Under the Arctic Dome — Brutish High Pressure System is Wrecking the Already Thinned Sea Ice | robertscribbler

GR: Arctic warming and polar ice cap melting are proceeding as predicted. The predictions should have alarmed our governments. The reality is going to be painful. Our governments and elected leaders chose to ignore the warnings in return for handouts from the fossil-fuel industry. The voters are beginning to catch on, but our politicians probably think their bag of loot guarantees them a happy future. However, they are not going to like the unavoidable extreme weather events they’ve helped lock in to our future.

“There’s a real atmospheric brute towering over the Arctic’s Beaufort Sea at this time. A high pressure system that would put shame to most other anti-cyclonic phenomena that bear the name. It is sending out a broad, clockwise pattern of winds. It is pulling up warm air from the Pacific to invade the Bering, Chukchi, East Siberian and Laptev Seas. And its torquing motion is shattering the already considerably thinned ice beneath it.

A powerful high pressure system over the Beaufort Sea is predicted to further strengthen by late April 15. Image source: Earth Nullschool.

“Clocking in at 1046 mb of pressure, it makes typically strong 1030 mb high pressure systems seem weak by comparison. Over the next day it is expected to strengthen still — hitting 1048 mb by late April 15th (coming very close to an extraordinary 1050 mb system).

Shattered Sea Ice

“This powerful and strengthening system has already been in place for about two weeks — slowly gaining momentum as its circulation has moved in mirror to the waters of the Beaufort Gyre that swirl beneath it. Masked only by a veil of sea ice considerably thinned by human-forced climate change, the waters of the Beaufort are now breaking through. Streaks of dark blue on white in an early break-up enabled both by a terrible Arctic warming and by this powerful spring weather system.” –RobertScribbler (More: Under the Arctic Dome — Brutish High Pressure System is Wrecking the Already Thinned Sea Ice | robertscribbler.)

An Armada of Icebergs Has Just Invaded The North Atlantic

GR: Swarms of icebergs are another symptom of global warming that we meet as we cross the threshold of accelerated change. RobertScribbler reports on the complex connections and dangers in many posts. Here’s a sample.

“I have about a decade of experience with the Ice Patrol, and in my time here, and talking with people who have been here longer, I’ve never seen anything like this or heard of anything like this before,” — Gabrielle McGrath, Coast Guard Commander of the US Ice Patrol.

“A Heinrich event is a phenomenon in which large armadas of icebergs break off from glaciers and traverse the North Atlantic.” — Commons

“Consider the situation during past ice sheet disintegrations. In melt-water pulse 1A, about 14,000 years ago, sea level rose about 20 meters in approximately 400 years (Kienast et al., 2003). That is an average of 1 meter of sea level rise every 20 years.” — Dr. James Hansen.

“This week an unprecedented 481 icebergs swarmed into the shipping lanes of a storm-tossed North Atlantic. Strong hurricane force winds had ripped these bergs from their sea ice moored haven of Baffin Bay and thrust them into the ocean waters off Newfoundland. The week before, there were only 37 such icebergs in the Atlantic’s far northern waters. And the new number this week is nearly 6 times the annual average for this time of year at 83. To be very clear, there is no record, at present, of such a large surge of icebergs entering these waters in so short a period at any time in the modern reckoning.

(Many glaciers along the periphery of Greenland have passed the point of no return. In other words, at present temperatures, these glaciers will completely melt. In the past, such major melting events have released ‘armadas of icebergs’ into the North Atlantic in instances called Heinrich Events. Video source: Chasing Ice.)

Likely Precursor to a Heinrich Event

–RobertScribbler (Continue reading: An Armada of Icebergs Has Just Invaded The North Atlantic | robertscribbler.)

This week, a massive swarm of icebergs that calved from Greenland and entered Baffin Bay have been kicked into the North Atlantic by a powerful storm system. To be clear, this is the kind of thing you’d expect at the start of a Heinrich Event. Image source: U.S. Coastguard.

