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Veli Kallio
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Bill Fothergill, I also think the Heindric Ice Berg armadas were bipolar event. In my view the ice-free Arctic Ocean will inevitably lead into exhaustively meltwater pond pocketed North Greenland Ice Sheet (which is lying much lower than the more dome-like southern Greenland ice sheet). In addition the spatial barrier exists here (as North Greenland ice sheet is also very wide) as water sinks into ice before reaching its edge. It is far harder for the water to run to the edges of the ice sheet or moulins to leak melt water from beneath ice. This accummulates the heat of melt water into the ice sheet destabiling the entier ice sheet - ice shelf systems. Instead, the water ponds will rapidly grow more numerous, the old dirt gets quickly exposed as surface melts turning ice into black ice. Both the darkening of ice and melt water ponds mop up massively more sunlight. Then there will be the flash floods and rainbow events as the moist marine air precipitates over the much cooler North Greenland ice. I think a great damage has been made by the scienfic community ignoring the dangers of the 'accummulative impact' moulins from the 'seasonal impact' moulins that drain by end of season. The inland, 'accummulative impact' moulins cannot drain and therefore turn ice inside ice sheet into a weak and unstable honeycombed ('rotten') ice which has no internal strength to survive the weight stresses of the overlying dry and colder ice layers. Any watery ice sheet base discharges relatively little debris to long distance except where there are dry ice preserved in base matrix to carry out moraine or erratic boulders out to the sea. Hence, Heindric Events were probably much bigger ice discharges as the top ice has less dirt. As melt water almost always accummulates in base of the ice sheet, it is no longer sitting anchored on the uneven potholes, but floats in water above the bedrock - much like ice shelf floats over seabed. In this respect the ice sheet is no different to the ice shelves and can rapidly collapse as rotten ice cannot hold onto the bedrocks. As a result a sudden collapse emerges and the next Heindrich Event results in rapid cooling (Dryas) as the North Atlantic basin fills with ice debris. There are several prospective regions where Greenland Ice Sheet behaves as if it were an ice shelf, namely Melville Bay coastal anomaly, the wide outlets of North East Greenland and Petermann Fjord in North. In south Ilulissat Ice Fjord is one of concern. Collapse of one ice shelf or ice sheet leads to domino effect, as the tongue of water from rising sea level wedges and bends ice shelves upwards, creating faults and leading to bipolar Heindrich Event with ice berg armadas emerging fairly soon on both poles. Thus any destabilisation will have knock on effects on all water margin glaciers.
Toggle Commented Feb 21, 2016 on An exceptional exception at Arctic Sea Ice
I would like to thank Bill Fothergill for his excellent comment of tabling monthly averages for each month and comparing these to the end of season melting (ice minimum). 1996: Mar(1); Apr(1); May(3); Jun(5); Jul(10); Aug;(16); Sep(18); Oct(9) In particular, I wish to draw attention to his remark about the 1996 situation when: "the first four months all came in at, what was at the time, record low levels. Despite this head start, the September average nevertheless contrived to be then, as now, the highest seen in the NSIDC dataset." What I suspect drove this in 1996 was that the extra open sea in the late winter months provided extra time for enhanced energy loss from ocean to space (the Stefan Boltzmann relationship - negative ice area feedback due to the sea water getting colder due to more open water in winter). Why this is important? Because in 1996 the climate system was still cold enough, the shallow ocean waters north of Russia cooled extensively and excessively during the later winter months when ice was missing. During the 1996 summer then the riparian discharges of fresh water from Siberia further reduced ocean's salinity of this already cold water - thus helping to amplify sea ice formation late that season north of Russian seas in that year. When the overall climate warming has ensued in subsequent years the above anomaly has only been further amplified: 1996 Mar(10); Apr(8); May(11); Jun(23); Jul(29); Aug;(35); Sep(37); Oct(28) But now, the inverse proces is at work this season 2015/2016 which sees a break down of a recent series of years of constantly expanding Antarctic sea ice (2015 was max). Despite the 2015 record sea ice area around Antarctica, the growing discharges of both meltwater and ice debris from the Antarctic ice shelves or land, the sea ice 2016 has rapidly been falling well below the average of the recent years - recently at times close to the record lows for Antarctic sea ice - quite opposite (sic) to other recent years when the reducing salinity around Antarctica has seen sea ice area growing quite considerably. El Nino and warmer Pacific and climatic system this season (2015/2016 Austral summer - Arctic winter) is now simply too warm - warm enough - to nullify the effect of sea ice enhancing trend from the lowering ocean salinity. >> I.e. the ocean salinity isn't reduced fast enough related to the overall warming of climate this year. >> As a result the sea ice in Antarctica is now lower than