How is the Arctic Sea Ice doing? Is there a ‘recovery’ in sight?


That’s because this is the time of year when the sea ice level recovers. It’s now (using CT’s figures) about 1.585 Million km2 below the long-term average for this time of year. Eyeballing the NSIDC daily update graph gives about -1 million for their metric.

Loooking at the normal range of the anomaly (excepting the last couple of years), I’d guess that we’re likely to see the sea ice level ‘recover’ to about a million km2 below long-term averages by the end of the season (March). In previous comments on the other post about sea ice, I suggested that, if the Winter Max. falls between -0.7 and -1.0 Mkm2, then by the end of next melt season, the odds are strongly in favour of the minimum being closer to 2007 and 2008 than to the preceding decades; in other words, an anomaly of 2 Mkm2 or worse by September 2009.

So, don’t start thinking that the long-term (or short term) prognosis for the state of the Arctic is improving; the patient is still critical, and any talk of an improvement in condition must be understood to be relative.


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