I'm 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 IJIS 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 7th 2010
Another two days have gone by, with 2010 continuing its erratic behaviour. The reported melt of the day before yesterday was showing signs of improvement, with a number just below the century break threshold: 99,531 square km. It could not compete with the century breaks of 2006, 2008 and 2009, but was sufficient to increase the lead over 2007 with 10K.
Today however another extremely low melt (for the time of year) was reported for yesterday's date: 33,750 square km. That's the 4th time this month that 2010 has the lowest reported melt for the 2006-2010 period, and the lowest reported melt for this month so far. No wonder the average daily melt is much, much lower than 2007 and 2009. The next few days were slow in other years though, no century breaks, so 2010 has an opportunity to consolidate the lead some more before 2007 comes with another series of punches (4 century breaks in a row) and close the gap.
The current difference between 2010 and the other years is as follows:
2006: -217K (70,025)
2007: -151K (98,609)
2008: -777K (81,069)
- 2009: -660K (92,127)
The average daily melt is between brackets. For the time being 2010 is clocking 67,161 square km per day.
And here's the IJIS graph:
The Sea Ice Area graph on Cryosphere Today has remained stable over the past few days, staying just below 1.6 million square km compared to the 1979-2008 mean:
If we look at regional sea ice area, we see that the Arctic Basin trend line has started dropping again, but this is offset by an incline in the Siberian regions, notably the East Siberia Sea:
The Arctic Oscillation is still slightly positive, but probably not for long:
And finally, our Russian friends from the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute have updated their weekly forecast of mean daily drift of sea ice. The Beaufort Gyre doesn't look like it will be turning in a clockwise direction soon:
TIPS - Other interesting blog posts and news articles concerning the Arctic and its ice:
NASA's image of the day shows how sunny it was over the Arctic at the end of last month.
Here's an extremely interesting article on Yale Environment 360 on the satellites that track the melting ice.
On The Great Beyond, the Nature blog, there's a blog post by Wendee Holtcamp, aboard the research vessel Thomas G. Thompson to report the science being done by 29 scientists, grad students, and technicians in the notoriously rough and wildly productive Bering Sea. The post is about algae blooms, a subject I hope to explore as soon as God decides to gives us 10 more hours in the day.
Kate Mackenzie of the Financial Times writes how Arctic oil drilling is set to keep growing, despite new fears.