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Arctic sea ice extent measured by the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) set a new record minimum today. All doubt is gone that 2012 will obliterate all the old record lows on sea ice area, extent and volume. The NSIDC uses 5 day averaging to reduce noise, so it responds more slowly than other measures. The University of Washington's PIOMAS sea ice thickness results are released on a monthly basis, so they will report record low volume results, that have surely already been set, in September.

NASA MODIS false color summer 2012 sea ice collapse animation assembled by Neven

The sea ice area computed by Cryosphere Today of the University of Illinois continues to fall deeper into record low territory.

Japan's IJIS measure of sea ice extent has broken previous lows and continues to fall.
IJIS Sea Ice Extent Record Low: The latest value : 4,087,031 km2 (August 25, 2012)
Before the great Arctic August storm of 2012, sea ice extent was on target to tie or just break the record minimum set in 2007. After the storm, the bottom dropped out.
NSIDC  made no announcement today that a record low sea ice extent was set.  The computer program that compared this year with the record year of 2007 simply removed 2007 from the figure.An announcement that a new low has been set will likely be released next week.
Neven just did an update while I was writing this post that gives the hard numbers on sea ice extent. The old record from 2007 has clearly been broken.
Year | min(extent)
1979 | 6.89236
1980 | 7.52476
1981 | 6.88784
1982 | 7.15423
1983 | 7.19145
1984 | 6.39916
1985 | 6.4799
1986 | 7.12351
1987 | 6.89159
1988 | 7.04905
1989 | 6.88931
1990 | 6.0191
1991 | 6.26027
1992 | 7.16324
1993 | 6.15699
1994 | 6.92645
1995 | 5.98945
1996 | 7.15283
1997 | 6.61353
1998 | 6.29922
1999 | 5.68009
2000 | 5.9442
2001 | 6.56774
2002 | 5.62456
2003 | 5.97198
2004 | 5.77608
2005 | 5.31832
2006 | 5.74877
2007 | 4.1607
2008 | 4.55469
2009 | 5.05488
2010 | 4.59918
2011 | 4.30207
2012 | 4.0892 (and running)
Arctic sea Ice Volume has dropped off a cliff since July 1, 2012.Sea ice thickness images from apocalypse4real.
Arctic sea Ice Thickness July 1, 2012

Sea Ice Thickness Imagery from NCOF, GHRRST on Godiva 2. The thickness is from the Los Alamos CICE model as modified by the UK Met.
Sea Ice Thickness Scale:
Black = Above 6 meters
Red = 6 Meters
Dark Blue = 0 Meters

Multiyear sea ice is almost all gone. Rapid melting combined with strong transport of ice out of the Arctic basin into the Fram strait has obliterated the remaining thick old ice.

Arctic sea ice thickness August 23, 2012

Since the sea ice crash in the summer of 2007 fall and winter weather in the northern hemisphere has been weirder and wilder than before swinging from record highs in the fall to record snow storms in January. Heat released by the open Arctic ocean has disrupted the Arctic winter vortex in the polar jet stream. The additional loss of sea ice this summer will likely increase the blocking high pressure areas over Greenland and the Atlantic side of the Arctic bringing more weird weather to Europe and the east coast of the U.S.

Originally posted to Climate Change SOS on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 10:35 AM PDT.

Also republished by DK GreenRoots, Moving Planet, and Climate Hawks.

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