Polar sea ice extent entering unchartered waters…

Just to emphasise the plight of polar sea ice which is now firmly planted on the endangered species list right below the Siberian Tiger, I thought I would try to emulate some of the fancy charts that have been doing the rounds on the internet that attempt to visualise 38 years of daily sea ice extents in a single line graph. It’s a little bit tricky with my number of active brain cells just to get the right grey scale colours for the line series and the x-axis to plot correctly, but three hours later and et voilà !

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I’ve been going on about the dire state of the Arctic sea ice this autumn and this chart shows exactly why. The sea ice extent has never been in these unchartered warmer than average waters before as the red line in the chart shows. Never mind let’s see how the Antarctic is performing, in recent years its being doing so well…

antarctic-sea-ice-26-oct-1978-16-november-2016

Well what do you know that’s crashing as well and also deep in uncharted waters as the red line above shows. The thinner blues line is where it was as recently as 2014, just what is going on? Finally if you add the total for the Arctic with the total for the Antarctic you get the global polar sea ice extent. I’ve never done much with these statistics before, so I was surprised to find that last year (2015) they hit a minimum, and the way things are going that record minimum is going to be broken again, I would say smashed but that might be sensationalist, probably around February of 2017, because by that time we will have probably set a new low Arctic maximum and a new low Antarctic minimum – the perfect storm for sea ice.

global-sea-ice-26-oct-1978-16-november-2016

Author: xmetman

An ex-metman passionate about all things to do with weather, climate and clouds