Regular readers will recall that in late March to early April, there was a fair amount of excitement in some parts of the web about the Arctic sea ice cover having reached almost to climatology. That was rather exciting given that for much of the last several years the Arctic extent had been from moderately to extremely below climatology. I wrote up my take in Arctic Sea Ice Updates. Some of the excitable sources on the web were talking about sea ice recovering and the like. My comment back then (April 7, 2010) was:
So my guess for where we are in the Arctic: The ice formed by late season freezing and conveyor belt is thin. There has not been time for it to freeze thickly, nor for it to get mechanically piled up to be thick. The expansive winds that lead to the increase in extent also mean driving the ice towards warmer water. If the current pattern of blowing the ice out towards the edge were to be sustained, it points to a temporary high value for extent, and then a rapid drop in extent as the ice melts, or as winds reverse and compact the ice pack.
It's now almost 4 months later. What happened to the ice pack? Did it continue to hang near climatology? Go above climatology? Or did it sink rather rapidly back below climatology, as I'd suggested it would? The NSIDC report for July 6th notes that June saw the fastest recorded decline in June Arctic sea ice extent, and the lowest June Arctic sea ice extent.
The Year of Living Weightlessly
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