Blog Archive

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Neven: PIOMAS June 2012 Sea Ice Volume Graphs

by Neven, Arctic Sea Ice Blog, July 6, 2012
Another month has passed and so here is the updated Arctic sea ice volume graph as calculated by the Pan-Arctic Ice Ocean Modeling and Assimilation System (PIOMAS) at the Polar Science Center:
This year's trend line is still tracking below last year's record. In fact, the difference in volume has become greater. 2012 is currently 1713 and 1110 km3 below 2010 and 2011 respectively.
Here is Wipneus' version for which he calculated the "expected" 2012 values (dotted lines), based on the same date values of 1979-2011 and an exponential trend. Acaveat from Wipneus: "Note that the statistical error bars are quite large."
The anomaly is now almost 4 standard deviations below the already steep 1979-2012 linear trend:
I have used my crude method of dividing PIOMAS volume numbers by Cryosphere Today area numbers to calculate the average thickness of the ice pack. Again, this is just an indication that allows us to compare with previous years:
Average thickness for June 30st (in m):
  • 2005: 2.47
  • 2006: 2.44
  • 2007: 2.19
  • 2008: 2.34
  • 2009: 2.11
  • 2010: 1.91
  • 2011: 1.75
  • 2012: 1.69
If the model is correctly assessing sea ice volume in the Arctic, chances of new extent and area records have just become more likely. As we saw last year, the perfect weather conditions we saw in 2007 are not even necessary for that to happen.

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