by Steven Goddard and Anthony Watts
In late 2009, Anthony forecast that Arctic sea ice would continue to recover in 2010. Last month Steve Goddard did an analysis explaining why that was likely to happen and yesterday NSIDC confirmed the analysis.
The pattern of winds associated with a strongly negative AO tends to reduce export of ice out of the Arctic through the Fram Strait. This helps keep more of the older, thicker ice within the Arctic. While little old ice remains, sequestering what is left may help keep the September extent from dropping as low as it did in the last few years.
The wording of NSIDC press releases usually highlight the negative (this one being no exception) but the message is clear. This summer is likely to continue the trend since 2007 of increasing summer minimums.
So how is Arctic sea ice looking at this point, near the winter maximum? NSIDC shows ice extent within 1 million km2 of normal and increasing.
The Baltic and Bering Sea have slightly above normal ice. Eastern Canada and The Sea of Okhotsk have slightly below normal ice.
DMI shows sea ice extent at nearly the highest in their six year record.
Sea ice extent for the past 5 years (in million km2) for the northern hemisphere, as a function of date.
NORSEX shows ice area just outside one standard deviation (i.e. almost normal.)
There’s also some interesting comparisons to be made at Cryosphere Today. When you compare the current images in recent days with the same period in years past, you notice how “solid” the ice has become. For example compare March 3rd 2010 to March 3rd 2008, when we saw the first year of recovery:
Note that there’s no “fuzziness” in the signal return that creates this image on the right. A fuzzy return would indicate less than solid ice, such as we see on the left. The CT image from March 3rd is “deep purple” through and through. The edges of the ice are very sharp also, particularly near Greenland and also in the Bering sea. These two visual cues imply a solid, and perhaps thicker ice pack, rather than one that has been described by Dr. Barber as “rotten ice”.
I wish I could compare to March 3 2009, but the CT images were offline last spring then while both they and NSIDC dealt with issues of SSMI sensor dropout that was originally brought to their attention by WUWT, but was deemed “not worth blogging about“.
According to JAXA, 2003 was a good year for Arctic sea ice. Note the blue line.
So how does that year on March 3rd compare to our current year using CT’s imagery?
Compared to the best year for Arctic sea ice in the past decade, March 3rd this year looks quite solid. The setup for 2010 having more ice looks good.
You can do your own side by side comparisons here with CT’s interactive Arctic sea ice comparator.
The Arctic continues to recover, and one of the last CAGW talking points continues to look weaker and weaker. It wasn’t very long ago when experts were forecasting the demise of Arctic ice somewhere between 2008 and 2013. And it is not the first time that experts have done this – they were claiming the same nonsense in 1969, right before the ice age scare.
Note the column at the right. Even back then, skeptics got the short shrift on headlines because as we know: “all is well, don’t panic” doesn’t sell newspapers.
UPDATE: And then there’s this:
AROUND 50 ships, including large ferries reportedly carrying thousands, were stuck in the ice in the Baltic Sea today and many were not likely to be freed for hours, Swedish maritime authorities said.