Some interesting goings-on in the cryosphere these days.
Note that this is area which is different from extent. Area refers to the actual ice cover, I am not sure of the details of how that is defined in practice, whereas extent refers to any ocean surface that contains 15% or more ice cover. Again, there will be technical details I am not familiar with for determining the edges of extent (e.g. grid size).
The extent at the moment is tracking below the 2007 record breaking year at this date, but above 2011′s reading at today’s date.
(Image from here.)
Also of interest is the exceptional surface melting that is being observed on Greenland’s Ice Sheet. From a NASA press release:
Measurements from three satellites showed that on July 8, about 40 percent of the ice sheet had undergone thawing at or near the surface. In just a few days, the melting had dramatically accelerated and an estimated 97 percent of the ice sheet surface had thawed by July 12.
This extent of surface melt has not been observed before in the satellite era and given the extreme nature of the long term warming in the region it may be just as exceptional as it seems. Also see this P3 post by Michael Tobis.
Item three on the agenda is the break-up of another large chunk from the tongue of the Petermann Glacier, also in Greenland.
One day later, at 09:30 UTC on July 17, Aqua spied a larger opening between the glacier and the iceberg, as well as some breakup of the thinner, downstream ice. The iceberg appears to have made a slight counter-clockwise turn. “The floating extension is breaking apart,” said Eric Rignot of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the University of California–Irvine. “It is not a collapse but it is certainly a significant event.”
Konrad Steffen, director of the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow, and Landscape Research WSL, estimated that this iceberg was roughly half the size of the ice island that calved off of Petermann in 2010.
None of these things are predicted to happen this early/at this rate/this suddenly by the IPCC “alarmists”. It is becoming more and more clear that they are probably not being alarmist enough!