Sunday, 7 August 2016

Arctic ice melt - 08/07/2016

Arctic Sea Ice Getting Terribly Thin

7 August, 2016

A temperature rise (from preindustrial levels) of more than 10°C (18°F) could eventuate by the year 2026, as illustrated by the image below and as discussed in an earlier post.

The high temperature anomaly that occurred in February 2016 was partly caused by El NiƱo. Nonetheless, there is a threat that the February 2016 anomaly was not a peak, but instead was part of a trend that points at what is yet to come to come.

As the image below shows, 93.4% of global warming goes into oceans. Accordingly, ocean heat has been rising rapidly and, as the image below shows, a trend points at a huge rise over the coming decade.

Ocean temperature rise affects the climate in multiple ways. A recent study confirmed earlier fears that future increases in ocean temperature will result in reduced storage of carbon dioxide by oceans.

[ click on images to enlarge]

Furthermore, ocean temperature rises will cause Arctic sea ice to shrink, resulting in albedo changes that will make that less sunlight gets reflected back into space, and more sunlight instead gets absorbed by the Arctic Ocean.

Arctic sea ice is losing thickness rapidly. The image on the right shows that the thicker sea ice is now almost gone (image shows sea ice on August 6, 2016, nowcast). The image below gives a comparison of the years 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 for August 6.

The situation looks even more threatening when looking at the Naval Research Laboratory image below, produc ed with a new model and run on August 3, 2016, valid for August 4, 2016.

The image below, by Jim Pettit, shows Arctic sea ice volume.

There's a danger that, as the temperature of the Arctic Ocean keeps rising, huge amounts of methane will enter the atmosphere due to destabilization of hydrates at its seafloor.


- A Global Temperature Rise Of More than Ten Degrees Celsius By 2026?

- Ocean Heat

- Implications for Earth’s Heat Balance, IPSS 2007

- World Ocean Heat Content and Thermosteric Sea Level change (0-2000 m), 1955-2010, by Levitus et al.

- Attenuation of sinking particulate organic carbon flux through the mesopelagic ocean, by Marsay et al.

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