|Fig. 1 Arctic Sea Ice Extent (Aug. 10)|
It started off as the lowest year, but lost momentum in early June, then looked like it would make a comeback in late July and early August.
I have been tracking the 2015 events in this series (Arctic Ice Extent: 2015 Struggles For First Place, 2),
The full information is available at the NSIDC.
The thing to watch is probably whether or not 2016 starts off as the lowest extent early one like this year did.
That could be a trend ... melting from the other side rather than the end of summer side.
We shall see.
I will continue to update the two graphs below each day, until the extent begins to grow again in mid September.
NASA says 2015 is the 4th lowest extent, without extenuating circumstances, like, for instance, year 2012 had, which is currently in first place:
"This year is the fourth lowest, and yet we haven't seen any major weather event or persistent weather pattern in the Arctic this summer that helped push the extent lower, as often happens," Walt Meier, a sea ice scientist with NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, said in a statement. "It was a bit warmer in some areas than last year, but it was cooler in other places, too." Since 1996, the sea ice decline has accelerated, and Meier said the ice cover is becoming less and less resilient: "The sea ice cap, which used to be a solid sheet of ice, now is fragmented into smaller floes that are more exposed to warm ocean water. In the past, Arctic sea ice was like a fortress. The ocean could only attack it from the sides. Now it's like the invaders have tunneled in from underneath and the ice pack melts from within."(The Week). To me that means we should focus closely on 2016 events there next summer.
FINAL UPDATE: (click on a graph to enlarge)
|As of (Sep. 13)|
|As of (Sep. 15)|
The previous post in this series is here.
Significance of methane feedback loops in the Arctic: