Arctic sea ice volume now one-fifth its 1979 level

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:52 AM GMT on February 19, 2013

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The stunning loss of Arctic sea ice extent in recent years is undeniable--satellite measurements have conclusively shown that half of the Arctic sea ice went missing in September 2012, compared to the average September during 1979 - 2000. But the extent of ice cover is not the best measure of how the fire raging in Earth's attic is affecting sea ice--the total volume of the ice is more important. But up until 2010, we didn't have the measurements needed to say how the total volume of ice in the Arctic might be changing. Scientists relied on the University of Washington PIOMAS model, which suggested that the loss of Arctic sea ice volume during September might be approaching 75% - 80%. The model results were widely criticized by climate change skeptics as being unrealistic. However, in April 2010, a new satellite called Cryostat-2 was launched, which can measure ice volume by beaming pulses of microwave energy off of the ice. With two years of data to Cryosat-2 data to analyze, the results of the PIOMAS model have now been confirmed by a study published on-line in February 2013 in Geophysical Research Letters. In a University of Washington news release, co-author Axel Schweiger said, "people had argued that 75 to 80 percent ice volume loss was too aggressive. What this new paper shows is that our ice loss estimates may have been too conservative, and that the recent decline is possibly more rapid." The U.K.'s Natural Environmental Research Council reported that the team of scientists found that from 2003 to 2012, the volume of Arctic sea ice declined 36% in the autumn and 9% in the winter. The measure of sea ice volume is a good indicator of how the Arctic's most stable, "multi-year" ice is fairing. As the multi-year ice declines, sea ice extent, the total area covered by sea ice, in an "Arctic death spiral". The new study shows that thick, multi-year ice has disappeared in areas north of Greenland, around the Canadian Archipelago, and to the northeast of Svalbard, Norway.


Figure 1. Arctic sea ice volume in thousands of cubic kilometers during the September minimum in 1979 compared to 2012, as estimated by the University of Washington PIOMAS model. Arctic seas ice volume has declined by more than a factor of five. Image credit; Andy Lee Robinson.


Figure 2. The Polar-5 aircraft, carrying the EM instrument that was used to validate Cryosat-2 sea ice thickness measurements, flying over the validation site. Image credit: R. Willatt.

Why care about Arctic sea ice loss?
If you remove an area of sea ice 43% the size of the contiguous U.S. from the ocean, like occurred in September 2012, it is guaranteed to have a significant impact on weather and climate. The extra heat and moisture added to the atmosphere as a result of all that open water over the pole may already be altering jet stream patterns in fall and winter, bringing an increase in extreme weather events. The record sea ice loss in 2012 also contributed to an unprecedented melting event in Greenland. Continued sea ice loss will further increase melting from Greenland, contributing to sea level rise and storm surge damages. Sea ice loss will also continue to crank up the thermostat over Arctic permafrost regions. This will potentially release a significant fraction of the vast amounts of carbon currently locked in the permafrost, further accelerating global warming.

Related Posts
Earth's attic is on fire: Arctic sea ice bottoms out at a new record low (September 2012)
Half of the polar ice cap is missing: Arctic sea ice hits a new record low. September 6, 2012 blog post
Wunderground's Sea Ice page
Arctic Death Spiral Bombshell: CryoSat-2 Confirms Sea Ice Volume Has Collapsed by Joe Romm at climateprogress.org.

Jeff Masters and Angela Fritz

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Quoting DoctorDave1:


This link has the real story on the impact of increased CO2. If anyone has a link that disputes this, please provide it (including Dr. Masters).

https://twitter.com/BigJoeBastardi/status/2895143 30087641088/photo/1

tus/2895143 30087641088/photo/1
Bastardi is, to put it kindly, unreliable.

Guess what? Weather still occurs even with AGW. Pass that on to Big Joe, will ya?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting PedleyCA:


Yes it was a parts failure. Cut JP some slack... But it was funny at the time.
Quoting VR46L:


Hey Leave My JP alone ... I adored him in F1

I'm not hating on JP, it just that was the weirdest 500 I had ever seen.

Warning on the CA cell was dropped, just as I thought it would.
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Quoting VR46L:


Hey Leave My JP alone ... I adored him in F1


Yes it was a parts failure. Cut JP some slack... But it was funny at the time.
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Quoting AussieStorm:

What is TorCon, StormCon... They end in Con so that's what they are, a Con to get people watching.


During last year's tornado outbreak, I called my mother in Wichita, Kansas to beg her to please get out of her house until the storms were over there, because she has no basement and I know she usually stays there in bad weather. (A lot of people in Wichita don't have basements because of the high water table.)

When I told her there was a high chance of tornadoes in Wichita, she was unimpressed. When I told her there was a TorCon of 7 for Wichita, which meant there was a 7 out of 10 chance of a tornado within 50 miles of Wichita, she finally listened. She and her roommates took their dogs to a friend's house with a basement for the day.

The EF3 tornado that struck Wichita that day came within 5 miles of her house.
I'm very grateful to TWC and Dr. Greg Forbes for making an easy to understand descriptor that I could use to get my 84 year old mother's attention.

Frankly I don't give a damn if TWC makes more money by using their own designators for storms. What I care about is family and friends who are more likely to listen to the warnings because of them.
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543. VR46L
Quoting wxchaser97:

It's better than driving into a jet dryer, lol.

The cell in CA doesn't have a lot of heavy rain and basically no hail anymore.


Hey Leave My JP alone ... I adored him in F1
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Little Old Lady From Pasadena
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Quoting AGWcreationists:


Really.

Compare the correlation of the Maunder Minimum to the Little Ice Age.

And the increasing strength of sunspot cycles to warming temps over the last century - with a dip in both trends in the Seventies.

Yeah, about that...it happens to wrong

Quoting AGWcreationists:


And also note documented recent warming on other planets.

Again...wrong. There are no "well-documented" instances of warming on other planets. None, aside from Earth.

It should also be noted that unless *every* body in the solar system is warming, then the Sun can be eliminated as the source of the warming.

Quoting AGWcreationists:


And explain how that is not related to solar factors.

I think I just did. In two instances you're working with incorrect facts. In one instance you're using bum logic.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Here is something fascinating from a meteorologist friend

Number of People Warned By Tornado Warnings:
2008: 134,180,576;

2009: 99,676,144;

2010: 133,951,616;

2011: 144,896,400;

2012: 90,455,328
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8339
Little Deuce Coupe
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Quoting PalmBeachWeather:
I've been number 1 a few times in my life


That might not have been what they were saying... I used to think that any single finger meant number one too.. and then he TOLD me what it meant.. I was so shocked. :)

Go Danika!

Hey Doug!.. I laughed when I read dinosaur.. from the mouths of babes brother.
Member Since: September 23, 2006 Posts: 1 Comments: 2541
Good night..

Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 15288
Quoting VR46L:


True , I saw what she did in one of the nationwide races last year ....



It's better than driving into a jet dryer, lol.

The cell in CA doesn't have a lot of heavy rain and basically no hail anymore.
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Quoting DoctorDave1:
"If you remove an area of sea ice 43% the size of the contiguous U.S. from the ocean, like occurred in September 2012, it is guaranteed to have a significant impact on weather and climate. The extra heat and moisture added to the atmosphere as a result of all that open water over the pole may already be altering jet stream patterns in fall and winter..."

Strange that it did not affect the sea level.

Not strange at all. We're talking about sea ice, not continental ice.

Sea levels have risen rapidly, though.
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534. VR46L
Looks very Cloudy in Texas Now

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Drive My Car
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I am in the preferred area of snow right now, snow is still going to blow around,

SPECIAL WEATHER STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DETROIT/PONTIAC MI
635 PM EST TUE FEB 19 2013

MIZ068>070-200200-
LIVINGSTON-OAKLAND-MACOMB-
INCLUDING THE CITIES OF...HOWELL...PONTIAC...WARREN
635 PM EST TUE FEB 19 2013

...SNOW SQUALLS THIS EVENING...

BURSTS OF HEAVIER SNOW WILL CONTINUE TO MOVE ACROSS THE REGION
THIS EVENING. THESE SQUALLS WILL LEAD TO RAPID DROPS IN
VISIBILITY...WITH RESTRICTIONS AS LOW AS 1/2 MILE FOR SHORT
PERIODS OF TIME. THE MOST PERSISTENT SQUALLS WILL FOCUS BETWEEN
M-59 AND THE I-96 TO I-296 CORRIDOR...WHERE THE MOST INTENSE BANDS
MAY RESULT IN ACCUMULATION OF FROM ONE HALF TO ONE INCH IN LESS
THAN AN HOUR.
THIS WILL ALLOW AREA ROADWAYS TO QUICKLY BECOME SNOW
COVERED AND SLIPPERY. MOTORISTS ARE URGED TO USE CAUTION WHEN
TRAVELLING THIS EVENING.

$$

MR
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
531. VR46L
Quoting PedleyCA:


If you ruff her up, she will retaliate.


True , I saw what she did in one of the nationwide races last year ....


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Quoting PedleyCA:


First time a woman has got a pole position in a Cup Race.

Asked a girl what she wanted to be
She said baby Can't you see
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Quoting trHUrrIXC5MMX:


Like always...great explanations


hmm..He didnt agree with TWC of naming winter storms as you pointed out in a previous post
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 15288
Quoting VR46L:


Aye but to be honest she tends to send her car and one quarter of the field into the wall . Maybe she will do better this year.


If you ruff her up, she will retaliate.
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Quoting Levi32:
The TorCon index is just a method by which Dr. Forbes communicates his tornado forecasts to people. It is a lot less vague than trying to convey in words how likely he thinks a tornado is for a particular place. TorCon is also exclusively Dr. Forbes' thing, based off of his personal forecasts, and the rest of TWC doesn't touch it.

Naming winter storms, on the other hand, is a TWC marketing technique that, while might have some positive effects for the public by giving storms a handle that can be referred to, is completely unscientific.


Like always...great explanations
Member Since: April 23, 2011 Posts: 104 Comments: 14873
California Tornadoes 1880-2000

Worst
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
The TorCon index is just a method by which Dr. Forbes communicates his tornado forecasts to people. It is a lot less vague than trying to convey in words how likely he thinks a tornado is for a particular place. TorCon is also exclusively Dr. Forbes' thing, based off of his personal forecasts, and the rest of TWC doesn't touch it.

Naming winter storms, on the other hand, is a TWC marketing technique that, while might have some positive effects for the public by giving storms a handle that can be referred to, is completely unscientific.
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Quoting wxchaser97:
And it is not just any cup race, it is the Daytona 500. I still don't think she will win, but it is good to see she got the pole.

Still a strong thunderstorm near the town of Orland, CA that could produce hail up to penny size. Maybe we will get another tornado, who knows.

BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SACRAMENTO CA
330 PM PST TUE FEB 19 2013

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN SACRAMENTO HAS ISSUED A

* SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING FOR...
NORTHEASTERN GLENN COUNTY IN NORTHERN CALIFORNIA...
THIS INCLUDES THE CITY OF ORLAND...

* UNTIL 415 PM PST

* AT 329 PM PST...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED A
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING QUARTER SIZE HAIL. THIS
STORM WAS LOCATED NEAR ORLAND...AND MOVING SOUTHWEST AT 10 MPH.

* THE SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WILL BE NEAR...
GREENWOOD BY 340 PM PST...

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

DOPPLER RADAR HAS INDICATED SOME WEAK ROTATION WITHIN THIS STORM.
WHILE NOT IMMEDIATELY LIKELY...A TORNADO MAY STILL DEVELOP. IF A
TORNADO IS SPOTTED...ACT QUICKLY AND MOVE TO A PLACE OF SAFETY IN A
STURDY STRUCTURE...SUCH AS A SMALL INTERIOR ROOM.

IN ADDITION TO LARGE HAIL...CLOUD TO GROUND LIGHTNING IS OCCURRING
WITH THIS STORM. MOVE INDOORS IMMEDIATELY! LIGHTNING IS ONE OF
NATURES NUMBER ONE KILLERS. REMEMBER...IF YOU CAN HEAR THUNDER...YOU
ARE CLOSE ENOUGH TO BE STRUCK BY LIGHTNING.

&&

LAT...LON 3962 12217 3968 12226 3977 12217 3973 12209
TIME...MOT...LOC 2330Z 036DEG 10KT 3972 12215

$$

BARUFFALDI
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 83 Comments: 7781
Quoting tornadodude:


The torcon is not a projected tornado track. It is a forecast.

I will just agree to disagree with you. I have a strong meteorological background.

Arguing on the internet is stupid lol


Whose arguing?..the blog needs some chocolate..QUICK!

I didnt say the torcon was a projected tornado track..I said I saw him demostrate his knowledge of projected tornado track..

Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 15288
Quoting PedleyCA:


First time a woman has got a pole position in a Cup Race.
I've been number 1 a few times in my life
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Quoting tornadodude:


Is that a dinosaur?




Yes I am.
Member Since: July 25, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 564
Quoting ncstorm:


I have to disagree with you on that and I am not a fan of TWC..Dr. Forbes is not naming tornados as opposed to the winter storms..

He explains in details why a certain number is given to an area and like I've witness many times on live TV discussed active E4/E5s tornados and I'm positive has saved many lives with his projections of tornado tracks..

He knows his stuff..

how is the hail proof car coming along




The torcon is not a projected tornado track. It is a forecast.

I will just agree to disagree with you.

Arguing on the internet is stupid lol

The car is still here, I haven't had the chance to work on it too much. I've been travelling a bit.
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8339
Quoting PedleyCA:


First time a woman has got a pole position in a Cup Race.
And it is not just any cup race, it is the Daytona 500. I still don't think she will win, but it is good to see she got the pole.

Still a strong thunderstorm near the town of Orland, CA that could produce hail up to penny size. Maybe we will get another tornado, who knows.
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Quoting tornadodude:


He is definitely a smart man, no denying that. However, just like the StormCon, naming of winter Storms, the Torcon is just another index to help boost ratings. I know numerous meteorologists, met students, and research students who find it laughable at times.


I have to disagree with you respectively on that and I am not a fan of TWC..Dr. Forbes is not naming tornados as opposed to the winter storms..

He explains in details why a certain number is given to an area and like I've witness many times on live TV discussed active E4/E5s tornados and I'm positive has saved many lives with his projections of tornado tracks..

He knows his stuff..

how is the hail proof car coming along



Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 15288
517. VR46L
Quoting PedleyCA:


First time a woman has got a pole position in a Cup Race.


Aye but to be honest she tends to send her car and one quarter of the field into the wall . Maybe she will do better this year.
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Quoting PedleyCA:


First time a woman has got a pole position in a Cup Race.


I met her at my job over the summer. She was actually really nice. Has a sense of humor too haha
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8339
Quoting PalmBeachWeather:
And I see a "Woman Driver" has the pole at Daytona... Guess you men can't keep the pace


First time a woman has got a pole position in a Cup Race.
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Quoting AussieStorm:

What is TorCon, StormCon... They end in Con so that's what they are, a Con to get people watching.


Precisely. I understand, to an extent. TV isn't free, they have to make money. But sometimes I wonder if there aren't better ways. Anyway, not my problem, I don't even have cable haha
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8339
Quoting trHUrrIXC5MMX:


would you get some big snow out of this Chaser?

Nope, the low will be weaker when it gets to the Great Lakes and there will be less moister to work with up here. A inch or two at the most is what I would get as of right now, maybe it will change though.
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Quoting PensacolaDoug:



I'm "denialicious".


Is that a dinosaur?

Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8339
Quoting Xulonn:
My post is not meant as an insult, but rather an observation. Comments like the above help make me realize that many of the severe weather followers here don't have a broad understanding of science, and are susceptible to AGW/CC denialism claims and myths. That fact makes it difficult to counter falsehoods and myths with science, because many here don't really understand it.
Xulonn. My post is not meant to be an insult, but rather an observation... Get a life friend... It's a freekin' joke....
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Quoting AussieStorm:


in 1hr, you'll do 26,931.3131 laps of the earth around the equator. That would make the Astronauts dizzy watching you wizz past. lol


naa..I'll watch superman instead...lol
Member Since: April 23, 2011 Posts: 104 Comments: 14873
509. VR46L
Quoting Naga5000:


As a sociologist, I would say that the use of terms such as denier and denialist are not labels in this usage, but rather framing techniques used to point towards ones state of thought.


I find it is !!
There was one night I saw people apply the label Dunce on one blogger it starts with a simple term as denier but lead to dehumanizing terms such as dunce saying some one was of a lower intelligence or ignorant .

But I really don't intend to get into this debate tonight it will put me in a bad mood .
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Quoting wxchaser97:
Most likely is, I wasn't even focused out there today for that.

Much of the Mid-west and plains are under some form of winter warnings, watches, or advisories for the next winter storm.


would you get some big snow out of this Chaser?
Member Since: April 23, 2011 Posts: 104 Comments: 14873
Quoting tornadodude:


Lol I'm sorry, but do people honestly take the TorCon seriously?

What is TorCon, StormCon... They end in Con so that's what they are, a Con to get people watching.
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15935
Quoting VR46L:
It looks like Quite a bit of snow is falling

Loop Embedded



I'm in that area of snow in southeast Michigan. I have only got a dusting of snow but the gusty winds have been blowing it around.
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Quoting AussieStorm:

A denialist suffers from denialism. Some are denialistic. lol



I'm "denialicious".
Member Since: July 25, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 564
Quoting PalmBeachWeather:
Aussie, I guess the answer is stay out of my way, and don't text traveling at that speed.

Quoting trHUrrIXC5MMX:


I would ask if the car would be able to take 670,616,629 miles per hour (light speed) in the first place?

in 1hr, you'll do 26,931.3131 laps of the earth around the equator. That would make the Astronauts dizzy watching you wizz past. lol
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15935
Quoting MAweatherboy1:

Probably just an EF0, but still so cool to look at! I'm very surprised we even managed to get a touchdown today.
Most likely is, I wasn't even focused out there today for that.

Much of the Mid-west and plains are under some form of winter warnings, watches, or advisories for the next winter storm.
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Quoting PalmBeachWeather:
If your car could travel at the speed of light, would the headlights still work??
My post is not meant as an insult, but rather an observation. Comments like the above help make me realize that many of the severe weather followers here don't have a broad understanding of science, and are susceptible to AGW/CC denialism claims and myths. That fact makes it difficult to counter falsehoods and myths with science, because many here don't really understand it.
Member Since: June 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 1447
Quoting trHUrrIXC5MMX:


What I find funny is that people take Tor:Con seriously but not the Winter Naming...yet both come from TWC/


different forecasters..

there is a difference between tracking dangerous tornados and tracking a low pressure in Omaha
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 15288
500. VR46L
It looks like Quite a bit of snow is falling

Loop Embedded


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Quoting VR46L:


And I see you are using the labels you use in Dr Roods blog too ...

And I will say to you as some one who has read Sociology and Psychology at 3rd Level , That applying labels is an effort to social exclude and dehumanize , the person you are applying the label to. History has shown what happens to people who have labels attached ... I suggest you should think twice before applying such labels


As a sociologist, I would say that the use of terms such as denier and denialist are not labels in this usage, but rather framing techniques used to point towards ones state of thought.
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Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:


That may be a little bit low?


I think there is still disagreement among the models forecasting of instabilty so he may be waiting till tomorrow's runs to see what thursday will look like..
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 15288
Quoting ncstorm:


I actually do..

Dr. Forbes does know his severe weather..I've seen him demostrate his knowledge plenty of times on national TV..


What I find funny is that people take Tor:Con seriously but not the Winter Naming...yet both come from TWC/
Member Since: April 23, 2011 Posts: 104 Comments: 14873

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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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