NASA flights gauge summer sea ice melt in the Arctic

One of the dozen supraglacial lakes that Operation IceBridge surveyed to measure lake depth on July 19, 2017. Credit: NASA/John Sonntag.

 

From NASA

By Maria-Jose Viñas,
NASA’s Earth Science News Team

Earlier this year, Arctic sea ice sank to a record low wintertime extent for the third straight year. Now NASA is flying a set of instruments north of Greenland to observe the impact of the melt season on the Arctic’s oldest and thickest sea ice.

Operation IceBridge, NASA’s airborne survey of polar ice, launched a short campaign on July 17 from Thule Air Base, in northwest Greenland. Weather permitting, the IceBridge scientists are expecting to complete six, 4-hour-long flights focusing on sea ice that has survived at least one summer. This older multiyear ice, once the bulwark of the Arctic sea ice pack, has dramatically thinned and shrunk in extent along with the warming climate: in the mid-1980s, multi-year ice accounted for 70 percent of total winter Arctic sea ice extent; by the end of 2012, this percentage had dropped to less than 20 percent.

“Most of the central Arctic Ocean used to be covered with thick multiyear ice that would not completely melt during the summer and reflect back sunshine,” said Nathan Kurtz, IceBridge’s project scientist and a sea ice researcher at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. “But we have now lost most of this old ice and exposed the open ocean below, which absorbs most of the sun’s energy. That’s one reason the Arctic warming has increased nearly twice the global average— when we lose the reflecting cover of the Arctic Ocean, we lose a mechanism to cool the planet.”

A large circular sea ice floe covered with melt ponds and surrounded by smaller floes, as seen from an Operation IceBridge flight on July 17, 2017. Credit: NASA/Nathan Kurtz

 

The sea ice flights will survey melt ponds, the pools of meltwater on the ice surface that may contribute to the accelerated retreat of sea ice. Last summer, IceBridge carried a short campaign from Barrow, Alaska, to study young sea ice, which tends to be thinner and flatter than multiyear ice and thus has shallower melt ponds on its surface.

“The ice we’re flying over this summer is much more deformed, with a much rougher topography, so the melt ponds that form on it are quite different,” Kurtz said.

IceBridge is also flying a set of tracks to locate areas of sea ice that the mission already flew over in March and April, during its regular springtime campaign, to measure how the ice has melted since then.

“The sea ice can easily have drifted hundreds of miles between the spring and now, so we’re tracking the ice as it’s moving from satellite data,” Kurtz said.

The summer research flights are aboard an HU-25C Guardian Falcon aircraft from NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia. The plane is carrying a laser instrument that measures changes in ice elevation and a high-resolution camera system to map land ice, as well as two experimental instruments.

IceBridge’s main instrument, the Airborne Topographic Mapper laser altimeter, was recently upgraded to transmit 10,000 pulses every second, over three times more than the previous laser versions and with a shorter pulse than previous generations. The upgrade will allow the mission to measure ice elevation more precisely as well as try out new uses on land ice. During this campaign, IceBridge researchers want to experiment whether the laser is able to measure the depth of the aquamarine lakes of meltwater that form on the surface of the Greenland Ice Sheet in the summer. Large meltwater lakes are visible from space, but depth estimates from satellite imagery — and thus the volume of water they contain— have large uncertainties. Those depth estimates are key to calculating how much ice melts on Greenland’s ice sheet surface during the summer.


One of the dozen supraglacial lakes that Operation IceBridge surveyed to measure lake depth on July 19, 2017. Credit: NASA/John Sonntag.

 

“Scientists have measured the depth of these lakes directly by collecting data from Zodiacs,” said Michael Studinger, principal investigator for the laser instrument team. “It’s very dangerous to do this, because these lakes can drain without warning and you don’t want to be on a lake collecting data when that happens. Collecting data from an airborne platform is safer and more efficient.”

