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Jim Pettit

I've been eyeing this year's line with some trepidation, expecting a long run of lots of growth to start any day now. But it's not happening yet (obviously). It's interesting to note that over the past three weeks, just 225,000 km2 of ice area has been added, while by comparison, 852,000 km2 was added during the same span last year, and 829,300 km2 in 2007.

Okay, my guess at a maximum: 13.1 million km2 (and it will reach that number on February 29).

Tor Bejnar

I'm pessimistic about Arctic ice, so I'll guess 12.999 million km2. (I had guessed 3.9E6 km2 for last year's minimum, so you might not want to follow me!)

I read elsewhere that Alaska, Canadian Territories and Eurasia's current coooold spell doesn't really reach their northern shores. In 4 to 6 weeks, of course, many things can happen (for example, freeze) in the Arctic. If the winds are as fierce as predicted right now, and they continue, however, my lowball guess might just work.


12.4904337 million sq km.

I suppose thats sticking my neck out.

If the high pressure persists where it is, then melting and compaction in the Barents sea might just match gains in the Bering sea, untill the sun returns again.

Ill take a punt on the peak already behind us and wait for todays update to scupper me.


Neven also pointed out
"The Sea of Okhotsk could in theory also add another 300K this year."

300k is just the difference between now and last years maximum. The Greenland sea could also add 100k so these could be major players. Other areas on regional graphs page look to already be at their maximum. Looking at ECMWF for sea of Okhotsk, the winds look to be from the north for the next week. If that continues the increase in ice could be more than 300k.

So quite likely we will see more than 300k increase from Sea of Othotsk, 100k Greenland Sea, perhaps a little more north of Svalbard with change of AO, some more near Newfoundland, and despite strong winds from Atlantic, there is still time for a high pressure and then change of wind direction to cool the surface waters so perhaps a little more in North Barents.

I haven't got a sophisticated model for all this, just a wild guess. I'll go for 13.07m km^2.

Kevin McKinney

I'll go for 13.1--combination of WAG and strategy, as it just nips crandles' guess on the high side.


13.1 is already taken by Jim Pettit (assuming you mean million km^2), do you want to guess again Kevin? I wondered if I might be going a bit close to that.

As Jim guessed the date as well, perhaps we should also try that. I'll go for March 7th.

Kevin McKinney

So he did. Excuse me, I'm going to go practice reading for comprehension now.

Artful Dodger

...compression is seldom practiced in the Climate wars, Kevin. ;^)


I know I posted ‘it will be hard ... to grow to 13MK’. But I did my map-aided calcs and go for the conservative side: 13.5 MK on 12 march.
It would still be the lowest since 2003 (and probably ever...)
Lower? I can’t imagine the Kara Sea at least covered with grey ice and the Barentsz/Basin/Greenland Sea not giving in 300K when all surplus heat is finally released.


Umph...I realise my map is on extent...
Allright, area wouldn't differ very much this time of the year, I choose 5% less and put area on 12.9MK

Kevin McKinney

"...compression is seldom practiced in the Climate wars. . ."

Which is why the blood just keeps on flowing?

Anyway, I'll change tack and claim 12.8 km2, to be reached on March 17.

Otto Lehikoinen

I'll take a WAG on march 22nd and 13.000001 Megasquare-km, and then start to argue of the inaccuracy of the measurements :-P.


crandles, thanks a lot for posting this!

I've added an edit to your post to notify readers of the new poll in the right hand bar for predicting the 2012 CT max SIA. It runs for a week, starting today.

I'm going to have a long, hard look at previous years before I venture my prediction. Right now, I think it will be below 13.5 million km2 at least. But I have to fine tune my gut feeling for a more precise number.

Exciting! The melting season is starting in 4-6 weeks!

L. Hamilton

For a naive statistical guess, based solely on linear regression of 1-day CT max on 1/30 area (using 2000-2011 data) ... 13.4.

Visually, here's how area stands on 1/30 compared with last year's path, which had both the lowest 1-day max and the lowest 1-day min according to CT:

And here's how 1/30 area this year compares with 1/30 area of previous years:


Mean daily gain has been relatively low this month:



Larry, thanks for the great statistics.
Maps are more my ‘playground’. Never mind what outcome for the max. The surplus this year over 2011 is concentrated in Hudson-/Baffin Bays and Labrador-/Bering Seas. That will melt out as usual through the coming months.
What matters is that the icemargin on the Atlantic side has hardly spread south from it’s summer minimum position, at least, north of Svalbard. That is part of what is to become august’s battlefield. And it doesn’t look good. 80% concentration is showing up at 83 degr. North, polynia’s are forming on the Laptev side of Severnaya Zemlya!
In perfect Arctic darkness…
The only compensation this summer might come from the Beaufort/Chukchi region.


>What matters is that the icemargin on the Atlantic side has hardly spread south from it’s summer minimum position, at least, north of Svalbard."

I am not sure the North of Svalbard is a good place to look:


East of there, yes I agree.

On open thread Chris Biscan wrote:
"When it updates threw January it will be below -1 mil km2 on the anomaly. Today the Barents took a beating. Just check out the Bremen maps, holy smokes.
Ice can't move that face unless it's under 1 meter, it's likely .3 to .7 meters."

Sorry but

reckons under 0.3m.

A Facebook User

I also think we may well have already reached a maximum, which will some some serious implications for lowest level. Will we see an ice free summer polar arctic for the first time this 2012.

Daniel Bailey

Since I'm not one to shy away from a chance to be spectacularly wrong, my WAG is 12.88 ± 0.2 (yes, a central-confidence estimate, too).

Melt season may be not as far away as it has historically been...

michael sweet

The last two weeks have seen little growth in area. I guess 12.93 mkm2. If the next two weeks are like the last two that might be too high. But then again it may get cold for two weeks or so.

Here in Florida the Gulf of Mexico is really warm for this time of year and it is starting to warm up.

I Ballantinegray1

If we are indeed approaching max area then the Kara/Barents low is a worry for the coming melt season? As we know ice 'out of the basin' will melt out (as ever) leaving the 'core' ice within the basin which will be unusually low due to the shortfall over those sea areas.

A real pity Cryosat2 has not given up ice thickness plots across the basin though?


Is the DMI 30% extent a record today?



I've gone low, I think little chance of much action. I'd also like to thank Kevin McKinney for introducing me to this site, so many months ago it seems like years.

Chris Biscan

Looking at the models, both sides of the arctic will torch the next 5-10 days. with the Atlantic Torching the entire time, the Pacific torching after day 3-4.


Okay, I've had a long, hard look at various graphs and maps from different years. I've come up with some very rough calculations by licking my finger and sticking it into the air.

Like crandles comments above, there is still potential for SIA increase in the fringe regions:

Barents Sea: 400K
Sea of Okhotsk: 300K
Arctic Basin: 200K
Kara Sea: 150K
Greenland Sea: 150K
Baffin Bay: -100K - 0K
Bering Sea: -200K - 0K

Baffin and Bering are at their peak, so I don't think we'll see an increase there. Either it will stay like this, or they could lose up to 100K and 200K respectively.

The total potential is 1.05 million km2, plus or minus 0.15 million km2. We are currently at 12.433 million, so barring long-lasting extreme weather, the maximum will probably not exceed 13.5 million km2.

Barents and Okhotsk seem to be key in all this. And the key of this key is what the atmosphere does in these final weeks. I've looked at atmospheric maps from the NOAA/ESRL/PSD Daily Mean Composites page and compared those with the numbers and concentration maps from 2006, 2008 and 2011. My impression is this:

1) A high-pressure system over the Barents Sea (and Kara/Novaya Zemlya), like we are seeing now, makes for less SIA increase. This system sucks in relatively warm air from the North Atlantic and Europe.

2) A low-pressure system over Baffin/Greenland attracts cold air from the Arctic Basin and promotes ice growth in Baffin Bay.

3) A low-pressure system over or just below Bering/Okhotsk, makes for less SIA increase. I believe this was one of the major factors in last year's lowest maximum record. There was a perfect dipole in February of a high in Alaska and a low south of the Kamchatka Peninsula, sucking in warm air from the North Pacific. Bering SIA dropped like a rock in February 2011.

This all makes sense when viewing the atmospheric composition in the last two weeks of 2007 (the year of the earliest maximum in the 2005-2011 period on February 26th). Highs all over the place, with just that low over the Sea of Okhotsk. The AO index for February 2007 shows a number of -1.307.


So for a new lowest maximum record, a negative AO, with a high over Barents/Kara and a low over Okhotsk, is the thing to look for.

I'm going to wait a couple of days to see what ECMWF is forecasting, but a new record is a very distinct possibility. Right now I vote for 'between 13.0 and 13.2 million km2'. Below 13 million km2 can't be ruled out, but will need a special set-up.


I'm a bit pessimistic. I'm also happy to be wronger than Daniel. With the added bonus of a husband leaning over my shoulder (knowing less than nothing about the topic) who's had a good look at Sekerob's multi-coloured masterpiece on the LongTerm Graphs page. We won't go into the tortured logic here.

Maximum somewhere between days 65-68. And low into the bargain.


While sunning myself on the unusually ice free shores of Lake Michigan, it feels like spring is imminent. But I think we've got another 30 days for increased area and am guessing at 3.15 million km2. That would put it at day 61-63.

A virtual tie with last year.

Chris Reynolds

It's difficult enough trying to guess the minimum - and that's set inside the Arctic Basin. The maximum is set all around the periphery...

Best of luck to all those giving it a go.

A Facebook User

Haven't visited this blog before, but can see that here's enthusiasm about the arctic sea ice levels. I have been following that for some years since I find it facinating (living on the coast of northern Norway).
A question for you if ok? We are getting close to the second La Nina "in a row" after an El Nino before that. Is there any connections between Arctic sea ice levels (mins &max) and Nino/Nina occurences?

A Facebook User

hi again.
should read "close to the end of the second La Nina.........


Hi Facebook User,

Is there any connections between Arctic sea ice levels (mins &max) and Nino/Nina occurences?

If there are, they aren't known as of yet. At the beginning of this blog I wrote about a possible connection.

There is no hard correlation, I believe.

L. Hamilton

Neither DMI or CT have added much ice since Jan 23. Currently DMI is lowest recorded for this date, while CT is second lowest. For both series 2006 has the previous record for this date.


There's a good chance 2012 is number 1 for CT SIA tomorrow. The difference is only 33K and 2006 has a big day (+116K) for tomorrow.

ECMWF forecasts a shift in atmospheric patterns 5 days from now, with a low taking over the Barents/Kara area. If I'm correct, this will mean ice growth in that region and less cold weather in Europe (it was -13C where I live this morning).

Rich and Mike Island

12.98 million square km on March 15 is my guess.


I'll say 13.5 M km^2 by the "eyeball" method.



IMHO the ecmwf charts (Europe) tell us warm air will be squeezed to Svalbard/Nova Zembla at least till 9 february between the high pressure above the entire Europe and the low pressure regions above the South of Greenland an Newfoundland.

The situation might change from 10 Feb on.

Incidentally, the Bremen maps haven't been updated the last couple of days.

But here you can see the coasts of Nova Zembla are supposed to be be virtually ice-free at 3 february.



So it could well be 12.97 million square km on March 14. :-)

Kevin McKinney

:I'd also like to thank Kevin McKinney for introducing me to this site, so many months ago it seems like years."

Michael, you are most welcome. My pleasure.


The Kara sea dropped a lot on the last CT update. Holding off the advances on the pacific side for now.


CT SIA update: 2012 takes the lead.

L. Hamilton

So for Feb 2 2012 we have lowest CT area for the date, 12.52, just below 2011 (12.55) and 2006 (12.56).

Also Feb 2 2012, lowest DMI extent for the date, 10.29, just below 2006 (10.31) and 2007 (10.48).

Obviously these are transient statistics, and the differences with 2006 and other low years are well within error bars. Just something noted in passing.


IMHO the ecmwf charts (Europe) tell us warm air will be squeezed to Svalbard/Nova Zembla at least till 9 february between the high pressure above the entire Europe and the low pressure regions above the South of Greenland an Newfoundland.

The situation might change from 10 Feb on.

Kris, I agree. In fact if I interpret today's ECMWF forecast correctly, it could even last until February 11th. The coming week a low over Bering/Okhotsk could also halt ice growth on the Pacific side of the Arctic, but it depends a bit on the position.

I've looked more into Feb 2007 today and what caused the early maximum that time. Same conclusion: very big high encompassing Novaya Zemlya, and big low over the North Pacific.


I expect ice export to slow and gains from Feb 17 thru Mar 11 on the Atlantic side. Add in Pacific gains of 200k and the total sea ice area on Mar 12 becomes 13.05 million sq. km.

