 2016 at Arctic Sea Ice
I have some time today, trying to follow your discussion here... For what its’ worth, while surfing on “Kelly fields Arctic” I hit upon this book: Breaking Ice for Arctic Oil: The Epic Voyage of the SS Manhattan through the NorthWest Passage By Ross Coen Whatever you may think of the purpose of this book, it provides some great insight on the state of the ice in 1969 in FI McClure Strait… Anyway, it doesn't seem to have any relation to the Kelly you guys mention...
Thanks, Neven, I know that you try to entertain us by pointing at the probability of rebounds… But I’m not sure that the past week was really more conducive to ice growth: Sunlight has reached a 100 miles N of Nordkapp, Norway. It has revealed the soon to pop up Mackenzie Polynia in the Beaufort Sea. Winter has had its best time. Its ‘power’ hasn’t been what it once used to be…
Toggle Commented Feb 10, 2016 on PIOMAS February 2016 at Arctic Sea Ice
A temporary AO flip, as a side effect while a SSW occurs, won't create a strong 'winterpower' effect. A SSW will propagate back into the Arctic troposphere, driving up lower trop temps with a time lag of one or two weeks. Considering the whole set-up, I don't see much in support of strong volume growth at all. Positive AO and a strong Polar Vortex would be great. But the Vortex is besieged by warnth advection originating from the Hadley Cell. In that sense, the Ferrel Cell is already becoming overrun (hope that is correct use of the English language).
Toggle Commented Dec 29, 2015 on Winter solstice at Arctic Sea Ice
Good afternoon Anna, I read that entry too this morning. Several friends on the Forum noticed it a couple of days ago. JDAllen first, I guess, on the ‘Weird weather’- thread. Yesterday I placed this overview in the ‘Freezing season’-thread. It shows the planetary (Rossby)waves circling the Pole: After a two month siege a lot of (sub-)tropical heat makes its way up North, in a ridge of exceptional proportions. This heat manifested itself first over SE United States. A lot of it is transmitted to the Arctic on the head of this wave. It might even propagate into the Stratosphere, giving birth to the first Sudden Stratospheric Warming event for this winter. There have been some large ridge-incursions during the last few years. In their strength and amplitude, they illustrate the changes that are well underway in the atmosphere. In that sense, I fully agree with RobertS. For its direct effect on this freezing season, it doesn’t seem likely that it will be noticeable over the whole run. The temp anomaly for the Arctic is already there; continued advection of warmth seems relentless. This is just one interesting event. The biggest effect this event has is on weather. As the Arctic Oscillation (AO) is heading for negative, soon a wave of cold will be pushed out into the mid-latitudes. I didn’t foresee that, maybe I can retrieve my skates from the storage after all…
Toggle Commented Dec 28, 2015 on Winter solstice at Arctic Sea Ice
Neven, hi, They make an interesting point. In my words, SO2 shouldn’t be at the focal point of our efforts, but CO2. Unfortunately, restrictions on SO2 emissions are technically and economically easy and don’t cut at the roots of our precious market-economy. CO2 reduction does (at least, for the Scrooge-characters). We’ll see to what extent tjis matters in the upcoming climate summit. This is me on a local campaign, holding a message for the summit: "my town cuts emitting CO2"
Thanks, Neven. You did a fine job again, this season! May it be noticed.
Toggle Commented Sep 18, 2015 on Minimum and MYI at Arctic Sea Ice
Oh, please... Not Christy and Spencer again.
Toggle Commented Aug 14, 2015 on A wetter and warmer Arctic at Arctic Sea Ice
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