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Doc Snow
Lake Wateree, South Carolina
Blogger, musician, technician, teacher--in no particular order!
Interests: Climate, arts, nature, politics
Recent Activity
Per JAXA, 2020 is running record low, and has been since the beginning of the month. As of writing, we're at 8.37 million km2--that's 170k below the nearest 'competitor', which is 2016. (Ultimately, as many here will recall, 2016 ended up 3rd-lowest ever at minimum.) And at present, the lead seems to be increasing. (Pun semi-intentional.) It's a simplistic speculation, I suppose, but possibly a clearer atmosphere due to temporary Covid-19-driven 'deindustrialization' could be taking us toward a really gangbusting melt season this year.
Toggle Commented 7 days ago on PIOMAS December 2019 at Arctic Sea Ice
Per NSIDC, in July: "June 2020 sea ice extent averaged 10.58 million square kilometers (4.08 million square miles), placing it at third lowest in the satellite record for the month. This was 170,000 square kilometers (65,600 square miles) above the record low set in 2016. Ice loss during June was particularly pronounced in the Kara and Laptev Seas, where extent was well below average. In other areas of the Arctic Ocean, extents were near or slightly below average. Since June 19, sea ice extent in the Laptev Sea has been at a record low for this time of year." And David, thanks for the Nares obs!
Toggle Commented 7 days ago on PIOMAS December 2019 at Arctic Sea Ice
Quiet around here--hope you're OK, Neven! But clearly the melt season is yet again underway, and yet again, it's running pretty low--currently 3rd-lowest ever (behind 2019 and 2016). Of course, one needn't look very hard to be reminded that the early runnings aren't necessarily very indicative of how the season as a whole plays out; 2012, still the record-low Fall minimum, was running (at this point) not only above the 2010s average, but also above the 2000s average--and in mid-April threatened to reach the 1990s average!
Toggle Commented Apr 3, 2020 on PIOMAS December 2019 at Arctic Sea Ice
Thanks, belatedly, for another nice summary. In the 'noted' category, freeze up seems to have accelerated in the last little while, with the result that in JAXA 2019 is now in 2nd behind not 2012, but 2016.
Toggle Commented Nov 6, 2019 on PIOMAS October 2019 at Arctic Sea Ice
Back, post climate strike--which went pretty well here in Columbia, SC, though with lower participation than I'd like--to say, yeah, the 17th was the minimum, apparently. For JAXA, 3.96 million km2 was it, for 2019. Of course, the September *monthly* minimum is still in question...
Toggle Commented Sep 23, 2019 on PIOMAS September 2019 at Arctic Sea Ice
...and JAXA extent is up for 9/19, at 4.01 million km2. Looking like the minimum has come & gone, and will stand at 3.96 on 9/17. "Is anybody "climate striking"?" HELL, YEAH! (Running sound for morning event, playing music for an afternoon one. Been organizing my ass off for 3 weeks, when I really couldn't afford to.") Please attend an event near you. They are happening all around the world; in the US, they can be found via, and I'm sure outside the US there's something similar. Make some noise today--how many chances do you think we are going to get?
Toggle Commented Sep 20, 2019 on PIOMAS September 2019 at Arctic Sea Ice
And based on the Reanalyzer forecast, I'm thinking we *will* see not "decline" (as I mistakenly wrote for "increase" in my comment above) but rather, well, "increase." Colder temps and clear skies over some pretty wide areas, it looks like.
Toggle Commented Sep 19, 2019 on PIOMAS September 2019 at Arctic Sea Ice
And for 9/18, JAXA is up 20k, to 3.98. Does that mean that 9/17 was the minimum? If you're asking, I appreciate it, given how often I've been wrong throughout this digital vigil I've been doing--but I nevertheless dare to say: "Based on the date, 9/17 is likely to be the minimum, but not yet certain to be." Another day or two of decline, and I think we can be pretty darn confident, though.
Toggle Commented Sep 19, 2019 on PIOMAS September 2019 at Arctic Sea Ice
Neven's comment is on point; this is indeed an "impressive final sprint." From the standpoint of ice conservation, it truly is a 'bitter end' to the melt season. Specifically, the 9/17/19 number for JAXA came in at 3.96, for a drop of 30k. The ice sure can surprise. AJT--"Should we be freaking out yet?" I suppose we should have been freaking out long since. :-( Jim--thanks for a cool animation (pun unintentional). It's good, albeit very slightly queasy-making! Rather surprising that viewing sea ice at basin-wide scale reminds me, at least, of unset Jello... Not much old ice left to go, is there? We already knew it, but your animation drives home that point once again.
Toggle Commented Sep 18, 2019 on PIOMAS September 2019 at Arctic Sea Ice
Jim scooped me on the news that the JAXA extent has indeed dropped below 4 million--as he says, the 9/16 value stands at 3.99--but perhaps it's worth adding that the corresponding value for 2012, the "champeen", was at the all-time minimum record for JAXA--3.18 million km2. Can 2019 get any closer before the inevitable happens and its minimum is reached? Once again, it won't take long to see.
Toggle Commented Sep 17, 2019 on PIOMAS September 2019 at Arctic Sea Ice
Jim, you wrote: ...once the vast majority of multi-year sea ice has gone the ice in the CAB will still regrow to ~2 meter thickness every winter. I'm guessing you meant in the current, or rather, a near-future context? Because should we be sufficiently foolish, I believe there's some evidence that a perennially ice-free Arctic is possible. For instance: In a further warmed climate, however, we find that a critical threshold associated with the sudden loss of the remaining wintertime-only sea ice cover may be likely.
Toggle Commented Sep 17, 2019 on PIOMAS September 2019 at Arctic Sea Ice
And, on a different but related topic, let's not forget that this Friday marks the start of a week of climate action. That's been getting the bulk of my attention for a couple of weeks now, and I commend it to yours, too. There are actions happening all over the world, starting this Friday, September 20, and continuing until the 27th. If you are in the US, then you can find an action near you here: If you aren't in the US, well, there's still probably something near you, and Google is your friend!
Toggle Commented Sep 16, 2019 on PIOMAS September 2019 at Arctic Sea Ice
Thanks for another excellent summary, late or not!
Toggle Commented Sep 16, 2019 on PIOMAS September 2019 at Arctic Sea Ice
NB--Wegener had 2019 below 4 million km2 on the 13th already:
Toggle Commented Sep 16, 2019 on PIOMAS August 2019 at Arctic Sea Ice
After a working weekend having taken me out of the 'ice observation game' most inopportunely, it's exciting--in an ambivalent sort of way--to come back and find that 2019 has been flashing its late season legs while I was otherwise occupied, cracking off days of 20k and even a 40k decline. As Jim noted, the 2019 melt had surpassed 2007 as of 9/14. But as of today's update (9/15), 2019 had edged past 2016's early minimum as well, posting a 4.01 million km2 extent! So we have a new 2nd place lowest daily extent in the JAXA data. The question then becomes, can 2019 still break below the 4 million milestone? 2007 was still at its minimum on 9/24 and 2018 at its minimum on 9/21. So there's precedent. But those are unusual trajectories. The fall equinox comes on the 23rd, give or take, and with it comes the seasonal sunset for the high Arctic. Still, it remains anomalously warm across much of the Arctic basin. We'll see tomorrow whether that's enough to squeeze out another 10 or 20k drop.
Toggle Commented Sep 16, 2019 on PIOMAS August 2019 at Arctic Sea Ice
Thank you, Jim! Photobucket is trying to force me to become a paying member, apparently. Your fix is much appreciated. Elisee, I don't think it's "too early" at all. After all, the IPCC called it at least two iterations of the Assessment Report back. And it's not as if we have to work from a statistical null: we *began* with physical theory predicting this, and as you point out, we are lacking any other successful explanation. (Not that alternatives haven't been proposed, but none have withstood testing to date.) As Jim said, 2019 has managed a 20k drop--not so shabby for this time of year--to 4.09 million km2. That's 40k ahead of 2007, and 110k ahead of 2016 (for the date of 9/12). Relative to the respective minima, 2019 needs to eke out another 20k to equal 2007, and another 70k to match 2016. Pretty darn close...
Toggle Commented Sep 13, 2019 on PIOMAS August 2019 at Arctic Sea Ice
Jim, I am indeed pleased by the escape of all those middle-aged Norwegian tourists from (nearly) Certain Icy Death. But I'm "overjoyed" by finally getting something right about this year's melt season: 9/11 was in fact marked by an ice 'triple point' (at least to a reasonable approximation). To celebrate, I went so far as to do a screen grab of occasion, as you can see below. But just in case the numbers are hard to read, let me do a table, too: 2007: 4.13 million km2 2016: 4.12 2019: 4.11 So obviously 2019 is once again second-lowest for the date. Notably, the drop from 9/10 is a pretty-impressive-for-the-date 40k. I'm guessing that that can pretty readily happen with a whole bunch of pretty trashy ice in the mix. (But I'm probably returning to form and being wrong again.)
Toggle Commented Sep 12, 2019 on PIOMAS August 2019 at Arctic Sea Ice
Hm, weird--my update on the 'horse race' just disappeared upon posting. To reiterate, hopefully with more success: As of 9/10, 2019 sat down a tick at 4.15 million km2 in the JAXA data, while 2007 was another tick lower than that, at 4.14. From here, 2016 will have made a rapid ascent from minimum--that year featured an early minimum. So in a couple of days, we could have that 'triple point' I speculated about in the last comment. In fact, I almost want to say it's likely, based on the guess that 2019 won't take off on a strong positive or negative excursion before then.
Toggle Commented Sep 11, 2019 on PIOMAS August 2019 at Arctic Sea Ice
Jim, I do love a ship with a "lovely patina!" :-)
Toggle Commented Sep 11, 2019 on PIOMAS August 2019 at Arctic Sea Ice
Um, G-man, the PDO "flips" all the time: The AMO, true to its name, not so much: But it's a regional phenomenon. And the fact that we've been seeing historically low ice extents during this declining phase of the AMO demonstrates that the AMO is *not* in the driver's seat, so to speak.
Toggle Commented Sep 11, 2019 on PIOMAS August 2019 at Arctic Sea Ice
9/8: 4.16 million km2 9/9: Back up to 4.17 Was that the minimum? Maybe, but it's still too early to call it. Based on the historical record, further declines will be a possibility for at least a week. The other news of the day is that for 9/9, 2007 stood at 4.17, so there's a tie for 3rd place right now. But 2007 is the poster child for a melt season with 'legs', having been at its nominal minimum of 4.07 on several days between 9/15 and 9/24. In that respect, 2007 was a real outlier. So chances now are, I think, that 2019 is going to end up as the 4th-lowest minimum. Apparently G man thinks that's some kind of triumph for 'his side.' I call it pretty cold comfort for humanity, but then I can't resist a pun, even when it's low gallows humor.
Toggle Commented Sep 10, 2019 on PIOMAS August 2019 at Arctic Sea Ice
9/7 sees us down a tick at 4.17. Naive extrapolation--my favorite kind, as you probably noticed--suggests the possibility of an SIE 'triple point' on 9/11, a date which has 2007 at 4.13 and 2016 at 4.12. The final order of finish still depends on whether or not 2019 has 'legs'.
Toggle Commented Sep 8, 2019 on PIOMAS August 2019 at Arctic Sea Ice
For 9/6, 2019 holds steady at 4.18 million km2, as 2016 likewise holds, but down a bit at 4.02. But 2007 is coming up (or, more literally, "down") fast, at 4.24. Its minimum value--reached twice, in an unusual 'double dip' minimum--was at 4.07.
Toggle Commented Sep 7, 2019 on PIOMAS August 2019 at Arctic Sea Ice
"We'll soon know," I wrote. Have you ever felt as if the Arctic is actually trying to mock you, though you know perfectly well that that is the rankest sort of anthropomorphism? I have. And that's the feeling I have today, 'cause the JAXA extent number for 9/5 came up with a 20k *increase* in extent! I'm not even going to bother with Climate Reanalyzer today; I'll just come back tomorrow and see what has happened, and until then, I'm keeping my mouth shut on the topic of ASI.
Toggle Commented Sep 6, 2019 on PIOMAS August 2019 at Arctic Sea Ice
Looking once again at the Reanalyzer, it seems to me that Fram export over the end of the melt season may be a bit on-again-off-again. But it also looks as though most of the Arctic is going to be dominated by low-pressure systems, barring the inevitable Greenlandic high (and also higher pressure over the Canadian archipelago.) Should that mean generally cloudy skies, combined with the very definitely elevated SSTs currently prevailing, I'm guessing we may indeed see some sustained late-season melt. We'll soon know.
Toggle Commented Sep 5, 2019 on PIOMAS August 2019 at Arctic Sea Ice