Arctic sea ice update: Unlikely to break records, but continuing downward trend (w/ Video)

Aug 23, 2013

The melting of sea ice in the Arctic is well on its way toward its annual "minimum," that time when the floating ice cap covers less of the Arctic Ocean than at any other period during the year. While the ice will continue to shrink until around mid-September, it is unlikely that this year's summer low will break a new record. Still, this year's melt rates are in line with the sustained decline of the Arctic ice cover observed by NASA and other satellites over the last several decades.

"Even if this year ends up being the sixth- or seventh-lowest extent, what matters is that the 10 lowest extents recorded have happened during the last 10 years," said Walt Meier, a with NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. "The long-term trend is strongly downward."

The icy cover of the Arctic Ocean was measured at 2.25 million square miles (5.83 million square kilometers) on Aug. 21. For comparison, the smallest Arctic on record for this date, recorded in 2012, was 1.67 million square miles (4.34 million square kilometers), and the largest recorded for this date was in 1996, when ice covered 3.16 millions square miles (8.2 million square kilometers) of the Arctic Ocean.

Watching the dynamics of the Arctic ice cap has gained considerable attention in recent years as the size of the minimum extent has been diminishing – rapidly. On Sept.16, 2012, Arctic sea ice reached its smallest extent ever recorded by satellites at 1.32 million square miles (3.41 million square kilometers). That is about half the size of the average extent from 1979 to 2010.

Sea ice extent is a measurement of the area of the Arctic Ocean where ice covers at least 15 percent of the . For additional information about the evolution of the sea ice cover, scientists also study the sea ice "area," which discards regions of among ice floes and only takes into account the parts of the Arctic Ocean completely covered by ice. On Aug. 21, 2013, the Arctic sea ice area was 1.98 million square miles (5.12 million square kilometers).

This year's melting season included a fast retreat of the sea ice during the first half of July. But low atmospheric pressures and clouds over the central Arctic kept temperatures up north cooler than average, slowing down the plunge.

This video is not supported by your browser at this time.
The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) provides many water-related products derived from data acquired by the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer 2 (AMSR2) instrument aboard the Global Change Observation Mission 1st-Water "SHIZUKU" (GCOM-W1) satellite. Two JAXA datasets used in this animation are the 10-km daily sea ice concentration and the 10 km daily 89 GHz Brightness Temperature. In this animation, the daily Arctic sea ice and seasonal land cover change progress through time, from May 16, 2013 through August 15, 2013. Over the water, Arctic sea ice changes from day to day showing a running 3-day minimum sea ice concentration in the region where the concentration is greater than 15%. The blueish white color of the sea ice is derived from a 3-day running minimum of the AMSR2 89 GHz brightness temperature. Over the terrain, monthly data from the seasonal Blue Marble Next Generation fades slowly from month to month. The full composited animation of the Arctic sea ice between May and August, 2013 with the date overlay and the star background. Credit: NASA Scientific Visualization Studio

With about three weeks of melting left, the summer minimum in 2013 is unlikely to be a record low, said Joey Comiso, senior scientist at Goddard and coordinating lead author of the Cryosphere Observations chapter of the upcoming report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

"But average temperatures in the Arctic fluctuate from one week to another, and the occurrence of a powerful storm in August, as happened in 2012, could cause the current rate of decline to change significantly," Comiso said.

This year, the Arctic has witnessed a few summer storms, but none of them as intense as the cyclone that took place in August 2012.

"Last year's storm went across an area of open water and mixed the smaller pieces of ice with the relatively warm water, so it melted very rapidly," Meier said. "This year, the storms hit in an area of more consolidated ice. The storms this year were more typical summer storms; last year's was the unusual one."

The Arctic sea ice cap has significantly thinned over the past decade and is now very vulnerable to melt, Comiso said. The multiyear ice cover, consisting of thicker sea ice that has survived at least two summers, has declined at an even faster rate than younger, thinner ice.

Meier said that a thinner, seasonal ice cover might behave more erratically in the summer than multiyear ice.

"First-year ice has a thickness that is borderline: It can melt or not depending on how warm the summer temperatures are, the prevailing winds, etcetera," Meier said. "This year's conditions weren't super-favorable for losing ice throughout spring and summer; last year they were. Whereas with multiyear ice, it takes unusual warm conditions to melt it, which is what we've seen in the most recent years."

On the opposite side of the planet, Antarctic sea ice, which is in the midst of its yearly growing cycle, is heading toward the largest extent on record, having reached 7.45 million square miles (19.3 million square kilometers) on Aug. 21. In 2012, the extent of Antarctic sea ice for the same date was 7.08 million square miles (18.33 million square kilometers). The phenomenon, which appears counter-intuitive but reflects the differences in environment and climate between the Arctic and Antarctica, is currently the subject of many research studies. Still, the rate at which the Arctic is losing sea ice surpasses the speed at which Antarctic sea ice is expanding.

The sea ice minimum extent analysis produced at Goddard – one of many -based scientific analyses of sea ice cover – is compiled from passive microwave data from NASA's Nimbus-7 satellite, which operated from late October 1978 to August 1987, and the U.S. Department of Defense's Defense Meteorological Satellite Program, which has been used to extend the Nimbus 7 record onwards from August 1987. The record, which began in November 1978, shows an overall downward trend of 14.1 percent per decade in the size of the minimum summer extent, a decline that accelerated after 2007.

Explore further: NASA sees Tropical Storm Fung-Wong move through East China Sea

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User comments : 39

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NikFromNYC
2 / 5 (27) Aug 23, 2013
Ninety percent of world ice is in the mildly but overall steadily cooling Antarctic, which today and most days of the last month has now set an all time record for sea ice extent:
http://arctic.atm...ive.html

Sea ice is just a small volume lip along the edge however, mostly created by ice flow out from the interior, but melting and re-freezing occurs seasonally.

The massive loss of Arctic sea ice extent in 2012 has now recovered in 2013 by a whopping 56%. There was a cyclonic storm in 2012 that pushed lots of ice out into warmer waters, seen here:
http://www.livesc...ice.html

In 1987, a year before James Hansen presented Global Warming By Massive Water Vapor Amplification to Congress, playful submarine commanders proved their navigation skills by having a party at the North Pole:
http://s9.postimg...1987.jpg
djr
3.8 / 5 (16) Aug 23, 2013
"Ninety percent of world ice is in the mildly but overall steadily cooling Antarctic,"

Can you support that statement with any data? (oh - not the 90% part - but the steadily cooling part).
runrig
3.9 / 5 (11) Aug 23, 2013
The Antarctic is not "mildly but overall steadily cooling" as the following shows....

http://data.giss....;pol=reg
And
http://en.wikiped...2007.jpg

From....http://nsidc.org/...e-graph/
22nd Aug '12 ice ext 4.3 milkm^2
22nd Aug '13 " " 5.8 milkm^

Which is a recovery of 1.5 mil km^2 of 26% .... NOT 56%

One season is weather and the conditions this year vs last are as the article lists.
http://nsidc.org/...ure3.png

As for the Arctic storm of 2012 "....said lead author Jinlun Zhang, an oceanographer in the UW's Applied Physics Laboratory. "By September, most of the ice that melted would have melted with or without the cyclone.""
http://phys.org/n...ice.html
runrig
3.7 / 5 (9) Aug 23, 2013
runrig
3.7 / 5 (10) Aug 23, 2013
"Ninety percent of world ice is in the mildly but overall steadily cooling Antarctic,"

Can you support that statement with any data? (oh - not the 90% part - but the steadily cooling part).


djr
No he cant - as my links show.
MR166
1.5 / 5 (15) Aug 23, 2013
Sometimes one chart is worth more than 1000 words. Well more than 1000 words of BS anyway.

http://ocean.dmi....r.uk.php
runrig
3.5 / 5 (8) Aug 23, 2013
Sometimes one chart is worth more than 1000 words. Well more than 1000 words of BS anyway.

http://ocean.dmi....r.uk.php


?
runrig
3.6 / 5 (9) Aug 23, 2013
Ninety percent of world ice is in the mildly but overall steadily cooling Antarctic, which today and most days of the last month has now set an all time record for sea ice extent:
http://arctic.atm...ive.html


And why would you think that's happened ? given that the Antarctic is on the whole warming.

