NSIDC reported on July 17 what we at Climate Audit have been noticing since the beginning of July – 2008 is way behind 2007. Their daily extent number is even further behind 2007 than the JAXA daily numbers that we’ve been following.
Despite the fact that they report over a million sq km more ice than this time last year, they note that “areas of low-concentration ice are also developing at unusually high latitudes” – though apparently not “unprecedented”. They also note that last year’s melt was very prolonged and that a prolonged melt may be possible this year. Here’s an excerpt – consult the link for a full report.
Arctic sea ice extent on July 16 fell roughly between the extent for the same day in 2007 and the long-term average. The spatial pattern of summer ice loss has evolved differently from last year; this reflects the prevailing pattern of atmospheric circulation. Areas of low-concentration ice are also developing at unusually high latitudes.
Arctic sea ice extent on July 16 stood at 8.91 million square kilometers (3.44 square miles). While extent was below the 1979 to 2000 average of 9.91 square kilometers (3.83 million square miles), it was 1.05 million square kilometers (0.41 million square miles) above the value for July 16, 2007 (see Figures 1 and 2).