the Air Vent

Because the world needs another opinion

31 Years of July 27ths

Posted by Jeff Id on July 28, 2009

The Arctic ice is very dynamic, however this year looks to me like it could set the record for the lowest sea ice level recorded in the last 31 years. The continued shrinkage is getting pretty clear yet is still minor. I’m predicting a nice new batch of headlines this year.



20090727I don’t understand why ice shows in the great lakes. There certainly isn’t any ice there. I wonder what happened, older years have more of it yet it isn’t real? !!

11 Responses to “31 Years of July 27ths”

  1. Jeff Id said

    Some things I noticed above

    The heavy melt years (last 3) pulled away from the bering strait very early in the melt. This year the ice is well back there as well as at the top of the picture. Which is different from 2007 even. In 07 that didn’t happen until later in the season.

    The 09 year has visually higher (whiter) ice levels in the remaining ice than 07 and 08 but some of the gray scale variance is definitely clouds drifting over the ice.

    In the 1986,1985 years the ice had pulled away from the island (Svalbard Norway I think) at the top of the images. Yet it was minimally receeded from the bering strait (bottom of the image).

  2. Antonio San said

    Jeff, we all know the Arctic Sea Ice extent is related to atmospheric circulation patterns and has nothing to do with CO2 concentration.
    Therefore it is important to appreciate the situation in Europe for the past weeks: a similar setting to what happened in 2007 was covering this area. Eastern Europe was covered by a powerful AA creating a heat dome -Bulgaria had a heatwave- while all MPHs from Greenland origin were affecting western Europe and dislocating on the AA over Germany resulting in poor weather in most western Europe. The result was pushing vigorously the warm air advection towards Scandinavia and then toward the Arctic.
    This dynamical situation focused warm air advection and the resulting pattern led to an acceleration of sea ice melt.
    This week, satellite images show a slight change, as the AA now englobes western Europe (Scandinavian MPHs) and Greenland origin MPHs dislocate at the level of the British Isles -hence the UK Met correction about a less than stellar summer in the UK-. Consequently the melting rate deccelerated. Should the present type of conditions maintain themselves, we may see a stabilization of the melt and might simply not repeat the record lows.
    Again this is a dynamic situation. The decline recorded since the mid-1960s reflects the atmospheric lower layers dynamism, a renewed one in a rapid mode of circulation. (Reference: Marcel Leroux)

  3. Pierre Gosselin said

    The melting rate will slow down in about 10 – 15 days. Last year the rate didn’t slow down until end of August.
    My feeling is that it will end up a tick above last year’s level, making it the third highest ice melt in recorded history!

  4. Pierre Gosselin said
    Critical will be what happens end of August – September.
    Are there any longterm forecasts (15-60 days) for the Arctic?

  5. Murray Duffin said

    Just got home from a 4 week visit to Stockholm, St. Petersburg, Copenhagen, The North Cape, Svalbard (Longyearbyen) and the edge of the Arctic Ice Pack. We had 5 days of near full sunshine in the month and about 5 days of 50% sun/cloud. The rest was almost entirely overcast. Daytime highs were near the bottom end of the range for most sites, and were below the bottom I could find on the Internet for Copenhagen and North Cape the days we were there. Longyearbyen may have had summer the day we were there, with clear skies all morning, and a balmy high of 38 degrees F. Mainly North winds for the 5 days we spent north of 70 degrees, and we encountered about 15% (eyeball estimate) ice at 80 degrees 1 minute north, ( max temp of 33 degrees F for the day) about 70 miles west of Svalbard. Floe ice extended about 1/2 a degree farther south, suggesting that the north wind was thinning the edge of the icepack. July seems to have been very cool for far north Europe, with the exception of 12 july when the max. was 86 degrees F at Hoenigswei (Norway), or so we were told. It snowed there on 9 July and had a high of near 50 degrees F on 15 July per verbal reports from residents. Shrinking of the ice pack again may be more due to wind than temperature.

  6. Jeff Id said

    #5 Sounds like a great trip.

  7. Kenneth Fritsch said

    So 31 pictures/maps are worth more than one graph – if you can put them all on a single page.

  8. Layman Lurker said

    Jeff, you might like this article. It seems to confirm something which you have seen in your animations of arctic ice. I linked to it from Climate Depot.

  9. Antonio San said

    OT: Environment Canada should get their story right for a change:

    In the Vancouver — The Canadian Press Last updated on Thursday, Jul. 30, 2009 12:49PM EDT ” “A very strong ridge of high pressure is currently dominating all of B.C.,” said Gary Dickinson, a meteorologist with Environment Canada. “The ridge of high pressure also brought up from the south very warm air, which was responsible for the record-breaking temperatures.”

    And now in the Jane Armstrong Vancouver — From Friday’s Globe and Mail Last updated on Friday, Jul. 31, 2009 01:04AM EDT “As forecasters we care about two things: Is the wind blowing onshore or offshore? And if you answer that question, you can tell a lot about the weather. If the wind blows offshore for a prolonged period of time, a heat wave sets in.”

    So dear Environment Canada… did the wind that caused the 2009 heatwave blow from the South -ocean- or from the East -land-? ROTFLOL!!!!!!!

    ““As forecasters we care about two things: Is the wind blowing onshore or offshore?” says Mr. Jones, meteorologist for Environment Canada.

    And at least we know where the Hot Air is coming from…

  10. Pierre Gosselin said

    Maybe I’m being prematurely cocky, but I’m sticking to my prediction made in No.3.

    Are you still sticking to your record low level prediction?

    2008 was an especially long melting season, where the rate of melting didn’t decelerate until early September. Most years the melting rate decelerates mid August – which means we’ve got about two more weeks of full blast melting befotre the curve starts turning east, and then later north.
    Though probably not the biggest factor, but Arctic surface temps have been subdued.

  11. Pierre Gosselin said

    The period August 9 – 17 shows average freezing temps in far northern Canada.
    We always had the county fair in my hometown in Vermont around Aug. 20 when I was a kid. I remember the evenings/nights really beginning to get nippy. Of course that was way back in the days before GW.

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