“The Extent increased Today..We’ll know in a day or two..” – Julienne Stroeve on Sea Ice
September 18, 2012
This afternoon I chatted with Dr. Julienne Stroeve of the National Snow and Ice Data Center from a research station in Svalbard, Norway, in the arctic circle. Sound only, her computer apparently had no camera.
Among the remarks she made:
“Well, I think what this year shows us is that the ice cover was pretty darn thin, I mean,..there wasn’t any sort of really amazing weather patterns like we saw in 2007, that were conducive for ice loss, I mean the weather pattern was pretty normal for most of the summer. And yet you lost quite a bit more ice than 2007, in fact we’re right now about 18 percent below the 2007 minimum.
So that’s pretty substantial. It wasn’t that you just made a new record, you pretty much beat it by quite a bit.
Q. We’re 18 percent below?
A. “Yeah. 18 percent. That actually is a bit surprising, which to me just indicates that the ice was pretty thin, and speaking with a colleague at London College, Dr. Seymour Laxon, he’s been analyzing the cryosat data, and he said, yeah, the ice was thinner this year than it had been in the last several years.
So it would make sense then, I mean I think, certainly the storm in early August helped to break up the ice in the Chukchi, and East Siberian Sea, but the ice was melting out anyway, probably, because it was already pretty thin, by that point, and there was a lot of open water areas between the ice floes.
So, the storm just took it away really quickly. I think it would have melted out anyway though.”