Northabout’s Great Adventure

According to the old saying “A change is as good as a rest”, so rather than plagiarise today’s title from a “skeptical” web site we’ve invented this one all by ourselves. Northabout is a small yacht with big ideas. (S)he wants to circumnavigate the North Pole in one summer season. However certain cryoblogospheric commenters are somewhat skeptical that this can be achieved this year. Take Tony Heller for example:

There has been very little melt going on in the Arctic Ocean the last few days, due to cold cloudy weather.

A group of climate clowns were planning on sailing around the entire Arctic Ocean through the Northeast and Northwest Passages (to prove there isn’t any ice in the Arctic) but are stuck in Murmansk because the Northeast Passage is completely blocked with ice.

The “group of climate clowns” aboard Northabout that Mr. Heller refers to are led by David Hempleman-Adams. According to the Polar Ocean Challenge web site:

David is one of the most experienced and successful adventurers in the world.

In his forty years as an adventurer, David was the first person to reach the highest peaks on all seven continents and journey fully to the North and South Geographical and Magnetic Poles. He has broken forty-seven Federation Aeronautique Internationale ballooning records

According to Tony’s previous blog:

My name is Tony Heller. I am a whistle blower. I am an independent thinker who is considered a heretic by the orthodoxy on both sides of the climate debate.

I have degrees in Geology and Electrical Engineering, and worked on the design team of many of the world’s most complex designs, including some which likely power your PC or Mac. I have worked as a contract software developer on climate and weather models for the US government.

However despite Tony’s long list of qualifications he is evidently currently quite confused, since according to the Polar Ocean Challenge live tracking map David and Northabout are not in actual fact “stuck in Murmansk” at all:

Northabout-20160720

This shouldn’t come as surprise to anyone with an internet connection and a desire to check the facts, since as we speak there is currently remarkably little sea ice cover on the Atlantic side of the Arctic Ocean:

UH-Atlantic-Area-2016-07-20

Hence Northabout should find the next leg of his/her voyage across the Barents and Kara Seas pretty plain sailing. However Vilkitsky Strait, the passage from the Kara into the Laptev Sea, is currently looking a trifle tricky:

NASA Worldview “true-color” image of the Vilkitsky Strait on July 20th 2016, derived from the MODIS sensor on the Terra satellite
NASA Worldview “true-color” image of the Vilkitsky Strait on July 20th 2016, derived from the MODIS sensor on the Terra satellite

Do you suppose Tony Heller suffers from precognitive dreams?

 

[Edit – July 22nd 2016]

According to Environment Canada this morning there’s a 988 hPa central pressure cyclone causing a bit of a blow in the Vilkitsky Strait at the moment:

Synopsis-20160722-00Z

Meanwhile the crew of Northabout report from the Barents Sea that:

Sea and air temperature getting colder as we venture further north. Saw quite a lot of Dolphins for the first time around the Yacht. Still sea gulls flying behind and skimming the waves.

Had some promising Canadian ice charts yesterday, but that’s a long way off. Today we should get an update with the Russian side. fingers crossed it is still not solid around the cape and Laptev sea. That could slow us down considerably. The wind has been blowing the pack ice against the land, so very difficult to get around the shore, but let’s see what Santa brings.

Northabout-Barents-20160722-1

According to AARI, Santa had brought this by July 19th:

AARI_ICEANL_20160719_KARA-Crop

P.S. Maintaining his usual modus operandi, Tony Heller has penned a new article today, containing a satellite image remarkably similar to the one just above. Under the headline “The 2016 Franklin Expedition” he tells his loyal readership:

The Polar Ocean Challenge is headed off into the ice.

They will run into this in three days – hundreds of miles of solid ice. Without an icebreaker, they are going nowhere. I asked them on Twitter if they have an icebreaker. I haven’t received a response, and will be monitoring them by satellite to see if they are cheating.

By some strange coincidence we’re “monitoring them by satellite” too:

Northabout-20160722-1930

 

[Edit – July 23rd 2016]

In some “Shock News!!!” from another corner of the cryodenialosphere Viscount Monckton of Brenchley claims on the “Watts Up With That” blog that:

As for ice melt, yet another totalitarian propaganda expedition intended to “raise awareness” of climate “catastrophe” by trying to sail around the Arctic in the summer has just come a cropper owing to – er – too much ice. Neither the North-East Passage nor the North-West Passage is open, so the expedition is holed up in – of all ghastly places – Murmansk. That’ll teach Them.

However my corrective comment has yet to see the light of day at WUWT:

Selection_789

Meanwhile Northabout resolutely presses on regardless, and has just passed 74 degrees North:

Northabout-20160723-1100

whilst the sea ice edge in the north-eastern Kara Sea has retreated somewhat over the last three days:

NASA Worldview “true-color” image of the Vilkitsky Strait on July 23rd 2016, derived from the MODIS sensor on the Terra satellite
NASA Worldview “true-color” image of the Vilkitsky Strait on July 23rd 2016, derived from the MODIS sensor on the Terra satellite

Here’s the July 20-22nd AARI map of the Vilkitsky Strait area:

AARI_ICEANL_20160722_KARA-Crop

On the topic of Arctic sea ice melt in general Viscount Monckton opines over on WUWT that:

According to the National Snow and Ice Data Center’s graph, also available at WUWT’s sea-ice page, it’s possible, though not all that likely, that there will be no Arctic icecap for a week or two this summer:

NSIDC-WUWT-20170722

Even if the ice disappears for a week or two so what? The same was quite possibly true in the 1920s and 1930s, which were warmer than today in the northern hemisphere, but there were no satellites to tell us about it.

