Originally published on
by at Arctic News
Blue Ocean Event
|[ from Blue Ocean Event ]|
A Blue Ocean Event occurs when virtually all sea ice disappears and the surface color changes from white (sea ice) to blue (ocean). According to many, a Blue Ocean Event starts once Arctic sea ice extent falls below 1 million km².
The image on the right shows a trend pointing at zero Arctic sea ice volume by September 2027.
Note that the volume data in the image are averages for the month September — the minimum for each year is even lower. Furthermore, since zero volume implies zero extent, this indicates that a Blue Ocean Event (extent below 1 million km²) could happen well before 2027.
Sea ice thickness and NASA Worldview satellite images
The above animation shows a dramatic fall in sea ice thickness over a large area. This fall in thickness is mostly due to warm water from the Atlantic Ocean that is melting the sea ice hanging underneath the surface. This is where the sea ice constitutes the latent heat buffer, consuming incoming heat in the process of melting.
The University of Bremen combination image below shows the difference in sea ice thickness between June 1, 2022, June 30, 2022, and July 22, 2022. The images at the center and on the right show large areas where sea ice is less than 20 cm thick, indicating that the latent heat buffer had already disappeared in June 2022, as also discussed further below.
The NASA Worldview combination image below shows the sea ice north of Greenland on July 19, 2022 (top), and on July 22, 2022, illustrating that even at places where the sea ice was the thickest, it can disappear rapidly.
As thick ice breaks off and fragments, it gets heat up more from the sides, accelerating the melting.
|[ from earlier post ]|
On July 19, 2022, the sea surface temperature anomaly from 1981-2011 in the Arctic Ocean was as high as 14.0°C or 25.2°F (at green circle), as illustrated by the screenshot below of a nullschool.net image (with text added). In 1981-2011, the sea surface temperature at this spot (green circle) at this time of year in the Kara Sea was around freezing point.
|[ from the post Arctic Ocean invaded by hot, salty water ]|
One huge danger is that, as the buffer disappears that until now has consumed huge amounts of ocean heat, more heat will reach methane hydrates at the seafloor of the Arctic Ocean, causing them to get destabilized and resulting in releases of methane from these hydrates and from free gas underneath that was previously sealed by the hydrates.
As the latent heat buffer of the sea ice underneath the surface disappears, more of this heat could then reach sediments at the seafloor of the Arctic Ocean, threatening eruptions to occur of seafloor methane (from hydrates and from free gas underneath the hydrates). The methane could similarly push up temperatures dramatically over the Arctic, and globally over the next few years.
The above 2014 image, from the feedbacks page, shows three of the numerous feedbacks that are accelerating warming in the Arctic. Feedback #1 is the albedo feedback. Feedback #14 refers to the loss of the Latent Heat Buffer and warming of the Arctic Ocean. Feedback #2 refers to methane releases.
|[ The Buffer has gone, feedback #14 on the Feedbacks page ]
In conclusion, temperatures could rise strongly in the Arctic soon, due to sea ice loss in combination with an upcoming El Niño and a peak in sunspots, with the potential to drive humans extinct as early as in 2025, while temperatures would continue to skyrocket in 2026, making it in many respects rather futile to speculate about what will happen beyond 2026. At the same time, the right thing to do now is to help avoid the worst things from happening, through comprehensive and effective action as described in the Climate Plan.
• Blue Ocean Event
• Naval Research Laboratory
• University of Bremen
• NASA Worldview satellite
• NOAA – sea surface temperature
• Albedo, latent heat, insolation and more
• Latent Heat Buffer
• Feedbacks in the Arctic
• Cataclysmic Alignment
• Climate Plan