Monday, 15 January 2018

ARctic sea ice update - 01/14.2018

Arctic ice update


With many thanks to Nicholas Humphrey, via Facebook

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Sea Ice continues to be garbage as warm air and ocean currents continue to pump heat into the Arctic...something which has been scary consistent since November for all of us tracking it. 

The Northern Hemisphere's freezer seems to be really failing badly at the moment. Arctic sea ice volume and extent remain at or near record lows with the freezing air line (32 F/0 C) extending into the Arctic from the Atlantic and even through the Bering Strait. 

The consistent Arctic heat will continue through this week. All while still very cold continental Arctic air at the surface continues to be squeezed and sent on cross polar flows between Siberia and the North America. 

Single digit highs F (-15 to -13 C) for me in Eastern Nebraska Monday-Tuesday...it was in the mid-50s (12-13 C) the first half of last week lol.

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I took a look at climate model forecasts for El Nino in 2018. La Nina should begin to fade away beginning in the next few months.

 Probabilities for El Nino to possibly make an appearance are increasing for later next fall. 

Regardless, the diminishing of La Nina...a feature of Earth's normal cyclic climate pattern, typically cools the planet to some degree. 

There was a very minor cooling from 2016, but the fact that it was so minor shows how much climate change is taking over, relative to "natural" climate cycles. 

It was basically a "little 2016" year. Meaningless by standards of impacts on environment and extremes. 2018 will be warmer as the cold pool in the Pacific dissipates and water warm and we're already seeing abnormally warm waters (increasingly so as years pass) in other parts of the Pacific, widespread in the Atlantic, margins of the Arctic Ocean and the waters near Australia and New Zealand.

 If El Nino begins to develop this Fall (distant possibility, not certain this far out), then obviously this would release much more heat back to the atmosphere. 

If the 2010s have any sort of say, climate change is accelerating with increasing global severity of droughts, extreme storms, wildfires and tree deaths, Arctic methane concentration, Arctic amplification, and the collapsing sea ice sheet (the Antarctic sea ice sheet is beginning to see more significant reductions as well...after initial increases earlier in the decade).


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Observations and shorter-term conditions and events (annual and shorter) seem to be becoming increasingly important for approaching tipping points in the climate system as well as human society's ability to cope. I'd say 2018, sea ice melt and El Nino Southern Oscillation will be potentially significant events to watch as far as the atmosphere-ocean system and cryosphere.


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Lower atmospheric air flow patterns near Greenland, Northern Europe and Svalbard.

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Lower atmospheric air flow pattern over the northern Bering Sea into Alaska and the Chukchi Sea.

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Sea Surface temperature anomalies. The model used by Earth Null school suggests anomalies as high as +10 C near Svalbard, but not sure how accurate that is. At least +3 C however.

Sea surface temperature anomalies in the Bering Sea and Bering Strait. +2.5 C and higher.

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