Climate Science News

November 2017: tracking water bodies

AVISO Climate Change News - Fri, 2017-11-17 06:43
Jason-3 altimeter has a Digital Elevation Model tracking mode designed to overcome side reflections from steep-bkaned rivers
Categories: Climate Science News

[Sentinel-3A] New version of Non-Time-Critical Sentinel-3A L2P products

AVISO Climate Change News - Fri, 2017-11-17 01:49
These products are processed by the Sentinel-3 L2P/L3 Marine Altimetry Service (CNES/CLS), in the frame of a EUMETSAT contract, funded by the European Union.  The new version 02_00 is disseminated by AVISO+ via ftp or AVISO+ CNES Data Center (see the product sheet) and it will also be disseminated by EUMETSAT (via EUMETCast,  EUMETSAT Data Centre and potentially via CODA). Note that the last cycle produced in version 01_00 has already been delivered (cycle 22). The next cycle 23 will be produced only in version 02_00.  With this new version:
  • the input data are the “spring 2017 reprocessed” version of input NTC L2 products fully detailed in the EUMETSAT S3A STM reprocessing technical note
  • the standards are the same as in 01_00 version
  • new cycles are available (cycles 5 to 11)
Categories: Climate Science News

5-12 November 2017 week

AVISO Climate Change News - Thu, 2017-11-16 06:38
Le cri d’alarme de quinze mille scientifiques sur l’état de la planète (Le Monde, 2017/11/13) COP23 : comment les pays s’engagent-ils pour l’océan et le climat ? (Le Monde, 2017/11/12) Africa’s Great Lake Hanging in the Balance (Earth Observatory, 2017/11/09) Le renouvellement de l’océan profond contraint par la forme du relief sous-marin (INSU, 2017/11/08) On line availability of articles depends on the Newspaper/magazine. We can't thus certify that above articles will be freely and permanently available.
Categories: Climate Science News

Dissemination of incorrect Jason-2 IGDR products (cycles 507 to 512)

AVISO Climate Change News - Thu, 2017-11-16 02:14
Due to a wrong processing configuration, Jason-2 IGDR cycles 507 to 512 are incorrect (datation bias of over 2ms, same anomaly as for cycles 505-506). These products have been deleted from avisoftp.cnes.fr server and must be discarded. The IGDR processing configuration anomaly has been identified. Jason-2 IGDR reprocessing is ongoing. Nevertheless, these products need validation before any dissemination. We expect to be back to nominal by the middle of next week.  We apologize for the inconvenience
Categories: Climate Science News

Water Action Day at COP23 : Niger Basin Authority (NBA) collects & disseminates satellite data

AVISO Climate Change News - Wed, 2017-11-15 02:46
The Niger basin (4.200 km) encompasses 2,2 billions km² with very active phenomena, over nine countries (Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroun, Ivory Coast, Guinea, Mali, Niger, Nigeria and Chad). An authority to manage the basin was created The region has currently major security problems, leading to difficulties to maintain an in situ network. Satellites thus complement the existing network, and the Niger Basin Authority (NBA) is now disseminating satellite data over the basin. The next step will be to also use altimetry, including SWOT in the future. see http://sath.abn.ne/
Categories: Climate Science News

World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity: A Second Notice

AVISO Climate Change News - Tue, 2017-11-14 07:14
It is a solemn alert that more than 15 000 scientists from 184 countries published Monday, November 13 in the journal BioScience. Read the article
Categories: Climate Science News

COP23 - Statement on the state of the global climate by the World Meteorological Organization Secretary General

AVISO Climate Change News - Mon, 2017-11-13 03:32
The Statement was posted on the WMO website with a press release
Categories: Climate Science News

October 23 - November 4, 2017 weeks

AVISO Climate Change News - Thu, 2017-11-09 07:00
Les atolls du Pacifique résistent à la montée des eaux (Sciences et Avenir, 2017/11/03) Les forêts, poumons de la lutte mondiale contre le réchauffement climatique (Le monde, 2017/11/02) Réchauffement climatique : la bataille des 2 °C est presque perdue (Le monde, 2017/10/31) L’océan, nourrice des lagons (IRD, 2017/10/27) Sciences : l’océan Atlantique est 15 cm plus haut que la Méditerranée (Sud Ouest, 2017/10/27) Paléoclimats des 100 derniers millions d’années : l’océan n’était pas si chaud ! (INSU, 2017/10/26) Réchauffement climatique: «En 2100, la plupart des glaciers auront disparu», selon les scientifiques (20 minutes, 2017/10/23) On line availability of articles depends on the Newspaper/magazine. We can't thus certify that above articles will be freely and permanently available.
Categories: Climate Science News

