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Arctic Sea Ice Extent, Area, and Volume

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The other thread we have temporarily hidden as we try and figure out the root cause of the slowdowns on the new software. The huge mega threads seem to cause some issues. Hopefully we figure it out soon.

 

In the meantime,

 

Both extent and area are currently 4th lowest. Though area is threatening to fall to the 6th over the next few days if the losses remain mundane.

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The GFS looks pretty favorable for the Arctic in the medium to long range with the vortex continuing north of AK in the Beaufort. There does seem to be some ridging in the Canadian Archipelago so that area could have some losses, on the other hand.

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A stall in ice melt appears imminent. Anomalously cool weather combined with cloud cover has begun in the arctic. None of the weather models show any signs of letting up. 

bw_area_wgt_925mb_nAO_2016_zpsoirtaqb3.g

meanT_2016_zpsf5h6uvgj.png

gfs_polar_168_925_temp_ht_zpsvzpp0hll.gi

 

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3 hours ago, Bacon Strips said:

just goes to show how unpredictable things can be.

late this past winter,  I think most of us thought we'd have a great shot at challenging 2012 .

I don't understand that. It's been proven repeatedly that there is little predictability until late spring at the earliest.

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18 minutes ago, frontranger8 said:

I don't understand that. It's been proven repeatedly that there is little predictability until late spring at the earliest.

It's called wishful thinking.

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I think the fact that 2016 was so far below previous years in spring got people convinced. At one point it was over 1,000,000 sq km lower than 2012.

 

But this is another very good season as proof the late spring/early summer is what matters most. So much of the ice in March and April that contributes to that higher extent is completely irrelevant to the arctic basin where the ice remains in late summer/early fall.

 

That said, this year is still going to be pretty damned low I think. It's still got top 3 potential. But it won't be anywhere near 2012. But we can't rule out something close to 2007 or 2011 if August has a hostile weather pattern.

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Yeah, really goes to show how important future wintertime temps will be in determining when we go ice-free. Last winter was so atrocious that even a good summer pattern had a hard time saving it.

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I wouldn't classify this summer as good. It was ok. June temps were significantly warmer than 2013 and 2014 despite it not being a classic dipole pattern. It ranked something like 21st or 22nd coldest June since 1979 while '13 and '14 were in the top 6. 

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Yeah, you're right about that. It was below normal, but I would've figured it ended up colder with all of the cloud cover we had.

July 2013 and July 2016 look similarly cold on NCAR, but with different spatial patterns:

compday.SJ6ew_Gjd5.gif

 

 

compday.Rfyj3d3i8u.gif

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Slowest loss of sea ice on NSIDC going back to 2007 from June 1st to August 9th. This has to be the most dramatic reversal

from a record warm winter and spring dipole pattern to summer polar vortex pattern on record. The summer dipole pattern

that dominated the 2007-2012 era has been replaced by more of a polar vortex pattern since then with the exception of

last July. We really need that type of a pattern to beat 2012 and make a run on the first ice free minimum. 

 

NSIDC sea ice losses from June 1st to August 9th since 2007:

2016...5137

2015...5442

2014...5538

2013...5629

2012...6914

2011...5921

2010...5660

2009...5645

2008...5708

2007...6614

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We definitely could have had a legit chance of beating out 2012 if this summer had a 2007-2012 pattern. The ice was served up in rough shape after the month of May. 

But that June pattern is still so crucial and even with obscenely low extent well below 2012 in May, you need the good dipole or you won't break the record. 

But that really rough start will still be felt this summer. There's a decent chance still we can get by 2007/2011 depending on the weather at the end here. 

 

 

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43 minutes ago, frontranger8 said:

Looks like a pretty cold and large PV coming back here soon.

No, This is a bomb cyclone which will transfer lots of heat to the surface and mix up subsurface water. It's Icemageddon basically.

 

ecmwf_mslpa_nhem_6.png

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2 hours ago, Amped said:

No, This is a bomb cyclone which will transfer lots of heat to the surface and mix up subsurface water. It's Icemageddon basically.

I don't think so. It's very broad and actually quite cold at times for this time of year. Similar pattern to what we've seen much of this summer, only stronger and colder. 

