Friday, December 23, 2016

Thinner sea ice adds a whole lot of heat to the dark Arctic Ocean lower atmosphere, changing its circulation.

A paper published in 1996 by Steffen and DeMaria:

after measuring Heat fluxes over Barrow Strait  Nunavut Canada within sea ice and upwards in 1980, this paper basically demonstrates how much energy can be unleashed if the sea ice becomes thinner,  in effect about 4 times more heat is dissipated to the atmosphere if sea ice is 32 cm instead of 1.1 meters thick. 

It is the mark of thin Ice to give off more sensible heat.  By conduction and convection at the surface to air interface.    Thus it was November 1980 just South of Cornwallis Island.  Refraction wise, this is seen by a lower horizon.  An impressive mean of 129 W/m2 dissipates upwards.

Radiative heat flux takes over as the main dissipation thermal system as sea ice became thicker,  now some 1.1 meters,  3 months worth of pre 1998 normal cold during the long night of 1980-81.  Insulation from accretion makes it so.   But only 36 W/m2 towards space,  drastically less than 3 months earlier.   All the data from this paper mainly was but in pure darkness  with very low negligible sunlight in February and November.

When the lower Arctic troposphere warms, the entire Upper air profile changes.  So is the natural way of Atmospheric Physics: 

Average Monthly Upper Air Maxima altitude in meters 2011-2015
Southwest Barrow Island.

The height of Upper Air Profile Maxima  increases during winter, reaches a peak by February, then  becomes gradually lower towards the long day until vanishing during summer.    As the Maxima lowers in altitude ,  the surface to air interface upper air lapse rate does the same, it lowers in stability:

North Barrow Strait,  Southwest Cornwallis Island 2011-2015 average surface to air interface Lapse rates per month, excluding June July August,  in degrees C per100 meters

A February +5.4 C/100 meter lapse rate is super stable as opposed to -1 C/100 meters in early summer which is the normal adiabatic lapse rate of the standard atmosphere: 10 C/km.    Very latest data suggests a leaning towards adiabatic lower temperature profile, opposite to winter building up.  A higher temperature profile maxima altitude makes for a steeper surface based inversion because the atmospheric heat source is more distant from the surface.  Steeper inversions cause greater refraction effects which have been extremely rare compared to the same dark season periods going back as recently as the last 2 years. This suggests enormous current heat injections.  

Arctic summer natural effects from no sea ice gives the turning of the extreme  lower troposphere temperature profile from inversions to adiabatic.   In the graph above,  adiabatic lapse rates predominate  between May and September,  during these high in the sky sun days,  air temperatures decrease with height from just off the ground.  For other months; January to April, October to December the lapse rates are positive,  because just above the ground air warms with height instead,   until  becoming adiabatic again till the tropopause, at the altitude where inversion turns adiabatic is the temperature profile maximum.  Surface based Arctic inversions dominate throughout Arctic late Autumn , Winter,  till late Spring.  It is a sign of winter, when
frozen ground and sea ice in darkness radiate heat upwards with air, thermal radiation eventually escapes to space during cloud free nights,  the Arctic having one long night in particular, these inversions are nearly absolutely permanent for 9 months of the year. But lately these common inversions have been reversed to adiabatic profiles,  in deep mid winter darkness,  the amount of heat energy needed requires warmth from the sea.

The impact of less mid-winter sea ice thus cancels the inversion nature of the lower atmosphere.  Once nullified, the temperature profile becomes isothermal or adiabatic again.  As what was happening during the last few days near the North Pole,  in extended darkness,  heat exchanged between open ocean or thinner sea ice to Arctic air, simply enormous,  boosted and sustained from persistent warmer Cyclones,  exacerbating the ongoing positive circulation feedback of the entire Arctic Atmosphere, even more pronounced.  As the lower upper air maintains a Cyclonic nature rather than being laced with  lower inversions, as defined by any High pressure system, an approaching  to North Pole Low pressure system from the Pacific or the Atlantic is not repelled,  but rather joined by the pre-existing more Cyclonic air.  This fuels a further exchange of heat with what is left from the open Arctic Ocean,  slowing down sea ice accretion further,  with vaster thin ice areas having 24 hours a day heat warming surface air more than 100 Watts per square meter, will set up another accommodating invitation for further Cyclonic incursions.  perpetuating the true nature of Arctic temperature amplification during the long dark night.   WD December 24,2016

Monday, December 19, 2016

A much warmer Arctic:visual proof

December 19 2016 NOAA HRPT (darker),  December 18 1987 USSR Meteor IR.   Huge differences starting with surface temperatures,  a good +10 C warmer in 2016,  plus numerous features of wider open water.

