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 10th 2010
2010 keeps breaking records. After the meagre melt of 33,750 square km on the second day of the last SIE update, another two abysmally low melt days followed. For the 6th IJIS reported a melt of 30,625 square km, for the 7th it was 33,125 square km. 2006 had some bad days in July as well, but at least they were spread across the month. Something amazing must be going on up there, Gyres and Drifts reversing, winds blowing the wrong way, high pressure left, low pressure right, clouds in between. In short: not the weather conditions that are needed to threaten the 2007 record.
Today there was a slight recovery with a reported melt of 71,094 square km (double the average of the last three days, hehe), but it doesn't stop 2007 from nibbling at what is left of the lead. There's a second series of century breaks coming up in the coming 4 days that should put 2007 in the driver's seat.
The current difference between 2010 and the other years is as follows:
2006: -132K (70,025)
2007: -44K (98,609)
2008: -721K (81,069)
- 2009: -535K (92,127)
The average daily melt for the month of July is between brackets. 2010's average daily melt for July is currently 58,340 square km per day.
And here's the IJIS graph:
The Sea Ice Area trend on Cryosphere
Today went below 1.6 million square km yesterday, but is currently -1.572 million square km compared to the 1979-2008 mean:
Sea ice area in the East Siberian Sea is dropping hard, but this is probably offset by the wavering trend in the Arctic Basin sea ice area graph:
TIPS - Other interesting blog posts and news articles concerning the Arctic and its ice:
Things have cleared up a bit and so I have updated my Northwest Passage animation. Hopefully today's picture contains even less clouds so the full scope of the recent total break-up becomes visible. The sky over Vilkitsky Strait was clear yesterday, so I have updated that animation as well. The Strait is completely clear of ice.
Two days ago Patrick Lockerby wrote Update #1 to his Arctic Ice July 2010 blog post. I somehow missed this. Lots of interesting pictures showing algal blooms left and right and warmth on the Siberian side of the Arctic.
Scientists at the University of Colorado, Boulder, analysed 4-million-year-old Pliocene peat samples from Ellesmere Island in the Arctic archipelago to find out what the climate was like when the peat formed. With carbon dioxide levels close to our own, the Arctic of the Pliocene epoch may have warmed much more than previously thought – and the modern Arctic could go the same way. Read more at New Scientist.
BBC Science writer Richard Hollingham has joined a scientific expedition trying to find out what the impact of an Arctic devoid of sea-ice during the summer in the future will be.
For all you lawyers out there, CTV Winnipeg has this story on how Canada's new moves to control and regulate shipping through the Northwest Passage and the rest of its Arctic waters may violate international rules. Canada better hurry up, the NWP is opening up fast.
More news concerning our beloved polar bears: Alaska governor says polar bear critical habitat will cost state hundreds of millions. If the Hudson Bay ice bear population is anything to go by, this problem will soon be solved.