Graph of the Day: Northern Sea Ice

July 12, 2011

It’s that time of year.

Time to obsessively keep clicking for updates to the National Snow and Ice Data Center’s regularly updating graphs of sea ice extent, and track the waning of northern polar sea ice. The dotted line is the record low year 2007, and the blue is the current area.

Montreal Gazette:

Last month saw the second lowest Arctic ice cover since 1979, continuing the downward trend of summer ice cover, says the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Colorado.

Ice extent shrank in June at an average rate of 80,800 square kilometres per day, about 50 per cent faster than the average drop recorded from June 1979 to 2000.

At this rate, the Arctic Ocean may be ice free in summer by 2030, said Mark Serreze, director of the NSIDC, calling the decline of the extent of the sea ice and its loss of thickness “an overall downward spiral.”

The average ice extent for June fell below that for June 2007, which, until now, had the lowest minimum ice extent at the end of summer.


I’ll be counting down to what’s become a regular “Northern Sea Ice” video, sometime when we reach the bottom in September or so.

Below, you can review 2 that I made last year.


9 Responses to “Graph of the Day: Northern Sea Ice”

  1. prokaryotes Says:

    “It is hotter than balls,” says U.S. government

    640 max heat records broken or tied this month Even more for highest minimum

  2. NevenA Says:

    Instead of only watching the NSIDC sea ice extent graph, you can look at loads of them here: Arctic Sea Ice Daily Graphs

    For a weekly analysis of what’s going on and what’s going to go on in the short-term, check out the Arctic Sea Ice blog.

    Keep an eye on the ice itself: Arcticio.

  3. Great videos. Thanks for the re-run.

    Admiral Titley, John Holdren, Ben Santer and Richard Alley congressional testimonies fell on Republican deaf ears who were predisposed to listen to Pat Michael’s nitpicking distortions.

  4. prokaryotes Says:

    A Dozen Underwater Volcanoes Discovered Near Antarctica

    • greenman3610 Says:

      you’ll be hearing about this from Deniers.
      “The volcanoes are heating the water – Yeah, that’s the ticket.”

  5. Aidan Luce Says:

    I like The Cryosphere Today found here –

    I’ve been keeping an eye on the sea ice extent pretty much constantly since 2007 and comparing side by side images since then. The rapid melt this year was apparent in April, so I’m not surprised. Keep up the good work.

  6. Peter it might be time to post an update of the NSIDC ice extent graph for the artic. The melt may exceed the 2007 record this year if weather continues to be favorable for accelerated melt.

    Regardless of how things pan out for September the graph seems to show that the melt is well in excess of two standard deviations. It may be the case that the melt is four standard deviations from the 1979-2000 average. It should go without saying that this both statistically significant, and the sort of evidence that the planet as a whole is warming that aught to be literally undeniable.

    The denier talking point in response to these facts would be to bring up the Anarctic sea ice extent. Having done so they are putting forward the notion that a growth in Anarctic sea ice in some way counter balances the loss of Arctic sea ice.

    Nothing new in that.

    What is of interest is that this year there has been no anomalous increase in Anarctic sea ice. So the sea ice that is supposed to counter balace Artic losses just is not there.

    The mass loss of the ice sheet continues at an accelerating rate, as per NASA’s say so.

  7. NevenA Says:


    Cryosphere Today Antarctic sea ice area

    Southern Hemisphere Sea Ice anomaly

    And this one could be breaking records the coming month (but was already close a couple of times, also note how it hasn’t come up at all in the past year, but stayed well below 0):

    Global Sea Ice Area (Arctic + Antarctic)

    Also, don’t forget the Arctic sea ice Daily Graphs page. Almost everything that is monitoring the sea ice is there.

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