Friday, April 20, 2012

Will Arctic sea ice collapse in 2014?

         Will sea ice collapse in 2014?

There has been some discussion recently about extrapolating Arctic sea ice data, particularly for data relating to annual minimum sea ice.

I've been trying which kind of trendline fits best and my conclusion is that a trendline pointing at 2014 fits the data best (image left).

The respective dataset, on the left underneath, was produced by the Pan-Arctic Ice Ocean Modeling and Assimilation System (PIOMAS, Zhang and Rothrock, 2003) developed at Polar Science Center, Applied Physics Laboratory, University of Washington, and is displayed below interactively (hover over blue line to see the respective volume data for that year).

As mentioned in the discussion, some ice may persist close to Greenland for a few years more, since Greenland constitutes a barrier that holds the sea ice in place. Similarly, it is suggested that natural variability could prolong the ice longer than expected.

However, such arguments offer no reason to rule out an imminent collapse of the sea ice, since natural variability works both ways, it could bring about such a collapse either earlier or later than models indicate.

In fact, the thinner the sea ice gets, the more likely an early collapse is to occur. It is accepted science that global warming will increase the intensity of extreme weather events, so more heavy winds and more intense storms can be expected to increasingly break up the remaining ice in future, driving the smaller parts out of the Arctic Ocean more easily. Much of the sea ice loss already occurs due to sea ice moving along the edges of Greenland into the Atlantic Ocean.

Could you think of any reason why Arctic sea ice would NOT collapse in 2014?

Arctic sea ice volume on track to reach zero around 2015
Greenland is melting at incredible rate
Arctic Sea Ice
When the sea ice is gone


  1. In the year 2000, I calculated the Arctic ice becoming zero feet thick by 2017. That simple calculation I made seems to be coming true. The 2014 date would actually be more expected because as the ice reaches its final stages, it will be too thin to be stable. i.e. you can't expect the ice to survive one foot thick. However, it makes little difference if the year is 2014, 2020, or 2030. The big fact to accept is that this process is inexorable.

  2. it's already collapsing. 2012 is a turning point for humanity, probably it will be remembered as the year when "it became clear to everybody that the Titanic was doomed".

  3. On the exclusive update to this post dated 3/1/13 is more information and if I can ever get back there to say so there should definitely be a unit of measure describing the cloud of radiative forcing growing above our heads.. It should be plain speaking and obvious to the layman and scientists alike as to meaning.. I don't like failing and I'll find a way to keep Earth alive if it kills me and I'm willing to tell truth as best I can. Global Runaway.. It looks like past point of changing or somewhat daunting to try and change. The wrong word.. - Here in paragraph or two from Democratic Voice of Burma "Words like stone in which a sword for peace lays frozen like as though waiting for the right thought by the little guy somewhere to pull that word sword free for all." next a "world united stands a chance to move in a new direction and mobilize industry and effort to stop global overheat and war but needs leadership and many people to do their best to pull that sword free, not for profit, not for glory or any other reason than perhaps to see if they can do it in a way that peacefully can change the world.. "
    A long hand copy is what I made that from because things have a tendency to disappear on the internet and get flushed from existence.. God help us if we fail to keep Earth alive.. God's good Earth and the beauty of Creation..