I'll be regularly writing updates on the current sea ice extent (SIE) as reported by IJIS (a joint effort of the International Arctic Research Center and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) and compare it to the sea ice extents in the period 2006-2009. The JAXA graph is favoured by almost everyone, probably because it looks so nice compared to other graphs (like the one by Arctic ROOS, the University of Bremen and the Danish Meteorological Institute). All the years have a nice colour of their own which makes it easy to eyeball the differences between trends. Most of the betting on minimum SIE is based on the IJIS data. NSIDC has a nice explanation of what sea ice extent is in their FAQ.
June 13th 2010
I distinctly remember this happening last year and the year before: IJIS is not updating their graph and data. A difficult time for the neurotics (like me) who have become used to this daily ritual. I don't know what the reason is, but the graph hasn't been updated since June 10th. Perhaps it has to do with the smoothing of the erroneous blip (that period has just ended June 11th), or data didn't come in (there are a few gaps in the trend lines, marked on the IJIS csv-sheet with -9999) because the AMSR-E sensor on the Aqua satellite is being updated or whatever is they do with sensors and satellites. We'll just have to wait and see.
Since the last update there were two more or less average melting days with a reported decrease of 65K and 60K (the average since the start of May is 68K), both were the second highest melt on this date compared to 2006-2009.
The current difference with those other years is as follows:
- 2009: -558K
I'll be updating these numbers as soon as IJIS starts reporting again.
TIPS - Other interesting blog posts concerning Arctic ice:
An article by Patrick Lockerby explaining what 'finger rafting' is, with a cool video from Yosemite National Park.
RealClimate also has a post discussing the 4th International Polar Year Conference.
In the meantime Steven Goddard is still preferring to discuss volume and thickness rather than extent.