Thursday, April 28, 2016

Sea ice refraction prime rule: top of sea ice is always colder or equal to surface air temperature

~Putting the proposed sea ice optical theory to the test
~Even when some part of sea ice column is always warmer than air (during winter).  
~Sea ice horizon never been observed below Astronomical Horizon has now an explanation.  

     The best way to sum up horizon refraction throughout the Arctic Ocean year is by this sketch once posted here:

Strictly by several years of observations,  a visual correlation was made with temperature profiles from sea water to upper air related to physical conditions of the horizon.  Notice top of sea ice temperature was never observed warmer than the air immediately above.  Only with the presence of sea water does the horizon elevation drop below the "Astronomical Horizon" ( orange line).   The Astronomical Horizon of any planet Earth location would permanently remain at the same unchangeable altitude if our planet did not have an atmosphere.

    Many years of sea ice horizon observations gave a proposed theory written here  and here.
The biggest feature of sea ice horizons happens when the sea ice horizon stops going down,  does not go below the Astronomical Horizon,   settles there until the sun lowers in the sky to set, only to spring up higher again.   Its the spring time great steady "LAN" horizon which may happen daily for a while after Local Apparent Noon.  When so,  the temperature profile at interface between ice and air  temperature is isothermal.    This feature also makes it possible for well informed sea Navigators to recognize the presence of sea ice without radars.

    Sea ice Buoys offer proof, despite their near or above ice thermistor problems.  Selecting a thermistor embedded in top of ice usually should give good results,  so without further a do,  lets use 2015 F at thermistor T5 (50 cm down from top of thermistor string):

Buoy 2015F August 13, 2015 to April 19 2016,  4 hour interval surface temperature  (in blue) Thermistor 5 (in red 50 cm down).
Temperature of sea ice was always Greater or Equal to surface air,  except for a few very rare interesting occasions. 

               If top of sea ice was always warmer than air,  there should be a permanently very low sea ice horizon.  This does not happen,  not only  because of upward thermal heat flux from sea which warms the lowest atmosphere causing a near surface inversion or a well above upper air temperature profile maxima.  The dark season thermal flux is stronger nearer to ice,  but there is an inversion right above, something cools the surface to air interface.   It is wonderfully complicated.   Heat Capacity of sea ice and snow is twice more than air.   Thermal Capacitance plays a role,   Heat Conductivity  and especially insulation properties of sea ice are very important.   Eventually,   the combination of properties cause top of the ice always colder than air,  as may be seen on your own house:

      Physics replicates itself with different matter,  in this case house insulation.   Note in blue,  top of insulation is always colder or equal than air except when too sunny.   Consider sea ice as insulation,  the same happens over the frozen sea.   But also again identical with middle of sea ice column as with buoy 2015f graph above, center of insulation layer is almost always warmer than air,  this is a good model proxy presentation for sea ice.   

   As observed optically following Local Apparent Noon (LAN) with the sun present,  the temperature lapse rate of the surface to air interface appears to become isothermal over sea ice,  the horizon  is at the Astronomical Horizon.  Considering an hypothetical, if top of  sea ice would remain cold,  unaffected by shortwave radiation,  the horizon would remain higher than Astronomical Horizon.    

     Finding a Buoy replicating the house insulation graph would be great.  However, there is a problem with sea ice buoys,  they seem affected by sun rays,  and there is few other considerations to take,  the exact position of the thermistor matters, the coldest layer may be at a certain height not always placed with a thermistor.  Lets try to idealize a true measurement of top of sea ice as much as possible (or in the snow layer next to it).   The only way around is to find measurements in darkness,  away from sun rays affecting the thermistor,  lets try close to the North Pole Buoy 2015l

       In Darkness 4 hr interval readings 2015l November 1 to 8 2015 1st thermistor called 31 (in blue)   is always colder than surface air (in red).

