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Arctic Sea Ice Melt Season 2021


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Posted
  • Location: Ireland, probably South Tipperary
  • Weather Preferences: Cold, Snow, Windstorms and Thunderstorms
  • Location: Ireland, probably South Tipperary

    Latest PIOMAS Arctic sea ice volume is out to mid June. 2021 is 6th lowest on record, with the 3rd largest drop on record in the last 30 days. (H/T Wipneus on the ASIF). It's also:
    10,900 km³ below 1980s
    9,000 km³ below 1990s
    5,300 km³ below 2000s
    200 km³ below the 2010s average

    AllDaysMJune.thumb.jpg.5befde31e4252452dc42d08fef8087ca.jpg image.thumb.png.ce243a8a064668eefa67126a786a7cb8.png

    Regionally, volume has dropped rapidly along the Russian Arctic coast, from 10th to 5th lowest since mid May - the largest drop on record for the last 30 days. For the central Arctic, 2021 has risen from 5th to 7th lowest, and but within a near tie from 3rd to 8th lowest.

    RussianMidJune.thumb.jpg.445a19d1f61b0ab8c5e48fc44acd3e7b.jpg image.thumb.png.203396b558bff3fcfdc04b0633677ba5.png

    CABMidJune.thumb.jpg.5979e45f8d2f130be8757263448e7bd5.jpgimage.thumb.png.7171afe72c125cbbda6c2001f85d81cc.png

    Finally a comparison between this year, last year and the 3 other lowest volume years across all Arctic regions in Mid June

    ArcticRegionalMidJune.thumb.jpg.99a2c701c7878245f9ebd9eeece4df60.jpg image.thumb.png.a5c929ba27ccb769f78de2b7de87630c.png

    image.png

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    • 2 weeks later...
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    Posted
  • Location: Morecambe
  • Location: Morecambe

    Whilst it's quiet in here, I do think there is a good chance of seeing something extraordinary in the 2nd half of the melt season and whilst I was initially optimistic about the ice, sadly the recent trends of Siberia turning far too hot has put a big blow on the ice there. The ice pack shape is looking almost identical to 2020 and the Siberian fast ice is now giving up the ghost. 

    The ice pack in the more central areas is now looking more disperse following a recent cyclone and now we are getting strong warm southerly winds follow by potentially another deep low.

    Last year saw a largely compact ice pack totally destroyed by early retreat and very high SSTS, this year we are seeing an early retreat in the same areas but this time the ice pack is full of holes(not everywhere of course) and if any warm SSTS gets near to that disperse ice, it will surely not hold up for very long.

    Only the reasilence of the Beaufort ice may prevent record lows but unlike last year, SSTS are very high here also so bottom melt could well occur quickly here once that momentum starts. The Atlantic front is interesting, ice that looks vulnable is probably not as looks can be deceiving however if those SSTS warm significantly in the next 8 weeks, atlantification could well be quite extreme again. And there is hints the persistent and well above average high pressure over Scandinavia is going to chuck hot air over the Barants and Kara seas. It may not happen as its still in the medium term but Im not liking what I am seeing here at all. Last year, I had the hope the compact looking ice pack may of saved the day but hot SSTS overpowered that, this year I can't see much to cling onto. Maybe the cyclone will eventually go into a favourable spot and be alot slacker but in the short to medium term, it's going to be in the worst possible place imo. 

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    Posted
  • Location: Mytholmroyd, West Yorks.......
  • Weather Preferences: Hot & Sunny, Cold & Snowy
  • Location: Mytholmroyd, West Yorks.......

    Ice losses over the weekend seem to have picked up momentum have they not?

    There's some horrible looking ice in the basin a.t.m.  & either heat or tumbling of the ice via a nasty low will cause us major losses from here on in

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    Posted
  • Location: Morecambe
  • Location: Morecambe
    13 hours ago, Gray-Wolf said:

    Ice losses over the weekend seem to have picked up momentum have they not?

    There's some horrible looking ice in the basin a.t.m.  & either heat or tumbling of the ice via a nasty low will cause us major losses from here on in

    Record lows now GW! The heatwave over Canada has played a part in rapid ice melt in Hudson Bay and the fast ice we had is literally collapsing like a pack of cards thanks to weather and perhaps warm rivers entering the basin? 

    The shape of the ice pack looks so similar to last year yet the weather locally over the Laptev is now going to be totally opposite to last year. I'm just hoping  this low that is near the Laptev fills in and weakens quickly and the cold pool remains over the CAB. That said, the models still want to bring ridiculas heat over the ESS and perhaps eventually the Chukchi. I still worry alot about the dispersion that is visable on the ice pack and if those warm SSTS from the Laptev starts getting near that diffused ice, it going to be quite vulnable I believe. 

    BTW I'm just almost gobsmacked what I seen across Siberia, if you told me just 2 months ago the Laptev and ESS will have record breaking melt, I would not of believed it but the weather has really not played ball here at all for the most part. I have seen very little set ups which had a period of winds coming in from the ice, for the most part, they have been coming in from a (hot) Siberia. 

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    Posted
  • Location: King’s Lynn, Norfolk.
  • Weather Preferences: Hot and Thundery, Cold and Snowy
  • Location: King’s Lynn, Norfolk.

    I do fear for the ice more this year. Last year it was the Beaufort and Chukchi seas that pretty much saved and provided a shoulder to lean on for the Central Arctic pack retention. That is not the case this year. With this cyclone near the Barents and Kara seas, this could lead to accelerated fram export already. If we have more cyclones during August after another resurgence of July heat, then it could well paint quite a dire picture. 

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    Posted
  • Location: Lincoln, Lincolnshire
  • Weather Preferences: Sunshine, convective precipitation, snow, thunderstorms, "episodic" months.
  • Location: Lincoln, Lincolnshire

    Atmospheric circulation for the coming week has a cold low pressure system over the pole which should help to slow down melt in the central part of the Arctic  for the next 7 to 10 days:

    image.thumb.png.e9b0ac7cb89aaff5b664349a7b3b2b12.png

    However, a pulse of unusually hot air from eastern Siberia could result in further melt events over the east Russia/Alaska side in particular, especially at around 4-6 days' time.

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    Posted
  • Location: Morecambe
  • Location: Morecambe
    Posted (edited)
    52 minutes ago, East_England_Stormchaser91 said:

    I do fear for the ice more this year. Last year it was the Beaufort and Chukchi seas that pretty much saved and provided a shoulder to lean on for the Central Arctic pack retention. That is not the case this year. With this cyclone near the Barents and Kara seas, this could lead to accelerated fram export already. If we have more cyclones during August after another resurgence of July heat, then it could well paint quite a dire picture. 

    I don't think it provided that much protection in all honesty, the ice in the Beaufort/Chukchi fell apart at the back end of July and into August helped by quite a strong cyclone and all the heat and warmth in Barants and Siberian seas probably increased bottom melt massively for the CAB. 

    Some slight positives for this year is the Chukchi ice does look a bit more resilient than last year, the CAB has so far been quite cold and is forecast to remain that way for now and the Barants sea SSTS are just below average whereas this time last year, they would start to increase massively with plus 10 upper air temperatures hitting Svalbard! The diffuse ice does remain a question mark mind but looks can be deceiving, the ice was not diffused last year on the Atlantic side but it did look almighty thin. 

    If the SSTS in the Laptev start to remain steady or even cool down from this cyclone then maybe things will look a little better. As TWS says, there is a forecast of perhaps brief but intense heat hitting the ESS and then the Chukchi sea in around 3 days time. However if they don't cool down or it Increases even more then any cold weather over the CAB could be overridden by bottom melt. 

    Edited by Geordiesnow
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    Posted
  • Location: Mytholmroyd, West Yorks.......
  • Weather Preferences: Hot & Sunny, Cold & Snowy
  • Location: Mytholmroyd, West Yorks.......

    Just a reminder that we have 'permafrost' that holds a lot of GHG's across this region......

     

    newFile-2.jpg?width=1200&auto=webp&quali
    WWW.INDEPENDENT.CO.UK

    It comes month after scientists called temperatures in region ‘mind-boggling’

     

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    Posted
  • Location: Crymych, Pembrokeshire. 150m asl
  • Weather Preferences: Extremes of all kinds...
  • Location: Crymych, Pembrokeshire. 150m asl

    Another damaging consequence of ice melt?

    Three storms in a week”

    Rare lightning strikes in the Arctic

    Last week three successful thunderstorms hit the Arctic in a rare event which has left scientists puzzled.

    Conditions in the Arctic are not conductive to the formation of thunderstorms which need a layer of warm air beneath colder air. But with sea ice melting, adding moisture to the air, and temperature rising it could become a more regular occurrence.

    For context, just 0.5% of all lightning strikes on Earth are recorded in the Arctic with the number of strikes tripling since 2010.

    While many think of the Arctic as a cold, frigid place; heatwaves in the region have hit parts of Alaska, Siberia, and Canada drying ground vegetation which is now exposed to lightning strikes triggering wildfires.

    Not only is it drier, but with ice receding there is more ground available for vegetation to grow acting as tinder for devastating fires in remote areas.”

    (article copied from weather&radar.co.uk)

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    Posted
  • Location: Lincoln, Lincolnshire
  • Weather Preferences: Sunshine, convective precipitation, snow, thunderstorms, "episodic" months.
  • Location: Lincoln, Lincolnshire

    The recent synoptics have been relatively favourable for sea ice retention in the Arctic but there are some concerning charts showing up for 7-10 days' time, particularly on the ECMWF operational runs.

    image.thumb.png.4bf8e62769d21a6a259ae75fdd93cf20.png

    High pressure and relatively high heights setting up over the Barents/Kara region which could well decimate that surviving tongue of sea ice east of Franz Josef Land and leave the region to the north of Eurasia completely clear of sea ice.  High pressure and southerly and south-westerly winds also look set to take over across Greenland, which has so far had a modest melt season in 2021 but could see some major melt spikes in the coming fortnight.

    I know the following ECMWF chart is a long way out and subject to change, but it's scary seeing setups showing where long-draw northerlies could bring warmth!

    image.thumb.png.4fe1440cbb5fd1771cfaedc816c426b4.png

    Edited by Thundery wintry showers
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    Posted
  • Location: Morecambe
  • Location: Morecambe
    9 hours ago, Thundery wintry showers said:

    The recent synoptics have been relatively favourable for sea ice retention in the Arctic but there are some concerning charts showing up for 7-10 days' time, particularly on the ECMWF operational runs.

    image.thumb.png.4bf8e62769d21a6a259ae75fdd93cf20.png

    High pressure and relatively high heights setting up over the Barents/Kara region which could well decimate that surviving tongue of sea ice east of Franz Josef Land and leave the region to the north of Eurasia completely clear of sea ice.  High pressure and southerly and south-westerly winds also look set to take over across Greenland, which has so far had a modest melt season in 2021 but could see some major melt spikes in the coming fortnight.

    I know the following ECMWF chart is a long way out and subject to change, but it's scary seeing setups showing where long-draw northerlies could bring warmth!

    image.thumb.png.4fe1440cbb5fd1771cfaedc816c426b4.png

    Going to sound very pedantic TWS but at that location because of rotation of the earth, it would not be a northerly but a SE'ly(I think) but I get your point though. 

    No doubt things are going to kick off over Greenland though, Greenland ridging is going to occur and that does not usually mean good news for the Arctic either. Looking at the set ups, the best case scenario would actually be something similar to that chart as the warm/hot air would miss most of the basin and that has been a possibility but the models do seem to be agreeing the upcoming Siberian hot pool of air is on its way towards the Laptev region. Plenty of compaction winds even before then albeit not especially warm winds but will be interesting how it all plays out.

    Other thing to note, the ESS is going to get cooler winds, if only we saw such a scenario during June and maybe just maybe that fast ice may of been a bit more resilient than it was. 

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    Posted
  • Location: Morecambe
  • Location: Morecambe

    At this point, extent is currently 6th lowest(effectively tied 4th lowest with 2007 and 2011) and area according to the NSIDC is in the dizzy heights of 12th lowest. 

    Its interesting so far extent has not followed the area slowdown as of yet, I don't think this is a fully a bad thing though as it means there is not too much ice spread but the drops are still a little too high for my likening. We shall see if extent finally responds to the area slow downs in the next few days, especially given the cooler conditions that is going to be in the pacific regions for the next few days at least. That is sadly counteracted by a big warm pool for the Laptev sea(this is really becoming the Beaufort of 2007-12 in terms of warmth) although there will be a brief respite in the next day or so before the southerlies come back in. 

    Looking at the area numbers, you should feel a little more encouraged about the ice and things do look better than last year despite yet another early melt out in the Siberian seas(mostly the Laptev this year but the ESS also until a bit more recently) but how long can the ice last in the Beaufort/Chukchi. Its this time last year that major cyclone came in and really diffused the ice there, no such storms as of yet and the ice does look more firmer but its going to be an interesting race against time. Just how much can survive, SSTS in the Chukchi are for a change around average so that could help the ice. 

    Also how much Atlantification will we see, I think the ice around Svalbard will have a better chance of surviving, its diffused but SSTS are just a touch below average in the Barants south of the ice(unlike last year!) we do have some warmer SSTS a bit further north mind and there has been some retreat but when you compare the ice this year to last, it really was very thin last year even if it did look more compact. 

    The weather patterns do look quite mixed to say the least, some areas seemingly having better weather for ice retention than others but as of yet, no major cyclones forecast thankfully. If area numbers stay fairly high then extent will surely follow eventually but if they start to crash like they did last year then extent could still finish on the low side. I started the melt season thinking given the winter was good for ice thickening, extent could finish around the 2018 figure but the early Siberian retreat made me think again and dispersion was increasing and really thought at one stage we could be seeing record lows. Thankfully weather patterns became more favourable if albeit not showing in terms of extent numbers and I don't think we be challenging the record lows unless something extraordinary happens like a GAC but even then I don't think it would have the same impact as 2012 as the ice is not as diffused. Whereas this time last year I was near enough certain we will finish under 4 million, I'm not so sure we will this year but the fact we are likely to have very little to no Siberian ice increases the odds a little. 

    Such an interesting melt season(as it usually is) , could write a book on it! 

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    Posted
  • Location: Lincoln, Lincolnshire
  • Weather Preferences: Sunshine, convective precipitation, snow, thunderstorms, "episodic" months.
  • Location: Lincoln, Lincolnshire

    The high pressure over Greenland combined with high 500mb heights and a warm airmass has indeed resulted in a notable melt spike, though not a record breaking one.  The net mass balance losses were higher in the big melt episodes in 2012 and 2019, and in terms of melt area, the big melt episodes in 2002 and 2005 also produced larger losses.  15 July 1995 also had a comparable melt area.  However, by most standards the ice loss from the Greenland ice sheet has been very substantial over the past few days.

    https://nsidc.org/greenland-today/greenland-surface-melt-extent-interactive-chart/

    http://polarportal.dk/en/greenland/surface-conditions/

    Conditions look like returning much closer to normal over Greenland in the coming week.  However, as Greenland cools down, we look set to see another plume of warm air head in from Siberia and penetrate close to the North Pole, which could result in some northward retreat of the sea ice to the north of Eurasia.

    image.thumb.png.091a87828074c0792428c46b1cb2b883.png

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    Posted
  • Location: New Forest (Western)
  • Weather Preferences: Fascinated by extreme weather. Despise drizzle.
  • Location: New Forest (Western)

    How fortunate we’ve been that the CAB and Pacific side have seen relatively cool, cloudy conditions in high summer. There was unusually thin CAB ice and thicker ice displaced from there into the Beaufort where it could have been subjected to stronger melt forcing than would be possible over the CAB.

    Only as we reach about a week into August do we look to see a shift for the Pacific side. Forecast models have high pressure and unusually warm air moving across there from the Siberian side. The anticyclone coulda be exceptional if ECM is near the mark.

    Question is, is it too late now for significant solar insulation? Perhaps not, in the southern Beaufort & Chukchi regions. In any case, the warmth should leave its mark - but with the ice coverage currently well above the recent norm, that may only serve to bring the situation there close to average. Time will tell.

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    Posted
  • Location: Morecambe
  • Location: Morecambe

    Really interesting outputs showing with the models really wanting high pressure to dominate, there is the complication of a little trough but the models are firming up this won't stop the high from dominating and we may as well see strong southerly winds hitting the ice edge quite hard. There is potential of a heat blast for the Chukchi but this is looking brief however the ice has still been slowly retreating here. 

    If the high does fully form as current runs are showing, I can't wait too see how the ice reacts to it. 

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    Posted
  • Location: Ireland, probably South Tipperary
  • Weather Preferences: Cold, Snow, Windstorms and Thunderstorms
  • Location: Ireland, probably South Tipperary

    Can't seem to upload the animation, so here's the tweet.

     

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    Posted
  • Location: Morecambe
  • Location: Morecambe

    In answer to your question in the tweet, there should be next to no chance of challenging 2012, weather conditions could not be any different, pre conditioning is totally different to 2012(area is much higher) and even if a deep low hits then the way the ice looks, it should not seperate like it did in 2012. 

    The concern is the very high SSTS in the Laptev, how much bottom melt will there be, coupled with winds coming from that warm source, how much will the ice edge retreat, in some parts, its already further north than it was in 2020 and we saw how extreme Atlantification was then. 

    Also to look out for the ice around Greenland, not sure I ever seen a period of strong winds coming from the south as potentially prolonged as I am seeing in the model runs. Things could get interesting indeed there. I do hope some of the runs which shows a slack but cold low pressure system coming into play will be right but I suspect this block could prevent that from happening. 

     

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    • 2 weeks later...
    Posted
  • Location: on a canal , probably near Northampton...
  • Weather Preferences: extremes n snow
  • Location: on a canal , probably near Northampton...

     

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    Posted
  • Location: Morecambe
  • Location: Morecambe
    On 12/08/2021 at 06:26, matty40s said:

     

    I still wonder what effects smoke really has on the ice, if the smoke is above cloud heights then it can't be deposited via precipitation and I see plenty of dark patches of ice which look near to melting out but are actually more stubborn than one might think. When you see smoke on the satalite images going across the basin, it looks dramatic, it looks scary but is it really? Definately more concerning in respect of climate change but I've not seen much evidence it harms Arctic sea ice directly. 

    I noticed BFTV put a tweet out there about the rapid Laptev sea ice melt but then he proceeds to put Atlantification in a hashtag. Would like too see proof that the current melt in the Laptev has anything to do with Atlantification rather than the fact its down to excessive heat from Siberia and ever increasing sea temperatures which gives the positive feedback of more ice melting away. I'm sure there was no talk of Atlantification in the Laptev in 2016 and 2017 melt seasons where melt in the Laptev was slow, probably because the weather was cooler and it was the Beaufort that melted quickly in those years, I guess that must be down to pacification then. 🙄

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    Posted
  • Location: Ireland, probably South Tipperary
  • Weather Preferences: Cold, Snow, Windstorms and Thunderstorms
  • Location: Ireland, probably South Tipperary

    Here's the animation in question.

    228408030_ezgif.com-gif-maker(3).thumb.gif.3fb4ff7309ce9be29b5cb0070a2961e6.gif

    As for the Atlantification hashtag, there have been numerous studies recently discussing the role of Atlantification in the massive loss of ice in the Barents and Kara Seas. More recently they've been hinting at the same process now beginning to encroach on the Laptev Sea too. Give the last years record smashing low levels on ice in Laptev, and this year easily matching it despite not even being in the top 10 warmest summers of the last 30 years, I think adding Atlanitification as a possible cause to the mix isn't quite worthy of derision.

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    Posted
  • Location: Morecambe
  • Location: Morecambe
    18 minutes ago, BornFromTheVoid said:

    Here's the animation in question.

    228408030_ezgif.com-gif-maker(3).thumb.gif.3fb4ff7309ce9be29b5cb0070a2961e6.gif

    As for the Atlantification hashtag, there have been numerous studies recently discussing the role of Atlantification in the massive loss of ice in the Barents and Kara Seas. More recently they've been hinting at the same process now beginning to encroach on the Laptev Sea too. Give the last years record smashing low levels on ice in Laptev, and this year easily matching it despite not even being in the top 10 warmest summers of the last 30 years, I think adding Atlanitification as a possible cause to the mix isn't quite worthy of derision.

    Yes but June was very hot for both the ESS and Laptev Seas, strong southerly winds were a frequent occurance during June. They did back off during July but temperatures still above average here because of the open water and warm sea surface temperatures. If we have seen weather not conclusive for such open water during June, I may buy into the argument a bit more. There is a reason why there is alot more extensive ice in the Beaufort currently and its because if one area is losing ice at a fast rate, another area is probably cooler with a slower rate of melt. 

    If we seen frequent dipoles(the classic ones), there be alot more ice in the Laptev/ESS and much less ice in the Beaufort/Chukchi than there currently is. 

    I also don't think Atlantification is affecting the Kara sea as such, the Kara is changing because of climate change which is resulting in earlier melt and later refreeze which means thinner ice and warmer SSTS during spring and summer which means more ice melts away. 

    As for current conditions, we are running at 9th lowest with a bit of a slowdown mainly due to slack weather patterns, the outlook looks fairly cool for the most part apart from the Laptev which will remain above average until it refreezes. The ice is getting more diffused in the Chukchi and to a lesser extent the Beaufort sea and a fairly deep(although not extremely) low hovering around these areas for the next few days. Will be interesting what impacts that will have on the ice in these areas, it was this time last year the ice just collapsed in the Chukchi sea, I think the ice will be a bit more resilient this year if albeit looking ever more diffused. One of those where the finishing line is near but not close enough and given the lack of Siberian ice and the warm SSTS in the Laptev, Im still getting a feeling we may finish under 4 million in extent still but unlike last year, confidence is not high in that regard. 

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