Researchers have used lasers to map the bottom of the sea in coastal areas, so Studinger is optimistic that the instrument will be able to see the bottom of the meltwater lakes and that possibly IceBridge will expand this new capability in the future. A mission that IceBridge flew on July 19 over a dozen supraglacial lakes in northwest Greenland gathered a set of measurements that Studinger’s team will analyze over the following weeks and months.

The goal of Operation IceBridge is to collect data on changing polar land and sea ice and maintain continuity of measurements between NASA’s Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) missions. The original ICESat mission ended in 2009, and its successor, ICESat-2, is scheduled for launch in the fall of 2018. For more about Operation IceBridge and to follow the summer Arctic sea ice campaign, visit http://www.nasa.gov/icebridge.

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100 thoughts on “NASA flights gauge summer sea ice melt in the Arctic

  1. “During this campaign, IceBridge researchers want to experiment whether the laser is able to measure the depth of the aquamarine lakes of meltwater that form on the surface of the Greenland Ice Sheet in the summer. Large meltwater lakes are visible from space, but depth estimates from satellite imagery — and thus the volume of water they contain— have large uncertainties. Those depth estimates are key to calculating how much ice melts on Greenland’s ice sheet surface during the summer.”

    So much for the claim that GRACE provides accurate measurement of the SMB of the Greenland Ice sheet.

  2. “…The goal of Operation IceBridge is to collect data on changing polar land and sea ice and maintain continuity of measurements between NASA’s Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) missions. The original ICESat mission ended in 2009, and its successor, ICESat-2, is scheduled for launch in the fall of 2018…”

    http://www.spacepolicyonline.com/news/gao-gives-nasa-mixed-results-for-management-of-major-projects

    Was supposed to launch Oct 2017, had a committed launch of June 2017, and will now launch no earlier than Sept 2018. Initial cost estimate of $0.86B is now $1.06B.

  3. Dear NASA,

    How about a fluid dynamics study simulating the thermodynamic effect of the continental shelves, instead of this crap?

    Thanks in advance

  4. ‘Earlier this year, Arctic sea ice sank to a record low wintertime extent for the third straight year.’

    Good news!

    • You bet it is!

      We only have an interglacial as long as northern polar ice is not permanent. As soon as the pole freezes and stays frozen, the glacial builup begins and doesn’t end for 100000 years.

      It is just insanity to be cheering for an Arctic that stays frozen in summer.

      • Except that a seasonally ice free arctic ocean has a very large impact on climate and weather patterns…

      • “Except that a seasonally ice free arctic ocean has a very large impact on climate and weather patterns…”

        Yet another griff fantasy.

        Arctic sea ice was MUCH lower for most of the first 2/3 – 3/4 of the Holocene.

        The Earth is still here.

        Polar bears are still here.

        Change your bed sheet, yet again, griff, and try to stop you incessant bed-wetting.

        The current level is ANOMALOUSLY HIGH, and unfortunately the recovery to the lower “normal” levels of before the LIA seems to have stalled.

        Pity really, because a lower level of sea ice would have been highly beneficial for the people living up there, opening the seas up for commerce, travel , fishing etc.

      • Griff, what about the short time there was negligible Summer ice melt back during the LIA time frame?

        Was there such a terrible climate impatk then because the ice cap stayed frozen over during the summer months?

        Think again Griffy girl.

      • “Except that a seasonally ice free arctic ocean has a very large impact on climate and weather patterns…”

        More porkies, Skanky?

        Have you apologised yet?

    • No, Griff is right.

      The UK Met Office said that reduced winter ice in the Arctic will cause drier winters in the UK.

      And the UK Met Office has said that reduced winter ice in the Arctic will cause wetter winters in the UK.

      See how magical the Arctic ice is.

