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Robert Fanney
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@ R. Gates That's a good analysis. And I still can't keep my eyes off of A-Team's comparison of Beaufort ice 2012 with this year. For my part, I agree that early May / late April will be a critical time period to watch. A gateway, if you will, for another potential extreme event. Been monitoring Nuuk Greenland temps. The hottest of the hottest spots for anomalous high temps at the moment. It's 52 degrees F there, about the same temp it is here in Gaithersburg, MD where I live. That temp is 26-28 degrees F above average. Noticed most of the melt graphs showing more rapid melt as well. And the new PIOMAS volume measure is out. Shows volume on par with record lows in 2011 and 2012 for this time of year. Barrow Ice Cam currently showing some 'blue ice' in the distance:
Toggle Commented Apr 5, 2013 on On the move at Arctic Sea Ice
@ Neven ECMWF shows a strong low emerging from Siberia into the Arctic by April 13. A long way out. But, perhaps, worth keeping an eye on. Great post. The ice mobility looks freakishly fast at the moment. One more little feature to mention and I'm back to lurking/research: Nuuk Greenland high for today was 48 degrees F. Best...
Toggle Commented Apr 3, 2013 on On the move at Arctic Sea Ice
@ A-Team My personal opinion is that Wadhams will come much closest to the mark than the models. He seems an interesting fellow and being stuck on navy subs for a long time can make anyone seem a little nutters. @ Chris Reynolds No way all that extra heat going in during summer is being re-radiated during winter. That ocean is definitely taking up some of the extra heat. The land and ice sheets will take up some too. We see that already in permafrost state change. GHG will trap more and more of it and transfer to the rest of the atmosphere as positive deta F increases along with CO2 + methane.
Toggle Commented Apr 1, 2013 on Looking for winter weirdness 6 at Arctic Sea Ice
... and one more point. I want to see what fresh water melt from Greenland does as a feedback. More on this later.
Toggle Commented Apr 1, 2013 on Looking for winter weirdness 6 at Arctic Sea Ice
I'm still putting it at 10% chance of total melt this year. A large cracking event, though certainly impressive and ominous, does not account for the entire volume of ice out there (still rising, still looking about the same as 2012). The conditions of MYI are far worse, but there's still quite a bit to go. And weather, as always, is a huge uncertainty. In my view ENSO, SSW and AO are not predictive. Furthermore, in context, cracking is just one factor. At this point, to say 100% loss by end of summer is an absolute certainty is just a bit ambitious. It's easy to get hypnotized staring into the eye of the snake (and it's a pretty dire one at that). But over-prediction would not help at all. In fact, it would only give fodder to deniers etc. Further, calling melt dates out to 2020 is hardly whistling in the wind. Any total melt this decade will be unprecedented. And I think the chances of that are, far, far higher. Of course, as the season progresses we'll have more evidence. It could be that A-team is entirely correct and a Wadhams style total melt will happen this year. But even Wadhams is calling for a 2016 or 2017 final melt date. This assessment isn't hope. Nor is it denial. It's just not getting too focused on one set of details and losing track of context. In any case, we're all here watching the Arctic like hawks. So any changes will be completely visible for us to see. As I said before, we'll have a better idea if total melt conditions are really 40-50 days ahead as we get closer to May.
Toggle Commented Apr 1, 2013 on Looking for winter weirdness 6 at Arctic Sea Ice
@ Chris, @ A-Team My take is that there's a low risk of total melt this year. But there is still some risk. Any melt comparable to 2007 or 2010 (volume) would do it. A 2010-like melt would leave a very small remnant. The fact that this kind of thing is a possibility for this year is a big deal. But I don't think it's the most likely possibility. Will have to agree mostly with Chris and say it is most likely to be another record low year (volume) and possible for area and extent. But I also think you can't completely rule out a slight recovery year. Not likely, given all the variables mounted against the ice, but also possible. So, to sum up, more melt is most likely, total melt is possible (never been statistically possible before), and slight recovery (a bump in the ongoing melt trend) is also possible. Chris -- I wouldn't quit blogging if you end up being wrong. Everyone who makes predictions is wrong at some point. And though your current call is probably most likely, it is possible that sea ice could blow through those low barriers. Not likely but not something worth staking your blogging career on.
Toggle Commented Mar 31, 2013 on Looking for winter weirdness 6 at Arctic Sea Ice
A-Team... Beaufort is definitely looking a lot weaker than last year at this time. I'm also wondering what's happening late?
