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Patrice Pustavrh
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Neven, Europe is facing unusually high temperatures in Germany, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro and to some degree here in Slovenia too, with daily highs up to 37 deg C in Slovenia and highs up to 40 deg C in Serbia and Croatia (not sure for other places, but MeteoAlarm has red alarm in most of this countries for extreme heat: ) So we are getting our share too. But, unusualy, end of July was quite cold here with temps more suitable for September than July. But, I'll say, it is just weather. But on the other hand, statistics of extreme (or weird) weather events globally may show us to what degree we have caused climate disruption. It would be fine, if someone show us some data on this.
Toggle Commented Aug 26, 2011 on Flash melting at Arctic Sea Ice
Steve Mosher, if you are regarding whole summer (july, aug, september) there is really small chance that this will happen by 2030. But most predictions goes around minimum or at least september "virtualy" ice free state and "summer ice free" generaly refers to this semantics. So, when someone says to me about ice free Arctic, I always do think that some years minimum extent will fall below 1 mio km2, and most of people discussing this topic do think somehow the same. Yes, you are right in sense that we must be more careful and use excact numbers in predictions, but, just remember, for the sake of debate always putting in numbers is somehow uncomfortable. But, I'll do some caveat here: First summer ice free Arctic will mean something different for ice albedo feedback than Steve's definition - if we are losing most of the ice till end of July, albedo feedback will be much stronger than if we lose it in September. But, anyway, the first really important point is to see end of melt season ice free Arctic.
Sorry for the OT, but it really crossed my mind. I remember the song, which states: You can fool people for some time, but you cannot fool all the people for all the time. But, giving ecology, we are here: We can put some people to live in space for some time, but we cannot put all the people to live in space for all the time.
Neven, I am alarmed too, because even half the ice melt we are observing should be warning sign to us already. But, what I admire here is desire to look at the facts first and then raise the alarm as opposing to sensational levels voicing alarms all over the place (althouhg, sensational news can be helpful for short periods). Sometimes, and maybe it is just my feeling, a decent, sound realization of some trend is just more convincing than sensational claims of records (and it is not good for the headlines). And of course, I find your blog at just exact pace of what and even how should be voiced up. My favorite life motto is go slow to advance fast. We don't need to rush, but deniers do. However, one thing should be done to public: Gather the deniers predictions and compare them to predictions of the guys who really know about the AGW. And show them to public. And yes, if necessary, call the deniers the real liars, if necessary. Gee, sometimes they really makes me sick and angry with their cheap lies, but I repeat to myself: Stay calm, you will get all the help from planet Earth itself. And maybe, just maybe, I will find someone more agree with me.
Nick, I am with you on taking even odd bets. Cause I can easily imagine myself betting 10 EUR on extent going below 3.9 mio sq km with return to 100 EUR (I didn't calculate the probabilities), but I would find hard to convince myself on bet of 100 EUR at or below 4.6 mio sq m2, even if I'd might have greater chance of winning). But, I think this betting stuff has but us somehow away from what we are looking for: The dynamics of the system and learning for our future world. I personally do think that discussion about arguments (and I find many of yours valid, but on the other hand many of much more alarming ones too (including Paul, Lodger, and many others I cannot mention in a line or two) very very compelling and in the need for stronger study - as Neven does and he is not alarmist by no means at all, but a really great and in my opinion one of the greatest science journalist trying to give us most accurate news in his blog - he really puts his effort where his mouth is, always willing to learn new things and not being scared to post about themes which might be uncomfortable to his well expressed view about GW, but challenges them in true search for truth as much as human can do and I hope I am doing my job here on equal basis too). And yes, I wish some bettings would be taken on at least another post on this blog or even at some other blog. We are not gamblers, men, we like to study.
Espen, good one. And it looks at least from the 15% concentration, Northern Route of NWP has opened up.
Toggle Commented Aug 23, 2011 on Flash melting at Arctic Sea Ice
Rob, nice explanation from your side. Giving that we are seeing 30% drop at the same time, I would agree with your explanation better than mine. However, at least in some areas, drop can be attributed to threshold effect. My thinking on this goes something like this: As the ice spreads around, area (giving unrealistic condition there is no melt) should stay constant and extent should increase. Now, imagine that you spread ice enough that concentration starts to fall below 15%. Both area and extent will decrease, since, at least to explanation at Arctic Roos site, the cells below 15% are not included into neither area nor extent. Well, I've been checking MODIS image and at least for some of the areas, where there is 0 ice, some fragments of ice are visible. Check But, as Rob has said: In 50% concentration, it is hard to imagine that spreading is responsible to show such decreases and I do agree with him. And it is probably the sum of all factors (melt, spreading, compacting, snow replacement, ice being thin and mobile) which contributed to this freaking situation we have observed.
