Thoughts on the ocean, the environment, the universe and everything from nearly a mile high.

Panorama of The Grand Tetons From the top of Table Mountain, Wyoming © Alan Holyoak, 2011

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Quick Arctic Update - 15 Sept 2014

We are near the traditional end of the Arctic sea ice melt season, so I thought I'd check in and post a quick update.  Two years ago, 2012 set the the all-time recorded sea ice melt record (so far) with a minimum sea ice extent over 3 million square kilometers below the 1981-2010 average.  By comparison the 2014 Arctic sea ice melt season looks fairly tame, but don't be fooled, the current sea ice extend is creeping up on 1.5 million square kilometers below the long-term average, and it's still declining.  

This year's minimum sea ice extend will almost certainly not reach the record set in 2012, but it was a significant melt all the same.  This melt qualifies 2014 to be the 6th largest Arctic sea ice melt year on record, exceeded only by 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, and 2012.  The other years, 2009 and 2013 were just shy of this year's mark.  This also means that the eight years with the greatest Arctic se ice melt were the past 8 years.  It looks like a trend is forming....the bottom line, the sea ice melt is becoming more extensive as time goes on. 

(Graphs courtesy of the National Snow and Ice Data Center, Univ of Colorado at Boulder,

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