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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1147. Gearsts
Levi Cowan‏@TropicalTidbits

If the NAO persists negative, trade winds get reduced & SSTs warm in tropics, while cooling off US coast, a trademark of big seasons.
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1146. LargoFl
folks along the gulf coast,heed your warnings.........
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 41582
1145. LargoFl
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 41582
1144. LargoFl
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 41582
1143. LargoFl
Interesting tidbit...my local met said that one of these storms coming thru this week and next week..will possibly dump yet another 2-3 feet of snow in the northeast,like the last one.....winter isnt over yet huh
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 41582
1142. LargoFl
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 41582
1141. LargoFl
Good Morning Folks!..the Blogs coffee is perked for when You get here..have a great day everyone!
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 41582
1140. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Seychelles Meteorological Services
Tropical Cyclone Advisory #12
CYCLONE TROPICAL HARUNA (09-20122013)
10:00 AM RET February 21 2013
=======================================

At 6:00 AM UTC, Tropical Cyclone Haruna (965 hPa) located at 22.4S 41.5E has 10 minute sustained winds of 80 knots with gusts of 115 knots. The cyclone is reported as moving east southeast at 2 knots.

Hurricane Force Winds
=======================
50 NM radius from the center, extending up to 55 NM in the northeastern quadrant

Storm Force Winds
=================
65 NM radius from the center, extending up to 70 NM in the south

Gale Force Winds
===================
80 NM radius from the center, extending up to 85 NM in the south

Near Gale Force Winds
======================
105 NM radius from the center

Dvorak Intensity: T5.0/5.0/D1.0/24 HRS

Forecast and Intensity
=======================
12 HRS: 22.1S 42.1E - 80 knots (CYCLONE Tropical)
24 HRS: 22.4S 42.9E - 75 knots (CYCLONE Tropical)
48 HRS: 24.7S 45.1E - 35 knots (Depression sur Terre)
72 HRS: 26.7S 48.9E - 30 knots (Depression Tropicale)

Additional Information
========================
Haruna still presents a large eye structure. Over the past six hours, the eye continued to widen and the deep convection ring has warmed. According to the last satellite pictures (met7) and mw imagery (SSMIS at 02.28z), Haruna hat reached a peak of intensity around 02.00z and shows actually signs of weakening. Over the past six hours, Haruna continues to track very slowly east southeastward at 2 knots

An upper to mid level trough, well depicted on water vapor imagery south of 30.0s, is transiting south of the system. Under combined influence of a westerly steering flow present to the north of the trough and a south southeasterly steering flow associated with the mid levels highs located over southern Africa, the system should continue today and tonight on a slow eastwards or northeastwards track. From Friday to Sunday, as the trough bypass the system, Haruna should be embedded within a northwesterly steering flow on the southwestern side of a near equatorial ridge, and accelerate a little. Over high energetic potential seas (29-30 C and under the upper level ridge, environmental conditions are favorable. But on the other hand, the slow track is unfavorable for intensification. Intensity may also fluctuate during the next 36 hours. Actual forecast of intensity has been lowered.

Haruna presents an important threat for the southwestern coasts of Madagascar. The potential area of landfall is still rather wide around Tulear (uncertainty of more than 200 km north and south of Tulear). Uncertainty exists also for the time of landfall, although Friday or Friday night is highly suggested by the guidance. Inhabitants of this area should monitor the evolution of this system and stay tuned with information provided by their national weather services.

After the system would get back over waters to the southeast of Madagascar (Sunday and beyond), the system should be within a barometric col situation and should gradually slow down. At the end of the forecast period, Haruna could miss the trough and not moves towards the mid-lats. As a low to mid-level highs should build by the southwest, a gradual turn towards the north or the northwest could be expected. Over that portion of the forecast track,environmental conditions appear unfavorable (strong northwesterly wind shear and cooler sea surface temperatures). However, some modest intensification may be possible. Given the high spread shown by the models, there is a higher than usual uncertainty in the track forecast of that system.
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A blog for a fuller description on my graphs plus some additional info.
I am really tired and need my sleep to track the severe storms later today, good night/morning everyone.
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1138. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
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Quoting wxchaser97:

I see a white space above About Jeff Masters and I am a paying member.

EDIT: I had to turn off AdBlock plus since it is installed on the browser I am using. I now see the survey.


Ah, that explains why I can't see it. I too have adblock.
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1136. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Quoting Skyepony:


They really shortened the lore on that..they only had 2 names for February.. Here's a more complete list for Feb: Ice Moon, Storm Moon, Horning Moon, Hunger Moon, Wild Moon, Red & Cleansing Moon, Quickening Moon, Solmonath (Sun Moon), Big Winter Moon.


now, I never heard of some of those names.
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Quoting Skyepony:


Right above About Jeff Masters? Are you a member? Maybe ads there instead?