The Good Lord seems to have a very tenuous grasp on reality, since the NSIDC’s graph shows nothing of the sort. Perhaps he is merely indulging in irony?

The Mid July Surf Forecast for the Beaufort Sea

It looks like a storm is brewing in the Arctic. The long range weather forecasts for the Arctic have been remarkably unreliable recently, but this one is for a mere three days from now. WaveWatch III suggests there will be some significant waves in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas this coming weekend, travelling in the direction of the ice edge:

WaveWatch III wave height forecast for July 17th
WaveWatch III wave height forecast for July 17th
WaveWatch III wave period forecast for July 17th
WaveWatch III wave period forecast for July 17th
WaveWatch III wind forecast for July 17th
WaveWatch III wind forecast for July 17th

 

[Edit July 15th 2016]

Sunday is only two days away now, and here is the current ECMWF prognosis:

Here’s how “the surf” looks today, courtesy of United States Coast Guard Cutter Healy:

 

[Edit July 16th 2016]

Another day has dawned, and the Environment Canada synoptic chart shows that the low pressure system currently over the Arctic has reached a central pressure of 990 hPa:

Synopsis-20160716-06Z

The latest ECMWF SLP forecast for tomorrow is firming up:

ECMWF-20160716+1d

A modest swell is now visible from USCGC Healy’s “AloftCon” webcam:

whilst the WaveWatch III forecast for tomorrow has dropped off to a significant wave height of around 2 metres with an average period of 7 seconds:

Height-20160716+1d

Period-20160716+1d

Meanwhile an image from the VIIRS instrument on the Suomi NPP satellite reveals the current storm in all its glory, together with confirmation that the “Big Block” multi-year ice floe north of Barrow has split asunder overnight:

Storm-VIIRS-20160716

 

[Edit July 17th 2016]

Sunday morning has now arrived. The storm in the Arctic looks to have bottomed out at 986 hPa central pressure. Here’s the Environment Canada synoptic chart for 00:00 this morning:

Synopsis-20160717-00Z

and here’s how the storm looks from the Terra satellite today:

Storm-Terra-20160717-1

This is how the resultant swell looked from USCGC Healy at 06:00:

 

[Edit July 18th 2016]

Here’s what the Beaufort and Chukchi Sea north of Barrow look like this morning through the clouds:

NASA Worldview “true-color” image of the Beaufort Sea on July 18th 2016, derived from the MODIS sensor on the Terra satellite
NASA Worldview “true-color” image of the Beaufort Sea on July 18th 2016, derived from the MODIS sensor on the Terra satellite

The remains of the now not so “Big Block” can just be made out in the bottom left. For a cloud free image here’s the latest AMSR2 passive microwave imagery of the area from the University of Hamburg:

Arc_20160717_res3.125_LARGE

The USCGC Healy and the remnants of the swell are in amongst the ice:

 

[Edit July 20th 2016]

As the remnants of the storm head off across the Canadian Arctic Archipelago here is what it has left in its wake in the Central Arctic Basin:

NASA Worldview “false-color” image of the Central Arctic Basin on July 19th 2016, derived from the MODIS sensor on the Aqua satellite
NASA Worldview “false-color” image of the Central Arctic Basin on July 19th 2016, derived from the MODIS sensor on the Aqua satellite
University of Hamburg AMSR2 concentration visualisation of the Central Arctic on July 19th 2016
University of Hamburg AMSR2 concentration visualisation of the Central Arctic on July 19th 2016

UH-CAB-Extent-2016-07-19

UH-CAB-Area-2016-07-19

 

[Edit July 21st 2016]

The storm has dispersed the remaining ice in the Beaufort Sea over the last few days:

UH-Beaufort-Extent-2016-07-20

However across the Arctic as a whole sea ice area continues its downward trend:

UH-Arctic-Area-2016-07-20

Has The Ice Clearly Broken Completely In Two Now?

In the spirit of providing some spurious “balance” to the contentious Arctic sea ice “debate” our quote for today comes fairly fresh from the Arctic Sea Ice Forum:

idk how people are confusing the gaping fissures that span from Siberia to Canada with melt ponds but it seems like half the people here have blinders on to what is ongoing.

I know HYCOM gets a lot of flak but instead of projecting out, let’s look at the last five days.

[Superfluous image redacted]

The ice has clearly broken completely in two now, and the recent ~970mb low did a major whomping to the ice in the “cleavage” between what’s stuck against Siberia and the main CAB.

Intriguingly this was in response to an informed comment on June 23rd to the effect that:

As we have seen recently, these large area drops in the middle of the pack do not mean the ice is gone, just that its top is wet/ponded. In a couple of days some of these drops might be reversed. Of course the ice has suffered in the meantime, but still it’s risky to simply extrapolate these numbers.

Even more intriguingly our headline for today is remarkably like the inverse of a phrase in a Mail on Sunday article that led us to create this site in the first place!

Nearly three weeks have passed since those “gaping fissures that span from Siberia to Canada” were announced, and you may well (like me) be wondering how they have been coming along? In partial answer to that question here is our very latest video based on the University of Hamburg’s AMSR2 concentration visualisations:

In my own humble opinion this doesn’t really count as a “gaping fissure” but MODIS imagery does now show a fair bit of open water between Siberia and the North Pole:

CAB-Terra-20160711-400

A “gaping fissure” between the Pole and Canada (and/or Greenland) is however conspicuous only by its absence:

NASA Worldview “false-color” image of the Central Arctic Basin on July 11th 2016, derived from the MODIS sensor on the Aqua satellite
NASA Worldview “false-color” image of the Central Arctic Basin on July 11th 2016, derived from the MODIS sensor on the Aqua satellite

I do think that I can spot some melt ponds in the area at the moment though. How about you?

