Saturday, June 23, 2018

2012-2018 What is the difference? Over all sea ice is thinner

~After all first melt was earliest in history
~Sea ice snow cover was thicker in many Arctic quadrants
~How to judge with perfect hindsight

   With respect to sea ice over all thinness,  we can recognize by how easy it breaks up during the melting season.  None better place than Lancaster Sound:

June 22 2012-13-14-15-16-17 and 2018,  we note with great interest 2012, the year with the greatest sea ice melt in history, with irony,  had the thickest sea ice in Lancaster sound,  sea ice which survived well beyond July:

   How does the greatest melt in history have the thickest most persistent sea ice here?   It simply was a matter of the gradual degradation of sea ice year by year...    Which is part and parcel with the ongoing thinning of sea ice process,  therefore since 2012,  the overall sea ice of a huge area of the Arctic has had less volume even with similar extent,  namely from two processes,  more surface snow and warmer temperatures.  At Lancaster Sound, the winter of 2018 had large positive temperature anomalies until mid February.

June 15-16-17-18-19-20-21-22.  Not long ago on June 15 2018,  sea ice in Lancaster appeared rock solid but was in fact very fragile, extent of roughly 50,000 km2 sea ice is currently in the process of disappearing in a matter of a few days.

   July 3 2012,  more sturdy and strong than 2018,  appeared very similar to 2018 June 15:

June 15 2018 looked solid, but undeniably thinner than 2012 which really broke up nearly a month later.:
Amazing irony to find sea ice so resilient during the year with greatest melt in history.  But Arctic sea ice loss of volume process never stopped since

     Hindsight being 20/20 we can study every location having rapidly disintegrating sea ice by surmising the strong possibility that it was even thinner than thought or measured. WD June 23, 2018  

Friday, June 22, 2018

2018 Shake and Bake sea ice

~Huge difference between 2012 and 2018 is sea ice velocity
~2018 Beaufort sea ice is still moving very fast
~This of course distorts 2018 extent numbers until much further melting likely requiring less solar energy.

 June 14 to 22 2012,  note the rather unison movement of the sea ice towards land.

As opposed to 2018 same period,  with strong clockwise motion.  Note encroaching broken up sea ice over the already exposed dark sea water next to shore.  This obviously increased extent all while there was no new ice made.  This exposes the problem of the 15% extent rule,  largely dedicated for a long gone Arctic Ocean ice architecture which did not collapse from within.

    Extent wise 2012 appears to have more open water but 2018 has far more surface water within the main sea ice body.  Greater motion adds to extent as well,  but also pulverizes the sea ice pans more.  The difference here between 12 and 18 will be made more apparent when greater melting continues,  it seems obvious that one year had less intra collisions (2012) than the other (2018).  This is the difference to consider,  a more fluid pack interspersed with water is also more capable in dispersing sea ice in the wider open zones,  in effect increasing apparent extent numbers,  until what would eventually appear to be a near spontaneous melt down,  apparently sudden from all the crushing action transforming  uniformly reflecting solar forcing vast sea ice canopy to a partial pulverized slushy mix.

Consider June 22 2013

    We know the long term results from  this kind of ice structure,  it will lead to lesser melting come sea ice minima.   This is not the case in 2018 and was not so for 2012.

now consider 2102 August 1 before the great cyclone of August 5

    Sea ice largely melted in place,  unlike 2018 which is already broken up.   It is now a matter of cloud coverage (which dominated in 2013),  if similarly less as of 2012 season,  2018 has a good chance of surpassing the all time lowest extent record.    But clouds should persist till beginning of August,  again mimicking since 2012 a new summer cloud-scape caused by thinner sea ice and a different circulatory system.

WD June 22, 2018

Monday, June 18, 2018

Speed of 2018 Beaufort sea ice velocity twice as fast as 2012 at peak of Gyre boosting by presence of very long lasting Anticyclone over it

 2018 June 1 to 9  Beaufort sea ice speed , the biggest pan amongst open water  mid extreme left,  is 12.5 nautical miles  to the West .  It disintegrated on June 9
2012 June 1-9 bullet shaped ice pan moved 5.6 nautical miles a day.

    Peak 2018 Gyre sea ice speed before switchover was extremely bad for sea ice,  it slowed to a third  next 7 days because of Cyclonic presence over the Arctic Ocean Gyre,  still very impressive velocity,  25 % less than 2012 during the same period,  it means that when the cyclones weaken or disappear the speeds would rival or exceed 2012 again,  implying a similar 2012 melt is in the cards.  WD June 18 2018

Sunday, June 17, 2018

The current green line, the border between thin and thicker sea ice

~Obviously, top of snow melts more when over thinner sea ice
~Let's take a look

 First we find ESA Maxima picture of the icescape.

Then we look at latest NASA EOSDIS greening of Arctic sea ice:

   With June 2 to 15 2018 animation we can clearly define deep greening zones from the colder highly reflective top white surface ....

   It seems all the Arctic Ocean changed colour, however basically where there is greater surface melting there is a stronger greening,  caused by water ponds, closely outlining the thicker sea ice areas. Ice having a colder core temperature allows top of snow to further resist melting surface temperatures,  top of snow temperature is a reflection of sea ice core minimum.   We can see here the rough outline of beginning of August open water limits,  deeply influenced by thick ice in great part created by Gyre circulation compaction.

2012 to 2018 comparison

     At same June 15 date, 2012 sea ice melt was stronger in the Beaufort,  but 2018 Bering Sea open water is much more prominent:

    Along  North of Russia 2018 has a greater ongoing melt ,  despite 2012 and 18 deeper greening being similar,  but with 18 having more open water,  one must factor the clouds as having an impact over true colours.    2012 can be recognized by next to Wrangle Island open spot.

WD June 17 2018

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Sea ice delusions by thick snow carpet, crystals of illusions

~Whether viewed close by  or from space,  sometimes thin sea ice looks much thicker

Kara sea ice is disintegrating rapidly not only because the sun is melting it like crazy, but rather a mix of ripe conditions,  namely its ice is  mostly very thin,  especially with a lot of snow on it,  but winds and current were not able to blow it away until today,  so thin ice is not as fragile as thought and can easily be broken all at once, not especially detectable from close or afar,  even from space, especially with snow layers .    Only Inuit hunters are best at detecting, because there is a hundred words for snow in Inuktitut the language of the Arctic, snow surface structures may define what it covers.  (NASA EOSDIS June 1-8 2018).  

Other side of the Pole in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago,  April 2 to 9 2018,  a massive chunk of ice disintegrated at the entrance of the Northwest passage, Lancaster Sound,   quite unusual to see Lancaster filled with apparently solid sea ice,  a few times in the past ,  during the coldest years it did so,  the last severe Lancaster Sound full coverage had thicker sea ice surviving till mid July 1987.    2018 is not 1987,  has illusions of such,  February March 2018 had very cold favorable for rapid new sea ice formation,  I estimate most of Lancaster sea ice to be lesser than 80 cm though  ,  there is a lot of snow on it,  giving the impression of thick sea ice,  this snow reduced accretion. But here is the illusion which will unravel when the structure of compacted hard snow gets pummelled by warm sublimation and under snow melting,  along with tidal and winds severe stresses,  large chunks of Lancaster ice will disappear in a matter of a few days.  Cohesion of thin sea ice is remarkable,  but ultimately fails in apparent massive extent events.   

     There is also the illusion of sea ice extent itself,  we note 2012 amongst this 2010-2018 June 9 animation,  2012 the year having the greatest melt on record,  had on its June 9  the most Lancaster Sound sea ice of all.    It is important to judge sea ice with a context of complications, all encompassing measures,  winds, tides, current,  momentum,  lead structures, architectural layouts , snow cover and temperatures must be considered.   If for instance Kara sea South of Novaya Zemlya Island has persistent winds compacting thinner sea ice in its pocket,  its ice would appear thick till favorable conditions would vanish it out of existence.  This disintegration rapidity factor must be considered chunk by massive chunk,  although some parts of ice survives does not mean its adjoining ice is different.    One main reason why thinner sea ice may survive longer is that it is smooth on top, the winds glide over with lesser friction. WD June 13, 2018

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Arctic Ocean circulation Switchover occurred as expected in late April projection...

~Temperature is key ,  now Arctic Cyclones are colder than High pressures.

CMC June 12 2018,  with a High now over Baffin and a low over the Arctic Ocean Gyre,    in between is the CTNP vortex,   the pressure scene has SWITCHED ,  offering some hope for sea ice with extra cloud cover.

Further a study:

What separates the High from the Low is a cold upper air zone not measured in a significant density  grid manner.  700 mb temperature and pressure heights CMC June 12, 2018 1200 UTC.

   What remains is the possibility of an Arctic Dipole,  which is a rare event at this time of great melting.      The possibility is there but requires a High over Alaska which may venture North. Mean time we must judge how fragile sea ice is by its velocity:

       Impressive speeds of sea ice drift makes for a great melt,  it is fortunately the source of open water.  Fog and cloud source at near 0 C temperatures.    WD June 12, 2018

KARA sea ice appears to have significant melting and extensive water ponds

   Kara sea next to  Russia shore has lost a lot of sea ice,  with remaining having greenish colours indicating melt ponds..  Note the 'goodbye waves' in the dark sea,  precursor sea ice just about to completely melt and merge with sea water.

Comparison with 2010-2017 makes 2018 most favorable about melting rates exceeding 2012,  the wider open dark sea water zone of 18 rivals 2010,  but is most significant causing its remaining sea ice very vulnerable.  WD June 12, 2018

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Novaya Zemlya region did not have time to have thick 1.5 meters sea ice.

May 2018 PIOMAS sea ice anomaly map .  in particular we look at Western Novaya Zemlya region

     Notice the gradual red darkening indicating sea ice anomaly 1.5 m thicker than mean next to Russian motherland.....

   NASA worldview February 9. March 9,  April 9, May 9 and June 9 2018 Western Novaya Zemlya viewed from the South:

   With very little sea ice at least till mid- February,  most of the area was covered by March 9 with first year very thin fresh sea ice,  this is observed by sea current and winds easily breaking thin sea ice up especially as seen in April.  Come June there was no evidence of multi year sea ice migrations,  it is just new sea ice.  It is conservative to estimate that this ice had only 3 months to accrete, which is definitely not possible to thicken so quickly beyond 150 cm,  consider sea water temperatures usually warmer there in Barents sea as well.  Not possible at least in my experience,  I estimate its thickness to be downwards of 80 cm given the lack of consolidation,  also given a significant period of warmer surface temperatures and especially the apparent thick snow cover which masked its broken nature especially in April.

      Red 1.5 meters North East NZ having spectacular water intermix

 May 2018 flow of ice for most of the month... 

     First of all,  there is  extensive wide open water NE of NZ ,  secondly the flow is spectacularly lazy. no very extensive ridging is possible amongst open water!

WDJune 10,2018

Friday, June 8, 2018

some PIOMAS ice thicker with warmer over all weather

~Just how does sea ice get thicker when temperature anomalies are warmer?
~The snow conundrum is suggested

  WE look back Novaya Zemlya area wide open water mid October 2017

     Much clouds but little or no sea ice...

   Then we take NOAA daily composites and calculate surface temperature anomalies:

As I recall,  it was much warmer most of winter North Central Russia Arctic Ocean area ,  mostly more than +6 C warmer,  mean temperatures would have been higher was it not until end of winter cooling.  

Yet the ice is supposedly substantially thicker,  I wonder what would do that?  
But more snow of course,  although there are no measurements for wide areas of the Arctic,  precipitable Daily Composites water gives an idea.  There is most likely more snow on the sea ice in the areas where the sea ice is proposed to be thicker,  it would of course delay its melting,  but also likely mask its thickness.  

A closer June 8 2018 look at the same ice area reveals broken up ice pans,  many areas held together by the fragile glue of very thin sea ice caused by a late winter freeze up...

WD June 8,2018

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Pacific and Atlantic sea ice fronts most receded compared to 2012-17

~  Is there any wonder why sea ice is in dire shape after more than a month of Gyre reinforcing steady anticyclone?

~All significant fronts show current devastation greater than same date 2012!

From excellent NASA worldview archives:
 Atlantic front 2018 #1 melting position compared to 2012-2017

Beaufort sea, 2018 close to #1 shared with very warm 2016 and similar in circulation 2017.   

2018 Pacific region #1 receded sea ice very significant given solar
forcing on the much darker already very warmed because of less winter sea ice Bering Sea.  In retrospect 2013 was a very interesting year,  despite a constant cyclone over the gyre area,  this current still turned clockwise.  

  No matter what will happen,  although I have a very good projection of what will occur, the very greatly enhanced Arctic Ocean gyre current will devastate sea ice by compaction till sea ice minima comes.  wd,  June 6 2018