Jennifer Francis makes a great job drawing a line from sea ice retreat to slower moving weather patterns on the northern hemisphere. Probably it is strongly against common sense to accept colder winter and more snow as an aspect of global warming, but eventually even a room full of meteorologists absorbs the message - if properly presented.-> continue reading
Jan. 21, 2013
by arctic io
fuelfix.com: Obama vows climate change action in inaugural speech
guardian.co.uk: How serious is Barack Obama about climate change?
technologyreview.com: Dear Mr. President: Time to Deal with Climate Change
thehill.com: ExxonMobil will give $250K to inauguration
A new installment of the sea ice volume/thickness series, this time it's from latest the 2007 IPCC AR4 Report, Working Group I: The Physical Science Basis, chapter 220.127.116.11 Evidence of Changes in Arctic Pack Ice Thickness from Submarine Sonar:
Estimates of thickness change over limited regions are possible when submarine transects are repeated (e.g., Wadhams, 1992). The North Pole is a common waypoint in many submarine cruises and this allowed McLaren et al. (1994) to analyse data from 12 submarine cruises near the pole between 1958 and 1992. They found considerable interannual variability, but no significant trend. Shy and Walsh (1996) examined the same data in relation to ice drift and found that much of the thickness variability was due to the source location and path followed by the ice prior to arrival at the pole.-> continue reading
Since the draft of latest +1000 pages US Climate Assessment completely ignores volume as a dimension of Arctic sea ice - probably assuming constant thickness during satellite era - I'll start here a series of findings to give evidence sea ice volume is not an unknown thing to science.
To be fair, the search term 'sea ice thickness' appears once in Chapter 12, Tribal, Indigenous, and Native Lands and Resources
Scientists across the Arctic have documented regional warming over the past few decades at twice the global rate, and indigenous Arctic communities have been observing the changes in their daily lives. This warming is accompanied by significant reductions in sea ice thickness and extent, increased permafrost thaw, more extreme weather and severe storms, changes in seasonal ice melt/freeze of lakes and rivers, water temperature, flooding patterns, erosion, and snowfall timing and type
Later this spring the series will result in a comment to the draft and hopefully the key message with a projection of an ice free Arctic earliest in the middle of the century got revised.
Here is the first part of the series, a paper presented for discussion earlier this week, written by V. A. Alexeev, V. V. Ivanov, R. Kwok and L. H. Smedsrud and titled: North Atlantic warming and declining volume of arctic sea ice, [full text] The article tries to estimate the eﬀect of the recent North Atlantic warming on the ice melting processes happening at the outlet of the Arctic Ocean near Fram Strait, Svalbard and Franz Joseph Land.-> continue reading
Apparently a bubble of warm air didn't make it over the Himalaya, instead it went straight into the stratosphere, forced a sudden stratospheric warming event and killed the polar vortex. Usually that leads to a warm Arctic and cold continents and actually that's why the cars are colored white in my street at fifty something degrees North in Europe.
Update: I just learned via the retired physicist the polar vortex has survived and was instead split in halves. But speaking strictly, do vortexes cruising over Siberia and Canada still qualify as 'Arctic'?-> continue reading
Jan. 11, 2013
by arctic io
I fear this CCCC meme might become more popular in future. The NYT titles about a series of extreme weather around the globe. Apparently countries are no longer hit one after the other, but at the same time. May take a while until everybody finds out that lack of sea ice in Summer and snow chaos in Jerusalem are just two sides of the same medal.-> continue reading
Use the live map above to follow the transit. Apparently the Kulluk has no AIS transponder onboard or intact. But she should be close to the Aiviq. The map updates automatically every two minutes, if not try to zoom or move around a bit or refresh the page (F5)
Here the update from the Unified Command:-> continue reading
First of all the drill ship's 18 members crew has already been rescued by Coast Guard Cutter Alex Haley on Sunday. Now, the Kulluk with some 150,000 gallons of diesel and 12,000 gallons of lube oil on board sits grounded on a rocky bottom about 500 feet from the shore close to Kodiak Island.
This is just another incident of Shell's never ending series of safety failures since this $4.5 billion operation was started. One might think luckily there was no ice around and the Coast Guard's ...-> continue reading
Oct. 13, 2012
by arctic io
Our revels now are ended. These our actors,
As I foretold you, were all spirits and
Are melted into air, into thin air:
And, like the baseless fabric of this vision,
The cloud-capp'd towers, the gorgeous palaces,
The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve
And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff
As dreams are made on, and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep.
-> continue reading
"Oil on Greenland would be a disaster," Total CEO Chrisophe de Margerie said. "A leak would do too much damage to the image of the company."
Although he is not completely opposed to Arctic exploitation as gas leaks "were easier to shut down and clean". But what are the chances considering Shell reportedly invested already $4.5 billion and Cairn Energy at least $1 billion?-> continue reading
Tldr; between 2003 and 2011 the Arctic sea ice volume decreased by 50% or 900km³ per year. Latest PIOMAS volume reads 3,400 km³.
