Last month I made a comparison of CryoSat-2 sea ice volume distribution maps for the 2015/2016 Winter analysis, but it was off because the dates didn't exactly match. Better images have emerged during this year's General Assembly of the European Geosciences Union (more on that later this week):
These images come from a poster that was presented at EGU2016 by Dr. Robert Ricker from the Alfred Wegener Institute. This poster, as well as some stunning images of the Arctic, is included in the latest AWI press release, which followed Thursday's Sea ice decline in the Arctic press conference at EGU2016 by Dr. Marcel Nicolaus (also from AWI):
The Arctic is facing a decline in sea ice that might equal the negative record of 2012
Data collected by the CryoSat-2 satellite reveal large amounts of thin ice that are unlikely to survive the summer
Sea ice physicists from the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI), are anticipating that the sea ice cover in the Arctic Ocean this summer may shrink to the record low of 2012. The scientists made this projection after evaluating current satellite data about the thickness of the ice cover. The data show that the Arctic sea ice was already extraordinarily thin in the summer of 2015. Comparably little new ice formed during the past winter. Today Dr Marcel Nicolaus, expert on sea ice, has presented these findings at a press conference during the annual General Assembly of the European Geosciences Union in Vienna.
I attended the press conference and was surprised to see such an accurate and actual portrayal of current conditions in the Arctic. Usually these scientific press conferences are about things that are behind us, like the previous melting season or some such. But Dr. Nicolaus jumped right into it, discussing the temperature readings from buoys in the Arctic that showed the North Pole experienced temps above 0 °C at the end of December, after which he discussed the latest CryoSat-2 results.
Quite a bit of sea ice volume was indeed lost during last year's melting season (see this prescient guest article I wrote for John Abraham's Climate Consensus - the 97% blog on the Guardian website) and after a record warm/non-cold winter, the ice pack's overall thickness looks similar to that of March 2012. Regional differences with 2012 are displayed on this comparison map (red means more ice now than in 2012, blue the opposite):