normally. I propose 2015/2016 Austral summer - Arctic winter is the new baseline with too effects: (1) the global temperature level now exceeding the melt water / ice debris negative feedback by nullifying the effect of reduced ocean salinity for sea ice area. (2) the fluid dynamics reaching the point where the polar vortex breaks down almost altogether or the planetary waves bring the edge of the warm southern air right to the North Pole. UK Meteorological Office used to divide its forecasting to two approaches (1) chartists using analogues of previous weather maps to questimate its lookalikes, (2) modellers using computer models to create forecasts. Using the old "chartist" approach in meteorology, I suggest 2015/2016 season (global temperature average) represents a "tipping point" from where there is no longer effective polar vortex in Arctic and the Antarctic sea ice starts also be on retreat (after previous trend of expansion during the cooler years with melt water). Going then back to GCMs, I suggest that present global temperature 2015/2016 cab be taken as the turning point from onwards there is neither of above two systems in place. (GCMs then providing the overlying time when this year's anomaly situation will be the yearly standard. VP - Sea Research Society - Environmental Affairs Department & Chair - Frozen Isthmuses' Protection Campaign of the Arctic and North Atlantic Oceans
Toggle Commented Feb 21, 2016 on An exceptional exception at Arctic Sea Ice
The lateral viscosity of the thin Arctic sea ice cover has continued to lower from mid-November to 2 January 2015. (The lowering lateral viscosity of sea ice is combination of larger sea ice area of thin ice and being formed of this winter's ice.) Six weeks ago (around mid-November 2014)just one quarter of the high Arctic Ocean basin (above 85° north) was covered by a thin this winter season's ice. This had now (by 2 January 2015) doubled, covering roughly two quarters above 85° north. The fresh ice is about one metre thick and it is also physically weaker than multiyear ice. So it breaks easily. In addition, the continuing crushing and tumbling of large amounts of recently formed ice into pack ice (behind the North Pole) does not allow the saline brine within sea ice to drain out easily. This is because the brine is drained by gravity; if the block of ice turns upsided down the draining brine reverses to the opposite direction. As the ice is as restless as it is now, the direction of gravity field within ice blocks keeps changing. Thus ice remains more saline. This winters' "thick" pack ice behind North Pole will, therefore, melt very easily. (Ice rejects salt if it stays upright long enough, but this threshold has seen its own tipping point this winter.) The US Navy's graph is best viewed at 400% screen setting: The ice is being pushed away from Russia towards Canada and the Fram Strait at a very high rates. This is increasingly suggesting that the remaining old ice stocks in front of the Fram Strait will soon be sucked out into the Atlantic Ocean. In the other worlds, the old ice runs out. The dark blue ice legend in US Navy's graph is newly formed, but crushed ice behind the North Pole (pack ice) which I referred above. This thick recently formed ice in ice pack has relatively high salinity due to ice overturning constantly since its formation. We may well be in course to the first recorded ice-free season in the Arctic Ocean. I am curious to see how the ice behaves after the last remainders of the second polar quarter old ice is lost to the Atlantic Ocean and the newly forming sea ice will face the full force of the Atlantic waves. That should mean extremely highly fractured sea ice across the Russian side by the return of spring 2015 sunlight. I think we are witnessing a historic transition right now as the lowered lateral viscosity of sea ice is unable to withstand the shearing forces of waves, wind and sea currents that keeps the ice loose and on the perennial move. Veli Kallio Sea Research Society
Toggle Commented Jan 3, 2015 on Fram Strait 2014 at Arctic Sea Ice
It is important to remember that University of Washington's PIOMAS model understates sea ice volume in comparison with ESA's CRYOSAT readings for the summer melting season. According to late Katharine Giles, "The decline predicted by Piomas is slightly less in the autumn and slightly more in winter" than CRYOSAT observations. CRYOSAT's sea ice volume loss is greater than PIOMAS's during melting season. On the contrary, during the winter season PIOMAS generates a smaller sea ice volume while CRYOSAT shows it larger. PIOMAS model apparently understates the summer time sea ice losses. CRYOSAT measures the freeboard of ice floes above the Arctic Ocean water surface to conclude the thickness of sea ice by adding freeboard (above water) and draft (immersed) sea ice halves together to reach thickeness and from there the ice volume. As the sea ice is highly fragmented in June 2013, the leads are plentiful for CRYOSAT measurements as all ice is broken up and can help to produced very detailed results. Unfortunately, the untimely passing of Seymour Laxton and then Katharine Giles has made a major disaster for University College London's Centre for Polar Observation and Modelling (CPOM) CRYOSAT team. As per these, I suggest that we are giving too much emphasis to PIOMAS for a minor improvement that may be a modeling artefact. [Please, don't forget the / in the closing tag. N.]
Toggle Commented Jun 10, 2013 on PIOMAS June 2013 at Arctic Sea Ice
Far East Shipping Company (FESCO) are contracted to carry out sea ice demolition projects along Russian coasts "ice chipping". The polar cyclone in summer time conditions with sunlight and heat is a natural sea ice demolition project. In autumn darkness with little light and heat it is sea ice creation project, much like Antarctic ice whipped by winds at the moment to cause sea ice scattering that seeds ice into open waters to stabilise it an cause ice formation. In the present conditions the polar cyclone has adequate sunlight and heat input to cause sea ice melting, in fact, on the pole the sun light peaks at this time of year. Any major helping hand is just the other way round and makes sea ice losses only greater. It is also true that vertical mixing of sea water also increases in the leads as ice breaks up. So there is no sea ice seeding but creation, unless you look at ice now around dark Antarctica!
Toggle Commented May 31, 2013 on If this is real... at Arctic Sea Ice
I talk seldom as I find it today counter-productive to publish things and work with decision-makers at UN, EU & UK. Yet, I felt it necessary to write a note on this matter as I was nominated back in 2008 for international Nanak Peace Prize (sea level rise risks for global security and economic stability). Firstly, the Negative Arctic Oscillations will continue and intensify much like sea ice will diminish and the snow line retreat will head to the north earlier than before. Almost each year from now on will show some sort of advance in melting (snow, sea ice, tundra or sea bed) to the previous years. Storms will be fiercer. Secondly, the metamorphosis of Greenland's cold, dry, stable and moraine-forming ice sheet into warm, wet, dynamic and aggregate-forming ice sheet when summers will see Greenland surrounded by ice-free oceans. The melt water from the surface percolates to the ice sheet base and transforms it into honeycombed, water-clogged ice that is slushy and unable to withstand pressure of the overlying ice layers. This eventually leads to Larsen B style rapid ice sheet failure as watery base oozes its way out and the overlying colder and dryer ice fractures forming huge ice islands. Heindrich Minus One (H-1) Ice Berg Calving then results, with the associated Last Dryas cooling as the ocean basin between America and Europe fills with ice debris. Thirdly, the transformation of dominance of the "seasonal impact" moulins/crevasses into "accumulative impact" moulins and crevasses. Until recently the ice melting occurred on the perimeter of Greenland where melt water and ice drains into ocean by the early autumn and takes the heat (thermal inertia of melt water) with it. Although Jason Box criticised me that there exist no "accumulative impact" moulins on top of Greenland interior, I was able to find 29 sites that year in aerial survey. Ice sheet is highly insular material and when melt water falls deep into ice, no heat can escape to the surface. As each summer adds water in subglacial ponds, or crevasses within ice, there is an absolute greenhouse effect in action with 100% retention of summertime heat stored by melt water and ice (if surface water re-freezes within ice crevasses at the end of season). Accumulative impact moulins sit on ice sheet where subglacial ground inclination is inward, thus taking the melt water ever deeper into ice. Although some water re-freezes in crevasses to form those blue bands (occasionally seen in the ice bergs), the thermal inertia is absorbed by the surrounding ice matrix which warms. Each subsequent summer see the energy required for melting decreased and in many cases there are growing liquid water pockets at the base of the ice sheet. At the end of this process, after just a decade of seriously warm post-sea ice summers, the ice is so honeycombed and soft that it cannot withstand overlying layers. The harder ice sheet surface caves in while the highly pressured slushy ice and water come out. This then triggers a rapid sea level jump, Heindrich (H-1) ice debris event and the Last Dryas. Fourthly, the large supply of water triggers three rapid erosion forces. Those of cavitation, plucking and kolking and where the ice sheet edge meets ocean, the turbidic mud flows and rock falls like in Melville Bay. This region then rapidly subsides in a Storegga-slide style event pushed by the large ice islands launched to sea and the high pressure water jets that cause the three rapid erosion forces. Besides ice free Arctic Ocean, the methane infested Arctic air will trap sun's energy far more effectively that it is still doing today. None of these things should surprise us.