With a tremendous effort and more importantly in a public way the Environmental Audit Committee invited and interviewed experts and scientists to collect all evidence about the conditions in the Arctic.
Topics cover everything from methane, permafrost, black carbon over sea ice to polar bears and more. The report went online earlier this day and is the most extensive and actual reader available now.
Here is the paragraph concerning volume and the conclusion:-> continue reading
The AMS Council recently adopted a new statement on Climate Change (pdf). Here are the final remarks, don't miss the last sentence:
There is unequivocal evidence that Earth’s lower atmosphere, ocean, and land surface are warming; sea level is rising; and snow cover, mountain glaciers, and Arctic sea ice are shrinking. The dominant cause of the warming since the 1950s is human activities.
This scientific finding is based on a large and persuasive body of research. The observed warming will be irreversible for many years into the future, and even larger temperature increases will occur as greenhouse gases continue to accumulate in the atmosphere.
Avoiding this future warming will require a large and rapid reduction in global greenhouse gas emissions. The ongoing warming will increase risks and stresses to human societies, economies, ecosystems, and wildlife through the 21st century and beyond, making it imperative that society respond to a changing climate.-> continue reading
The new grid is on a 500 meter spacing, revealing much greater details of the Arctic seafloor than IBCAO Version 1.0 (2.5 km) and Version 2.0 (2.0 km). The area covered by multibeam surveys has increased from ~6 % in Version 2.0 to ~11% in Version 3.0. The compilation of IBCAO Version 3.0 is described in a Geophysical Research Letter article available for download.-> continue reading
AUGUST 2012 17 Provideniya, Russia 17 - 18 Nome, Alaska 19 - 31 Northwest Passage Expedition SEPTEMBER 2012 01 - 11 Northwest Passage Expedition 12 - 15 Greenland 16 - 17 At Sea 18 St. Anthony, Canada 
The world is different aboard ‘The Word’. It is the largest privately owned residential yacht on earth. It might look like a cruise ship from the exterior, but that’s where the similarity ends. This exclusive community offers the ultimate combination of luxury travel with world-class dining, custom tours and enriching cultural events. It is the embodiment of a distinctive lifestyle experience.
Being among the 1% includes privileges. The list includes improving your handicap at the Lofoten Golf Links, handshakes with Putin in Provideniya and this year sailing in the Canadian Archipelago - mostly ice free.
The course advertised on the web site and shown above looks like an adventure - it includes breaking the thickest ice available and after that straight through Nares Strait direction Baffin Bay. But this will not happen - not this year. As an alternative M' Clure Strait is still packed with ice. Only Prince of Wales Strait is left as last resort. However, on this 'safe' route the tourists will hardly see any ice and finally depend on Captain’s Choice.-> continue reading
The double zoom has been renamed and relaunched. New zooms are added each day approximately 06:00am GMT. The permalink includes the dates, which I believe is more convenient. Screenshot above links to currently the fastest melting region. The archive includes besides all of August some older zooms indicated with bold letters in the calendar widget. Did you missed first snow in the Arctic - split zoom reveals even tiny changes.
The Danish DMI makes an excellent job in preparing daily Arctic Ocean surface temperatures. The satellite view now includes the actual temperature, anomalies and daily changes. More info on the ...-> continue reading
"Progress related to the final construction of the Arctic Challenger containment barge remains steady," Shell spokesman Curtis Smith told Petroleum News in an Aug. 15 email. "We continue to work closely with the U.S. Coast Guard to outline a schedule for final inspections and an on-water deployment that would lead to certification. There's no set timeline for the completion of this important process."
petroleumnews.com: Shell continues to delay drilling, waiting for containment barge
alaskadispatch.com: Shell's oil spill-containment barge for Arctic operations was once for the birds-> continue reading
The first sighting of the ice bird was in March, 13 this year. He kept hidden until the day before yesterday. Looks fallen now, whether the approaching ice fairy brings him back to life - future will tell. The Arctic vanishes in all her unique beauty, both images were archived to capture the fleetingness of a fragile environment.
Since 1979 there is a sea ice extent record for the Arctic with mostly daily measurements. The trend is clear and down, so what is the problem?
Imagine a single idealized ice floe: 1 kilometer long and 1 kilometer wide with a thickness of 2 meter drifting in the Arctic Ocean - a pretty flat cuboid. Roughly 20 centimeter are visible above sea surface as freeboard. NASA’s Arctic Mosaic at highest resolution would represent the floe with 16 white pixels arranged as square.
Let’s further assume bottom- and top melting are equal and and there is enough energy available to melt 1 meter of ice from each of the six sides within a month (30 days). How much ice is left after this period? Exactly, zero.-> continue reading