Freezing in the dark

NSIDC Artic Sea Ice News - Thu, 2017-11-02 14:30

Rapid expansion of the Arctic sea ice cover is the norm for October as solar input dwindles and the remaining heat in the upper ocean is released upwards, warming the lower atmosphere and escaping to space. Because of late season growth, the seasonal Antarctic maximum we previously reported as occurring on September 15 was exceeded, with a new maximum set on October 11 and 12. This is the second-lowest and second-latest seasonal maximum extent in the satellite record.

Overview of conditions Figure 1. Arctic sea ice extent for October 2017 was6.71 million square kilometers (2.60 million square miles). The magenta line shows the 1981 to 2010 average extent for that month.

Figure 1. Arctic sea ice extent for October 2017 was 6.71 million square kilometers (2.60 million square miles). The magenta line shows the 1981 to 2010 average extent for that month. Sea Ice Index data. About the data

Credit: National Snow and Ice Data Center
High-resolution image

Arctic sea ice extent for October 2017 averaged 6.71 million square kilometers (2.60 million square miles), the fifth lowest in the 1979 to 2017 satellite record. This was 1.64 million square kilometers (633,000 square miles) below the 1981 to 2010 average and 820,000 square kilometers (317,000 square miles) above the record low October extent recorded in 2012. By the end of October, extent remained below average throughout most of the Arctic except within the Laptev Sea, which is fully ice covered. Ice growth over the month was most prominent within the Beaufort, East Siberian, and Laptev Seas and within Baffin Bay. In the Chukchi, Kara, and Barents Seas, the rate of ice growth was slower. Ice extent also remains far below average in the East Greenland Sea.

Conditions in context Figure 2a. The graph above shows Arctic sea ice extent as of November 2, 2017, along with daily ice extent data for five previous years. 2017 is shown in blue, 2016 in green, 2015 in orange, 2014 in brown, 2013 in purple, and 2012 in dotted brown. The 1981 to 2010 median is in dark gray. The gray areas around the median line show the interquartile and interdecile ranges of the data.

Figure 2a. The graph above shows Arctic sea ice extent as of November 2, 2017 along with daily ice extent data for five previous years. 2017 is shown in blue, 2016 in green, 2015 in orange, 2014 in brown, 2013 in purple, and 2012 in dotted brown. The 1981 to 2010 median is in dark gray. The gray areas around the median line show the interquartile and interdecile ranges of the data. Sea Ice Index data.

Credit: National Snow and Ice Data Center
High-resolution image

Figure 2b. This plot shows Arctic air temperature anomalies at the 925 hPa level in degrees Celsius for October 2017. Yellows and reds indicate higher than average temperatures; blues and purples indicate lower than average temperatures.

Figure 2b. This plot shows Arctic air temperature anomalies at the 925 hPa level in degrees Celsius for October 2017. Yellows and reds indicate higher than average temperatures; blues and purples indicate lower than average temperatures.

Credit: NSIDC courtesy NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory Physical Sciences Division
High-resolution image

Figure 2c. This plot shows Arctic air temperatures as a function of both height and latitudes. Above average air temperatures for the Arctic as a whole extend up to approximately 9,200 meters (30,000 feet) high in the atmosphere. Colors indicate temperatures in degrees Celsius. Yellows and reds indicate higher than average temperatures; blues and purples indicate lower than average temperatures.

Figure 2c. This plot shows Arctic air temperatures as a function of height and latitudes. Above average air temperatures for the Arctic as a whole extend up to approximately 9,200 meters (30,000 feet) altitude. Yellows and reds indicate higher than average temperatures; blues and purples indicate lower than average temperatures.

Credit: NSIDC courtesy NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory Physical Sciences Division
High-resolution image

Ice growth during October 2017 averaged 94,200 square kilometers (36,000 square miles) per day. This was 5,100 square kilometers (2,000 square miles) per day faster than the average rate of ice growth for the month. Total ice extent for the month remains more than 2 standard deviations below the 1981 to 2010 average.

October air temperatures at 925 hPa (about 3,000 feet above sea level) were 2 to 4 degrees Celsius (4 to 7 degrees Fahrenheit) above average over most of the Arctic Ocean and up to 7 degrees Celsius (13 degrees Fahrenheit) above average over the East Greenland Sea. Unusually high temperatures over the East Greenland Sea appear to largely reflect the transport of warm air from Eurasia, driven by the combination of above average sea level pressure over the Kara and Barents Seas, and below average pressure over the North Atlantic and Greenland. Elsewhere, above average near surface air temperatures reflect in part the exchange of heat from the ocean to the atmosphere as the ocean cools and sea ice forms, such as within the Chukchi Sea. A plot of temperatures as a function of both height and latitudes shows that the above average air temperatures for the Arctic as a whole extend up to approximately 9,200 meters (30,000 feet) high in the atmosphere.

October 2017 compared to previous years Figure 3. Monthly October ice extent for 1979 to 2017 shows a decline of 9.3 percent per decade.

Figure 3. Monthly October ice extent for 1979 to 2017 shows a decline of 9.3 percent per decade.

Credit: National Snow and Ice Data Center
High-resolution image

The linear rate of sea ice decline for October is 77,600 square kilometers (30,000 square miles) per year, or 9.3 percent per decade relative to the 1981 to 2010 average. While this appears as an increase in the rate of October ice retreat compared to the trend reported last year, it is not a climate signal but is rather largely a result of using a different averaging method to derive the monthly average sea ice extent values (see below).

Effects of snow salinity on CryoSat-2 ice freeboard estimates Figure 4. This schematic illustrates how salinity shifts the source of the radar signature in the icepack.

Figure 4. This schematic illustrates how salinity shifts the source of the radar signature in the icepack. Ice thickness can be over-estimated by radar satellites (CryoSat-2) when snow conditions are more saline.

Credit: V. Nandan
High-resolution image

After the end of sea ice melt season, the ocean cools and new sea ice forms. The ice crystals that form expel salt into the water. Some of this salt, or brine, is also expelled upwards to the surface of the ice or into snow that has fallen since the ice formed. The brine is then wicked upwards into the snowpack, leading to a slightly saline snowpack, ranging from 1 to 20 parts per thousand (standard seawater is about 35 parts per thousand). This saline snow is a strong reflector of radar energy.

A recent study led by the Cryosphere Climate Research Group at the University of Calgary investigated the impact of snow salinity on retrieving sea ice thickness from radar altimeters, such as CryoSat-2. The study shows that the snow layers observed over much of the Arctic’s first-year ice are salty enough to reflect the radar pulse from CryoSat-2, a radar altimeter used to measure sea ice thickness and ice sheet elevation. They calculate that a correction factor could compensate for this effect, and improve sea ice thickness measurements. While snow salinity is important, other factors, such as surface roughness and ice density also contribute to uncertainties in ice thickness, and they can potentially cancel each other out. Continued comparisons to observed thickness data is crucial to better quantify these uncertainties.

Antarctica’s double-humped sea ice maximum Figure 5. This graph shows the first and second peaks in extent during the 2017 Antarctic sea ice freeze up.

Figure 5a. This graph shows the first and second peaks in extent during the 2017 Antarctic sea ice freeze up. The extent line for the year 2002 is also shown and has a similar pattern to 2017. Sea Ice Index data. About the data

Credit: National Snow and Ice Data Center
High-resolution image

 Institute of Environmental Physics, University of Bremen|High-resolution image

Figure 5b. This map shows Antarctic sea ice concentration on October 31, 2017. Note the Maud Rise polynya at the top of the image. Data are from the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer 2 (AMSR2).

Credit: Institute of Environmental Physics, University of Bremen
High-resolution image

In our last post, we noted that Antarctic sea ice may have reached its maximum extent for the year on September 15, at 17.98 million square kilometers (6.94 million square miles). However, after two weeks of decline, extent increased again reaching a second and final maximum of 18.03 million square kilometers (6.96 million square miles) on October 11 and 12. This is tied with 2002 for the latest maximum on record and is the second lowest Antarctic maximum extent in the satellite data record, slightly higher than 1986. Interestingly, 2002 had a similar Bactrian maximum pattern.

