Thursday, June 30, 2016

Effects of greater snowfall are lasting in some regions.

Lets focus on the Eastern  NW passage where there was more snowfall:

What happens with more snowfall has long lasting implications for sea ice. First we have greater cooling of top of sea when it falls in autumn,  the snow floats doesn't melt,  acts like a proxy ice cover, and accelerates the grey ice sea ice genesis.  This creates more rapid onset of fast ice.  Now, lets fast forward to its effect to this early summer,  many months later from October-November just past.  EOSDIS 
pictures of June 29, 2015 and 16 are marked upper left corner.  But the great deal of snow during winter of 2015-16 affected sea ice morphology,  and therefore its current cooler summer weather.
Look carefully where the snow remains in 2016 and you will inherently find more sea ice,  because snow help made it,  and also created a buffer slowing its melt.   But the larger implication is the local  early summer weather snow and greater sea ice extent created,  cooler,  and also strangely but so,  thinner sea ice.   Winds of 2015 in the same area as on this GIF animation were dry,  there was  less snowfall,  which happened more on the western European side of the Arctic which happens to have far less sea ice extent on its coastal shores.  2015 sea ice eventually became thicker when formed,  but open water Polynyas in 2015 were much larger because there was a great deal of wind from the North (not unusual) keeping top of sea water from forming ice .  In late spring 2015,  the land warmed quicker, local weather was equally warmer and residual July snow footprint far lesser. WD June 30,2016

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Near North Pole current Ice condition, between a rock frozen ice and a cloudy cooler place.

   June 28,2016, near North Pole ice conditions show "pancakes"  typical of fluid sea ice,  terribly broken up.  Very little sign of old ice.  But there was extensive compression during the Spring just past,  this can be its undoing,    a strong consolidated pack cools the air more,  good spawning ground for Highs.

  June 30 2013, same location,  offered a glimpse on the damaged caused in 2012 melt.  However,
the degree of open water caused by much thinner sea ice triggered what many contrarians deemed incorrectly  "a cooling" especially at minima mid September 2013, because substantially less ice apparently melted, not so, it was an extent calculation 15% problem.    This open water caused extensive Lows to penetrate and remain over the ice Pack throughout the summer.    Current situation in 2016 seems between a strong consolidated pack and a loose Cyclone-genesis driven summer.  The danger for 2016 sea ice is for less clouds to form at this time,  un-likewise 2013,  this is very possible. WD June 28 2016

Monday, June 27, 2016

Despite contrarian winds, Beaufort Gyre current is still very strong

NASA EOSDIS 11 days of June 2016 selected at about 2 or 3 day intervals.  You can see cyclones moving through along with contrarian winds, there were quite a few small cyclones hanging about during the same period.   But nothing ,  literally nothing stopped the surface current moving the ice  clockwise.  This is explainable by 3 of many sea ice displacement vectors.  The coriolis effect, note its not a force,  sea ice momentum movement (a seldom discussed  displacement vector) and finally the Beaufort Gyre itself, reinvigorated by months of clockwise circulation of mixed aged pack ice.   This implies any lull in winds will cause compaction to occur nevertheless.   wd June 27 2016.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

The models may be calculating the sea ice surface to air interface temperatures incorrectly

~ Some surface buoys corroborate the prime horizon refraction rule

   Having dealt before with doubtful calculations output by NOAA NCAR/NCEP with respect to top sea ice temperature,  it seems suspicion confirmed by remote weather stations placed on sea ice.   The ice core temperature minimum of 2015f (82 N 147 W)  in particular on June 5 was really cold with lowest sun position, but as usual,  solar radiation whacked out any precision with top thermistors most times,  leaving us with only its average surface temperature to contemplate.  It was -4.8 C for that day.  At the same location NCAR/NCEP calculated -3.   Now consider that an actual measurement can be done from space,  the skin temperature or ice surface,  it should be quite precise.  NCAR/NCEP result was between -1 and 0 C.   However, this is a violation of sea ice refraction prime rule,   top of sea ice was never observed warmer than surface air.    To cap this off,  2015f reported  12:00 UTC surface temperature at  -7.39 C,   now we turn to nearby sea ice surface weather stations at 12:00 UTC 80 N 110 W read -1,   76 N 160 W read -2.   Welcome to the world of metric confusion,  when temperatures seem really irregular.  Another surface Auto station on Prince Patrick Island reported a more probable -7 (76 N 120 W). 

     To make sense of all this,  one must weed out possible errors,  to play it safe,  only 2015f surface measurements seem accurate along with surface temperature from land based auto station.  Why so?  Because thermistor 2,  likely in ice, recorded -6.7 C at 12 UTC,  with a low sun solar radiation corruption.  Later, the morning less bombarded with photons thermistor  shoots up 5 C in 8 hours  with higher sun. 2015f reported surface temp -2.9 C at 20:00 UTC while same colder morning thermistor reported +0.17 C,  one would expect similar rise in temperature between surface and top of sea ice, but sea ice gained more degrees than surface measurement,  again highly unlikely since sea ice and snow have very strong albedo,  unless of course there is water on the said thermistor surrounded by sea ice.

   No wonder Arctic models have trouble being precise,  there is very little accurate observations to compare their output with.  

        June 5 1200 UTC CMC surface analysis.

NOAA surface skin analysis,  apparently the sea ice average temperature was warmer than the surface air over most locations.  Mass Buoy 2012f recorded an average  surface temperature -4.8 C,  3 degrees colder than model skin temperature calculation. 
The daily average surface temperature of about -3 C over Beaufort Gyre was 2 C  colder than top of sea ice "skin" average which is in violation of refraction prime rule.   In this example, the adiabatic lapse rate between top of ice and surface measurement is a mere 1000 C/Km, the stuff of road asphalt.  2015f same day average surface temperature was about 2 C colder.   In somewhere lies a geophysical modelling algorithm error.  WD June7,2016

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Sometimes Top and bottom Melting looks like this

  At onset of top melting the horizon appears slightly jagged,  water is setting on top of sea ice.  The ice core is very warmed yet colder than the air,  the horizon is slightly above astronomical horizon,  but the new surface water brings it down.  wd June 5 ,2016

Sunday, May 29, 2016

2nd remarkable retreat front

~ Early Great Blue  gaining on sea ice not only for Beaufort sea

Sea ice loss North of Franz Josef lands  top,  more than 100 km between May 17 and May 29 2016, May 17 is the photo with less sea ice.
Courtesy NASA EOSDIS   The apparent Northwards expansion of the North Atlantic is really the
drift of the the entire sea ice pack towards Fram Strait (bottom left).  What is unusual may be judged by sea ice fluidity,
mobility or lack of cohesion,  entirely due to warmer temperatures and the collapse of thinner sea ice ,  usually the "glue" slowing or keeping the pack more consolidated.  This sort of movement always normally occurs in August or late July.

DMI 80 North data can thus be affected by necessarily warmer air gaining a greater area North of 80 degrees latitude:

This graph may indicate a larger colder area over the main pack,  the more open water changes the over all analysis.  It would be preferable to have a similar Graph covering surface temperatures 85 latitude Northwards.  WD May 29, 2016.

   Post news:

June 14 EOSDIS,  the 2nd melt front appears to have filled with loose pack sea ice spread out because temperatures have warmed much further. Consolidation lost,  sometimes extent values may give a false idea about current sea ice action.  Make no mistakes in judgement,  this is the greatest melt in history.  It comes with scattering of loose ice, from that point,  greater clouds are possible,  although not lasting because air temperatures are too warm.  WD June 14,2016

Friday, May 20, 2016

No sea ice horizon upwards rebound observed close to Midnight sun

~Optical Thermal observation method further explained,   proving Ti<=Ta
~Likely  24 hour bottom melt  earliest captured....

   Preceding article questioning NCAR  calculations can be seen here.  The sea ice Horizon would
drop below Astronomical Horizon (AH) if top of sea ice was warmer than surface air.  In many years of observations it was never observed doing that,  the much lower sea water horizon observations with colder than sst air were never repeated with ice.  Instead spring sea ice horizons maintain AH until evening or until under sea ice melting is 24 hours a day.   This likely happened yesterday,  South Cornwallis Island looking at westward MW Passage.

May 19 2014-2015-2016 Horizon comparisons (left center right).   2016 was taken 40 minutes later same date,  but with horizon at AH.  While 2014 and 15 rose above and kept on rising,  despite cloudy conditions, whiter streaks are breaks in clouds sun ray reflections.  The rising horizon 2014-15 was created by cooling of air accelerated by minima top of sea ice core temperature.
2016  core appears warmer,  if not significantly out of cooling potential.   

     On a given Arctic spring day, the horizon drops to AH when the air temperature Ta is equal to top of sea ice temperature Ti.  When reaching AH,  it is highly likely that the bottom of sea ice melts,
but during spring the AH horizon lasts a few minutes when it first shows, in March or early April,  so accretion keeps on making net gains.  AH horizons gradually become longer, but when AH is maintained more than 12 hours,  the bottom of sea ice melts more than forms,  net bottom melting occurs.   This has happened yesterday,  when AH was observed 1 hour before the midnight sun.  For the first time I have observed this in May,  this makes Spring 2016 fast ice the weakest heat resisting sea ice observed since 2010 when spring observations have started.

While taken at same evening time,  the same 19 May Ice horizon appeared at different altitudes.   2015 (left) kept rebounding upwards,  while 2016 remained steady so 1 hour prior the midnight sun.   Sea ice bottom accretion has stopped in 2016,  and now bottom daily melting has started.  

      These key observations capture the very thermal structures instantaneously.  Its all about sea ice temperatures affecting the air right above,  with of course radiation forcing,  when the sun gets through.  wd May 20,2016   

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Optically unlikely not possible remote sensing/model? measurements/calculations

     85 to 90 N NOAA Reanalysis.  May 16, 2016.  Use the mouse pointer to compare surface and top of sea ice temperatures.

     There are several reasons why surface sea ice temperature can't be warmer than surface air. #1  It is optically not observable,  if there is a steep adiabatic profile from ground/ice  temperature to Surface air 2 meters above,  it would give an optical illusion,  similar to hot road mirages.   We have here on this example given many locations with a 2 degree C temperature difference between skin to surface air.  This would give a   lapse rate 100 times more than the normal 10 C/Km.     #2 Thermally improbable.  Top of sea ice temperature influences the surface air temperature,  if the air is colder than top of sea ice,  this is a very unstable thermal structure,  ice would cool rapidly by convection upwards of the air touching it.  While air warmer than sea ice invokes a normal stable thermal structure.    Because ice/snow surface is white,  especially since thermal conduction from lower in the column sea ice is much greater than air to top of ice, air conduction affects top of sea ice less than colder sea ice column core minima,  very necessarily  at this time of late spring.  #3 clouds.  Likely covering 85N to the Pole here,  clouds offer a more neutral thermal flux balance,  whereas there is a steady equal heat flux up and down at the surface to air interface.  The net result is more of an isotherm,  but still slightly favoring the stable thermal structure,  which is colder top of sea ice than surface air.  WD May  19, 2016

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Remote sensing VS Refraction Prime sea ice rule. Satellites are pretty good, but refraction observations are better.

~Ta>=Ti  rule holds well as seen from space
~ Is likely some remote sensing calculations/methods need some adjustments.

      Taking advantage of persistent "Big Blue"  of 2016 spring,  a truly remarkable insolation bombardment ,  the right term "relentless" onslaught of sunshine,  we can check and find if refraction gained insights (written here) are true on a planetary scale.    NOAA daily climate composites are very good,  so we look at its sea surface temperature setting or "surface skin" temperatures VS surface temperatures.

        NOAA May 4 2016.     Daily mean surface temperatures  "1000 mb" temperatures are too cold in East Siberian and North Barents seas,  North of Ellesmere and Greenland surface air 1000 mb is largely too cold.  There is a strange North of Wrangel Island surface air cold area spot and also compared to entire Chukchi Sea surface temperatures.  Basically if I am correct,  Remote Sensing surface temps algorithms daily means appear to have a mixing problem with land features.    Note Surface temperature  1000 mb Ta is indeed always warmer than top of ice Ti well away from land.

      Click on GIF image to expand and use your mouse pointer to make comparisons.

     If there is a calculation error with NOAA surface temperatures,  it would be "averaged out"  eventually because Ta>=Ti ,  a fact gained by multiple horizon observations,  this feature will show up over a longer term:

           NOAA  May 1-5 2016.  Composite mean makes it much harder to find Surface air 1000 mb air colder than top of sea ice.    The North of Wrangel Island temperature anomaly most likely was from thicker sea ice pressure height temperature difference.  Although,  North Barents Sea has still a smaller area of colder air especially East of Franz Josef Islands.

      Hypothetically,  the longer we average out the  likely Algorithm  error,  the more impossible it would be to find Ta < Ti.

               March 1 to May 5 2016,  literally impossible to find top of sea ice temperature
warmer than  surface air 1000 mb temperature.

   NOAA surface temperature looks better but still has small daily flaws.  


           May 9, 2016  NOAA daily composites offer surface air temperature feature which performs slightly better than 1000 mb,  if you click on extreme cold surface air temperature near land it will be likely erroneous, making surface air colder than ice.    Which has never been observed optically.

      Likewise looking back longer term:

            April 9-May 9 average   If you find a spot where Ta< Ti  ,  let me know.   There are none I can find.

    In short:

         NOAA remote sensing temperatures are quite good,  but I would look at every case when
sea ice is warmer than surface air,  double check the calculations and the physics.  I don't know if this is the error which causes sea ice models to err in making good melt projections.  A  4 C warmer sea ice  than surface temperature (Chukchi anomaly very top GIF above) would make the horizon extremely low and that has never been observed, on top of the underlying thermal physics which would be hard to explain.  WD May 7 and May 11, 2016


Thursday, April 28, 2016

Sea ice refraction prime rule: top of sea ice is always colder or equal to surface air temperature

~Putting the proposed sea ice optical theory to the test
~Even when some part of sea ice column is always warmer than air (during winter).  
~Sea ice horizon never been observed below Astronomical Horizon has now an explanation.  

     The best way to sum up horizon refraction throughout the Arctic Ocean year is by this sketch once posted here:

Strictly by several years of observations,  a visual correlation was made with temperature profiles from sea water to upper air related to physical conditions of the horizon.  Notice top of sea ice temperature was never observed warmer than the air immediately above.  Only with the presence of sea water does the horizon elevation drop below the "Astronomical Horizon" ( orange line).   The Astronomical Horizon of any planet Earth location would permanently remain at the same unchangeable altitude if our planet did not have an atmosphere.

    Many years of sea ice horizon observations gave a proposed theory written here  and here.
The biggest feature of sea ice horizons happens when the sea ice horizon stops going down,  does not go below the Astronomical Horizon,   settles there until the sun lowers in the sky to set, only to spring up higher again.   Its the spring time great steady "LAN" horizon which may happen daily for a while after Local Apparent Noon.  When so,  the temperature profile at interface between ice and air  temperature is isothermal.    This feature also makes it possible for well informed sea Navigators to recognize the presence of sea ice without radars.

    Sea ice Buoys offer proof, despite their near or above ice thermistor problems.  Selecting a thermistor embedded in top of ice usually should give good results,  so without further a do,  lets use 2015 F at thermistor T5 (50 cm down from top of thermistor string):

Buoy 2015F August 13, 2015 to April 19 2016,  4 hour interval surface temperature  (in blue) Thermistor 5 (in red 50 cm down).
Temperature of sea ice was always Greater or Equal to surface air,  except for a few very rare interesting occasions. 

               If top of sea ice was always warmer than air,  there should be a permanently very low sea ice horizon.  This does not happen,  not only  because of upward thermal heat flux from sea which warms the lowest atmosphere causing a near surface inversion or a well above upper air temperature profile maxima.  The dark season thermal flux is stronger nearer to ice,  but there is an inversion right above, something cools the surface to air interface.   It is wonderfully complicated.   Heat Capacity of sea ice and snow is twice more than air.   Thermal Capacitance plays a role,   Heat Conductivity  and especially insulation properties of sea ice are very important.   Eventually,   the combination of properties cause top of the ice always colder than air,  as may be seen on your own house:

      Physics replicates itself with different matter,  in this case house insulation.   Note in blue,  top of insulation is always colder or equal than air except when too sunny.   Consider sea ice as insulation,  the same happens over the frozen sea.   But also again identical with middle of sea ice column as with buoy 2015f graph above, center of insulation layer is almost always warmer than air,  this is a good model proxy presentation for sea ice.   

   As observed optically following Local Apparent Noon (LAN) with the sun present,  the temperature lapse rate of the surface to air interface appears to become isothermal over sea ice,  the horizon  is at the Astronomical Horizon.  Considering an hypothetical, if top of  sea ice would remain cold,  unaffected by shortwave radiation,  the horizon would remain higher than Astronomical Horizon.    

     Finding a Buoy replicating the house insulation graph would be great.  However, there is a problem with sea ice buoys,  they seem affected by sun rays,  and there is few other considerations to take,  the exact position of the thermistor matters, the coldest layer may be at a certain height not always placed with a thermistor.  Lets try to idealize a true measurement of top of sea ice as much as possible (or in the snow layer next to it).   The only way around is to find measurements in darkness,  away from sun rays affecting the thermistor,  lets try close to the North Pole Buoy 2015l

       In Darkness 4 hr interval readings 2015l November 1 to 8 2015 1st thermistor called 31 (in blue)   is always colder than surface air (in red).

   2015l  December 1-7 2015,  always colder or equal.     Top thermistor wonderfully  matches optical physics observations well in darkness or spring.   Likewise,  I have filmed in darkness no ice horizons very close to astronomical horizon as in spring,  the warming of surface to air interface occurs rarely during the long Polar night.  

    2015l January 1-7 2016,  the data is overwhelming,  top of sea ice is always colder or equal to surface air.  [Or perhaps inside snow next to ice, but snow sensor did not seem operational].

    Sun presence might have affected a few readings,  2015l September 22-29 2015     

          Top of sea ice is always colder or equal than surface air,  this is a profound conclusion from refraction observations.   Adding a better view of  the complexity of sea ice thermal physics.    WD April 28 ,2016.