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I'm not changing my base assumption on this. The GAC in 2012 was the last great event of a huge melting season pre-conditioned by the losses in volume in 2010/11. 2016 is not in that class. This storm is a final act of a weak melting season which had a flying start but never evolved. Also the pre-conditioning of 2015 is not enough to give the storm enough easy ice to "vanish". Well that's the way I see it. I see it this way. 2006 was this kind of year, it drove the 2007 season and had an impact but not a huge one at the time. 2011 was another one which had an even bigger impact but was, in the end, only a feeder for 2012. Post 2012 another 2006 esque event has an even bigger impact. But I haven't changed my position. I still see 2017 as the main event and for that we have to wait. No matter how big the impact of 2016.
Toggle Commented 7 days ago on ASI 2016 update 5: big cyclone at Arctic Sea Ice
Certainly the cyclone is doing more damage around 80N than the 2012 one did. However the ESS ice seems to be in better condition than it was in 2012. In 2012 it had been looking like smoke on the water for a while and the storm finished all of that up and dealt with the rest. I'm not so sure that will happen this time. However, as I've been saying from May, the Area is likely to be "interesting" when we finish. There are going to be areas of ice missing which have been constantly covered since our satellite records began and that's going to be far more significant than any area or extent records missed or made. The ice going into 2017 is going to be in the worst state that we have seen it since the records began.
Toggle Commented Aug 15, 2016 on ASI 2016 update 5: big cyclone at Arctic Sea Ice
Hans, get your point but my point was slightly different. I see a fuller cycle happening. 5/6/7 followed by the trough 8/9 followed by 10/11/12 followed by the trough 13/14 followed 15/16 and possibly 17 leading into the trough in 18/19.. If you also map it to the solar flux, it seems to come in on the 80 - 120 bracket on the rise and fall of the flux. Not at the bottom and not at the top, but in the change states. I have no idea why, but it is what I see. What interests me most is whether the solar lows, allied to the cycle rebound creates a larger rebound (08/09) as opposed to the smaller rebound on the solar peak (13/14). I guess we have to wait another 3 years for that to all unfold.
Toggle Commented Aug 11, 2016 on PIOMAS August 2016 at Arctic Sea Ice
Neven, there can be all the power and momentum in the world. But without focus and direction it is worthless and works against itself. Thank you very much for doing this and giving us a place to talk and share.
Toggle Commented Aug 11, 2016 on 1000 Forum members at Arctic Sea Ice
Hans, It might be worth stretching the line back to 2005.
Toggle Commented Aug 10, 2016 on PIOMAS August 2016 at Arctic Sea Ice
I took a very different view, this year, to our annual obsessive view of the charts, the models and the statistics. I took a step back and looked at the woods instead of staring at the trees one by one. My assessment? This melt season looked remarkably like 2006. Not exactly the same, how could it be? We have massively less ice volume and a hugely more vulnerable pack. But the season itself, I predicted, would follow 2006. It's a funny thing but most, not all but most, of the charts on the forum start in 2007. Which really misses a trick. So what was the 2006 season like? Massive heat and early melt in the spring Slow down starting in May and running through June Fairly average melt in July Strong and rapid melt in August And the last part we haven't seen yet. An early stall to the melt in September followed by a very odd event of the polynya in the Beaufort forming, which kept ice conditions variable right up to Sept 18th. However ice re-growth had begun in areas around Sept 12th. So if the season follows 2006 to the bitter end, then we'll see the strong August melt grind to a halt in about 3 weeks time followed by a bit of toing and froing... That will put 2016 somewhere in 3rd to 4th place, I believe, but with massive damage done to the older ice through the decimation zones in the Beaufort and the Beaufort gyre helpfully transporting all that thicker ice into it. To me, that means 2017 should, all things being the same, be pretty close to the black swan event we're all waiting for. Of course I could be wrong, but I've put a monthly post up on the forum every month so far, surmising what it would be like if it followed 2006. So far it has. Time will tell but I'm not expecting anything dramatic, the DMI 80 North temps are firmly heading south towards freezing and I expect them to make it by the end of the month.
Toggle Commented Aug 9, 2016 on PIOMAS August 2016 at Arctic Sea Ice
I see Watts and his merry band have remained silent.. Have they finally gone away from SEARCH or do we have to put up with them popping up some time in the future predicting that the climate will turn itself on it's heat through "faith"...