Volume is the real question though. Unless the Atlantic loses sufficient heat, ice volume is likely to take an early sustained hit. Last years low volume total could easily be surpassed. I would not be surprised to see a volume in the 3,500 cubic km range come mid September. A weak to moderate El Nino could also add to the decline from 2011. Anyone know if we are moving away from the La Nina pattern of the past few years?


Anyone know if we are moving away from the La Nina pattern of the past few years?

Lloyd, from the bi-weekly ENSO update at the Australian Bureao of Meteorology: "Climate models surveyed by the Bureau indicate a gradual decline in the strength of the La Niña over the coming months, with most models suggesting a return to neutral conditions during the southern autumn."

That would be Northern Hemisphere spring. If El Niño has an influence it would have to come on strong and quick (for instance, there's a three month lag on global temperature, I believe).


ECMWF now has that low moving in over Novaya Zemlya quite quickly (in a day or 2-3), but at the same time a large high taking centre stage over the Arctic Ocean, expanding over Kara and Barents by Friday. Meanwhile there are some lows over the North Pacific that could potentially slow things down around Bering and Okhotsk, perhaps even reduce SIA somewhat.

2012 could very well remain lowest in the CT SIA data this coming week. But of course, these forecasts are rather fickle. Suffice to say that it looks like 'warm' air from the North Atlantic keeps getting sucked towards Novaya Zemlya for the next 3-4 days.


I am predicting 13.2 - 13.4 because the low ice area is north of 75 latitude. This area has 60 days more before the sun will even start to provide insolation. There is very little difference in albido until the angle is above 15 degrees between ice and water. So I expect growth in Kara and Barents to continue and this should increaase the total beyond what most are predicting.


>"If El Niño has an influence it would have to come on strong and quick (for instance, there's a three month lag on global temperature, I believe)."

Definitely a big if as to whether ENSO has an effect.

As to lag: A three month lag of global average temperature behind ENSO indices is better than suggesting two or four. However, an average of one to seven months is better than a simple 3 month lag. That is for global average temperatures. For specific locations unsurprisingly the lags vary because as ENSO patterns proceed, the heat moves around. Southern ocean and tropics lags are shorter than lags for Northern extratropics. The correlations with Arctic are very weak and do not appear significant. However maybe there is a very small temperature effect with somewhere around 6 to 10 months lag. Such a correlation is sufficiently weak that it can easily be dismissed as not significant. However it is possible that there are ENSO effects but rather than of temperature most of the effect goes into melting ice or changing atmospheric patterns rather than temperature change. Note I have only looked for temperature correlations so any other effect is pure speculation from me. Others may well know more.

I like NOAA ENSO weekly update:
see pages 27 to 29 for forecasts, and pages 24-26 for ONI index.

For temperature correlations, MEI seems better than ONI or SOI.


RuninCircles, there is no ice growth in both Barentsz and Kara Seas proper.
Though the lower troposphere is frosty, the oceanic surface layer is just too warm to support ice formation. Ice growth could only return through fading of the Eurasian high and the high geopotential over the region.
Only then the ocean surface can finally let go its heat. Two months late... I think too late.


Crandles, Lloyd,
The measurable ENSO signal is a result of pressure gradients in the atmosphere and status of the thermohaline circulation in the oceans. The general pattern produced by these oceanic and atmospheric circulations is clear, rising heat content is evident. Through time lag and geographic disturbance it is obscure what is to be expected for a specific region and time on earth.
Although a positive ONI may stand for the strong impact as we know them in various parts of the world, the lagging underlying warming will have it’s impact independent of the exact timing of El Nino. It doesn’t matter much for Arctic sea ice if a new El Nino will express itself in higher global temps 2012-2013. Oceanic and atmospheric circulation are having an impact whether ONI is high or low.
There seems to be a weather aspect through cloud seeds, influencing albedo through the Arctic summer. In that sense, an emerging El Nino might even have a protective effect on the sea ice.
For now, it is ominous to see the multiplying anomalies reflected in the first tropical disturbance in the Gulf of Mexico.
As every aspect of life and biosphere on this planet is interrelated, some relief somewhere can not be cherrypicked to dismiss this general pattern.


BTW, CT SIA is impressive in Bering, it keeps cresting higher. In the Kara Sea it's the other way round, it keeps dipping lower. At first I thought it was a glitch, but it seems it isn't.

What is happening to the ice out there in the Kara Sea? Is it getting compacted? Or is the warm water showing up on the SST maps pushed over there by the winds and nibbling away prematurely?