   2015l  December 1-7 2015,  always colder or equal.     Top thermistor wonderfully  matches optical physics observations well in darkness or spring.   Likewise,  I have filmed in darkness no ice horizons very close to astronomical horizon as in spring,  the warming of surface to air interface occurs rarely during the long Polar night.  

    2015l January 1-7 2016,  the data is overwhelming,  top of sea ice is always colder or equal to surface air.  [Or perhaps inside snow next to ice, but snow sensor did not seem operational].

    Sun presence might have affected a few readings,  2015l September 22-29 2015     

          Top of sea ice is always colder or equal than surface air,  this is a profound conclusion from refraction observations.   Adding a better view of  the complexity of sea ice thermal physics.    WD April 28 ,2016.  

Saturday, April 23, 2016

2016 annual spring projection, made by sun disk observations and otherwise unorthodox means

~  Northern Hemisphere collapsing cold atmosphere
~ ENSO plays weather maker along with dwindling sea ice extent
~ Extra 2015-16 snowfall  a major role in twisting jet stream
~  2016 warmest consecutive year in history  known since beginning of March,  but not official till January 2017
~ 2008 Big Blue repeat,  cloud seeding theory confirmed yet again.

The sun is of course a giant thermometer, not only a source of energy.   Notice apparent lack of sunspots didn't cool anything though.

   Arctic deflated sun as seen through many atmospheres.  The sun and Earth atmosphere are telling how hot it is anywhere on our planet.   The same sun taken in the tropics at the same altitude would look a whole lot rounder.

Rare near dead center lone sunspot is the signature event of this spring. Can you tell which suns as posted above were upright?

Annual coming summer/fall/winter  projection:. 

First the projection, 
   Because it is so obvious,  2016 will be the warmest year in history despite  a forming LaNina. which is the most lethal combination for the survival of the Arctic Ocean ice pack.  Less North American tornados than average is expected because of collapse of cold air in the higher atmosphere,  despite it being very cold during January and February just past.  However there will be a return of Hurricanes hitting North American shores.   Rain for the west Coast of North America will resume to more normal levels until September.    Very hot summer  temperatures for the middle North American continent will extend towards the entire East coast.  NW Europe will be wet which makes it slightly cool,  but drier cold  fall.   Eurasia and Western Russia super heat waves are expected.

       The potential for the North Pole to be sea ice free at Minima coming mid September  has never been higher.  Arctic sea ice extent will be smaller than all time lowest record of 2012.   Clouds will span less in all regions of the world favoring droughts  and heat waves everywhere  even where they don't usually occur.   

      Winter coming will be at first very warm,  becoming bitterly cold in January,  and so will the sea ice recover rapidly but with far less multi-year ice.  


         End of winter/early spring average vertical sun disk  size comparisons ending April 21, 2016

   What is the score? 

                2016 is  #1  at 15.45%.

                 #2 2015 at 11.82%  
                 #3 [2005, 2006 and 2013] at 10% 
                 #4  [2009, 2010, 2011]  at  8.18%

                                            5th place 2012  7.27 %. 

          6.7%  should be considered a normal year to year fluctuation of all time average vertical sun disk maximum dimensions.  Data from 110 vertical sun disk decimal levels extending  from -0.9 to +10.9 degrees elevations, including 540 observations, above normal year acquisition numbers due to no clouds  currently continuing.  With about 42 sun disk measurements per degree elevation, each yearly vertical sun disk average is compared between years 2002 to 2016 inclusively (15 seasons). 

     What does this mean?  Vertical sun disks are expanded in a tropical atmosphere as opposed to much compressed for a polar atmosphere.  If there is a warming of the atmosphere in the polar regions,  vertical sun disks dimensions have to expand.  But not necessarily evenly at all sun elevations.  The truer measure of expansiveness is clearly depicted by comparing vertical sun disk dimensions from year to year.  Sun disks are another way of signaling over all temperature trends of the entire atmosphere from 2 times its actual vertical thickness to about 40 times.  It is the most precise depiction of warming since it incorporates huge atmospheric distances,  far more than any satellite or possibly radars.

       Year 2016 gave extraordinary results despite all time high levels of snow depth on sea ice and land surfaces.  This snow dates back to  October-November 2015.   Laid out more than twice thick than normal.  As a  good insulator,  thicker snow depth kept permafrost warmer and the sea ice thinner.  It also made the rising sun ineffective in warming surface air.  Despite more reflection to space, overall winter temperature averages were above normal.  Not by much, but above average.    Expanded sun disk dimensions mirrored the state of the atmosphere up to where the deeper snow had an impact.    All time average highest expansion averages occurred 12 times between 10 to 5 degrees elevations and 4 times  -1 to 4 degrees elevations.   Moreover,  the upper air above 5 degrees elevation has had many, the most numerous ever,  exploded sun disk sizes especially in the critically usually very cold Northwest atmosphere from Southern Cornwallis Island Nunavut  Canada.    The coldest high atmosphere air seems to have collapsed or warmed substantially.    This is a remarkable event and affects the outlook of coming weather everywhere over the Northern Hemisphere.  

            El-Nino event just past was largely felt by more clouds during the entire Arctic long night.
Unlike central Arctic Archipelago, the larger Arctic was found to be extremely warmed with large temperature anomalies easily more than 4 C in many regions.  ENSO reverted quickly towards La-Nina lately.  Replicating 2008 "big blue" event which was and consists numerous consecutive days without clouds.    Interruptions of this years “big blue” was only by encroaching cyclones,  there are no substantial cooling cloud spans about.   At season end,  mid  May, there should be nearly the same amount of sun disk observations than during  2008.  The 'big blue" event of 2008 had huge consequences for water puddles over sea ice.  

 Optical to remote sensing Correlations: 

 NOAA   essentially confirmed  the large warming of the stratosphere which was seen as unbelievable sun disk expansions,  especially with sun shots captured at higher elevations.    The latest bit of cooling was equally caught recently with the sun returning to more normal vertical diameters.  
The upper troposphere and stratosphere accounts to about 40% of sun disk refraction.  
      The seen warming occurred at 250 mb covering almost exactly the Archipelago.   But this was the same location where the coldest surface air persisted.  Very much conducive to little clouds.   A vertical temperature anomaly event from no clouds with deeper surface snow pack reflecting the gradually intensifying sun rays?    

   Where is summer cold Arctic air going to hang out?

       The imminent collapse of the Alaska to North Pole sector pack Ice will impact the jet stream.  But there are other factors largely related to current La-Nina trending.   Cloud seeding theory predicts less clouds for the Arctic when    ENSO  turns towards La-Nina,  as it has already occurred,  this favors Anticyclone genesis  as has happened especially above the Arctic Ocean gyre area.  Mid-April onwards should usually be a very cloudy Arctic Ocean sky,  characterized with hardly distinguishable geographic and pack ice lead features perceivable by satellite photos.    So far, this was not the case,  reinforcing again a  cloud seeding theory largely correct.  But note,  North Atlantic and Pacific  Ocean SST’s were cooled for a prolonged time period because of the same  cloud seeding reason when El-Nino was full blast, more clouds occurred over the Northern Oceans by enormous consecutive Polar Vortex cyclones.   These cooler vast areas of sea water will have an important impact just as well.   Past winter circulation pattern of North Atlantic to Pole cyclones favored a lot of moisture covering most of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago Southwards.  This same pattern likely gave less snow for Central Northern Eurasia, very unlike winter 2014-15 huge transcontinental pattern. 

 Arctic General circulation projections:
  Again I split it in three distinct periods:

 April  May:

        3 distinct Cold Temperature North Poles (CTNP) vortices  are expected.  2 will eventually collapse and only one will remain at sea ice Minima.  The current Arctic Dipole will largely remain in place for 4 distinct reasons:  Warm winter continued to spring with temperature to dew point ratio spread further apart, less cloud coverage because La-Nina trends,  mesoscale CTNP Polar vortices favor a High Pressure between them, with descending air above the Gyre High much warmer than normal.  

 June July:
  2 CTNP left with the largest wobbling like a top over the Canadian Arctic Archipelago.  The Jet stream more or less similar to spring fading away along where the coldest land of sea surfaces are. 
Note the  gyre High moving towards Russia mainly because of CTNP placement.  

August September

  Greenland  largest ice with Ellesmere becomes the center of Cold teamed with what is left of pack ice ,  Cyclones now  linger  over the Beaufort Gyre.  The big difference with last year is the diminished Polar jet stream not as high in latitude over the Pacific.  I'd expect some major heat wave action North Eurasia along with great cyclone diversions NE american continent.  

         Consider 3 large geophysical events,  very strong El-Nino quickly replaced by La-Nina, the apparent vanishing clouds and a much warmed cloudy winter preceding a cloudless spring. Top this with  a huge chunk of sea ice melted once again and 2016 should be remembered as a wonderful hot summer where most people live,  especially for those appreciating heat waves,  but a disaster where the climatic systems are particularly vulnerable.  The weather weirdness factor will thus increase in ways not so kind to all.  WD April 24 2016 

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Illusions and implications of a deeper Arctic snow layer

~Arctic surface snow depth turns out to be a very complex issue.

          The very powerful  El-Nino 2016 almost peaked at Christmas 2015,  therefore according to
the cloud seeding theory,  the Arctic was covered with clouds during the long night,  and so it was,  not only cloudy but snowy,   in particular during October and November (El-Nino Maximum temp anomaly).

    Snowfall was great,  in some places multiple times the monthly average record.  Ironically,  ENSO driven heat causation making more snowfall  created more sea ice extent than it would of otherwise.  Snow spreads to open sea water either from sky or drifts, as it floats just below the sea surface, it doesn't melt  since sea water is usually -1.8 C.   This floating snow enables ice to form more quickly.  Immersed snow is usually much colder than -2 C during Arctic winter.

   However if greater snow layer covers sea ice,  the snow insulates direct contact of air to ice,  the more insulation there is,   the less heat loss of sea water,  accretion slows a great deal more.

   In one case,  snow helps create sea ice,  in the other,   it slows the build up of sea ice thickness.

   Complexities continue especially in the spring time when the sun reappears after the long night.
After long night less ice fabrication because of greater snow insulation,  the opposite occurs,  the sun doesn't warm  the ice just as much as it could with a lesser more Arctic normal snow layer.   A melt stall occurs,  and this has just happened.  The latest maximum sea ice extent appears flat:

The warmer winter just past gave a less parabolic sea ice extent graph feature ,  the greater snowfall must have also flatlined the maximum extent.

    There is also lesser melting of the thinner in ice blackish leads even with a full forced "big blue"
event outgoing at this time.  Arctic big blue occurs when there is hardly any clouds for months,  this usually happens when ENSO trends towards La-Nina.  

EOSDIS april 1,2015  North of Beaufort sea appeared broken,  with many blackish leads and fractures.

Although 2014-15 was a warm winter,  this satellite photo of April 1, 2016 appears to suggest that the winter of 2015-16 was colder.  But it wasn't.  The illusion of less broken sea ice was done curtesy  of greater snowfall and winds drifting  snow on the sea ice more evenly.

       Spring 2016 sea ice is over all  thinner than 2015 all the way to the North Pole.  

   There are more features to the sea ice greater snow layer.  Refraction wise,  the horizon appears
usually higher at local apparent noon,  but lower in the evening on most occasions.   Sun rays
are not getting through to the ice as with a normal snow cover,  and this affects the entire surface to air interface thermal physics of the Arctic with significantly more snow.  

Finally this GIF animation compares the snow dilemma well:

      Although there appears to be no graph available for snow on top of sea ice,  this page here displays great snow cover anomalies on land next to the Arctic Ocean.

WD April 3, 2016