Clue - There are things that affect sea-ice formation other than temperature.
It often stands next to the pepper on a dinner table.
GuruShabu
2 / 5 (21) Aug 23, 2013
Same Eco-Fascism...they need to hammer you on an everyday basis...otherwise you might forget it.
Goebbels procedure.
rug
2.4 / 5 (14) Aug 23, 2013
I love it when these goofs link to graphs that show the opposite of what thy think is shows. It really shows the intelligence level of the world.

@MR166- I bet I can sum up some basic information about you that I would have no way of knowing.

1) You are a republican.
2) You are religious.
3) You failed first grade math.
4) You failed every science class you took. Unless it was a religious school, Then you got an A!

Now, does me knowing this information make me a physic?
Nope, just shows who it is that doesn't understand global warming.
runrig
3.6 / 5 (9) Aug 23, 2013
Same Eco-Fascism...they need to hammer you on an everyday basis...otherwise you might forget it.
Goebbels procedure.


Just denying ignorance and/or lies my friend.
If you cant see that then go elsewhere.
Shootist
2 / 5 (21) Aug 23, 2013
Let me know when dairy farms have been in Greenland for a couple of hundred years..

"The polar bears will be fine." - Freeman Dyson
runrig
3.1 / 5 (9) Aug 23, 2013
Let me know when dairy farms have been in Greenland for a couple of hundred years..

"The polar bears will be fine." - Freeman Dyson


Ah, Mr Dyson's obsessive - bless - comes along with myth No5(b).
djr
3.8 / 5 (11) Aug 23, 2013
MR166 "Sometimes one chart is worth more than 1000 words. Well more than 1000 words of BS anyway."

Did MR really just link to a graphic showing 4 years of data?

Notice the silence from Nik. I guess it is a game - be the first one on - say something really stupid - watch the responses - rinse and repeat.

rug
2.3 / 5 (12) Aug 23, 2013
Did MR really just link to a graphic showing 4 years of data?

Yup, sure did, still showed a decline though. These goofs can't even read a graph.
NikFromNYC
1.9 / 5 (24) Aug 23, 2013
djr: It's a summer Friday in Manhattan. The links are noted and even appreciated. Do I really need to drag the corpse of Hockey Stick Team member Steig's Antarctica temperature trend map across the public square tonight? You guys, including both "RUG" and "RUnriG" make it conveniently easy to expose the brazenly consistent pattern of abuse of statistics within Climatology. Demolition of the type of trend map that still passes peer review at Nature is featured here:

http://climateaud...al-2009/

Peer review is broken in Climatology so we turn to raw data.
VendicarE
3.1 / 5 (15) Aug 23, 2013
What is it about NikkieTard AKA ParkerTard, AKA VendiTardE, that makes him a habitual liar?

Does he have an exceptionally low IQ?

Or does his dishonesty come from is Conservative ideology?
rug
2.8 / 5 (11) Aug 23, 2013
@Nic if you are implying Runrig and I are the same person you are hugely mistaken. Online I have only ever been known as rug. Offline, some people still only know me as rug. It's who I am. Kinda like neo was his real name while most of the world new him as Thomas A. Anderson. I have never use another alias. If you bother to look at the profiles you will see I choose to share very little information about myself. My real name is not there and only vague details about location and occupation. I choose not to share who I am with the world because I know the risk involved with that. While runrig shares much more specific details. Once again, it just shows you have no idea how to even look at data. Maybe that is why you always seem to link to data that shows the exact opposite of what you say it does.
djr
4 / 5 (12) Aug 23, 2013
Nik - no need to do that - just provide some data to support your claim that the Antactic is 'generally steadily cooling'. Assertions about conspiracies are just obfuscation - data is more impressive to me. Thanks.
VendicarE
3.5 / 5 (16) Aug 23, 2013
"it conveniently easy to expose the brazenly consistent pattern of abuse of statistics within Climatology." - NikkieTard aka ParkerTard aka VendiTardE

How sad for you that your link actually shows the Antarctic to be generally warming, contrary to your initial claim.

You have a long history of posting links that contradict your own claims.

