Monday, 7 November 2016

Arctic Sea Ice Collapse

Arctic Sea Ice Collapse 3—5 November: Annual Average Extent

Make no mistake: 2016 is lowest ever for Arctic sea ice Extent, Area and Volume. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. This current Winter 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.

Annual Average Extent (AAE): From the last update at about 9.86 million km² on 2nd November, we've lost about 11600 km² from the AAE in just 3 days, which was exactly as expected (November 5th).

In detail, daily extent went from 7,167,227 km² on 2nd November to 7,603,523 km² on 5th November, compared to 8,634,401 and 8,864,357 the year before, giving a relative 
gain of 206,340 km². The average decline in AAE over these 3 days has been 3613 km²/day, which means we've been on average 1,319,000 km² lower than last year in daily extent.

The next 10,000 km² line is 9.84 and expected on 
November 7th.

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 a
Blue 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 
May—August 2017.

Arctic sea ice lowest ever in 2016

At the start of November, Arctic sea ice was lowest on satellite record for 
ice extentice 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.

Introducing the #lagcloud

As seen in the graph, annual extent took a stunning 101,404 km² monthly drop, the likes of which we have not seen since November 4th 2007. 100,000 km² is yet another milestone for 2016 sea ice collapse. How many monthly drops like this before it's all gone? Well, computers wouldn't be worth their salt if they couldn't figure that one out! Computer says 85 months, or December 2023. So there's a lag between our truly insane emissions of carbon and final collapse of the ice. Starting this November, all of these lag estimates will be assembled in the #lagcloud and presented accordingly. In the cloud, estimates that occur more frequently in these ice collapse updates, will have a bigger font than the rest. Over time, the #lagcloud will crowd up and super–size the more likely lag dates.

*) 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 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

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