Toggle Commented Mar 31, 2013 on Looking for winter weirdness 6 at Arctic Sea Ice
Don't find heat uptake by deep oceans all too comforting. Perhaps that's why we've seen less stable methane hydrates lately? More rapid transfer to the deep ocean is a kind of two edged sword. One, it means more rapid sea level rise (thermal expansion). And, two, it means the heat gets dumped into the atmosphere later after a period of delay. I don't know what it means RE water vapor. But a warmer ocean generally means more of it. As for how the heat got into the deep ocean, it seems that La Nina probably played a role. Wonder about other mechanisms, though. Lastly, according to Skeptical Science, the Economist got its sensitivity argument mostly wrong. According to Hansen, we have increased SO2 levels masking warming that would otherwise happen (his Faustian bargain warning again). And, according to Skeptical Science and Jeff Masters the pace of warming hasn't declined once you factor in the ENSO cycle and other natural variability. Of course Trenberth is still on the hunt for the rest of the 'missing heat.' So I wonder, did some of it go into melting ice instead?
Toggle Commented Mar 30, 2013 on Melting of the Arctic sea ice at Arctic Sea Ice
@ Jim @ NeilT I've been lurking over at the forums and it looks like a great little project/experiment is evolving. It is good to look at the guts of this. Will probably need some modeler types to help us understand the mechanics. These are usually run on supercomputers, right? Anyone ever try to crowd-source it? A long time ago, SETI did a crowd source for analysis of radio waves from other star systems. Wonder if you could run different tweaks of CICE or other models through a crowd/cloud?
Toggle Commented Mar 27, 2013 on Melting of the Arctic sea ice at Arctic Sea Ice
@ Wayne Ouch. 30%? That's pretty high. Yeah. It would be good to get into the guts of one of these, change some of the assumptions, and see how much closer it comes to reality. Any good papers on models worth cracking open? Or are the ice modeler just circling the wagons until they can make sense of what's happening? @ Donald Ice motion in the Fram has been very fast on the navy models over the past couple of days. Thanks for the live shots. Good ones!
Toggle Commented Mar 26, 2013 on Melting of the Arctic sea ice at Arctic Sea Ice
@ A4R That 586 mb comparison between 21 Mar and 23 Mar is pretty stark.
@ All Just looking at these cracks north of the New Siberian Islands.
@ A-Team Just putting 2000 and 2013 side-by-side is a pretty stunning comparison. RE Jakobshavn Isbræ / Sermeq Kujalleq / Ilulissat Icefjord. Can't stop watching that calving event near center screen. And the war of ice crack iconic image overlays is on!
@ Jim Great to see you back. RE variability... Yeah, at this stage, the 50% number would seem very tough to defend. And Meier does seem to make the more rational case. But it's probably worth discussing where even the 30% or 5% of natural variability melting the ice comes from. We have a long-term natural cooling trend, we have short-term lower solar activity, and we have a short-term slightly higher level of volcanic aerosols. Does that variability assumption come from natural yearly ups and downs? Well, we haven't seen much in the way of ups in recent years. What, outside of AGW, is melting the ice? Is that specifically identified or is it assumed. Maybe something worth talking about in these discussions.
Toggle Commented Mar 26, 2013 on Melting of the Arctic sea ice at Arctic Sea Ice
@ Wayne I wonder, and this is complete speculation on my part, if what the models are missing is one of these: 1. The amount of inertia in the ice (over-estimated due to not taking into account non-linear influences of heating such as changes in ice sub-states -- cracked, broken, mobile, etc, changes in albedo of ice and surrounding environment, and contact with heat vectors -- currents, winds, etc). 2. Sensitivity not just to temperature change, but to the rate of change. 3. Modeling how the ocean environment moves heat around as it warms. 4. Getting the feedbacks right in the models. And I guess that would involve taking a look at the underlying assumptions. 5. Looking at the way the atmosphere moves heat around and how this impacts energetic/disruptive systems such as storms, winds, and warm air invasions. I also wonder if the final, official models are the more conservative ones and if more accurate models are available but not widely publicized? Again, total speculation, but a question worth asking. Lastly, I guess we need to ask how much of the energy imbalance we've created is going to work melting ice. Early climate change models assumed that ice would be slow to respond. At least in the case of Arctic sea ice, the response has been quite rapid. And we are seeing Greenland and, to a lesser degree, West Antarctica begin to respond with increasing speed as well. Complete speculation. But, I think, questions worth asking.
