Sunday, May 29, 2016
Friday, May 20, 2016
~Likely 24 hour bottom melt earliest captured....
Preceding article questioning NCAR calculations can be seen here. The sea ice Horizon would
drop below Astronomical Horizon (AH) if top of sea ice was warmer than surface air. In many years of observations it was never observed doing that, the much lower sea water horizon observations with colder than sst air were never repeated with ice. Instead spring sea ice horizons maintain AH until evening or until under sea ice melting is 24 hours a day. This likely happened yesterday, South Cornwallis Island looking at westward MW Passage.
On a given Arctic spring day, the horizon drops to AH when the air temperature Ta is equal to top of sea ice temperature Ti. When reaching AH, it is highly likely that the bottom of sea ice melts,
but during spring the AH horizon lasts a few minutes when it first shows, in March or early April, so accretion keeps on making net gains. AH horizons gradually become longer, but when AH is maintained more than 12 hours, the bottom of sea ice melts more than forms, net bottom melting occurs. This has happened yesterday, when AH was observed 1 hour before the midnight sun. For the first time I have observed this in May, this makes Spring 2016 fast ice the weakest heat resisting sea ice observed since 2010 when spring observations have started.
Thursday, May 19, 2016
85 to 90 N NOAA Reanalysis. May 16, 2016. Use the mouse pointer to compare surface and top of sea ice temperatures.
There are several reasons why surface sea ice temperature can't be warmer than surface air. #1 It is optically not observable, if there is a steep adiabatic profile from ground/ice temperature to Surface air 2 meters above, it would give an optical illusion, similar to hot road mirages. We have here on this example given many locations with a 2 degree C temperature difference between skin to surface air. This would give a lapse rate 100 times more than the normal 10 C/Km. #2 Thermally improbable. Top of sea ice temperature influences the surface air temperature, if the air is colder than top of sea ice, this is a very unstable thermal structure, ice would cool rapidly by convection upwards of the air touching it. While air warmer than sea ice invokes a normal stable thermal structure. Because ice/snow surface is white, especially since thermal conduction from lower in the column sea ice is much greater than air to top of ice, air conduction affects top of sea ice less than colder sea ice column core minima, very necessarily at this time of late spring. #3 clouds. Likely covering 85N to the Pole here, clouds offer a more neutral thermal flux balance, whereas there is a steady equal heat flux up and down at the surface to air interface. The net result is more of an isotherm, but still slightly favoring the stable thermal structure, which is colder top of sea ice than surface air. WD May 19, 2016
Saturday, May 7, 2016
Remote sensing VS Refraction Prime sea ice rule. Satellites are pretty good, but refraction observations are better.
~ Is likely some remote sensing calculations/methods need some adjustments.
Taking advantage of persistent "Big Blue" of 2016 spring, a truly remarkable insolation bombardment , the right term "relentless" onslaught of sunshine, we can check and find if refraction gained insights (written here) are true on a planetary scale. NOAA daily climate composites are very good, so we look at its sea surface temperature setting or "surface skin" temperatures VS surface temperatures.
NOAA May 4 2016. Daily mean
Click on GIF image to expand and use your mouse pointer to make comparisons.
If there is a calculation error with NOAA surface temperatures, it would be "averaged out" eventually because Ta>=Ti , a fact gained by multiple horizon observations, this feature will show up over a longer term:
NOAA May 1-5 2016. Composite mean makes it much harder to find
Hypothetically, the longer we average out the likely Algorithm error, the more impossible it would be to find Ta < Ti.
March 1 to May 5 2016, literally impossible to find top of sea ice temperature
NOAA surface temperature looks better but still has small daily flaws.
May 9, 2016 NOAA daily composites offer surface air temperature feature which performs slightly better than 1000 mb, if you click on extreme cold surface air temperature near land it will be likely erroneous, making surface air colder than ice. Which has never been observed optically.
Likewise looking back longer term:
April 9-May 9 average If you find a spot where Ta< Ti , let me know. There are none I can find.
