|Total Arctic sea ice volume from PIOMAS showing the volume of the mean annual cycle.|
Below, the average monthly volume data over the years with exponential trends added by Wipneus, incorporating the data for November 2012.
|Average Arctic sea ice thickness over the ice-covered regions from PIOMAS for a selection of years. |
The average thickness is calculated for the PIOMAS domain by only including locations where ice is thicker than .15 m
As the sea ice gets thinner, the risk increases that the ice will break up. More open water makes the Arctic Ocean more prone to storms and associated feedbacks that can be expected to speed up such break up. Furthermore, they can push much of the ice into the Atlantic Ocean, leaving little ice in the Arctic Ocean to reflect sunlight back into space and to act as a buffer when temperatures start rising again the following year. For more on such feedbacks, see the post Diagram of Doom.