Some areas that have very thin ice and get strong winds will break up more, but overall it looks like more of an ice preservation pattern. Definitely not Icemageddon.

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Temperatures remain anomalously cold in the arctic.

bw_area_wgt_t2m_n80_2016_zpspatsypap.gif

bw_area_wgt_925mb_nAO_2016_zpsmwtwxlw9.g

The upcoming storm will serve to reinforce/intensify these anomalies. A fifth place finish in sea ice extent is looking likely, with an early minimum. 

 

gfs_polar_144_10m_wnd_2m_temp_zpshreuvne

gfs_polar_144_925_temp_ht_zpsax1vfazr.gi

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23 minutes ago, Ufasuperstorm said:

Temperatures remain anomalously cold in the arctic.

 

 

The upcoming storm will serve to reinforce/intensify these anomalies. A fifth place finish in sea ice extent is looking likely, with an early minimum. 

 

 

 

 

Way too early to know if it is going to be an early min. The min won't occur until at least a week into September and that is still 4 weeks away. Also, that arm of ice extending out into the East Siberian sea is looking pretty fragile...so the storm may not be good for it. The 2012 storm destroyed ice out in that area...but the difference this time around is that the ice is in a bit better shape there and the storm is occurring deeper into August than 2012 which means colder temps...but the water getting churned up could easily offset that. We'll see in a few days what happens. I'd call it a toss-up right now on whether extent finishes top 3 or not. 5th is certainly a possibility...but so is 2nd.

 

As for area...we're in the same boat. We are currently in 4th place behind 2012, 2011, and 2007...and barely lower than 2015. So it's basically a tossup...we could finish anywhere from 2nd to 7th realistically.

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1 hour ago, Ufasuperstorm said:

Temperatures remain anomalously cold in the arctic.

The upcoming storm will serve to reinforce/intensify these anomalies. A fifth place finish in sea ice extent is looking likely, with an early minimum. 

 

 

As ORH said, way too early to say if minimum will be early or not. And technically temperatures are only anomalously cold compared to very recent history. Specifically, they are cooler than most of the last decade, similar to the 1981-2010 mean, and way above the 20th century average.

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6 hours ago, ORH_wxman said:

 

Way too early to know if it is going to be an early min. The min won't occur until at least a week into September and that is still 4 weeks away. Also, that arm of ice extending out into the East Siberian sea is looking pretty fragile...so the storm may not be good for it. The 2012 storm destroyed ice out in that area...but the difference this time around is that the ice is in a bit better shape there and the storm is occurring deeper into August than 2012 which means colder temps...but the water getting churned up could easily offset that. We'll see in a few days what happens. I'd call it a toss-up right now on whether extent finishes top 3 or not. 5th is certainly a possibility...but so is 2nd.

 

As for area...we're in the same boat. We are currently in 4th place behind 2012, 2011, and 2007...and barely lower than 2015. So it's basically a tossup...we could finish anywhere from 2nd to 7th realistically.

 

This storm is also forecast to be 7 mbs weaker than the 2012 GAC. Additionally leading up to the storm, during, and after the storm will be much colder than 2012. (This is nothing like the 2012 GAC) 

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/grl.50190/pdf

6 hours ago, ORH_wxman said:

" Thus, without the storm, 2012 would still have produced a record minimum. "

6 hours ago, ORH_wxman said:

" Model results indicate that the early August 2012 cyclone did affect the September minimum Arctic sea ice extent but only by a relatively small amount."

 

The ice is much thicker than August 2012. Mid-August is when the mean volume begins to increase in the arctic. Area wise we have only lost 11.4 thousand kilometers squared during the last 3 days. Therefore, I respectively disagree with your sea ice extent rhetoric "2nd to 7th realistically". This is a favorable event for ice conservation.

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1 hour ago, Ufasuperstorm said:

 

This storm is also forecast to be 7 mbs weaker than the 2012 GAC. Additionally leading up to the storm, during, and after the storm will be much colder than 2012. (This is nothing like the 2012 GAC) 

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/grl.50190/pdf

 

The ice is much thicker than August 2012. Mid-August is when the mean volume begins to increase in the arctic. Area wise we have only lost 11.4 thousand kilometers squared during the last 3 days. Therefore, I respectively disagree with your sea ice extent rhetoric "2nd to 7th realistically". This is a favorable event for ice conservation.

