Monday, 16 July 2018

Update on the Arctic sea ice melt - 07/15/2018

I am a bit slow on the uptake and cannot take in articles immediately so it helps me to absorb them in bits/

I hope this helps this to bring the whole reality home to you too.

Many thanks to Sam Carana whose work I have reworked for this

The sudden and startling disappearance of Arctic sea ice

The image below shows sea surface temperatures on July 6 for the years 2014 to 2018 at a location near Svalbard (at 77.958°N, 5.545°E), with an exponential trend added based on the data.

The combination image below shows sea surface temperatures on July 6 for each of these years:
2014: -0.8°C or 30.6°F
2015: 6.2°C or 43.2°F
2016: 8.3°C or 47.0°F
2017: 14.4°C or 57.9°F
2018: 16.6°C or 61.9°F

To provide context a fairly average temperature for Cook Strait, New Zealand, between the North and South Islands, where I live is 14 degrees Celsius (57 degrees Fahrenheit). 

It is at 41" S whereas Svalbard is at 78.22" N

The situation reflects the rapid decline of Arctic sea ice over the years.

The animation below shows a fall in volume of some 1 meter over most of the sea ice, over the period from June 21 through July 12, 2018, with a further eight days of forecasts added.

The animation illustrates the huge amount of melting taking place from underneath, due to an inflow of heat from the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean, and from warm water from rivers that end in the Arctic Ocean. 

Meanwhile, sea ice extent doesn't fall very much at all.
When only looking at sea ice extent, the dramatic fall in sea ice volume may be overlooked.

Most commentators talk about sea ice extent which is surface ice, affected more directly by the weather.

Complete disappearance of Arctic sea ice in September 2018 is within the margins of a trend based on yearly annual minimum volume, as illustrated by the image below.
Meanwhile, here is the sea ice concentraton for today. 

Much of the Arctic ice is getting down to 40% ice concentration.  There is very little ice left at 100% concentration.  

This has all happened in the course of a few short weeks.

Sometimes it is good to hear from a non-specialistHere is an up-to-date report from Margot who is following this very closely.

Here is an up-to-date report from Margot that explains all this -


  1. There is no justification for fitting temperatures to an exponential trend.

    But I see you censor comments.

    1. The only comments I censor are ones that are abusive and add nothing to the discussion.