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Arctic Ice Recovering

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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:

YearAnnual  AverageMarch AverageSept AverageSept MinimumMarch Max
200610.66714.2605.8315.64114.663
200710.41414.5434.2983.98714.907
200810.99515.3724.4274.22315.662
200910.82515.0055.0914.87115.326
201010.73215.2214.9974.71715.397
201110.56414.8324.5114.30315.110
201210.68815.5333.6333.36915.822
201311.11915.2305.0834.67715.505
201411.13015.1335.3685.06615.523
201511.26314.6254.5644.44214.910

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

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