I agree that it was clear what Jim wrote, so long as you were on the same wavelength. However the English, in itself, was open to interpretation. I know Jim meant, I'm not sure the minimum won't be pushed to October. But, without the preamble, it could equally have meant that it happened in August. Anyway that's a level of pedantry we don't need, simple clarification reveals all. Anyway, In May I predicted that the season would run like 2016. Slow melt in June, pick up in July and a sprint finish to the end in August. But, all in context of 2007 - 2016 rather than 1981 - 2006. Which means less volume, weaker thinner ice and more heat in the ocean. Personally I believe weather trumps all and weather has been the major dominant in this season as it was in 2006. If so, then all the heat in the Ocean today won't stop a re-freeze in September if the weather turns against melt, or even simple stasis. Time will tell. I'm still betting on 2017 being the big year like 2007 and 2012.
Toggle Commented Jul 30, 2016 on ASI 2016 update 4: breaking point at Arctic Sea Ice
It's always worthwhile to be careful when talking about Sunspots and solar minimums. Yes, spots drive the flux, but flux is still at around 70, or a little under 1/2 of the maximum this cycle. Also we are still getting coronal holes and geomagnetic storming which we didn't really see between late 2008 and early 2010. Yes there will be an impact but it takes a while to work out the extra heat from the peak solar from what I've seen. Have a look at for more info and some charts. As was said, the Maunder Minimum was notable by it's length. People talked about another Maunder Minimum at the end of cycle 23 but it came to nothing but a slow start to a low cycle. 2012 is much more notable for when it happened in the cycle, the weakness of the cycle and the slowness of the solar cycle start which fed it. On another note I've been saying since early May that this feels like 2006. Let me level set this against what that meant at the time. In 2006, 2005 was the lowest extent on record. It missed and, due to incredibly bad weather in June, came in well behind it. If 2016 followed that track it would be somewhere behind 2007/2011, or maybe ahead depending on what the weather throws at it... As Neven says, never count out the weather in the Arctic, it will always surprise you if you do. Whatever the weather does it's going to be an interesting August because the ice in in a real state compared to 2006.
Toggle Commented Jul 4, 2016 on ASI 2016 update 3: crunch time at Arctic Sea Ice
I like a little bit of history. I love to look back at the graph to see the 2005 Record Low The baseline for melting of 1979 - 2000 And that polynia on Sept 11th was quite interesting. More interesting is the very low start to the year with the extent cross over in early July, compared to the "record low" of the time. I know, scratched record, but as this year evolves it is so much like a replay with post 2012 ice conditions, rather than post 2005 ice conditions. I'm also very close to what Neven believes; which is that MYI is going to be hosed all year. Which I believe will lead to some pretty spectacular events next year.
Toggle Commented Jun 22, 2016 on 2016 melting momentum, part 2 at Arctic Sea Ice
Chris, 06/07 was a weak Nino moving to a moderate Nina in 07/08. I checked. For me it was more the way of the sudden opening followed by the March/April shift in weather patterns and the stubborn refusal for some areas to melt like 2012, even with the heat. It just felt like Deja Vu, I remember watching 2006 very closely because of the sudden and unprecedented melt in 2005 (who even considers that now after 07/12 but at the time it was really a wake up call). So I remember it unfolding and the stall and the hanging around before it started to really melt again late July. I wasn't really checking Nino or other potential causes. I was just remembering. Of course that then led to 2007 where my expectations were low and the end result was pretty shocking for everyone.
Toggle Commented Jun 13, 2016 on ASI 2016 update 2: closing the gap at Arctic Sea Ice
"The turn in the weather really has surprised me." I was looking for my comments on the Arctic Sea Ice forum to see when said that I did expect that. I found it on May 5th. Page 18. "Still, I'm waiting for it to stall...." It just felt too much like 2006 all over again with a different ice configuration. Of course time will tell....
Toggle Commented Jun 13, 2016 on ASI 2016 update 2: closing the gap at Arctic Sea Ice
Hi Kevin. Yes there is significant heat loss. But there is significantly more heat to lose. This then leads to significant moisture locally in the area which can, with the right weather patterns, impact the onset of winter.. Which can tend to negate the heat loss overall. In the end my contention was that even with the existing heat budget it is enough to finish the job. We don't need to keep pushing CO2 out, the existing CO2 is there and will do the job just fine. However the variability of weather and solar is just enough to keep an unreasonable doubt alive. Which blocks action on further CO2 increases. Those further CO2 increases just mean the difference between 2030 and 2060. The end it not in doubt. Just the timeframe. Also the onset of another all season arctic ice cap will heavily depend on just how much more CO2 we push up there. Really the difference between hundreds and thousands of years.
Toggle Commented Jun 5, 2016 on Crisis in the Cryosphere at Arctic Sea Ice
There is an increasing energy budget and a decreasing amount of ice. As the ice decreases, the extra energy, not required to melt ice (given that half the summer sea ice since the 1950's is gone), goes into making the environment warmer. Which increases ice loss. Naturally weather makes variability because it affects the energy budget. Therefore there are peaks on the decline graph which we see each season as surprises. But, overall, I can't see how the end can be any different. Before ice will stop declining, the energy being input must fall. Not just seasonal weather blocking the input, but a long term fall like a century long maunder minimum. In an environment where solar input is relatively stable and CO2 concentration continues to rise, then I can't see that energy budget falling until CO2 concentration falls unless there is some sudden influx of reflectants, multiple massive Volcano eruptions, continuously, over a 2 year period. This is all without carbon sinks unfreezing, methane releases, soot accelerants in ice loss, land warming due to snow loss, cyclone intrusion and heat transport..... et al. So that's my contention. The heat budget rises and the melting impact of the heat creates a self reinforcing reaction which accelerates the ice loss. So we see a constant heat budget increase but an accelerating loss of ice. In that scenario I cannot see any way that the Arctic won't transition to a seasonally ice free state with the current climate. And let's be clear. We keep on pushing the climate further off the cliff as each year goes by. I'm not saying next year or next decade. I'm just saying it's inevitable with the current climate. We don't need any more to transition it. The fact that I believe it will happen in the next decade rather than in the next 5 decades is just a result of my observations.
Toggle Commented Jun 3, 2016 on Crisis in the Cryosphere at Arctic Sea Ice
"Why not exactly?" Let's have a look at that. Right now we have legacy pack ice which has a minimum size that protects some of the Arctic all year round. That ice is diminishing, year on year and the arctic is heating, year on year. It takes more energy to melt all the ice that is there, than it will take to melt the ice when it is seasonal. The second that the ice goes seasonal, that energy which is currently being used to convert the ice to water will go into heating the seas instead. This will shorten the freezing season and lengthen the melting/warming season. Both of which will increase the heat budget hugely as every year goes by. At the same time CO2 is increasing at an aggregate 2.2ppm per year, decadal average and increasing, decade on decade, by 0.3 to 0.4ppm decadal average growth. So, to reiterate. It's getting warmer The ice is melting Which will make it even warmer and trap even more of that heat CO2 is growing, not falling CO2 is trapping ever more heat In that scenario, when we hit a minimal ice cover, the transition to seasonal ice is going to accelerate rapidly and then the heat which is trapped is going to lock in the seasonal ice situation. The change may be very slow. But the flip over is probably going to be very quick. Back in the 90's I likened what we were doing with CO2 as pushing a huge wheel up a hill. It's uphill all the way and takes huge amounts of energy to get there. Some time you hit the top and things start to really move. Then you start downhill again.... The downhill, as I see it, is the inability of the planet to absorb any more CO2 as it is doing today. At least doubling the growth and the impact. I see absolutely nothing wrong with what Remko said.
Toggle Commented Jun 2, 2016 on Crisis in the Cryosphere at Arctic Sea Ice
Hindsight is a wonderful thing Chris and the usual calculation is probability * criticality of the data stream to customers. In this case the probability was low (but still a real threat) but the criticality of the data stream was even lower. Regardless of what we think. The good thing with computing though, usually, is that any work they have to do to get this back online can be re-used in the event of a future instrument failure. Not much consolation today but there we are.
Toggle Commented Jun 2, 2016 on ASI 2016 update 1: both sides at Arctic Sea Ice
Bill, I've noticed over the years that interesting seasons tend to have instrument breakdowns. Whilst it is irritating as hell and happens more often on "interesting" years than boring years (or is it just that we miss it more?), I wouldn't make the assumption that it's deliberate.. There is more than enough info for the casual watcher, but the lack of detailed graph data is a real pain.... There was a lot of talk at ESOC, when I arrived there, that the Airane5 and Cluster might have been interfered with. In the end it turned out to be a case of poor testing discipline. Not something ESA seem to have learned very well from when I spoke to the team manager who deployed Huygens....
