The Polar Science Center at the University of Washington has updated its calculations of Arctic sea ice volume. As usual, Neven has the best graphs of the PSC’s data at his Arctic Sea Ice Blog, a must-read for cryosphere-junkies.
The PSC recently improved their PIOMAS model, which combines the best observational data with their own analysis. They are publishing their findings in the Journal of Geophysical Research, “Uncertainty in Modeled Arctic Sea Ice Volume”:
… the 2010 September ice volume anomaly did in fact exceed the previous 2007 minimum by a large enough margin to establish a statistically significant new record.
And now that 2010 record is broken — and the melt season isn’t over yet.
Indeed, it is going to be a close race to see if we break the record for sea-ice extent, a two-dimensional metric that the media and others focus on because that data is reported every day by many different sources. If you’re interested in that trend, the National Snow and Ice Data Center released its latest analysis yesterday, “Arctic sea ice near record lows” [see figure below].
Those who know polar ice the best know the “death spiral” continues. Far from seeing the Arctic recovering since 2007, as some claimed, the volume of sea ice dropped by another one third in 3 years, according to the PSC!
In November, Rear Admiral David Titley, the Oceanographer of the Navy, testified that “the volume of ice as of last September has never been lower … in the last several thousand years.” Titley, who is also the Director of Navy’s Task Force Climate Change, said he has told the Chief of Naval Operations that “we expect to see four weeks of basically ice free conditions in the mid to late 2030s.”
Here’s another way to look at the death spiral, via Wipneus: