Showing posts with label Gakkel Ridge. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Gakkel Ridge. Show all posts

Monday, 14 April 2014

M4.5 Earthquake hits Arctic Ocean

An earthquake with a magnitude of 4.5 on the Richter scale hit the Arctic Ocean on April 13, 2014, at 02:12:19 UTC at a depth of 10.00 km (6.21 mi).

The epicenter of the quake is located right on the faultline that crosses the Arctic Ocean, at 86.687°N 45.393°E, some 800 km north of Franz Josef Land.

Earthquakes at this location are very worrying, as they can destabilize hydrates contained in the sediment under the seafloor of the Arctic Ocean. Furthermore, one earthquake can trigger further earthquakes, especially at locations closeby on the same faultline.


- Earthquakes in the Arctic Ocean

- Methane, Faults and Sea Ice

- Norwegian Sea hit by 4.6M Earthquake

- Greenland Sea hit by M5.3 Earthquake

- Earthquake hits waters off Japan

- Earthquake hits Laptev Sea

- Methane Release caused by Earthquakes

- Earthquake M6.7 hits Sea of Okhotsk

- Sea of Okhotsk

- Seismic activity

- Climate Plan

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Has the descent begun?

On March 9, 2014, Arctic sea ice area was at a record low for the time of the year, at only 12.88731 square kilometers.

Sea ice extent shows a similar descent, as illustrated by the NSIDC image below.

NSIDC update: The image below shows that Arctic sea ice extent was 14.583 square kilometers on March 11, 2014 (light green line), a record low for this time of the year and smaller than it was in 2006 (magenta line) and 2011 (orange line) at this time of the year.

The situation is dire, given that methane concentrations have risen strongly following an earthquake that hit the Gakkel Ridge on March 6, 2014, as illustrated by the image below.

[ click on image to enlarge ]
Huge amounts of methane have been released from the seafloor of the Arctic Ocean over the past half year, and the resulting high methane concentrations over the Arctic will contribute to local temperature rises.

The image below shows that sea surface temperatures are anomalously high in the Arctic Ocean and off the east coast of North America, from where warm water is carried by the Gulf Stream into the Arctic Ocean.

The prospect of an El Niño event makes the situation even more dire. NOAA recently issued an El Niño Watch. This follows a conclusion by an international research team that found a 75% likelyhood of an El Niño event in late 2014.

The consequences of sea ice collapse would be devastating, as all the heat that previously went into transforming ice into water will be asbsorbed by even darker water, from where less sunlight will be reflected back into space. The danger is that further warming of the Arctic Ocean will trigger massive methane releases is unacceptable and calls for comprehensive and effective action as discussed at the Climate Plan blog.


- M4.5 Earthquake hits Gakkel Ridge

- Climate Plan blog

Monday, 10 March 2014

M4.5 Earthquake hits Gakkel Ridge

The above image shows recent large methane release over the Gakkel Ridge, the faultline that crosses the Arctic Ocean between the northern tip of Greenland and the Laptev Sea (red line on map). Methane readings were as high as 2395 ppb at 586 mb, an altitude that often shows high methane readings originating from the Arctic Ocean.

An earthquake with a magnitude of 4.5 hit the Gakkel Ridge at a depth of 2 km on March 6, 2014, at 11:17.17.0 UTC. The location is shown on the map below.

[ click on image to enlarge ]
The image below shows more recent methane readings, around March 8, 2014.

The image below is a Naval Research Laboratory forecast of sea ice thickness for March 8, 2014, run on March 3, 2014.

Meanwhile, the sea ice is close to record lows (for the time of the year), as illustrated by the images below. The image directly below shows sea ice area.

The image below shows sea ice extent.

The image below, by Wipneus, shows sea ice volume.
The image below, by Andy Lee Robinson, offers a different way of looking at sea ice volume, the Arctic Death Spiral.