We’ll start the new month in traditional fashion. Here’s the high resolution AMSR2 sea ice extent and area:
Extent decline in July proved to be somewhat sluggish by recent standards. A week ago I posed the question:
Is 2022 more likely to follow the path of 2012, 2013 or 2016 to this year’s minimum?
At the moment the answer seems to be “2013 Jim!”. However what about the condition of all that ice? Here’s the latest AMSR2 concentration map:
It reveals a large area of lower concentration ice on the Pacific side of the Arctic. There is also, particularly given the location, a large area of lower concentration near the North Pole. Here’s a much closer look at the ice around the Pole:
A lot of ice looks vulnerable if the weather becomes unfavourable for ice survival. However whilst low pressure is currently forecast to take over the Central Arctic there is nothing similar to the “Great Arctic Cyclone” of 2012 in sight at the moment.[Edit – August 16th]
The PIOMAS team’s July report has yet to appear on the Polar Science Center web site. However the gridded data was posted at the beginning of August so here is the “unofficial” Arctic sea ice thickness map for July 31st:
Plus PIOMAS volume via Steven/Gerontocrat on the Arctic Sea Ice Forum:
[Edit – August 25th]
PIOMAS Volume as at 31 Jul 2022 7,848 km3
Volume is at position #11 in the satellite record
The PIOMAS July report is still conspicuous by its absence. However the mid month gridded thickness data has been released so here is the “unofficial” Arctic sea ice thickness map for August 15th:
Plus the daily volume graph:
On August 15th volume was 6.312 km3, still 11th lowest in the satellite era.[Edit – August 27th]
The August 2022 Sea Ice Outlook has now been published by the Sea Ice Prediction Network:
The Pan-Arctic August Outlook median forecast value for September 2022 sea-ice extent is 4.83 million square kilometers, with upper and lower quartile values of 4.6 and 5.0 million square kilometers, respectively. The median of the August submissions is higher than that from July (4.64 million square kilometers) and June (4.57 million square kilometers). Based on the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) Sea Ice Index (SII), the Arctic sea-ice extent index is 6.16 million square kilometers, as of 15 August 2022.
As of mid-August, ice extent was lower than normal in most sectors of the Arctic Ocean, with the exceptions being the Beaufort Sea where the ice edge was near normal, and most notably the East Siberian Sea, where ice still extended to the coast. The atmospheric circulation in July to mid-August tended towards cloudier skies and spreads out the ice, both of which can slow the decline in ice extent and result in higher September mean sea-ice extent if such conditions prevail. It will be interesting to see if the mean September sea-ice extent in 2022 is above 5.0 million square kilometers. While none of the July-August median forecasts were 5.0 million square kilometers, nine of the 28 August SIO contributions forecast 5.0 million square kilometers or more for September mean sea-ice extent.
Further news is now available on the September open thread.