NOAA remote sensing temperatures are quite good, but I would look at every case when
sea ice is warmer than surface air, double check the calculations and the physics. I don't know if this is the error which causes sea ice models to err in making good melt projections. A 4 C warmer sea ice than surface temperature (Chukchi anomaly very top GIF above) would make the horizon extremely low and that has never been observed, on top of the underlying thermal physics which would be hard to explain. WD May 7 and May 11, 2016
Thursday, April 28, 2016
~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
~ 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?
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.
Arctic General circulation projections:
2CTNP 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.
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
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
Wednesday, March 9, 2016
What is sea ice first melt? Best explained by observations:
March 9 2013, a diurnal variation of the sea ice horizon. This is newly formed first year sea ice from the worse melt in sea ice history in 2012. At left the horizon was lowest, following sun ray bombardment at local apparent noon, this happens when the thermal structure of the sea surface to air interface has an isothermal structure. the air immediately above the ice has a lapse rate nearing 0 degrees C/km. As the evening approached concurrently with the lower sun elevation something not
immediately obvious happens, the horizon rose( middle) by a very significant 1.3' (minutes of arc), this would be if the sea ice physically rose 18.6 meters 40 kilometers away. At sunset (right picture) the horizon didn't rise much further in fact dropped a bit, this means the ice was not so thick. The sea ice core temperature could be very much colder, 11' of arc horizon boost was measured once in the same location.
Sea ice core temperature is an important player in sea ice horizons. Thermodynamically,
with lab conditions, air cools faster than ice (in a dark place, like a cloudless night), when not warmed by sun rays, this would lower the horizon if so. But the ice usually has a significantly colder core than its surface warmed by solar radiation. This core cools the noon warmed sea ice surface faster than the air, which in turn cools the interface air faster than the layer of air just above it. A colder layer of air under a warmer one is called an inversion. An observer can "see" this inversion by studying the horizon.
A very old sea ice pan, say 10 meters thick, has a colder core temperature even outlasting the Arctic summer (the ice survives!), thicker sea ice can have much colder core temperature, and conversely, the horizon may rise. The opposite is so, the thinner the sea ice , the warmer the core and the lesser the horizon shift:
March 9 2016, the sea ice horizon did not move despite partially sunny conditions (3' of arc), and some haze, the same thing happened on sunny March 7. Therefore , this is first melt conditions. Whereas the horizon like this has not been measured since there was open water last September and or thin sea ice last October .
First melt in early March?
Repeatable horizon measurements at the same altitude as when open water temperatures was equal to the air is the definition of the first melt, When so, accretion stops, and the bottom may melt since sea water is as warm as bottom salty sea ice.
2015 first melt was March 26, 2014 April 10, 2013 March 23, 2012 March 17, 2011 April 15 and 2010 March 19.
Without a doubt 2016 has the thinnest ice, thinner than 2012. And the sea ice causing the least variations in March, the coldest historical sea ice period. If there is no massive cooling about, this thinner sea ice means earliest arrival of melt ponds with earliest break ups all over the Arctic. If we follow the South Cornwallis Island record carefully, the second earliest first melt year was 2012. WD March 9,2016
Monday, February 8, 2016
Wednesday, January 20, 2016
~The warm year was not only because of El-Nino
Todays NY Times headline:
And so it was
2014 95 66 118 105 90 83 74 90 86 96 84 109 91 89 80 104 82 89 2014 2015 114 115 123 102 99 104 88 99 112 124 136 148 113 110 113 108 97 124 2015 Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec J-D D-N DJF MAM JJA SON Year
According to NASA 2015 Northern Hemisphere January to December average was +0.22 C greater than 2014 during the same period. A staggering near 20% jump. El-Nino's influence can be read at year end. The beginning of the year was likely more at the state of warming already in Earth's atmosphere. The other warmest El-Nino was 1998:
1998 66 105 71 88 67 74 78 74 62 56 59 79 73 71 75 75 75 59 1998
ENSO peak to peak temperature maximums are simply not explaining the 0.4 C temperature gain since 1998.
From EH2r Refraction prediction April 18, 2015:
"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."
The writing of 2015 warming was in sun disks well before year end. However, refraction prognosis methods are not only to be found with astronomical objects. 2016 is already significantly warmer than 2015 by another way to judge the warmth
of the planet...... With sea ice. More on this soon. WD January 20 , 2016