I feel better for that

Catz women catching FaT (I think) on saturday. Which was all jolly good fun but meant that I didn’t get to row myself all week after monday. And over the weekend I felt somewhat ill. Coupled with pouring rain at 4 this afternoon I was not at all looking forward to being 6 in our “M1″ crew for the X-press head today. However, despite light rain as we were boating, we managed to row really quite well given the scratch nature of our crew (well done Phil, especially; and James’s first serious race as stroke) and rowing in a stiff boat was a delight, as was the raw arrogance of James T’s coxing. We don’t have a time yet but given that we overtook (an admittedly rather slow) Radegund crew, and comfortably held off a 9′s crew that we had expected to stuff us, I have some hopes of a decent result.

But this isn’t a blog purely about my tedious rowing. So I’ll briefly mention sea ice. some people have noticed that this years NH sea ice is looking to push 2007′s record, based on curve-crossing (mt’s pic isn’t a snapshot, so it looks rather less impressive now than when he put it up). As I said over there, I prefer http://www.ijis.iarc.uaf.edu/en/home/seaice_extent.htm, and not just because it makes my money look safer. No, because it gives a more accurate idea of what is going on. As you can see form that last link, 2007 wasn’t consistently low – it was easily beaten by 2006 at this time of the season. mt’s pic is really a perfect example of how to mislead with graphics (note: I’m certain that mt had not the slightest intent to mislead anyone). They need to replace the 1979-2000 average with the 1979-2006 range to produce something meaningful.

[Update: Eli is in on this too, but he doesn't know what is going on either :-) -W]

Comments

  1. #1 Alastair McDonald
    2009/06/15

    The IJIS map is stuck at 11th June. I wonder if James Annan could shake them up a bit?

    Cheers, Alastair.

  2. #3 Gareth
    2009/06/16

    Another entry in the form book.

  3. #4 Andrew T
    2009/06/16

    Looks promising for the NE passage. A friend-of-a-friend is apparently seeking permission from the Russians after sailing the NW passage last summer.

  4. #5 Eli Rabett
    2009/06/17

    It does and it doesn’t. This year the strongest melt is occurring between Greenland and Norway. Right now it almost looks like there is broken ice at the pole. The Siberian Alaskan side is in better shape than in 2007, but it is not solid ice. The pattern is interesting. (BTW, posed the series a few days ago.)

  5. #6 Alastair McDonald
    2009/06/17

    FWIW I think what is happening at the moment is that the melt ponds are draining. The loss of water from over the ice means that the satellites think the ice is growing.

    The clues which back that idea are the message on the IJIS web site:

    The current version of data processing produces an erroneous blip of sea-ice extent on June 1 and October 15, which is seen in the graph of sea-ice extent as a small peak on these dates. The apparent blip arises due to switching of some parameters in the processing on those dates. The parameter switching is needed because the surface of the Arctic sea ice becomes wet in summer due to the melting of ice, drastically changing the satellite-observed signatures of sea ice. We will soon improve the processing to make the graph much smoother.

    http://www.ijis.iarc.uaf.edu/en/home/seaice_extent.htm

    and the ‘hiccup’ in the ice record for 2007 here:
    http://nsidc.org/data/seaice_index/images/daily_images/N_timeseries.png

    Cheers, Alastair.

  6. #7 Nick Barnes
    2009/06/17

    I’m watching MODIS, and the Canadian Met Office charts, daily. Recommended. Aside from that, I’m going to keep my own counsel at least for a month or two.

    [You won't get any points for making predictions of the max in 2 months time :-) -W]

  7. #8 Nick Barnes
    2009/06/18

    I’m not after points. For what it’s worth, I think I’m going to win 50 euros again this year.

    [Who did you get 50 euros from last year? -W]

    But what I’m getting from MODIS and the weather charts is interesting to me, and seems somewhat unusual. Nares Strait is never empty like that, certainly not in May and June. There’s also a lot of clear water around Bathurst Island, and the weather station in the north of Ellesmere Island has been above 5 degrees for weeks. But there’s been no appreciable melt of the NW passage for a while. Over the other side, there’s a lot of broken ice far north-east of Svalbard, up to 85+ degrees.

    It’s clear we’re going to get low ice, but maybe low like 2005 rather than low like 2007. At the end of the day, breaking records is always down to the weather. There’s a persistent high pressure area over the northern Beaufort Sea which could be decisive.

  8. #9 Nick Barnes
    2009/06/18

    I’m not after points. For what it’s worth, I think I’m going to win 50 euros again this year.

    But what I’m getting from MODIS and the weather charts is interesting to me, and seems somewhat unusual. Nares Strait is never empty like that, certainly not in May and June. There’s also a lot of clear water around Bathurst Island, and the weather station in the north of Ellesmere Island has been above 5 degrees for weeks. But there’s been no appreciable melt of the NW passage for a while. Over the other side, there’s a lot of broken ice far north-east of Svalbard, up to 85+ degrees.

    It’s clear we’re going to get low ice, but maybe low like 2005 rather than low like 2007. At the end of the day, breaking records is always down to the weather. There’s a persistent high pressure area over the northern Beaufort Sea which could be decisive.

  9. #10 Nick Barnes
    2009/06/18

    Last year’s 50 Euros was from Joe Hunkins, aka Joeduck, who wanted another bite this year:
    http://rankexploits.com/musings/2008/nothern-hemisphere-sea-ice-hows-it-going/

  10. #11 Lab Lemming
    2009/06/18

    Has a pool started yet? I’m offering a dubious prize here:
    http://lablemminglounge.blogspot.com/2009/06/minimum-arctic-sea-ice-extent-betting.html

    No bets until solstice, though.

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