  5. There were a couple of peer reviewed journal articles ( sorry I no longer have copies) which described how and why Arctic sea ice began melting several years back. The conclusion was it was not necessary a warming climate but a change in surface circulation in the North Pacific allowing an inflow into the Arctic. The timing was critical. Warmer water intruded into the Arctic at the right time of year causing excessive ice melt. Once the ice melts, depending on time of year, etc it does expose the sea surface which absorbs energy and not reflects it. The process sets up a loop. Speculation in the articles was that a similar scenario developed during the 1939s when there was also extensive sea ice melt. Of course what we seldom hear is that we have only had a synoptic view of the polar regions and been able to asses ice coverage since 1979. So “record” ice melt is based on a very short time line.

    • It just so happened that 1979 was one of the highest sea ice years of the past century, if not the highest.

      • Wasn’t 1979 when they were still predicting the oncoming Ice Age? What are the estimates for the 1930’s?

      • Depends on who you ask

        Is it just me or does it look like the min data (purple) between 1940-55 was offset and the very unrealistic peak, when the Arctic was as warm as now, was cut off?

      • Anybody who thinks the Arctic sea ice minimum was in the 10.0 million km2 range in the past as in various times from 1870 to 1970 is smoking something.

        This is what 10.0 millon km2 looks like. That means no polar explorers, no Roald Amundsen, no Inuit whaling boats and kayaks, no Churchill fur trade etc. etc. The chart is completely fake, not based on what really happened.

      • “Steven Mosher July 31, 2017 at 1:37 am

        haha. skeptics and their settled science.”

        Hummm…do believe non-sceptics called that first!

  6. ” the Arctic warming has increased nearly twice the global average ”
    ahh …so that is the reason the mean temperature of the Arctic has been below average for the last three months in a row . Who knew ?
    Yes , WINTER temps have been above average …..but I don’t think that is due to melted ice …..

    • I know, weird right? I also wonder with all these places warming at twice the global average where are all the ones warming at half the global average. Why do we never hear about them?

    • Should be obvious, as in, like, well, duh!, but apparently not.

      Air temperature differences are a minor ingredient in sea ice waxing and waning.

  7. This is dumb as a bag of ball bearings. I couldn’t get past the first sentence where the author says:

    Earlier this year, Arctic sea ice sank to a record low wintertime extent for the third straight year.

    Nope. First, the most recent low was not even close to the record.

    And second, it didn’t happen “earlier this year” … she’s talking about last year.

    In other words, she just made it up and phoned it in.

    I don’t know who Maria-Jose Viñas might be, but she’s clueless about arctic sea ice. That opening sentence, in addition to being so bad it is not even wrong, is nothing but cheap low-life alarmism.

    Drain the freakin’ swamp …

    w.

      • In a pitifully short 40 year period since one of the HIGHEST in the whole Holocene interglacial.

        SO WHAT !!!

        Apart from the LIA and the late 1970’s the Arctic sea ice extent is most probably pretty much at its HIGHEST extent in the last 10,000 years. !!

        biodata clearly shows that for most of the first 3/4 of the Holocene, sea ice levels were much lower, probably often summer ice free.

        The world is still here.

        STOP THIS CHILDISH ARCTIC SEA-ICE BED-WETTING. !!

    • Willis,
      “First, the most recent low was not even close to the record.”
      She said low wintertime extent. Here (from here) is a polar plot of NSIDC NH sea ice since 2002, with 2017 in black:

      It sure looks as if 2017 has the best claim to a record low. It wasn’t the lowest for every day, but it was lowest for 59 of the 90 days of Q1. Next was 2016 with 14 days, then 2015 with 9.

    • Willis

      Winter time extent. Not FALL extent.
      Winter time extent.

      Drain the swamp?

      Drain your depends.

  8. “Researchers have used lasers to map the bottom of the sea in coastal areas”. I was not aware laser light reached down a km to measure the bottom sea bed. I thought only acoustics could do that. Wow, amazing technology. Okay, I am being sarcastic and that comment is bunk.

  9. First thing that comes to mind when I see pond pictures is that in 100 years when this is part of a drill core of ice, what does the CO2 readings mean? Oh yeah, nothing but more garbage. More recirculated and mixed ice giving us that wonderful read of past climate. Or whatever.

  10. The way this layman sees it, glacial mass breaking off into the sea in Winter is evidence of
    expanding ice. We just found out that an iceberg the size of Rhode Island broke off of Antarctica
    recently. What season is it in the Southern hemisphere? Meanwhile, in the Northern hemisphere,
    we are living in something that even an idiot can understand is one the hottest months of Summer.

    Glacial and sea ice melt in the Summer months, only to return as ice in six months time. Does
    anyone see a pattern here? Even most of the environmental left agree that there has been
    a <1 degree C above and <1 C degree below the baseline over the last 1,000 years.

    Call me stupid if I was an astronomy geek when I was a kid, but I find it hard to get worked
    up about a <2 degree C peak to peak average over the course of a millennia. Something
    tells me that Mammy Nature is doing an admirable job of regulating global climate!

    I once read a quote about climate being the result of unimaginable complexity. I would
    add that even local, and regional weather patterns should be a part of that quote. If the TV
    meteorologists are any gauge, they get it right about 50% of the time even with all their
    high tech toys.

    I have read many stories that claim the global warming alarmists purposefully exclude such
    things as the solar cycle and the number one greenhouse gas (water vapor) in their computer
    models. In Dr. Dixie Lee Ray's book, Trashing The Planet she offered other possible factors
    like the role of oceans as heat sinks and weather cycles like El Nino and La Nina as possible
    variables that are not a part of their computer models.

    What if the variables are so numerous that they are thousands or tens of thousands in
    number? What if it is CO2, Methane, water vapor, local and regional weather cycles,
    volcanos, rotting vegetation, photosynthesis, solar cycles, ozone thickness, and thousands
    more, including cow farts and ten thousand other variables?

    If this were the case, all the atmospheric scientists in the world could not produce a viable
    computer model!

    • My grandpa once told me that the best weathermen looked out the window right before going on the air and forecast the same weather for tomorrow. They were accurate more than 50% of the time.

  11. Why spend so much money, when Pen Hadow can check this out by sailing a yacht to the North Pole?

    http://www.ybw.com/news-from-yachting-boating-world/explorer-pen-hadow-aims-first-person-sail-north-pole-yacht-57013

    “If we can produce a visual image of a sail boat at 90 degrees north I think that could become an iconic image of the challenge that the 21st century faces,” said the explorer.

    Hasn’t he heard of photoshop?

    He does have form on this: https://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/10/15/top-ten-reasons-why-i-think-catlin-arctic-ice-survey-data-cant-be-trusted/

  12. arctic sea ice is in an’interesting’ state… looks like another in the lowest 3 or 4 in the satellite record…

    and thinner, less volume, less multi year ice than ever before.

    It certainly hasn’t ‘recovered’ to pre-2007 levels in over a decade…

    • Still WAY above what it has been for some 90-95% of the Holocene.

      Only the LIA and the late 1970s were any higher than now.

      Why do you HATE the people living up there SO MUCH that you would wish the debilitating , massive sea ice of the LIA on them

      A lower amount of Arctic sea ice, back some small way toward the lower levels of before the LIA, would be a massive benefit for travel, commerce , fishing, mining, etc etc

      Travel without the huge expense of massive ice breakers, fishing in safety for even a few months.

      How great that would be for the people up there !!!!! , wouldn’t you agree, griff?

      • This is just nonsense… I report what science is telling us about arctic conditions and from it you infer I hate somebody?

        The arctic does not care what or whom we hate…

        Its a physical environment we can report on honestly…

        You ignore the profound effects on climate an ice free arctic would bring.

        (I note you are now accepting that it will be ice free and hope you’ll be giving Wadhams the credit he deserves for his predictions on that front?)

      • Griff, an ice-free Arctic is what brought us to today, as it begins to refreeze towards glaciation. All the NH ice is new and struggling to get a foot-hold as we end this epic era of warmth that brought us agriculture and civilization. Most humans prefer the modern warmth and longevity it brings. You seem to want to go back to a 30 year life-span of freezing misery and dodging carnivores and you wonder why people accuse you of hating people…

      • You have NOTHING griff.

        You KNOW the facts,,, your DENIAL is based only on brain-washed mantra.

        Why do you HATE the people living up there SO MUCH that you want them to experience the MASSIVE EXTREMES of sea ice as of the LIA and late 1970s

        You truly do HATE very deeply , don’t you griff.

        Sea ice ahs been MUCH lower for most of the last 10,000 years.

        GET OVER IT, you pestilence-loving little cretin.

    • “Griff July 31, 2017 at 12:41 am”

      And you predicted the lowest evah this September, do you recall? Not long to wait. Oh, and then you retracted that and said “one of the lowest”.

      • Well it is neck and neck with 2012 and 2016 at present. It is on a knife edge…

        given a 2012 type storm, lowest ever is still likely.

        This has been a season with poor melt conditions: it is variable… but even with poor melt conditions, it is still going to be one of the lowest, whatever happens now.

      • “Griff July 31, 2017 at 5:37 am”

        I don’t care. You made a fairly definitive prediction. Are you prepared to stand by that? It seems you are on the losing edge of that bet.

      • “Well it is neck and neck with 2012 and 2016 at present”

        Yep and WAY, WAY higher than 90-95% of the last 10,000 years.

        These EXTREME Arctic sea ice extents need to drop lower, for the benefit of ALL people and animals living up there.

    • Earlier this year, Griff was confidently predicting that this summer would see the lowest ice levels ever recorded and it was proof positive that a death spiral had started.
      Now he’s just whining that ice levels are a little bit below what they were 10 years ago.

  13. “we have now lost most of this old ice and exposed the open ocean below, which absorbs most of the sun’s energy.”

    Apparently the Russians didn’t get the message:

    Dark red is multi-year ice

    • Dark red is ice more than 1 year old… not many ‘years’ multi at all

      The ice over 3 years old and the thicker ice -ice which used to be 4 or 5 m thick – has declined massively

      • Griff…your words from above “You ignore the profound effects on climate an ice free arctic would bring.”

        Could you describe the “profound effects” which you think will occur from less ice in the Arctic?

      • Profound effects..

        TRAVEL, FISHING, COMMERCE.

        Yep , these are indeed profound effects.

        They actually let people live a less harsh life , for at least a tiny part of the year.

        Totally against the griff mantra.

  14. Why spend so much money, when Pen Hadow can check this out by sailing a yacht to the North Pole?

    He’s going to have a hard time this year. There has hardly been any melt in the Central Arctic:

  15. “in the mid-1980s, multi-year ice accounted for 70 percent of total winter Arctic sea ice extent; by the end of 2012, this percentage had dropped to less than 20 percent”

    If you think it a bit odd talking about the ice situation in 2012 five years later the explanation is here (red is multi-year ice):

  16. Interesting little snippet-

    “North-west Passage.
    For April 1838, we gather the intelligence, that
    the north-west passage has been achieved,
    and that the continent (1) of North America
    has been circumnavigated, and the latitude of
    its northern extremity ascertained by actual
    observation:—
    “It is,” says the writer, in the work referred to,
    ” the great glory of this country to be indebted to com-
    mercial enterprise for a discovery, which has excited
    and baffled, the ardour of maritime nations for the last
    three centuries, but has now been achieved by an
    expedition fitted out solely by the Hudsons’Bay
    Company, and conducted by its own officers and
    servants.”
    The expedition, it seems, was equipped in
    the spring of 1836, under the direction and
    superintendence, of Mr. Simpson, the resident
    Governor of the Company; and onward it
    proceeded, on its perilous mission, under the
    charge of Messrs. Dease and T. Simpson, with
    13 volunteers. This little, but adventurous
    band, followed the route, formerly pursued
    by the British Government, to solve a geo-
    graphical problem, which, when solved, could
    tend to no possible advantage. They, of course,
    encountered many icebergs, — came in contact
    with some of those miserable beings, the Es-
    quimaux, — saw whales and seals sporting in
    the water, — and having reached latitude 71 °
    23′ 33″ north, longitude 156° 29′ west, they,
    very wisely, set out, on their return home-
    wards ; and, as they have furnished us with
    an account of their voyage, we presume, they
    must have reached home in safety. We learn,
    however that — ” They will resume their survey to the eastward at the opening of the navigation in July next, with the view of connecting the discoveries of Sir John Frank”

    • Well for the last decade they could have just sailed through on a yacht, cargo ship or indeed luxury cruise liner.

      The last decade of open water in the NW passage is a clear step change from conditions in the 20th century (or indeed recorded history)

      • “Recorded history” in this area begins about 1820.

        Amundsen sailed through in 1903-06 (n. b. he stayed an extra year to study the Netsilingmiut)

        Then nobody even tried to sail through for 36 years

        However in the 1930´s the Hudson Bay Company sent supply ships to Cambridge Bay both from the Antantic and the Pacific, so the passage was clearly open then (on one occasion they even exchanged a symbolic spice package, the first cargo to go through the passage).

        Then St Roch went through 1940-42 (they started very late in the 1940-season) and 1944. The last was the first single-year passage and used the deeper and wider Northern route through the McClure passage, which has rarely been used since.

        Then nobody tried again for 10 years, then a canadian icebreaker went through in 1954 and three US ones in 1957.

        Passages have happened more or less regularly since the seventies and annually since the nineties.

        By the way, here is a paper that analyzes the ice conditions in the nineteenth century based on explorer’s logs, and finnds that they were much like today:

        https://ams.confex.com/ams/pdfpapers/61419.pdf

      • “Well for the last decade they could have just sailed through on a yacht, cargo ship or indeed luxury cruise liner.”

        Disingenuous.

        This is the satellite era, so by using satellites the open leads can be detected reliably, making such passages vastly easier.

        Funny how you omitted to mention that, isn’t it?

        Um, didn’t I just see something about that…

        Large Canadian Arctic climate change study cancelled due to climate change
        Date:
        June 13, 2017
        Source:
        University of Manitoba
        Summary:
        The Science Team of the Canadian Research Icebreaker CCGS Amundsen has cancelled the first leg of the 2017 Expedition due to complications associated with the southward motion of hazardous Arctic sea ice, caused by climate

        https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/06/170613150651.htm

  17. This slight decrease in Arctic sea ice from the EXTREME levels of 1979, up there with the devastating extremes of the LIA, is a MASSIVE BOON for all the people living up there.

    The seas will be more open for fishing, commerce, travel. etc etc..like they were BEFORE the little ice age.

    During most of the first 7000-8000 years of the current interglacial, levels were MUCH lower.

    Unfortunately, the levels are STILL HIGHER than they have been for some 90-95% of the last 10,000 years.

    I never understand why the Arctic BED-WETTERS like griff etc are so HATING of the people up there that they wish them to have to undergo year after year of intense sea ice like the period around the late 1970’s and the LAI.. Its just morally sick..

    The current ZERO trend in the last 10 or so years has been great, but it still needs to drop MUCH lower for at least some small part of the year for the full BENEFITS to be realised.

    (Stop the personal attacks) MOD

    • That really is an abusive and intemperate comment, Andy.

      By all means dispute the science, but I don’t think that kind of language has any place in a serious discussion on climate change – or is that not what this website is about?

      I might point out that the native communities of the arctic are established to make use of and thrive in icy conditions…

      The warmer winters (relatively!) and thinner ice are disrupting hunting, travel and traditional lifestyles up there.

      I note also that the previous low/no ice period was during the Eemian, when orbital inclination during that phase of a Milankovitch cycle meant the arctic received summer insolation greatly in excess of what we see now.

