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 pottery:
This blog makes for pretty Dismal reading at 5:15 am......

That's not the overall demeanor? ;)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
This blog makes for pretty Dismal reading at 5:15 am......

I think I'll go out and plant some trees today.
Unfortunately, they will surely die in a few weeks as it's very dry and windy here these days and my water supply is running low.
But I'm going to keep trying..........

Good Blog, Dr. Masters.
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Quoting VAbeachhurricanes:
Woah since when were Keeper and Skye mods? And since when have they been labeled?


Since about a week ago. So glad administration is in real time now. Really weeds out the trolls.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Woah since when were Keeper and Skye mods? And since when have they been labeled?
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Quoting HadesGodWyvern:


yes

Not going to get very much. which is good.



But it's going to hang around like a bad smell.
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15892
Thanks I think it is passed now. I just didn't like the looks of the red image that was turning purple with that hook or tail shape in the purple. It didn't show a triangle at the time I asked, but it moved pretty fast.
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Quoting AussieStorm:
HadesGodWyvern, That's TD16S right?


yes
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HadesGodWyvern, That's TD16S right?
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15892
Seychelles Meteorological Services
Tropical Cyclone Advisory #4
TEMPETE TROPICALE MODEREE HARUNA (09-20122013)
10:00 AM RET February 19 2013
=======================================

At 6:00 AM UTC, Moderate Tropical Storm Haruna (995 hPa) located at 20.8S 41.3E has 10 minute sustained winds of 35 knots with gusts of 50 knots. The cyclone is reported as moving south at 7 knots.

Gale Force Winds
===================
60 NM in the southwestern quadrant and up to 120 NM in the southeastern quadrant

Near Gale Force Winds
======================
50 NM radius from the center, extending up to 90 NM in the southwestern quadrant, up to 100 NM in the northeastern quadrant, and up to 150 NM in the southeastern quadrant

Dvorak Intensity: T2.5/2.5/D0.5/12 HRS

Forecast and Intensity
=======================
12 HRS: 21.6S 41.3E - 40 knots (Tempête Tropicale Modérée)
24 HRS: 22.2S 41.4E - 55 knots (Forte Tempête Tropicale)
48 HRS: 23.5S 42.3E - 75 knots (CYCLONE Tropical)
72 HRS: 23.9S 44.6E - 30 knots (Depression sur Terre)

Additional Information
========================
Recent microwave pass this morning show that the system is gradually becoming better defined compared to yesterday with a formative curved band pattern in the southwestern sector and a better defined low level circulation center. On satellite imagery, the recent evolution is less remarkable ... and current T number estimate is on the upper side of latest available Dvorak outputs (KNES and PGTW at 2.0 at 0530z). Given that some 35 knots winds were present in the southeastern quadrant last night during the ASCAT pass and that the overall pattern has improved .. the national weather service of Madagascar named the system Haruna at 0530z.

Within the next 24-36 hours, the low is expected to keep on drifting slowly southward toward a weak in the subtropical belt. Beyond, GFS and ECMWF numerical weather prediction models are now in agreement for a globally east southeastwards track under the steering influence of a broad mid level trough transiting south of 30.0s. ECMWF and GFS however purpose different chronologies. The mentioned RSMC schedule is close to ECMWF one, slower than GFS one and forecast a landfall over the southwestern Malagasy coastline near Tulear (Toliara) Thursday late or Friday early. ECMWF ensemble system members are all globally oriented near this forecast track toward the southwestern Madagascar.

Over high energetic potential seas (29-30C) and under the upper level ridge, system is expected to gradually strengthen until landfall.The slow track expected by RSMC should however limit the maximum intensity due to negative oceanic retro-action by cooling water surface.

Haruna presents a potential threat for the southwestern coasts of Madagascar with a potential direct hit within the next 2 to 3 days. Some hazards is already affecting the western coasts with some heavy rains currently located over the Cap Saint Andre area and near the southwestern coasts (that may spread inland over the Morombe area). Inhabitants of the area should monitor the progress of this system and stay tuned with information provided by their national weather services.
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Quoting llpj04:
tvs means?
It is moving straight for me I think

TVS means Tornado Vortex Signature.
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15892
Quoting llpj04:
tvs means?
It is moving straight for me I think


TVS means tornado vortex signature. It's a doppler indicated signal that means a storm contains a strong mesocyclone that could be attempting to become tornadic. It is not to be confused with a tornado warning (since not all TVS storms go tornado warned), nor is it to be conflated with a spotter indicated tornado, which literally means a tornado has been spotted.
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86. Skyepony (Mod)
You should take cover if that purple triangle is coming at you.
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tvs means?
It is moving straight for me I think
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Quoting llpj04:
can anyone that understands tornado formation look at the radar and tell me if what is headed to Hammond Louisiana is of concern
Thanks


It looks like it has a little bit of rotation with it, yeah. I don't see any indication of it reaching the surface, though, at least not yet (0z New Orleans sounding shows some pretty decent wind profiles which could support tornadic spinups, or at least strong mesocyclones).
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Quoting llpj04:
can anyone that understands tornado formation look at the radar and tell me if what is headed to Hammond Louisiana is of concern
Thanks

There is a TVS with that storm but it's west of Hammond and moving south west.

Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15892
can anyone that understands tornado formation look at the radar and tell me if what is headed to Hammond Louisiana is of concern
Thanks
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81. Skyepony (Mod)
NSIDC is now tracking the melting of the Greenland Icesheet.

Had a little surface melt yesterday even.. In the middle of February.



In case any one thinks that is normal..


And it is a worse start than last year..
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Quoting Tazmanian:
I'll have a new post on Tuesday.

Jeff Masters



ooops

And your problem with this is what?? As Dr Masters said, He is travelling so he posted early.
Take it easy Taz and chillax mate!
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15892
....
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78. Skyepony (Mod)
From a review of the march last weekend on the capital over climate..

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Quoting mactbc:
We have failed to mention that Antarctic ice is at an all time high.
Thus the balance of nature is taking place. The sky still is not
falling and we are in no danger. The sea level has not risen
an inch. Scientists are desperate to keep their grant money
coming so they can continue this deception at the expense of
real science.


Nature evidently hasn't produced a loud enough wake up call as yet to awaken certain kinds of deaf people.
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Quoting Tribucanes:
In twenty years when the Arctic sea ice is completely gone, when its cost the planet trillions and tens of thousands of lives, when any chance to effect change is gone, when the unknown consequences are know; corporations will still own the media, government, and most of the blame. The rise of technology can be mirrored with the decline in intellectualism in America. The average American is just not informed enough to care about the Arctic. They care about the economic turmoil now, not the economic devastation to the world the complete melting of the Arctic will cause. When only five/ten percent of 380 million (US Population) really care about man driven climate change; there is little hope. We've been programmed that way here; until an epic natural disaster changes life as we know it, that's the way it'll remain. We need another Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Ghandi, who can inspire the masses to care about larger issues like man driven climate change. Don't know about y'all, but I haven't seen him or her yet. Hope they're out there.


Sorry Tribucanes..I seriously doubt that if Martin Luther King or Ghandi was alive today that they would be leading the masses to find a solution to climate change..in fact, I'm pretty sure Dr. King and Ghandi would still be fighting for the end of human suffering and equality for all..I cant imagine that the "I have a dream" speech will consist of "Global Warming At Last..Global Warming At Last"

this blog be really reaching..

Good night..dream of clean air..
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 14249
Quoting mactbc:
We have failed to mention that Antarctic ice is at an all time high.
Thus the balance of nature is taking place. The sky still is not
falling and we are in no danger. The sea level has not risen
an inch. Scientists are desperate to keep their grant money
coming so they can continue this deception at the expense of
real science.


