Are scientists conservative about sea ice?
Guest post by Walt Meier, NSIDC Scientist
Arctic sea ice set a record minimum extent in September 2012, far below the previous record low in 2007. Summer extents have been far lower than average for the last decade, with several record or near-record years. Looking at the numbers, one is tempted to think that the Arctic Ocean may reach nearly sea ice-free conditions within just a few years. But most expert analyses indicate that we’re likely at least a couple decades away from seeing a blue Arctic Ocean during the summer.So what is going on here? Readers have asked if scientists are being too conservative in their assessment of the recent ice loss. We asked Walt Meier, NSIDC scientist, to address this question. Following is his response.