I see a white space above About Jeff Masters and I am a paying member.

EDIT: I had to turn off AdBlock plus since it is installed on the browser I am using. I now see the survey.
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1134. Skyepony (Mod)
Quoting wxchaser97:

I can't see any survey above his avatar or anywhere. I want to do it, but I can't find it.


Right above About Jeff Masters? Are you a member? Maybe ads there instead?
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Quoting Skyepony:
Everyone has been taking the 1-question survey above Jeff avatar, about the winter storm names?

I can't see any survey above his avatar or anywhere. I want to do it, but I can't find it.
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Quoting OracleDeAtlantis:
The Russian meteor is reportedly the largest infrasound ever recorded by the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty, which have monitoring sites networked around the globe.

I wonder if the elephants in India could hear it. It would be interesting to see if any were caught on film around this time, in zoos for example.



Interesting, I must now search youtube for animal reactions to the meteorite
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The Russian meteor is reportedly the largest infrasound ever recorded by the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty, which have monitoring sites networked around the globe.

I wonder if the elephants in India could hear it. It would be interesting to see if any were caught on film around this time, in zoos for example.

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Quoting Skyepony:


They really shortened the lore on that..they only had 2 names for February.. Here's a more complete list for Feb: Ice Moon, Storm Moon, Horning Moon, Hunger Moon, Wild Moon, Red & Cleansing Moon, Quickening Moon, Solmonath (Sun Moon), Big Winter Moon.


fun names... also thanks for the wu mail...
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1129. Skyepony (Mod)
Everyone has been taking the 1-question survey above Jeff avatar, about the winter storm names?
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1128. Skyepony (Mod)
Quoting trHUrrIXC5MMX:
FULL MOONS GET NAMES???


They really shortened the lore on that..they only had 2 names for February.. Here's a more complete list for Feb: Ice Moon, Storm Moon, Horning Moon, Hunger Moon, Wild Moon, Red & Cleansing Moon, Quickening Moon, Solmonath (Sun Moon), Big Winter Moon.
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1127. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
oh, heh
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Quoting HadesGodWyvern:


no. the naming of the full moons was way, way before.


I mean, they mention that since they are naming storms...
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1125. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Quoting trHUrrIXC5MMX:


adding to the TWC naming thing here...


no. the naming of the full moons was way, way before.
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Quoting HadesGodWyvern:


yup. always had names.


adding to the TWC naming thing here...
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Quoting wxchaser97:

Thanks, I just wish I was actively tracking/forecasting severe weather a couple years ago as I missed some big events.


There are bound to more

The first significant tornado events are remember are those in May of 03 and 04. There were some pretty significant ones.
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Quoting tornadodude:


I like the graphics, it's interesting to note that there were over 700 tornadoes alone in April last year

Thanks, I just wish I was actively tracking/forecasting severe weather a couple years ago as I missed some big events.
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1121. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Quoting trHUrrIXC5MMX:
FULL MOONS GET NAMES???


yup. always had names.
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FULL MOONS GET NAMES???
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Quoting wxchaser97:
This is the beautified version of my tornado graph from earlier. I also did one, that is beautified, on Atlantic tropical cyclones from 2000-2012. I made these graphs all on my own with the help of Paint.net and MS Excel, mostly Excel. Click on either one of the images for the bigger version of that one.





I like the graphics, it's interesting to note that there were over 700 tornadoes alone in April last year
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1118. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting aspectre:
1086 Tribucanes: Why do I always have to open your posts tornadodude? Who dislikes you so. What's the closest you've ever come to a twister during your chasing?
1088 tornadodude: I'm not really sure who keeps clicking "-" on my posts. There are a few older members here who dislike my storm chasing, assuming that's the problem.

Nope, trolls have been trying to knock many of the better informed bloggers off this site.
You join KeeperOfTheGate, Neapolitan, Patrap, StSimonsIslandGuy, MichaelSTL amongst others in being thus targetted.
we had clusters of them working with multi handles flagging everything and everyone but that is not happening anymore

now its working the way it was meant to work
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Parts of northern Texas, Oklahoma, and southern Kansas are dealing with wintry precip, while areas just to the south are being monitored for a severe weather watch.

Mesoscale discussion #180
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Quoting OracleDeAtlantis:
Perhaps just a hundred then.