If only that were true.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Skeptic arguments that Antarctica is gaining ice frequently hinge on an error of omission, namely ignoring the difference between land ice and sea ice.

In glaciology and particularly with respect to Antarctic ice, not all things are created equal. Let us consider the following differences. Antarctic land ice is the ice which has accumulated over thousands of years on the Antarctica landmass itself through snowfall. This land ice therefore is actually stored ocean water that once fell as precipitation. Sea ice in Antarctica is quite different as it is generally considered to be ice which forms in salt water primarily during the winter months.

In Antarctica, sea ice grows quite extensively during winter but nearly completely melts away during the summer (Figure 1). That is where the important difference between antarctic and arctic sea ice exists. Arctic sea ice lasts all the year round, there are increases during the winter months and decreases during the summer months but an ice cover does in fact remain in the North which includes quite a bit of ice from previous years (Figure 1). Essentially Arctic sea ice is more important for the earth's energy balance because when it melts, more sunlight is absorbed by the oceans whereas Antarctic sea ice normally melts each summer leaving the earth's energy balance largely unchanged.

http://www.skepticalscience.com/antarctica-gainin g-ice.htm
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting mactbc:
We have failed to mention that Antarctic ice is at an all time high.
Thus the balance of nature is taking place. The sky still is not
falling and we are in no danger. The sea level has not risen
an inch. Scientists are desperate to keep their grant money
coming so they can continue this deception at the expense of
real science.

Yeah. Silly them. Why would those stupid scientists spend decades upon decades researching, evaluating, and hypothesizing/proof checking before presenting what they call "real science"? It's an abomination I say!
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 112 Comments: 31327
Quoting mactbc:
We have failed to mention that Antarctic ice is at an all time high.
Thus the balance of nature is taking place. The sky still is not
falling and we are in no danger. The sea level has not risen
an inch. Scientists are desperate to keep their grant money
coming so they can continue this deception at the expense of
real science.


Those scientist are a truly dastardly lot. They have gone so far as to severely decrease the volume of Arctic sea ice in just a few short years. They knew that this would not be enough to scare everyone so they started melting glaciers around the world. Just to keep our interest in continuing our funding to them, they have gone so far as to speed up the rate of melt of Greenland's ice sheet. .... I do not know about you, but I am ready to pay them anything they want, IF they would just quit ruining our planet so that they can keep their funding! ... Seems that "common sense" is nowhere near as common as one may think that it would be. I am beginning to see it as an oxymoron!
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Tropical Cyclone Warning Center Darwin
Tropical Cyclone Outlook
2:15 PM CST February 19 2013
----------------------------------

The monsoon trough lies over the Arafura Sea with a weak tropical low [1003hPa] near 8S 136E. The low is expected to move slowly southwest into the Timor Sea, and is unlikely to significantly develop.
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NOAA National Climactic Data Center

Link

National Summary Information - January 2013
Contiguous U.S. warmer and wetter than average for January

Drought persists for central U.S.; above-average January snow cover extent for Lower 48

The average temperature for the contiguous U.S. during January was 32.0F, 1.6F above the 20th century average, tying with 1958 as the 39th warmest January on record.

The January nationally-averaged precipitation total of 2.36 inches was 0.14 inch above the long-term average. The January precipitation average masked both wet and dry extremes across nation. Drought conditions remained entrenched across the Southeast, Great Plains, and the mountainous West.