We at FIPC developed the last year a novel sea ice algorithm which we hopefully can make viral this year. It generates sea ice survival forecasts for the rest of season of various types, this could point out if the sea ice loss becomes a runaway event in the season or how much short it is from becoming one. It is a linear progression, but we will refine it further by a variable and perhaps regionalised weightings.
It is quite while when I last wrote onto this block. I have been tied with Rio+20 where our nations are moan that we warned the United Nations Genral Assembly back in 1992 that any sustained warming on the polar regions would lead to a rapid responses: retreat of seasonal snow cover area, damage to permafrost, loss of sea ice and destabilisation of Greenland Ice Sheet. I just noted that one important factor has not been covered in your block and decided to drop a line to remind existense of this. If you go to Cryosphere Today, you can compare 2012 to same dates of 2011, 2010, 2008, 2007 and 2006. Each one of these years seem to have produced a late spring combined terrestrial snow cover + sea ice area that is smaller than the preceding years. There are small anomalies locally, but the totality of the white cap on high latitudes has shrunk. In 2012 loss of snow in Yakutia must have been a major contributory factor to high temperatures and capture of solar light and heat. As the winds move air from the land over sea and vice versa, the dark areas produce heat which is transported whether it is sea or land. This transportation in Yakutia has brought intense sunlight converted to long wave radiation and heat which is reabsorved by ice on East Siberian Sea, or transported as melt water into the Arctic Ocean. In Kara Sea we have seen reverse, the ocean lost its sea cover and the warm air from open sea had licked away the snow cover on its coasts. We must not forget the consolidated impact of marine and terrestrial snow cover to each other due to the intense conversion of dark surfaces of light to long wave radiation and heat. As per earliest snow cover loss, you are right that it is July, it is because of the early start and the strongest sunlight season in Siberia. Also Canada has seen strong early loss on its terrestrial snow cover, this helping to damage the Hudson Bay which is now going. I expect the Central Arctic to be hit seriously by the extra energy from snow free Siberia since may, that has pushed season a month ahead. It also bears to be remembered that the soil temperatures are also rising, making snow ever more volatile, however abundant in may be. This is the reason why Ewing-Dunne Ice Ages cause theory does not work. As ocean warms, vapourises and rains more, the soils too warm up with ever higher bacterial activity to keep it thawed even in the mid winter. Veli Albert Kallio, FRGS Rapporteur, First Nations United Nations General Assembly Motion 101292 (RIO 1992) Vice President Environmental Affairs, Sea Research Society, Charleston, South Carolina Chairman, Frozen Isthmuses' Protection Campaign of the Arctic and North Atlantic Oceans, Helsinki, Finland Rapporteur, 1992 Motion at RIO+20, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
We at FIPC (Frozen Isthmuses Protection Campaing of the Arctic and North Atlatic Oceans) use indice of melt day ratio. We monitor the area of melted sea ice each day if the sea ice melt during the day is greater or lesser than one required for the complete disappearance of sea ice by the end of the current melting season. Like the other indicators, the number of days in excess of ice melting to induce complete disappearance of the remaining sea ice is rising. We can also say how many days too short is the season this year. The indice uses the average annual minimum point and the number of days until it dividing the remaining sea ice area. If the melting exceeds the required rate, then sea ice was on course that particular date for complete disappearance of all ice being lost. The number of melting days when the speed of melting is above rate of complete loss is rising and PIOMAS indicators must be right.
Toggle Commented Apr 24, 2012 on PIOMAS April 2012 at Arctic Sea Ice
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