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Lord Soth

In addition to the 81K lost, we only had a small upward correction in the update. Now that the weather it turning back to normal, I expect at least a few century melts this week.

Lord Soth

Just saw the video of the north pole web cam. I saw the crack yesterday, but did not notice that the instruments move.

These guys ussually try to find a good thick slab of ice to place their gear on, for obvious reasons. The fact that the ice has cracked down the middle of the site is not good news. Does anybody know what those two yellow instruments are.

It will be interesting to watch how this develops over the next few days or weeks. There is a good chance that the North Pole web cam site is heading towards Davie Jones's Locker.

Andrew Borst

That ice crack is interesting. By using the that marker, I can see the movement b/w the two ice whatchamacallit (drifts/floes/fields) switched from yesterday. The internal temp of web cam #2 increased 5.5 degrees Celsius in 8 minutes today (if that is accurate, it makes the weather in my hometown seem tame) -->



Andrew, i reckon that temp change was caused by the snow melting off the cam enclosure, slightly above freezing water(just melted) V's snow insulation (11.5c). Water being a better conductor of heat then snow or ice.

if the cam2 time is reporting correctly, then in the space of 8 minutes, a 7.5 temp increase occurred.

http://www.arctic.noaa.gov/npole/2010/images/noaa2-2010-0719-011736.jpg - 11.5c

http://www.arctic.noaa.gov/npole/2010/images/noaa2-2010-0719-070708.jpg - 3.5c
http://www.arctic.noaa.gov/npole/2010/images/noaa2-2010-0719-070908.jpg - 6.5c
http://www.arctic.noaa.gov/npole/2010/images/noaa2-2010-0719-071108.jpg - 8c
http://www.arctic.noaa.gov/npole/2010/images/noaa2-2010-0719-071308.jpg - 9.5c
http://www.arctic.noaa.gov/npole/2010/images/noaa2-2010-0719-071508.jpg - 11c


Probably a bit OT... but who knows why PIOMAS Sea Ice Volume graph has not been updated since June 18 ?? Volume is more important than area, even if it's not as easy to compute...

The website announces "Updates will be generated at approximately two-weekly intervals", which used to be the case, but isn't any more.


Hi Neven,
A bit off thread but given your footballing on ice picture, I wonder what your connection is to the arctic. Thanks for great and interesting blogs and do you have a site that tells a little more about yourself?


Fred, I'm not sure why that is. I remember reading somewhere (I think a comment by Charles Wilson on WUWT) that the model output can't be validated by satellite or submarine measurements. And without regular validation I suppose they can't continue forecasting or estimating.


Hi Phil,

First of all, it isn't me on that picture. I found it here and thought it was a pretty picture that was also a reference to the FIFA World Cup. Now that it's over, I might have to go and change that picture.

There's nothing much else to tell. I started to follow the Arctic sea ice after the spectacular melt of 2007, but regretted that there wasn't a central place for people to discuss, analyse and learn about what was going on up north. In 2008 I waited for sparse comments on RealClimate and last year I was 'forced' to check ClimateAudit on a daily basis. This year I didn't know where else to go and when I found and read Patrick Lockerby's articles I got so inspired that I decided to open this seasonal blog.

So far I'm very pleased with it, especially the comments. I've learned a whole lot about the Arctic this year and other things like making animations from satellite pictures. I've never blogged before, so this is a valuable experience which I'll hopefully get to apply when I finally fulfil my dream of building a strawbale passivhaus with everything a 'greenie treehugger' could wish for, from a compost toilet to a so-called food forest. :-)

But first the ice. Eight more weeks to go.


Jon Torrance

"Eight more weeks to go."

Or nine. Or maybe seven. Though the long trend is supposed to be towards later ends to the melt season so I'd guess eight or nine if pressed.


"Eight more weeks to go."

I'll go along with Neven, but only because of his kind comment - otherwise I'd go for nine. ;-)

Peter2010: great animation. It's like looking out of a train window: did a tree just fly past us, or are we moving? We'll have to see the map of tracks to figure out this problem of relative motion in translation. Or use the WAG method - I'm not too fussy. :-)

Steve Goddard on the Jakobshavn calving:

"The sea level data unequivocally shows that accelerated melt is not happening."

You are all very smart - why is Goddard's statement entirely irrelevant? What else does he get entirely wrong in his latest WUWT article?

Answers on a $100 bill, if you please - I have a dog and 3 computers to support. :-)


I forgot to address Fred34's question.

My best guess as to why the graph hasn't been updated lately is this: an update based on their normal model would show an unbelievable ice loss. They are probably double-checking all of their data and computer models to find a possible bug.

I repeat - it's a guess. But an educated guess. Here's why: more of the ice loss this year has been through thinning as against area/extent. Ice loss in volume is now faster than ice loss in extent.

If an unbelievable graph gets posted without meticulous proofs of validity then you can bet that the pseudo-skeptics will queue up to unbelieve it.


Here's the answer, Patrick. ;-)

To be fair it also took me about a week to see that North Pole webcam 1 wasn't updated and if no one would have alerted me to the fact that there are daily updated webcam images I would have still sat staring for 24 hours at my Arctic sea ice graphs Google-page waiting for an update.

WRT Goddard, I'm not comfortable discussing his antics when his casino strategy seems to be paying off so nicely. Besides, when the ice is doing what he wishes it to do he's pretty reasonable. It's when the melt is heavy that you get updates every second day. In that sense, it's nice and quiet. But perhaps soon again, starts another big riot.

Artful Dodger

Fred/Neven: Recall that PIOMAS is not a data reporting effort, in the style of JAXA or C.T. Instead it is a climate modeling tool. The latest model run for Summer 2010 can be found here (movie updated Jul 6, forecast runs to Sep 29):


Notice the 4-5m thick (red) sea ice predicted East of the New Siberian Islands. Compare with yesterday's MODIS image (red is ice, white is cloud, green is land):


It looks like the July 7 PIOMAS output is currently behind the ice loss. I doubt they modeled 30C+ temps all over Siberia last week.

Hopefully UWash will be one of the groups that gets early access to ESA/CrySat-2 data. PIOMAS is an important tool. BTW, poke around their site. You'll find model runs all the way through 2049.

Kevin McKinney

Let's see. . . I'll take "Climate Blunders" for $500. . .

"What are floating objects that do not raise sea level when they melt?"

(cue applause)

Patrick, if you get more $100 bills than expected, run an attribution study and send me the excess.

As to the other errors, I think I'll pass. It's too pleasant an evening to be reading WUWT.


"This year I didn't know where else to go and when I found and read Patrick Lockerby's articles I got so inspired that I decided to open this seasonal blog. "

And a bloody top blog it is too. The only place I could follow the ice stories before here was a peak oil website over run with a few nutters believing some kind of Lovelockian doom was already underway and the earth would be depopulated within something like 20 years. When I posted them a link to Nevens blog they come to the conclusion he was a climate change denier.


When I posted them a link to Nevens blog they come to the conclusion he was a climate change denier.

Ah yes, I have read that. I was a disinformation agent of some sort. Well, if I am, I'm not conscious of it.

Lord Soth

In the past I had to wait until, they posted an arctic sea ice article on realclimate.org. The blog had about a thousand entries after two months, and you would spend half and hour looking for a link in one of those posts, that you forgot to bookmark.

This is a much nicer and organized place. Thanks Neven

Lord Soth

I was right on the money. We had exactly 100,000 sq km lost last night. Probably wont survive the morning update.

Artful Dodger

In the last 5 days we've had successive drops in extent of 20K, 40K, 60K, 80K and 100K. Anyone see a trend, care to make a prediction ;^)


Clearly the Death Spiral has begun, and only one man can save us:

Construction worker, divorced father, and ex-navy seal Jag Laugerman:


Kevin McKinney

To be sure, a century break to the square kilometer. As you say, m'lord, it would be a shock if the revision didn't.


