Sea Ice Extent, 29 August 2012


Via  IJIS, a collaboration between the International Arctic Research Center (Alaska) and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency.


  1. afeman - that's volume, not extent

    victotronics - think what you will of the extrapolations - the black points are data-driven estimates. As for starting at zero, until a couple of years ago getting anywhere near zero was unthinkable, so it's an understandable tradition. But it's easy to draw the zero line mentally.

    all - the melt season is far from over. There appears to be an ample supply of heat in the ocean - the sun is not contributing much to this melt at this time of year. The lack of inflection in the curve (compared to other years) tells me the ocean is telling the ice "have as much heat as you want, we've got plenty". So we are waiting for the ocean itself to cool, and we seem to have a deep, warmish mixed layer. The IPCC models seem to show sudden deep melts, though they did not predict them as early as 2012. We'll see where we get this year. We dropped below 4,000,000 square km this morning on the IJIS record. I wouldn't bet against open water at the north pole. I don't think we'll get to zero this year but I wouldn't bet too strongly against a narrowish crescent piled up on the Canadian side. This isn't over, maybe not by a long shot.

  2. As I suspected, the northern hemisphere ocean is very warm.

    This is not going to slow down for several weeks. I would not be surprised at this point to see it continue after the equinox.

  3. Michael, bear in mind that much of that red in the Arctic basin is due to ice having been present in those regions through much or all of the baseline period, so while I don't disagree with your conclusion this graphic alone is poor support for it.

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