The one CRREL/ERDC ice mass balance buoy still reporting reveals that both surface and bottom melting have started at around 83 degrees north:

2016-07-11_2015F

The 2016 multi-year ice melting season has evidently now begun, and the floe upon which buoy 2015F is sitting still has ~1.9 metres of melting to go. It’s not beyond the bounds of possibilty that a “gaping fissure” from the Atlantic to the Pacific will ultimately emerge this year. However based on the evidence thus far I’ll be extremely surprised if there is one “from Siberia to Canada”, unless of course you count the Chukchi & Beaufort Seas. That route is already open to intrepid Arctic seafarers, as can be seen at the bottom of the animation above and on the current JAXA/ADS Arctic sea ice surface melt map:

AM2SI20160711A_SIT_NP

 

[Edit July 14th 2016]

It seems I was mistaken. According to my flack jacketed informant over at the ASIF:

I have taken lots of flack I will stand by my prediction that we are heading for sub-1M KM2 come September (or early October).

Structurally [the ice] has actually now broken into three pieces, one is attached to the islands N of Siberia/NE of Svalbard, one is near Wrangel/ESS, and the “bulk” is pushed against the CAA/Greenland.

The lower concentrations in CAB are clearly open water and not melt ponds.

specialforjim-scaled

I felt compelled to explain to (presumably) him that:

Here’s the NSIDC’s view of those “gaping fissures” of yours:

N_daily_extent-20160710

 

[Edit July 15th 2016]

“Flak jacket” assures me that:

Despite some faults I think both ARC and GLB are onto the truth. Satellite grabs over the past few days show failure on all three fronts (ATL, PAC, and the Russian side especially), but the Russian side doesn’t present as a solid front (nor does the Beaufort melt), and the leads keep getting absorbed into the slush of the main pack (which is why the ‘slush’ keeps expanding, and why most of the CAB has now evolved into this state). The only solid regions of ice are those bordering the steaming ATL waters as well as some remnants north of the CAA (no coincidence the latter was chosen as ‘evidence’).

“ARC” refers to the US Navy’s Arctic Cap Nowcast/Forecast System. Here’s the ACNFS sea ice thickness “nowcast” from July 13th:

Here’s the July 13th model run sea ice thickness forecast for July 14th:

and here’s an annotated version of the Navy’s sea ice concentration forecast:

ACNFS-Concentration-20160713+24h

Yesterday the Kara Sea didn’t suddenly become covered in sea ice, and today the area of the Central Arctic Basin around 82 N, 135 W looks like this to the MODIS instrument on board the Terra Satellite:

NASA Worldview “false-color” image of the Central Arctic Basin on July 15th 2016, derived from the MODIS sensor on the Terra satellite
NASA Worldview “false-color” image of the Central Arctic Basin on July 15th 2016, derived from the MODIS sensor on the Terra satellite

and like this to the University of Hamburg’s ARTIST sea ice concentration algorithm:

Arc_20160714_res3.125_LARGE

whilst here’s the latest Canadian Ice Service RadarSat mosaic for the Western Arctic:

http://ice-glaces.ec.gc.ca/cgi-bin/getprod.pl?prodid=IPYMMR1WA&wrap=0&lang=en
Canadian Ice Service Western Arctic RadarSat mosaic for 8-11 July 2016

Ice mass balance buoy 2015F reports this morning:

Current Buoy Data (07/15/2016):
Pos: 82.89 N, 137.34 W
Air Temp: -0.76 C
Air Pres: 1011.16 mb
Ice thickness : 185 cm

 

[Edit July 16th 2016]

The Arctic Sea Ice Forum management have banished “Flack Jacket” to the sin bin for a month.

I’m fed up with the personal insults because a model that has a history of errors is showing something spectacular that no other data source does. Come back in a month if you still feel like it.

Meanwhile in answer to my enquiry on the HYCOM support forum Alan Wallcraft tells me:

We now use the National Ice Center’s IMS sea ice extent product in our assimiltion, see http://www.natice.noaa.gov/ims/. This is manually produced every day, and generally avoids the artifacts and deficiencies of satellite sea ice concentrations. However yesterdays IMS fields were not good, and that is where the spurious sea ice came from. Today’s IMS field is good, and we may rerun the 2016/07/13-18Z nowcast/forecast to clear this up.

After a brief “pause” ACNFS is back in action, and here is its latest Arctic sea ice concentration “nowcast”:

Yesterday the skies were clear once again over the corner of the Arctic where buoy 2015F is located:

NASA Worldview “false-color” image of the Central Arctic Basin on July 15th 2016, derived from the MODIS sensor on the Aqua satellite
NASA Worldview “false-color” image of the Central Arctic Basin on July 15th 2016, derived from the MODIS sensor on the Aqua satellite

Here’s how the sea ice area in the Central Arctic Basin has been faring recently:

CAB-Area-2016-07-16

 

[Edit July 19th 2016]

Here’s an early image of the North Pole from the Aqua satellite this morning, recorded for posterity in case it changes later:

NASA Worldview “true-color” image of the North Pole on July 19th 2016, derived from the MODIS sensor on the Aqua satellite
NASA Worldview “true-color” image of the North Pole at 09:00 UTC on July 19th 2016, derived from the MODIS sensor on the Aqua satellite

and as the recent Arctic storm heads towards the Canadian Arctic Archipelago here’s the latest Hamburg AMSR2 concentration map:

Arc_20160718_res3.125_LARGE

I now also have an answer to my “supplementary question” on the HYCOM support forum:

I attach the ACNFS plot you referenced and the corresponding plot from our next global real-time system (GOFS 3.1), which will likely replace our current global analysis (and ACNFS) once NAVGEM 1.4 is operational (it is running here with NAVGEM 1.3, like ACNFS). They assimilate the same observations, but ACNFS only does so near the ice edge while GOFS 3.1 assimilates sea ice concentration everywhere (but with higher error bounds in the ice interior). The reason for ACNFS only assimilating near the edge is in part due to that being the most important area for navigation but also because SSMI satelite ice concentrations tend to “over saturate” in the summer. We switched GOFS 3.1 to “believe” the observations because they are generally better in recent years.

The two are quite different in the interior of the sea ice and GOFS 3.1 is certainly better there. We did not see the low concentrations near the North Pole in ACNFS this time last year, so something has happened to make the free running model produce low concentrations this summer. We are looking into it.

071800_927_arcticicen.001″ width=”754″ height=”666″ class=”aligncenter size-full wp-image-4361″ />

icen2016071718_2016071800_042_arcticicen.001

icen2016071712_2016
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Summer 2016 Surface Melt Takes Off

June has arrived, and according to the Great White Con Arctic sea ice calendar that means the summer surface melting season has started. Once July arrives bottom melt should have started in earnest too, but for now let’s stick to the surface. Here’s the Climate Reanalyzer map of Arctic surface air temperatures at 06:00 UTC this morning:

CCI-T2-2016-06-04-0600

Green areas are above 0 degrees Celsius, and bear in mind that the melting point of sea ice is at around -1.8 degrees Celsius. The red areas near the East Siberian Sea coast are 25-30 degrees Celsius. Given those sort of temperatures you might well think that some snow and/or ice in that area would be melting, and you would be correct! Here is the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s current map of Arctic surface melting:

AM2SI20160603A_SIT_NP

The assorted shades of blue/grey show the areas where surface melting is already underway. Whilst this melting is taking place you may possibly read in some quarters of the cryodenialosphere that “There is almost no melting going on in the Arctic“. The authors of such nonsense evidently don’t know their proverbial Arctic arse from their elbow.

Here’s how today’s surface melting in the East Siberian Sea looks from space:

NASA Worldview “false-color” image of the East Siberian Sea on June 4th 2016, derived from the MODIS sensor on the Terra satellite
NASA Worldview “false-color” image of the East Siberian Sea on June 4th 2016, derived from the MODIS sensor on the Terra satellite

Meanwhile over on the other side of the Arctic, here’s yesterday’s surface melting on “Amundsen’s Route” through the Northwest Passage:

NASA Worldview “false-color” image of the Northwest Passage on June 3rd 2016, derived from the MODIS sensor on the Aqua satellite
NASA Worldview “false-color” image of the Northwest Passage on June 3rd 2016, derived from the MODIS sensor on the Aqua satellite

By way of further illustration of the fact that Arctic sea ice is and has been melting, here is a graph of the current area of sea ice in the all important central area of the Arctic Basin, courtesy of “Wipneus” at Arctische Pinguin:

basin-area-20160603

The areas included are the Central Arctic Basin, plus the Beaufort, Chukchi, East Siberian and Laptev Seas. The above zero temperatures are forecast to spread across the Central Arctic Basin early next week, whereupon it will be very interesting to discover what happens to the snow around the single ice mass balance buoy currently transmitting near real time data. Here is the current temperature profile for the sea ice underneath IMB buoy 2015F:

2016-06-02_2015F

The current conditions there are summarised this morning as:

Pos: 82.00 N, 147.45 W
Air Temp: -3.74 C
Air Pres: 1007.42 mb
Snow depth: 21 cm
Ice thickness: 202 cm

Normally by now there would also be a number of webcams beaming back pictures from across the sea ice in the Arctic Basin. However according to NOAA:

Due to funding constraints, it was not possible to deploy new Web Cams in Spring 2016, but deployments in Spring 2017 are planned.

Three of the camera carrying O-Buoys also seem to have failed over the winter, which leaves us with only O-Buoy 14 to reveal the forthcoming melt to us:

O-Buoy 14 image from June 2nd 2016
O-Buoy 14 image from June 2nd 2016

O-Buoy 14 is currently colocated with Ice Tethered Profiler 89, the yellow object in the foreground, at 77.49° N, 153.92° W, to the north of the Beaufort Sea. ITP 89 measures the temperature and salinity of the water beneath the sea ice and revealed this the last time it managed to take a measurement, a month or so ago:

itp89-20160604

If you examine the extreme right hand edge of the charts carefully you will no doubt note that the water underneath the ice has recently become both warmer and saltier.

Watch this space!

[Edit – June 5th 2016]

The latest JAXA/ADS map shows that the area of sea ice undergoing surface melting has increased since yesterday, particularly over the Chukchi Sea:

AM2SI20160604A_SIT_NP

The recent clouds over the Beaufort Sea cleared yesterday. Here’s a close up view of the open water between the big floes from the Suomi satellite:

Beaufort-Floes-Suomi-20160604

For a more distant perspective see our Summer 2016 image archive.

It’s not simply the surface that’s melting either. Here’s the latest “high resolution” AMSR2 sea ice area graph for the Pacific side of the Arctic:

2016-06-04-Pacific-AMSR2-Area

Arctic Fraud Continues Unabated

The opening sentence of Tony Heller’s latest Arctic update is astonishingly accurate. Just for once we agree with him when he states:

DMI continues to show rapid melting of Arctic sea ice.

unReal-DMI-20160525

However after that the Arctic fraud continues unabated. Tony assures his loyal readership that:

Their maps show the exact opposite. Arctic sea ice coverage is hardly changing at all.

and:

Equally as troubling is that they show a lot less ice than last year, when in fact there is more ice than last year.

providing this map as justification:

unReal-Comparison-20160525

As unReal Science commenter Peter Ellis put it:

You’re getting caught out by the change in the land mask.

When Caleb quibbled yours truly felt compelled to elucidate:

What have you and Tony been smoking Caleb?

Here’s a satellite image of the Beaufort Sea this year, which is red on Tony’s low resolution 2015/16 comparison map:

NASA Worldview “true-color” image of the Beaufort Sea on May 20th 2016
NASA Worldview “true-color” image of the Beaufort Sea on May 20th 2016

Here’s a satellite image of the the northern edge of the CAA last year, which is green on Tony’s map:

NASA Worldview “true-color” image of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago on May 20th 2015, derived from the MODIS sensor on the Terra satellite
NASA Worldview “true-color” image of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago on May 20th 2015

Would you care to play “spot the difference” with Peter and I?

 

[Edit – May 28th 2016]

Tony is doubling down on his Arctic fraud. His Arctic monkey business continues. Despite the lucid explanation of his glaring error provided by Peter Ellis the unReal Science Gish gallop continues. We are now (un)reliably informed that:

The Arctic is very cold, and is not melting.

The amount of ice in the Arctic is almost exactly the same as this date last year.

unReal-2016-05-27-10-40-58

Yours truly has asked all and sundry at unReal Science this question 9 times, phrased in a variety of different ways:

Here’s a satellite image of the the northern edge of the CAA last year. Take a good look at it and then show me the areas of open water corresponding to the green areas on Tony’s final map above.

I have yet to receive an answer.

 

[Edit – May 29th 2016]

Tony’s doubled down again. His Arctic BS continues for another day:

DMI shows ice rapidly melting and extent far below last year. But their maps show about 1% more ice this year than last.

unReal-2016-05-28-18-41-05

How long will this scam continue?

I tried using a more colourful image of the CAA today. This one’s from May 27th 2015:

CAA-Terra-367-2015-05-27

Once again “No answer!” was the stern reply to my plaintive questions.

 

[Edit – May 30th 2016]

The “Jousting with Malice in Blunderland” continues, but the oppostion are remarkably quiet today. I’ve had my knuckles rapped about this previously, but cutting and pasting is so quick ‘n easy I simply cannot resist:

 

Us:

Evidently Tony Heller believes that when it comes to melting sea ice air temperatures are all that matters and that “somewhat warmer ocean water” is irrelevant. see above:

http://realclimatescience.com/2016/05/arctic-bs-continues-for-another-day/#comment-9532

He also evidently believes that in May 2015 large areas of the oldest and thickest sea ice in the Arctic had already melted away to nothing. Perhaps you can point out all the polynyas around the coast of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago this time last year to him, since nobody else has yet managed to do so?

http://go.nasa.gov/1TO7zZk

CAA-Terra-721-2015-05-27

 

Them:

gees, Jimbo has change to a luminous blue.
Very pretty Jim..
Now how about you show one that shows th near ZERO Arctic sea ice from the first 3/4 of the Holocene..
Or are you still going to DENY/ IGNORE the FACT that there is nothing untoward happening with the Arctic Sea Ice, and all you are arguing about is the INSIGNIFICANT TRIVIA that rules your meaningless life.

 

Us:

For psychedelic Arctic surface air temperature fans every where:

http://cci-reanalyzer.org/Forecasts/#ARC-LEA

What do you suppose happens to sea ice when you combine “somewhat warmer ocean water” with “somewhat above freezing point air”?

N.B. Such conditions do not currently exist off the north coast of the CAA. They didn’t in May 2015 either.

CCI-2016-05-30_0300

 

Them:

You on psycho drugs yet again, Jimbo

Which of your Exeter buddies is feeding them too you ?

 

Us:

Evidently you and Tony are the ones who have been smoking stuff Andy.

In the fantasy wonderland portrayed in several of Tony’s recent “articles” polynyas are depicted in the oldest, thickest sea ice in the Arctic in May 2015. Here is what the real life polynyas in the “oldest, thickest sea ice” in the actual Arctic of May 2016 look like from above (through cyan tinted spectacles):

http://go.nasa.gov/1OXxeYa

CAA-Aqua-721-2016-05-27

 

[Edit – June 1st 2016]

The Gish gallop continues. In yet another post on the self same topic Tony Heller makes the self same mistake and opines:

DMI still shows a lot less ice than last year, but their maps show about 1% more ice than last year.

2016-05-30-04-03-04-1

I will continue to track this, because I don’t trust any government agency anymore.

 

Us:

Visual comparison isn’t Tony’s strong suit Sondre, whereas painting hallucinatory green pixels is.

Where are all the holes in the sea ice in the CAA that were there in 2015 but not in 2016 then Andy?

http://www.arctic.io/explorer/8-8/2016-05-29;2015-05-30/6-N79.25236-W95.51613

 

Them:

weather related changes…

you KNOW that, Jimbo the attention seeking prat.

You have NOTHING, and never have.