Anu, where can I download that movie? :-)

With regards to this first preliminary century break which (as you all note) won't survive the revision, I'd like to copy Jim Dowling's comment from the previous SIE update:

Looking at the Unisys 10 day forecasts, it looks like there will be even more intense low pressure systems covering the arctic.

Short-term outlook is, therefore, for no increase in the rate of melting in July.

I think I'm seeing the same thing on the ECMWF forecast map, but I have to admit I'm still having a hard time interpreting those maps. It looks as though a high will be developing between the Kara and Laptev Seas which - if I've understood correctly - indicates a negative Arctic Dipole Anomaly.

So this first tentative century break might be all for now. However, when I look at the 5-10 day forecast I see some big lows in the Siberian coastal area and highs over the Canadian Archipelago. Unfortunately my knowledge on this is still practically zero.

Artful Dodger

The DA can't cause loss of Ice in the short term. It takes a few weeks of steady Westerly winds to move ice out of the Fram Strait.

What high pressure in Siberia will do however is doom all the land fast ice in the Russian sector of the Arctic. Shortly, when a continuous surface channel is open from the Bering Strait through to Svalbard, influx of Pacific water will begin to pump enough heat to melt a million sq.km of 1 M thick ice (download the full paper as a PDF from here):


"The Bering Strait heat flux is also comparable to the solar input to the Chukchi Sea, ~ 4x10^20J/yr" (yes, that's TeraJoules). And these "warm waters arrive/leave later in the northern Chukchi (December/February) than in the Bering Strait (May/December).

With a 1-in-4 chance combination of warm Pacific water and southerly winds in the Bering Sea, the Western Arctic might not freeze up until February. How much sea ice do you think could build up in the 4-6 weeks left until the annual melt season begins in April 2011?

Jim Dowling

Regarding the unisys weather forecast map, we can see that a low pressure system is expected to form over the Kara sea around July 24, intensifying to July 28. It will push some ice out the Fram strait for a couple of days, and then probably move towards the Beaufort sea. It won't have the effect of pulling warm air over the arctic from the south like the Arctic Dipole Anomaly, as it looks like winds will circulate within the Arctic ocean. So, lots more cloud cover when the last of the really strong sun is here. However, the low is quite low - like a north atlantic autumn store (983mb), so strong winds will break up floes and if there are warm currents this will promote ice loss later in the summer.


Thanks a lot, Jim. You seem to know your stuff. What sites would you recommend to people like me who want to learn more about how to keep an eye on things like the Arctic Dipole Anomaly?


Thanks Neven, that's dispelled my image of a footballing arctic explorer! :-), and as others - great blog.


that's dispelled my image of a footballing arctic explorer!

Sorry to disappoint!


There, I've changed the picture to one of my favourites: the submarine emerging at the North Pole, proof that an ice-free Arctic is a normal, everyday thing.

Lord Soth

With the update, it is now 109K lost. I believe this is our first century lost for July.

Prepare for a shock and awe melt tonight.


JAXA does 2 day smoothing of data, and I think their July 19 data is smoothed over July 18 and 19. So, one day behind what the sensor has seen.

Universitat Bremen says:
This page presents the AMSR-E sea ice concentrations calculated daily in near real time. The service is part of the GMES project Polar View and of the Arctic Regional Ocean Observing System (Arctic ROOS).

Anyway, their 'near real time' plot shows another big melt for July 20:
I think this is a "preview" of what we will see with IARC-JAXA.

I've also never seen this plot before:
Change/month of Arctic Sea Ice Extent, it shows July has been a slow month for 2010 melt, so far.


Sorry, can't find the movie :-)

It was a Tugg Speedman blockbuster (that was Ben Stiller's character (a parody of an action hero) in "Tropic of Thunder")

I thought it was hilarious to have an "action hero" fight climate change with weapons...

