By WUWT Regular Just The Facts
In previous years there was reason to cheer, .e.g. “Transport is steaming full speed ahead.” “Some serious ice transport going on there. If this keeps up…” Neven, “Record Arctic Sea Ice Melt to Levels Unseen in Millennia”, “Arctic Sea-ice minimum 2012 declared – it’s the Silly Season!” Skeptical Science 1 and 2
However, this year the mood is more sober and downbeat, e.g. in Neven’s recent article “ASI 2013 update 8: the end is nigh” he writes that;
I didn’t think it was possible, but area-wise 2013 is now even above 2009. Apparently this can happen when the weather isn’t conducive to ice decrease (melt, compaction and transport) for almost the entire melting season, even if you start out with a record amount of first-year ice. Fascinating stuff. After the lowest average daily decrease since 2006 for the month of August, 2013 is almost 1.3 million km2 behind last year!
Later in comments this exchange occurred:
Pete Williamson: Neven, I think at some point you’re going to have to stop being surprised at the lack of melt (or the persistence of extent) this year :P
Neven: I know, I know. I just can’t get over it! :-D
Pete Williamson: Not only has a lot of FYI survived but so has much of the SYI (2nd) which is going to start showing up in the MYI category next year. It possible that at least a bit of a ‘recovery’ in the MYI is on the cards.
Neven: Definitely. This is now the number 1 point of interest for me. A couple of melting seasons like this one in a row, and you could really start speaking of a recovery. But just one 2007/2011/2012 year could negate all of it as well.
So what has these Sea Ice Melt Enthusiasts sober and downbeat? Well certainly the stubbornly average Global Sea Ice Area graph at the head of this article can’t help, but let’s take a closer look:
Arctic Sea Ice Extent;
continues to trend below average, however it has remained within the 30 year (1981 – 2010) “normal” range for the entirety of 2013. Conversely, Antarctic Sea Ice Extent;
continues to trend above average and has remained outside of the “normal” range for much of the last month. Furthermore, Southern Sea Ice Area has now remained above average for most of the last two years:
and is within striking distance of a record high:
All of these facts might dampen even the most dedicated Sea Ice Melt Enthusiast’s spirits, but then again, there’s always next year, i.e.:
“I have great excuses, of course, like the fact that I’m in the process of building a house (slowly reaching its climax in the next 2-3 weeks), and the melting season being less of a spectacle with slow melting and an extremely cloudy Arctic. But still, there’s always plenty of stuff to talk about when it comes to that fascinating place that is the Arctic. Next year will probably be better.” Neven