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NeilT
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I did Hans. Looks like all that snow is suffering serious melt now. When it's gone we'll see what the shape of the ice is like for the rest of the melting season. Barrow ice pretty much vanished in front of the camera yesterday, it's still lingering up to the point but wont last long with clear skies and high temps. What is most interesting to me, right now, is the state of the ice from the Kara right into the pole. Last year there was a barrier of 2M ice blocking all intrusions from the Atlantic. It doesn't seem to be the same in 2017. Still, as is being said on the forum, the fact that melt has really kicked in only at the end of June will impact what happens at the end of August. Of course, assuming the thickness estimates are correct. Volume is still at an all time low and the ice is in a seriously degraded state given the slow start. Then again I still see 2017 tracking roughly, in extent, with 2007 and still well below. We shall see. I see three key points in the historical extent chart I'm following. First week in July, Mid July and the first week in August. More watching.
Toggle Commented yesterday on Melting momentum: May 2017 at Arctic Sea Ice
And, as of the latest image, at the time of writing, the temp is 52F and that is bright sunshine.
Toggle Commented 2 days ago on Melting momentum: May 2017 at Arctic Sea Ice
I just looked again. It's pretty clear, that is melt. http://feeder.gina.alaska.edu/webcam-uaf-barrow-seaice-images/current/image
Toggle Commented 2 days ago on Melting momentum: May 2017 at Arctic Sea Ice
Jim, I watch it daily over multiple times in the day. The near shore ice went first to melt. Then the ice outside of the ridges went second and melted out. It was only after the significant melting in the outer ice that the wind took over. It's not like the 2016 events where the wind quite literally shunted the ice all up the coast. I watched the last 24 hour video. Yes there was some drift from the wind, but no real solid push of all the ice like we've seen before.
Toggle Commented 2 days ago on Melting momentum: May 2017 at Arctic Sea Ice
It looks like the Barrow Landfast ice just started to exit. Whilst not all the point has gone, a significant portion in front of the camera has gone and, mostly, it seems to have melted out rather than been pushed away. If the rest goes today, it will equal 2007.
Toggle Commented 2 days ago on Melting momentum: May 2017 at Arctic Sea Ice
Whilst the Beaufort and the Chuchki seemed to have slowed down (for now), the Kara continues to be low area and the ESS and Laptev have large melt areas just starting to grow. Also the Hudson Bay is now in serious terminal decline. All of which leads to an accelerating melt for the next week or two. Not radical but it doesn't need to be. I'm watching extent right now as it's much easier, for me, with chartic, to do comparisons with prior years. For me it looks like 2017 will drop below 2016 and 2010, in about 7 days. It is then likely to continue on that track without excessive melting. Whilst this is not volume, volume will be impacted by the significantly lower extent especially as there is a lot of broken ice, with melting going on, where there should be extremely thick ice and firm pack ice. Barrow looks to be likely to lose it's landfast ice in the next week or two. Putting it firmly in the 2003/04/07 bracket. The most interesting thing here is that, so far, the only thing which has really been exceptional is the prior winter ice conditions. Which leads me to wonder just how much of the final demise of the summer ice pack will come from exceptional winters rather than exceptional summers. All melting seasons are different and they are drastically impacted by the weather. What is changing is the position from which they start. I still believe we will get a more similar season to 2007, than any of the others. Whether it causes a new minimum with the same kind of impact remains to be seen. My future forecast remains the same as it did last year. 2022 is my view for truly game changing events. Although I do expect a fairly dramatic melting season eventually in 2017.
Toggle Commented Jun 19, 2017 on Melting momentum: May 2017 at Arctic Sea Ice
Talking about melting momentum and melt ponding, a huge area of ice went from ice to water and back to red/yellow on the concentration charts in two days on Bremen. Right on the Chuchki/CAB border. I'm wondering if the ice is so thin now that it can melt pond and drain again in 24 hours. Which would invalidate the 3 day scenario and would produce much more unpredictable ice conditions. It could, of course, just be freezing up again, but it must be pretty close to 24 hour sun there. Unless the weather closed in. But even then I'm seeing melt ponding at Barrow staying melt at 26F with snow. I guess we'll know if someone decides to overfly or sail there and investigate.