US Climate Highlights-January 2013

January brought warmer-than-average conditions to the eastern half of the contiguous United States, despite several cold air outbreaks. The largest warm temperature departures from average were in the Southeast, where Georgia and Florida both had their 11th warmest January with monthly temperatures 5.7F and 5.6F above average, respectively.
Below-average temperatures were anchored in the western United States. Nevada had its ninth coolest January on record with a monthly temperature 5.9F below average and Utah had its eighth coolest January with temperatures 7.5F below average.
Wetter-than-average conditions stretched from the Southern Plains to the Mid-Atlantic, where Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, Michigan, and Virginia each had January precipitation totals ranking among their ten wettest. The above-average precipitation generally missed the core drought areas of the central and southeastern United States.
Drier-than-average conditions were observed along the West Coast, the central Rockies, and parts of the Northern Plains, Southeast, and Northeast. California, Connecticut, and Florida each had one of their ten driest January.
According to data from the Rutgers Global Snow Lab, the January snow cover extent for the contiguous U.S. was above average at 1.4 million square miles. Mountain snowpack was near-average for much on the West, with the exceptions of the Northwest where snowpack was much above average, and the Central and Southern Rockies where snowpack was much below average.
Alaska was warmer and wetter than average. The statewide average temperature was 7.1F above average and the precipitation total was 64 percent above average. Parts of the state had monthly temperatures more than 10F above normal.
According to the January 29 U.S. Drought Monitor report, 57.7 percent of the contiguous U.S. was experiencing moderate-to-exceptional drought, smaller than the 61.1 percent at the beginning of the month. Drought conditions improved in parts of the Mid-Atlantic and Mid-Mississippi River Valley.

Use Link at top of post to read more..
Member Since: August 13, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 6760
Quoting mactbc:

We have failed to mention that Antarctic ice is at an all time high.
Thus the balance of nature is taking place. The sky still is not
falling and we are in no danger. The sea level has not risen
an inch. Scientists are desperate to keep their grant money
coming so they can continue this deception at the expense of
real science.


Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting mactbc:
.


Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: August 13, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 6760
"Scientists are out for personal gain, publishing alarmist studies to capture research grants."

There is no evidence to support this argument. Scientists who participate in the IPCC climate assessments are not paid, nor are those who participate in panels for the National Academy of Sciences. Career advancement in the sciences is not based on holding popular views, but on publishing original research. By contrast, many deniers have received funding from entities with a financial stake in fossil fuel-based energy system.


http://www.opr.ca.gov/s_commondenierarguments.php #i
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Member Since: Posts: Comments:




Member Since: August 13, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 6760
Quoting mactbc:
We have failed to mention that Antarctic ice is at an all time high.
Thus the balance of nature is taking place. The sky still is not
falling
and we are in no danger. The sea level has not risen
an inch. Scientists are desperate to keep their grant money
coming so they can continue this deception at the expense of
real science.


What kind of theory have you been researching?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting CaicosRetiredSailor:
The second test in that paper looked at the link between extreme rainfall and atmospheric temperature, which are connected through moisture levels in the air. In the 19th century European physicists Benoît Clapeyron and Rudolf Clausius discovered an important physical rule that shows the atmosphere can hold more water as it gets warmer. Their rule says air can contain around 7% more water vapour for every 1°C warming. In the 21st century, scientists have suggested that extreme rainfall, because it’s linked to the moisture in the atmosphere, should rise at the same rate. And though more recent studies suggest that other factors may complicate the picture, Seth’s team still came up with figures between 5.9 and 7.7% for every 1°C warming. “We treated the data in a variety of ways, but always found it went up about 7% per degree,” he said.

Tropical areas and those nearest the poles saw the strongest increases in their annual rainfall highs. And perhaps surprisingly, the maps the researchers produced show weather stations in some areas prone to drought also seeing an increase in their annual highest rainfall. Seth pointed out that this is because this ‘extreme’ rainfall measure only considers one day, while droughts occur over longer periods. “Droughts are largely because of deficits in seasonal and annual rainfall totals, rather than the intensity of the most extreme rainfall events,” he said. “They are therefore more likely to be controlled by large-scale atmospheric circulation changes.”


See Link in comment #49



Interesting, I've noticed such behavior myself.
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Quoting pcola57:


That would be incorrect Max as 100 is applied to 2 completely separate and individual posts.. :)


Im just playing around.. Stay well
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RE:Post#52..

