Arctic Sea Ice Status Update, and a Tragedy in Greenland // Aug 14, 2020
We are 4-5 weeks away from our yearly Arctic Sea Ice mid-September minimum. I chat on present Arctic sea ice status and loss trends. Gone are days of thick, solid, contiguous ice. We now have a regime where sea ice is fractured, broken, thin, and easily jostled around by wind, ocean currents, and waves. Sensors measuring ice extent, area, and thickness struggle to provide accurate info in this new fractured regime.
I also discuss the extremely sad, tragic loss of Swiss glaciologis Konrad Steffen in a Greenland crevasse
Ref: Konrad Steffen, Who Sounded Alarm on Greenland Ice, Dies at 68, NYT 8/13/2020
Fractured, Thin, Broken Arctic Sea Ice Subject to Mercy of Wind, Waves, Ocean Currents, and Sun // Aug 14, 2020
The state of Arctic Sea Ice this 2020 summer is that of an ocean of ice cubes. The ice is very fractured, essentially broken up into small ice chunks and tossed around at the mercy of the wind and waves (and ocean currents).
The ice loss is occurring on many fronts. There is ongoing export from the Arctic Ocean via the Fram Strait, and through the Canadian archipelago. Melting from above is still intensive via solar radiation which is at about half the summer peak. Extremely warm water temperatures at the ice fringes and below the ice are also very significant.
“We are hurtling towards the Blue Ocean Event (BOE) in the Arctic. Nobody knows for sure when it will happen. From my analysis, which I discuss in this video, my best guess is that the BOE will happen in 2022. After this BOE happens, then what will follow in subsequent years? I think that by BOE+2 years the Arctic Ocean will be ice free for August, September, and October. By BOE+4 years it will be ice free for 5 months, and by BOE+10 years the Arctic Ocean will be free of sea ice year round.” – Paul Beckwith, Climate Systems Scientist
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