Toggle Commented Jun 14, 2017 on Melting momentum: May 2017 at Arctic Sea Ice
A thought for you Jim, 2017 crossed 2012 two days after 2007 and 0.5mkm^2 lower. 7 days later 2016 touches 2012 and is about the same difference, today, between 2017 as 2017 is from 2007. I see it's 26F and has been snowing at Barrow. Yet the melt ponding is advancing rapidly and the landfast ice appears to be almost on the point of destruction. Might take a few more weeks though. Sadly we lost the forecast and the data after 2011. http://seaice.alaska.edu/gi/data/barrow_breakup/2011/Melt-out.png
Toggle Commented Jun 13, 2017 on Melting momentum: May 2017 at Arctic Sea Ice
And then there was a huge hole in the ice around the border between the Chuchki and the CAB. Not much melt ponding, but, significantly, that area has been showing on off signs of melt ponds. Possibly that the ponds are forming and draining, all in one day, due to the fragmented nature of the ice. They could, of course, also be forming and freezing all in one day too. I guess we won't know though unless someone goes and looks. This, to me, is an indication of times to come. We saw this back in the autumn of the 2000's where the summer melt impacted the pack so badly that holes just opened up before the freeze set in again. Now, though, it would appear it is happening in early summer. Which means we're seeing late summer ice conditions in early summer. Not something which bodes well for the ice.
Toggle Commented Jun 13, 2017 on Melting momentum: May 2017 at Arctic Sea Ice
@Susan, Somewhere on the forum is a discussion about melting. If you take a glass of water filled with ice cubes and heat the water, the water temp will rise to 0C then remain there until the ice has melted. Only once the ice has melted will the water temp start to rise again. As I understand it, the same is true of the surface temps where ice is melting. It raises to 0C and then sits there until the ice is gone. So it's not unusual to have 0C surface temps, it just means that if there is heat input, it is melting somewhere. I've noticed that every time I go to the Barrow Webcam it is sitting below 32F. But the water on the ground is liquid and the coastal ice is melting with fresh water melt ponds which are not freezing. The energy is getting to the surface and the ice is melting.
Toggle Commented Jun 7, 2017 on PIOMAS June 2017 at Arctic Sea Ice
I've just seen on the forum melting thread Neven using a rule of thumb of 3 days persistence for melt ponding on Bremen concentration overheads. I'm sure I didn't do that so I'll keep that in mind.
Toggle Commented Jun 7, 2017 on PIOMAS June 2017 at Arctic Sea Ice
Sorry Hans, I only do this with Mk1 eyeball from the Area/concentration maps. One of the nice things about the area/concentration maps is that you can usually tell when it's melt ponding by the rapidity with which these maps (Bremen/NSIDC), show open water; which is suddenly ice again. As we know it is very unlikely for large patches of the pack to flip between open water and solid ice (at least at this time of year), it is a good indicator of melt ponds which either drain or freeze up again. I'm sure there is a much better way on the forum, but I've never really been so keen to get into hard numbers when watching this. I find that the deeper you get into hard numbers the less you notice the big picture changing around you. Tends to cause a few surprises.
Toggle Commented Jun 7, 2017 on PIOMAS June 2017 at Arctic Sea Ice
Thanks Werther, I thought the Arctic Mosaic was gone for good. I notice the Beaufort is one complete mess of floes with open water around them. There appears to be no contiguous ice at all. At the current rate extent should drop into the lowest levels around the beginning of July. If it goes faster it will hit the lowest on record within a fortnight.. Still a lot of melt ponding in the centre of the CAB. Interesting watch anyway.
Toggle Commented Jun 7, 2017 on PIOMAS June 2017 at Arctic Sea Ice
Rob, the one thing to add to the above is that all melting seasons are not equal. So if we were to have 10% less volume growth but a 2013 melting season, then it would not matter very much. However if we have 10% less volume growth and a 2007/12 melting season, then it will matter a LOT. Add Arctic Amplification on top and... Not a pretty picture.
Toggle Commented Jun 6, 2017 on PIOMAS June 2017 at Arctic Sea Ice
Rob, looking at Chartic, Extent is now dropping fairly fast, just dipped below 2006 and sitting almost right on top of 2010 with only 2010 and 2016 below it. However 2016 went sideways from today onwards, for a week or so and with the periphery collapsing rapidly June is more likely to be an express drop in extent than any kind of pause. What interests me most is the Bremen concentration maps which show _signigicant_ melt ponding right on top of the pole spiralling out to the Atlantic open water incursion. Whilst there may be some open water there (but I believe more likely to be melt ponding), the whole concentration picture since May has been weak, broken, ice, all over the CAB with incursions of melt ponding in many different areas. One to watch.
Toggle Commented Jun 5, 2017 on PIOMAS June 2017 at Arctic Sea Ice
In short Neven that sounds much like 2007 with less ice volume at the outset. Set up for extensive melt and extensive export. As 2007 was the critical pivot year in massive volume loss that is not good news.
Toggle Commented Jun 3, 2017 on PIOMAS June 2017 at Arctic Sea Ice
Not sure it's conservative modelling Hans. I think it's as realistic as they can make it from the historical data and the reconstructions. The problem, as I see it, is that Anthropogenic AGW does not match any prior models so the models find it difficult to predict the future changes. Once we have destroyed the cryosphere they'll have a perfect model. Cold comfort.
Toggle Commented Jun 3, 2017 on PIOMAS May 2017 at Arctic Sea Ice
I know Neven gave the best response to that comment but it does need to be said. Wade, come and talk to us in 5 years and we'll explain to you why the climate models were predicting catastrophic melting in 2070's and it all happened in the 2020's. Not only is your viewpoint incorrect about the Climate models overestimating the rate of warming and the rate of ice loss, but the overriding concern, in all climate change circles, is to work out why they keep UNDER estimating the impact. This is not a matter of conjecture. It is a matter of record.
Toggle Commented Jun 2, 2017 on PIOMAS May 2017 at Arctic Sea Ice
Thanks navegante, It's not so much seeing the conditions as the comparison with other years in the same fixed position. The history gives a good clue but Barrow has become sporadic over the last few years.
Toggle Commented May 30, 2017 on PIOMAS May 2017 at Arctic Sea Ice
Hans on the Chuchki article I noticed "The rapid recent decline in ice coverage and thickness has led researchers to believe that most of the Arctic Ocean will be free of ice in the summers as soon as the mid-2020s." 2022 instead anyone?? I've been looking at Barrow for a while now. It's ~32f or more most of the time now and melt ponding is comprehensive. Pity the Ice Mass Balance experiment is not running this year. It would have been very interesting. But probably too uncertain as to how long it could be out there I guess.
Toggle Commented May 28, 2017 on PIOMAS May 2017 at Arctic Sea Ice
Wayne, let's see what winter 2017 and the 2018/19 freezing seasons bring. I expect the Daily Fail to be ranting about "recovery" by February next year. But, in general, it looks like 2017 is another long step on the road to destruction. Wade, this was always going to happen. Forget just cleaner burning, methane has the potential to produce all the synthetic oils we need and China was always going to try and reduce it's dependency on imported oil. The irony is that we can forget the methane clathrate gun hypothesis for now; we, humans, will create that disaster ourselves without the need for nature to take a hand at all. Clever little monkeys aren't we?
Toggle Commented May 20, 2017 on PIOMAS May 2017 at Arctic Sea Ice
Whilst I have been openly critical of PIOMAS over the years, volume is, in the end, the only reliable indicator of the actual state of the ice. I do believe that the modelling aspect of PIOMAS tends to leave it overestimating ice at certain times. But, whenever it is validated against satellite data specifically designed to measure age and freeboard of ice, it correlates roughly. The biggest potential fubar in the whole thing is Dr Barbers observed "rotten ice" which causes backscatter like 5 year ice and freeboard like 5 year ice but is not solid and is easy to melt and fade away. As for my definition of catastrophic, everyone who talks blue ocean talks about ~1M KM^2 or somewhere under it as blue ocean. I am the same. The day we see totally ice free in summer is more than one decade away, I believe, but catastrophic ice loss which will heavily impact climate and ice balance in the Arctic is, in my estimation, much closer. Close enough to be just one more half decade away if it continues to follow some kind of cycle. All the measurements have value. Extent tells us how far the ice extends beyond the pole and how much is both insulated from the cold and protected from insolation. Area tells us how compacted that ice is and how much energy may transport, either way, during the seasons. Volume tells us how much of our planetary cooling budget was burned in any one melting season and how much re-grows in the freezing season, or not. Which, in the end, is the real horseman of the apocalypse as far as AGW is concerned.
Toggle Commented May 19, 2017 on PIOMAS May 2017 at Arctic Sea Ice
I'm not predicting anything really. But 2017 is shaping up to be quite like 2007. The main difference being that there are so many more areas where solar insolation will actually wind up in the sea through the ice due to such thin ice. In the end the biggest single factor will be the weather. But I have noticed that extreme weather events during a time when melt is reducing (as in the 5 year cycle Hans and I talk about), tends to lead to no records. However get that same extreme weather at a time when melt is increasing and the results are fairly dramatic. To align my vocab. Complete meltdown is catastrophic. Dramatic is significant melt which creates new records and does damage to the long term longevity of the ice. I'm working on 2022 for catastrophic. But I'm open to surprises, either way.
Toggle Commented May 18, 2017 on PIOMAS May 2017 at Arctic Sea Ice
The snow is melting. We should see some significant melt ponding in the next month which will confuse the Area figures for a while. It's fairly clear that there is a strong trend coming in from the Pacific side with the Atlantic slowly warming. If it goes clear skies June/July, it's going to be fairly dramatic.
Toggle Commented May 18, 2017 on PIOMAS May 2017 at Arctic Sea Ice
Sorry that should be positive for the Nino's and negative for the Volcanic... Should review more carefully.
Toggle Commented May 16, 2017 on PIOMAS May 2017 at Arctic Sea Ice