But Tugg also has his caring side:

Jim Dowling

There's a good brief description of the Arctic dipole anomaly in the June 2010 update on
It's a fancy name for an unusual weather pattern with a low over siberia and a high over the Canadian archipeligo. The "normal" weather pattern for the north pole is that air circulates around the pole. This somewhat insulates the north pole from warmer air further south. The Arctic dipole anomaly draws in air from the south over the pole, and then pushes the air southwards through the fram strait (pushing ice with it).
For increased melts, we need more sun, IMHO, not intense lows.

Artful Dodger

Neven: I was wondering when somebody would refer to the picture of the USS Skate (SSN-578). This is the Skate, but this picture was not taken on March 17, 1959 as the WUWT site and other pseudo-skeptics have claimed. You see, there is no sunshine at the North Pole until after the equinox, but this picture show the Sub in full daylight. More here:



Artful Dodger: sorry, but you are only nearly right.

USS Skate did surface at the pole March 17 1959 and photos were taken. Other photos have been taken of Skate elsewhere, just so that cherry pickers won't feel left out. There are two potential sources of light during polar winter: moonlight and false daylight. Refraction and scattering can combine to give sufficient light to take a photograph long before the sun is 'officially' over the horizon.

In my blog you can see a photo of Skate surfaced at the pole March 17 with crew members standing on the ice right next to the sub. They went on the ice specifically to honor Sir George Hubert Wilkins MC & Bar by scattering his ashes on the ice at the North Pole.


Skate was modified a number of times. The Wikipedia image is not of Skate as she was March 17 1959. See images in:

When I'm not staring at the ice looking for the holes I'm usually staring at propaganda and looking for the holes. :-)


@ Artful Dodger | July 20, 2010 at 17:45

Well, the article does say " On 17 March, she surfaced at the North Pole to commit the ashes of the famed explorer Sir Hubert Wilkins to the Arctic waste."
But the given photo says "Date and Location unknown"
So perhaps the North Pole surfacing was this photo:

The Vernal Equinox in 1959 was March 21:
so you're right, the sun would be below the horizon.

But, the sky is not black at sunset and sundown:

Of course, lying about a photo for propaganda purposes is not beyond the good folks who brought you Lord Christopher Monckton, 3rd Viscount Monckton of Brenchley:

Artful Dodger

Patrick: the additional details you proved ARE true, for anyone not familiar with this topic. However, this picture was NOT take at the North Pole on March 17, 1959.

Here's more from WUWT poster "arctic-astronomy" on April 27, 2009 at 8:54 am (and THANKS! for your great blog Patrick, I love your work!)

"There are two easily-accessible references, which describe the surfacing of the USS Skate at the North Pole on the 17th March 1959 (the first submarine to do so):

Calvert, J.F., 1959. Up through the ice of the North Pole, The National Geographic Magazine, Vol. CXVI, No. 1, July 1959, pp. 1-41.

Calvert, J., 1996. Surface at The Pole, Bluejacket Books (originally printed by McGraw-Hill, 1960).

and which say:

That the sun was still below the horizon and it was quite dark (it did not appear until 19 March):

The sun was still just below the horizon and a very heavy overcast made for late twilight darkness

That the weather was terrible:

the wind ….. was roaring around us at about 30 knots, blowing the snow until one could see no more than a quarter of a mile

The swirling snow loomed around the red torches

in the 26-below-zero cold….. The wind blew snow into our noses and mouths, and it was difficult to talk or even breathe

The wind and bitter cold made it physically difficult to hold and read the prayer book

the gale was increasing and the temperature dropping

Both sides of the lead were piled with the heaviest and ruggedest hummocks I had yet seen in the Arctic. It was a wild and forbidding scene"

I've also used Google Earth to reproduce the lighting conditions for March 17, 1959. It's dark up there!

Neven: Do you have any friend at KLM? In March 1959, they began flying over the North Pole to pioneer the polar Air Routes in use today. Perhaps there exists a crew log from 1959 which mentions Sea Ice condtions?

Peter Ellis

With regards to this first preliminary century break which (as you all note) won't survive the revision [...]

108,906 as of the current revision (18:03 UK time), so it looks like this one will stand.

