“It is an overall downward spiral.”

With Arctic Ice at Record Low, NSIDC Director Serreze says “we are on track to see an ice-free summer by 2030. It is an overall downward spiral.”

By Joe Romm on Jul 16, 2011 at 8:36 am  THINK PROGRESS

Ice extent (from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, 2011 in red).

We’re at a record low Arctic sea ice extent and volume:

The area of the Arctic ocean at least 15% covered in ice is … lower than the previous record low set in 2007 – according to satellite monitoring by the US National Snow and Ice Data Centre (NSIDC) in Boulder, Colorado. In addition, new data from the University of Washington Polar Science Centre, shows that the thickness of Arctic ice this year is also the lowest on record.

In the past 10 days, the Arctic ocean has been losing as much as 150,000 square kilometres of sea a day, said Mark Serreze, director of the NSIDC.

“The extent [of the ice cover] is going down, but it is also thinning. So a weather pattern that formerly would melt some ice, now gets rid of much more. There will be ups and downs, but we are on track to see an ice-free summer by 2030. It is an overall downward spiral.

The trend is painfully obvious to all who aren’t blinded by ideology.  Indeed, many, including me, believe we’ll see virtually ice-free summers within a decade.

What do the experts — and deniers — predict for the September sea ice extent minimum?  The Study of Environmental Arctic Change (SEARCH) has released its second Sea Ice Outlook reportfor July.  Just about all the cryo-scientists think the Arctic will easily beat last year’s minimum:

We received 16 responses for the Pan-Arctic report (Figure 1), with estimates in the range of 4.0 to 5.5 million square kilometers for the September arctic mean sea ice extent. The median value was 4.6 million square kilometers; the quartile values were 4.3 and 4.7 million square kilometers, a rather narrow range given the intrinsic uncertainty of the estimates on the order of 0.5 million square kilometers. It is important to note for context that all 2011 estimates are well below the 1979–2007 September climatological mean of 6.7 million square kilometers.

Credit: Arctic Research Consortium of the U.S. (ARCUS).

It’s good that SEARCH has clearly posted the anti-science site WattsUpWithThat projection.  WUWT have been insisting for years that the ice has been getting thicker, when it has in fact been thinning, and last year they tried to rewrite history and claim that they hadn’t guessed wildly too high (see “Disinformers puzzled by reality, try to game prediction contest“).  Doesn’t look like they will be any closer to reality this year.

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