Friday, October 28, 2016

Big Lead story..... It is not there...... Instead we see a great deal of fracturing as expected from a much warmer October Arctic Ocean.

   October 27 2016 NOAA IR HRPT Northern Ellesmere Island Canada.  Finally a clearing after more than a month of clouds.  The densest sea ice of the Arctic world appeared de-compacted,  disassembled by a massive dispersion event,  looked more like new ice just freezing interlaced with thousands of leads.    Speaking of which,  the Big Lead footprint is glaringly absent,  it may last for weeks after it opens, but not much of a sign of it here.  This is clear evidence of laterally decompressed sea ice.  The big lead is a construct of very dense sea ice, it occurs during the coldest days of winter as well as summer,  what is needed for it to show is a strong Tidal event.  Usually during the full or new moon periods.  This picture was taken during a near new moon phase.  Of interest is also Kennedy Channel,  clogged with broken up sea ice flowing with the Tidal driven current.

    NOAA HRPT IR  with different darkness setting than above,  November 13 2012.  2012 densest sea ice then was much more consolidated,  fracturing a whole lot less,  there was some CAA open water shoreline open water that froze (bottom left),  but the big lead(s) was prominent,  a sure sign of stronger compaction .  Kennedy Channel was much more open,  again a sign of a stronger consolidated pack.

         What we have just observed  was the result of a complex chain of events which essentially rendered early winter densest pack ice much weaker, laced thousands of leads giving away heat enough to foster lingering Cyclones to keep the Arctic Ocean mostly covered with clouds.  A few days ago, the coldest air was from the center of Canadian Arctic Archipelago,  and lesser over Northeast Russia merged. Just before, EX Hurricane Nicole pushed a segment of the North Atlantic jet stream deep towards the North Pole,  to the South of the stream was an Anticyclone which helped consolidate Higher pressure over Center of Arctic Ocean making join the 2 coldest air zones from the continents.

        We now see how bad the densest sea ice is,  in effect a broken up shadow of its former self,  a collage of thousands of pieces just freezing together at this time.  Sea ice dynamics are now drastically different.  Expect the unexpected from this time onwards.  WD October 28, 2016.


  1. Wayne,

    thanks for the data and insights here and on Neven's blog, it's a valuable contribution. I'm just an interested artist lurking about, no expert, but I'm keen to help raise public interest, it's time we move beyond this AGW phony war period. I've borrowed your term 'Goodbye Waves' for some paintings I'm working on based on satellite imagery, for example these 'fingers' at the end of the Wrangel Arm

    I don't seem to be able to embed an image here but you can seei at

    thanks again John O'Driscoll

  2. Yes John,

    Sea ice is extremely artistic in every way from any distance or observation point!