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 15th 2010
We had to wait four long days for our Japanese friends over at IJIS to update their graph and data file. People were already suggesting we should have a look at other graphs, like this one from the Uni Bremen. But I'm a pretty loyal guy, especially after my router failed me yesterday and this blog had to go for over 12 hours without any update either (with GIF animation problems to boot). So I sympathize with IJIS and I forgive them. Let's hope we don't have to wait as long again when the melting season starts in earnest.
So what has happened in the past few days, now that we have put the period of the 'smoothing of the erroneous blip' - where previously all years would make a little jump - behind us? Of the past four days it was only yesterday that 2010 had the highest recorded melt of the period 2006-2010. 2006 did a bit better and managed to nibble at 2010's lead, but the other years had to concede a few tens of thousands square kilometres in the past few days. 2007, for instance, has a whole week to catch up to get to the total SIE 2010 was at yesterday.
With less than one week to go until the Northern Hemisphere Summer solstice, more or less the starting signal for the melting season, the current difference between 2010 and the other years is as follows:
- 2009: -675K
Interestingly enough 2010 has crept very close to the other years on the Arctic ROOS sea ice extent graph, so currently some quarters of the climate debate blogosphere don't have any graph to watch:
PS looks like channel 5 of the UAH daily temperature plot is having some trouble as well.
TIPS - Other interesting blog posts concerning Arctic ice:
Patrick Lockerby has yet another must-read article over at Scientificblogging, explaining ice mobility, ice quality and the potential future of Arctic summer warming.