Old ice at a record low in Arctic as melting season begins

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:33 PM GMT on April 20, 2009

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March 2009 Northern Hemisphere sea ice extent was the 6th lowest since 1979, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center. The record March low was set in 2006, and it has now been nearly two years since we have set any record monthly minimums for Arctic sea ice. While it is good news that the area of sea ice coverage has not been reaching record lows recently, there is concern about the recent record loss of thick, multi-year ice in the Arctic. Strong winter winds pushed a considerable amount of multi-year-old ice out of the Arctic this year, leaving the Arctic Ocean with its lowest amount of old sea ice on record (Figure 1). Sea ice more than two years old fell below 10% for the first time since satellites began observing the ice in 1979. This is a factor of three lower than the 30% coverage for the period 1981 through 2000.


Figure 2. These images show declining sea ice age, which indicates a thinning Arctic sea ice cover more vulnerable to melting in summer. Ice older than two years now accounts for less than 10% of the ice cover. Image credit: National Snow and Ice Data Center, courtesy J. Maslanik and C. Fowler, University of Colorado.

As the ice melting season begins this year, the exceptionally low amount of old, thick ice leaves the Arctic very vulnerable to melting. Air temperatures over the Arctic Ocean this past winter were 1 - 2°C (1.8 - 3.6°F) above average, and a continuation of conditions this warm would probably cause record melting of the Arctic ice cap this summer. On the other hand, the amount of 1 - 2 year old in the Arctic increased in 2008 compared to 2007, so if the Arctic experiences below average temperatures this summer and throughout 2010, the potential exists for old ice to make a comeback. However, the Arctic has experienced very warm temperatures in excess of 1°C above average for most of the past decade (Figure 2). The latest Arctic Report Card 2008 concludes that "it is becoming increasingly likely that the Arctic will change from a perennially ice-covered to an ice-free ocean in the summer". The best hope I see for the Arctic sea ice to recover in the next few years is for a major volcanic eruption in the tropics to create a "Volcanic Winter" cooling effect for a year or two. Such an eruption would probably not allow for a complete recovery of Arctic sea ice, but might delay the transition to a summertime ice-free state by several years.


Figure 2. Arctic-wide annual averaged surface air temperature anomalies (60°-90°N) based from 1900 - 2007 on land stations north of 60°N relative to the 1961 - 1990 mean. From the CRUTEM 3v dataset, (available online at www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/data/temperature/). Note this curve does not include ship observations. The year 2007 was the warmest year on record in the Arctic. The year 2008 (not plotted) was cooler than 2007. Image credit: Arctic Report Card 2008.

As usual, I'm saying little about Antarctic sea ice, since the ice at the bottom of the world is not changing much and has a small impact on global climate compared to Arctic sea ice. Antarctic sea ice is currently quite a bit above average in extent, making total global sea ice above average this month. However, as I explained in a post earlier this year, drawing attention to this statistic is not a very intelligent thing to do, and hides the important fact that Arctic sea ice is in serious danger.

My next post will be on Wednesday--Earth Day--when I'll pick my top wunderphotos from the past year. I'll talk more about "Volcanic Winter" on Friday.

Jeff Masters

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tomorrow's earth day everyone!!!!!,find a good spot to plant a tree,go to your local home depot or garden center,buy one and plant it!!!!....that new disney move "Earth" looks like a great idea for those of you with kids or even take the wife,if you go see the movie to disney w/plant a tree for you,so if you do both thats 2 new trees and w/how many they cut down every day,we could use as many as can be planted!!!!!
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It is 8pm dark outside in Doral. This is the first real tropical storm of the season.

Although it looks like it will be over within the next 45 minutes.
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Mirror Site


Daily Area of Interest
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Morning all
An Earth Day Book Review.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Hi dee ho people and welcome to the Mr. Obvious Show. This is Mr. Obvious and I'll be taking calls right away since the phone lines are already lit up.

Mr. Obvious Show, this is Mr Obvious.

Hello. Is this Mr. Obvious?

Speaking.

Thanks for taking my call Mr. Obvious. Long time listener, first time caller.

Mr. Obvious, I read something very disturbing today that the ice coverage in the Arctic that is more than 2 years old is at an all-time low. Doesn't that mean that we're all gonna die?!

Hold on, caller. First of all, "forever" in good measurement of Arctic ice extent is now only 30 years old. That's how long satellite measurements have been taken. Then, remember that only 2 years ago the lowest measurement of summer Arctic ice "ever" was measured. You see, caller, if 2 years ago the lowest measurement of Arctic ice ever happened, then it only stands to reason that 2 years later, the lowest measurement of ice older than 2 years should happen.