Toggle Commented Mar 26, 2013 on Melting of the Arctic sea ice at Arctic Sea Ice
Good analysis. For my part, I think the notion that variability accounts for 50% of ice melt is pretty out of bounds. We've seen a long enough trend and a rapid enough decline to rule out most natural variability features.
Toggle Commented Mar 25, 2013 on Melting of the Arctic sea ice at Arctic Sea Ice
@ Steve Thanks! Glad to get my hands on that paper. Very impressive piece of reading. I'll definitely add expansion of tropics to my list of mechanisms to polish up on. @ Neven Ah, great article in the Guardian. Francis has really broken a lot of ground over the past year and a half. Good to see she's getting more MSM coverage.
@ Hans @ Neven That piece on the polar vortex collapse is excellent. You may also look at recent work by Jennifer Francis that links blocking patterns and enhanced Rossby waves to erosion of Arctic sea ice in summer and autumn. My personal view is that this wavy jet associated with a collapsing polar vortex is certainly influenced by AGW. We have more warm air invasions from the south and more heat in the Arctic pushing cold air out. The transfer of abnormally warm air into the stratosphere from equatorial regions has also been linked to AGW. Looks like all these mechanisms are linked to Arctic polar amplification -- either as a response or as a contributor.
@ A-Team That color motion analysis is just superb. I'll be interested to see what happens over the next couple of days. The CICE motion forecast A4R mentions is right through the heart of the thick ice. Will have to see.
@ Wayne Don't know if we have an exact correlation to ice loss RE Nina/Nino (or for AO, for that matter). 2010 was an El Nino year and we had huge volume losses. No new record area and extent. But a year of volume losses equivalent to 2010 in 2013 would bring the Arctic very close to ice free. My very tentative opinion is that ocean temperature is over-riding natural variance(and not just surface temps, but overall temps in any region remotely able to mix with near surface water). Very hot surface temps and mixing likely resulted in the 2007 melt. Overall warm temps provided by ocean mixing (storm or no storm) facilitated record melt in 2012. And 2010, though it saw no record low area or extent saw record volume losses due to erosion of thick ice. @ All (somewhat OT) Oh dear God. Steve Goddard just linked my blog... I can hear the pitter-patter of denier troll feet already.
@ Neven Again congrats on a superb post. Linked it in my most recent blog. Huge chops to get rec from Joe Romm and Skeptical Science. @ A-Team What strikes me about these earlier years is how slow and stable the ice pack is. The MYI looks enormous compared to now. It seems at the mercy of just about anything at the moment: wind, high pressure, low pressure, the Gyre. You name it. @ All Did you notice that low churning up ice in The Sea of Okhotsk? The thickness animation shows much of the ice there turning into a big swirl.
@ Neven, Llosmith, Espen Yeah, sorry to say I agree on the NWP/CAA/Lancaster. Not looking too great in these NASA shots. Any word why Jim has been silent? He provided some amazing info.
Toggle Commented Mar 24, 2013 on Crack is bad for you (and sea ice) at Arctic Sea Ice
@ A-Team My designer buddy is still AWOL. Will give it a few more attempts and chalk it up to 'he doesn't want to do a project for posterity' if it doesn't work out. I know another guy who might do it. But it's more of a long shot. He doesn't seem to get climate change. @ Neven Congrats on the fantastic Think Progress piece. I think it's spot on. Will link it from my blog tonight or tomorrow. @ All Seems like the negative AO is fading a bit. That insane high has diffused at least and temps are again falling. Wonder if this week will be a bit quieter? One can hope. @ Paul It's likely conditions in the Arctic are going to be such that Neven, A-Team and everyone else will have quite a lot to write about.
Toggle Commented Mar 24, 2013 on Crack is bad for you (and sea ice) at Arctic Sea Ice
@ A-Team Have to agree that the NASA visible shot is not so useful scientifically or as a predictive measure. And, certainly, for those here who have been tracking all the sensors, it doesn't provide much in the way of new information. All that said, the NASA frame-by-frame visible is a compelling series nonetheless. I think it's worth looking at in its own context.
Toggle Commented Mar 23, 2013 on Crack is bad for you (and sea ice) at Arctic Sea Ice
@ Paul That NASA video is just terrifying. The ice is breaking into splinters. And it's all breaking over such a massive area. I can't see where it's possible that such at think has happened before in March.
Toggle Commented Mar 23, 2013 on Crack is bad for you (and sea ice) at Arctic Sea Ice