Planet's white flag of surrender
The planet's last great global ice melt left a benign and balmy climate in which civilisation was cradled: the new great melting heralds a grave threat to civilisation A webcam at the north pole shows ice cap melting on 22 August 2012.
Join the discussion below, or Read more at The Guardian.
#1 Sep 14, 2012
Better photos of the Arctic sea ice retreat would be taken northeast of the Severnaya Zemlya Islands, far north of Siberia, from where the heat has poured to melt so much of the Arctic sea ice.
There is a 500(?) mile long, & 20 degree(?) wide region of clear ocean that penetrated hard into the Arctic sea ice pack, interrupted only by a 30 mile(?) wide, 30% sea ice concentration. Without the 30 mile wide 30% sea ice, continuous clear ocean would have extended within 300(?) miles of the North Pole itself.
Its all going away!
#2 Sep 14, 2012
Here are interesting graphs of the frequently discussed topic of Arctic sea ice AREA, as opposed to the not-so-often discussed Arctic sea ice VOLUME, as related to percentage of sea ice losses of that year's sea ice maximums, all since the beginnings of satellite coverage:
From a years long smoothing curve, in 1979, Arctic sea ice AREA loss was 65+% & Arctic sea ice VOLUME loss was ~54%.
In 1984 Arctic sea ice AREA loss bottomed out at just under 65%. Arctic sea ice VOLUME loss took till 1986-7 to bottom at ~52%.
By 1995 Arctic sea ice AREA loss had risen to 67+% & Arctic sea ice VOLUME loss was 55%.
By the year 2000, Arctic sea ice AREA loss had escalated to just under 70%. By the same year, Arctic sea ice VOLUME loss was just under 60%.
Along the smoothing curve, in the much discussed year 2007, Arctic sea ice AREA loss was just under 75%. The Arctic sea ice VOLUME loss was closing in on percentage AREA loss, at ~71%.
In 2012 on the smoothing curve, Arctic sea ice AREA loss 79.5% & Arctic sea ice VOLUME loss was ~82%.
However, apart from the smoothing curve, 2012 has been a super radical departure. Arctic sea ice AREA loss is actually, 83.5+% & Arctic sea ice VOLUME loss has been 84+%.
Oh, well. Measure it by AREA or VOLUME..... ITS ALL GOING AWAY......FAST.....
Since: Aug 08
#5 Sep 17, 2012
From the article:
Professor Wadhams has spent many years collecting ice thickness data from submarines passing below the Arctic Ocean.
Most people have been looking at Arctic sea ice area, to help determine future ice losses.
However, Prof. Wadhams has been measuring Volume sea ice loss, which is disappearing at a greater rate than the area. In the past 4-5 years, Arctic sea ice VOLUME percentage loss minimum compared to Arctic sea ice Volume maximum has increase ~9%! Another 9% Volume loss in 4-5 years, would take Volume percentage loss to over 90%. Coupled with any storm, wind or current shifts that could easily obliterate exceedingly thin ice(as has occurred this year), Prof. Wadhams might be correct.
#6 Sep 18, 2012
well, that's not bad news, we will have an all year round NW Passage.
#7 Sep 18, 2012
Prof. Wadhams has been measuring Volume sea ice loss, which is disappearing at a greater rate than the area. In the past 4-5 years, Arctic sea ice VOLUME percentage loss minimum compared to Arctic sea ice Volume maximum has increase ~9%! Another 9% Volume loss in 4-5 years, would take Volume percentage loss to over 90%. Coupled with any storm, wind or current shifts that could easily obliterate exceedingly thin ice(as has occurred this year), Prof. Wadhams might be correct.
'heap big heap of junk' wrote:
well, that's not bad news, we will have an all year round NW Passage.
'heap big heap of junk' volunteers to take the first rubber dingy through the NW Passage in January, 2018.
#8 Nov 12, 2012
Arctic sea ice, either by satellite or submarine data, is above the 2007 and 2011 Arctic sea ice extent AND, a month later than 'normal', the sea ice average for the decades of 2000's, AND THE 1990's, at 8,367,031 km2 (November 10, 2012), the day's gain 10,000 km2 larger than small Maryland. with average temperatures above the 80th parallel thrice warming to -14 degC. The sun has been unseen from the North Pole for 7+ weeks, temperatures on many landforms surrounding the Arctic Ocean, to the mid minus 20's degC!
Arctic Ocean warmth is & will continue to keep Arctic sea ice thinner through the coming winter & even spring. As of October 2, Arctic sea ice VOLUME is ~23% lower than any satellite recorded year AND indications of submarine-detected Arctic sea ice yearly VOLUME.
Presently, Arctic sea ice extent is 300,000+ km2 less than 2nd place 2011, at 8,474,063 km2 (November 11, 2012), the day's gain Tennessee-sized. Indeed, Arctic Ice Pack area, tho colder than normal for 3 weeks, beginning a month ago, is considerably lower than the years, 2007, 2008 & 2011 for the same dates. Present temperatures on landforms surrounding the Arctic Ocean, have numerous areas into minus mid 20's degC. Due to solar heats absorbed into the shallow waters of Hudson Bay, despite many sporadic temperatures in the area of minus teen degC, the Bay still has NOT ICED. Sweeping Siberian temperatures have dropped to minus teen & lower degC.
The vast open Arctic waters north of Siberia have been covered by Arctic Ice Pack. The huge sea ice floes that strongly developed in the vast clear waters north of Siberia(due to broad double digit minus Siberian temps spilled from North Pole's 7+ weeks of darkness & vortex mixing breaking down stratified solar heated waters?), have done their job AND connected the Ice Pack to the entire Siberian coastline, truly a remarkable development!
However, Franz Joseph Land & Svalbard, in winter darkness 24/7, are still clear of the Ice Pack!!!!!!!!!! A circular vortex just formed north of the line connecting both sets of islands. Wonder if the Ice Pack may expand in this area?
The vortex has quickly moved over towards the east coast of Greenland & may or may not assist the south moving flow of Arctic cold water.
A detail noted 4 weeks ago is a raggy taggy developing edge along a part of the semi-circle, possibly NOT coincidental with the HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS (plus?) OF SQUARE KILOMETERS, of waters north of Alaska & Siberia that are VASTLY CLEAR. Might the raggy taggy edge indicate huge turbulence & currents in this largest(ever?) ice free, & resulting southerly-directed heat stratified Arctic waters? I wonder if there might develop more raggy taggy edging, enough to form a swirl pattern?
Twenty seven days ago, noted near the raggy taggy ice pack, developed 3 tiny pixel ice floes(arced?), separated from the Arctic ice pack toward southerly directions. Twenty six days ago, the number of ice floes increased to 8 & indeed they formed an ARC. Pretty sure they represent a large scale vortex in open Arctic water!
Further data, showed that the vortex was true!
Downwelling solar heats, in unusual clear Arctic Ocean & seas, normally sea ice covered in decades past, which have strongly transported extra solar energy to continental shelf, sea & Ocean depths for 4 months, is over. The sun is unseen anywhere above the 73rd parallel, now shrouding the Arctic with darkness for a good portion of the year! The Northwest Passage is in darkness 24/7. Only Alaskan, far north European, & far western Russian southern Arctic seas get a skimming from the sun for only a bit of the day, which is visually less than a hand full of solar diameters off the horizon, at its highest!
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