This is looking weirder by the day, and it's going to continue for 4-5 days more, at least.


Thank you Crandles and Werther. The link was very informative. I had not included the cloud cover potential offset. I like your word ominous. It reflects how I feel about the current state of the Arctic in general and the ice in particular. The warming is relentless and the consequences just keep on coming. How long does it take to update the trend line graphs once we're sure maximum is reached?

Chris Biscan

Feb 5th Bremen map shows more loses in the Kara, Barents, Arctic basin, as well as ice concentration dropping.


Artful Dodger

I wonder, what does the Caribbean Hurricane/Gulf Stream data foretell about the coming 2012 Arctic Sea Ice Minimum?


Chris Biscan


Check out the OLR from the region, exp the Kara:


Individual day anomalies in the Kara the last 4-5 days have reached +60 at the surface. That is absurd.


Wowzers again.


Neven asked himself:

Or is the warm water showing up on the SST maps pushed over there by the winds and nibbling away prematurely?

Me thinks you are forgetting one important "feature": rainfal.

At Svalbard not only record max temperatures are happening in succession since 26 January, there has been reported heavy rainfall for days too. And we know for sure the warm air masses and rainfall had been transported to Nova Zembla and the Kara sea. And we know, rain does very bad things to ice. So it's fair to assume the rainfall has been a major factor in the disappearing act of the Kara sea ice.

Moreover, as it was a relative warm rain, we fairly can assume the entire Kara sea has been warmed up. Hence it remains questianable whether this sea will freeze solid this winter (and this year) or not.

To bad there aren't available public webcams nor weather stations at Nova Zembla, so alas we have to stick to assumptions.

Incidentally, central Alaska has been invaded by warm air masses about 6 hours ago. Same situation in the sea of Okhotsk since a couple of days.

So it looks very much like 2012 will be the year of the strange phenomena.


Just for the sake of completeness:


... A warm-up will produce icy roads across the interior...

After a record cold January... many areas now have temperatures that are well above normal across much of the interior.
Temperatures in the teens and 20s above are common... and in some areas... especially on the hills and where there is some wind temperature are near or a little above freezing.
The warmer air temperatures over the cold soaked ground will produce areas of ice and make travel hazardous.


unless I am misreading the MASIE chart ftp://sidads.colorado.edu/DATASETS/NOAA/G02186/masie_extent_sqkm.csv.

the ice area in the Kara sea has dropped from 916106 on 2012016 to 766392 on 2012035. that is close to 250,000 sq km of missing ice. Gentlemen I am just a teeny bit perturbed by that. that is a LOT of missing ice for the time of year is it not?

L. Hamilton

Here's a new graphic:


DMI extent for 2/5 is 100k below 2007, 200k below 2011.

Taking a longer view, CT area updated through 2/4:



Hi Philiponfire,

A LOT of missing ice, but closer to 150,000 km squared.

But please feel free to carry on being perturbed.


But if you want to be perturbed, you could look at regional graphs page and read off a recent loss of 270k ish km^2 and add to that Barents is at only 200k about 400k below normal for time of year.

(To lessen the perturbing, Bering and Baffin/Newfoundland are about 300k each above last year. Should we conclude that these sized variations just can and do happen? In Bering and Baffin/Newfoundland it seems they do happen, but we have not had anything like this in Kara & Barents.)


Oops my bad did the maths in my head and got it wrong.

My point is not the actual area for the time of year or variation from previous years but the fact that 150,000 sq km of ice has vanished in the last 3 weeks at a time when we normally expect expansion of ice area do we not? this is not a small area is it? the weather would have had to have been off the charts to break up or melt or move that much ice surely? was there really that much area of ice so thin it melted out in 3 weeks? if not where has it gone and how? how the hell could that much ice blow away?



by my eyes there seems to be very roughly a six year wave pattern/cycle with a downward trend in the minimum and maximum.


Ahh just been reading a post from Kris. it has been raining in the Kara. so could this just be one huge melt pond with ice underneath it?


Me thinks you are forgetting one important "feature": rainfal.

Good one, Kris. Thanks.

So we have warm SSTs, winds blowing the ice to the east, a bit of insolation (?) and rainfall...

Amazing stuff.