The Maud Rise polynya (or Weddell Sea polynya) continues to be a significant feature of the sea ice cover near 5°E longitude and 65°S. The feature appeared around September 13 and grew to its approximate current extent by September 17. Its current size remains about 30,000 square kilometers (12,000 square miles).

Winds and ocean temperatures continue to drive Antarctic sea ice variability. Since there is no land boundary to the north of the Antarctic continent, sea ice in the Southern Hemisphere is free to expand toward the equator until it reaches water temperatures that are high enough to melt sea ice. As a result, changes in winds or ocean temperatures can have a large influence on the amount of sea ice year to year. Changes in winds related to the positive phase of the Southern Annular Mode (SAM) appear to explain the positive trend in total Antarctic sea ice extent. When the SAM is in a positive phase during austral summer, stronger than average westerly winds blow around the Antarctic continent, and sea ice is pushed both westward and slightly northward due to the Coriolis effect. In addition, below average sea surface temperatures persist through the summer and lead to increased sea ice growth the following autumn, while the negative phase precedes higher sea surface temperatures and reduced sea ice growth. A new study suggests the negative SAM mode during 2016/2017 austral summer largely explained the record minimum Antarctic sea ice extent observed in March 2017.

Revised computation of the monthly mean extent Figure 6. This chart compares the monthly October Arctic sea ice extents generated from the old (black dashed line) and the new (solid black line) averaging method.

Figure 6. This chart compares the monthly October Arctic sea ice extents generated from the old (black dashed line) and the new (solid black line) averaging method. Sea Ice Index data. About the data

Credit: National Snow and Ice Data Center
High-resolution image

We have updated the way the monthly average sea ice extent is calculated in the NSIDC Sea Ice Index, the source for our sea ice extent estimates. The monthly average total extent (and area) are now computed as an average of the daily values over the month. Historically, the monthly mean sea ice extent has been calculated based on the monthly mean averaged sea ice concentration field. While there is a rationale for both approaches, the new method is more intuitive and eliminates unusual and unexpected results in months when there is rapid ice growth and retreat. Most of the new monthly mean extents are smaller than the previous values with a mean extent difference between -0.45+0.24 and -0.23+0.16 million square kilometers for the Arctic and Antarctic, respectively. The largest differences for the Arctic occur during the month of October due to the rapid ice growth rates typical at that time of year, with the largest difference of -1.20 million square kilometers in October 2012. Changes in rankings and trends were much smaller because the new method tends to affect all years of a given month in a similar manner. October is also the month with the largest trend difference, increasing in magnitude from -7.4 percent per decade to -9.3 percent per decade. Changes in Arctic trends for other months are much smaller.

Similarly, in the Antarctic, differences in averaging methods results in the largest changes during the month of December when the ice cover is rapidly receding. The largest difference of -1.27 million square kilometers occurs in December 1981. The largest changes in the trends are for January and December with a change in value from +2.7 to +3.5 and +1.2 to +1.9 percent per decade, respectively. For more detailed information on the impacts of the revised averaging methods on trends and rankings, please see NSIDC Special Report 19.

Further reading

Nandan, V., T. Geldsetzer, J. Yackel, M. Mahmud, R. Scharien, S. Howell, J. King, R. Ricker, and B. Else. 2017. Effect of snow salinity on CryoSat-2 Arctic first-year sea ice freeboard measurements: Sea ice brine-snow effect on CryoSat-2. Geophysical Research Lettersdoi:10.1002/2017GL074506.

Doddridge, E. W. and J. Marshall. 2017. Modulation of the seasonal cycle of Antarctic sea ice extent related to the Southern Annular Mode. Geophysical Research Letters, 44, 9761–9768. doi: 10.1002/2017GL074319.

Windnagel, A., M. Brandt, F. Fetterer, and W. Meier. 2017. Sea Ice Index Version 3 Analysis. NSIDC Special Report 19. https://nsidc.org/sites/nsidc.org/files/files/NSIDC-special-report-19.pdf.

Categories: Climate Science News

Dissemination of incorrect Jason-2 IGDR products (cycles 505-506)

AVISO Climate Change News - Thu, 2017-10-26 07:26

Due to a wrong processing configuration, Jason-2 IGDR cycles 505 and 506 are incorrect (datation bias of over 2ms).

These products have been deleted from avisoftp.cnes.fr server and must be discarded.

They will be reprocessed as soon as possible.

We apologize for the inconvenience

Categories: Climate Science News

15-21 October, 2017 week

AVISO Climate Change News - Thu, 2017-10-26 02:07
Un satellite franco-chinois pour comprendre les changements climatiques (France Inter, 2017/10/22) Un jeune inventeur néerlandais prévoit de nettoyer les océans des déchets plastique (Le Monde, 2017/10/20) Les poissons-clowns subissent eux-aussi le réchauffement climatique ! (Science Post, 2017/10/19) Exposition planète mer à Toulouse : un voyage au fond des océans pour comprendre le climat (France3, 2017/10/18) Réchauffement climatique: les eaux côtières du Groenland moins salées (Québec Science, 2017/10/17) On line availability of articles depends on the Newspaper/magazine. We can't thus certify that above articles will be freely and permanently available.
Categories: Climate Science News

8-14 October, 2017 week

AVISO Climate Change News - Thu, 2017-10-19 06:37
Antarctique : des milliers de poussins de manchots sont morts de faim à cause d'une banquise trop étendue (France Info, 2017/10/13) Satellites spy Antarctic 'upside-down ice canyon' (BBC, 2017/10/11) Le changement climatique vu de l’espace (Theconversation, 2017/10/10) Un pompage du CO2 atmosphérique jusqu’à de grandes profondeurs océaniques (INSU, 2017/10/09) Le dégel du permafrost, l’autre menace climatique qui inquiète les chercheurs (Le Monde, 2017/10/09) On line availability of articles depends on the Newspaper/magazine. We can't thus certify that above articles will be freely and permanently available.
Categories: Climate Science News

October 2017: Plate tectonics measured by Doris

AVISO Climate Change News - Mon, 2017-10-16 01:40
Doris has been monitoring plate tectonics motion since 1990; The system is part of the ITRF, and...
Categories: Climate Science News

2-8 October 2017 week

AVISO Climate Change News - Thu, 2017-10-12 06:25
An eye on ocean currents with Sentinel-3 Video (ESA, 2017/10) Climat: retour probable de « La Niña » (Le Figaro, 2017/10/06) L'impact des El Niño extrêmes sur le transport sédimentaire dans les Andes péruviennes occidentales (INSU, 2017/10/05) Éruptions volcaniques, mousson africaine, El Niño : les processus physiques identifiés (INSU, 2017/10/03) On line availability of articles depends on the Newspaper/magazine. We can't thus certify that above articles will be freely and permanently available.
Categories: Climate Science News

Arctic sea ice 2017: Tapping the brakes in September

NSIDC Artic Sea Ice News - Thu, 2017-10-05 10:49

After setting a record low seasonal maximum in early March, Arctic sea ice extent continued to track low through July. However, the rate of ice loss slowed in August and September. The daily minimum extent, reached on September 13, was the eighth lowest on record, while the monthly average extent was seventh lowest. In Antarctica, sea ice extent may have reached its annual winter maximum.

Overview of conditions ice extent image

Figure 1. Arctic sea ice extent for September 2017 was 4.87 million square kilometers (1.88 million square miles). The magenta line shows the 1981 to 2010 average extent for that month. Sea Ice Index data. About the data

Credit: National Snow and Ice Data Center
High-resolution image

Arctic sea ice extent for September 2017 averaged 4.87 million square kilometers (1.88 million square miles), the seventh lowest in the 1979 to 2017 satellite record. This was 1.67 million square kilometers (645,000 square miles) below the 1981 to 2010 average, and 1.24 million square kilometers (479,000 square miles) above the record low September set in 2012.

After reaching the minimum on September 13 (eighth lowest on record), extent initially increased slowly (about 20,000 square kilometers, or 8,000 square miles, per day). However, starting September 26 and persisting through the end of the month, ice growth rates increased to about 60,000 square kilometers (23,000 square miles) per day. During the second half of the month, extent increased in all sectors except in the Beaufort Sea, where some local ice retreat persisted. The most rapid growth occurred along the Siberian side of the Arctic Ocean, where the ice edge advanced as much as 150 kilometers (90 miles) over the latter half of September. At the end of September, the ice edge in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas remained considerably further north than is typical.

Conditions in context extent timeseries

Figure 2a. The graph above shows Arctic sea ice extent as of October 4, 2017, along with daily ice extent data for five previous years. 2017 is shown in blue, 2016 in green, 2015 in orange, 2014 in brown, 2013 in purple, and 2012 in dotted brown. The 1981 to 2010 median is in dark gray. The gray areas around the median line show the interquartile and interdecile ranges of the data. Sea Ice Index data.

Credit: National Snow and Ice Data Center
High-resolution image

pressure anomaly

Figure 2b. This image shows the departure from average sea level pressure in millibars over the Arctic for June, July, and August in 2017. Yellows and reds indicate higher than average pressures; blues and purples indicate lower than average pressures.

Credit: NSIDC courtesy NOAA/ESRL Physical Sciences Division
High-resolution image

September air temperatures at the 925 hPa level (approximately 2,500 feet above sea level) were above average over much of the Arctic Ocean. Temperatures ranged from 5 degrees Celsius (9 degrees Fahrenheit) above the 1981 to 2010 long term average in the far northern Atlantic east of Greenland, to 1 to 2 degrees Celsius (2 to 4 degrees Fahrenheit) above the reference period in the western Arctic. Cooler conditions (1 degree Celsius or 2 degrees Fahrenheit below average) were present in Baffin Bay. Part of the above average temperatures over the coastal areas of the Arctic Ocean and in the northern North Atlantic likely results from heat fluxes from open water.

Looking back at this past summer (June through August), air temperatures at the 925 hPa level averaged for June through August were near or below the 1981 to 2010 average over much of the Arctic Ocean, notably along the Siberian side centered over the Laptev Sea (1 degree Celsius or 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit below the 1981 to 2010 average). By contrast, temperatures were slightly above average over much of the East Siberian, Chukchi and Beaufort Seas (1 degree Celsius, or 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit above average).

Like 2016, the summer of 2017 was characterized by persistently stormy patterns over the central Arctic Ocean, reflected in the summer average sea level pressure field (Figure 2b) as an area of low pressure centered just south of the North Pole in the Siberian sector of the Arctic. As has been shown in past studies, low pressure systems found over the central Arctic Ocean in summer are typically “cold cored.” This helps to explain the cool summer temperatures noted above. The cyclonic (counterclockwise) winds associated with the stormy pattern also tend to spread out the sea ice. Both processes likely helped to slow sea ice loss this summer.

September 2017 compared to previous years ice trend

Figure 3. Monthly September ice extent for 1979 to 2017 shows a decline of 13.2 percent per decade.

Credit: National Snow and Ice Data Center
High-resolution image

The linear rate of sea ice decline for September is 86,100 square kilometers (33,200 square miles) per year, or 13.2 percent per decade relative to the 1981 to 2010 average. For comparison, the decline rate was calculated at 13.7 percent after the 2013 minimum, and 13.4 percent in 2016. Although sea ice shows significant year-to-year variability, the overall trend of decline remains strong.

Thickness and age trends in Arctic sea ice from models and data

Figure 4a. This image from the Pan-Arctic Ice Ocean Modeling and Assimilation System (PIOMAS) shows Arctic sea ice thickness departures from average (anomaly) in meters for September 2017, relative to the 2000 to 2015 average. Reds indicate thicker than average ice; blues indicate thinner than average ice.

Credit: NSIDC courtesy University of Washington Polar Science Center
High-resolution image

ice age

Figure 4b. Sea ice age distribution at the annual minimum extent for 1985 (upper left) and 2017 (upper right). Time series (bottom) of different age categories the minimum extent for 1985 to 2017. Note that the ice age product does not include ice in the Canadian Archipelago. Data from Tschudi et al., EASE-Grid Sea Ice Age, Version 3

Credit: W. Meier/National Snow and Ice Data Center, M. Tschudi et al.
High-resolution image

According to estimates from the University of Washington Polar Science Center’s PIOMAS, which assimilates observational data into a coupled ice-ocean model, sea ice volume was at record low levels from January through June of 2017. However, the generally cool summer conditions slowed the rate of ice melt, and the ice volume for September ended up fourth lowest in the PIOMAS record, above 2010, 2011, and 2012.