 

Andy:

Shut up about the Holocene, it’s not relevant to modern Arctic sea ice extent trends.
It’t like talking about sun spot trends and then someone comes along and says “Well, this is nothing compared to when the sun becomes a red giant”. Which is true, but not relevant at all.

 

Us:

Have you noticed that the world’s leading expert on satellite imagery of the Arctic during the first 3/4 of the Holocene epoch has compared MODIS imagery of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago from May 2015 with May 2016 and confirmed that there is no noticeable difference in sea ice extent between the two?

 

Them:

We’ll keep you posted!

 

Wind Waves in the Beaufort Sea in April 2016

As regular readers will be aware we have been following the progress of the Great Arctic Anticyclone of 2016 for the last 3 weeks or so and the generation of increasingly large waves in the Beaufort Sea in August and September for the last 3 years or so. Today we combine the two to bring you news of anomalously large waves in the Beaufort Sea earlier this week. In actual fact any sort of waves in the Beaufort Sea at this time of year would be anomalous, since normally the Beaufort is still covered in sea ice in April!

Firstly a bit of background information. In the continuing absence of the DMSP F-17 satellite data used by the NSIDC for their Arctic sea ice metrics, here’s a close up look at Arctische Pinguin’s current Beaufort Sea ice area data:

2016-04-28-Beaufort-AMSR2-Area

Now here’s NOAA’s WaveWatch III “hindcast” of the winds over the Beaufort Sea on April 26th 2016:

WaveWatch III wind hindcast for the Beaufort Sea on April 26th 2016
WaveWatch III wind hindcast for the Beaufort Sea on April 26th 2016

Notice the continuing easterly winds from the persistent high pressure system centred to the north of the Beaufort Sea. Next here’s the resultant wind wave height:

WaveWatch III wave height hindcast for the Beaufort Sea on April 26th 2016
WaveWatch III wave height hindcast for the Beaufort Sea on April 26th 2016

and the associated wind wave period:

WaveWatch III wave period hindcast for the Beaufort Sea on April 26th 2016
WaveWatch III wave period hindcast for the Beaufort Sea on April 26th 2016

Wind waves with a height of around 1.5 meters and a period of 6 seconds wouldn’t tempt me to go out on a surfing expedition, but they would certainly be enough to interfere with the sea ice formation process, as you can see from this “pseudo-color” image of the Beaufort Sea on April 26th from the MODIS instrument on the Terra satellite:

NASA Worldview “false-color” image of the Beaufort Sea on April 26th 2016, derived from the MODIS sensor on the Terra satellite

Unfortunately the Jason 2 and recently launched Jason 3 satellites don’t measure wave heights in bodies of water as far north as the Beaufort Sea, so we’ll have to content ourselves with the modelled data from WaveWatch III. However here’s a brief video explaining how Jason 3 measurements are now used to assist WaveWatch forecasts further south:

Whilst Jason 3 won’t be watching waves in the Arctic Ocean it looks as though the European Space Agency’s Sentinel 3A satellite will be providing wave height data for the Beaufort Sea in the not too distant future:

S3A_Wave_height_20160304

It also looks as though CryoSat-2 is already potentially providing such data, but as far as I can ascertain it’s not available in handy gridded format in the same way that the CS2 near real time ice thickness data is.

“Steve Goddard” Busted

Our headline today is inspired by Tony Heller, probably still better known by his nom de guerre “Steven Goddard”, who excitedly tells the world:

NSIDC Busted!

Reader Chris71 has discovered the smoking gun on the NSIDC web site. Read on.

A few weeks ago, NSIDC put out this press release, claiming that 5+ year old ice is at its smallest level on record.

The press release included the map below. This is a new style map which they just started in week 39 2015. The map below is for week 41 2015. All of their previous 1984-2015 maps have been deleted from their archive.

iceage_browse_week_n_2015_41-1024x1024

The good news is that Chris found one of their old style maps which had not been scrubbed from their website. NSIDC has deleted the original graphs, but seem to have forgotten to get rid of the copy.

iceage-2015-41

For some strange reason “Steve” neglects to mention this text that accompanied the “old style map” he so proudly displays:

Here are some graphs from the Arctic – automatically saved here, and some of them archived Enjoy! Fred aka DungeonMaster on http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/.

Have I got news for Chris and “Steve”? Indeed I have! If one were to bother to go to the relevant section of the NSIDC web site instead of inventing bizzare fairy tales one would be able to read this:

EASE-Grid Sea Ice Age, Version 3

This data set provides weekly estimates of sea ice age for the Arctic Ocean from remotely sensed sea ice motion and sea ice extent.

The input ice motion data used for this data set is now derived from NSIDC-0116 Version 3 data.

Checking out the detailed information provided about the NSIDC-0116 Polar Pathfinder Daily 25 km EASE-Grid Sea Ice Motion Vectors, Version 3 would also reveal:

Version 3 – February 2016.

  • Eliminated unrealistic AVHRR and IABP buoy velocities

  • Extended buoy ice motion estimates to the present

  • Improved browse images

  • Reprocessed SSMI fields using GDAL map transformations on the DMSP SSM/I-SSMIS

  • Daily Polar Gridded Brightness Temperatures Data Set, NSIDC-0001.

  • Used Ice concentration estimates greater than 15 percent from the Sea Ice Concentrations from Nimbus-7 SMMR and DMSP SSM/I-SSMIS Passive Microwave Data Set, NSIDC-0051, to indicate where ice extent is present.