So two possibilities seem to be in the future for the Kara. either the ice has totally melted out and the area will remain open water to a far greater extent than is normal or the warm period will end and the surface melted water will re-freeze rapidly due to the underlying ice. Time to sit back with pop corn and wait to see where this goes.
Mind you it does feel a little like sitting on a deck chair on the Titanic.
Either way an extraordinary development for January/February!


Neven wrote

bit of insolation (?)

Should I have writen "snow is insulation (material)"?


Philiponfire asked:

so could this just be one huge melt pond with ice underneath it

Definitely not.

Remember the Kara sea zone between Nova Zembla and Siberia still was for about 70 % open on the first of January.
So on 23 January there only could have been a ± 15 cm ice layer. Easy to melt away by a few days of heay rain. And don't forget, warm rain it was.


>>"so could this just be one huge melt pond with ice underneath it
>Definitely not."

However could it be possible that there is a fair bit of wet ice around that gives out a signal more like water than ice and so is not being detected? Like the ice that disappeared during a storm that partly reappeared later.

Is it possible that the situation is more like:

ie less ice now than 2 weeks ago but nowhere near as much gone as indicated on other maps?


This probably isn't all that useful but if you want to see what values are arrived at if the same pattern is followed in each of the last 10 years:

Year, Day=.0986, Max, Increase, Max if follow pattern
2002 13.7552919 14.3224802 0.5671883 13.1292077
2003 13.553689 14.3390617 0.7853727 13.3473921
2004 13.0983171 13.7756853 0.6773682 13.2393876
2005 12.5499163 13.4600563 0.91014 13.4721594
2006 12.79004 13.358222 0.568182 13.1302014
2007 12.6837368 13.3171978 0.633461 13.1954804
2008 13.3545179 13.8907156 0.5361977 13.0982171
2009 13.0694704 13.853056 0.7835856 13.345605
2010 12.6413403 13.8120375 1.1706972 13.7327166
2011 12.7402706 13.1444197 0.4041491 12.9661685

so a range from 12.97 to 13.73 million km^2.

I am going to raise my guess to 13.2 to 13.4 and that may be noticably too low if lots of ice reappears in Kara after being too wet to be detected.


Even though the weather is probably going to flip sides again I've decided to stick with 13.0 to 13.2 million km2.

L. Hamilton

Last week I ran a naive regression of annual max on 1/30 ice area, and got a prediction of 13.4.

Just re-ran this, regressing annual max on 2/5 ice area, and got a prediction of ... 13.4.


Water-ice over the Kara Sea…
The forecast for Thursday is a deep low between Frantsa Yosefa and the North Pole. The transport-band from the North Atlantic is still intact. On the north tip of Polu-ostrov Yamal temps will be around -2 dC.
It is hard to imagine that would be possible when surface winds would just have crossed almost 400 km of wet ice surface.


Hi all,

CT area has lost 0.047 units overnight - nearly a half-century break.


I know the focus here is CT, but the other graphs, arctic-roos, dmi (30%) and nsidc are all climbing. only CT seems to be staying near record lows.


I believe CT lags the others by a day or two. But the party is over. A jump of 128K reported for the 12th.


Increases from day .1206 to max for last 10 days:

If those patterns are representative of what is likely to happen this gives projections for the max of:

13.036583 using min increase
13.5431128 using max increase
13.21488976 using average of those increases


oops meant "Increases from day .1206 to max for last 10 years:"

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Good article thanks

Tor Bejnar

I guessed the Arctic area maximum would be less than 13 million km2, a guess now proved to have been overly pessimistic. I warned you all not to follow me in lowballing a guess! 44% have now lost their (our) wager. May I join the group including 32% of guessers who guessed 13.0 to 13.2 M km2? :) "crandles" use of data and arithmetic a few days ago suggests the area could easily exceed this amount, but I don't buy it.


I should summarise the guesses made in the posts:

In guess order
Jim Pettit 13.1
Tor Bejnar 12.999
Derek Moran 12.4904337
crandles 13.07
Werther 12.9
Kevin McKinney 12.8
Otto Lehikoinen 13.000001
L Hamilton 13.4
Daniel Bailey 12.8
Michael Sweet 12.93
Neven 13-13.2
Yazzur 13.15
Rich and Mike Island 12.98
none 13.5
Kris 12.97
Lloyd Smith 13.05

In size order
Derek Moran 12.4904337
Kevin McKinney 12.8
Daniel Bailey 12.8
Werther 12.9
Michael Sweet 12.93
Kris 12.97
Rich and Mike Island 12.98
Tor Bejnar 12.999
Otto Lehikoinen 13.000001
Lloyd Smith 13.05
crandles 13.07
Jim Pettit 13.1
Neven 13-13.2
Yazzur 13.15
L Hamilton 13.4
none 13.5

Otto is closest at the moment but it will only take 11k to pass on to a higher guess.

Current level is above 9 guesses with 7 guesses above current level.

The poll seems to have a slightly higher median and so seems likely to be closer to the truth. It did have a later closing date so maybe it should be expected to be closer.


For date guesses I have found:
Jim Pettit 29 Feb
crandles 7 March
Adelady day 65-68
Yazzur 61-63
Rich and Mike Island March 15
Kris March 14

Let me know if I have missed any of the guesses. Appologies to anyone missed.

Jim Pettit

Thanks to yesterday's 32,000 km2 drop in SIA, 2012 is now about 134K below 2011's max, and 306K below 2007's. 2007's peak occurred on Day 58 (this Monday, 2/27), while 2011's peak was on day 68 (3/9), still two weeks away (and, coincidentally, the average SIA peak day since 1979).

FWIW, the earliest maximums have been on day 49 (2/18) in '92 and '97, while the latest was on day 83 (3/25) in '85. (The '03 peak was on day 82). IOW, it could happen any day--and may even have happened already (though I wouldn't count on it).

L. Hamilton

Measurement issues with DMI have caused erratic variations over the past 4 days. Not yet settled down but it's currently showing 10.93, about 80k above 2011.


No record low maximum. We have reached 13.146 just above the record of 13.144.

Mike Constable

A miss for all us pessimists out there! (Less than 25% in the poll are still running).


Well, it seems than congratulations are in order for none with the highest guess in the comments of 13.5 m Km^2.

Latest data at time of posting is 13.46 and hence nearer to none than L Hamiltons second place guess of 13.4. The maximum could go higher yet....

At most only 9.6% have guessed high enough or too high in the poll.


...which means that, as previously noted, it's time for the denialorati to pay much more attention to Arctic sea ice for a while:


Chris Biscan

all of these hundreds of thousands of square kilometer of extra SIE or SIA that is .1 to .2M thick and is absurdly deceiving, for those who want to be deceived.


Crandles, it seems you were right about 10 days when you said the CT SIA could go as far as 13.5-13.6 million km2. It's at 13.537 million km2 for March 4th. Well done.


Hi Neven,

Another day, another 70k.

On the principle that its the often unexpected result that's most revealing, I think its worth having a good look at this:

In most of the CT areas, an increase in extent/area at this time of year is irrelevent.

Laptev, East Siberia, Chukski, Beaufort, the Canadian Archipelago and Hudson Bay are 100% ice-covered. Same as every year.

The Arctic Basin should be 100% ice, but it has been recently showing a slight deficit, which has closed up over the last several days. But not enough to make much difference.

The difference seems to be in the marginal seas...

On the Pacific side, the Bering has been heavily ice covered for months. But this was partly offset until recently by less ice that normal in the Sea of Okotsch. Over the last month, Okotsch has grown rapidly.

On the Atlantic side; St Lawrence has very little ice, but that little has been growing recently. Kara and Barentsz were very low, but have recently started to form more sea ice, albeit very late in the year.

The Greenland Sea undulates up and down, as is fairly typical.

And Baffin/Newfoundland Bay has skyrocketed.


Well if I put in enough guesses, as in:

13.07 on Jan 31.
13.2-13.4 on Feb 7 (both in comments and in poll).
"something near [13.64] wouldn't surprise me at the moment" on Feb 26

Then I am bound to be wrong with at least some of the guesses and anything close is likely to be just lucky rather than skillful.

Also "something near X wouldn't surprise me" is the least like a prediction of the bunch. So I doubt the well done is really merited.

It looks to me that the only success I can claim is that the guesses get nearer to reality the nearer to the maximum in time I make my guesses. I suspect lots of people would manage to achieve that over the time period of those guesses.

Kevin McKinney

"I suspect lots of people would manage to achieve that over the time period of those guesses."

Maybe 'lots of people' would--but if I recall my guesses correctly, I went the other way instead!


Finally get to state: Maximum was 13.708 on March 30th. Higher and later than all the guesses, giving wins to none for guessing 13.5 and to Rich and Mike Island for guessing March 15th.


12.75...February 28th Max

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