Another way to assess the volume of the ice, at least in a qualitative sense, is through tracking sea ice age (Figure 4b). Older ice is generally thicker ice. Over the satellite record, there has been a significant decline in coverage of the oldest, thickest ice. While this year’s minimum sea ice extent is higher than in 2016, the marginal gain can be largely attributed to younger ice types: first-year ice (0 to 1 years old) and second-year ice (1 to 2 years old). The oldest ice, that which is over 4 years old, is only slightly higher than last year and remains almost non-existent within the Arctic. At the minimum this year, ice older than 4 years constituted only ~150,000 square kilometers (~58,000 square miles), compared to over 2 million square kilometers (~770,000 square miles) during the mid-1980s.

Antarctic maximum extent antarctic sea ice

Figure 5. The graph above shows Antarctic sea ice extent as of October 4, 2017, along with daily ice extent data for 2017 (aqua), 2016 (red), 2013 (dotted green), and 1986 (yellow). The 1981 to 2010 median is in dark gray. The gray areas around the median line show the interquartile and interdecile ranges of the data. Sea Ice Index data.

Credit: National Snow and Ice Data Center
High-resolution image

Antarctic sea ice may have reached its maximum extent on September 15, at 17.98 million square kilometers (6.94 million square miles), among the earliest maxima on record. If this date and extent hold, it will be the second-lowest daily maximum in the satellite record, 20,000 square kilometers (7,700 square miles) above 1986. Antarctic sea ice extent has been at record or near-record lows since September 2016. A series of recent studies have explored causes of the sudden decline in extent that occurred in austral late winter and spring of 2016. Most studies conclude that an unusual period of strong meridional winds—consistent with a very pronounced negative phase of the Southern Annular Mode index, coupled with a significant ‘wave-3 pattern’ in the atmospheric circulation—were the cause. A ‘wave-3 pattern’ refers to a tendency for circulation around the southern continent to resemble a three-leaf clover, rather than the more typical near-zonal (along lines of latitude) pattern.

The Maud Rise polynya, discussed in our last post, continues to grow and is now at about 35,000 square kilometers (14,000 square miles). A recent study (see Further reading, below) discusses how its formation is related to climate patterns and natural variability, and that the recent reappearance supports a forecast by an updated climate model.

Driftwood and long-term changes in Arctic ice movement circulation

Figure 6. The maps show two modes of wintertime Arctic sea ice circulation patterns. (a) shows the Low Arctic Oscillation (AO) index has a strong Beaufort Gyre which supports ice re-circulation within the Arctic. (b) shows the High AO index in which the Beaufort Gyre is weak and the Transpolar Drift expands, leading to Arctic ice exported in a shorter time interval. Bold numbers show the average time in years for ice starting from various locations to be exported through Fram Strait under the illustrated patterns. The red dashed lines encircle the region of ice recirculation and persistence (Rigor et al., 2002). Over continents, light blue lines show watersheds with named major rivers (shown as bold blue lines) that export driftwood into the Arctic Ocean. Green letters indicate driftwood sample regions: CAA, Canadian Arctic Archipelago; EG, East Greenland; JM, Jan Mayen; NG, North Greenland; FJL, Franz Josef Land; NZ, Novaya Zemlya; SB, Svalbard. Circulation patterns compiled and modified from Rigor et al. (2002).

Credit: G. Hole and M. Macias-Fauria, The Cryosphere Discuss.
High-resolution image

While the satellite record has been key in documenting large declines in the Arctic sea ice cover during the past four decades, the data record is still relatively short. To provide a longer record, scientists turn to the geologic record and proxy data. One approach is to analyze the age, transport, and deposition of driftwood. Driftwood distribution depends strongly on past sea ice conditions and ocean currents. New research using 913 driftwood samples collected across the western Arctic (Figure 6) has shed new insight on sea ice changes during the Holocene, between 12,000 years ago to present. During the early Holocene (12,000 to 8,000 years ago), the analysis suggests that the clockwise Beaufort Gyre dominated Arctic Ocean circulation, allowing more sea ice to stay within the Arctic Ocean. In the mid-Holocene (8,000 to 4,000 years ago), temperatures were higher and the Transpolar Drift dominated, leading to more ice export out of the Arctic Ocean through Fram Strait and less sea ice in the Arctic Ocean. In the late Holocene (4,000 years ago to present), the Beaufort Gyre once again strengthened as temperatures slowly cooled until the most recent several decades.

