The sea ice extent typically reaches the critical minimum in the Arctic during the month of September and so far this season we could be headed for another record low minimum.
New research from Stroeve et al. (2012) compared the observed 1979-2011 September ice extent trend for the Arctic against projected trends for the same period from the next generation of computer models in the World Climate Research Programme Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 3 (CMIP3). These models were used in the 4th assessment report of the IPCC in 2007.
As you can see from the National Snow and Ice Data Center image below, the modeled ice extent anomaly trends are for the most part underestimating the actual observed downward trend. (images courtesy of the NSIDC)
-------- Arctic sea ice volume update.........
The estimated volume of sea ice in the Arctic from the Polar Science Center at the University of Washington is also possibly headed for another record low. Volume measurements are a better overall indicator of the sea ice health compared to the extent. (images courtesy of Pan-Arctic Ice Ocean Modeling and Assimilation System and the University of Washington)
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