Checking out the detailed information provided about the NSIDC-0611 EASE-Grid Sea Ice Age, Version 3 would further reveal:

The sea ice age data in these files are derived using data from satellite passive microwave instruments, drifting buoys, and a weather model. With these data sources, the formation, movement, and disappearance of sea ice can be observed; and these observations can, in turn, be used to estimate ice age (Maslanik et al. 2007). The ice age data are derived from a number of passive microwave imagers: the Scanning Multichannel Microwave Radiometer (SMMR), the Special Sensor Microwave/Imager (SSM/I), and the Special Sensor Microwave Imager Sounder (SSMIS). Visible and infrared data from the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) were also utilized through 2004. In addition, International Arctic Buoy Program (IABP) drifting-buoy vectors and the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP)/National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) Reanalysis Project (CDAS) are used to augment the satellite data (Tschudi 2010).

Version 3 – April 2016.

So there you have it “Steve”. Thanks to the sterling (albeit uncredited!) efforts of the all volunteer members of the Arctic Sea Ice Forum and the (presumably still paid?) scientists at the National Snow and Ice Data Center you can now explain the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth of the matter to your own loyal readers.

A few weeks ago the NSIDC upgraded their sea ice age product from version 2 to version 3. Here’s what the latest version of 1984 week 41 looks like:

iceage.week.1984.41.n.v3

Can you spot the difference Tony?

[Edit – May 1st 2016]

In partial answer to a question posed below, here’s an animation of Arctic sea ice age from September 2010 to May 2015. Can you see what has happened to the old ice Tony?


Original Arctic sea ice age images from: Tschudi, M., C. Fowler, J. Maslanik, J. S. Stewart, and W. Meier. 2016. EASE-Grid Sea Ice Age, Boulder, Colorado USA: NASA National Snow and Ice Data Center Distributed Active Archive Center. http://dx.doi.org/10.5067/PFSVFZA9Y85G.

[Edit – May 30th 2016]

Here’s a “Storified” summary of my Twitter “debate” with Tony Heller and Patrick Moore:

The Beaufort Gyre Goes Into Overdrive

According to the US National Snow and Ice Data Center, the Beaufort Gyre is:

A clockwise circulation (looking from above the North Pole) in the Beaufort Sea, north of Alaska. This circulation results from an average high-pressure system that spawns winds over the region.

beaufort_gyre

Such a high pressure system has been in place over the Arctic Ocean for a few days now, and the effect of the clockwise circulation on the sea ice in the Beaufort Sea is already evident in these recent satellite images:

NASA Worldview “true-color” image of the Beaufort Sea on April 9th 2016, derived from the MODIS sensor on the Terra satellite
NASA Worldview “true-color” image of the Beaufort Sea on April 9th 2016, derived from the MODIS sensor on the Terra satellite
NASA Worldview “false-color” image of the Beaufort Sea on April 12th 2016, derived from the MODIS sensor on the Terra satellite
NASA Worldview “false-color” image of the Beaufort Sea on April 12th 2016, derived from the MODIS sensor on the Terra satellite

as well as in this animation of sea ice movement since February:

The high pressure is forecast to continue for several more days. Here’s the GFS forecast for April 20th, courtesy of MeteoCiel:

Northern Hemisphere surface pressure forecast for April 20th 2016
Northern Hemisphere surface pressure forecast for April 20th 2016

which shows a large system with a central pressure of 1040 hPa still sitting over the Northern Beaufort Sea. Next here’s an animation from the US Navy which forecasts ice thickness until April 19th:

April 13th 2016 ACNFS Beaufort Sea thickness forecast until April 19th
April 13th 2016 ACNFS Beaufort Sea thickness forecast until April 19th

Note in particular the large area of open water forecast to be produced in the Chukchi sea off Barrow, Alaska by the end of the period. The continuing clockwise winds have already started reducing the area of sea ice in the Beaufort Sea at an unusually early date:

2016-04-13-Beaufort-AMSR2-Area_001

Amongst other things we’ll be keeping a close eye on the ice area in the Chukchi Sea over the next few days. The sun is already starting to bathe that area of our planet with its rays, and open ocean soaks up that heat much more readily than bright white ice.

[Edit – 16/04/2016]

Here’s an animation of the effect on sea ice of the Beaufort Gyre in overdrive from Neven at the Arctic Sea Ice Blog:

Neven-Gyre-20160414

Notice how towards the end of the animation another huge part of the ice pack, north of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago is pulled into the Gyre. This is mostly multi-year ice.

Here also is a MODIS image of the Beaufort Sea processed by A-Team at the Arctic Sea Ice Forum to highlight the areas of new ice:

ATeam-BeaufortDay106-2016

Global Sea Ice “Comeback” Conspiracy

Our Twitter feed has suddenly been inundated with messages to the effect that:

Global sea ice makes a strong comeback as El Nino fades.

First up was Professor Judith Curry on April 12th, with:

You will note that we were not the only ones to swiftly conclude that Judy’s assertion was lacking both veracity and verisimilitude! Then this morning came our old friends at the Global Warming Policy Forum with:

You will note that the GWPF adorned their “Tweet” with a graph purporting to show “Global sea ice anomalies”. We can only assume that Benny Peiser hadn’t read this April 11th article of ours, which pointed out that:

NSIDC has suspended daily sea ice extent updates until further notice, due to issues with the satellite data used to produce these images. The problem was initially seen in data for April 5 and all data since then are unreliable, so we have chosen to remove all of April from NSIDC’s archive.

