There’s lots of coverage specifically about assorted Arctic sea ice extent metrics over on the “2023 Minimum Extent” thread. However we’ll start the September open thread ball rolling with a couple of cross posted images.
At the end of August JAXA daily extent was 7th lowest for the date, at 4.49 million km² :
The median prediction of the contributors to the August call by the Sea Ice Prediction Network for the September monthly average extent is 4.6 million km² :
It’s that time of year again! Tony Heller has been asserting that “summer is over at the North Pole” for several weeks now, and the 2023 Arctic sea ice minimum extent will occur at some point over the next four or five weeks. The exact date and level will almost certainly vary from one extent metric to the next.
To get the minimum extent ball rolling, here’s Signe Aaboe’s graph of previous summer minima based on OSI SAF data:
Here too is Zack Labe’s equivalent, based on JAXA data:
The July median forecasted value for pan-Arctic September sea-ice extent is 4.66 million square kilometers with interquartile values of 4.51 and 4.87 million square kilometers, while individual forecasts range from 3.12 and 5.30 million square kilometers. We note the lowest forecast is an outlier, and the only forecast that predicts a new record September sea-ice extent value (current record is September 2012, with a sea-ice extent of 3.57 million square kilometers).
Data from the Northern Sea Route General Administration web site about the current positions of ships voyaging along the Northern Sea Route reveal that the liquified natural gas carrier Fedor Litke is currently following the icebreaker Sibir through the East Siberian Sea, heading for the Bering Strait:
By way of a change, which is allegedly as good as a rest, let’s start the new month with a very pretty and almost cloud free “pseudo-colour” image of the Lena Delta and adjacent areas of the Laptev Sea:
Arctic sea ice extent in early April is singularly unexceptional. Here’s the AWI AMSR2 version:
Things start to become more interesting when looking at the third dimension. Here’s the PIOMAS gridded thickness map for March 31st:
and the CryoSat-2/SMOS map for the same date:
Note the differing distribution of thick ice north of Greenland and the Canadian Arctic Archipelago between the two maps. Note also the area of thinner ice along the coast of the Beaufort Sea visible on the CS2/SMOS map.
By way of explanation for that phenomenon see the March sea level pressure map from the latest edition of the NSIDC’s Arctic Sea Ice News:
We’ll come on to the Arctic in a moment, but at more temperate latitudes I am proud to announce that my Cornish alter ego has been officially outed as an “environmental campaigner” by the BBC. Moving pictures of yours truly, discussing drought rather than sea ice, are available via BBC iPlayer until around 18:30 this evening, possibly to UK residents only.
[Stop Press! A shorter version of Kirk England’s report on two potential desalination plants in Cornwall (also including my 15 seconds of fame!) is available here until around 22:30 this evening ]
Alternatively we have recorded our own moving pictures of this momentous event:
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