13 June 2017

Westward from the Davis Strait

Air temperature and wind intensity 2017-06-13 looking down on the North Spin Pole 
Ocean currents and Sea Surface Temperature Anomaly 2017-06-13 looking down on the North Spin Pole

earth.nullschool.net is an interesting and information display of global near-current conditions.  It won't cheer you up; note the plumes of cold water off Svalbard and down the Davis Strait.  That's glaciers bleeding to death.

Look at another time and you might see warmish air flowing between Fram Strait and the Beaufort Sea, clean over the Pole.


mark said...

First of all, I have to thank you for showing this site to me. It is simply beautiful.

As for the implications of doom, I've thought that the general consensus among the climate scientists was that the north pole will melt completely, the only quibble being will it take decades or years to get there.
A while back there was also news that a part of the south pole (worth 6 meters of global sea rise) has entered irreversible melting process, too.

One of my favourite books is a very detailed atlas I got as a child in the late 1980s. The political and economic maps from it are woefully out of date. It makes me very uncomfortable knowing that the maps of the physical landscape will suffer the same fate in my lifetime.

Graydon said...

+mark --

General "ice free Arctic", in the sense of "Arctic Ocean", is thereabouts of 2020 sometime by the graph. The reason that's especially concerning is due to something called "Arctic Amplification"; the secondary reason that's concerning is that the IPCC projections everyone's used to thinking about used for the longest time a low-sensitivity-to-CO2 value that's now known (and was long suspected) to be wrong. The _existing_ atmospheric carbon load could be good for 8 C. That's "totally different weather".

Which is fine if you've got a way to skip a thousand years into the future when agriculture is possible again. Having to live through that millennium isn't trivial. (Or necessarily possible at all.) The ~3.5m minimum sea level rise by 2100 isn't important, relatively speaking; it's the collapse of agriculture that gets you first.

I strongly recommend Peter Wadhams' "A Farewell to Ice"; https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Peter_Wadhams_A_Farewell_to_Ice?id=DiDbCwAAQBAJ

Eminent polar scientist talking about Arctic amplification in a very clear way.

Anonymous said...

I can't read the title without hearing the tune. It's going to need some new lyrics in the next few years, but alas. RIP Stan.

Graydon said...

+Anonymous It may be that the last pack ice in the world will cluster up in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago; a lot of the projections think that's likely. We'll have the last white bear and maybe the last of other things.

Much of my expectation is that there's nothing in the paleo record sufficiently abrupt, and it's quite possible the Northwest Passage will be an inland waterway for a quiet remnant with nuclear reactors and food vats. I have to be feeling optimistic in the extreme to imagine that as a realistic possibility, but perhaps it is there.