Last week, the National Snow and Ice Data Center reported:
Arctic sea ice appears to have reached its annual minimum extent on 10 September. The minimum ice extent was the third-lowest in the satellite record, after 2007 and 2008, and continues the trend of decreasing summer sea ice.
But appearances can occasionally be deceiving. After a brief bump upward for a few days following September 10, the extent of Arctic Ocean sea ice resumed its fall, and is now approaching the 2008 minimum sea ice level:
No matter whether the 2010 Arctic sea ice level falls below that of 2008, this year’s sea ice weather is part of a clear climate trend. The four years with the smallest extent of ice in the Arctic are the last four years, and right now the extent of ice in the Arctic has shrunk a significant 29% down from the 1979-2000 average.
Something’s going on in the Arctic; we’d do well to pay attention.