I won't tell
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Quoting tornadodude:


That's a lot of fire ants

Thank you

Perhaps just a hundred then.
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This is the beautified version of my tornado graph from earlier. I also did one, that is beautified, on Atlantic tropical cyclones from 2000-2012. I made these graphs all on my own with the help of Paint.net and MS Excel, mostly Excel. Click on either one of the images for the bigger version of that one.



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Quoting OracleDeAtlantis:
May a thousand fire ants inhabit the pants of the one who is harming you, Tornadodude. I enjoy your posts, always have.


That's a lot of fire ants

Thank you

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Quoting tornadodude:


I'm not really sure who keeps clicking "-" on my posts. There are a few older members here who dislike my storm chasing, assuming that's the problem.

I've been inside a weak tornado, I posted the video on the last page
May a thousand fire ants inhabit the pants of the one who is harming you, Tornadodude. I enjoy your posts, always have.
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1111. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
flare going to come off there i reckon
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1110. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
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Quoting Skyepony:


Solar wind flowing from this sinuous coronal hole could reach Earth on Feb. 21-22. Credit: SDO/AIA.



Mine too. Sometimes you have to go to another blog. Click on someones handle to get it to take.


Possible Auroras?
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1108. Skyepony (Mod)


Solar wind flowing from this sinuous coronal hole could reach Earth on Feb. 21-22. Credit: SDO/AIA.


Quoting tornadodude:


That's what mine is set to

Mine too. Sometimes you have to go to another blog. Click on someones handle to get it to take.
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The new SPC outlook for tomorrow should be out soon as well.

I expect it to be a slight risk, with a 10% hatched area for tornadoes, across Southern Louisiana.
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1106. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Tropical Cyclone Warning Center Perth
Tropical Cyclone Outlook
1:19 PM WST February 21 2013
===========================

A weak low [11U] is located in the monsoon trough near 13S 104E, about 460km south of Christmas Island. The low is moving slowly westwards and may develop into a tropical cyclone on Saturday or Sunday. This system is expected to pass to the south of Cocos Island. A direct impact is not expected, but it may cause squally winds and heavy rainfall over the weekend.

Tropical Cyclone Formation Potential
=====================================
Friday: Low
Saturday: Moderate
Sunday: High

system #2
---------

A low [10U] in the Northern Region near 11.0S 129.0E is slowly developing and is expected to move into the Western Region during Friday or early Saturday. This low may develop into a tropical cyclone late on Saturday or on Sunday.

Next week there is a significant risk that this system will become a severe tropical cyclone and impact the Pilbara or West Kimberley. People in the Pilbara and Kimberley are advised to stay up to date with weather forecasts and warnings.

Tropical Cyclone Formation Potential
=====================================
Friday: Low
Saturday: Moderate
Sunday: High
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LOL thanks Skyepony, that does it.
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Quoting Skyepony:
If you set your filter to show all, then you can see all the posts. Upper left above the comments.


That's what mine is set to
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Ah, that's really too bad Aspectre. Really sad, hopefully management can undo the trolls doing that. They shouldn't be allowed that kind of power. Thanks for the heads up.
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Quoting Seattleite:
Random and rather insignificant compared to current the current winterstorm, but it's not often Seattle has variable weather. This will definitely be one of the stronger systems for us this winter.

SPECIAL WEATHER STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SEATTLE WA
328 PM PST WED FEB 20 2013

...A STRONG FRONT WILL MOVE THROUGH THE AREA FRIDAY...

A STRONG FRONTAL SYSTEM WILL REACH THE AREA ON FRIDAY WITH HEAVY SNOW EXPECTED IN THE MOUNTAINS. ONE TO TWO FEET OF NEW SNOW IS POSSIBLE BY SATURDAY MORNING. A WINTER STORM WATCH IS CURRENTLY IN EFFECT FOR THIS.

LOCALLY WINDY CONDITIONS ARE ALSO POSSIBLE OVER THE LOWLANDS AS THE FRONT MOVES THROUGH. MOST AREAS WILL BECOME BREEZY FRIDAY AS THE FRONT MOVES ASHORE AND SOME AREAS WILL BECOME WINDY. SOUTHERLY WINDS OF 15 TO 30 MPH WITH GUSTS TO 40 OR 45 MPH ARE POSSIBLE. THE STRONGEST WINDS WILL LIKELY BE NEAR THE COAST AND OVER THE NORTH INTERIOR. WINDS WILL TURN MORE WESTERLY AND GRADUALLY TAPER FRIDAY NIGHT AS THE FRONT MOVES INLAND.

LASTLY...LARGE SWELLS ARE EXPECTED TO IMPACT THE COAST LATE FRIDAY NIGHT AND SATURDAY. WAVES ARE PREDICTED TO REACH 22 OR 23 FEET ON SATURDAY BEFORE SUBSIDING. AT A MINIMUM...DANGEROUS SURF CONDITIONS CAN BE ANTICIPATED ON SATURDAY. THE TIDES WILL ALSO NEED TO BE MONITORED FOR THE POSSIBILITY OF MINOR COASTAL FLOODING...ESPECIALLY FOR THOSE LOW-LYING COASTAL COMMUNITIES THAT ARE TYPICALLY IMPACTED BY LARGE OCEAN SWELLS.


Sounds pretty intense. 20ft+ waves? wow
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1101. Skyepony (Mod)
If you set your filter to show all, then you can see all the posts. Upper left above the comments.
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Quoting Tribucanes:
If you want to stay out of the GW/AGW debates here I completely get it. That's your right and many here echo that sentiment. Often I find it necessary to strongly defend the Dr's position and that of the vast vast majority of climate scientists. I find his posts call for that discussion at least some of the time and it's a discussion that really does need to be had. That said, it can be quite contentious, and that is not what many come here for. I'm out for the night, good luck to ya, and keep on keepn on.


Oh I find the debating to be fascinating. I am very open minded about it, sometimes tho, people from both sides (that's the problem, sides) tend to get a little pushy. anyway, that's enough of that. Thanks for the encouragement, have a good night!
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Quoting aspectre:
1088 Tribucanes: Why do I always have to open your posts tornadodude? Who dislikes you so. What's the closest you've ever come to a twister during your chasing?
1088 tornadodude: I'm not really sure who keeps clicking "-" on my posts. There are a few older members here who dislike my storm chasing, assuming that's the problem.

Nope, the problem is that trolls have been trying to knock many of the better informed bloggers off this site. You join KeeperOfTheGate, Neapolitan, Patrap, StSimonsIslandGuy, MichaelSTL amongst others in being thus targetted.


All smart people, too. Interesting. MichaelSTL always had some great severe weather posts.
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Random and rather insignificant compared to current the current winterstorm, but it's not often Seattle has variable weather. This will definitely be one of the stronger systems for us this winter.

SPECIAL WEATHER STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SEATTLE WA
328 PM PST WED FEB 20 2013

...A STRONG FRONT WILL MOVE THROUGH THE AREA FRIDAY...

A STRONG FRONTAL SYSTEM WILL REACH THE AREA ON FRIDAY WITH HEAVY SNOW EXPECTED IN THE MOUNTAINS. ONE TO TWO FEET OF NEW SNOW IS POSSIBLE BY SATURDAY MORNING. A WINTER STORM WATCH IS CURRENTLY IN EFFECT FOR THIS.

LOCALLY WINDY CONDITIONS ARE ALSO POSSIBLE OVER THE LOWLANDS AS THE FRONT MOVES THROUGH. MOST AREAS WILL BECOME BREEZY FRIDAY AS THE FRONT MOVES ASHORE AND SOME AREAS WILL BECOME WINDY. SOUTHERLY WINDS OF 15 TO 30 MPH WITH GUSTS TO 40 OR 45 MPH ARE POSSIBLE. THE STRONGEST WINDS WILL LIKELY BE NEAR THE COAST AND OVER THE NORTH INTERIOR. WINDS WILL TURN MORE WESTERLY AND GRADUALLY TAPER FRIDAY NIGHT AS THE FRONT MOVES INLAND.

LASTLY...LARGE SWELLS ARE EXPECTED TO IMPACT THE COAST LATE FRIDAY NIGHT AND SATURDAY. WAVES ARE PREDICTED TO REACH 22 OR 23 FEET ON SATURDAY BEFORE SUBSIDING. AT A MINIMUM...DANGEROUS SURF CONDITIONS CAN BE ANTICIPATED ON SATURDAY. THE TIDES WILL ALSO NEED TO BE MONITORED FOR THE POSSIBILITY OF MINOR COASTAL FLOODING...ESPECIALLY FOR THOSE LOW-LYING COASTAL COMMUNITIES THAT ARE TYPICALLY IMPACTED BY LARGE OCEAN SWELLS.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
If you want to stay out of the GW/AGW debates here I completely get it. That's your right and many here echo that sentiment. Often I find it necessary to strongly defend the Dr's position and that of the vast vast majority of climate scientists. I find his posts call for that discussion at least some of the time and it's a discussion that really does need to be had. That said, it can be quite contentious, and that is not what many come here for. I'm out for the night, good luck to ya, and keep on keepn on.
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.

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