Modeling sea ice loss

From Wiley

Study explores atmospheric impact of declining Arctic sea ice

There is growing recognition that reductions in Arctic sea ice levels will influence patterns of atmospheric circulation both within and beyond the Arctic. New research in the International Journal of Climatology explores the impact of 2007 ice conditions, the second lowest Arctic sea ice extent in the satellite era, on atmospheric circulation and surface temperatures.

Two 30-year simulations, one using the sea ice levels of 2007 and another using sea ice levels at the end of the 20th century, were used to access the impact of ice free seas. The results showed a significant response to the anomalous open water of 2007.

The results confirm that the atmospheric response to declining sea ice could have implications far beyond the Arctic such as a decrease in the pole to equator temperature gradient, given the increased temperatures associated with the increase in open water, leading to a weaker jet stream and less storminess in the mid-latitudes.

“In the context of decreasing Arctic sea ice extent, our experiments investigating the impacts of anomalous open water on the atmosphere showed increased heat transfer from the ocean to the atmosphere and warmer temperatures in areas of reduced sea ice. Comparing the model simulated circulation to the observed circulation for the summer of 2007 (the year of focus for the model experiments), we found the simulated circulation to be quite different than what was observed for spring and summer while more similar for autumn and fall,” said Elizabeth Cassano from the University of Colorado.

“This suggests the sea ice conditions in the months preceding and during the summer of 2007 were not responsible for contributing to a circulation pattern which favored the large observed sea ice loss in that year. The circulation during autumn and winter which was more similar between the model simulations and the observed circulation suggests that the reduced sea ice in 2007 was in part responsible for the observed atmospheric circulation during autumn and winter of that year.”

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JustAnotherPoster

Making it up as we go along after the event. Artic sea ice is currently bang on average.

AleaJactaEst

“Two 30-year simulations, …… The results showed…”
data from simulations aren’t results.

John Hanson

I wonder if they factored in the effect of the currently warm phase AMO into the calculation. That is likely what is driving the greater than average ice losses north of Norway Sweeden and Western Russia. We see with the PDO now in its cool phase, a trend to greater than normal sea ice in the artic near the Bering Sea. Without considering the natural 50-70 year cycles, any model will be a joke.

Stephen Wilde

Of course open water has an effect on the air above as compared to ice cover.
At least they recognise that such a situation results in faster cooling of the water and faster loss of energy to space.
In contrast, AGW theorists previously said that the open water would lead to more sunlight getting into the water for runaway warming of the polar regions.
Unfortunately they have mistaken a negative feedback response for a primary forcing agent.
What really happens is as follows:
I) An active sun pulls the cloud bands poleward (more zonal) allowing more energy into the tropical oceans.
ii) Enhanced El Ninos send warm water towards the poles.
iii) Warmer water flows into the Arctic Ocean reducing ice cover.
iv) More open water allows faster loss of warmth to space thereby offsetting the original surge of extra warmth into the tropical oceans.
Now, if the sun stayed active the system would stabilise with a faster throughput of energy leaving the Arctic ice at a low level but now we see a less active sun causing increased global cloudiness with the cloud bands more equatorward (meridional) allowing less energy into the oceans with less strong El Ninos and in due course cooler water will enter the Arctic Ocean and the ice will recover. The imminent cool phase of the AMO should do the trick.
The clincher is that for 20 years reducing Arctic ice was accompanied by increasingly poleward zonal jets so they cannot now say that decreasing Arctic ice is causing more equatorward meridional jets.
The only thing that changed when the global air circulation changed from zonal to meridional was the decline of solar activity from active cycle 23 to inactive cycle 24.

Victoria Secret and Sports Illustrated Bikini models are better models to discuss.

Chris @NJSnowFan

Even if the ice melts towards the end of the melt season the sun angle is so low it would not heat up the water under the north pole or arctic ocean.Water that is covered in ice is insulated also and is only colder near the surface allowing water that is deeper to hold heat. I think that is why the arctic re-froze so fast in the fall of 2012. Open water with the sun angle low or not even shining was allowed to cool deeper down allowing the ice to rebound/grow at the fastest pace in sat history.

Chris @NJSnowFan

One other note, volcanic ash/dust from lcelands’s volcano that shut down air travel down in 2011 to Europe mostly melted away. So the New Ice from this session should be cleaner and last longer because heat absorbing Ash and dust mostly melted sway in 2012. Only concern with dirty ice is BC from high altitude jet exhaust.

pos

@John Hanson says:
May 29, 2013 at 3:50 am
“I wonder if they factored in the effect of the currently warm phase AMO into the calculation. That is likely what is driving the greater than average ice losses north of Norway Sweeden and Western Russia. We see with the PDO now in its cool phase, a trend to greater than normal sea ice in the artic near the Bering Sea. Without considering the natural 50-70 year cycles, any model will be a joke”
Let’s not forget the twenty years ofpositive NAO advecting warm air northward from the tropics

MattN

OK, great. Now, what REALLY happened? You know, in the real world, not some computer fantasy game….

RACookPE1978

Backing up what Stephen Wilde wrote above (and reading between the lines of the abstract):
The authors are saying that the CAUSE of the 2007 arctic sea ice loss was NOT related to the atmosphere “circulation” before the sea ice loss, but the sea ice loss DID affect the circulation after the 2007 mid-summer loss.
Which begs the question: are the authors treating their “circulation” proof/theory/model as “warmer air causes sea ice loss” or “open ocean affects the (previously cold) air above the ocean” or what ? That is, in their models, did they actually establish the entire Arctic temperature and pressure and humidity and cloud cover patterns that were measured BEFORE the 2007 ice loss, then see if their model duplicated the sea ice loss? Or did they create a model of “an arctic spring” .. then remove the sea ice artificially and see what happens to the “post-ice” model?
But, I thought that arctic sea ice loss was the ultimate a “proof” of global warming – which requires that the sea ice loss be CAUSED by the warmer global air. Thus, because global air temperature DID rise for 20 years between 1975 and 1995, and then global air temperatures DID stay steady the past 16 years between 1995 and 2013, CAGW => reduced sea ice levels theory is proven false.
Otherwise, CAGW would seem to require that sea ice be the decrease between 1975 and 1995, then stay steady between 1995 and 2013. Clearly, that pattern does not exist.
But, what does cause arctic sea ice loss remains unknown.
At least this group has recognized that the famed “arctic sea ice loss amplifies global warming” theme is false. Open arctic waters at the time of minimum arctic sea ice levels in mid-September lead to cooler arctic temperatures due to increased evaporation, increased convection losses to the air, and increased radiation losses to the clouds.

John Pickens

A computer simulation is not an “experiment”.

climatereason

I carried out two exhaustive studies of arctic sea ice melt in the period prior to Satellites
This long article -with many links- examines the little known period 1815-60 when the Arctic ice melted and the Royal Society mounted an expedition to investigate the causes.
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/06/20/historic-variation-in-arctic-ice/#more-8688
This article covers the period of considerable melting during 1920-1950. It retreated to broadly similar levels we witnessed at times during the early 2000’s but not I suspect as far as it did in 2007 and 2012.
http://judithcurry.com/2013/04/10/historic-variations-in-arctic-sea-ice-part-ii-1920-1950/
tonyb

Any explanation of Arctic sea ice has to explain, BOTH record minimum ice extents and record winter sea ice formation over the last 7/8 years.
Which basically means its a cloud/solar insolation/albedo effect.
Less clouds = more solar insolation enhanced by embedded black carbon in the ice = reduced albedo = increased melt. In winter reduced clouds = colder = increased ice formation.
FYI, in Bob Tisdale’s thread I explained that reduced clouds is the reason for the pronounced season SST anomalies since, surprise, surprise, the mid 1990s.

Txomin

@AleaJactaEst. Simulations are calculations and do yield results.
@John Pickens. Simulations can have experimental characteristics.
None of this means a simulation is correct by default. In fact, they rarely are right at all.

Ian W

John Pickens says:
May 29, 2013 at 4:30 am
A computer simulation is not an “experiment”.

There was a time when computers were first being introduced into businesses where it was not uncommon to be told “but it must be right this came from the computer“. This became a joke line in comedies in later years usually delivered by a less than bright character. We are now seeing precisely the same ‘but it must be right it came from our computer model‘ – from university research departments.. This time the line is being delivered by ‘climate scientists’.

Another model-based study. Doesn’t anyone know how to analyze data anymore?

JJB MKI

“New research in the International Journal of Climatology explores the impact of 2007 ice conditions, the second lowest Arctic sea ice extent in the satellite era, on atmospheric circulation and surface temperatures.”
– Yet another opportunity to draw wild conclusions from a speck of data, and to confuse cause with effect.

Kajajuk

John Hanson says:
May 29, 2013 at 3:50 am
———————
Thank goodness it is a cool phase…
“On 18 and 19 May, the temperatures in Lillehammer soared to 29C. In the surrounding mountains, this sudden rise in temperature caused the snow to suddenly melt.”
http://www.aljazeera.com/weather/2013/05/201352492134414196.html

Carl

Another “If Global Warming happens then such and such will happen” paper. These papers just mean that someone got a grant to investigate what global warming would do if it happened. Those papers provide information on how politicians give out grant money but tell us nothing about whether Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming is true.

Box of Rocks

So with less ice what is the temperature of the water as it leaves the arctic? It would seem that with no ice and ‘warmer’ water the water leaving the arctic would be warmer thus adding to global warming.

CodeTech

Wouldn’t it be cool if we had something like Godwin’s Law, except for models? I mean, the first response of many people is “it’s a model, it’s useless”.
Like anything else, a model is a tool. Many models have really good real-world applications, like meteorological models used for short-term forecasting or engine simulators used to optimize airflow and fueling. They’re getting better because the inputs are better, the assumptions are better, and the conclusions are testable.
Sadly, too many people either put too much faith in their models, draw the wrong conclusions from their models, or have incorrect or even completely backward assumptions going into it.
Seems to me that one of the goals of this model is to attempt to prove the assumptions that sea ice is decreasing due to human factors, and that decreased sea ice will mess up weather. It doesn’t seem to be part of the program that messed up weather, or even normally occurring weather, is the reason for the “anomaly” in sea ice.
After watching this for the last several years, I’m baffled by the apparent inability for otherwise smart people to see that sea ice is neither a major metric, nor a sign of human climate change. At a minimum there is not even remotely enough historical data to draw any sort of conclusion. There are anecdotal observations of dramatically reduced sea ice in the past, but we didn’t have satellites to quantify the extent back then.
Arctic Sea Ice Extent is unimportant as a “smoking gun” or evidence of a human fingerprint or anything. The poles are the planet’s normal, natural destination for dumping heat. Sometimes there is more to dump, sometimes there is less.
Earth’s climate system works in cycles, not straight line trends.

Patrick

“Two 30-year simulations, one using the sea ice levels of 2007 and another using sea ice levels at the end of the 20th century, were used to access the impact of ice free seas. The results showed a significant response to the anomalous open water of 2007.”
SIGH…how much did this “study” cost?

Alan the Brit

People know my opinions of models, simulations, representations, & the like!!!!

starzmom

The part that caught my eye was the statement that less ice in the arctic would lead to less of a temperature differential between the lower latitudes and the arctic. We know that severe weather is driven by large temperature differential, and we also know that, in the US at least, the severity of storms has actually decreased. Am I seeing a true connection or is it my imagination?

kajauk
Here were the REAL temperatures for Lillehammer
http://www.worldweatheronline.com/lillehammer-weather/oppland/no.aspx?day=21
They were similar for both days and reached a maximum of 23C
Tonyb

SAMURAI

Oh boy!
More failed models based on false assumptions to provide false evidence to justify wasting $trillions on an invalid theory promoted by governments to extort more taxes to spend more money they don’t have to be added to the $trillions in debt they already owe and have no intension of paying in full.
What could possibly go wrong with this scenario?

jlurtz

After 350 years of the Sun being active, the Scientists choose the 1970 to 2000 for their baseline temperatures. This is the warmest that the Earth has been in 350 years. The quiet Sun will deliver less energy to the Earth, with the result of sudden cooling. Solar cycle 24 is almost over. We are entering maybe 8 years of no Sun Spots and the Flux less than 100. From the peak of warming to the depth of cooling is -2.5C global temperature drop.
The mechanical way to determine what is happening is to monitor the height of the Indonesian Bulge. Less Solar energy, less trade winds, less Bulge. Less Bulge, smaller currents moving heat to the Poles. But, the Poles have been warmed, less ice, so more heat transfer into space. Watch the Northern Pacific for sudden cooling. Also, a “sudden” increase in Arctic Ice cover.
Antarctica, not surrounded by land masses, has started the “sudden” increase in ice cover. Watch the Antarctica Peninsula, it used to be the canary for warming. Now it will be the penguin of cold.

dp

I’ve just finished reading this interesting and surprisingly non-alarmist article regarding viability of plants after having been buried under glacier ice for 400 years. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130528202549.htm
It is the clearest evidence of the cyclic nature of the polar zone climate. While I think we should study and understand these cycles it is abundantly clear our brightest scientists don’t have a clue as to what the long term trend is. It says as much in the article, and that was very unexpected. It cannot be over-stated that the modern warming period begins inconveniently at the end the LIA, and as such is a cherry-picked date for such things as time-series data used to prove mankind is destroying the planet. I’m thinking now of the recent Met Office disclosure that the claim of 0.8ºC since the late 1800’s has been wrongly claimed as significant. This is all falling together nicely to show the scale of alarmist disinformation.

AleaJactaEst

Txomin says:
May 29, 2013 at 4:36 am
I run a simulation of me jumping off a cliff – The simulation indicates that I die. The result is I am still alive.

If WUWT is a conversation among peers, please let us use “begs the question” as Anglicization of the informal fallacy petitio principii, “assuming the initial point.” Otherwise, raising the point, evading the question or begging the question to be asked…

Hoser

The model was “used to access the impact of ice free seas”. While they are at it, why not model the equally likely consequences of manure from flying reindeer over the Arctic? Just imagine the impact of that! Adding the nutrients to the sea would cause algal blooms and perhaps even some dead zones in places more highly impacted. Clearly, this condition is just too dangerous to risk, so for the benefit of all the wild creatures of the Arctic, we must simply ban Christmas. For the good of the planet, we have to ignore some crying children. Oh, wait, aren’t we supposed to do these things for the children?

Ulric Lyons

“This suggests the sea ice conditions in the months preceding and during the summer of 2007 were not responsible for contributing to a circulation pattern which favored the large observed sea ice loss in that year.”
Low ice extent fails to promote circulation pattern that would favour ice loss…
“The circulation during autumn and winter which was more similar between the model simulations and the observed circulation suggests that the reduced sea ice in 2007 was in part responsible for the observed atmospheric circulation during autumn and winter of that year.”
Low ice extent helps to promote observed atmospheric circulation pattern during autumn and winter…
Sounds like seasonal affective disorder to me, how sad.

Steve Bensen

What about the chain of undersea volcanos in the arctic that all went off in 2007? Do five volcanos erupting for months on the sea floor under the arctic NOT have any warming power.

Steve Bensen

OOps, I meant to include this link about the volcanos: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080625140649.htm

More Models. Tail wags dog. Outcome will equal expectations of Whomever financed the study.
Give me empirical data to prove ANYTHING. Or STFU
If it’s models your crowing about, I won’t listen anymore!

Latitude

Arctic ice is very sensitive and unstable…
….Arctic ice should be consistent and never change
only in climate science

Rod

Dr. Lurtz: “The mechanical way to determine what is happening is to monitor the height of the Indonesian Bulge. Less Solar energy, less trade winds, less Bulge. Less Bulge, smaller currents moving heat to the Poles. ”
Dr. Lurtz, I tried “Indonesian Bulge” in Google and got nothing other than references back here to WUWT. Could you elaborate, and also point us in the direction of discussions elsewhere regarding the phenomenon you mention?
It sounds like you’re saying that the trade winds reduce in intensity in a solar lull, resulting in less water being piled up in the area of Indonesia, and therefore less water (warm water) to be spilled toward the poles as the bulge dissipates? Is this correct, and are any measurements taken? And do you have a professional interest in this process? Just curious.

Ashby

Well, here’s some actual science (from Geologists!) talking about recent data showing surprisingly frequent warm intervals at the poles.
http://www.umass.edu/researchnext/geoscientist-julie-brigham-grette-presents-lake-el-gygytgyn-research-findings
She seems to be assuming CO2 is causal, so I’d love to have the data analyzed by someone who doesn’t make that assumption, but the sediment cores certainly show an ice free arctic has been a recurring (though infrequent) event. Natural variability seems to be quite high.

bw

Arctic ice area is at the 30 year average. Trend is dead flat there.
Antarctic ice is well above the 30 year average and trending higher.
Data from the Cryosphere page. http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/

The polar see-saw, whereby arctic warming is offset by antarctic cooling is a well known natural cycle. It is exactly what we see happening today.
Yet climate science is unable to explain the cause, so they pretend it is not happening. Instead they try and blame it on CO2. However, the polar see-saw predates industrialization. It cannot be a result of human activity.
Climate models are largely nonsense because they ignore the advances in understanding Chaos. Instead they consider Chaos to be noise. It isn’t. Noise is random. It is self-cancelling. Over time, you expect the positive and negative noise to be roughly equal and thus if you average the signal, what you are left with over time is the average signal. This is the basic mathematics of the IPCC climate models.
However, Chaos is not like this. It only looks like noise, but in reality it is quasi-cyclical and varies infinitely over time. The cycle is similar each time, but never the same. We see this in such things as ENSO, the solar cycle, the ocean cycles, the Bond cycles, the ice-age cycles, etc., etc. Chaotic fractals. Cycles at all time scales that never quite repeat. Strange attractors.
What Chaos tells us is that you cannot average chaos the way you average noise and expect it to cancel. You cannot do a linear regression on your temperature time-series and treat it like a Gaussian distribution. The result will be nonsense. Worse than nonsense, it will be misleading. What you think is a trend will suddenly head off in an unexpected direction
This is what happened to the climate models. They were plodding along in their linear fashion and suddenly around 2000 they went off the rails. And continue to do so, because they treat Chaos as noise. It isn’t. Noise is much more predictable.
The great hope for the climate models is that Chaos will cause temperature to again unexpectedly change course, but this time in the direction of the climate models. At which time we will hear a great hue and cry that the models were right all along. Just like one can predict the weather with a toss of the coin, 1/2 the time you will get it right.

Ashby

Oh, about my link above, I should point out that the data in question covers the last 3.6 million years. So we’re talking about “frequent” intervals in that time frame…
From the abstract on her paper:
2.8 MILLION YEARS OF ARCTIC CLIMATE CHANGE FROM LAKE EL’GYGYTGYN, NE RUSSIA
The reliability of Arctic climate predictions is currently hampered by insufficient knowledge of natural climate variability in the past. A sediment core from Lake El’gygytgyn (NE Russia) provides a continuous high-resolution record from the Arctic spanning the past 2.8 Ma. The core reveals numerous “super interglacials” during the Quaternary, with maximum summer temperatures and annual precipitation during marine benthic isotope stages (MIS) 11c and 31 ~4-5°C and ~300 mm higher than those of MIS 1 and 5e. Climate simulations show these extreme warm conditions are difficult to explain with greenhouse gas and astronomical forcing alone, implying the importance of amplifying feedbacks and far field influences. The timing of Arctic warming relative to West Antarctic Ice Sheet retreats implies strong interhemispheric climate connectivity.

FerdinandAkin

I wonder what thier model results would show if they set the year round sea ice to be at 70 degrees North?
What if the ice was at 60 degrees North?
What will the world look like when the current warm period ends?

beng

There is growing recognition that reductions in Arctic sea ice levels will influence patterns of atmospheric circulation both within and beyond the Arctic.
Maybe, but a few months at most. One yr (2007?) with open Arctic water adjacent to N Alaska in autumn, N Alaska was still cold because the prevailing surface air-flow was coming from the cold land to the east & southeast.

Chuck Nolan

AleaJactaEst says:
May 29, 2013 at 3:42 am
“Two 30-year simulations, …… The results showed…”
data from simulations aren’t results.
———————————————
Nor are simulations data.
cn

Chuck Nolan

Bob Tisdale says:
May 29, 2013 at 4:44 am
Another model-based study. Doesn’t anyone know how to analyze data anymore?
—————————————–
Bob, are the kids being taught to treat model simulations as data?
Do their professors tell them it’s correct to analyze data from one model and treat it as input to another model?
It appears they believe they are analyzing data.
cn

michael hart

dp says:
May 29, 2013 at 6:11 am
…It is the clearest evidence of the cyclic nature of the polar zone climate. While I think we should study and understand these cycles it is abundantly clear our brightest scientists don’t have a clue as to what the long term trend is. It says as much in the article, and that was very unexpected.

DP, I’m not sure how many of our “brightest scientists” are actually giving their attention to this matter…

jlurtz

Rod says:
May 29, 2013 at 7:24 am
Questions -> Answers:
1) Indonesia Bulge -> This is my definition.
2) A reference -> http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2011GL049576/abstract
A careful search will reveal many additional sites.
3) The scientific community thought that sea level was uniform around the world. This was dis-proven when the Geo Satellites revealed that the water levels were not uniform.
4) Western South America, at the equator, is 0.5 meters less than the middle of the Pacific.
5) Indonesia is 1.0 to 1.5 meters higher than the middle of the Pacific.
6) My research revealed that the west bound Pacific Ocean currents (10 degrees N/S of the equator) are created by the Trade Winds caused by the Hadley Cells, driven by the Sun. These currents are slow (0.2 miles/ hour) but enormous in scale -> 100 times the fresh water rivers.
7) The water keeps piling up, so it must go somewhere. Both North/South creating the major surface Pacific Oceans circulations.
8) The same thing happens in the Atlantic just north of the equator. Western Africa is 0.25 meters less than middle Atlantic, but the Gulf of Mexico is 0.75 meter greater that middle Atlantic.
9) This again is driven by the Atlantic Trade winds.
10) This Gulf of Mexico Bulge only drains North due to the geographic constraints. This is one of the major contributors to the Gulf Stream.
I am retired so, by definition, I have a non-professional interest.
By revealing this information, I would hope that other researchers would make accurate measurements.

milodonharlani

Dr. Lurtz says:
May 29, 2013 at 9:19 am
———————————
Thanks for smart analysis of valuable data showing the extent to which it is indeed, the sun, stupid.

Arno Arrak

These people simply don’t know what is going on in the Arctic. The Arctic is warming and has been warming since the turn of the twentieth century as Kaufman et al. proved. They had a two thousand year Arctic temperature record which showed that for most of this time there was nothing but slow, linear cooling in the Arctic. Then warming suddenly started at the turn of the twentieth century. There was no increase of atmospheric carbon dioxide at that time and this rules out carbon dioxide as a cause of warming. From 1940 to 1970 the warming paused, then resumed, and is still going strong. Its original cause very likely was a rearrangement of the North Atlantic current system which began to carry warm Gulf Stream water into the Arctic. That is why the Arctic is still warming even now despite the lack of global warming that has lasted for15 years. For them to find the year 2007 unusual is not wrong but their theories about it are dead wrong. What happened was that in 2007 there were strong poleward winds in the Bering Sea area that pushed much warm water into the Arctic Ocean through the Bering Strait. This warm water melted a large batch of sea ice north of the strait in the Chuckchi Sea and poleward as well as on both sides of it. At the same time, the eastern side of the ocean near Russia was left undisturbed. This was a one-off event that has not been repeated and has no significance for the rest of Arctic history. What is happening now is a steady Arctic warming caused by the warm water carried north by currents. The source of their warmth is the Gulf Stream. Record shows that the warming was interrupted for thirty years in mid-century and was replaced by cooling at the rate of 0.3 degrees per decade. This cool interlude most likely corresponded to a temporary resumption of the former flow pattern of currents. Since nature is fickle, what has happened before can happen again. Hence, we should be ready for a repeat performance anytime now. Needless to say, this has huge implications for utilization of Arctic resources.

Kajajuk

Arctic Observing Summit (April 30 – May 2, 2013, Vancouver, Canada) white paper
“Status of the Beaufort Gyre Observing System (BGOS, 2003-2013): goals, objectives, capabilities, challenges and sustainability”
“The significant negative trends in observed sea-ice extent and thickness have prompted numerous ongoing debates about the root causes and resulting consequences of the rapid Arctic climate change; at present there are insufficient definitive observations or substantiated theories to reach a consensus among the different opinions.”
“Ocean changes in the BG [Beaufort Gyre] Region (BGR, Fig. 1 left) have been as prominent as the disappearing sea-ice cover; in the period 2003-2012 the BGR accumulated more than 5000 km3 of liquid FW [Freshwater], an increase of approximately 25% (update to Proshutinsky et al., 2009b) relative to the climatology of the 1970s (Fig. 2).”
“Changes in the FW balance influence the extent of the sea-ice cover, the surface albedo, the energy balance, the temperature (T) and salinity (S) structure of the water masses, and biological processes in the Arctic Ocean and its marginal seas.”
“Greater than half of the Arctic Ocean’s liquid FW is concentrated in the Canada Basin, centered in the BGR (Fig. 1, left), while more than half of the solid FW is stored against the Canadian Arctic Archipelago (CAA) and Greenland in a solid FW reservoir of multiyear ice.”
“This volume [20,000 km^3 on liquid FW in the BGR] is at least 5 times larger than the total annual river runoff to the Arctic Ocean and approximately two times larger than the amount of FW stored in sea ice in the entire Arctic Ocean.”
“On the other hand, EWG [Environmental Working Group Atlas of the Arctic Ocean, 1997, 1998] data can be used to conclude that the BGR FW reservoir is a permanent feature of the Arctic Ocean and can be considered as a flywheel of Arctic Ocean circulation (P2, Proshutinsky et al., 2009b; 2013).”
“This suggests [data plus model] that measurements obtained in the BG are representative of the entire Arctic”
“Annual hydrographic surveys (Fig. 4) are made in conjunction with BGOS to obtain long-term water property observations at standard locations to document interannual changes in FWC, heat content, and geochemistry. In addition to changing sea-ice and FWC, significant variations have been observed in ocean heat content (e.g. Jackson et al., 2010, 2011; McLaughlin et al., 2011) and geostrophic currents (e.g. McPhee et al., 2009; Fig. 4). Based on Ice Mass Balance Buoy data deployed during a BGOS expedition, Perovich et al. (2008) showed that an increase in the open water fraction resulted in a 500% positive anomaly in solar heat input to the upper ocean, triggering an ice– albedo feedback and contributing to the accelerating ice retreat. Numerous hypotheses have been put forward…”
http://www.arcticobservingsummit.org/pdf/white_papers/status_beaufort_gyre_obs_system.pdf
So basically after much study and data collecting the scientists are unsure and need to keep monitoring the Arctic to try and figure what is going on…others say nothing is going on, just usual (unusual?) natural perturbations so get over it and go home and get a “real job”.