L. Hamilton

As we were checking out the IARC-JAXA extent graph while attending a conference last week, a colleague (Nicholas Cox) suggested that a cycle plot might provide an interesting view.

No doubt it's been done before, but here's a cycle plot that brings out the downward trends in each month of the year, 1979-2010:



Anu, Artful Dodger, Patrick, thanks for the comments regarding the submarine. I should change my picture more often. ;-)

Anu, thanks for the links to Tugg Speedman and that Uni Bremen Change/month of Arctic Sea Ice Extent.

Peter Ellis, it was the first downwards revision of the season. Who would have known? :-p

I'm holding onto my horses for the moment. As Jim Dowling notes low pressure areas will probably continue to dominate the Arctic. I also notice the PIPS ice displacement map has some big arrows pointing in the wrong direction again. It's all too fickle right now, too premature.

Jim, thanks for linking to the NSIDC page. I've got a bunch of Arctic Dipole Anomaly bookmarks now. If I can scrape some time and a lot of courage together this week I might finally write a blog post on the phenomenon.

L. Hamilton (Lewis?), that's a cool graph. May I use it some time or other?

L. Hamilton

(Lewis?) no, Larry.

And you're most welcome to use the graph. I drew that, but the idea comes from:
Cox, N.J. (2006) "Graphs for all seasons," Stata Journal 6(3):397-419.


I've been reading this blog for about a month now, since Gareth gave it a plug - and thoroughly enjoyed it. I've learnt a lot from it (both from the posts and the comments). I do hope that if you don't want to continue with it next year that someone else will pick up the reins.

L Hamilton - I'd like to use your graphic as well. It's kind of chilling (sorry, that sounds like a bad pun) that for most of the year ice extent is now about a month behind where it was at the start of the record - you don't get that perspective from the normal trend graphs. I like to credit my sources - do you have a blog or some such, or would "L. Hamilton" do?

I'm a little curious as to why you didn't include September in your graph, though.


Larry, so this is the Graph Of The Week (sorry, Neven). Larry, I took your permission for granted, so I included it the French forum dealing with global warming in general and Arctic in particular - I've been following it for 5+ years. I put it here, http://forums.infoclimat.fr/topic/40159-suivi-de-lenglacement-au-pole-nord/page__view__findpost__p__1327812 , with I hope proper attribution - please feel free to tell me if I should change something or even remove it (in which case I apologize for not-asking-before).


Neven, I perhaps have one light critic about the blog: I'm not really comfortable with the "race" tone, "and now 2010 is behind 2009"... We're witnessing a catastrophe, and I would be very happy to see a good multiyear thick ice on the Arctic.

Perhaps the only funny thing in this tragedy is all the stupid things the deniers have to find to deny it - someday someone will probably draw a graph linking Artic Ice Level and Deniers Bad Faith Level!


Latest news: I was surprised to read a paper about Arctic Ice on Bloomsberg.com tonight, http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-07-20/arctic-ice-melting-fast-may-reach-all-time-low-this-year-russia-says.html : Russian scientist also see the arctic declining - although the paper isn't clear about their sources - I'd be double-surprised if they only relied on NSIDC data or graphs...

L. Hamilton

Since the cycle plot was a hit, here's a corrected version (S2 correctly notes, my first version somehow left out September):


Also, here is a similar plot using NSIDC monthly area instead of extent:


Folks are welcome to re-post the images, with credit if possible. I don't have a blog, but a home page:

Artful Dodger

Larry, your graph clearly demonstrates how the annual melt is now a full month ahead of how things were 30 years ago. It almost looks like a continous curve from March to August. Thanks for you efforts!

Artful Dodger

Fredt34: "I'm not really comfortable with the "race" tone"
Neven has blogged previously on his point of view:



Big (provisional) melt today - 130,000 +. It looks to me as though we are about to see a crash in the Siberian Sea, possibly eating into the arctic centre. Looking at the averages over the last few years, a minimum of 4.9 or less looks to be a reasonable prediction at this point. But I think that we will break that, as the ice volume is still very low according to PIOMAS (there was a slight uptick in the anomaly, but we are in disaster territory right there).