Toggle Commented Aug 23, 2011 on Flash melting at Arctic Sea Ice
Neven, I hope I am not too nasty, but I think you can do good analysis and prediction of the end season comparing to your data in 2010 End Zone posts. The reasons are, that ice distribution in 2010 and 2011 is quite similar (at least regarding East Siberian Sea). And even in 2010, after checking the articles you've provided, I personally do not find much difference (except that area and extent this year a somewhat smaller). Well, my eyeballing (as the most inaccurate form of prediction) tells me we will be somewhat just below 2010 minimums (and likely below 2008 too), with quite quick rebound in late september. But, it is just my eyeballing and please, do not take it seriously. But (giving some ideas to Chris Randles), if the weather, rounding SST are similar, we could probably get same extent/area ratio loss at the end of season.
Toggle Commented Aug 17, 2011 on SIE 2011 update 16: flash melting at Arctic Sea Ice
Well, a little bit of Ex Yugoslavia OT, but nevertheless, Paul, I am Slovenian myself (living in Ljubljana), and it is good to see guys from Slovenia and Ex Yu coming to this blog (my last surname Purstavrh is typical Slovenian too). Anyway, I am also glad we have really international community here with this blog. And OT 2: Unfortunately, the AGW awareness is not at the level in my view it should be. Also, I personally find it that many people realize that one can actually benefit from polluting less (at least for the CO2), by employing really simple measures (such as using bicyle instead of car for daily commuting). Not just in term of reducing CO2, but also in terms on getting to your destination faster. Here are the times I need to get to my job: - walking (my preference): 17 min - cycling (good, but to fast, cause I find my daily walk very relaxing): 7 min - driving by car (and driving me nuts): 25 min I must admit I have the commodity not living so far from my job (1.8 km). But: From my boss, who is 25 km from job - public transport (and in Ljubljana, PT is as bad as it could get): 30 min - using car, he'd need more than 40 mins in rush hour. My opinion is, that with just a little policy adjustments we can make a great difference with actual improvements of our life. Yes, it is just my gut feeling. But I think we have to tell people that it works and it works better than BAU. For me, the greatest punishment is to drive car for hours to get some satisfaction (store, job, or even vacation). Because, all I need is close to me (I know this may not apply to all people). But, this just my small personal view.
Toggle Commented Aug 15, 2011 on SIE 2011 update 16: flash melting at Arctic Sea Ice
Well Kevin, regarding the "drop" being artifact of alghoritms (and also, using different sensors, as far as I know IJIS is using AMSR-E and CT uses SSMI), it is also true that both IJIS and CT area are rougly on the same path - yes, sudden drop is most probably artifact of algorithms, but couple of day running average is not, as these errors are canceled out. And we are seing area/extent ratio quite low for a couple of days and also we have a 2007 like decrease in area too, so there is a lot of melt in progress. And it is safe to say that ice is more dispersed in 2011 than in 2007.
Toggle Commented Aug 15, 2011 on CAPIE hits record low at Arctic Sea Ice
After revision, IJIS extent dropped to 5.700.313 and drop is now 127.187 km2, which is more than break on aug 25th 2008: 121.562 km2
Toggle Commented Aug 14, 2011 on SIE 2011 update 16: flash melting at Arctic Sea Ice
Neven, new Search ice outlook is finally out: with mean at 4.6 mio km2.
After eyeballing IJIS sea ice area, we are already below 2009 minimum or at least close to it. I expect this will be visible on CT area too in a couple of days (if not today).
Grrr. But my posts really suck :( When I mentioned low CAPIE index, it should be read rather low CAPIE index at the moment. And of course: The lowest value in CT SIA for 2007 is just above 2.91 mio km2, and the lowest values for 2008 and 2010 were below 3.1 mio km2. And in 2007, there was only a small decrease in SIA since august 24th (less than 0.1 mio km2). However, I don't want to use CT SIA as the only indicator of SIA (IJIS and Arctic Roos may decrease errors in using different sensors and signal processing alghoritms). But it can be safely to say, that SIA is not much above the level in 2007. And finally, could it be, that in the following years, SIA will become more accurate measure (given the troubles in SIA measurement) of amount of ice than SIE, because error in estimating amount of ice due to natural variability of extentwill be greater than error due to problems with melt water ponds ?
Well Kevin, about your speculation alert. This happened in 2007. Actually, I've noticed that 2007 SIA minimum was not so "spectacular" at all, comparing to 2008 and 2010 of course and of course, great differences in extent. I've also noticed that SIA decline stopped pretty soon in 2007 (somewhere after august 22nd), and much lower CAPIE value can mean quite decent melt if conditions are favorable. But, it still remains to be seen and in last few years, we can observe variability of extent (and other measures of ice) at it "best".
Well, the situation this year is interesting, but could it be, that the ice will break SIA minimum record, but not SIE record ?
Neven, I quite sure that Chris is talking about two weather forecasting models: American Global Forecasting System (GFS) and European Centre for Mid range weather forecasting (ECMWF). Both model do basicaly the same job. On you have both GFS and ECMWF forecasts. GFS for arctic is available here: and ECMWF (I know you know this, but for others) here: For both models, you have 850 hPa temps (this is roughly temps in free atmosphere 1500 m above the sea). For GFS you have also 2 m tems and precipitation prediction, but in turn, charts are there are only for 180 hours (although GFS runs for 384 hours). There are also available ensemble mean forecasts for GFS:
@Matthew: It is not so surprisingly that summer temps in Arctic are around long year average. There is still plenty of ice there and all the heat is used for that. What do matter are autumn/winter/spring temps, where higher temps prevent or just decrease ice formation and in spring, the melt is a little bit earlier. Of course, this is not quite true for some southern parts, such as north Siberian cost. Temps there may have rise since there is no ice left for some prolonged period. However, temps will still closely follow the SST in that area. OTOH, when substantial amount of ice will be lost late in the summer for the first time, we shall see some increases in temps even north of 80 deg N. It is quite possible that we will see some temp increase in late august/september when that area will be ice free.
@kevin: i think that Tietche's paper is valuable in sense that we'd have seen Arctic ice recovered by now, if 2007 was just special weather without climate change behind the whole story. So as we are continuesly losing ice, this process can only be related to GW and not to something else.
@Nick, topology is similar, but you cannot go south of south pole ;). Anyway, regarding the bears at NP I do trust you. But, it was just a little joke anyway.
Toggle Commented Jul 13, 2011 on SIE 2011 update 11: the heat is on at Arctic Sea Ice
A little bit of edit: The correct position in my point. should be read as The correct position in my point of view.
Toggle Commented Jul 13, 2011 on SIE 2011 update 11: the heat is on at Arctic Sea Ice
@Kevin McKinney: In near future, the correct answer will be: It was not a bear at all, it was whale. Jokes off, but while tracking Arctic Roos and CT, DMI and Univ. Bremen graphs (IJIS was off), the odd man for today was CT with decreasing anomaly. I've been thinking for the time being (two days ago) that we came to some halt, but I was wrong for sure. I guess these discrepancies are due to different signal processing and I am sure melt has not stalled like in 2010. On the other hand I would wait till first 10 days in august to see in how bad state ice is (in term of extent and/or area). And I would state it clearly, even if somebody won't like it, but: Even if we'd get Arctic summer ice free in 2100, that is really, really bad. More, than average denier would imagine. And it looks that it is worse. Much worse. Even if it is by 2040, it is much much worse. If it is (and at least to PIOMAS projections) within this decade, than we may suffer severe changes in weather patterns. But, who am I to talk about. We have many really good scientists out there, and they are working their job fair, and I'd say, even conservatively when they are unsure. The correct position in my point. And for the final, a little joke: Q: Which is worse: Cancer or Economist ? A: Economist. Cancer is satisfied with steady state growth, Economist wants even more.
Toggle Commented Jul 13, 2011 on SIE 2011 update 11: the heat is on at Arctic Sea Ice
@crandles/gas glo: I think you did a really decent model, but, what about running it on a couple of days average value (just for the smoothing purpose) ? Just for try, but you may find some of the fits better, I think (and don't know cause I didn't crunch any of the numbers). But, if you have things set up in your model and you can easily rerun them, I'd be pleased to see the outcome.
Toggle Commented Jul 10, 2011 on SEARCH Outlook at Arctic Sea Ice
@Nick: I agree on central pack being intact, and I can agree with you here. Nevertheless, and it is actually my question: could it be due to relatively still weather. Last year, we've seen a lot of cyclonic activity, which broke ice up, this year, winds may not be so strong and therefore, no fragmentation occurred yet ? Or, ice has rebuild a little bit and PIOMAS and TOPAZ models are underestimating volume for the time being ? But either way. Maybe 2007 was really specific and we have some more years to watch ice disappearing (until 2030). But, even if this is true, the melt is in my point of view extremely rapid. Hey, whole Arctic ice gone within much less than a century - this is like a millisecond in a human life, comparing to ordinary climate change periods (figuratively, not exactly, if someone can give us a real value, it would be nice to know).
Nice job, Gas Glo/crandles :).. And as for Apologies also if you are not into geeky maths stuff: I am so glad that you showed us how things can be done mathematically. Even if I am not capable doing this (I basically understand your method, maybe, if I won't be sure about some detail after reading it couple of times, I will ask you for some help), it is nice to see how you did it. Now, it is on me to do some googling about some terms.
Toggle Commented Jul 5, 2011 on SEARCH Outlook at Arctic Sea Ice