‘Beyond the extreme’: Scientists marvel at ‘increasingly non-natural’ Arctic warmth

GR:  Declining ice, warming oceans, and fading polar high pressure are supporting frequent flows of warm air from the south. Scientists and weather forecasters did not expect this consequence of global warming to come so soon. They do not know what to expect next.

Arctic temperature difference from normal during January. (WeatherBell.com)

“The Arctic is so warm and has been this warm for so long that scientists are struggling to explain it and are in disbelief. The climate of the Arctic is known to oscillate wildly, but scientists say this warmth is so extreme that humans surely have their hands in it and may well be changing how it operates.

“Temperatures are far warmer than ever observed in modern records, and sea ice extent keeps setting record lows.

“2016 was the warmest year on record in the Arctic, and 2017 has picked up right where it left off. “Arctic extreme (relative) warmth continues,” Ryan Maue, a meteorologist with WeatherBell Analytics, tweeted on Wednesday, referring to January’s temperatures.

“Veteran Arctic climate scientists are stunned.

“[A]fter studying the Arctic and its climate for three and a half decades, I have concluded that what has happened over the last year goes beyond even the extreme,” wrote Mark Serreze, director of the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colo., in an essay for Earth magazine.

“At the North Pole, the mercury has rocketed to near the melting point twice since November, and another huge flux of warmth is projected by models next week. Their simulations predict some places in the high Arctic will rise over 50 degrees above normal.

GFS model temperature forecast difference from normal next Feb. 8 over Arctic. (WeatherBell.com)

“What happens next in the Arctic is anyone’s guess. But Penn State’s Titley, who said we are “headed into a new unknown” is concerned: “Science is still trying to figure out the details. We do know that 2017 will almost certainly start with the weakest, thinnest, smallest arctic ice pack in recorded history. So we are one step closer to living with an ice-free arctic in the summer, and probably sooner than we think.” –Jason Samenow (More:  ‘Beyond the extreme’: Scientists marvel at ‘increasingly non-natural’ Arctic warmth – The Washington Post.)

Warm Air Invades Arctic Again, Slowing Sea Ice Growth

GR:  Southerly movement of cold air balances northerly movement of warm air. The added warmth is melting polar sea ice, increasing humidity, trapping more heat, and strengthening the incursions of warm air north and cold air south. We expect this positive feedback to grow stronger with each passing year. Periods of record winter freezes alternating with record winter warmth will allow earlier spring blooms and will more often freeze spring flowers. Crops will fail, migrating wildlife will be confused, and nature will lose another step in its battle to survive the onslaught of human impact.

“A surge of warm air and stormy weather has once again invaded the Arctic, sending temperatures soaring and stagnating winter sea ice growth. These repeated incursions have helped keep sea ice area at record low levels for much of the freeze season, and have even contributed to an exceptional cold season retreat.

Sea ice area during the winter freeze-up (in blue) as compared to the long-term average (in gray). Periodic incursions of warm, stormy weather, along with persistent winter warmth, have kept sea ice at record low levels for much of the winter. Credit: NSIDC

“These recent record lows are part of a clear downward spiral of Arctic sea ice caused by regional temperature rise that is happening at twice the global pace, fueled by continued greenhouse gas emissions.2016, the hottest year on record for the planet, was something of an exclamation point on that Arctic trend, with seven months of record low sea ice levels, as well as record high air temperatures in the region.“

“2016 is the most anomalous year we have seen yet and it appears to be continuing,” Julienne Stroeve, of the U.S. National Snow & Ice Data Center and the University College London, said in an email. “This is not going to look good going into the melt season.”

“This decades-long decline in sea ice has repercussions for native communities and for the Arctic ecosystem, of which the sea ice is a vital component. It is also exposing the fragile region to more shipping and other commercial activity and could be altering weather patterns over parts of the Northern Hemisphere.” –Andrea Thompson (Continue reading:  Warm Air Invades Arctic Again, Slowing Sea Ice Growth | Climate Central.)