It looks like I’m safe for this year. I’m being just a teensy bit premature, but its rather unlikely to change, people want to pay up :-) and others have said it anyway (irritatingly that link will probably fade, so to quote “The Arctic sea ice cover appears to have reached its minimum extent for the year, the second-lowest extent recorded since the dawn of the satellite era”). I’m basing my victory on http://www.ijis.iarc.uaf.edu/en/home/seaice_extent.htm as of today.
Although I won, I didn’t win by as much as I expected, so in some sense my prediction was wrong. But I’ll take the cash anyway. Those who bet in carrots or beer are excused until we meet face to face. Those who want to use paypal, my email is wmconnolley (at) gmail.com.
I’ve decided to slightly shift my ground, and assert that 2007 (and to a lesser extent 2008) in sea ice are like the 1998 ENSO in temperature: large anomalies on top of an existing trend. So I predict that there will be more ice in 2009 than in 2007. Because I like their graphics, the bet is based on the IARC AMSR data, though I’m sure we can agree some other series if you really like.
[Updates, misc: JF points out that although it wasn’t a record extent year, people have managed to find some ways in which it was a record: see http://www.nasa.gov/centers/goddard/news/topstory/2008/sea_ice_min.html
Gareth concedes, and provides some useful round-up.
Embarassing quotes section: “We could very well be in that quick slide downward in terms of passing a tipping point,” said Mark Serreze, a senior scientist at the data center, in Boulder, Colo. “It’s tipping now. We’re seeing it happen now.”