The summer melt of the Arctic appears to have reached it’s limit with the sea ice extent at 5.1 million km2 (cf. the 3.41 million km2 record in 2012) as shown on this graph from the NSIDC’s Arctic Sea Ice News and Analysis site:
The black line is the 1981-2010 average, plus and minus two standard deviations. The blue is 2007 and the dotted line represents the 2012 record. This year is the sixth lowest on record as this graph from Skeptical Science shows:
Skeptical Science also has graphs for 1870 plus and a reconstruction going back 1450 years. The loss since 1980 is about 40%.
Neven at Arctic Sea Ice Blog explains how weather conditions and the disposition of atmospheric pressure systems influence the loss of ice cover late in the season. For example, under certain conditions more ice is spun out through Fram Strait into the North Atlantic.
This image shows the progressive decadal deterioration in sea ice cover and where the action is now:
Neven shows the PIOMAS figures for August, with volume a little above that of 2010, 2011 and 2012. Nevertheless Dana at Skeptical Science finds volume has reduced by about 75% since 1980. Neven finds the average thickness of 1.34m at 31 August compares with 1.39m in 2102 and 2.33m in 2005.
Last year there were a lot of images around. This one shows before and after between 1984 and 2012. Perhaps my favourite was the third video in this collection.
That video gives a real feel of the dynamic nature of what is happening in the Arctic and the alarming decline of ice cover. David Spratt at Climate Code Red looks at the Arctic in the second of his series on dangerous climate change.
Warming in the Arctic is three times the global average. Many experts think a tipping point in the Arctic ice sheet disintegration has been reached with a largely ice free late summer not too far away.
9 thoughts on “Arctic sea ice extent minimum for 2013”
Thanks Brian. Why is it that everyone talks about the extent of pack ice and few talk about its thickness? Business may think that opening the North West Passage is great; however, I wonder what effect, if any, all the anticipated shipping will have on the weather and climate around the southern part of the Arctic Ocean?
Graham, David Spratt goes into some of the possible implications (not limited to weather and climate. Seems there is a great deal of uncertainty, However:
I participated in the SEARCH contest this year and predicted mean extent at 4.7 million km^2. Given mean and minimum are usually quite close and my 95% CI extended up to 5.35, I think the mean september sea ice extent will be within prediction accuracy. I think if I had used July temperature data I would have been even closer. Next year I should try for an ensemble model.
Thanks for that link, Brian. Glad to see that ice thickness is not neglected. Was wondering, too, whether there were likely to be any significant effects on Arctic Ocean currents.
Initially, I did wonder if there might be changes in the directions and velocity of these currents …. which would probably have some interesting effects.
Good old serendipity. Went searching the internet for layman stuff on Arctic Ocean currents and came back with a swag of interesting historical stuff on the fabulous North West Passage(s). It will keep me amused for hours.
Thank you, Brian, for reviving this forum where intelligent discussion, sharing and evaluation of information can take place. Your efforts and energies are appreciated by many.
There is so much happening in the technical field all with significant scope to enable individuals to participate in Climate Change action by reducing their CO2 emissions.
I used to talk about a system that I dubbed GenIIPV. This was a concept developed between myself and a now departed dodgy business partner, now replaced with an EE with impeccable credentials, and some largely developed product intended for the solar PV industry. Regardless of the players the initiative continues. I have decided to break the project into smaller more achievable parts and test them locally. The primary exercise is to design an efficient Solar PV/Thermal collector along with its ancillary elements. I will endeavor to present the progress of the system as it proceeds here.
What you can look forward to is
The Solar PV/Thermal panel system based of 22% efficient panels
The thermal energy transfer system
The WiFi Smart Meter (from my partner)
fallen off the edge for the time being is a micro inverter
A modular Battery Storage system (possibly 3 kwhr expansion modules) and their energy management system.
A solar thermal ammonia based absorptive air conditioning chiller.
What I am projecting that will come from other areas are
Micro grids. this is where a block of houses, block of units, or even a small locality become a separate local predominately solar grid with a single broad grid connection point, where energy within the local grid is managed by a commonly owned brokerage and external power is bought at bulk rates.
The new generation of Hybride vehicles starting with the Misubishi, VW, and Audi which offer a high degree of all electric functionality along with long range from their petrol or diesel engines.
Very rapid but staged introduction of autonomous vehicle vehicle technologies. (see Subaru Viziv concept vehicle for example).
A new flexibility in building design to allow the building of dwellings capable of withstanding the ravages of climate change. Most council regulations make it impossible to build such dwellings.
Climate jackets and suits designed to provide body cooling sufficient to make working outdoors in the extreme heat of destructive climate possible. This might seem extreme but I think that even this last summer was a warning for what we will see in the next ten years.
Electrification of aviation (see CafeFoundationBlog) for the best forum on this.
Automation integration within our work and living spaces with internet connectivity. (see Samsung’s recent announcement).
A massive reduction in resource dependence.
My biggest fear other than accelerated Global Warming and Climate Change?
A Europe and Northern Hemisphere wide resource and territory war between Russia and Western Europe, Russia and China (over Siberia), China and Japan, China and Taiwan, North Korea and South Korea, and the Middle East fighting amongst itself for ultimate Islamic domination resolution. Triggered by some sequence of events.
BilB, if you like we can look at a series of guest posts. If that meets your fancy, do something up in Word and send it to me at climateplus[at]bigpond[dot]com and we’ll see how we go.
That is very generous, Brian. As you say, we’ll see how we go. I still have several financial recovery hurdles to cross.
If you happen to be communicating with Julia Gillard you might mention that it seems that their blog comment submission software is broken. I was trying to introduce the organisation to the work of
Alan Roy is a guy I knew in the seventies when he was studying architecture at UNSW. After returning to Canada he worked for years in Alberta before breaking out and doing a contract for Habitat working beside Jimmy Carter. He later designed the swimming pool for the Vancouver Olympic Games. The above is his latest enterprise and a wonderful one at that.
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