The situation compared to last month hasn't changed much, with the 2014 trend line following that of 2008 (see Wipneus' graph below). The difference with some years has increased - like 2013 from 1108 km3 last month to 1455 km3 at the end of November - but decreased with other years, such as 2011, which was 2616 km3 last month and 2175 km3 at the end of November. The difference with record year 2012 has gone down marginally and is still a huge 3176 km3.
I had expected the difference with the post-2010 volume crash years to become smaller, as higher volume means thicker ice, means less radiation, means slower ice growth. On top of that there was this huge storm called Nuri a couple of weeks ago (see the end of last month's PIOMAS blog post), causing or at least contributing to a temperature spike in the Beaufort and Chukchi region. But it seems the short-term effects have been small, and so the difference has been maintained.
As we can see on the more detailed PIOMAS sea ice volume graph produced by Wipneus, 2006 had a slow volume increase around this time of year and has almost reached 2014's level (current difference: 238 km3):
The PIOMAS anomaly graph looks really interesting this time around. With volume staying relatively high the trend line is now in the 2 STD zone for the first time since 2002:
Of course, this doesn't mean that current sea ice volume is back to 2002 levels, because it's all relative to the linear trend, which is down. It also doesn't tell us about where exactly in the Arctic the volume is increasing. For more info on this I point you to this excellent update by Chris Reynolds on his Dosbat blog.
Unless something spectacular happens, I won't be showing the month-to-month differences in average thickness, compared to other years, for a while. You can, however, download the spreadsheet I use and update from GoogleDrive, if you want to have a look at the data yourself.
The difference with the post-2010 volume crash years hasn't changed over the past month, which means that 2014 sea ice volume is still relatively high. It was higher last year as well, and although this difference had been all but wiped out at the start of the 2014 melting season, this year is different. With almost 1500 km3 more meat than last year, I would be surprised if the maximum comes near the lowest 3 on record.
Like Chris Reynolds writes:
The Central Arctic reveals a strong uptick in thickness, in line with expectations based on volume. Has this wiped out the impacts of 2010, on balance I don't think so. But if 2015 is as poor a melt season as 2013 and 2014 I expect that the effect of 2010 will be totally removed.
That's too early to tell right now. The next couple of months we're going to see how sea ice volume keeps developing, and then we'll see what the 2015 melting season will bring.