      I am still looking for an explanation of how the record low ice now can have come about WITHOUT that specific effect.

      You can look at the NSIDC website and clearly see there reports of a declining trend month on month.

      a glance at this shows this year rivalling the lowest extent years
      http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/charctic-interactive-sea-ice-graph/

      • ” I note also that the previous low/no ice period was during the Eemian”

        There is any amount of research that shows reduced or no sea-ice in the Arctic during the Holocene optimum 6-10,000 years ago (and even in the MWP):

        http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0277379113004162

        http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00167223.2010.10669515

        And by the way, be careful when browse around the NSIDC or you might find some disturbing data. Whatever you do don’t look at the Central Arctic data here:

        https://nsidc.org/data/masie/masie_plots

      • Griff,

        you have been shown this several times now,from the NOAA sea ice data at the

        It is currently right on the TEN YEAR mean for the date.

      • “The warmer winters (relatively!) and thinner ice are disrupting hunting, travel and traditional lifestyles up there.”

        RUBBISH

        The hunting etc will adapt back to the methods used before the EXTREMES of the LIA.

        Its is a MASIVE BENEFIT to all those living up there to be able to hunt, travel, do commerce etc etc for at least the portion of the year that this very respite hof the last 40 or so years has offered them.

        Remember, the current level is FAR higher than it has been for most of the last 10,000 years.

      • “That really is an abusive and intemperate comment, Andy.”

        At least he didn’t attempt to damage your professional credibility like you tried to do by lying about Dr. Crockford, Skanky.

        Ah, but you haven’t any credibility to damage – professional or otherwise have you, very much the opposite in fact.

    • “That really is an abusive and intemperate comment, Andy”

      Stop the ANTI_FACT nonsense, griff, and recognise the FACT that Arctic sea ice levels are WAY above those of the most of last 10,000.

      You are an abuse to yourself, griff.

  18. What are the forecast effects of ice loss on the biological productivity of the Arctic?

    • Arctic cod will likely move to the continental shelf in the late summer if the ice is gone. There is an entire ecosystem connected to algae that grows on the bottom of the ice. It is pretty cool how it survives the darkness of winter, and makes a fresh start every spring. You need to remember the bottom of the ice grows five feet down every winter and most of that melts upward during the summer. A very unstable surface, but somehow the algae thrives. Some of the “dirty” bergs we see have nothing to do with volcanic ash or human-caused soot, but are simply bergs flipped like a pancake, with the algae now on top.

  19. ” when we lose the reflecting cover of the Arctic Ocean, we lose a mechanism to cool the planet.”

    So a lack of ice cover lets heat in but somehow during winter up does NOT let heat out? Didn’t NASA used to have scientists on the payroll?

  20. At low angles of incidence, the difference in reflectivity of water and ice is very small.
    Ice is an insulator, losing the ice means the sea water is better able to lose it’s heat to the air, and from there to space.
    Losing arctic ice is a very strong negative feedback, not the weak positive one postulated in the article.
    One would expect an arctic “expert” to know such things.

  21. Hmm…really no reason to do this as the preordained results have been predicted and the cause laid at the feet of the ONLY reason it’s occurring…CAGW.

  22. Jim Gorman said,
    July 31, 2017 at 5:58 am

    My grandpa once told me that the best weathermen looked out the window right before going on the air and forecast the same weather for tomorrow. They were accurate more than 50% of the time.

    Do you mean like this,

    • I was taught the same thing when I read meteorology. In the northern temperate zone you will be correct 60% of the time. At least back then this was used to evaluate how good forecasts were, since anyone can say that the weather will be the same tomorrow any worthwhile forecast has to be better than 60%.

  23. The goal of Operation IceBridge is to collect data on changing polar land and sea ice and maintain continuity of measurements between NASA’s Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) missions.

    At the risk of sounding cynical, I suspect that the actual goal of Operation IceBridge is to prove that it’s worse than we thought.

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