How Melty Was The Arctic Sea This Year?

The Arctic Sea is covered with ice during the winter, and some of it melts off every summer. Over recent years the amount of melt has been increasing. This is the time of year we may want to look at Arctic Sea ice because by late September it has reached its annual minimum and is starting to reform.

Looking at JUST surface area, which is one indicator of how warm the Arctic has become with Global Warming, we can see (above) that this years march of melting has been extreme, hugging the two standard deviation limit for all of the data from 1979 to 2010 (almost the present).

Here you can see that 2014 is distinctly different, with much more surface area loss, than the first ten years of this data set, from here.
Screen Shot 2014-09-28 at 2.42.54 PM
And here you can see that 2014 is pretty much in the middle of the range for the “new normal” as represented by the most recent ten years:

Screen Shot 2014-09-28 at 2.43.33 PM

So, in answer to the question above, 2014 was a very melty year in the Arctic, though over very recent years there have been worse years. This year is about the sixth lowest minimum extent since 1979 or before.

Comments

  1. #1 climatehawk1
    September 28, 2014

    Thanks for providing this context. Tweet scheduled.

  2. #2 David Kirtley
    September 28, 2014

    First sentence: I think you meant to say: “The Arctic Sea is covered with ice during the winter, and some of it melts off every summer.”

  3. #3 Craig Thomas
    September 28, 2014

    If I understand correctly, the amazingly clever articles about a “Sea Ice Recovery” are due to be published anyday now.

  4. […] like the 6th greatest loss of polar ice. Science writer Greg Laden puts things into perspective at scienceblogs.com: “…Looking at JUST surface area, which is one indicator of how warm the Arctic has […]

  5. #6 alan Ponrick
    United States
    September 29, 2014

    Notify me of new posts by e mail. I am interested in following your blog regularily. Is seeking out scienceblogs.com/gregladen the recommended way? Or can I be a notified follower without above mentioned feeds? Thank you Alan

  6. #7 Greg Laden
    September 29, 2014

    I think you can sign up for that down near the comments section.

  7. #8 Stevo Raine
    Adelaide hills, South Australia
    September 30, 2014

    Thanks for this – good context and esp. graphs here.

    Another way of visualising this is done superbly here :

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9OBCXWAHo5I&src_vid=YgiMBxaL19M&feature=iv&annotation_id=annotation_2781624151

    In case you haven’t seen that before its well worth checking out. Hope its okay to post / link this here.

  8. […] like the 6th greatest loss of polar ice. Science writer Greg Laden puts things into perspective at scienceblogs.com: “…Looking at JUST surface area, which is one indicator of how warm the Arctic has […]