Sunday, May 17, 2015

Sea Ice Thermal Flux Profiles II, as demonstrated by the horizon; thin ice

~A big surprise, very thin sea ice gives a similar horizon to much thicker ice, the instant it is set completely.
~The difference between the two ice profiles help explain thermodynamic action.

   Astounding as it sounds,  thin sea ice raises the horizon a lot as soon as it forms.  Historically, there has been well known weather the day sea ice forms,  the clouds clear along with a common impression of much colder temperatures all around coastal areas.  For obvious reasons thermal variances are difficult to study when sea water turns to sea ice,  although flux studies have been done mainly after sea ice is solid enough to put equipment on it.

   Just after Minima of 2013.  The apparent Arctic wide cooling caused by extraordinary dynamic Gyre stall of ice compaction over the entire Arctic Ocean (except for the Atlantic side) caused an earlier freeze up of McClure and Barrow Strait.   This reduced the usual cloudy autumn from masking the horizon.  Above left picture was on September 21, 2013, with surface temperature -6 C.  Some ice was already present but sea ice formed further afterwards.  Middle picture was September 23, 2013,  sea ice appeared to have formed completely and the horizon rose above true astronomical horizon.  This is simply an exhilarating discovery, it leaves long wave thermal transfer as the principal thermal contributor  of the near surface inversion causing the greater refraction looming.    Further to this (extreme right),   the horizon remained the same or even dropped a little 2 hours later in the evening.    This is another discovery.  Usually a thicker sea ice horizon rises in the evening,  even when cloudy, a stronger evening inversion did not happen when ice was seen bran new.   This lack of horizon rise was observed again multiple times with very thin ice.   I suggest an absent sea ice "cold" core which allows the air to cool faster above top of ice,  while with new ice the higher sun presence at about noon gave greater thermal flux upwards creating a slightly more visible inversion.

   A common problem with very new sea ice analysis is of course caused by fog or clouds.  Natural cooling during autumn causes a great deal of moisture obscurations.  Fortunately 2014 had a brief respite just about the right time,  although not perfect,  the photographic  repetition of 2013  freeze-up was achieved.

    Barrow Strait  can be very complicated by its tidal currents which change substantially during a moon cycle.    But here we can note the same thermal sceneries as witnessed in 2013, 2012, 2011 and 2009.  Capturing a freeze-up with very little clouds is rare.  This is why 2014 and 2013 are featured here,  the other years had some clouds making demonstrations possible with a lot more explanations.  2014 freeze-up took 3 days,  of which day 2 had grey ice which will be dealt with on a subsequent article. Picture of October 1 (extreme left) feature rolling water waves and sea ice bits in a fierce wind storm.  Temperatures ranged from -9 to -12 between Oct 1 and 3.  2014 freeze-up occurred at about -11 C which was a return to regular yearly feature.  except for 2013.    On October 3, Barrow horizon rose substantially despite similar temperatures.  20:07:54 UTC capture (second from left) had new thin ice slightly mangled by winds and tidal currents during its formation.  But at once the horizon rose when sea ice covered all of sea water up to the horizon.  A few hours later the horizon dropped (23:31:26) again likely due to air cooling faster than top of thin ice.  Well frozen with thicker sea ice,  the horizon rose most 15 days later (furtherest right).  the cold ice core started to to grow enough to affect the evening rise, accretion of ice goes in tandem with a more risen horizon.

  Barrow Strait Ice is usually more chaotic than McClure Strait , but concurring to the demo above  the Western view of the Northwest passage had similar refraction effects but on different days:

   October 2, 4 and 18 2014 (from left to right),  sea ice set a day later in McClure Strait and looking at NW passage .  October 3 had grey ice.  The much lowered water horizon (left) rose at freeze-up on (center),  the horizon rose further 2 weeks later indicating the build up of a cold ice core.  The repetition of this looming feature helps explain thermal fluxes instantly.  

  Thin sea ice main feature as giving as high or higher horizon compared with thicker spring time sea ice at noon must be due in large part to thermal long wave heat from the the summer warmed sea causing a weak inversion,    convection stops the moment the sea surface becomes crystalline, the insulation properties of very thin sea ice is simply spectacular.    Sea ice conduction in direct contact with surface air plays a different role in autumn,  likely slightly warming the interface (if at all)  as opposed to cooling the snow/ice with air interface in spring especially in the evening.  The missing core of cold ice is replaced by thermally "hot" sea water reducing evening inversion amplification.  But this feature has been observed to be short lived,  one week or so from onset the stable to slightly lowering horizon in evening changes to heightening as a top of ice cold core becomes more and more resilient and effectively cools the interface faster after warming from the autumnal noon Polar sun. Conduction from very thin sea ice appears to be very poor,  not powerful enough to warm interface air by causing and adiabatic profile which would lower the horizon below astronomical horizon height.   WD May17,2015

Reference:
 

Surface energy fluxes of Arctic winter sea ice in Barrow Strait

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Sea ice thermal flux profiles , as demonstrated by the horizon.

~Part 1 ,  sea water to very thin sea ice
~ An attempt to explain what happens at the sea to air interface when sea ice forms

    I was going to demonstrate possible clashing between buoy data and refraction observations.  But it is now known that above sea ice Mass Buoys thermistors exaggerate
the snow or air layer temperatures a great deal.   Buoy 2015A had 20 cm of snow with temperatures in excess of +7 C,  while surface temperatures was +1.48 C (thanks to Jim Hunt for good detective work).   It is not impossible for snow surface to be warmer than the air when its sunny.  But it is impossible to have snow at +7 C.     This obvious flaw asserts questions and doubts  about for above ice string thermistors.  Moreover this data is lost to what should have been computer Model output verifications.  It is a loss which may be compensated by refraction observations.

Simple initial sea ice formation;
                                 
     Easy as it seems,  thermally speaking it is not, we let the horizon demonstrate,  but after several freeze-up seasons of observation,  the problem was to be sure if the sea ice has been totally covered all the way till the horizon.   Any open water affects the horizon line elevation.    Arctic sea water is magnificently stable in temperature,  so its horizon line varies almost exclusively with air temperature change:

   A much lowered horizon is due to "sinking",  the surface temperature is "about" 6.2 degrees warmer than air,  "about" because the horizon line changes position with the temperature differences between the entire light path which is never measured.    The few bits of ice are also miraged.  

     The most difficult analysis possible is to see what happens when sea ice forms over a wide expanse at once,  but what seems fairly certain,  there is no ice thickness limit by which the horizon always rises above true astronomical horizon.  This seems to be an astounding discovery:

   2014 October 3 (left) and the next day.  The horizon at left is about 17 km distant,  (at right) more than 25 Kilometers away.   Mostly water horizon turns to 100 % sea ice.  Similar freeze-ups were re- observed in 2013 and 2012.   It does not matter how thick the ice is,  it will set the horizon above astronomical line as long as the sea is completely covered with ice.  But the finer details,  from very low horizon of open water under a deep freezing air,  to above astronomical when sea ice covers everything,  need be carefully studied since it helps determine thermal flux  balance in one glimpse.  Usually the very low pre-freezing sea water horizon does not last long because the very cold air changes the state of sea surface.   Recent years freeze-ups happened because of colder Southern in provenance atmospheric advection , with the exception of 2013,  sea water was so warmed air temperatures needed to be below -11 C.

    High precision satellite pictures along with a careful analysis of a surface phase change would be quite revealing.   The reason for various horizon heights have everything to do with thermal fluxes.  As winter progresses,  the horizon changes until spring when the sun literally gives a similar horizon look,  but for entirely different  reasons than at freeze-up.   The very low sinking horizon exists because of a very steep near surface adiabatic profile,  the raised horizon on account of a completely ice covered sea,  is caused by looming  by profiles having stable inversions varying in strength based entirely on the current thermal balance.  This indirectly identifies ice thickness because
thicker sea ice has a cold or warm "core", significantly affecting thermodynamic action.   WD May 10,2015

Thursday, May 7, 2015

It is shaping up like 2007

~Warmest NorthWest passage spring and the creation of a circulation Dipole

     Latest EH2r refraction Upper Air of NW passage data is warmest ever in 14 seasons.
Mid April projection of Cold Temperature North Pole locations is so far so good accurate.    But the greatest implication is a circulation pattern similar to 2007.

        2007 (extreme left), compared to 2012, 13 and 15 coldest air in the Northern Atmosphere locations.   2015 Refraction of sun disks over the NW passage is the least ever measured confirming NOAA summary above,  the more the upper air is cold the smaller the vertical diameter of the sun. Up to today,   2015 expanded sun disks  is an order of magnitude higher than warmest 2005 and 2010.   The obvious resulting  circulation pattern is favorable for High Pressure system over Beaufort Sea  very similar to 2007. WD May 7,2015

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Latent heat of fusion complexities

~In search of intricate thermal patterns within sea ice.

    Latest refraction observations do not always match mass buoys data at similar latitudes to 74 North,  this is quite interesting,  it is not a matter of reconciling the data with observations,  but rather understanding if there is any way of revealing the most intimate thermal actions, and also finding out if there is data error by solar radiation affecting top buoy thermistors .   The information readily available is sparse, resolution is not as desired,  but there is some basic numbers which come out quite well.

      Latent heat of fusion dictates when ice freezes there is a substantial release of heat,  it is rather energy from extremely kinetic molecules stabilizing to a crystallin form,  this energy may be observed near the North Pole,  there is a buoy moving under the presence of permanent sun rays  hitting the sea ice surface  continuously except by clouds and snow cover;

"04/30/2015 08:00","     88.6400","    -23.6731","GPS","    -10.83","   1025.60","      0.06","      1.89","      0.00","     -1.89","    -10.45","    -10.45","    -10.47","    -10.56","    -10.50","    -10.42","    -10.01","     -9.97","     -9.88","     -9.82","     -9.64","     -9.35","     -9.12","     -8.82","     -8.53","     -8.00","     -7.75","     -7.40","     -7.02","     -6.67","     -6.24","     -5.89","     -5.57","     -5.04","     -4.64","     -4.15","     -3.71","     -3.22","     -2.73","     -2.25","     -1.81","     -1.86","     -1.78","     -1.83","     -1.81","     -1.79","     -1.81","     -1.80","     -1.79","     -1.78","     -1.80","     -1.82","     -1.80","     -1.82","     -1.84"
"04/30/2015 09:00","     88.6394","    -23.6587","GPS","    -11.24","   1025.71","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","",""
"04/30/2015 10:00","     88.6388","    -23.6399","GPS","    -11.03","   1025.71","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","",""
"04/30/2015 11:00","     88.6382","    -23.6171","GPS","    -10.74","   1025.74","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","",""
"04/30/2015 12:00","     88.6377","    -23.5929","GPS","    -10.61","   1025.74","      0.06","      1.88","      0.00","     -1.88","    -10.19","    -10.19","    -10.20","    -10.29","    -10.24","    -10.11","     -9.89","     -9.87","     -9.79","     -9.75","     -9.59","     -9.32","     -9.10","     -8.80","     -8.51","     -7.98","     -7.73","     -7.38","     -7.00","     -6.65","     -6.22","     -5.88","     -5.56","     -5.03","     -4.64","     -4.14","     -3.71","     -3.22","     -2.73","     -2.25","     -1.80","     -1.86","     -1.78","     -1.83","     -1.81","     -1.79","     -1.82","     -1.80","     -1.79","     -1.77","     -1.80","     -1.82","     -1.80","     -1.82","     -1.84"
"04/30/2015 13:00","     88.6371","    -23.5673","GPS","    -10.61","   1025.81","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","",""
"04/30/2015 14:00","     88.6366","    -23.5423","GPS","    -10.66","   1025.74","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","",""
"04/30/2015 15:00","     88.6360","    -23.5206","GPS","    -10.62","   1025.81","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","","",""
"04/30/2015 16:00","     88.6355","    -23.5003","GPS","    -10.64","   1025.53","      0.06","      2.01","      0.00","     -2.01","    -10.19","    -10.19","    -10.13","    -10.21","    -10.17","     -9.96","     -9.69","     -9.75","     -9.70","     -9.69","     -9.54","     -9.28","     -9.07","     -8.78","     -8.49","     -7.96","     -7.71","     -7.35","     -6.98","     -6.64","     -6.21","     -5.87","     -5.55","     -5.02","     -4.63","     -4.14","     -3.71","     -3.22","     -2.73","     -2.26","     -1.81","     -1.85","     -1.78","     -1.83","     -1.81","     -1.79","     -1.81","     -1.81","     -1.80","     -1.77","     -1.81","     -1.82","     -1.81","     -1.83","     -1.84"

        A good 230 cm (in red) of sea ice and snow has warmed when apparently 13 cm of ice was made at the bottom of the sea ice column, on april 30 sea ice thickness varied between 187 and 202 cm for weeks.  But a 13 cm gain is quite an accomplishment, especially considering surface temperature nearly equal,  or if not equal to snow surface top (in orange).  The weather during  the 8 hours presented was likely a mix between clouds and some sunshine.  But more clouds than sun.  In effect the variable but warmish polar weather is unique on Earth except at other end of the planet.  There is no diurnal temperature effect similar to a normal day at Southern latitudes.  An excellent location to observe thermal fluctuations at nearly constant sun light.   Clouds add complications which need be studied as well.

     Near North Pole Buoy clearly confirms unusual bottom of ice activity,  which should happen when Ta = Ti,  when air temperature is equal to snow/ice,  there should be melting in the sheet bottom, but the melting in itself should be complex.  Bottom ice may be less salty than sea water, a to and fro melt and freeze may happen often with different temperatures when less salty ice melts an lays less dense water on top of denser sea water.  Over summer if  high latitude near the pole ice survives ,  it can only create fantastic structures of odd geometries.  Sea Ice bottom is not as flat as on its surface.

     Looking at 2015d buoy from a distance would not show a great horizon height variation because Ta=Ti,  the horizon would be at the true astronomical elevation.
If 13 cm was formed as suggested by this data, latent heat was released,
which appears to have been recorded at some height above the ice sea water interface.
Top of sea water has also cooled compared to 4 hours prior (in blue).

     Subsequent to April 30,  the ice has no accreted further  than 201 cm,  suggesting
a state of thermal equilibrium,  when bottom melting and freezing may happen by weather fluctuations.   It is exactly like what happens to sea ice further South with a diurnal high and low sun but for shorter time period  after local apparent noon,  except noon is dragged out for months until a few weeks before autumnal equinox,  however with much weaker radiation input from a much lower in sky but steady sun.   From now own we can determine that ice accretion can no longer happen greatly as the sun will rise to more than 21 degrees high.   Further South sea ice goes through far more severe thermal fluctuations,  which highlights two types of sea ice,  North Pole ice should not fracture as easily and is under less stress than sea ice with a sun 30 to 40 degrees high at noon then setting or staying up low at midnight.  I proposed southern sea ice melting occurs after noon when sunny,  but refreezing occurs later,  reducing or stalling accretion,  this melting freezing process continues only interrupted by winds and clouds until solstice sun melts ice quite thoroughly,  but it must break up more readily than at the pole.  wd May 3,2015
 

Saturday, April 25, 2015

HOW to find underground frozen water on Mars - Without NASA rover drills

-A thin atmosphere is compensated by huge diurnal temperatures.

   THe long time quest for water on Mars has been resolved for some time,  there is some,   but it may be easier to find huge permafrost lakes by simply looking at the horizon line.  Mars Permafrost,  should be similar to Arctic permafrost,  just as much as Arctic sea ice.  Permafrost leaves a drier interface than water,  but unlike water,  ice is an insulator,  like permafrost.  In the Mars under shallow rock  permafrost,  the ground temperature  should be colder than with thick dry rock layers,  rapid conduction sun forced diurnal atmospheric inversions are a feature found with sea ice,  permafrost does the same.  Martian atmosphere is 100 times thinner than on Earth,  however there is one.  Where there is an atmosphere there is atmospheric refraction.  One must observe there more carefully.

    To prove this,  one of the rovers must take pictures  at 3 hours intervals after Local Apparent Midnight and Noon,  without moving at all.  The same pictures will show a different horizon line something like:


   A weak evening inversion happens when the sun lowers over a clear High Arctic horizon of sea ice.     Ice has a heat capacity more than twice as strong as Earth air,  heat capacity of Mars atmosphere is weaker.   However,  heat capacity of rocks ,  either on Earth or Mars is lesser than ice.  For these reasons,  if there is any ice under a relatively shallow layer of rocks,  the horizon line should vary compared to dry rock sub-surface,   it should vary lesser than on Polar earth,  but vary never the less,  we should find water there by analyzing horizon permutations especially with very good equipment.  WD April 25,2014


Sunday, April 19, 2015

Annual SPRING/SUMMER projection by potent refraction methods and other means

~Its hard to interpret complex thermal systems,  even harder to foresee what they will do.

~Warmest summer in history to come makes it somewhat easier.


Here is Unique in the world Refraction Prognosis:


SKY Colours - Aerosols:
   
    Double Katimavik sunset, a very artistic mesmerizing   end of Arctic day.   Katimavik is an Inuktitut word,  from the language of Inuit people who live here,  meaning meeting place,  a once upon a time real place in 1967 Montreal.   Echoes from the past repeated visually along with multi-coloured flashes above ( illuminated gravity waves ducts),  was on March 26,  2015, a typical Northwest passage view from Southern Cornwallis Island.  

     Sky clarity throughout winter\spring 2014-2015 was uncanny.  Either revealing deep twilight brightness from distant weather systems refracted light, or drier sunsets devoid of extreme redness,  very little moisture in the air does that:


   Green flash above the smaller Katimavik along a red flash below.  With main sun disk image compressed vertically close to 20 times.  

    These complex optical physics factors have significant meaning.  The compressed sun (picture above) kept its true colour with 20 times more atmospheric thickness.  The high elevation green flash is a very delicate structure often not seen green because of aerosols or water vapour.  Winter\Spring 2015 North American Arctic had exceptionally clean air more often than not.   This implicates extreme warming of the Arctic  as the sun rises progressively higher till 24 hour days,  clear low in concentration aerosol days,  will make surface air warmer.   

Sunsets mostly backed Southwards:

       Exact sun positions when they disappear reveal the nature of the distant surface to air interface.  In the Arctic,  the rising spring sun creates a warm sea ice surface which cools rapidly in the evening on transient days between the long night and the midnight sun.  Sea ice surface is cooling faster than air because of its colder than air inner core,  when the core is warmed by conduction the surface ice cools,  then the air right above does likewise.    This creates an isothermal inversion which rises the horizon.  If there is a strong inversion,  the day lengthens,  if there is a weak one or none the day shortens.   Longest days are noted when the sun is seen when it is far below the horizon.  A much longer day has a sun visible greater than 1.6 degrees below the horizon.   In 2001 there was 10 extremely late sunsets,  in 2015 ,  2.     Last year there was  4.      

      A lack of cooling, thermal radiation escaping to space, over the entire winter and early spring makes sea ice core temperatures warmer wise.  With less of a 'heat sink' sea ice,  inversions become weaker, therefore the sun shifts southwards at sunset;



              This sunset in 2004 was picked to compare with 2015's  greatest Northwards Shift.   It lasted till the sun was last seen at 2.09 degrees below astronomical horizon and located 285 degrees azimuth,  15 degrees Northwards of true geographical West.  



   11 years later on same March 24,  the sun disk at Akhet (when the sun touches the horizon) was much larger,  this is an indication of weaker over all inversions.  Sunset was 1.9 degrees below the horizon,  the latest day length extension by refraction since sunrise from the long night of 2014-15.  It was last seen 283.21 degrees azimuth,  a full 1.8 degrees Southwards then when a past colder sea ice was formed over the winter of 2003-04.   1.8 degrees is a huge distance, roughly equivalent to 4 sun diameters.    

Sunset without toboggan sun slide:

    When the land surface is much warmer, sunsets look like what is seen further South,  they skim the horizon Northwards less.  Arctic sunsets usually give a show of extreme deformations uncommon anywhere else on Earth except on high mountains or Antarctica.  One of these is the below 0 degrees sun line sliding down a hill,  when the sun is usually long gone completely below the horizon in say a place like New York,  the Arctic does this :


   2008 was the last time the sun line was seen sliding down hill for about 1 minute,  a classified phenomena called toboggan sun,  but on initial anniversary in 2001 it slid further down for 3 and a half minutes.  


       2015 on same March 31 day,  the sunset was 7 minutes earlier than 2008,  a very significant shortening of the day. The toboggan stopped short on top of the hill not touching  the downward slope,  as if a true toboggan on rocks instead of snow,  but at end of March 2015 the sandstone gravel hill top was indeed barer and much warmer  killing the chance of surface to air steep inversion ducting.   For Toboggan Sun to exist,  the ground surface must be very much colder.    

Sea Ice Horizon permutations:

    Recently learned fantastic discovery of judging whether underside ice is melting or not reveals very interesting relations with weather and whether sea ice underside melts  even when temperatures outside are as cold as -35 C.  I am in the process of discovery from horizon elevation data lines,  whether more melting happens when its not windy,  windy, cloudy, or  with an optically thick aerosol rich  atmosphere.  What is reasonably known is subsequences after First Melts.  A very low September Minima starts from a very early consistent daily cyclic thermal process.  If sea ice horizon does progressively maintain the astronomical horizon and or increase in time maintaining this line every next day,  the minima will be greatly reduced.  So far,  2015 post FM true astronomical horizon  increased in duration every day when observed.  It signals hard to stop increasing diurnal melting periods.  Like any engine, when an engine sputters its not as warm,  as sea ice was in the spring of 2014 when astronomical line was seen erratic only more consistent in later May.   A big Arctic Sea ice minima begins with a strong essentially regular  ever increasing in time under-melt.  

     The Northwest passage of 2015 has thick First Year ice
because of a lack of snow cover by less snowfall and greater sublimation caused by unstable air from much more common than usual surface to air adiabatic temperature profiles.    Despite 2015 sea ice greater accretion,  its thickness was nowhere near past average thickness spanning the same distance of the light rays from the setting sun, the atmospheric light path.  And so, sea ice horizon rises are directly proportional to sea ice thickness.  


Flying saucer type sunset is not in the air,  but aerosols 
masked the ice horizon risen 11.6 arc minutes,  March 27 2004.  


   Near last sighting of the sun with 2015 clear air revealing ice horizon risen 5.8 arc minutes on March 27. 

    The difference between March 2015 and 2004 was set at autumn 2014 and 2003,  the Northwest passage of September 15,  2014  had wide open water spanning its entire distance.  2003 NWP on same September day was clogged with multi-year ice:



      
    What is the Score?;  Climate Projection "Howitzer" vertical sun disk expansions  post- Arctic long night results:

Frequency of maximum expanded average sun disks represented by 110 sun elevations from -.9 to 10 degrees 

              2015,  2013, 2006 and 2005 11.82%
                                  2010 10.91%
                                2012 and 2011 10%

        From 425 observations compared with about 4000,  clear weather was strong since end of February.

    With no apparent temperature change,  2002 to 2015 vertical sun disks would be 8.1% expanded from year to year.  The last 5 of 6 years had more expanded sun disks than the previous 10 combined.  

    An apparently totally new phenomena has been surging in the past 5 years,  when a lower sun in the sky gives a greater size vertical sun disk than at a higher elevation.
This defines an area of the lower atmosphere with a very warm layer of air,  as the sun passes through this layer, it expands in size.   There were many such captures of thicker warmer lower layers in the spring of 2015.  The exact impact of such layering of warmer air is hard to fathom. 
   
From all this and more sources;   the Projection:

      Because of overwhelming refraction heat signals,
2015 will be warmest year in Northern Hemisphere history -  by a significantly larger margin than 2014.  No High Arctic observations over Cornwallis Island gave a consistent sign of cooling, despite being right near center
of coldest atmosphere in the world.  This forecast is not at all counting on El-Nino rising again,  which undoubtedly guaranties more heat. 

   Sea ice adds complexities,  remaining Arctic pack  is estimated thicker than past few years,  yet we are presently  at all time low extents.    Horizon height measurements confirmed that first year sea ice of 2015 is indeed thicker than last year in the Canadian archipelago NW passage,  but not because it was colder,  but rather from dried up North Pole in provenance air as depicted here for nearly the entire dark season and current spring.   It was astonishing,  there was a nearly continuous flow of dry but adiabatic air (December onwards) which sublimated the sea and land surface snow cover of almost the entire North American Arctic sector.  There is thicker first year sea ice in the Canadian Arctic sector compared to last year,  but given that winter just past had one day with surface temperatures below -40 C over Cornwallis Island Nunavut Canada  (for only a few hours in duration),  local sea ice  thickness didn't exceed all time maximums.   

    However,  extent is really more important because without ice sheet cover the sun warms the darker Arctic sea enormously due to more exposure time to sun rays which are very important,   even when the sun is low in the sky,  remember the Arctic has naturally very low concentrations of atmospheric aerosols, especially this spring.  

    Sea ice or lack thereof has a greater affinity to position the Cold Temperature North Pole.  It is thus projected that Beaufort,  Chukchi and East Siberian seas will have a thorough loss of sea ice, leaving the core pack more or less compressed against the Canadian Archipelago to a lesser overall extent than 2012.   The larger question would be the North Pole?  Would it be ice free?  The answer to this very elusive ,  frustrating, furtive and difficult forecast will be at end of this page.  

   General circulation conditions are foreseen in three distinct periods and completely driven by the location of the CTNP (s) and later by  El-Nino which should warm but darken Arctic skies.  Weather throughout the Northern Hemisphere will happen from where-ever the CTNP will be.

ARCTIC dedicated generalized projection;
   
 Period one  April-May 2015:


    2 CTNP's  (Center of capital "C" in purple) will essentially maintain a pan-Arctic dipole by the flow they create.  More or less a continuation of winter past scenario, minus extremely long Southwards freezing flows.   The jet stream will be frequently very North of Alaska dipping down at times at the Can-Am border further East.  This should make Coastal BC wet with not so potent remnant Pacific in origin cyclones eventually merging and diluting Gulf stream cyclones towards Ireland and the UK (not so wet a spring there).    North of Alaska High will be ideal for melting Pacific Sector Arctic Ice.  

  
     Period 2,  June-July 2015:


    Approaching pre-merging North-bound CTNP's Isolate 
the pan Arctic Dipole further.  East-Siberian sea ice melt prime time.  Not so good for Beaufort area with Bering sea now cleared of sea ice.   Here we can realize N-E passage quick opening in the Pacific Arctic sector.    Not so  for Novaya Zemlya  to Pole region where the ice will be largely immobilized and melting in place.    Summer not wet 2012 style for UK and Ireland ,  but definitely cool and grey for Scotland as opposed to Souhwards.  A Super hot Central North America is foreseen because of polar jet stream way in the Northwest Territories with Pacific in origin  floes much more dried by a greater summer surface temperature-dew point spread.   Central Canadian Arctic should be very hot by July. 


Period 3,  August-September 2015:




       Merged single but weak CTNP roughly between Franz Joseph and Spitsbergen Islands, principally because of  North Pacific and El-Nino warmth influence.   Beaufort circulation again not so favorable ,  but with sun rays from clear skies damage done for months and warmed wide open adjoining open seas will make Beaufort ice free.  NW Pacific Cyclones will penetrate the Arctic Ocean 2012 style by mid-August.  With the polar jet stream weak but regenerating come September.    A CTNP in such a location should cause wettest period of the year for Ireland and UK.   driest for BC Canada, and possible Hurricane diversion towards the NE coast of US.   Arctic Cyclones moving Southwards will cool some parts of Russia and mid west North America.  This despite El-Nino clouding the Arctic,  Arctic Cyclones are not very good to foster tornadoes or severe weather.   

    From this projection we can estimate Canadian NW passage open first,  NE later with the often usual Kara Sea ice bridge block vanishing last.   

    El-Nino and North Pacific warm sst moisture is the only feature promoting summer Arctic cooling,  sea ice melt would have been much more vast if extra clouds are not promoted.  However during period 2,  El-Nino and North Pacific warmth will increase Arctic temperature to dew point spreads favoring clearer skies.   


Tornadoes Typhoons and Hurricanes

   There is a need for Cold Upper Air vs Hot surface air for tornadoes.  The seemingly obvious lack of very cold Upper Air due to a very weak therefore warm Stratospheric Polar Vortex (just about to vanish),  and much increased density weighted temperatures throughout most of North America  is not favorable for a fierce tornado season at usual peek periods, so hopefully less of them than probability statistics would predict.  Typhoons will be unfortunately great in numbers in the Pacific,  while Atlantic Hurricanes may be rare but for very late in its season increasing the chance  to be diverted by a High pressure block over the Atlantic favoring a landing Northwards.  

Finally ,  the North Pole

      Hardest for last,  the North Pole will be partially open like a more expanded version of 2013,  with more open water than broken sea ice,  essentially open if defined by
accessible by a non icebreaking ship sailing from the Pacific or Atlantic.  WD 18 April 2015 

Sunday, April 12, 2015

First High Arctic SEA ICE Underside Melt 2015

~Earlier than 2014 and 2011 later than 2010 and 2012
~ Made different by lack of surface snow
~ Interpretations from multi-coupled thermal systems made simple by one horizontal line.


    First sea ice underside melt (FM) happens after the long Arctic night when there was 
a continuous accretion of sea ice only interrupted by passing warm Arctic Cyclones.  Following Polar long night sunrise,  the sea ice horizon is always observed elevated  compared to true astronomical horizon which occurs when the sea (ice/land) surface temperature is equal to the air immediately above.  The main characteristic of the first underside melt is that it is observed never lower than true astronomical horizon unless the entire ice column temperature is greater than surface air.   In Arctic Spring, sea ice is a "heat sink"  because it tends to be always colder than sea ice and air,  but when there is no longer thermal emissions from ice towards air,  the underside melts.  This gives an apparent "noon" pause in horizon height variations until the sun lowers in the evening,   the horizon appears to rise greatly at every sunset or lower sun (when there is a midnight sun).  The process usually continues the next sunny or even cloudy days until complete melting happens.  

         From FM observation onwards the underside melt is usually observed to last gradually longer day by day,  lasting a few minutes on the first day,  eventually taking on hours as spring progresses.  From FM onwards,  sea ice may vanish if warmer air, water and sun rays focus on the colder ice column.  Once the ice gone,  the horizon may be observed lower than true astronomical horizon, this happens when surface air temperature is colder than sea surface temperature.   

     This refraction based observation method helps analyze the true nature of the sea ice to air interface - it is an instant analysis of  thermal geophysics spanning a huge distance. 
It is foremost the over all  encapsulation of the winter  climate just freshly past;      

  We look back,  and find out the significance in yearly first melt dates.                                      


2010 (top spring photo) had El-Nino during winter,   FM's don't happen earlier because it's warmer, rather a matter of all thermal physics,  from sea water, ice thickness, ice colour,   snow coverage, air temperature,  solar radiation,  cloud cover,  near surface convection/inversions, aerosols and finally the location of the Cold temperature North Pole over winter/spring.  2010 had a particular first melt aftermath,   excepting 2012,  stronger and longer than the others. Over all sea ice was thinner.    2011 (2nd from top) had nowhere as warm a winter as 2012,  the first melt was captured April 15,  with following extremely consistent progressive melt periods (continuing all the way to a large minima decrease).   2012 was fascinating by earlier tendencies of near first melt occurrences by late February, it occurred on March 12, along with  subsequent regular strong melting,  as strong as 2010.   But the clue for a great sea ice melt to come is in the tendencies towards the true astronomical horizon  especially very early on.  2013 had very inconsistent post FM underside melting.   Again the first date of true astronomical horizon did not matter as much as what happens before and after the recorded date.   March 19 was early ,  but what followed marked the September  sea ice minima in advance, there was no strong consistent underside thawing,  despite regular adiabatic near refraction observations.  Another clue of a very cloudy Arctic summer to come.  Projecting the future Arctic climate more precisely requires multiple sets of different observation events.  

    2014 post mortem:
   
   April 3 2014,  no sign of any first melt,  was late compared to previous year,  local apparent noon picture (left) has just as high an horizon as 3 hours later.   Vertical vertice  horizontal lines are spaced 3.3 minutes of arc apart.   2014 was the year of the Polar Vortex made popular by weather medias.  But what mattered was the location of the coldest atmosphere in the world.  During Spring 2014,  it was right over Cornwallis Island Nunavut Canada where the pictures were taken.  
   What a difference a week makes.   I interpreted this late FM (right) as the return of burgeoning anticyclonic activity,  in part true,  but it was equally the presence of the Cold Temperature North Pole, lesser clouds and aerosols.  But subsequent daily melting was more consistent than post FM 2013.    


2015 breaking news from the sea ice horizon:


    March 26 2015, NW passage first melt with some early tendencies nearing true astronomical horizon starting 2 weeks prior.  Horizon height (left) is equal to whence the temperature of sea water and surface air was equal on september 10 2014 (right),   the same horizon height has returned announcing melting and the open iceless sea to come. 

    Next week:  the meaning of all this with respect to Northern Hemisphere coming summer weather and Arctic ice minima projection..    WD April12 ,2015 



Saturday, April 4, 2015

Review of last years projections (in Red)


"Summer early winter 2014 Refraction and by other means Projection"  2015 review

~WHAT is the SCORE?
~Distinct Upper air pattern will shape late spring and summer weather for much of the Northern Hemisphere.
~El-Nino come or come later may not matter.
~Tornado season looks normal or better. Typhoons Galore not Hurricanes


"What is the score? From 390 refraction observation comparisons with previous seasons 2002-2013:

#1 2005 13.64%
#2 2014-2013-2010 12.73%
#3 2011 11.82%
#4 2012-2009 10.91%
#5 2006 10% all time maximas

of 110 decimal elevation degree levels, 2005 had the most expanded sun disk levels followed closely by 2014-2013 and 2010. The warmest sun disk expansions in Arctic recent history (from 2002 to 2014) all occurred during the last 5 years at 61%, compared to the previous 8 years. If the whole Northern Hemisphere temperature remained average from year to year the yearly mean would be about 7.7%. "

"NH Temperature Projection for 2014: 2nd warmest year in history without El-Nino, #1 warmest with a new El-Nino mid-summer onwards."

NASA Giss  Northern Hemisphere 2014 average temperature was #1.  Sundisk differential refraction method scores another win,  batting nearly 1000 in baseball terms over several years of such predictions.     

 "Where will be this Summer's Cold Temperature North Pole?   
       "The  C.T.N.P.  zone is actually the biggest single contributor of weather throughout the Northern Hemisphere, it is the heart of the Polar Vortex.   There is CTSP in the Southern Hemishere which does likewise.  As in March 2014 the CTNP was hanging a lot about mid central Quebec,  and gave all kinds of "normal winter of old" weather.  For the folks in NW Europe a summer CTNP at about  Spitsbergen gives buckets of rain especially over the British Isles.     But it seems likely the CTNP to hang about Northern Ellesmere and Greenland, because greater sea ice thickness over Arctic Ocean Basin has been and will continue to help spawn High Pressure systems there.  CTNP over Northern Ellesmere should mainly position the jet stream to the Northwards between Iceland and Ireland.   Although it looks like the rain will return to UK like the summer of 2012,  perhaps less than but certainly plenty grey and wet.  For the shivering Northeastern Americans,  a nice very hot summer awaits,  drier after a wet cool spring.    But it is actually the position of the CTNP which will decide where the jet stream will meander.  An Arctic Dipole will melt the sea ice greater than 2012, the North Pole will see open water,  again like in 2013 when the North Pole was actually a zone of  very loose pack ice,    but this time the sea ice will compress or compact,  leaving a wide open water view of a Pole area not exposed to open water for millennia."



"But it seems likely the CTNP to hang about Northern Ellesmere and Greenland, because greater sea ice thickness over Arctic Ocean Basin has been and will continue to help spawn High Pressure systems there. "

Actual location:



CTNP was over Northern Ellesmere and Greenland but also on the other side  of 0 meridian over Franz Joseph Islands.  Explaining the polar circulation of the entire summer.    The systems rotated slower than 2013,  giving a chance for High pressures to build up over the Arctic Gyre area.   