Further reading

Hole, G. M. and M. Macias-Fauria. 2017. Out of the woods: Driftwood insights into Holocene pan-Arctic sea ice dynamic., J. Geophys. Res. Oceans, 122, doi:10.1002/2017JC013126.

Reintges, A., T. Martin, M. Latif, and W. Park. 2017. Physical controls of Southern Ocean deep-convection variability in CMIP5 models and the Kiel Climate Model. Geophys. Res. Lett., 44 (13), 6951-6958, doi:10.1002/2017GL074087.

Rigor, I.G., Wallace, J.M. and Colony, R.L. 2002. Response of sea ice to the Arctic Oscillation. Journal of Climate,15 (18), 2648-2663, doi:10.1175/1520-0442(2002)015<2648:ROSITT>2.0.CO;2.

Schlosser, E., Haumann, F. A., and Raphael, M. N. Atmospheric influences on the anomalous 2016 Antarctic sea ice decay. The Cryosphere Discuss., doi:10.5194/tc-2017-192, in review, 2017.

Categories: Climate Science News

24-30 September, 2017 week

AVISO Climate Change News - Thu, 2017-10-05 05:44
Sans respect des océans, point de salut climatique (Ouest France, 2017/09/27) Antarctique : un immense iceberg grand comme 2 fois et demi Paris se détache  (Science Post, 2017/09/26) Pourquoi certaines espèces s’adaptent au changement climatique et d’autres non (Le Monde, 2017/09/25) On line availability of articles depends on the Newspaper/magazine. We can't thus certify that above articles will be freely and permanently available.
Categories: Climate Science News

[JASON-2] : Resuming the mission

AVISO Climate Change News - Wed, 2017-10-04 06:29
Jason-2 will soon be in a favorable period for restart, and the planning for mission resuming has been defined.  All instruments should be restarted on Friday, October 13th, during a pass at 05:41UTC. Data production should restart right after the pass. A drag make-up maneuver will also be performed on the same day, at 02:01UTC. As this maneuver will be performed more than 1 orbit before instruments restart, it will have no impact on products. Christophe Marechal, CNES Jason 2 project manager on behalf of Jason-2 project managers from NOAA, EUMETSAT and JPL.
Categories: Climate Science News

18-24 september, 2017 week

AVISO Climate Change News - Thu, 2017-09-28 05:25
Réchauffement climatique : des lacs de CO2 emprisonnés au fin fond des océans pourraient sauver la planète ! (Science Post, 2017/09/23)
Question de la semaine : le réchauffement climatique influe-t-il sur les cyclones ? (Sciences Avenir, 2017/09/22)
Pour sauver les océans des déchets plastiques, devenez citoyens des îles Poubelles (Le Monde, 2017/09/19)
Limiter le réchauffement climatique à +1,5°C est encore possible, si... (L’Express, 2017/09/19)
Réchauffement climatique : la fonte des glaciers s'accélère de manière inquiétante dans les Alpes (LCI, 2017/09/17)
La disponibilité des articles en ligne varie selon les journaux. Nous ne pouvons donc garantir que les articles mentionnés ci-dessus soient accessibles de façon permanente.
Categories: Climate Science News

Temporary unavailability of the CNES ftp server on October 3, 2017

AVISO Climate Change News - Wed, 2017-09-27 00:00
For maintenance reason, the Cnes ftp server (ftp://avisoftp.cnes.fr) will be unavailable on October...
Categories: Climate Science News

[JASON-2] : Satellite will be restarted on october 12th

AVISO Climate Change News - Tue, 2017-09-26 02:30
Jason-2 will be restarted as soon as the next favorable timeframe for gyrometers will begin, i.e. from October 12th. Instruments themselves should be restarted on Oct. 12th or 13th.   
Categories: Climate Science News
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