Toggle Commented Jun 1, 2016 on ASI 2016 update 1: both sides at Arctic Sea Ice
No I didn't think it all ridged and slabbed. But I did think quite a lot. Which leaves the younger ice more exposed in water and air without it's snow cover. Whatever happens it's going to be interesting. I was just musing on the changes of the ice dynamics with a thinner, less resistant, pack and how it responds to extreme weather.
Toggle Commented May 29, 2016 on ASI 2016 update 1: both sides at Arctic Sea Ice
My first instinct, on reading your post Chris, was to think that it had to have something else to do with it. Such as anomalously thin FYI is such large amounts that there was ability for the wind to push the MYI somewhere. Reading your post it seems that you also came to that conclusion. That the extreme warmth of the winter season left the FYI in such a weakened state that the constant strong winds found little resistance as they pushed the MYI offshore. Creating, as it would, areas of extremely thick ice. Of course that extremely thick ice would still be FYI which is of higher salt content and therefore more susceptible to rapid melting when the sea warms in the summer. So whilst I agree that the winds are the main driver for the huge area of sea opening up, rather than radical melting, what you don't really address is that the state of the FYI, driven by the extreme winter warmth, was not able to resist the winds. For instance the last time, on your chart, that there were the same anomalous high winds, was in the 1990's. However the Arctic ice was a totally different beast in the Beaufort in those days. At the end of the 2015 melting season large chunks of MYI were locked in place by rapidly freezing FYI. FYI which did not gain the strength to resist even moderate wind on MYI with a higher freeboard. In short, the wind was able to create the space because there was room to move. Putting the two together gives you a complete picture which fits the ice dynamics of the 21st century.
Toggle Commented May 29, 2016 on ASI 2016 update 1: both sides at Arctic Sea Ice
In fact if you watch the latest 24 hour video You can watch the snow on the shed, to the right of the chimney and down below, simply vanish as the sun comes out and the temp goes up. Latest still image shows the snow totally gone...
Toggle Commented May 11, 2016 on PIOMAS May 2016 at Arctic Sea Ice
As I just posted on the forum, the Barrow webcam is showing 36F and heavy melt ponding. Seems the pacific heat is already there.
Toggle Commented May 11, 2016 on PIOMAS May 2016 at Arctic Sea Ice
Jim, what I did notice is that the gyre and successive melt years have almost totally broken up that solid 5+ year band of ice which effectively blocked 2012 from much further melt. Another year the same as 2012 again and the impact will be much higher.
Fish, if you take the CT SIA graph Then remove all years but 2006/2012 and 2016, you see that 2012 was much higher are than 2006 at this time. They converged about day 148 and 2012 was on it's way to history about day 160. I know that ice conditions are totally different now than they were in 2006, but I do recall reading, somewhere which I can't find now, that the weather was influenced by the heat energy and moisture released by the exceptionally early low ice conditions. Which is why I'm cautious about what might happen this year. The arctic is currently running In around 5 year cycles. If you add one more year to that mix, 2011, you see that it very closely matches both 2006 and 2016 at this time. In 5 year cycles, 2006 preceded the 2007 loss, 2011 preceded the 2012 shock and 2016??? We shall have to wait for that next instalment..
Talking about wave action Neven, wasn't it DR Barber who was researching how far wave action could penetrate into loosely connected thin and broken pack as opposed to solid thick pack. To try and stay on topic, does anyone know of a study describing how this would impact the gyre with the storms we're currently seeing there? I.e. wave action on the open water that has already been created then penetrating further and further into the pack due to the inability of the pack to resist the wave action. Once it's all broken up, then the gyre can shift it around much more easily.
Toggle Commented Apr 22, 2016 on Beaufort quick update at Arctic Sea Ice
Is it my faulty memory or do I really remember a discussion somewhere about how the CO2 impact would be felt in the Arctic more visibly in the winter than in the summer? In terms of raised winter temperatures which might be significantly more dramatic than the temperature raise in summer. Also that the damage done in winter would lead to increased summer melt regardless of whether the summer conditions were right for melt or not. Just something playing around the edges of my memory.
Toggle Commented Apr 19, 2016 on Beaufort quick update at Arctic Sea Ice