Kevin McKinney

Right--about 131K, if my quick mental arithmetic can be trusted (by no means a given.) Good call on the "shock & awe" melt today, Lord Soth.

In contrast to the Russian heat wave, the Archipelago remains a bit on the cool side, all in all. There's even snow in the forecast in one or two places. But it's to warm toward the end of the week in many locales.

Kevin McKinney

Another curious thing just happened at polar webcam #1: the temperature reading dropped 12 C within an hour (1300 GMT, IIRC) and has stayed in that range for about four hours so far. It hasn't been close to that cold all month; got to be an artifact of some sort.

Still no new picture; the 7th remains the latest photo.

Artful Dodger

Is it just me, or is this starting to feel like a Hurricane Party? Two ice-cubes in my drink, please :^)


The Arctic summer melt season is from June 21 to September 22, 2010.
Today is the end of the first of three months of summer melt.
Here's how the Arctic sea ice concentration maps looked for this date in 2005 to 2010:








All the parts connected directly to the Atlantic Ocean are pretty much the same - Barents, Kara, Greenland Seas, Baffin Bay, Hudson Bay - pretty much melted, with some straggly ice in Baffin Bay or the Kara Sea.

The big differences are in the Beaufort, Chukchi, East Siberian and Laptev Seas (and to a lesser extent, the Canadian islands). I think it's mainly due to cloud cover differences and warm current differences through the Bering Strait (or maybe some warm currents making their way under the ice from the Kara to the Laptev Sea, I'd like to see some glider data). Others think it is mainly sea ice drift differences caused by the Beaufort Gyre and Transpolar drifts (I guess the Greenland Sea ice is a constant melt sink for ice that drifts out), or warm winds from the South (or lack thereof).

I'm looking forward to some definitive explanations about what changes in those four Seas every summer, after this summer's melt.


p.s. PIOMAS graph is finally updated:


I've been curious about that pic of Skate ever since some "skeptic" waved it at me.

I've just been reading The Ice Diaries by Don Keith and William Anderson (the captain of the USS Nautilus). It mentions that Skate reached the Pole for the first time, via the Greenland Sea, about a week after Nautilus made her transit.

"It was clearly a historic event and was followed shortly by another U.S. achievement of historic proportions. Jim Calvert and the Skate had reached the North Pole on August 12 (1958), at 9:47 p.m. EDT, just short of eight days after Nautilus. Skate, in fact, had departed New London July 30. She had surfaced in a polynya about forty miles from the Pole and reported her success via radio. I sent Jim and his crew my personal congratulations on their acomplishment - just as they had for us."

I'm not suggesting that the pic is of this event, just adding some colour. She might have surfaced at the Pole in March '59, but she'd been pretty close in August '58, too.

Artful Dodger

The central deception is the use of this picture of the Skate to try to create the impression in the minds of an uncritical audience that open water at the North Pole is "nothing unusual" and when it does occur that we should not panic and stop fueling up our SUVs. "Nothing to see here, move along move along".


23K downwards revision today, but not enough to kill the century break.


@ Artful Dodger | July 21, 2010 at 12:19

That's exactly true - I've seen that photo used in that fashion a few times.


@ Neven | July 21, 2010 at 16:07

According to Uni Bremen, tonight's JAXA melt will be pretty big, too (July 21):


Anu, do you base that on Uni Bremen releasing data quicker than IJIS and the trend line pointing downwards?


Cryosphere Today does not seem to have shown a step change in area reduction. This may be due to CT today showing area and hence more accurately capturing alot of the melt that the extent displays have not.


Indeed, the area graphs have not been updated since I wrote this blog post.


CT just updated the sea ice area graphs. It has shot up to 1.150 million square km, accompanied by big upswings in the Arctic Basin and the East Siberian Sea.

That doesn't bode well for extent figures.