2013  had a very strong Cold temperature North Pole,  this gave a continuous 
stream of Cyclones mainly from the North Atlantic.   Summer 2013 could not 
have had a great melt because of the cloud coverage combined with anti Arctic Ocean Gyre circulation.   Or Gyre shearing/stalling.   

       2007 CTNP's were even weaker than 2014,  this allowed a great calm over 
the Gyre area.    A definite pro-gyre circulation,  making high pressure systems proficient given the lack of moisture input to create clouds over the entire 90 E and W quadrant towards the Pacific Arctic .  
    
       The Ultimate melt scenario 2012,  had the weakest circulation possible. 
A single weak CTNP meant very little moisture input from the Atlantic,  lowering Polar cloud coverage and Cyclonic circulation,  which meant Ireland and UK water deluge   .       Despite a modest El-Nino not in time to seed clouds enough 
on time to slow the onslaught.  

"An Arctic Dipole will melt the sea ice greater than 2012, the North Pole will see open water,  again like in 2013 when the North Pole was actually a zone of  very loose pack ice,    but this time the sea ice will compress or compact,  leaving a wide open water view of a Pole area not exposed to open water for millennia."

       No success with the North Pole once again,  the only recurring prediction problem  I really have was covered with ice.  But the said compression did occur very near the Pole:
    Cryosphere Today 2013 extra cloud anti-gyre circulation minima had loose packed sea ice with compression coming late in the melt season.  2014 was somewhat similar but had far greater compaction and a greater presence of Gyre turning Anticyclones.  The result was a compressed core of pack ice with loose
peripheral pack much more pushed towards the North Atlantic.  There was a stronger dipole.  The matter of a wide open North Pole is a matter of probability
likely soon to happen.    Summer 2014 CTNP's were modest but strong enough to have cooled the start of the melting season by clouds from the Atlantic.   The core 
pack at minima 2014 (deep purple above right) is likely the 2015 minima look.   


"Et Tu ENSO?

     Last year saw the most violent typhoon in history,  Haiyan.   Last year also had no El-Nino as well as no Hurricane season to speak of,  but there was a split personality syndrome;  El-Nino to the North , La-Nina South of equator,  this continues today:"

      NOAA/NESDIS  April 17 2014 ENSO suffers again a split personality similar to last year: 

"Except there is a difference,  the Polar Vortex has shown a dissimilar circulation pattern to last year,  so expect a different result.  The PDO especially from the North Pacific warming is 1.6 points higher.   ENSO variations triggers weather but weather patterns affect ENSO moods."

    "April 19, 2014 Polar Tropopause clouds,  higher than Cirrus some appear white some dark,   these are reflections from horizontally Polarized light,  they are a wild mix of chemical clouds, ice crystals and cloud condensation nuclei.  If they exist higher in the sky during twilight the more likely El_Nino is happening.  Right now, at about 7 degrees above the horizon they exist more from a very warm North Pacific and Atlantic,  during an El-Nino they can cover the horizon sky for more than 40 degrees elevation.

     Already in the cards,  more typhoons,  less hurricanes than normal.   If ENSO turns to be a completely formed El-Nino,   the coming winter will be much warmer grey and wetter (yes lots of rain and snow),  if the spilt personality continues (unlikely),   a winter much like the one just past will revisit but with  different CTNP persistent position,.  WDApril 20-21, 2014"



    A mild El-Nino ensued over this winter just past,  CCN, PSC or PTC clouds (in photo right above) were not seen alike  this spring (2015) in the wake of a small La-Nina Blitz in he Southern Pacific Equator.  Which is just recently turning back towards El-Nino.  There is a lag in seeding clouds appearance and or disappearance of a month or so. ENSO "split personality"  at the equator languished at 2014 end of year.   Beginning of 2015 was excessively cloudy in the Arctic.  Only changing at the same time when El-Nino of 2014-15 weakened.  

About Tornadoes Hurricanes and Typhoons:

 "  
 This means that the Coldest atmospheric zone is largely surface based,  not influenced by a much colder Stratosphere.  This implies a weaker North American tornado season,  in the one part because the ground air is colder,  in the other the much required colder stratosphere is absent:
NOAA"



     Tornado statistics for 2014; 827,  2013; 908, 2012; 939 and 2011 1691.   By "weaker" I meant with previous year.  Tornado science is well advanced,  I propose 
here a method to enhance the number of tornadoes forecast for the coming season.  Of which 2 main extra parameters from the Arctic should be closely watched,  namely temperature of the stratosphere along with the strength of the Polar stratospheric vortex, both are important because they contribute to dT/dZ the lapse rate stability-or not- of the upper atmosphere.  The more a colder Arctic Upper atmosphere the worse the tornado season:



2011 stratosphere was indeed very cold which came along with a very strong Polar Vortex,  was not the case in 2013 and 2014,  this set a favorable fewer in numbers tornado season .  This is the third yearly tornado  projection which panned out nicely. 

Finally 

"Already in the cards,  more typhoons,  less hurricanes than normal.   If ENSO turns to be a completely formed El-Nino,   the coming winter will be much warmer grey and wetter (yes lots of rain and snow),  if the spilt personality continues (unlikely),   a winter much like the one just past will revisit but with  different CTNP persistent 

position,.  WDApril 20-21, 2014."

  In 2014, hurricanes were less numerous,  if not scarce (6) ,  while typhoons numerous strong and outright scary, by typhoons I meant the entire Pacific (including what is called hurricanes). WD April 5,2015