Thanks for posting that Keeper..
One fact I found astonishing,is that one glacier mentioned,Elephants Foot, was being monitored at 7km a year and has increased to 15km a year in the short time that they have been recording it's movements..
More than double it's original pace..
By the way hats off and Kudos to them who do this work..
They must be a hardy bunch..
Member Since: August 13, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 6760
Quoting CaicosRetiredSailor:
The second test in that paper looked at the link between extreme rainfall and atmospheric temperature, which are connected through moisture levels in the air. In the 19th century European physicists Benoît Clapeyron and Rudolf Clausius discovered an important physical rule that shows the atmosphere can hold more water as it gets warmer. Their rule says air can contain around 7% more water vapour for every 1°C warming. In the 21st century, scientists have suggested that extreme rainfall, because it’s linked to the moisture in the atmosphere, should rise at the same rate. And though more recent studies suggest that other factors may complicate the picture, Seth’s team still came up with figures between 5.9 and 7.7% for every 1°C warming. “We treated the data in a variety of ways, but always found it went up about 7% per degree,” he said.

Tropical areas and those nearest the poles saw the strongest increases in their annual rainfall highs. And perhaps surprisingly, the maps the researchers produced show weather stations in some areas prone to drought also seeing an increase in their annual highest rainfall. Seth pointed out that this is because this ‘extreme’ rainfall measure only considers one day, while droughts occur over longer periods. “Droughts are largely because of deficits in seasonal and annual rainfall totals, rather than the intensity of the most extreme rainfall events,” he said. “They are therefore more likely to be controlled by large-scale atmospheric circulation changes.”


See Link in comment #49
Looks like the more data we analyze the worse shape we are in.. These next couple of years should be quite interesting as more resources get put towards climate research. Thanks for the post CRS
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The line of thunderstorms just passed through here in Jasper County, nothing severe, just some good rain and normal levels of thunder and lightening. The vibrating storm dogs only reached level 2. The oddest thing was when I went out on the porch to check out the storm, between the thunder rumbles, I could hear geese honking as they flew overhead in the rain. Poor geese.

G'nite all...
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TC 16...Southwestern Indian Ocean

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
The second test in that paper looked at the link between extreme rainfall and atmospheric temperature, which are connected through moisture levels in the air. In the 19th century European physicists Benoît Clapeyron and Rudolf Clausius discovered an important physical rule that shows the atmosphere can hold more water as it gets warmer. Their rule says air can contain around 7% more water vapour for every 1°C warming. In the 21st century, scientists have suggested that extreme rainfall, because it’s linked to the moisture in the atmosphere, should rise at the same rate. And though more recent studies suggest that other factors may complicate the picture, Seth’s team still came up with figures between 5.9 and 7.7% for every 1°C warming. “We treated the data in a variety of ways, but always found it went up about 7% per degree,” he said.

Tropical areas and those nearest the poles saw the strongest increases in their annual rainfall highs. And perhaps surprisingly, the maps the researchers produced show weather stations in some areas prone to drought also seeing an increase in their annual highest rainfall. Seth pointed out that this is because this ‘extreme’ rainfall measure only considers one day, while droughts occur over longer periods. “Droughts are largely because of deficits in seasonal and annual rainfall totals, rather than the intensity of the most extreme rainfall events,” he said. “They are therefore more likely to be controlled by large-scale atmospheric circulation changes.”


See Link in comment #49
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Quoting trHUrrIXC5MMX:


would both add to 200 then?


That would be incorrect Max as 100 is applied to 2 completely separate and individual posts.. :)
Member Since: August 13, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 6760
Quoting tramp96:

Ouch Doc!!
nice one..
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Quoting JNCali:
link?


Here's the link to that study in post#41

This link is to a blogger with a reference and links to the to the study..
Thanks Caicos..
Member Since: August 13, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 6760
Quoting pcola57:


+100


would both add to 200 then?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

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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.