Sunday 15 June 2014

Mid June 2014 Status

It's been a very slow start to the 2014 melt season, but that doesn't mean a recovery of the sea ice is underway.

The CT Area anomaly cliff seen in recent years, including 2013, has failed to happen so far this June. It is not too late for this to happen if weather conditions change, but that would require a significant change to the weather.

NSIDC Extent anomalies have started to drop in June for the years after the 2010 volume loss event, again so far this has not happened and 2014 looks more like 2013.

Using NSIDC Extent data I have calculated the difference between 2014 and the stated years for each day from 30 April to 13 June (the most recent data). 2010, 2011 and 2012 are clearly lower than 2014, however 2014 is lower than 2013. Whether the uptick in the end of the data will continue remains to be seen.

Ranking the 13 June extents and areas shows that 2014 is in 7th place for CT Area and 6th place in terms of NSIDC Extent. 2014 is in red, post 2007 years are emboldened.

CT Area NSIDC Extent
2012 8.685 2012 10.743
2010 9.105 2010 10.885
2007 9.140 2011 10.958
2011 9.156 2006 11.213
2006 9.205 2005 11.363
2008 9.281 2014 11.379
2014 9.343 2008 11.414
2013 9.535 2013 11.525
1995 9.580 2007 11.563
2009 9.678 2004 11.612
2005 9.691 1995 11.615
1998 9.804 2009 11.616
2000 9.806 2001 11.720
1997 9.850 2002 11.735
2003 9.881 1990 11.755
2004 9.901 2003 11.800
2001 9.926 2000 11.816
1990 9.947 1998 11.938
1993 10.112 1997 11.978
1999 10.184 1993 12.021
2002 10.214 1988 12.041
1988 10.309 1986 12.085
1991 10.382 1994 12.126
1996 10.415 1999 12.190
1994 10.439 1996 12.197
1986 10.493 1991 12.262
1992 10.581 1984 12.271
1984 10.692 1992 12.276
1989 10.696 1980 12.285
1980 10.714 1985 12.299
1985 10.735 1983 12.359
1981 10.831 1989 12.409
1982 10.880 1987 12.550
1983 10.892 1981 12.565
1987 10.942 1982 12.671
1979 11.053 1979 12.681

Temperatures in early June look to be a contender for the coldest early June in recent years. For example, here are 2014, 2013 and 2012.




2014 is seen to have a larger area of below average temperatures than even 2013, while the warmth of early 2012 is marked. Unfortunately NCEP/NCAR doesn't do timeseries for periods of days, only full months.

The atmospheric set up that has caused 2014 to have a slow start, as did 2013, shows that early June 2014 is not like early June 2013. I expect some may be arguing, based on sea ice data alone, that two years mean the start of a recovery, there is no indication of a common process at work so this reasoning is flawed.

These were plotted on 11 June showing data up to 9 June, I've not had the chance to post until now.




By early June in 2012 the atmosphere was already showing the signature of the 2007 to 2012 summer average sea level pressure, what I call the Summer Pattern, shown below.

However other post 2007 years have shown little early June resemblance to the Summer Pattern, yet by September the June, July August average has revealed that the pattern was present in the summer average. There is still time for this to form, and there are indications of a shift in the weather to a stronger high pressure over the pack, with low pressure along the Siberian coast being a possibility by this time next week (Wetterzantrale). However with such long term forecasts there is also the possibility it won't, so I'll just see what happens.

Prospects for a new record this year are looking very remote now, however it is still possible for 2014 to enter the top five lowest years for NSIDC Extent, everything depends on the weather. It will be interesting to see how this will affect the PIOMAS spring melt, based on 2013 I expect that the effect will be small.


climatehawk1 said...

Chris, the graph of comparative NSIDC ice extent appears to be missing the line for 2014. Thanks for the info.

Adam said...

OT but a quick heads-up:

From the description, it doesn't necessitate a contradiction in that the winters could be less extremely cold, but have more cold events due to blocking. However, we'd need to see the paper itself to see whether that's addressed.

Also, if we're talking about a change that's occurred within the last decade (and I know it's too early to tell that from weather), then a several decade long study may hide the fact.

But interesting nonetheless.

Chris Reynolds said...


There's no 2014 line because all those lines are the difference between 2014 and the stated year.


I've blogged quite a bit on the issue of cold winter events and the Arctic (Cohen's work).

But Screen is correct, without the Warm Arctic Cold Continents pattern we should expect milder winters.

Anonymous said...

Hi Chris,

I've been carefully studying the daily Lance "Rapid Response" images, and what's interesting is that there are large areas of very thin ice. And a lot of very fractured ice. So while the ice area and extent appear to be falling more slowly than recent years, once we get to July, and things really warm up, I expect both numbers to plunge. And with the fractured ice, if a persistent wind blows south through the Fram Straight, vast areas of ice will sail through with no structure to hold it back.

In my experience the final extent/area/volume have a lot do do with what happens in August and September, but I think the water is so warm these days that the ice is melting from below. Looking at the north coast of Greenland, you can see that many of the fjords are trying to melt. The same is true throughout much of the Canadian Archipelago.

But I think this year's big story could be Greenland itself. It's so warm and so melty that a warm July could lead to record mass loss. And if all those outlets open up, look out.


Chris Reynolds said...

Hi Bruce,

We've had a late start, but I think those who are calling a re-run of 2013 are wrong. I expect a plunge. Not a repeat of 2012, but far lower than 2013.

This past Wednesday the previous pattern of atmospheric set up shifted and a high pressure set up over the Central Arctic Ocean. In GFS a consistent pattern of high over the Arctic Ocean (or at least part of it) is countered by low over Siberia. This is what forms the Arctic dipole anomaly, which has a clear role in 2007 to 2012 melts.

How much the delay will result in increased area, extent, or volume in September is far too early to say. But Wipneus who makes his own calculations of area and extent seems to think the pause is over, see here. Based on what I'm seeing in the atmosphere I agree.

A new blog post on this change is already being prepared....