Tuesday 25 September 2018

Darkness is falling at the North Pole but conditions of ice melt remain

An update of conditions in the Arctic - 08/24/2018

According to some we have avoided the worst and "have another year". Theoretically we have reached the end of the melt season and are moving into winter. 

However, as I think I will demonstrate there are few signs of this and there is a possibility that conditions will not change very much in the fist weeks of the Arctic winter.

We therefore cannot predict what we will see,

In any case, this is far from being a "normal year" despite some of the misleading statistics.
Look first at the incredible temperature anomalies in the region.

There are few signs of the ice gaining in thickness 
And,similarly, little change in ice thickness acccording to the US Navy. I use this data, rather than the EU data on the grounds that the satellite images accord with this version rather than the thicker ice.

You can see this reflected in the satellite pictures as the dark patch at the North Pole increases in size.

Similarly the sea ice concentration

This is the ice extent from the same source.

Now the ice extent is second only to the 2012 melt season.

Just like in preceding weeks that abnormally warm water on the edges of the ice is not going away and will be still contributing to melt from below while the air temperatures (which continue to be much warmer than the average) decrease.

Methane emissions

 Meanwhile the methane emissions continue to be very high. While it appears that there is litlle methane in the East Siberian shelf this is a little misleading because the different shades of green reprsent emissions of 1800 - 1900 ppb with emissions of up to 2050 ppb in the Laptev Sea.

This is methane at 850 hPa (approximately 5,000 feet altitude)


Apart from the falling of darkness on the North Pole it is difficult to discern a major or rapid change in conditions in the Arctic.

I am hoping that Margo will do a climatecast soon and bear out some of this in greater detail.

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