This is What A Fossil Fuel Dystopia Looks Like — The Arctic Sea Ice is Breaking Up North of Greenland in June

The Arctic sea ice is breaking up to the north of Greenland during June. It’s the fossil fuel burning global dystopia phrase of the day. Another cognitive dissonance producing instance of something that would have never happened without the added heat kick provided by human-forced climate change. But now, with atmospheric CO2 topping out at near 408 ppm during May of this year, it appears that all sorts of weather weirdness is currently possible.

Arctic Sea Ice breaking up north of Greenland in June

(1-3 mile wide cracks appear in the sea ice north of Greenland in this NASA satellite shot on June 19 of 2016. For reference, bottom edge of frame is 400 miles. Image source: LANCE MODIS.)

It was an odd break-up spurred by the onrush of warm winds rising up from Continental North America. These winds of climate change fueled record temperatures as they crossed the northern islands of the Canadian Archipelago over the past week. On Axel Heiburg Island, temperatures hit near 54 degrees F (12.3 C) along the 80 degree North Latitude line. Readings that are about 15-20 degrees F (7 to 12 C) above average for this time of year and highly anomalous readings for what should be a permanently frozen island.

These southerly winds then bore the record warm to near record warm airs across a region just north of Greenland — pushing temperatures over this section of the Arctic Ocean into the mid to upper 30s. This extra heat was then enough to shatter the thinning ice. 1-3 Mile wide cracks opened up as the ice drifted off its moorings between Northern Greenland and the North Pole.

image

(Warm, moist winds flowing over the Canadian Archipelago and into the Arctic Ocean on June 15-18 set up conditions that shattered sea ice to the North of Greenland. Image capture at 00:00 UTC on June 18 by Earth Nullschool.)

Now, the entire Arctic Ocean ice pack from the Beaufort to the East Siberian Sea, to the Laptev, across the Kara and north of the Barents on to north of Greenland and the Canadian Archipelago is floating free in June. A condition that was unheard of in August or September just a decade and a half ago, but one that is now occurring before the Summer Solstice.

Overall, for this time of year, Arctic sea ice extent remains in or near record low ranges despite weather conditions that would have traditionally helped to preserve sea ice. Storms over the central ice have provided cloudy conditions, preventing direct sunlight from hitting the ice and speeding melt. However, despite these conditions, temperatures over most of the Arctic have remained above average — with some regions along the coast experiencing substantially above average temperatures.

Record Low Sea Ice Extent June 19

(Arctic sea ice extent continues in record low ranges on June 19 of 2016 according to JAXA’s sea ice monitor.)

After record Arctic warmth this Winter and Spring, storms churning over the sea ice during June have done little to prevent continued record low extents throughout the Northern Polar zone or to disallow strange events like the early-season break-up of ice to the north of Greenland. To the contrary, we have numerous instances where storms are drawing in warm, wet winds from the south and are increasingly dumping rainfall over the sea ice. A condition that also tends to speed melt.

By yesterday, Japan’s sea ice measure (JAXA) had dropped to 9,730,000 square kilometers or about three days ahead of record melt year 2012’s all time low line. Rates of loss steepened over recent days as the anomalous Arctic heat bit in and numerous shattered ice flows lost integrity under relentless elemental punishment.

Rainstorms Over Arctic Sea Ice

(Rainstorms over Arctic sea ice, like this one which is predicted to form by Tuesday in the GFS Model, can be even more damaging to ice coverage than direct sunlight. High amplitude Jet Stream waves often deliver these storms — born upon warm, wet winds — to the Arctic during summers that have now been dramatically warmed by human fossil fuel emissions. Image source: Climate Reanalyzer GFS capture for 00:00 UTC Tuesday June 21.)

Record low sea ice extents for 2016 are likely to continue to have an influence on Northern Hemisphere weather — assisting the formation of high amplitude Jet Stream wave patterns. These waves are associated with extreme and persistent weather conditions to include — heatwaves, droughts, wildfires and floods. One such wave pattern is now facilitating record hot temperatures and increased wildfire hazards over the US West and has the potential to set off heatwaves over the Alaskan and Canadian Arctic even as anomalous rainstorms form over wide sections of the Arctic Ocean during the next couple of weeks.

Links:

LANCE MODIS

Earth Nullschool

Climate Reanalyzer

JAXA

Hat tip to Cate

Hat tip to DT Lange

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90 Comments

  1. One of the most exceptional events in history of man, and you seem to be the only journalist who understands its importance.

    This is the end of the era where incident radiation and albedo control GIS melt. We are entering the era when latent heat drives ice melt, and the tempering effect of sea ice is gone, so the entire NH can act as a solar collector for the GIS.

    The GIS is now the cold pole of the NH. This dramatic collapse of the size of the northern cold pole will have huge effects on atmospheric circulation.

    Reply
    • Nailed it. Storms and weather will cycle around Greenland increasingly. Now there’s an unstable weather joy brought to you courtesy of Exxon et all. It’s off-set and unstable and very stormy. Watch out North Atlantic. Watch out Europe. Watch out Northeast Canada and US East Coast…

      What a mess. I’m going for jog. Hope I don’t die of heat stroke. Drink water!

      Reply
      • Cate

         /  June 20, 2016

        Gulp. Looks like we’ll be doing some major battening-down of hatches out here on The Rock.

        Reply
  2. Phil

     /  June 20, 2016

    Yep, very interesting situation in the arctic at the moment. I see a lot of comments on Neven’s site between people about the outcome in 2016 relative to 2012 and the role of low pressure, cyclones and clouds versus dominant high pressure systems and direct sunlight and the potential enabling role of the earlier damage in May offsetting the more cloudy conditions so far in June. Things seem very dynamic and fluid at the moment.

    Will be interesting to see how things pan out over the next month or two.

    Reply
  3. Kevin Jones

     /  June 20, 2016

    Spent the past three weeks stripping asphalt shingles and replacing rot on a 20′ by 80′ roof. Reading myself to sleep with The Arctic Grail: The Quest for the Northwest Passage and The North Pole, 1818-1909. By Canadian historian Pierre Berton. An astonishing read. Not one of the hundreds of those explorer/’adventurists’ would believe any of this. Their ignorance is understandable. Ours is unacceptable. Crystal Serenity is not what they would have named their Hell Ships! Not what we should name ours…..

    Reply
    • Cate

       /  June 20, 2016

      Ah, Kevin, great read! Polar exploration is an endlessly fascinating subject and Berton is an excellent guide to it. Those expeditions were the moon landings of their day but without all the high-tech and support–what incredible courage, physical toughness, and strength of spirit those men had, and yes, whatever would they make of their Arctic or Antarctic today, barely 100 years on? What’s happening would beggar their belief.

      May I recommend two recent reads of mine, both of them based on first-hand accounts:

      “Captain Scott” by Ranulf Fiennes. A moving account of the ill-fated Antarctic expedition.

      “Karluk” by William Laird McKinlay. This is a “great untold story of Arctic exploration” told by one of the survivors. Excellent read.

      I bought both of these books in the UK a few years ago so they may be out of print, but you may be able to find them through your public library.

      Reply
    • Loni

       /  June 21, 2016

      At 63, and having been a fan of Polar Exploration since my mother handed me a copy of Admiral Byrd’s ‘Alone’ when I was in my early 20’s, I’ve got a nice collection of polar accountants, one of which is the ‘Marvelous Wonders of the Polar World’ which was reduced from the narratives of Lieut. Greely, Commander Schley, Lieut. Danenhower, et al, edited by Herman Dieck, A.M. 1885, and indeed, these times would be unimaginable to those adventurous boys.

      For those brave souls, and the likes of the men and women that we are blessed to have in the field today, the ‘hallowed ground’ that they’ve ‘consecrated’ is evaporating from the face of the earth……..and so too their stories.

      These weather convulsions know no bounds.

      Reply
  4. Cate

     /  June 20, 2016

    “Breathing space for the Gulf Stream”—a little good news, perhaps? A model suggests that Greenland meltwater appears not to be influencing the AMOC—yet, although the authors point out that as the conclusions are based on the model, actual changes in the rate or amount of meltwater will of course change the predicted outcome.

    Also reported by Chris Mooney in the Washington Post.

    http://www.geomar.de/en/news/article/atempause-fuer-den-golfstrom/

    Reply
    • Phew! Nice to get a bit of breathing room once in a while. It’ll still have an effect on the AMOC eventually, just not abruptly like the movie.

      Reply
      • It was never going to be like the movie. In any case, I think we already have evidence that the Gulf Stream is getting hammered. This model appears to be missing a few bits.

        Reply
      • So we’ve had a 10 percent weakening in the Gulf Stream thus far. I think the argument now is over whether melt will shut it down completely or how much melt is needed to shut it down completely.

        It is worth noting that current changes have been happening in a somewhat unexpected fashion and this may wiggle the effects of ocean stratification a bit. But the overall trend is for weakening and related extreme weather.

        Reply
  5. Zack Labe ‏@ZLabe 2h2 hours ago

    A look at today’s #MODIS (Terra) land surface temperatures. Color map restricted for scale of approx 125°F – 152°F:

    Reply
  6. NW Pacific – Japan
    Weather Mizumoto ‏@hepomodeler 10h10 hours ago

    Severe downpours marching across N Kyushu

    Reply
  7. USA – California wildfires burn:

    Zack Labe ‏@ZLabe 45m45 minutes ago

    Current view of smoke from #ReservoirFire and #FishFire just outside of #LosAngeles on today’s #MODIS (Aqua, 250 m)

    Reply
  8. ” … we have numerous instances where storms are drawing in warm, wet winds from the south and are increasingly dumping rainfall over the sea ice. A condition that also tends to speed melt.” – RS

    – That’s what I see happening — the ice melting warm and moist air cycling up into the Polar regions. The atmosphere above me visibly dense with moisture whether in clouds, plumes, or rivers. (Plus there is plenty of aerosol particulate up there too.)
    – The storms keep forming.

    Reply
  9. – “… they’ve also submitted a similar proposal for two cold-­dependent insects in Glacier National Park. ”

    The Joshua Tree May Force Us to Address Climate Change
    The national park’s namesake tree may be designated endangered

    Last fall, WildEarth Guardians petitioned the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to add the iconic Joshua tree—a spindly, long-living succulent in the Southwest—to the endangered species list. If the service agrees, it will be the first time a species gets protection as a direct result of the impact of climate change. (In 2008, the FWS agreed to designate the polar bear threatened but not endangered.) This would mean that factors con­tributing to climate change, like fossil-fuel extraction, could become highly reg­ulated near the park. “It could be a game changer,” says WildEarth’s Tay­lor Jones.

    Most models pre­dict Joshua tree ­habitat loss of 90 per­cent within the next 50 to 100 years due to climate-change-fueled drought. And just because 14 per­cent of Joshua trees reside in ­national parks doesn’t mean they’re somehow less vulnerable. “Climate change knows no borders, and some studies found that their habitat might be some of the hardest hit going ­forward,” says Jones. Fish and Wildlife is expected to issue an opinion soon, but ­activ­ists say that they will continue the fight even if the tree isn’t designated—they’ve also submitted a similar proposal for two cold-­dependent insects in Glacier National Park.

    – outsideonline.com/2091656/joshua-tree-may-force-us-address-climate-change

    Reply
  10. The interesting thing about the nature of this breakup line along the boundary of quite thick old ice and thinner new stuff is that it is the result of more than a warm breeze from Canada nudging the ice cap towards the North Pole. Since the Arctic tides are quite modest right now, no more than 4 or 5 feet of range, the primary agent doing the push must be oceanic currents. Lets see some data on that.

    Reply
    • Thinner ice is more subject to a variety of forces. The ice here is thinner than it’s ever been. The primary cause of the break up is added Arctic heat.

      Reply
  11. Andy in SD

     /  June 21, 2016

    Yikes,

    Roberts post led me to look at the temp forecasts in the Canadian Arctic. If you look at temperature, and slide the date to the forecasts for the 26th through July 1st, check those forecasts out. That looks like a blow dryer.

    https://www.windyty.com/?temp,2016-07-02-00,80.000,-83.057,4

    Reply
    • Andy in SD

       /  June 21, 2016

      88F forecast on July 1st for Inuvik. Roads will buckle and be a mess.

      https://www.windyty.com/68.353/-133.720?temp,2016-07-02-00,68.654,-131.987,8

      Reply
      • That is just nuts. We had a near 100K drop in sea ice over past 24 hours. Rate of loss speeding up again.

        Reply
      • Yup. IJIS reported about 70K drop in extent today. The ice may also get dispersed by a fairly strong cyclone crossing from the Laptev towards the Beaufort, dragging a huge plume of moisture with it. That dispersion means the sea ice extent may not drop precipitously, but it will precondition the ice for later significant melt.

        The Kara and Laptev get soaked with rain in a couple of days, and there’s a plume crossing into the Chukchi from the Bering bringing *more*.

        Now, add the expansion of the heat dome (with it’s 50C temps in CA, AZ & NV…) driving NE out of the US Southwest into the Canadian Arctic, and I expect things will get pretty lively towards the middle of next week.

        Reply
        • I’ve got a 95 K drop over past 24 hours from JAXA. That’s pretty huge considering all the dispersal going on. The volume numbers must be getting hell.

          Qualifier — the only current daily volume numbers are DMI. And they show volume losses lagging somewhat. However, these are a bit suspicious as they show 16 feet of sea ice thickness north of Greenland and in other regions were the ice is already broken and scattered (such as the Beaufort). US Navy models and IJIS shows 2-3 meter (6-10 foot) over some of the same regions. This implies that the DMI volume measure may be over-shooting more than a bit. PIOMAS only updates monthly. So we’ll have to wait for that measure to come in.

          To this point, I’d like to add that we have a lot of sensors and models looking at the Arctic and some of these send contradictory signals. The idea is to look at the overall trend and attempt to get a good idea what’s going on. However, there are a lot of measures. So it can be difficult separaring signal from noise. The measures I’ve found to be most steady and reliable are NSIDC extent, NSIDC area (gone now with the sensor problem from earlier this year), and IJIS/JAXA sea ice area. PIOMAS volume is the better of the two volume measures. DMI tends to wag quite a bit and can be subject to irratic indicators. The US Navy ARCc model is also the better of the two predicted US Navy models. LANCE MODIS provides a good visual shot.

      • Robert, someone just posted on the ASIF in the 2016 melt season thread with images from the aircraft data collection flights from this year. The ice in the CAB just north of the CAA looks to be around 4m+ with a thick layer of snow on it. This ice won’t melt out, although there’s a slight chance it’ll get pushed into the Beaufort.

        however, farther into the basin, thickness drops off precipitously and most of the ice north of 80 on the line between ~ alaska to the pole looks to be less than 2m

        Reply
        • In most of the monitors, there’s a thin line of 3 to maybe 4 meter thick ice just north of the CAA.

          See here: US NAVY Ice Thickness

          And here: JAXA

          The rest of it is of the 2-3 meter thick variety with very small regions of higher thickness.

          What I find odd is that the ice that is sometimes indicated as thick is fracturing right now. EOSDIS shows extensive fracturing out to 85 N and 112 W. In addition, the zone near 84 N and 46 W is breaking up as well.

          It doesn’t look very resilient to me.

          As for snow cover on the ice — what snow cover? Basically thin to zero snow depth on the ice pack at this time. And the only places where snow is left is on Greenland, on a few islands in the CAA, and here and there in the Arctic Highlands, and in a small section of Northern Siberia.

          No snow

          In any case, my general forecast now is for a 55 percent chance to hit a new record low in at least one measure by September. Blue Ocean down to 25 percent. Will continue to revise as the season progresses. But this one is shaping up to be either bad or worse.

        • 973 mb low in the Laptev and CAB over past 24 hours. That’s just 7 mb shy of TGAC of 2012.

          One more point is that summer of 2016 above the 80 North line has so far been about as warm as 2012 despite more extensive cloud cover.

          See 2012:

          2012

          vs 2016:

          2016

  12. Jay M

     /  June 21, 2016

    Lack of clouds over the southwest
    first big complex of the summer

    Reply
  13. – Very telling minimum temps — wherever they happen.
    Nothing really cools — with a lot of retained heat. And ready to rapidly heat up again.
    Lots of drain on the grid.
    With little cool down you get fewer temp gradients, it seems to me — which likely means lighter breezes locally.

    – Zack Labe impresses me with his informative finds/Tweets.

    Reply
  14. – A sidelight to the situation in the Laptev area is something I came across while sleuthing — is the possibility of seismic activity on the undersea Gakkel Ridge. (It’s new to me but what goes on undersea will effect the surface as well.)
    – A basic map:

    Reply
    • – It may be too deep to matter much but anything that agitates the surface can be problematic for vulnerable ice.
      – I could just be ‘looking for trouble’ too.🙂

      Geologists Discover Signs of Volcanoes Blowing their Tops in the Deep Ocean
      Evidence of Violent Eruptions on Gakkel Ridge in the Arctic Defies Assumptions about Seafloor Pressure and Volcanism
      SHARE THIS:

      June 26, 2008NOTE: Many readers have inquired about whether the Arctic volcanism described here might be a cause of the melting of the polar ice cap. The answer is “no,” and you can learn more here.

      A research team led by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) has uncovered evidence of explosive volcanic eruptions deep beneath the ice-covered surface of the Arctic Ocean. Such violent eruptions of splintered, fragmented rock—known as pyroclastic deposits—were not thought possible at great ocean depths because of the intense weight and pressure of water and because of the composition of seafloor magma and rock.

      Researchers found jagged, glassy rock fragments spread out over a 10 square kilometer (4 square mile) area around a series of small volcanic craters about 4,000 meters (2.5 miles) below the sea surface. The volcanoes lie along the Gakkel Ridge, a remote and mostly unexplored section of the mid-ocean ridge system that runs through the Arctic Ocean.

      “These are the first pyroclastic deposits we’ve ever found in such deep water, at oppressive pressures that inhibit the formation of steam…

      https://www.whoi.edu/page.do?pid=7545&tid=3622&cid=44586

      Reply
      • Greenland rebounding as the weight of ice decreases will not be a benign force on the Gakkel Ridge. Another Arctic feedback loop that may take us by surprise!

        Reply
      • Abel Adamski

         /  June 21, 2016

        Quite some weight being lost with the Canadian and Alaskan and Siberian melt also. Sone very substantial land ice there, have read Canada’s glaciers are not dwarfed by Greenland

        Reply
      • Please don’t. There’s been a number of times I’ve seen people try to build up volcanic activity along spreading centers in the Arctic has having something to do with ice loss.

        The heat required just isn’t there. It scarcely raises the transfer from depth (about 4 watts/M2) above back ground. Any additional heat flow is dwarfed by insolation, warm ocean currents and weather by more than 5 orders of magnitude.

        You could have a daily VEI 2-3 eruption in the Arctic and still barely dent the ice. Sun and climate rule the Arctic.

