I'm on my way back from break and catching up in general, not just on comments. It looks like several species of bizarreness chose to break loose while I was taking my break, and it'll be a while to catch up to those too.
Several comments in on summer reading. My current summer reading is The Karamazov Brothers, by Fyodor Dostoevsky. It's the Wordsworth Classics edition, which I picked up for about $4.50 in St. Petersburg, Russia. Yes, there's a story involved, and I'll get to that in a later note. There might even be a picture or two.
Two more comments on When will the ice be gone?. Ecologists are a good group to try to get ideas from (per Hank's comment about how to get an idea of what levels of ice loss are particularly meaningful). And I see that Belette and I have an area of interesting agreement, [update, that's disagreement] which suggests a later post to be made. Our point of broader agreement is that neither of us takes my estimate in that post terribly seriously. My aim being more to illustrate a way to approach the question. The exact answer ... not so important.
Crandles has some thoughts about Sea ice estimations. One quick response I'll make is that a reason for some of the variation, or lack thereof, is that the curves are for 14 day averages. Consequently, you won't see much happening at shorter time scales.