Gee, thanks Mr. Obvious. I never made the connection.

And that's all we have tonight from the Mr. Obvious Show.
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Though an El Nino wouldn't surprise me, I don't think it's going to develop in time to have a detrimental effect on the season.
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267. Skyepony (Mod)
TS~ & La Niña is dead..


Not seeing your cold spot on yesterday's anomilies either..


check out the T-depth anomities..shocking~ nearly all the blue is gone now & how quick... A developing El Niño wouldn't suprise..

Enjoy the last of the cool weather kids:)
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266. Skyepony (Mod)
TS~ WE have been crawling long enough. If we don't get up & do something the likes of Germany & others are going to easily trample & out run us in the new emerging markets. While big oil companies quietly bought up as many US solar companies & raised the price of panels, other countries have already put thier people to work making the energy sources of tomarrow.
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222. beell The 3rd Major City at risk-behind Miami and New Orleans.

Think Tampa Bay'd be running a close fourth? Area Pop. 3 million by SSIGG's link.

NOAA SLOSH of Cat 4 hitting from SW from an '06 article in Palm Beach Post, and a bit about the modeling and a Map by Doc Masters from last year.

And I ain't gonna say a thing about GW.
:)

'Nite all.
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Quoting Skyepony:
TS~ Big corperations are killing little green companies with law suits & court bills. They buy patients & shelf them. They refuse to make electric cars even though people want them. They crushed their proto types & only offer oil. Buy & dismantal public transportation to force people to buy cars. Hey your the scum of the hood if you don't maintain a lawn of unnatural grass, prefurably with oil based fertilizer, GMOed grass & it's compatable chemicals. That's not right. Germany made the switch to green years ago & are better now for it. Corperations that thrive on oil are putting out every bit of propoganda they can. I'm getting crap in my mail from oil companies & it's not even election year. I've never seen them ask me to beg my rep on their behalf like this before. We weren't soppose to be a country run by monopolies.


Sky im with you! You are correct but, if we try to run before we Crawl, we will never walk.
Hey thats a heck of a saying. Can i patten that........LOL
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 179 Comments: 20448
I believe all living things that dye produce CO2 emissions. Last one. Good nite everyone!
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 179 Comments: 20448
260. Skyepony (Mod)
TS~ Big corperations are killing little green companies with law suits & court bills. They buy patients & shelf them. They refuse to make electric cars even though people want them. They crushed their proto types & only offer oil. Buy & dismantal public transportation to force people to buy cars. Hey your the scum of the hood if you don't maintain a lawn of unnatural grass, prefurably with oil based fertilizer, GMOed grass & it's compatable chemicals. That's not right. Germany made the switch to green years ago & are better now for it. Corperations that thrive on oil are putting out every bit of propoganda they can. I'm getting crap in my mail from oil companies & it's not even election year. I've never seen them ask me to beg my rep on their behalf like this before. We weren't soppose to be a country run by monopolies.
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Quoting spathy:
I asked if you were sure. Did you look it up?

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/heatwave-made-dying-plants-pump-out-greenhouse-gases -507869.html


Dead plants produce CO2 gases. Yes that is correct. Green plants absorb or feed from CO2 gases.

Good nite everyone.
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 179 Comments: 20448
Good Nite everyone. Hope everyone keeps their mouth shut and no snoring as you could get taxed for releasing more then the normal CO2 amount. NO SNORING!
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 179 Comments: 20448
256. Skyepony (Mod)
From published articles earlier this month it is believed that many of the trees today may do poorly in a warmer world...

The PNAS study, led by Henry Adams, a doctoral student at UA's ecology and evolutionary biology department, also confirms that hotter temperatures actually suffocate trees in dry times. Piñon pines respond to drought by closing the pores in their needle-like leaves to stop water loss. That keeps them from going thirsty, but it also prevents them from breathing in the carbon dioxide they need to live — and eventually, the drought-stressed trees simply suffocate.

spathy~ go take a biochem class:) trees exhaling CO2..your killing me. I can't debate this with you..
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252. Skyepony 12:56 AM EDT on April 21, 2009
Cap & trade probibly isn't the best answer but something needs done. Green means I'll have more money to spend just not on power or moving food. There is substanable ways to live that create lots of jobs & we've been advertised out of that thinking. Large companies have kept the green out of our hands in more ways then one..that needs to come to an end.


