I was ready to write about this 10 days ago, but the data wasn't out yet. And then life got in the way, as it always does. On the bright side, Wipneus has just updated his PIOMAS graphs to mid-October. More on that below, but first I'll discuss the minimum.
Another month has passed and so here is the updated Arctic sea ice volume graph as calculated by the Pan-Arctic Ice Ocean Modeling and Assimilation System (PIOMAS) at the Polar Science Center:
As always, the minimum was reached in September. This year, the lowest amount of sea ice volume, according to PIOMAS, was reached on September 15th, and ended up 6th lowest on record, after 2010, 2011, 2012, 2016 and 2017. And thus, because the maximum was second lowest on record, total melt was 9th lowest on record:
If we look at the data for the end of September, 2018 has already crept to 5th lowest on record, almost on a par with 2017. Where most years gain a bit of volume during September, 2018 actually lost 119 km3, thus reducing the gap with all years that were lower at the end of August (dipping below 2010), as can be seen on this table showing how the differences with previous years have evolved from last month:
If we then look at Wipneus' most recent graph with data up to mid-October, we see that 2018 has gone down even further in the ranking and is now in 3rd place: