How Melty was Arctic Sea Ice this Year? Pretty Darn Melty.

September 29, 2014

Greg Laden’s Blog:

 The Arctic Sea is covered with ice during the winter, and some of it melts off every summer. Over recent years the amount of melt has been increasing. This is the time of year we may want to look at Arctic Sea ice because by late September it has reached its annual minimum and is starting to reform.

Looking at JUST surface area, which is one indicator of how warm the Arctic has become with Global Warming, we can see (above) that this years march of melting has been extreme, hugging the two standard deviation limit for all of the data from 1979 to 2010 (almost the present).

Here you can see that 2014 is distinctly different, with much more surface area loss, than the first ten years of this data set, from here.

 

And here you can see that 2014 is pretty much in the middle of the range for the “new normal” as represented by the most recent ten years:

So, in answer to the question above, 2014 was a very melty year in the Arctic, though over very recent years there have been worse years. This year is about the sixth lowest minimum extent since 1979 or before.

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9 Responses to “How Melty was Arctic Sea Ice this Year? Pretty Darn Melty.”


  1. Possible denier responses to this:

    1) The scientists are cherry picking. They don’t show any data before 1979, before satellites came along!

    2) Do some cherry picking and talk about how ice in the arctic is rebounding. See this in action here: https://twitter.com/SteveSGoddard/status/514741573083742208


  2. […] Greg Laden's Blog: The Arctic Sea is covered with ice during the winter, and some of it melts off every summer. Over recent years the amount of melt has been increasing. This is the time of year w…  […]


  3. When does the line hit zero?

    If you follow the trend, it’s before 2030.

    That’s the death of denialism…

    and the republican party.

    • dumboldguy Says:

      How many of us will be alive in 16 years to celebrate those two deaths? The tipping points are out there—-IMO, the known unknowns may very well bite us in the butt before 2030.

  4. redskylite Says:

    The graphs depict the rate of decline in area covered, recent studies also highlight the rapidly declining depth of the sea ice. We have been through warming interglacial periods before, in our two and a half million year evolution, but this time we have intervened on nature and speeded up and exaggerated the process.

    Interesting piece on Arctic sea ice research in Sunday’s Globe and Mail:

    “But for those who study sea ice, what matters most day-to-day is quality rather than quantity”

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/technology/science/quality-vs-quantity-the-risky-task-of-sea-ice-research/article20822370/


  5. I think this is a nice way of representing the long term downward trend in Arctic ice, by a colleague, Mike Spencer:

    http://scottishsnow.wordpress.com/2014/09/24/arctic-sea-ice-extent/


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