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Arctic Sea Ice 2020

Re: Arctic Sea Ice 2020

Unread postby evilgenius » Fri 28 Aug 2020, 06:01:31

The graph could go sideways right now, end of August 2020, and it would still confirm the new normal we are entering. Record lows can be one-off things. New normal means something else. It could be that the 20's will be full of lows also confirming this. That they may see more years like 2007, which was once the only sign of a new normal, than any of the years before then.
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Re: Arctic Sea Ice 2020

Unread postby Newfie » Thu 03 Sep 2020, 11:53:49

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Re: Arctic Sea Ice 2020

Unread postby evilgenius » Thu 10 Sep 2020, 05:17:34

I think this year is firmly in second place for all time melt. It may yet turn out to be the worst year ever. The way it has done it is interesting. It has not been out in the lead all season. It has been close. There have been times when it looked like it would not melt so much, especially toward the end. Instead of flattening out, though, the curve toward the end was dominated by a renewed intensity that kept it going down.
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Re: Arctic Sea Ice 2020

Unread postby JuanP » Thu 10 Sep 2020, 13:13:42



From article linked above:
"The study noted that changes in sea ice appeared to lag at least several decades behind changes in atmospheric greenhouse gases. That implies that the recent lows in winter sea ice were a response to greenhouse gas levels decades ago."
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Re: Arctic Sea Ice 2020

Unread postby JuanP » Thu 10 Sep 2020, 13:16:24

Latest NSIDC news report:
https://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/
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Re: Arctic Sea Ice 2020

Unread postby dohboi » Thu 10 Sep 2020, 16:04:18

It would be great if posters would add at least a very brief phrase or sentence about what they find in their link to be note worthy, rather than just dumping links and telling people to look.

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It looks like this year we won't break the 2012 record for low end-of-melt-season Arctic sea ice area. Probably come in third (after 2016) or just possibly still second.

Did I see that we are at record low for volume though? (Granted, that is a calculation, based on fallible models). So the ice is getting thinner and more spread out. At some point it will all (or nearly all) just go 'poof'
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Re: Arctic Sea Ice 2020

Unread postby Plantagenet » Thu 10 Sep 2020, 16:52:14

Arctic Sea ice is now at the second lowest extent ever on September 1st. Should still be some additional melting, but not enough to catch up with 2012.

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Re: Arctic Sea Ice 2020

Unread postby dohboi » Thu 10 Sep 2020, 20:07:42

Thanks for the graph, P.

Yeah, not gonna break the area or extent records set in 2012, but close. And of course that melt season had the 'advantage' of a Great Arctic Cyclone right at the 'best' time to disperse ice into warmer areas to melt.
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Re: Arctic Sea Ice 2020

Unread postby dohboi » Mon 14 Sep 2020, 21:26:25

Arctic Transitioning to a New Climate State

https://phys.org/news/2020-09-arctic-tr ... state.html
New research by scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) finds that the Arctic has now warmed so significantly that its year-to-year variability is moving outside the bounds of any past fluctuations, signaling the transition to a "new Arctic" climate regime.
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Re: Arctic Sea Ice 2020

Unread postby evilgenius » Tue 15 Sep 2020, 06:35:23

You have to ask yourself if some people don't look at how the markets can move, going down substantially, and see a similarity to that behavior in sea ice? They might believe that the Arctic has it in itself to get colder. They might see the situation as more of a random one, where any trend could arise across several years. I think that way of thinking excludes the biases that now drive the situation. It considers them unproven. Getting that proof, it seems, would take longer than we have left.
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Re: Arctic Sea Ice 2020

Unread postby JuanP » Wed 16 Sep 2020, 12:15:04

dohboi wrote:Arctic Transitioning to a New Climate State

https://phys.org/news/2020-09-arctic-tr ... state.html
New research by scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) finds that the Arctic has now warmed so significantly that its year-to-year variability is moving outside the bounds of any past fluctuations, signaling the transition to a "new Arctic" climate regime.


