My Problem with Sea Ice Extent

Since 1979 there is a sea ice extent record for the Arctic with mostly daily measurements. The trend is clear and down, so what is the problem?

Imagine a single idealized ice floe: 1 kilometer long and 1 kilometer wide with a thickness of 2 meter drifting in the Arctic Ocean - a pretty flat cuboid. Roughly 20 centimeter are visible above sea surface as freeboard. NASA’s Arctic Mosaic at highest resolution would represent the floe with 16 white pixels arranged as square.

Let’s further assume bottom- and top melting are equal and and there is enough energy available to melt 1 meter of ice from each of the six sides within a month (30 days). How much ice is left after this period? Exactly, zero.

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New Visualizations of Sea Ice Decline

New ways to depict the ongoing sea ice retreat happening at the North Pole are always appreciated. Both of these info-graphics - designed by Rupert Burton and published at the BBC Earth Life Is blog - nicely contain the Arctic Circle as thematic motif. Enjoy and absorb.

Highres files: 1, 2

Earliest and Latest Sea Ice Melting Onset Dates

Paper published in the Indian Journal of Geo-Marine Sciences by S R Oza*, R K K Singh, N K Vyas & Abhijit Sarkar. The authors performed a "Spatio-temporal analysis of melting onset dates of sea-ice in the Arctic" and came to the conclusion:

Present study demonstrates that the historical onset-date image derived from the remote sensing data can be useful in the identification of areas that are having anomaly in the sea-ice seasonality.

It is found that the anomalies observed in the onset dates can be used as an indicator of the summer ice-free conditions in the Arctic Ocean which has ...

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Daily NSIDC September Sea Ice Extent

Following this step by step guide called Whither Arctic Sea Ice? from the Earth Exploration Toolbook it is possible to download and ...

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