Thursday, February 18, 2016

Global Sea Ice Sets a Record: Lowest Annual Minimum for Extent

Global sea ice extent is just the sum of Arctic SIE and Antarctic SIE. Since 1979, the trend in the annual minimum of global SIE is -320,000 km2/decade (-1.8% per decade). This year's minimum could still go lower.

(The data are from NSIDC, and are preliminary ("recent," see below) since 1/1/15.)

Data sources:
Long-term Arctic sea ice extent
Recent Arctic sea ice extent
Long-term Antarctic sea ice extent
Recent Antarctic sea ice extent

Here's how the daily anomalies look:

The trend here is -230,000 km2/decade. Baseline is 1981-2010.


Oale said...

I'll note that the previous lowest maximums happened in 2006 and 2011, that is a year before the large Arctic melt years of 2007 and 2012. I'd say this record is largely due enso messing with the currents and winds so the Antarctic sea ice floats to warmer waters than usual.

David Appell said...

Oale: Thanks for that -- I was wondering if El Nino had an effect. Antartic sea ice extent is currently 28% below its value of 12 months ago.