More on the same subject as article above:

"Sea of Slush: Arctic sea ice lows mark a new polar climate regime"
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-clim ... SKBN2652UL

“Not so long ago, I heard that we had 100 years before the Arctic would be ice free in the summer,” he said. “Then I heard 75 years, 25 years, and just recently I heard 15 years. It’s accelerating.”
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Re: Arctic Sea Ice 2020

Unread postby dissident » Wed 16 Sep 2020, 23:27:49

JuanP wrote:
dohboi wrote:Arctic Transitioning to a New Climate State

https://phys.org/news/2020-09-arctic-tr ... state.html
New research by scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) finds that the Arctic has now warmed so significantly that its year-to-year variability is moving outside the bounds of any past fluctuations, signaling the transition to a "new Arctic" climate regime.


More on the same subject as article above:

"Sea of Slush: Arctic sea ice lows mark a new polar climate regime"
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-clim ... SKBN2652UL

“Not so long ago, I heard that we had 100 years before the Arctic would be ice free in the summer,” he said. “Then I heard 75 years, 25 years, and just recently I heard 15 years. It’s accelerating.”


Most of these idiotic forecasts were based on sea ice extent trends. They completely ignored the sea ice volume trend. The trick is that even if initially the extent trend is low, the volume trend will induce a progressive inflection in the extent trend to reflect the physical disappearance of the sea ice. And that is what we are seeing.
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Re: Arctic Sea Ice 2020

Unread postby Azothius » Fri 18 Sep 2020, 00:41:38

Following up on the "Sea of Slush" /new polar climate regime article...

Lots of background info in the video linked below, which you're all familiar with already -

- you could jump ahead to the 8:45 minute mark to see how the current state of the ice cap compares to that during September 2012. Much thinner, much poorer condition. That greatly diminished volume and poorer condition are coupled with the warmer arctic sea temps going into the freeze season than in 2012.

While 2012 may still hold the record for the minimum extent at the end of this melt season, we are facing a far different scenario for the following year than we did in 2012. Forgive me for stating the obvious.

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Re: Arctic Sea Ice 2020

Unread postby dohboi » Fri 18 Sep 2020, 04:33:40

They've called the minimum for the year over at ASIF. Second place for extent, after 2012.

But as dis suggested, the real game is volume.

As the ice gets slushier, the ever smaller volume will still be able to spread out across pretty vast stretches of the ocean...until it doesn't.

Every year it gets more and more likely, for that reason, that a major storm hitting exactly at the 'right' time will compact or melt enough of that ever-thinner slush down to the point where we get an 'essentially ice free' Arctic Ocean (below 1 million square kilometers, what is sometimes called a 'Blue Ocean Event or BOE)--probably briefly the first time it happens, but then for longer and longer into the melt season, and perhaps beyond.

No one really knows exactly how profound an effect an essentially ice free Arctic will have on Northern Hemisphere climate, but it is likely to be severe. And of course, some of those effects will start/have started well before we get to that (more or less arbitrary) point.
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Re: Arctic Sea Ice 2020

Unread postby evilgenius » Fri 18 Sep 2020, 05:48:19

I think we will know if the volume has had a long term effect if the curve doesn't start upward again until later than normal. It won't prove the point, but it will support the hypothesis. At some point in the freeze everything will probably reach what we've always considered a normal state. That is when we can talk about the condition of the new ice, no longer multi-year, whether it will melt any differently come the next melt season. I think I noticed that some areas that melted out last year to an extent for the first time also melted out faster this year too.
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Re: Arctic Sea Ice 2020

Unread postby JuanP » Fri 18 Sep 2020, 10:23:42

September 16 "Arctic Sea Ice News and Analysis" report @ NSIDC
https://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews

"Sea ice extent stood at 3.74 million square kilometers (1.44 million square miles) on September 15, already well below 2007, 2016, and 2019 and within 400,000 square kilometers (154,400 square miles) of the record low extent set in 2012 (Figure 1a). Sea ice extent has dropped below 4 million square kilometers (1.54 million square miles) only once before, in 2012 (Figure 1b)."

I think all of us here agree that the sea ice extent alone does not provide an adequate perspective of the changes happening in the Arctic. When one considers ice volume, concentration, and thickness, water and air temperatures, ocean currents, air flow patterns, and storm systems, including cyclones, then the view changes. For a moment there, in mid July, the Arctic sea ice extent came down very fast; that will continue happening in the future, leading to some very fast big melts.

We will most likely have our first BOE in the coming years. I would be very surprised if we didn't have a blue Arctic Ocean sometime in the 20s. After the first time, it will become the new normal, ice in Winter and water in Summer with the average melt season becoming longer and longer over time. We are not in Kansas anymore!
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Re: Arctic Sea Ice 2020

Unread postby Tanada » Fri 18 Sep 2020, 13:14:44

dohboi wrote:They've called the minimum for the year over at ASIF. Second place for extent, after 2012.

But as dis suggested, the real game is volume.

As the ice gets slushier, the ever smaller volume will still be able to spread out across pretty vast stretches of the ocean...until it doesn't.

Every year it gets more and more likely, for that reason, that a major storm hitting exactly at the 'right' time will compact or melt enough of that ever-thinner slush down to the point where we get an 'essentially ice free' Arctic Ocean (below 1 million square kilometers, what is sometimes called a 'Blue Ocean Event or BOE)--probably briefly the first time it happens, but then for longer and longer into the melt season, and perhaps beyond.

No one really knows exactly how profound an effect an essentially ice free Arctic will have on Northern Hemisphere climate, but it is likely to be severe. And of course, some of those effects will start/have started well before we get to that (more or less arbitrary) point.


I think the term EXTREME is more accurate than SEVERE but that is a matter more of taste than ultimate results.

Basically even at present the vast this sea ice extent still does a pretty fair job of reflecting away solar energy that impinges on the Arctic Ocean from around March 22 to around September 20 in a noticeable fashion. Not only does the vast majority of sunlight get reflected away without ever being absorbed at the surface, the ice that does melt acts as a huge thermal heat sink absorbing the energy which does manage to get absorbed.

Therefore when you take away the ice you get the double whammy as we used to call it on the playground when we were in primary school. First, a great deal more of the solar energy impinging on the surface gets absorbed into that surface, mostly because sea surface waves present an undulating surface that refracts the impinging light and heat into the depths. In the tropics sunlight penetrates up to 300 feet or 100 meters before it is so dim a diver needs artificial light to function. In the top half of this range phytoplankton, single cell plants like algae, flourish in the light energy so long as the water has the necessary building blocks to build plant tissue and reproduce.

This sunlight effect does not gradually build up to a maximum intensity like it does on the land because the refraction effect of the undulating surface captures the sunlight from the shortly after the time the sun rises above the horizon until shortly before it sinks back below the horizon. In the Arctic Ocean this period is not 12 hours alternating with 12 hour absences of sunlight. In the true Arctic Ocean the sun rises in late March and stays above the horizon until late September. Depending on when this first BOE takes place, most likely mid august would be my guest, that will mean about 4 weeks of solar heating without reflection of thermal sink effects from the remnant ice pack.

That heating/energy absorption will have profound effects. Far more surface water will evaporate for example. Far more phytoplankton will have an energy source to grow if the chemistry of the water supplies all the vital nutrients. Far more warmth will be absorbed by the surface 100 meters despite the increased evaporation rate. Because of the enhanced evaporation rate the extremely low humidity of the air over the ocean will fundamentally shift as well. If the effect is intense enough new clouds will form at high altitude and start increasing the reflectivity of the region again until there is a dynamic balance between incoming energy being absorbed to form vapor to make clouds, and energy reflecting away by clouds lowering the evaporation rate.
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