Arctic Sea Ice in Free Fall

June 7, 2016


This is why it’s important Dark Snow be in the Arctic this summer.

Washington Post:

The 2016 race downward in Arctic sea ice continued in May with a dramatic new record.

The average area of sea ice atop the Arctic Ocean last month was just 12 million square kilometers (4.63 million square miles), according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC). That beats the prior May record (from 2004) by more than half a million square kilometers, and is well over a million square kilometers, or 500,000 square miles, below the average for the month.


Another way to put it is this: The Arctic Ocean this May had more than three Californias less sea ice cover than it did during an average May between 1981 and 2010. And it broke the prior record low for May by a region larger than California, although not quite as large as Texas.


This matters because 2016 could be marching toward a new record for the lowest amount of ice ever observed on top of the world at the height of melt season — September. The previous record September low was set in 2012. But here’s what the National Snow and Ice Data Center has to say about that:

Daily extents in May were also two to four weeks ahead of levels seen in 2012, which had the lowest September extent in the satellite record. The monthly average extent for May 2016 is more than one million square kilometers (386,000 square miles) below that observed in May 2012.

In other words, for Arctic sea ice, May 2016 was more like June 2012 — the record-breaking year. Going into the truly warm months of the year, then, the ice is in a uniquely weak state.

“We’ve never seen anything like this before,” said Mark Serreze, who directs the center. “It’s way below the previous record, very far below it, and we’re something like almost a month ahead of where we were in 2012.”



10 Responses to “Arctic Sea Ice in Free Fall”

  1. Tom Bates Says:

    there is a tiny problem with this claim. The satellite which measures the ice extent broke on April 6th, NOAA has no plans to replace the satellite so they have no actual ice measurement since the end of march.

    • redskylite Says:

      Read the latest Sea Ice News from NSIDC and note that other satellites (apart from the F17) are monitoring the Arctic sea ice also, F17 was not a single source of data. The F18 is supplying it now as well as (JAXA) Japan. Don’t believe all nonsense from Wattie and the blinkered Wattites.

      “Daily Arctic sea ice extents for May 2016 tracked two to four weeks ahead of levels seen in 2012, which had the lowest September extent in the satellite record. Current sea ice extent numbers are tentative due to the preliminary nature of the DMSP F-18 satellite data, but are supported by other data sources. An unusually early retreat of sea ice in the Beaufort Sea and pulses of warm air entering the Arctic from eastern Siberia and northernmost Europe are in part driving below-average ice conditions. Snow cover in the Northern Hemisphere was the lowest in fifty years for April and the fourth lowest for May. Antarctic sea ice extent grew slowly during the austral autumn and was below average for most of May.”

      • Gingerbaker Says:

        Don’t be silly – The Master cares not for facts. Look at what he just implied!

        He believes this is all a conspiracy – that all these reports are false, must be false, will always be false.

        He believes the National Snow and Ice Data Center just made this stuff up.

        He believes that NOAA “has no plans” to replace the satellite – as if NOAA decides whether they will or will not fund a satellite launch. Not Republicans in Congress who hate climate science and actually hold the purse strings – it is NOAA, you see, who evidently has decided:

        “Hey, we doan nee’ no steenkin’ satellite – we jez makes up deez numbers so dey looks all purdy-like”.

        The Master simply has no need for YOUR facts. He has his own.

    • Tom,

      In an earlier comment thread, you made this claim.

      …and only shows warming after that when they plug 66 percent of the data with estimates which are higher than the actual temperatures they replace.

      I proved you wrong by showing that the NASA warming trend can easily be replicated with raw data (no adjustments/estimates/etc.) Link here:

      When you continued to post here without retracting that completely false claim, I followed up:

      You also ignored that second request to retract your claim.

      So I’m following up with a third request. Will you admit that you were wrong about how NASA processes temperature data?

      As long as you keep posting here, I’m going to keep pinging on you about this until you acknowledge that you were wrong.

      (I don’t really expect Bates to man up and admit that he was wrong; I’m simply using him as an example of how deniers are utterly and completely incapable of admitting error, no matter how egregious their whoppers).

      • greenman3610 Says:

        climate deniers will not retract. That’s not the point here.
        The idea is that denialist trolls help keep us updated on the latest anti-science talking points, and great posters like Caerbannog keep us up on the best responses.
        Meanwhile, folks like Mr Bates, a proxy for anyone’s dittohead Brother in law, can always be relied on to show us the contrast between evidence-based clear thinking and blind anti-science blathering.

      • Once again, I’d like to ask the crickets here to tone it down a bit — with all that chirping, poor Mr. Bates can’t even get a word in edgewise!

  2. Andy Lee Robinson Says:

    Arctic Death Spiral breaking new records too:

  3. witsendnj Says:

    Actually, the Dark Snow Project is irrelevant. Irreversible, amplifying feedback loops are firmly in place. There’s nothing left to do but catalog the symptoms of a dying ecosphere. It’s like wandering around the Titanic, taking notes on how fast the water is rising in the dining hall.

    • otter17 Says:

      Well, it is nice to know if there is time for another ship with lifeboats to arrive, time to start crafting some rafts out of ship parts, or time to put your head between your legs.

      In the same vein, it would be nice to know what is affecting Greenland and the Arctic, how to stop or slow those effects, and determine the contribution to sea level rise. Hence, we can determine roughly what is locked in and how fast to implement sea level adaptation.

      We have screwed up at this point, for sure, but we can better understand how much we have screwed up, which could drive efforts to stop screwing up too much more.

  4. The commentary about the lost sattelite and the missing data is irrelevant. The blue trend line is firmly in place, regardless of whether the last strong dip is backed up by 3 or 2 sattelites.
    Following the trend we will reach much lower icecovers in the next few years.

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