Arctic Ice Recovering

  • Date: 28/09/15
  • Ron Clutz, Science Matters

MASIE Proves Yearly Arctic Ice Recovering

You will be hearing a lot about 2015 having the fourth lowest minimum Arctic ice extent ever recorded. Here is what they are not telling you:

masie annuallarge

MASIE has very helpfully provided their records for the last ten years.  Since stormy weather can affect both maximum and minimum ice extents, emphasis on March and September averages can be misleading. From a climate change perspective, a better metric is the average ice extent over the entire year. By that measure we gain a realistic perspective on the last ten years of Arctic ice fluctuation.

While Arctic ice varies a lot seasonally, the graph shows that it is not that variable annually during this decade. Fluctuating about +/- 4%, there was a slightly increasing trend, particularly in the last five years.  

Here are the ice extents in M km2:

Year Annual  Average March Average Sept Average Sept Minimum March Max
2006 10.667 14.260 5.831 5.641 14.663
2007 10.414 14.543 4.298 3.987 14.907
2008 10.995 15.372 4.427 4.223 15.662
2009 10.825 15.005 5.091 4.871 15.326
2010 10.732 15.221 4.997 4.717 15.397
2011 10.564 14.832 4.511 4.303 15.110
2012 10.688 15.533 3.633 3.369 15.822
2013 11.119 15.230 5.083 4.677 15.505
2014 11.130 15.133 5.368 5.066 15.523
2015 11.263 14.625 4.564 4.442 14.910

The value for 2015 is for the record so far; the final number will be known at year end.

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