Astonishingly stupid of you don't you think?

VendicarE
3.1 / 5 (15) Aug 23, 2013
"These goofs can't even read a graph." - rug

They stopped reading graphs when they learned that they could just make obvious lies about them and their Republican Cohorts would accept those lies as Gospal.

NikkieTard is nothing but one link in a circle jerk of Republican ignorance and deceit.

NikFromNYC
2 / 5 (20) Aug 24, 2013
Rabble-rousers have given me real homework this round. They indeed have spotted a sloppy statement of mine about Antarctic cooling. It's not even a very effective argument to formally claim cooling since it comes off as maverick nonsense when really its just a meandering local effect in an overall warming world in which Antarctica is quite isolated due to wind and ocean currents that loop around it instead of cross over it.

There indeed is controversy: http://www.scienc...2855.htm

And the way Antarctica has been abused by not only Steig but Hansen's NASA as well indeed means I'll need to dig into satellite data again: http://tallbloke....tarctic/

Zealous claims about "Republican lies" simply helps skeptics in the court of public opinion, *even* if we're utterly wrong, since it reveals madness level bigotry and lack of emotional intelligence by core AGW activists.
NikFromNYC
1.9 / 5 (18) Aug 24, 2013
runrig's 2007 Wikipedia map of Antarctic cooling has a rather, uh, *interesting* history, in that only a year before, the same map strongly supported my original claim:

(1) Wikipedia 2007: http://en.wikiped...2007.jpg
(2) 2006 version: http://earthobser...?id=6502

Gosh, that's an awfully big revision of history, including a sudden halving of the scale, but did Antarctica suddenly jump in temperature in a year's time? Not according to satellite data that indeed shows no jump whatsoever:
http://postimg.or...4a4pjqp/

Suspicious? Very, very much so!
rug
2.7 / 5 (11) Aug 24, 2013
Zealous claims about "Republican lies" simply helps skeptics in the court of public opinion, *even* if we're utterly wrong, since it reveals madness level bigotry and lack of emotional intelligence by core AGW activists.

Actually there is a bit of a point in it. The only people that seem to think global warming is a scam are republicans. Which I find very odd. Wasn't it republicans that have been the main supporters of saving the environment? Now they want to wreck the environment just so they don't have loose their oil company company funds.

I know that sounds like a conspiracy theory and it very well may be one. I don't know. What I do know is only republicans are on capitol hill denying climate change is happening.
rug
3.1 / 5 (13) Aug 24, 2013
Judging by your links it would seem that some people have went as far as to take unrelated data mash it together to show no anomalous warming. The really funny thing is, even after that is still showed an increase in temperature. I would think if they was going fake a graph like that they would at least make it not show what they are claiming it not to show. sheesh these guys are as bad as you are. No wonder you like their sites.
djr
3.8 / 5 (11) Aug 24, 2013
Nik: "They indeed have spotted a sloppy statement of mine about Antarctic cooling."

Oh swoon - I am mortified - tell me it is not true! Nik engaged in a little of the old truth bending. Nik got busted yet again... What is the world coming too??????
NikFromNYC
1.9 / 5 (19) Aug 24, 2013
rug: Republicans were easy pickings late comers to the the (massive water vapor amplified greenhouse effect) skeptical movement and they arrived in a single week after November 2009 Climategate was picked up by Instapundit/Drudge -> Rush Limbaugh -> Glenn Beck. They were already primed by a cavalier aversion to any type of science that debunks or competes with their effort to insert the Bible into public education. But now, Bible thumpers are among the strongest supporters of climate doom, such as evangelical John Cook of SkepticalScience.com and now the Vatican itself. I don't like Puritans on either side of the fence, personally.

djr: You busted me for being rusty and busy, not dishonest. The data adjusters caught up to my early education, it seems!
ubavontuba
1.7 / 5 (17) Aug 24, 2013
Antarctic ...Sea ice is just a small volume lip along the edge however, mostly created by ice flow out from the interior, but melting and re-freezing occurs seasonally.
You need to read up a little more on sea ice, and how it forms.

Here's a start:

http://en.wikiped.../Sea_ice

http://en.wikiped...ce_packs

rug
2.8 / 5 (13) Aug 24, 2013
HAHAHA you think most of the religious zeolites are saying global warming it true? Sure, there might be a few, but most of them view science as evil. Their bible tells them so in the first book. You know, the tree of knowledge.
djr
3.9 / 5 (12) Aug 24, 2013
Nik: "You busted me for being rusty and busy, not dishonest."

Well Nik - you have made the claim that Antarctica is cooling before - and I have challenged you to provide data. I am by no means a climate scientist - and my knowledge is pretty much exclusively from google. However - I think the internet can give you access to a lot of information - and my poking around on google informs me that the current understanding of Antarctica is that it is a mixed bag - not easy to make too strong a statements about it - but that the scientists studying it are coming to the conclusion that some parts are warming, some cooling, but overall the trend seems to be warming. So if I can garner that much - you are either dishonest, or way out of your league with all of your spam of this site. Either way - you are pretty sad. Mentally ill is of course another option.
runrig
3.7 / 5 (6) Aug 24, 2013
Rabble-rousers have given me real homework this round. They indeed have spotted a sloppy statement of mine about Antarctic cooling. It's not even a very effective argument to formally claim cooling since it comes off as maverick nonsense when really its just a meandering local effect in an overall warming world in which Antarctica is quite isolated due to wind and ocean currents that loop around it instead of cross over it.


Nik:
Now that is without doubt the most honest thing I have seen you post - just a little light being seen.
Can you see why your previous statements that I have pulled up regarding meteorology are so infuriating to someone who knows the science. And, I'm afraid, is typical of posters on here.
BTW: you should be able to discern the characters of posters on here by their use of language - I most certainly am a on-off on here.....http://en.wikiped...i/Runrig
Egleton
1.6 / 5 (9) Aug 24, 2013
Why don't you Yanks go sort out your differences behind the bike shed.
Republicans versus Democrats.
Yawn.
It is time for World Government I think.
runrig
3 / 5 (4) Aug 24, 2013
Why don't you Yanks go sort out your differences behind the bike shed.
Republicans versus Democrats.
Yawn.
It is time for World Government I think.


I'm not American, though I do concur with the extreme of views there
rug
2.7 / 5 (7) Aug 24, 2013
If there was a world government then nothing would ever get done due to the religious beliefs of a really large portion of the population of the world. That is the problem in the US, Iraq, Egypt, etc. You can tell this rather easily. Think of the countries you hear about the most in the news killing their own people or any other stupid stuff. Looks at this link and see where they fall. http://en.wikiped..._country

The United Nations is the closest we've come so far and sadly, that's not really working either.
MR166
1.6 / 5 (13) Aug 24, 2013
"It is time for World Government I think." And why would that be? Is it because "Big Government is doing such a great job and a Humongous Government would be that much better?
joefarah
1.6 / 5 (14) Aug 24, 2013
Does this headline really mean to say: "Arctic sea ice increases this year"? That's how I read it. How about you?
MR166
1.4 / 5 (10) Aug 25, 2013
OK dreamers, just who exactly is going to run this "One World Government" that you have ceded all of our liberties to? Perhaps it will be Mother Teresa or a modern day Gandhi or even the Dali Lama. Yea, right!

Your new Kings will be the Bilderberg Group, Goldman Sachs, the Federal Reserve, George Sorros and Warren Buffet in that order.

You had better watch what you wish for, you just might get it.
Neinsense99
1 / 5 (3) Aug 29, 2013
OK dreamers, just who exactly is going to run this "One World Government" that you have ceded all of our liberties to? Perhaps it will be Mother Teresa or a modern day Gandhi or even the Dali Lama. Yea, right!

Your new Kings will be the Bilderberg Group, Goldman Sachs, the Federal Reserve, George Sorros and Warren Buffet in that order.

You had better watch what you wish for, you just might get it.

Nobody expects Mother Teresa to head a global government, as her death was global news when it happened in 1997. Perhaps you are not so informed as you think you are. https://en.wikipe...r_Teresa
rug
1 / 5 (3) Aug 29, 2013
I find it interesting that MR only named off religious figures to lead a world government....Guess that just another tally for my comment earlier.