The Arctic Sea Ice Outlook has just been updated for July. It”s based on a synthesis of 16 estimates which utilise a range of different projection methods. They note that there is “no indication that a return to historical levels will occur”.
The full range of estimates range from 4.0-5.2 million square kilometers, the record low in 2007 was around 4.3 million square kilometres (2008 was 4.7). Most estimates therefore fall between the record lows in 2007 and 2008, although they do note that:
There appears to be about a 20% chance of reaching a new minimum in 2009.
Arctic Sea Ice Outlook (July)
On the flip-side, based on their estimates there is a 40% chance of sea-ice coverage being greater than 2008 levels. Even more interestingly, depending on which method you select, the chance of 2009 levels setting a new record is between 5-36%...
To quote from the summary:
The two lowest estimates, 4.0 and 4.2 million square kilometers, would represent a new record minimum. All estimates are well online casino below the 1979–2007 September climatological mean value of 6.7 million square kilometers. The uncertainty / error values, from those groups that provided them, are about 0.4 million square kilometers, thus many of the values essentially overlap.
Although the majority of the responses indicate either persistent conditions or a slight increase over the 2008 sea ice extent, there appears to be about a 20% chance of reaching a new minimum in 2009. The September 2009 extent, as we track it for the rest of the summer, will depend on several factors, including the dynamics of the relatively high levels of thin, first year ice; temperature and wind conditions; and sea level pressure.
The report confirms the importance of first-year ice (FYI):
Multi-year sea ice has been reduced to such low levels that the overall September sea ice extent is largely tied to the fate of the first-year sea ice, which appears thin or with low concentrations away from the central Arctic. Depending on August conditions, much of this first-year sea ice could either melt out by September or survive the summer as a vast expanse of thin sea ice.
Accounting for their low 4 million square kilometre estimate, Rignor et al commented that:
In comparison to 2007 and 2008, there is much more first year (FY) ice in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas in 2009, which we expect to precondition thisarea for a more extensive retreat than in 2007 and 2008.
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It’s that time of year again, when we’re looking for a budding, confident and enthusiastic intern to join our small and dynamic team, in mid-Wales – applications to firstname.lastname@example.org – details below:
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PIRC is an independent charity integrating key research on climate change, energy & economics – widening its audience and increasing its impact. Our most recent work has included “Climate Safety”, a report synthesising the latest climate science and its implications on policymaking and campaigning (publicinterest.org.uk); “Coal in the UK”, an interactive map and website exposing and monitoring the proposed expansion of the UK coal industry (coalintheuk.org) and last year “Zero Carbon Britain” a collaboration with the Centre for Alternative Technology on an ambitious 20 year decarbonisation plan for the UK (zerocarbonbritain.org).
PIRC has three permanent staff members, and a working model which minimises hierarchy, with all staff members sharing administrative tasks, as well as more interesting work!
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For thirty years CAT has been at the forefront of understanding environmental issues. Decades before there was an appreciation of the environmental challenges we now face, CAT was educating and informing about their inevitability, carrying our pioneering work into sustainability issues, and formulating practical solutions which are now finding enthusiastic adopters throughout government and business around the world.
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We are giving a Zero Carbon Britain presentation to the Annual Conference of the Claverton Energy Group, an independent think-tank of renewable energy professionals considering policy and technology solutions for Britain and Europe.
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