Many of you watch sea ice as closely as some people follow the NFL, soccer, or NASCAR. So when something of interest happens, I’m not without an inbox full of notices.
Today it is encouraging to see the NANSEN is reporting that both Arctic Sea Ice area and extent are above the normal line. Usually we don’t see both in this mode. Here’s area:
And here is extent:
By itself, this is just a small thing, but it is just one more indication that there’s some improvement in the Arctic Ice situation again, and the indications are that we’ll have another summer extent that is higher than the previous year, for the third year in a row.
Of course our friends will argue that extent and area don’t matter now, that only volume and ice quality (the rotten ice meme) matters.
Interestingly, if you go back to the press releases on the record minimum extent in 2007 at NSIDC here:
And search the entire set of release for the word “volume”, you won’t find it used anywhere that year. The volume worry is a more recent talking point that first appeared in October 2008 when it became apparent that extent wasn’t continuing to decline. They couldn’t tout another record low extent, so volume became the next big thing:
Please see the NSIDC press release, “Arctic Sea Ice Down to Second-Lowest Extent; Likely Record-Low Volume” for a detailed analysis of this year’s Arctic sea ice minimum and a synopsis of the 2008 melt season.
With nature still not cooperating with “death spiral predictions”, what will be the press release ice meme this year? Color? Texture? Cracks per square kilometer? It will be interesting to watch.