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Odds in the Arctic

[ UPDATE : The images and charts are current – meaning that the situation has changed since the post was written on 14 September 2012. Thus, if you try to tie the diagrams in with the text, it won’t make much sense. Apologies. ]

It’s about this time of year that bleak-humoured atmospheric scientists and statisticians all over the world start to place bets on the low point of the volume (or area, or extent, or thickness) of Arctic Sea Ice.

The rumour yesterday was that the low point was going to be called for today. But…there are some odd things going on in the Arctic, and that could shift the odds.

First – there appear to be holes in the ice cover. Significant holes. John Vidal is suspicious of the data from the satellites. (Watch out, John, the global warming sceptics will grasp that opinion and chew it until it’s raw !)

Then, there’s ambient temperatures – really rather anomalous for the time of year :-

What temperature does sea ice melt at ? -1.8 degrees C or thereabouts ? This means that at the edges of the Arctic Sea Ice there could still be melting going on :-

The Arctic Sea Ice Death Spiral appears to still be closing in on zero :-

And the gradient of the decline in sea ice, that appeared to level out this week, now gives the impression that it could be dipping downwards again :-

How much of a record year do we need to realise this is the sign of significant and disastrous change in the Arctic ?

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