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Belgium (Flanders)
Mathematical research
Interests: Geology, dynamical processes, climate, ecology
Recent Activity
Rob, thanks a lot for your great and illuminating analysis. It will be interesting to compare your method(s) with the other statistical models in 2013 and the next years. David, the current drop rate of the extent graphs is probably not sustainable. Too much of it is coming from the 'easy' regions in the periphery. By the way, Rob's analysis suggests that extent is a negative player at this time of the year (compared to area). Neil, the quick drop rate of the extent graphs looks similar indeed to a period in early June 2012. The CT graph is also lagging behind 2012. It will be interesting to see how this evolves in the next weeks. [comment altered just this one time. I'm not a WYSIWYG editor :-) ; N.]
Toggle Commented Jul 3, 2013 on Problematic predictions 2 at Arctic Sea Ice
Nice post. The sea ice extent in the early melting season is indeed a poor predictor for the September mean extent. The PIOMAS volume and the long term models (like Gompertz curves) have been more reliable. They are not predicting a new record for 2013 (yet). Based on the latest PIOMAS update. The ice conditions this year are causing a high extent compared to volume. This pattern might change by September. But a complete pattern reversal seems unlikely. We'll have to wait and see.
Toggle Commented Jun 30, 2013 on Problematic predictions at Arctic Sea Ice
Neven, Larry, I realize now that some of my comments on June 19 are a bit too impulsive, partly due to my non-English mother tongue. Sorry about this. I had no intention at all of being arrogant, but only a genuine concern about scientific reticence. Still, that doesn't justify getting too impulsive. I may indeed be underestimating the speed at which the Arctic catastrophe is happening. It's far from certain that the standard statistical models still make any sense in this unprecedented situation. But since the extent measure, more than all the other ones, could really go either way, I'll stick with my earlier estimate. Keep up the good work.
Just to be clear on my last post. I am not questioning at all that the divergence and fracturing events in the cyclone region are real, and that they will have a very big impact. However, Remko Kampen was suggesting that I called them an 'artefact' in the images. My use of the word 'artefact' referred instead to the melt ponds at the coastal regions. That's what the post was about. I will stop commenting now on this blog. This is getting too personal.
Remko Kampen, the remark you refer to states: 'A-Team's imagery is not immune to artifacts like melt pond formation'. There is nothing wrong about that statement. Anyone can see melt ponds appearing and disappearing in some of the coastal regions in A-Team's animation of June 17 at 23:22. This has clearly nothing to do with the cyclone region close to the North Pole where divergence and fragmentation have occurred. You are causing me to intervene with this thread, while I was only planning to 'lurk' from now on. Stop doing this, please.
A-Team, I withdraw my argument on contrast changing. Not the other arguments though. I don't like your insulting tone. Different people have different areas of expertise. The settled science and statistics cannot be dismissed lightly. Otherwise you would have no defense against the 'Global warming stopped in 1998' and 'The ice is recovering' kind of nonsense. The same argument (fracturing) is used over and over again. It might well be the dominating feedback. But if instead we will see a 'rebound' year, then the fake sceptic blogs will not hesitate to use this official submission to SEARCH to strike against this 'alarmist' blog. I raised my concerns. That should be enough. Back to business.
Kevin McKinney, the 2 meter value is just an extremely rough estimate excluding the outermost periphery zones. I try to keep my posts short and simple. If that leads to oversimplification, so be it. Remko Kampen, let's not put things out of context. Where did you see me suggesting that the events close to the North Pole are an 'artifact'? Check again. I am relying on the analysis by werther and others about these events.
Remko Kampen, A-Team's imagery is not immune to artifacts like melt pond formation. The ice pack is still around 2 meters thick including the pond regions. A-Team is also a master in using contrast-enhancing techniques. Reference images to compare with 2012 would be welcome. Some commenters are betting a lot of money on the Wipneus' trend for PIOMAS. But Wipneus himself is warning about the huge uncertainly range. Even a little upward nudge in the early melting season, may cause a temporary rebound to the 2010-2012 range. We'll see.
OldLeatherNeck is referring to the element of 'hubris' in some of the predictions. There is a tendency for putting aside the SEARCH scientists as unrealistic optimists. But referring to a single year (2012) does not prove their incompetence. It's a bold leap to assume that the increase in ice volume and area we are seeing this year, is suddenly going to disappear by September. No evidence to support that. Only gut feeling. 2012 is far ahead in every way. Including the melt pond formation that some of the above commenters are referring to.
@Remko Kampen: Fair enough. I was not suggesting that you were basing your estimates on graphs or single day's data but rather that this kind of short-term noise should be kept away from this thread. The exponential trend for PIOMAS fared well in the last 3 years (3 consecutive drop years) but it is uncertain yet that it will keep doing so. Let's see.
@Remko Kampen: It's easy to get excited about a single day's drop in one of the data sets but that does not say anything about the final outcome for the melting season. Cryosphere Today has the bad habit of alternating precipitous drops with periods of slowdown even when reality is probably much smoother. There is no reliable indication yet that volume can keep up with the 2012 and 2011 values so I stick with a conservative rather than an aggressive estimate (4.4 Mkm^2).
4.4 million km^2. I think the issues raised by Chris Biscan cannot be dismissed lightly. The cold and cloudy weather in June could influence the sea surface temperatures in the late season. We may end up with a lot of thin and fragmented ice which did not have enough time to melt. It's human nature to overcompensate. The estimates for 2012 were too high, but that does not mean we should assume the worst case scenario for 2013. That said, I fully acknowledge that we are in a new Arctic regime - Fram export is the great unknown.
What were the Russian scientists of NP-40 actually measuring that they can move to Severnaya Zemlya without a discontuity in their record? Maybe a Machiavellian thought, but this kind of research stations can be abused by politicians to make claims on the natural resources of the Arctic later. I don't doubt the integrity of the scientists though.
Toggle Commented Jun 14, 2013 on Yamal to the rescue at Arctic Sea Ice
Confusing data on the state of the Beaufort ice. Is there any remaining imprint of the cracks in February-March or have they been squeezed together by the recent ice movement towards the Beaufort coast?
Toggle Commented Jun 14, 2013 on Yamal to the rescue at Arctic Sea Ice
Meanwhile, the cyclone has taken control over the Central Arctic again. Melting activity will be limited while this lasts. Can we expect next month's PIOMAS volume to lag further behind 2010-2012? I am not sure how irreversible the damage is caused by the churning and divergence. The fringes have plenty of ice to replenish the weak areas.
Greenland Sea has less ice area than in 2012, as one of the only places in the Arctic. Does that mean there is less export to Fram Strait? Could be a sign that the Dipole Anomaly is weak?
4.15 million km^2. I expect a rebound from 2012's record. 2012 had much more open water at this date, soaking up solar energy throughout June. Snow cover near the Arctic Ocean was also lower. That will be hard to catch up with. The continents are warm now, but the Arctic itself is lying in a cold cocoon. This could be a pattern.
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Jun 2, 2013