        Reply
        • Jeff’s right in the sense that this is often over-played and has been played in such a way as to distract from the AGW issue. In a perfect world, we could explore what’s going on without having to worry about people gaming and distorting scientific information to create the wrong impression. Unfortunately, the big push to delay an energy transition and overall AGW mitigation makes pretty much everything at the margins a football. Same issue with Arctic methane. The gist of the meme is — ‘we can’t do anything about this, so why try’ — when it should be — ‘we really don’t want to mess around with this outlier runaway warming stuff, so we should get off the up ramp as fast as possible.’

        • As for volcanoes — as a net forcing they’re basically a near zero when compared to AGW, as you saliently note. They may be an issue when it comes to geophysical changes related to warming with local or regional impacts. And you’re absolutely right to point out that the possible forcing on hydrate due to potential volcanism spikes related to AGW spurred geophysical change isn’t anywhere near as much of an issue as the overall massive heat pulse coming from warming itself.

          Everyone that covers climate change looks at that measure showing accumulated hiroshima equivalent heat in the Earth System due to AG. That’s 4 hiroshima bombs worth of added heat forcing going off every second. Or about 1.2 million per decade. Or the heat yield from a 200 gigaton explosion every ten years. There’s no way volcanism can match that, even on a temporary basis at a local level. You’d need to have a Mt St. Helens equivalent explosion going off every hour 24/7 for ten years straight. Basically many times a powerful volcanic prominence like a Siberian flood basalt.

      • Changes in geothermal heat flows could wreak havoc on clathrates, or permafrost capping gas deposits. Ordinary volcanism would likely only affect small areas, but the formation or refilling of larger magma chambers could have regional effects, which include driving vertical ocean turbulence that change basin-wide ocean currents which then affect other clathrate deposits. These changes in ocean currents might be short term, but could affect agriculture for a couple of years, and we no longer keep more than a few months crop carryover.

        Fifty years ago, this kind of thing was not as plausible as polar deep waters were cooled by rejected brine from sea ice formation. Today, there is not so much deep water cooling.

        All in all, i consider seafloor volcanism to be just part of the general geologic hazard risk, which is many orders of magnitude below the AGW risk. Which is not to say that “noise” from geologic hazards could not make AGW effects abruptly unpleasant.

        Reply
        • You’d have to have a highly concentrated clathrate deposit in order for this to happen. The issue is that the AGW forcing is on the total global and Arctic formation. Such a large net forcing over such a broad area is what generates the higher risk of added impacts.

          As noted above, you’d need a very large volcanic prominence to compete with AGW’s scale and overall effect. We’ve had underwater volcanism for some time now over various regions. Some of which are co-located to methane zones. We may have even had large local methane blow outs as a result. But the wag on global methane for the past 50 million + years has maybe been in the 100-200 ppb range as an outlier. You’ve got to go back to the PETM with India riding over carbon rich ocean bottoms to find even a potential set of evidence to support a larger geological caused emission.

      • Kevin Jones

         /  June 21, 2016

        Oh, the damn maths. Human population has grown approx. 1.4 billion since 1998. Earth has accumulated 2.4 billion Hiroshima bombs’ worth of heat since then.

        Reply
        • Fossil fuel burning directly related to the amount of heat accumulated. Added impact comes from added fossil fuel based consumption at the top of economic spectrums. 1.4 billion people living on renewables and sustainable farming wouldn’t be anywhere near the same kind of problem as adding 1.4 billion people at the same time that China was relying on coal for the bulk of its energy.

  15. redskylite

     /  June 21, 2016

    RS – Many thanks for the great article on the drama happening in the high latitudes. . . startling and frightening.

    Over and over again, oceanographers are patiently explaining that coral reefs are vital for maintaining mankind’s continued existence. So many lives and livelihoods depend upon them. Earlier in this posting, denial bill board advertisements were shown as an example of the callousness of the fossil fuel business. A pity the fossil burning business did not shown some concern and draw attention to our sick coral reefs on the billboards instead. To quote John Abraham in today’s Guardian “I have often said that global warming is really ocean warming. As humans add more heat-trapping gases to the atmosphere, it causes the Earth to gain energy. Almost all of that energy ends up in the oceans.”

    What an effect that energy is having, not only are the world coral reefs in decline, so are vital kelp forests off California.

    Vital California kelp forests vanishing due to global warming.

    Large tracts of the giant seaweed along hundreds of miles of coast have vanished in the past few years in a transformation so rapid that it has startled scientists. Aerial surveys of kelp north of San Francisco from 2008 to 2014 by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) revealed a 93% decline — and quickly growing even worse. The seaweed forests are considered among the most productive ecosystems on the planet.

    http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/vital-california-kelp-forests-vanishing-global-warming-1566542

    Reply
  16. Spike

     /  June 21, 2016

    Brilliant and hugely informative article Robert – I’m not as clued up as many on here are about sea ice, and rely on you to keep me informed, for which many thanks. The wheels on the bus are looking increasingly wobbly. Here’s another one squeaking in the heat.

    A study says temperatures are rising faster than the development of crop varieties that can cope with a warmer world. In Africa, researchers found that it can take 10-30 years before farmers can grow a new breed of maize. By the time these new crops are planted, they face a warmer environment than they were developed in.

    None of this will surprise anyone on here as we have noted several times a consistent tendency to underplay and underestimate the gravity of the threats now becoming obvious with each season. The reasons for this are a fascinating insight into the nature of human society and psychology.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-36579125

    Reply
  17. Colorado Bob

     /  June 21, 2016

    Well, one piece of good news about wildfires ……………….. One seems to have started in the Trump Tower. (Metaphorically)

    Reply
  18. Phil

     /  June 21, 2016

    Decent size storm brewing up in the Arctic on Earth Null School. Will be interesting to see what impact it has on the sea ice.

    Reply
  19. I will be honest..the gut anxiety I have been experiencing in the past few months has been intensifying exponentially. I just can’t believe that these life altering events are happening at such a rapid pace…but all we can talk about 24/7 is the Orange Vulgarian.
    What is wrong with us as a species?

    Reply
  20. Henri

     /  June 21, 2016

    When you don’t think the terrible side of it all, it is an interesting race between 2012 and 2016 for the minimum extent. 2012 early June had a massive head start on surface melt and melt ponds but has the lower extent this year made up for it by ‘sucking’ more heat into the sea despite cloudy skies? 2012 has nearly catch up the big lead 2016 had in May and still has a big lead on surface melt.

    2016 on the other hand has a much more fragmented ice pack and smaller ice fragments are more vulnerable to melting because of their higher surface area to volume ratio and because they are more easily moved on top of warmer waters by the winds. Now we also have warmer surface waters on the pacific side. Luckily there is no significant current there to the arctic but it’s a heat reserve passing air can suck and transport on top of the ice pack.

    I am still fairly confident 2012 extent minimum will hold out as the record this year. My concern aside from harmful weather is whether all the added heat can extend the melting season in September when every day is crucial for the remaining integrity of the ice. Despite not quite similar to 2011 this summer has the same ‘feel’ to it and it was the ground work for the 2012 record. So I’m hoping this summer will hold out and that we get a false recovery summer 2017 much akin to the 2013.

    Reply
  21. Kevin Jones

     /  June 21, 2016

    Day 172, 2016 in at 55,000 sq. km. below day 172, 2012. Arctic Sea Ice Extent. NSIDC Charctic graph shows.

    Reply
  22. Kevin Jones

     /  June 21, 2016

    Sorry. Down 75,000 sq. km. [note to self: use pencil & paper. Not head!]

    Reply
  23. Kevin Jones

     /  June 21, 2016

    29,000 sq. mi. Smaller than South Carolina. Larger than West Virginia…..

    Reply
  24. climatehawk1

     /  June 21, 2016

    Tweet scheduled.

    Reply
  25. wili

     /  June 21, 2016

    http://www.thebigwobble.org/2016/06/india-burning-unbearable-heat-due-to-90.html

    “India burning! Unbearable heat due to the 90% humidity factor as temperatures hit 43.2 degrees Celsius (110F) ”

    Anyone know how to turn this into wet bulb temperature?

    Reply
  26. June

     /  June 21, 2016

    This will be a welcome development if people follow the guidelines. I wish the US would do likewise, but too much political pressure from the meat industry.

    “China’s plan to cut meat consumption by 50% cheered by climate campaigners”

    New dietary guidelines could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 1bn tonnes by 2030, and could lessen country’s problems with obesity and diabetes

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jun/20/chinas-meat-consumption-climate-change

    Reply
  27. Colorado Bob

     /  June 21, 2016

    Global coral bleaching could land heavy blow on Florida’s recovering reefs

    Global bleaching now largest and longest on record

    Scientists fear end of El Niño could trigger even more bleaching in Florida corals

    Region lost 30 percent of reef after a 1998 bleaching
    Scientists fear a global bleaching event that has now become the largest on record could hit Florida’s 220-mile reef tract, the nation’s only shallow inshore reef. Don Kincaid Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary

    Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/environment/article85008222.html#storylink=cpy

    Reply
  28. Greg

     /  June 21, 2016

    Ludovico Einaudi Elegy for the Arctic via Greenpeace and Peter Sinclair:

    Reply
  29. Greg

     /  June 21, 2016

    A follow-up to Robert’s article regarding electrified trucking/transportation is written by Joseph Romm regarding the electrification/hybridization of aircraft. Airbus aims to develop “zero-emissions aviation.” NASA has begun working on an effort “to help a significant portion of the aircraft industry transition to electrical propulsion within the next decade.” :
    http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2016/06/21/3789861/nasa-airbus-electric-hybrid-planes/

    Reply
    • Greg

       /  June 21, 2016

      I got as far as a solo flight with my training in a Cessna 152 but always felt, long before I knew the costs of the pollution, that I was trapped behind my noise dampening headset in a vibrating, noisy, sardine can, that was as inelegant as could be contrived by engineers. I hope to ride in NASA’s x-57, or similar, in the near future:

      Reply
    • A zero emissions aircraft is a pretty big deal. As with automobiles, the move will probably include a number of hybrid models. But, to me, the electrification of aircraft like the X 57 is pretty exciting.

      http://www.wired.com/2016/06/nasas-new-electric-plane-looks-goofy-packs-sweet-tech/

      All those extra motors are for take-off apparently. And this thing, as Greg notes above, like an EV, is pretty amazingly quiet.

      Reply
  30. – Based on a UC Santa Barbara Bren School study:

    How your clothes are poisoning our oceans and food supply

    New studies show that alarming numbers of tiny fibers from synthetic fabrics are making their way from your washing machine into aquatic animals

    In an alarming study released Monday, researchers at the University of California at Santa Barbara found that, on average, synthetic fleece jackets release 1.7 grams of microfibers each wash. It also found that older jackets shed almost twice as many fibers as new jackets. The study was funded by outdoor clothing manufacturer Patagonia, a certified B Corp that also offers grants for environmental work.

    “These microfibers then travel to your local wastewater treatment plant, where up to 40% of them enter rivers, lakes and oceans,” according to findings published on the researchers’ website.
    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/jun/20/microfibers-plastic-pollution-oceans-patagonia-synthetic-clothes-microbeads

    Reply
  31. Here’s the ASIF post with the images from the aircraft ice and snow measurements. Really interesting stuff.

    http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,1484.msg80930.html#msg80930

    Reply
  1. This is What A Fossil Fuel Dystopia Looks Like — The Arctic Sea Ice is Breaking Up North of Greenland in June | GarryRogers Nature Conservation

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