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  1. THE ARCTIC THREAD This is a brand new thread for everything to do with the Arctic as well as Antarctica. I hope that many forum members will contribute on here. I have been a keen weather enthusiast for well over 50 years and have developed widespread interests in many meteorological topics. I have always been particularly fascinated by the Arctic and how it interacts with global climate patterns. We have seen a worrying decline in Arctic sea ice extent during the last 30 years and the Arctic has become the centre of the global warming and climate change debate. Whilst this is undoubtedly highly influenced by human activities, there are also some longer term natural changes in play too. I always like to examine the facts and not be overly influenced by exaggerated reports at either end of the debate which has become highly political. This thread will cover a wide range of topics including: Arctic sea ice extent - current and historic levels, rates of change, ice melt and refreezing, ice loss, ice age (new and older ice), comparisons and analysis with regular updates. Antarctica sea ice extent - as above plus features on the ice shelves and the differences between the two polar regions, facts and figures. Arctic and Antarticaa Sea surface temperatures - current, historic, trends, anomalies, reasons for changes. Arctic and Antarctica air temperatures, monitoring at certain sites, records, changes, data sets. Northern Hemisphere snow cover - seasonal changes, yearly and longer term variations, influences on regional climate and weather patterns. The Greenland ice cap - long term and current research, measurements, trends, rates of change. Glaciers - facts and figures, which ones are declining, which ones are growing, rates of change, global net ice loss. The Polar Vortex - how does this influence the Arctic climate? How does Arctic warming and ice loss influence the polar vortex? North America climate focus - how and when changes in the Arctic impact on the higher and middle latitudes (I often produce European and UK focused reports on a UK weather forum). Historic climates, research into Ice Ages and inter-glacial warmer periods. Climate change and its influence on the Arctic and Antarctica, how much, how fast, why? Global Warming Debate - assessing the extent of human impacts, separating the facts from the fiction, taking a "balanced" approach. Sudden Stratospheric Warming - impacts on the Arctic, what happens, how fast, why? The Arctic oscillation and the Antarctic oscillation - current, forecast, anomalies and historic values, links to weather patterns. Arctic and Antarctica news and events - special features and reports with comments and analysis (eg: the recent clouds of smoke covering the Arctic from vast Siberian forest fires) I will add to this list as this thread evolves. In general I would like this thread to appeal to as wide an audience as possible. I'm a great believer in keeping things simple and explaining topics in plain English. I regularly post on the "Teleconnections" thread and some of the more complex subjects such as how does the Arctic ice loss teleconnecton interact with other teleconnections may be more suitable for that thread (or perhaps both threads). There are already some excellent papers and video presentations relating to the Arctic in the "Teleconnections Research Portal" and we will be adding a lot more as winter approaches. Some of these papers may be reviewed on this thread especially when they relate to a particular post. List of Useful Links to Arctic and Antarctica Sites, Data, Facts, Charts etc: This list will gradually evolve in line with the thread (so work in progress). If you have a link that you feel is relevant, please draw this to my attentions by "replying to topic" or with a "personal message". Here's a direct link to the Teleconnections Research Portal - we have placed many Arctic related papers and presentations in there with many more being added during the coming months. National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC): - daily ice cover updates and monthly reports. Arctic Sea Ice graphs: - this huge site with many sub links provides any extraordinary amount current and historic ice data, charts and maps. NOAA National Weather Centre Environmental Modelling Centre Global Sea Surface Temperatures and Anomaly Maps: (click on the map for any region). NOAA Snow Cover Maps: - current, historic and animated snow cover maps for Northern Hemisphere, North America and Eurasia. NCEP 2m Surface Temperature Anomalies by region: - includes forecast, current and past charts with extensive Arctic and Antarctica coverage. NASA WorldView Satellite Imagery: - with many options and tools to create your own world or regional images. Polar Science Center: - packed with Arctic news, research, data and links to conferences and papers (some of these are already in the Research Portal and more to add). Zachary (Zach) Labe: - a Ph.D. student, Dept of Earth System Science, University of California; fascinating Arctic research, reports, data, charts and links to papers. Climate Reanalyzer: - for current weather data and analysis (northern hemisphere). many more to follow during the next few weeks Arctic Ocean Regional Map Showing All the Seas: I show an Arctic map (below) to identify the locations of all the seas that make up the Arctic Ocean so that we can comment more meaningfully on the local variations in our posts on this thread. Antarctica Map: I will kick things off with a series of short posts to give a flavour of what might follow. I'll do one on the current Arctic sea ice extent later today and two more tomorrow on Arctic sea surface temperatures and Northern Hemisphere snow cover. If I have time, I will do another one on Arctic air temperatures and also show that report on the Arctic ash cloud spreading from those Siberian forest fires. When I return from a business trip, I'll add several more posts later next week. I would really like to see other forum members getting involved on here with posts and comments and I hope that we can get some debates going too. David
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