Area is currently 3.63 million sq km. In order to finish higher than 7th, we'd need to only lose 200,000 sq of area between now and the min as the current 7th place year of 2009 had a min of 3.42 million sq Km. A loss that low from here to the min has never happened I don't think (if it did it was maybe 1997 but I don't have the numbers right in front of me). The 6th place year was 2015 at 3.09 million sq km which is still possible to finish above. So I feel pretty safe saying that we will finish between 2nd and 7th in area.

Volume also doesn't bottom out in August. It bottoms in September. At least according to piomas it does. 

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7 hours ago, skierinvermont said:

 

As ORH said, way too early to say if minimum will be early or not. And technically temperatures are only anomalously cold compared to very recent history. Specifically, they are cooler than most of the last decade, similar to the 1981-2010 mean, and way above the 20th century average.

However, this upcoming PV does look to provide anomalously cold temps for much of the basin. Definitely not way above the 20th century average.

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1 hour ago, ORH_wxman said:

Area is currently 3.63 million sq km. In order to finish higher than 7th, we'd need to only lose 200,000 sq of area between now and the min as the current 7th place year of 2009 had a min of 3.42 million sq Km. A loss that low from here to the min has never happened I don't think (if it did it was maybe 1997 but I don't have the numbers right in front of me). The 6th place year was 2015 at 3.09 million sq km which is still possible to finish above. So I feel pretty safe saying that we will finish between 2nd and 7th in area.

Volume also doesn't bottom out in August. It bottoms in September. At least according to piomas it does. 

I think at this point, 4th-6th is most likely for both extent and area. It looks as though we'll remain in a favorable pattern for the ice through the 20th. By then, it starts getting a lot tougher to lose big chunks.

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kinda surprised all the melt still going on, while it's been a very favorable pattern for ice the last week or so.    Maybe dude saying that storm was going to rip the ice up is at-least partially right.

And it's pretty rare for this part to be melting out ...no ?

g6sPwu.png

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If I've learned anything before it's don't count your chickens before they hatch.  Anything can happen of the next few weeks & catch everyone off guard. I'm not implying it will but unforseen weather patterns never ceases to amaze me.

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7 hours ago, Bacon Strips said:

kinda surprised all the melt still going on, while it's been a very favorable pattern for ice the last week or so.    Maybe dude saying that storm was going to rip the ice up is at-least partially right.

That pattern is actually just now setting in.

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The 2012 record is safe no matter how much of an impact this storm has due to the reversal of the pattern in June.

We would have had a good shot at at least rivaling the 2012 finish had that dipole persisted into June or July.

https://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/

While there are still three to four weeks to go in the melt season, a new record low this September is highly unlikely. A simple projection method developed by Walt Meier at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center uses daily ice loss rates from previous years to estimate possible trajectories of ice extent through the rest of the melt season.

This approach yields a range of minimum values based on how sea ice loss progressed in previous years. By selecting from an average of multiple years, or using loss rates from a specific previous year, the method yields an estimate of the likely range of the minimum sea ice extent. As of August 14, using daily ice loss rates based on the 2006 to 2015 average yields an average projected 2016 minimum extent of 4.33 million square kilometers (1.67 million square miles). Using the slowest (recent) August to September decline, which occurred in 2006, yields a 2016 minimum of 4.76 million square kilometers (1.84 million square miles). Using the fastest rate of decline, from 2012, yields a 2016 minimum extent of 4.06 million square kilometers (1.57 million square miles). These two years bracket a reasonable range of expected 2016 minima. It is possible that this year will have decline rates that fall outside the range of previous years. However, this approach indicates that it is very unlikely that 2016 will have a minimum below 2012’s value of 3.39 million square kilometers (1.31 million square miles). A projection from August 1 was submitted to the Sea Ice Outlook.

Figure4-2.png

 

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19 hours ago, Bacon Strips said:

 

And it's pretty rare for this part to be melting out ...no ?

 

No it's not rare. The area around the north pole has been like soup for most of the last decade in August and early September.

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