A year ago MASIE results showed clearly that the decline of ice prior to 2007 had stabilized and increased a bit. The graph below displays the plateau of annual average ice extents based on October 1 to September 30. In 2 weeks we can add 2016 and see how the trend changes.
The monthly average extent for September is the climate statistic, since daily reports vary greatly due to weather, ice movements and darkening conditions, just some of the factors making it difficult to measure anything in the Arctic.
Halfway through September, we can compare extents for day 260, the average day for annual minimums. The table below shows MASIE extents in M km2 on day 260 for significant years in the last decade.
|Central Arctic Sea||2.67||2.64||2.98||2.93||2.92|
|Greenland & CAA||0.56||0.41||0.55||0.46||0.45|
|Bits & Pieces||0.32||0.04||0.22||0.15||0.31|
The main difference between 2007 and 2016 is more ice in Central Arctic. 2015 is slightly higher because of BCE (Beaufort, Chukchi, E. Siberian combined), though the Bits and Pieces are higher now, most of it in Laptev this year.
The rate of refreezing in the next 2 weeks should keep 2016 well ahead of 2007. The average gain of ice from now to Sept. 30 is 32k km2 per day, or 412k km2 added to the day 260 extent. In 2007 the rate was the decade’s lowest: only 3k per day for 41k km2 added by end of Sept. Last year 2015 was one of the fastest recoveries, almost twice the average.
It looks likely that 2016 September extent average will finish higher than 2007 and close to 2008 and 2011. It is unlikely to catch 2015. But who knows?
No one knows what will happen to Arctic ice.
Except maybe the polar bears.
And they are not talking.
Except, of course, to the admen from Coca-Cola