Jon Torrance


Are you basing that on a consistent pattern of upticks in that anomaly presaging small drops in extent? I'm not sure I believe that the net change in sea ice area since the last update of the graph has really been an increase of almost 60,000 sq km. Granted that's not much but we're in the middle of the melt season - I find it easier to believe that this reflects the data not being perfect than that refreezing of ocean has been outpacing melting of ice. Or has there been a sufficiently severe cold snap across a lot of the Arctic the last few days that that's realistic?


Jon, I think it's a sign that the ice is being displaced again towards the (Siberian) coast instead of being compressed towards the Pole. Sorry for putting it so simplistically.

I don't think there's any serious refreezing anywhere, but the Beaufort Gyre is still not turning clockwise and this has to do with sea level pressure areas over Siberia and the Canadian Archipelago that aren't producing the winds that are causing extent (and area) to drop.

My learning curve wrt (Arctic) meteorology is the opposite of exponential, so I'm sorry I cannot explain my view better.

Lord Soth

And there is the possibility that Cryosphere Today just transposed a digit and the number should be 1.51.

We lose 300,000 of ice in three days, and Cryosphere does a big shift in opposite direction. Does look a little strange. I know one is extent and the other is area, but still, there must be some level of corrolation.

Jon Torrance

Lord Soth,

I don't think typos are a very plausible explanation given that there are three number involved - the 1979-2008 mean, the current figure and the anomaly (difference between the two). Someone would have to have made a mistake by the same amount in the same direction in the latter two numbers (assuming the long term average for the date is read-only, as it were) or the numbers wouldn't add up.


Because it took CT some time to update it could mean the graphs are still behind, but I doubt it. And I also don't think they transposed a digit because, like I said, the Arctic Basin and the East Siberian Sea are also showing trends steeply going upwards.

Weather conditions don't seem to be favourable for melting, so I'd be surprised if we see another century break the coming few days. But things might switch again just as swiftly.


Jon, NSIDC just has an update out, explaining a bit better what I mean:

Through much of May and June, high pressure dominated the Beaufort Sea with low pressure over Siberia. Winds associated with this pattern, known as the dipole anomaly, helped speed up ice loss by pushing ice away from the coast and promoting melt.

However, the dipole anomaly pattern broke down in early July. In the first half of July, cyclones (low pressure systems) generated over northern Eurasia tracked eastward along the Siberian coast and then into the central Arctic Ocean, where they tend to stall. This cyclone pattern is quite common in summer. The low-pressure cells have brought cooler and cloudier conditions over the Arctic Ocean. They have also promoted a cyclonic (anticlockwise) sea ice motion, which acts to spread the existing ice over a larger area. All of these factors likely contributed to the slower rate of ice loss over the past few weeks.

In the last few days, high pressure has started to build again in the Beaufort Sea, but whether this will continue remains to be seen.


The update starts with this:

From July 1 to 15, Arctic sea ice extent declined an average of 60,500 square kilometers (23,400 square miles) per day, 22,500 square kilometers (8,690 square miles) per day slower than the 1979 to 2000 average and substantially slower than the rate of decline in May and June.

But that can't be right, can it? IJIS has 52,969 square km for that period. And is the 1979 to 2000 average 83K square km per day?

Jon Torrance

"But that can't be right, can it?" - If IJIS and NSIDC both used AMSR-E, I'd say it couldn't be right but I can at least dimly imagine if not precisely articulate how it might be right given that NSIDC uses lower resolution SSMI data and that the period in question was characterised by the ice pack getting spread out over a larger area.


Aha, I was under the impression NSIDC used AMSR-E data as well. Thanks, Jon.


I've updated the ice-floe-the-size-of-Corsica animation.

Artful Dodger

Thanks, Neven! Also, Novi has updated his "Ice-floe-the-size-of-Australia" animation, (now on 2010 Day 200):


Artful Dodger

July 20: "...first data from ESA's ice mission are released to selected scientists around the world... Around 150 scientists from about 40 research institutes now have access to the data."



Thanks, Artful Dodger. I think I'm going to turn that into a blog post.

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