Hum! So its ok for Government to point a sensor gun at a Company making Furniture where they are putting varnish on new Furniture that we use! Fine and tax them to the point of putting them out of business or force them to spend millions of dollars to find ways not to release such minor amounts of what they claim with todays administration as harmfull. Are you kidding me. Do you have any idea how much the Government is taxing Corportions just to change a light bulb at the plant. ARe you kidding. Thank you OBAMA! You are bringing change as people will be loosing more jobs daily with your radical thinking. Don't get me wrong i love the outdoors as much as any but, enough is enough.
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 179 Comments: 20448
Great reading about CO2 gases. A look that Scientiest don't want to look at!

http://www.homeharvest.com/carbondioxideenrichment.htm
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 179 Comments: 20448
TS:mother nature sure does have a way with dealing with EVERYTHING,I wouldn't be suprised if she'd offset what we produce,I'm not for or against GW,just saying we do effect our planet,we live so frivalisly.....
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252. Skyepony (Mod)
AGW or GW the entry is about the ice. Specifically the old ice & much lack of it. The artic adventurers are reporting their findings too & they are 20% worse than the satellites eluded to~ as far as how much 1st year ice. The latest predictions based on conditions now, how much & how old the ice is in the artic & the amount of CO2~ looking at ice free summer Artic by 2013 without as Masters pointed out, a major eruption in the tropical latitutes. Just 2 years ago this wasn't expected to happen til like 2050 at the earliest. Sea rise from the Artic is expected now atleast 4-6m in 2100. That was only suppose to be under a meter at worst a year or so ago. There is warming in the Antartic now too where was stable.

Spathy~ Ice reflects heat & when the huge sheet is gone in the summers things warm which as things warm there is more water vapor, which should make things even warmer. Two things have been contributing to a portion of the extra heat up there melting it away that we can do something about. One is soot swept up, created by our industies. That's roughly an extra 5ºF & then there is CO2 & other even worse greennhouse gasses. A type of termite killer recently put on the market is being yanked because another country's satallite spotted something being spewed with serious greenhouse consiquences.

Recent studies of how quick has the world melted in the past have reveled it can happen really fast. The faster it happens the harder it is for everything to adapt. Um, it's already melting & the people that go to the poles & watch it are alarmed. The industry crunch due to saving the ozone was probibly not as daunting but certainly worth it. I think we are over saving this & in for a ride as a lack of ice even atleast part of the year should radically change our climate, atleast in some places. The poeple in Maldives & the indigonous people around the artic who's towns fondations are melting out from under them want the ride to slow down now & slow down the rush for artic oil as it melts.. They are meeting this week.

Cap & trade probibly isn't the best answer but something needs done. Green means I'll have more money to spend just not on power or moving food. There is substanable ways to live that create lots of jobs & we've been advertised out of that thinking. Large companies have kept the green out of our hands in more ways then one..that needs to come to an end.
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Quoting stillwaiting:


plants use CO2,they produce oxygen....unless you know something I don't...lol....hilarious


Many believe the higher the CO2 count in the atmosphere the higher the plant life will be as plants feed off of CO2!
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 179 Comments: 20448
Quoting spathy:
Back to weather! gov. can not tax me on something I exhale.And so do plants . Are we going to tax plants?CO2 remember?


plants use CO2,they produce oxygen....unless you know something I don't...lol....hilarious
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... Record heat across interior northern California...

A strong high pressure ridge has settled over California. The high
pressure... combined with very light winds and abundant sunshine has
resulted in another day of record breaking high temperatures across
northern California.

Todays high of 96 at Redding record broke the record at both the
Airport and at the old Redding city location. The Old City record
was 93... set in 1931.

The high at Red Bluff Airport reached 95... which eclipsed the old
record high of 91 set in 1950.

The high at the Sacramento City station reached 94 degrees...
breaking the old record of 92 set in 1931. The record at Sacramento
Executive Airport reached 93... the old record was 90 set in 1950.

A record high temperature of 96 degrees was set at Stockton CA
Sunday. This breaks the old record of 90 set in 1950.

A record high temperature of 97 degrees was set at Modesto CA
Sunday. This breaks the old record of 92 set in 1986.

Tuesday will be another warm day with near record high temperatures
forecast. Temperatures begin to cool by midweek... by the weekend
temperatures should be near normal.
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115454
246. Inyo
um... plants absorb WAY more co2 than they release so we'd have to pay them, not tax them.

the sun of course has a large effect on the climate but our position in the milky way, not counting the sun, doesn't do a thing to our climate unless the earth falls into a black hole.

the fossil fuel industry is unsustainable on so many levels. if you want to protest waste of taxpayer money, there are plenty of examples of waste much more prevalent than limiting dependance on fossil fuels (examples committed by both parties).

Even if you don't believe in AGW (which is silly since there is so much strong evidence), we need to figure out new energy sources anyway.
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Oh 40 days till JUNE 1st!
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 179 Comments: 20448
Now the real recession starts.....

Hong Kong Hang Seng -552.56 -3.51%
Hong Kong HSCC Red Chip -149.56 -4.38%
Japan Nikkei 225 -268.14 -3.00%
Dow -289.60 -3.56%
NASDAQ -64.86 -3.88%
S&P -37.21 -4.28%
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 179 Comments: 20448
RECORDS...

THE FOLLOWING SITES BROKE OR TIED THEIR RECORD HIGH TEMPERATURES
FOR MONDAY, APRIL 20TH...


SITE TODAY`S HIGH PREVIOUS HIGH / YEAR

GILROY 99 86 / 1992
KENTFIELD 90 87 / 1950
KING CITY 100(TIED) 100 / 1931
MOFFETT FIELD 93 84 / 1986
MONTEREY* 93 85 / 1986
NAPA 94 (TIED) 94 / 1931
OAKLAND MUSEUM 93 84 / 1986
OAKLAND AIRPORT 91 79 / 1986
RICHMOND 88 83 / 1986
SALINAS 99 88 / 1986
SANTA CRUZ 96 88 / 1899
SAN FRANCISCO 93 84 / 1986
SFO INTERNATIONAL 91 81 / 1986
SAN RAFAEL 90 88 / 1950
SAN JOSE 94 (TIED) 94 / 1906



*RECORDED AT OFFICIAL COOPERATIVE CLIMATE STATION.
HIGH TEMPERATURE AT THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE OFFICE
IN MONTEREY WAS 87 FOR THIS DATE.


RECORDS FOR TUESDAY APRIL 21ST...

DAY
LOCATION RECORD/YEAR

TUESDAY
SANTA ROSA 85 / 1952
SAN FRANCISCO 90 / 1987
OAKLAND 90 / 1987
SAN JOSE 91 / 1987
SANTA CRUZ 88 / 1987
SALINAS 87 / 1998
MONTEREY 86 / 1987
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115454
Quoting stillwaiting:



In a society like ours(the best in the world),we pay taxes,some things they spend our tax money on we agree with,some we don't.If you don't like america's system,you should probably move to a third world country and you won't have to worry about paying any taxes!!!!...but then again when you go to buy groceries or get clean drinking water or need health care or need gasoline,oh yea you think us (americans)have it bad???,ever heard of communism,talk about not having a say in how your tax money is spent....I hope you get my point,because I think I've got yours,stop crying or move!!!!


With the current adminstration it might be against the law to do what we do on this site. FREEDOM OF SPEECH! Four and done!
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 179 Comments: 20448
Quoting spathy:
Post 210, Stillw.Not exactly. I was saying that we humans can not have that much effect/affect on global temps. We have had a horrendous impact on our environment.I saw the Potomac river in 1972.And I saw the outrage over Hydrilla.I saw the outrage over how we infested the river with that plant. How we spent millions of taxpayers money to clean it up. Then after wasting millions of again tax payers (paychecks) (They) discovered that. That weed cleaned up the river better than all the other efforts combined! Millions wasted to (clean up) The best cleaner there was.Know what you want to get rid of before you spend my money to get rid of it!.Gather your friends and take up a fund before you come after my wallet!!!!!
Quoting spathy:
It can not be proven so don't rape my wallet!



In a society like ours(the best in the world),we pay taxes,some things they spend our tax money on we agree with,some we don't.If you don't like america's system,you should probably move to a third world country and you won't have to worry about paying any taxes!!!!...but then again when you go to buy groceries or get clean drinking water or need health care or need gasoline,oh yea you think us (americans)have it bad???,ever heard of communism,talk about not having a say in how your tax money is spent....I hope you get my point,because I think I've got yours,stop crying or move!!!!
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Quoting Drakoen:
Basin is warming up. I still think we will start the season off early or right on target with the focus in the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico.



western carib/gom should be the area to watch in a month,imo
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227. beell
Quoting quasigeostropic:
Yet, AGW cannot be proven via the scientific method.....Therefore it should be rejected.


Yeah, so lets sneak it (AGW) into a paper about the real risk of a major Hurricane striking Long Island. Maybe nobody will notice LOL

Ease up on the propaganda machine-maybe I'd listen. This is crap journalism and one of the biggest problems with this "movement" imo
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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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