The plume of Siberian wildfire smoke being sucked out across the ice is truly impressive today. Lots of heat with it, too. Meanwhile the Northwest Passage is within days of opening unless there’s major ice movement south. We could have close to a month with both the Northwest and Northeast passages open. Circumnavigation opportunity if anyone is positioned…
Posted by: Robert S | August 13, 2019 at 06:24
The above is a comment from the Arctic Sea Ice Blog at
I’ve included it here because it illustrates some of the many conflicting parameters that interact to shape Arctic sea ice. True, smoke creates clouds and favors precipitation, and is an aerosol which shades the ice from sunlight and slows down the melt. But soot, when it settles on the ice, absorbs more solar radiation and leads to increased melting. Which of the two effects is dominant I do not know, in fact, I doubt anyone does. As for the heat carried with the smoke, I suspect it is negligible, but I really don’t know.
“Robert S”, eh? Any relation, I wonder….