To remedy that (no doubt?) inadvertent oversight on Benny’s part here is a graph we prepared earlier of absolute global sea ice area using reliable data from the AMSR2 instrument on the Japan Aerospace eXploration Agency’s SHIZUKU satellite:

2016-04-12-UH-AMSR2-Area

The GWPF were followed this afternoon by Anthony Watts with:

Both Prof. Curry and non Prof. Watts adorned their “Tweets” with a graph allegedly comparing “global temperature” with “tropical temperature”, but provided no graph of “polar temperature”. To remedy that (no doubt?) inadvertent oversight here is one we prepared earlier:

NCEP-Arctic-T2-DJF

All members of this team of synchronised “Tweeters” provided links to an April 11th article by a certain Paul Dorian entitled, believe it or not:

Global Sea Ice Makes A Strong Comeback

Note in particular the part of Paul’s article that states:

In an interesting twist, the recent analysis found that the global ice area remained stable throughout the 1980s and the 1990s, while temperatures climbed suggesting “the global sea ice area is not particularly a function of the global average surface temperature.” [Source: Willis Eschenbach/”Watts Up With That” web site]

We can only assume that Paul Dorian hadn’t read this April 10th article of ours, which pointed out amongst other things that:

One feels compelled to ask why Willis’s global average temperature graph neglects to mention 2015 when he implies that it does?

Here’s an up to date version of one of those that Bill The Frog prepared for us earlier:

HadCRUT-201602

We must further assume that Paul hadn’t read this April 11th article by Mr. Watts either. It stated that:

A few years ago in 2009, I was the first to notice and write about a failure of the instrumentation for one of the satellites used by the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) to show Arctic Sea Ice extent. Today, we have what appears to be a similar problem with satellite sea ice measurement.

It seems that Paul Dorian has finally read at least one out of all these informative articles, because the latest revision of his own piece of imaginative fiction now starts:

The source of global sea ice information cited in this posting was NOAA’s National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC). They are now reporting issues with the satellite data used to produce these images and this information was not known at the time of the writing of this article.

Do you suppose we can now expect a similarly “fulsome apology” from the other players in this tragi-comic farce, together with all their rebloggers, retweeters, plagiarisers and other assorted acolytes?

Greenland 2016 Melt Starts A Month Early

According to the Danish Arctic research institutions’ Polar Portal this year there’s been an “Unusually Early Greenland Melt“. The article by Ruth Mottram points out that:

An early melt event over the Greenland ice sheet occurred this week, smashing by a month the previous records of more than 10% of the ice sheet melting.

Greenland-Melt-2016-04-11

Based on observation-initialized weather model runs by DMI, almost 12% of the Greenland ice sheet had more than 1mm of melt on Monday 11th April, following an early start to melting the previous day. Scientists at DMI were at first incredulous due to the early date. “We had to check that our models were still working properly” said Peter Langen, a climate scientist at DMI. “Fortunately we could see from the PROMICE.dk stations on the ice sheet that it had been well above melting, even above 10 °C. This helped to explain the results”. The former top 3 earliest dates for a melt area larger than 10% were previously all in May (5th May 2010, 8th May 1990, 8th May 2006).

Just in case you think the DMI’s models really aren’t working properly, take a look at this satellite image of South West Greenland today:

NASA Worldview “true-color” image of South West Greenland on April 12th 2016, derived from the MODIS sensor on the Terra satellite
NASA Worldview “true-color” image of South West Greenland on April 12th 2016, derived from the MODIS sensor on the Terra satellite

Then head over to NASA Worldview and flip back to last year using the controls at the bottom left:

SWGreenland-Terra-2015-04-12

Can you spot the difference? According to the Polar Portal once again:

Around the coast of Greenland where DMI has climate records dating back to 1873, Greenland came close to setting a record temperature for the whole of Greenland in April. Kangerlussuaq measured a daily maximum of 17.8°C, the previous record is 18.0°C and the DMI observation station at the Summit of Greenland set a new “warm” April record of -6.6°C. “Everything is melting” observed Nuuk resident Aqqaluk Petersen.

The melt was driven by warm air advected from the SW bringing rain along the coast, similar to an extreme melt event in 2012 when 95% of the surface of the ice sheet had melt, a situation that has been reported in detail by GEUS and DMI scientists (Fausto et al., 2016).

[Edit – April 15th 2016]

It has been brought to my attention that the cloud cover in the first image above makes it difficult to see the melting ice sheet. By way of explanation, at this time of year you can use images derived from the MODIS instrument on the Aqua and Terra satellites and the VIIRS instrument on the Suomi satellite to watch the snow cover retreat across Alaska, Canada, Siberia and indeed Greenland.

There is less snow on the ground in SW Greenland than “normal” this year, and hence lower albedo. This implies there will also be less snow on the ice sheet itself, which is hence more vulnerable to “early melt”. In order to get visual confirmation of melt ponds on the ice clear blue skies are needed. You can see hints of “blue ice” through the gaps in the cloud on my first image above. To bring out the “blue ice” try following the link above to NASA Worldview and then experiment with the controls on the left. If you select “Corrected Reflectance (Bands 7-2-1) you should be able to produce an image that looks like this:

NASA Worldview “false-color” image of South West Greenland on April 12th 2016, derived from the MODIS sensor on the Terra satellite
NASA Worldview “false-color” image of South West Greenland on April 12th 2016, derived from the MODIS sensor on the Terra satellite

For a closer look between the clouds here’s a “natural colour” image from Landsat 8:

A “natural color” image of South West Greenland on April 12th 2016, from the Landsat 8  satellite
A “natural color” image of South West Greenland on April 12th 2016, from the Landsat 8 satellite