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How Long until the Arctic Sea Ice Completely Melts?

Each year in March we experience the annual maximum in Arctic sea ice extent; within a month we will reach the annual maximum in Arctic sea ice volume; after that, the sea ice will begin to melt until it reaches its annual minimum of both extent and volume in September.

 Around about now scientists start their annual sea ice watch that includes predictions of the extent and rank of the year’s sea ice minimum, as well predictions as to when the Arctic could disappear entirely. One of the inputs into that discussion is the “PIOMAS” ice-ocean model output of ice volume.

PIOMAS is the Panarctic Ice Ocean Modeling and Assimilation System. It belongs to the class of ice-ocean models that have components for the sea ice and the ocean, but no interactive atmosphere.

PIOMAS has been used in a wide range of applications but arguably the most popular product has been the time series of total Arctic sea ice volume which has been in effect since March 2010. The idea behind this time series is to help provide evidence that the long term Arctic-wide loss of sea ice is not only happening in extent, which is already proven by satellite images, but also in thickness, which isn’t.

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  • Juergen on April 21 2012 said:
    I guess the trend predicted is interrupted. This years sea ice melt is different.
    http://nsidc.org/data/seaice_index/images/daily_images/N_stddev_timeseries.png

    The sea ice comparison of 2007 and now:
    http://home.comcast.net/~ewerme/wuwt/cryo_compare.jpg

    In 2007 everyone thought that the proof for AGW is visible. 2012 might be the opposite.

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