GONE: #1 Famous ice bridge between Canada and Greenland,  a documented 
historical location used by Inuit dog teams likely for Centuries   Part of an ancient migrating route going back millennia #2  almost completely frozen Nares Srait.
#3 NE Ellesmere NW Greenland steady ice sheet,  virtually always surviving the summer.  
#4  The Big Lead,  a phenomena requiring very consolidated sea ice,  strongly frozen together mainly by very thick sea ice.  #5 Tidal leads.,  closely linked to tidal waves during greater tidal height variations.  They froze easily and disappeared quickly by drifting snow.  #6 Ice next to Spitsbergen, 
a mere small portion of the huge habitat dwelled by Polar Bears .  #7 Smith Sound Polynya  narrowing, a very important wildlife zone for Belugas, Narwhals, some sea birds and Bowhead whales.   Vaster ice span gradually push wildlife to a narrow area always open despite coldest weather possible.   Lately many whales get trapped by later refreeze of sea ice. 

NEW:   #1 Beaufort sea open very late in Darkness.  #2 very open Smith Sound,   #3 Thin sea ice leads radically not symmetric to tidal waves #4  Big lead not showing at all.  #5 narrow Straits much more open along with very thin ice very dangerous to walk on.  

A strict numerical sea ice extent interpretation may suggest  less change between the pictures presented separated by 30 years,  but there is much more than enunciated above,   the biggest one is clouds,  looking carefully at 1987, we see clouds barely surviving the very cold dryer environment.   These clouds lazily hung out with very little injection of moisture from the Northern oceans.    Winter was really set,  called "mid-winter" for a reason.   WD December 19, 2016 

Friday, December 16, 2016

Polar vortex spin off vortices, North Pole Cold Temperatures are Southwards well away from the Pole

~Polar vortex is the entire spinning of the Polar lower troposphere like a cyclone
~Vortices created within, sometimes one , two 3 or 4. Move about.

"A polar vortex is an upper level low-pressure area, that lies near the Earth's pole. There are two polar vortices in the Earth's atmosphere, which overlie the North, " Wikipedia

Not only 2,   there can be many vortices. This article from science alert is very good:

When there is an incursion of warmth towards the Arctic Ocean, like at the moment the vortices are pushed Southwards:

Northwards of Green delimited zone is the Polar Vortex of the entire Northern Hemisphere as expressed by NOAA 500 mb heights map December 15, 2016. Consisting of 3 vortices centers in dark purple, note to the right of each smaller vortex there is a Northward flow of air, to the left a Southward flow, yes it is cold in North America  however very opposite warm NW Europe. When a TV meteorological presenter says the "Polar Vortex" is back, he or she means a single smaller vortex part of of the entire Polar Vortex system. There is apparently no single word for 'vortice', hence the confusion of using Polar Vortex. Another way of presenting the case would be to say that the Polar Vortex is weaker, hence less circular, oblong and segmented by severe warming near or towards the North Pole. A single segmented vortex usually wraps the jet stream stream around it:

December 16 2016 CMC 250 mb chart. Blue trace my own. Within the blue trace is the center of vortices, there lies a surprise, it is the Cold Temperature North Poles. The coldest air possible.

CMC 500 mb chart December 16,2016. Although ideally the temperature of the entire troposphere is found by a 600 mb chart (they are rare,  can't find). We can clearly read -51 C close to Great Whale river Northern Quebec,  this is the center of the coldest air in the Northern Hemisphere,  note Ellesmere 1500 miles North, -30 C.    At center of CTNP the winds are weak to none, similar to center of hurricane but on a mega monster scale.

It may said that it is colder further South than the Arctic, these are the days when winter builds up over the continents, the Arctic Ocean atmosphere being much warmer affects the weather every where Southwards,  the term Polar Vortex should be explained more correctly because this implies a Colder very expansive Polar region,  in fact its warmer at the North Pole devoid of any sun light whatsoever.WD December 16,2016

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Dramatic Arctic Warming captured with ice extent and temperatures: Area under the DMI 80 temperature curve biggest in 2016 in direct relation to substantial daily open water area.

Average Arctic Ocean surface temperatures have a close relation to either sea ice or open water total areas.  
These three measurable geophysical parameters are inseparable,  they cause and effect each other to vary.   The easiest one to immediately visualize is open water,  dark, but warm especially in winter.
Sea ice extent variations by Cryosphere Today depict a steady
downward trend,  except of course for 2016 with numeric data calculation problems.
Obviously absent sea ice is replaced by open sea water.   The large 2007 and 2012 variations depicted above are largely due to favorable melt or compaction conditions as caused by Arctic Dipoles or rather large Cyclones mixing sea ice with already open water huge sea waves.  

    Visualize the graph year by year,  mentally calculate the area under the red curve with respect to green,  I calculate every year above 0 except for 2004.      

The period of greater demise for Arctic sea ice started in 1998,  if we integrate the space under the DMI 80 N temperature red curve vs average in green,  we may get a correlation with respect to open water extent.  Note 2013 the last year with expansive sea ice after minima, the red closely hugged the green more often.  Note the years 2016, 2012, 2007 and 2006 being particularly ocean blue with a largest integrated temperature areas matching open water extent  or are very well reversely proportional with their lowest sea ice extents.  2004 temperature area integration is close to 0 which coincides with 2004 ice extent being pretty average.   The pre 1998 curves appear to have a consistent integration much closer to 0 or less:

      The integration of the space under the red DMI temperature curve with respect to the average should be close to or below  zero for every pre 1998 year,  considering when temperature is below average the calculated area is negative.

        What we may conclude from these mental integrations: there's a hard road back to normalcy for sea ice to rebuild,   if not an irreversible downward extent trend particularly demonstrated by a very large,  the largest under temperature curve integrated area in 2016,  indicating much more open sea water,  it is exceptionally foreboding.  WD December 13, 2016

Friday, December 9, 2016

From warm year to warmer: A different icescape world in 5 years

Sea ice greatest feature is the recent memory it encapsulates,  it is planet Earth's graph  displaying not only daily but more monthly/yearly trends:

  2011 December 6 (darker),  2106 December 9 NOAA IR North Pole captures.   2011 has very long tidal leads, despite a warm winter then,  these occur mainly during Lunar events sometimes in combination with winds.   A sign of sea ice consolidation,  a more congealed cohesive sea ice pack.
2016 has Myriads of very small leads interspersing countless thinner broken up sea ice pans.  A much more fluid ice pack,  not really amenable for mega lead formations.   The more frozen areas of 2016 pack has some much smaller mega leads.  We are very close to winter solstice, if this badly broken up sea ice pack continues till Maxima date,  2017 summer sea ice prospects look very bleak.  The badly broken up sea ice state is deeply intertwined with a feedback loop enticing Cyclones to persist over the long night Arctic Ocean, these keep the sea ice from accreting normally,  keeping the pack loose.   This long night may be the starting time when sea ice extent variations simply will stay down year round. WD December 9,2016

Sunday, December 4, 2016

The "Perfect Storm" 1 month late minus the hurricane merge

"Here we are in the graze of winter"
John Mellencamp

  Once upon a time,  there was a season for scary combinations of weather systems merging,
the time was October 31 1991:

       Winter's moved in,  what they call an "Arctic blast",  changed the configuration of the entire North American weather map.    Very bitter cold.  This in part created the Perfect Storm of Andrea Gale fame, ode to the fishermen of NE coast who braved it.  

     2016 has same winter blast,  much weaker,  is a coming 40 days late:

ECMWF  portrays coming High pressure "Arctic dome"  originating mainly from Alaska,
a pale shadow of former self, while the Arctic Ocean is currently dominated by a Cyclone which just  kicked out a budding mega cold "dome" forming,  the by-continental merge of cold air zones was cut in two,  leaving Alaskan build up to come down the Rockies path.  However, on the East coast of North America,  a huge Cyclone system will blossom December 9-10 not unlike segments of the Perfect Storm of 91,   but minus Hurricane Merge,  December  being well past hurricane season,  the last one Nicole streamed by Mid-October 2016. 
       Fortunate merge-less system unlike in 1991,  when winter was winter, long lasting and coming early each October, now we have  a different world, again all facing a warming,  all regions bracing for different weather.  Unknown combinations await.  WD December 5,2016

  Last 30 days (from December 7) NOAA temperature anomaly.  North America is not as cold as old November's use to be.

   We have an "Alaskan Cold Dome" slowly moving South,  looking very similar to the 1991 chart above,  40 days late from the Perfect storm date.  Winter is starting late.   CMC 0600 UTC 12/08/2016.   WD  December 8, 2016.