Arctic Sea Ice Collapse 30—31 October: Annual Average Extent
1 November, 2016
Make no mistake: 2016 is lowest ever for Arctic sea ice Extent, Area and Volume. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. This current October—November plunge is record–breaking, in terms of its severity and its record–low starting point of less than 10 million km². This dramatic collapse of the ice is a direct result of global warming engineered by human activity.
Eyeballing the graph, the blue dotted line and confidence interval suggest we'll be below 9.8 million km² by the end of November, so dramatically lower than both 2012 in autumn and 2013 during spring. We've truly entered the dreaded uncharted waters, where — literally — anything can happen. Including annual and ever longer Blue Ocean events. We're into the great wide open. Plot shows annual average* extent, not daily extent.
Graph highlights a likely future of sustained lowest ever annual average sea ice extent.
To visually present the new all–time record low for annual extent, the above graph has been laterally expanded ahead to show the May 2013 previous record low as a thin red line. Below is the regular graph:
Annual Average Extent (AAE): From the last update at about 9.88 million km² on 29th October, we've lost about 8800 km² from the AAE in just 2 days, which was exactly as expected (October 31st).
In detail, daily extent went from 6,872,962 km² on 29th October to 6,966,858 km² on 31st October, compared to 8,210,513 and 8,505,723 the year before, giving a relative loss of 201,314 km². The average decline in AAE over these 2 days has been 4051 km²/day, which means we've been on average 1,479,000 km² lower than last year in daily extent.
The next 10,000 km² line is 9.86 and expected on November 2—3.
JAXA Annual Average Extent for 2015 as a whole was 4th lowest at 10.11 million km², and since Mid–October we've been lowest ever at about 9.9 million km² and setting new all–time low records every day. For the first time in 4 years we may also end up lowest ever on December 31st.
We're now already into uncharted waters. Some very interesting times ahead, with the best chances yet for aBlue Ocean event during the next ten months.
The next major milestone of the Arctic sea ice collapse is 9 million km² AAE, and expected in June—October 2017.
Arctic sea ice lowest ever in 2016
At the end of October, Arctic sea ice was lowest on satellite record for ice extent, ice area and ice volume. Those are the daily figures for the ice, and these need not be all lowest ever at all times even within a lowest ever year, like 2016. Yet at this time they all line up like that, more or less coincidentally. In addition to the daily figure record lows, we have the record low for annual average extent. In fact, this record low for the date, or for the 365 days ending with the date, recently in Mid–October also broke the all–time 365–day average low, set on May 14th 2013, at the end of the 2012 previously record low year for sea ice extent.
You may click the links in the previous paragraph if you doubt the claims of record lows, and you may discuss those records in the Comments section, below this post. There's always room for debate, only this seems undeniable, at this point. (That doesn't mean deniers won't deny them, in fact their denial machine engines will likely run into hyper drive, confronted by the real facts of super fast ice collapse.)
All in all, this looks really catastrophic for ice. On the upside, winter will not be a bore for faithful watchers of Arctic sea ice.
*) Don't get it? Just about once every month there is a new person actively voicing their concern that this is all wrong. I've totally messed up and I don't even know ice melts in summer and ocean freezes over in autumn and winter. I'm not a teacher, so I can only explain the concept of an annual average scientifically. I don't know what motivates the person in question to actually go and read the mathematical explanation. I usually don't know that person at all. I've been publishing annual average graphs since 2014, and I can assure you they are not wrong. Mostly, the monthly concerned person didn't get the 'annual average' part. Or they thought it wasn't essential to the understanding of the graph. It is.
PS: For the 7–year outlook, have a look at this post.
in this season of seasons i see
collapse itself collapsing and the
future of future spinning like moths
in the lamp on a floor of dead moths