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.
July 5th 2010
2010 seemed to be recovering a bit from the blows that 2007 has been handing out for about a week now. Okay, I'm exaggerating here, trying to turn the horse race into a boxing match as well. But seriously, 2010 seemed to pick itself from the floor a bit yesterday, with a provisional melt number that wasn't great, but seemed decent enough. Not much was left of it however after a huge downwards revision of 27K, and 2010 had yet again the lowest reported melt of the 2006-2009 period: 47,656 square km.
Although today's reported melt number of 82,969 square km was slightly better, it was still the lowest, as all other years had century breaks for yesterday's date. And so 2010's lead has had another two bites taken out of it. 2007 and the rest of the pack are on the hunt and smelling blood, as the expression goes in the Netherlands.
The current difference between 2010 and the other years is as follows:
- 2009: -766K
And here's the IJIS graph:
The Sea Ice Area graph on Cryosphere Today showed a small decrease yesterday but the anomaly has become smaller yet, diving below 1.6 million square km compared to the 1979-2008 mean:
The Arctic Oscillation is slowly turning positive and this could have an effect on the Beaufort Gyre, the reversal of which is probably an important factor in the recent slowing of the melt rate:
One of the things I reported in the last SIE update was that there was a clear up-tick in the sea ice area of some Arctic regions on the Siberian side, probably caused of course by that reversal of the Beaufort Gyre. It looks as though the trend is dropping again on the CT graphs, as can be seen for instance in the East Siberian Sea, which still has quite a bit of ice left to melt:
TIPS - Other interesting blog posts and news articles concerning the Arctic and its ice:
Patrick Lockerby has written his 4th instalment of MODIS Rapidfire For Citizen Scientists, with loads of interesting information, as always. Another recent piece I haven't linked to yet is Understanding Ice.
SkepticalScience's John Cook meanwhile has written the piece I would write if I knew how to in the second part of his Review of Factors Contributing to the Recent Decline in Arctic Ice. Lots of neat graphs and references. I'm jealous. Correction: the piece was written by Peter Hogarth.
From the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: Repeat photography book reveals changes in Arctic landscape. Here you can see some of the pictures.At the Blackboard Lucia has posted the results for the June sea ice bet. Go and collect your quatloos.
Here is a great Scientific American blog post, describing what scientists like Don Perovich (featured in the Youtube movie in the recent Ice Albedo blog post) are actually doing in the Arctic during these months.
And finally, Noiv updated his Arctic Mosaic animation and added the last 10 days to it: