These alarmist ice monkeys insist on clouding the debate with mere data.
Before the latest PIOMAS data are published, somewhere next week, I wanted to present an overview of all the things that have been happening in the Arctic these past couple of weeks, and what they may mean for the outcome of the 2019 melting season. You’ve guessed it, I’m going to be talking about melting momentum (for those not familiar with the concept, here’s the archive).
But I want to start off with something else. Almost every melting season is marked by some spectacular event nowadays. From the Great Arctic Cyclone of 2012, the huge cracking event of February 2013, the possibility to sail beyond 85N in September 2014, to the almost circumnavigation of Greenland in August last year. This year, another event has really stood out so far.
Every melting season, the entire North American coast clears of ice at some point, making it possible to sail from Bering Strait to M’Clure Strait (western exit/entrance of the Northwest Passage central route). Back in 2016, there was a chance of this happening record early, but it didn’t pan out. This year it did, four weeks earlier than any other year in the Concentration Maps section of the ASIG. The event was reported by Rick Thoman (ACCAP) and Lars Kaleschke (University of Hamburg), both providing some great graphs and animations (see here).
One last addition, which may not be so important at this time of year: Northern Hemisphere snow cover has been one of the lowest, if not the lowest, for weeks now. Especially in North America.
And Europe is having one of its ((no longer unprecedented) heat waves.