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pottyprof

Arctic Ice Discussion. 2013 Melt Season

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So, we are reasonably confident that the melt season is beginning and there may be trouble ahead (there's a song in there somewhere). There is talk that we could see the northern polar ice reduce to virtually nothing. There is also talk of a slow melt season. There is also talk of satellites causing cold weather....... :D

As always, I'll keep open the freeze season thread for a few days so any conclusions can be added.

Keep it clean and wear a gum shield to avoid injury......

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Well , lets face the music eh?

I didn't know what to think at the end of last melt season. I had been warning of the volume losses since 07's shocker but you just don't expect to see your words painted large on the world canvas do you?

Initially I wanted an instant 'rebound' from the losses but the more I pondered the more I doubted that the ice we have seen since 2010 has any 'rebound ' in it? Even the synoptics that uses to keep ice are now destroying it???

The onset of the fracture event sealed it for me and I cannot see anything other than a rapid early season with high losses. I then do not know what to make of the latter part of the season? Does more open water lead to more storms or just a big bottom melt end of the season? Either way it'll be a high loss end to the season as well.

And if we see a more 'perfect storm' type of synoptic over the season??? Well, who knows........

Edited by Gray-Wolf

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Quite a steep drop on the JAXA Ice Extent.

Posted Image

And we're off!!

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By the look of the upcoming synoptic we might just see early losses increase over the coming 2 weeks?

Crackopalypse has done a proper number on the pack and ,it appears, is now rubbling up the fracture zones. This can only serve to increase mobility of the ice if the winds/current demand.

This is what I was fretting about once I realised the fracture event was turning basin wide. Float off, early on, allows for open water , mid basin, through peak solar and so enhances the bottom melt end of the season so it effectively becomes a high melt season even if the 'perfect storm' synoptic does not occur?

This is why I veered away from any notion of 'rebound' this time around.

This is not 07' with a 'bank' (however small) of thicker, older ice.

This is the year following years where synoptics that used to nurture ice have destroyed it and areas where multiyear used to grow are now active melt zones.

Folk should take the time to read the reports of ice conditions during the 30's and 40's in the areas now ice free year round just as some reminder of what was 'normal' 50yrs ago.

Throw in a bit of the 'odd' melt season behaviours we have seen over the last couple of years and we could be in for the worst season yet? Increased evaporation over the basin, Enhanced pressure gradient due to a persistent

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By the look of the upcoming synoptic we might just see early losses increase over the coming 2 weeks?

Crackopalypse has done a proper number on the pack and ,it appears, is now rubbling up the fracture zones. This can only serve to increase mobility of the ice if the winds/current demand.

This is what I was fretting about once I realised the fracture event was turning basin wide. Float off, early on, allows for open water , mid basin, through peak solar and so enhances the bottom melt end of the season so it effectively becomes a high melt season even if the 'perfect storm' synoptic does not occur?

This is why I veered away from any notion of 'rebound' this time around.

This is not 07' with a 'bank' (however small) of thicker, older ice.

This is the year following years where synoptics that used to nurture ice have destroyed it and areas where multiyear used to grow are now active melt zones.

Folk should take the time to read the reports of ice conditions during the 30's and 40's in the areas now ice free year round just as some reminder of what was 'normal' 50yrs ago.

Throw in a bit of the 'odd' melt season behaviours we have seen over the last couple of years and we could be in for the worst season yet? Increased evaporation over the basin, Enhanced pressure gradient due to a persistent

How early do you think the whole pact could melt out this season as a result?

I ask this as the steep slope in which the Arctic Ice is declining looks to make it such that the Arctic Ice will cease to exist by late June.

Edited by gagerg

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How early do you think the whole pact could melt out this season as a result?

I ask this as the steep slope in which the Arctic Ice is declining looks to make it such that the Arctic Ice will cease to exist by late June.

If that were to be the case we are surely in deep sh*t?! I don't think things are that bad just yet, but that steep decline does not look good.

Edited by Don

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It really isn't wise to extrapolate the annual minimum from short term fluctuations at this time of year. Chances are the extent will creep upward in a few days days time, but I doubt anyone will be calling for a September minimum above 20 million km2 based on the 2 or 3 day trend then!?

Edited by BornFromTheVoid

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It really isn't wise to interpolate the annual minimum from short term fluctuations at this time of year. Chances are the extent will creep upward in a few days days time, but I doubt anyone will be calling for a September minimum above 20 million km2 based on the 2 or 3 day trend then!?

I can agree with that.

There is something strange however in certain models as there are models out there that don't show the Ice Loss to be quite as extreme.

For example this graphic which was actually updated today.

Posted Image

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It's not a model, it's real data - the thing is it's difficult to see Arctic ice through clouds, and all the different sites use slightly different algorithms to remove the clouds. If you look at the pictures, you'll see that most of the change at the moment is in the sea of Okhotsk (lower left, scroll back/forwards a few days to see the changes).

http://www.ijis.iarc.uaf.edu/cgi-bin/seaice-monitor.cgi?lang=e

Right now there's a huge Lettuceoff cyclone sitting right on top of that area (look at the MODIS RGB channel to see what it looks like in optical wavelengths), so it's a miracle they're getting any data at all.

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I can agree with that.

There is something strange however in certain models as there are models out there that don't show the Ice Loss to be quite as extreme.

For example this graphic which was actually updated today.

Posted Image

The first thing to consider, is that most of this data comes from satellites sensors that measure the amount of microwave energy that is being emitted from the surface. Land, vegetation, water, ice, all will emit different amounts of microwave energy, depending on how the elements/molecules that are arranged within that particular surface type. The amount of energy naturally emitted is very low, so the satellites need to take the energy in from a very large area in order to form an image. Because of the large area needed, you get a very low spatial resolution (like a low mega pixel value on a camera) and lot of mixed surface types that emit different amounts on energy (old ice, new ice, water, etc.,) within a single image

This type of imagery is used because it doesn't require sunlight (so can work thought the polar winter) and can "see" through clouds (so can take images all day, every day, regardless of the weather conditions).

What the different groups and organisations usually do, is create an algorithm that determines the amount of sea ice in an image, based on the level of energy emitted. This can be different depending on each group, due to the algorithm they decide on, the gaps they include from the coastlines (so they don't get a mix of sea ice and land in the same pixels) and the satellites sensors they use, which will have different sized pixels and sensitivities the the amount of energy emitted.

Even after that, they will use different measurement techniques based on the percentage of sea ice they determine is within a single pixel. Songster explained to me how this worked, back early last year...

Sea extent uses a hard cutoff at 15% (for NSIDC) or 30% (for DMI) and then treats each pixel as either present or absent. Sea ice area (e.g. Cryosphere Today) applies the 15% cutoff and then weights each individual pixel by its concentration.

Let's pretend we have five "pixels", each of 10 km^2, with the following concentrations: 95%, 85%, 35%, 25%, 12%

DMI reports that as an extent of 30 km^2 (three pixels are over 30% concentration)

NSIDC reports that as an extent of 40 km^2 (four pixels are over 15% concentration)

CT reports that as an area of 24 km^2 (i.e. (0.95+0.85+0.35+0.25) x 10 km^2)

So really, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense to switch between one measure and another. They all show the same general trend, but differ somewhat on the day to day values.

So it's generally best to see what the trend is, and how it compares to the norm.

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I wonder if we might hit a new record this year?

As far as I can see, the Arctic minimum has never been lower than the Antarctic minimum of the same year. 2012 has come the closest so far, which had an area minimum of 1.96 million in Antarctica, compared to the Arctic minimum of 2.24 million km2. Before recent years, they were not even close, with a minimum of higher than 2.5 million km2 never being record in the south, and, up until 2007, a minimum of less than 4 million km2 never being seen in the north.

With the Antarctic minimum this year being the 2nd highest on record, at 2.42 million km2, it means we wouldn't even require a record low in the Arctic for the minimum to be lower than Antarctica from the first time.

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Dr. Walt Meier of the National Snow and Ice Data and others. Plus the comedian.

! Edited by knocker

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The more I see of them the more I believe that the adherents of Monkton and co. are very frightebed individuals who need each other to 'scare' away the Bogeyman that looms ever larger once they are alone?

They scrabble around, through swathes of current science, to find the merest scrap of comfort that what they see occuring is transitory or , crazier still, 'normal'?

I, for one, feel I have wasted enough of my time on them. They have no wish to understand , merely find another oportunity to yell out loud 'There is no BOGEYMAN!!!'.

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He's gone down a treat in New Zealand.

Professor Dave Frame, director of the Climate Change Research Institute at Victoria University, described him as a "vaudeville act" to be ignored.

"Someone who goes around saying things we know are not true can actually be quite harmful."

Posted Image

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10874950

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The more I see of them the more I believe that the adherents of Monkton and co. are very frightebed individuals who need each other to 'scare' away the Bogeyman that looms ever larger once they are alone?

They scrabble around, through swathes of current science, to find the merest scrap of comfort that what they see occuring is transitory or , crazier still, 'normal'?

I, for one, feel I have wasted enough of my time on them. They have no wish to understand , merely find another oportunity to yell out loud 'There is no BOGEYMAN!!!'.

Patronising as usual.

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Patronising as usual.

Pity that much of what GW said is true. Most Monckton fans do little more than repeat his sound bites, refuse to engage in any debate and refuse to try and understand the science involved. Seems like a fear of reality. It appears they blindly accept everything Monckton throws their way because it will fit in with their --we're not the cause, everything is ok, nothing has to change-- mentality.

Still though, perhaps GW could have said as much in a less patronising tone...

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I'm sorry if my tone comes across that way ( I'm often in trouble in here for being' too patronising' ), it is never my intention and I have to wonder if the written word leaves too much for the reader to imply in terms of tone and intention?

As with any person I am allowed an opinion but it does not make it 'law'? it's just my 'opinion/truth'.

I think my years of trying to allow sense/reality to prevail has left me with a reputation (in certain quarters) that does not service my needs but is used to detract/diminish what I am attempting to say?

I am heartened to have recieved a warm 'thank you' note, from an international 'Lurker' ( over in 'another place'), which helps focus me in my intention to have such folk be able to read about what is occuring in the climate and help them discern the wheat from the chaff.

It is not all about the folk who post here and we all owe a duty of care to those who seek knowledge. The likes of Monkton show us that some folk delight in gaining plaudits by telling them what they 'want to hear'..... and not by facing the hard truths.

Each to their own I suppose?

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PIOMAS April 2013 - extra update

The Polar Science Center has released some extra PIOMAS gridded data that allows smart bunnies like Wipneus and Chris Reynolds to show how ice thickness is distributed around the Arctic. Here's a thickness distribution map made by Wipneus that shows the difference between March 2012 and March this year:

 

http://neven1.typepad.com/blog/2013/04/piomas-april-2013-extra-update.html?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

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It really isn't wise to extrapolate the annual minimum from short term fluctuations at this time of year. Chances are the extent will creep upward in a few days days time, but I doubt anyone will be calling for a September minimum above 20 million km2 based on the 2 or 3 day trend then!?

 

 1m above 2007 so far cant be bad close to the 1990s average.

 

http://www.ijis.iarc.uaf.edu/seaice/extent/Sea_Ice_Extent_L.png

Edited by stewfox

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And its all kinda irrelevant at this stage anyways, ice extent at this time of year is all down to conditions outside of the main Arctic basin itself. I suppose one crumb of comfort is that ice conditions do look a little better in both thickness and extent in the Kara/Barants Sea area than last year. 

 

Its all to easy to get carried away with what extent is showing at this time of year, even when we seen that sharp drop about a week or so ago, but things have levelled out again somewhat. 

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The link over to Nevens Blog helps bring things into context I thought? The shift over to the Russian side by the thickest ice must have us wonder how it will fare there instead of over Beaufort side??? We all thought that Beaufort might help retain the ice last summer (it always used too?) but didn't so how will being free of the gyre serve it?

 

The 'summer style' N.Russian high is busy setting up it's summer temps across Northern Europe/Russia so how hot will the southerlies over the ice be be come July???How warm will the river outflows be????

 

With the trans polar drift and The Russian Heatwave I do not ex[etc any better than last years efforts in ice retention if not worse?

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Well ,the season is under way and we are still tracking below last years levels. with less ice and a record amount of FY ice are we set to drop straight into record territory or do you expect some type of 'rebound' and ,if so ,Why?

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The latest value : 13,403,906 km2 (April 15, 2013) 

 

 

post-12275-0-56032700-1366108627_thumb.p

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