Arctic sea ice in 2013

A very simple straw poll today – will the Arctic sea ice extent in September 2013 be more or less than September 2012? Hoping for views and expectations from public and scientists alike.

UPDATE: (06/09/12)
Around 80% of the ~100 scientists at the Bjerknes conference thought that there would be MORE Arctic sea-ice in 2013, compared to 2012. Around 40% of the ‘public’ thought there would be more (but small sample of 10!).

Any more views in the comments welcome!

About Ed Hawkins

Climate scientist in the National Centre for Atmospheric Science (NCAS) at the University of Reading. IPCC AR5 Contributing Author. Can be found on twitter too: @ed_hawkins

31 thoughts on “Arctic sea ice in 2013

  1. All the hot air from UHI repubs around the world will be moved to exert pressure to the arctic. This creates a new form of extreme weather called high-pressure tornado that connects the stratosphere to the depth of 25 m in the Arctic Ocean thus creating slabs of ice that allow the walruses to travel to New York to complain to the UN about the extreme conditions that have happened. They will be shot because the repubs have burnt all their corn to air condition their still parched land areas Tennessee southwards. At the same time, Russians are pleased by this sudden turn of events, since they have experience in drilling the hydrates through ice. Sadly, in heat transport they prefer the method described by the siberian salmons (the remaining 50 of them), that is, they burn the hydrates on top of the bogs, to evenly spread the heat across the globe. As the spring begins, polar bears have been evacuated to a zoo in South Carolina, that has no GW, let alone AGW, and everyone applauds the president-elect Barack Obama for this decision. In Europe, Norwegian and Finnish microbiologists have found a way to turn the North Atlantic to an efficient microalgae fermentor, to get the biogas production in good shape. The organism escapes North Atlantic and eventually turns all the oceans in a smelly soup of soap, H2S, and ethane, thus ending the energy problems of republicans and the other people. This will force the climate (via the depletion of CO2 -mechanism) to cool to -18 degrees celsius everywhere but in the Arctic that has dramatically shifted to an exterme Arctic Oscillation that melts more of the 25 m slab of ice than 2012.
    So, my answer would be ‘less’

  2. Oops, it seems that my hangover yesterday produced a sort of a runaway splurge of bad grammar and other stuff. Sorry. Nevertheless, I can’t believe the Greenland melt this year has produced enough cool water to prevent similar or larger melt next year, well ok, if an Icelandic (or the North Pacific ones) volcano goes off bigtime next march – april, there’s no chance of significantly less melt. (I’m not one of those who do believe the sun will turn off in the next winter.)

  3. My guess is a 1 in 4 chance of it disappearing by mid august 50/50 by sept and if we’re very lucky somewhere around half of lowest extent [by nsidc] compared to this year.
    I’ve come across several references to an incipient 4th cell system [hadley/ferrel/ralop/polar] any models of that?

    1. Hi John – that’s a brave forecast! You seem to be very sure that September 2013 will have less than ~1.8mill km^2 of ice? Personally, I doubt that we will get anywhere near that next year, but we will see….

      I don’t know much about your 4th cell thoughts.

    1. Doh! Just spotted that i put the wrong link should have been the 30 day CICE thickness gif from here
      But i guess whatever it was will still be visible on the 12 month gif on the 8th of Oct.
      Things are looking bad for the ice
      already smashed before the melt season has even started.

  4. Congratulations on a great site, Ed. Tamsin pointed me in your direction. As your straw poll must be for fun I will respond by saying I believe we will have more ice next year. I say this without any detailed knowledge of the cause of the recent decline in ice. I make my guess based on the fact that in the past the Arctic has gone in cycles from low ice in periods such as the 1920’s to more ice in the 1950’s. Since there are forecasts of a downturn in temperatures generally due to the weak solar cycle, that is my guess – but I am definitely not putting any money on it!

    1. Thanks Derek (& Tamsin!). Though I’m not sure about the downturn in global temperatures – the solar cycle is on the increase at the moment, but this cycle has been weak overall.

  5. Ed, thanks for an interesting article. Where can we find the exact question used in the “straw poll” and in particular, the numbers for the answers given by the scientists at the Bjerknes Conference?

    Also, the protocols used to ensure one man, one answer would be welcome.

    All the best,


  6. Hi Willis,

    Thanks for the interest. During my presentation at the Bjerknes 2012 conference in Bergen I asked the audience to vote with a show of hands on a question which was very similar, if not identical, to that in the post above, i.e. will the Arctic sea ice extent in September 2013 be more or less than September 2012? So, it was a rather informal straw poll rather than a rigorous sample, and I reported the results as the update in the post.

    I will be repeating this exercise during my talk at the UK Arctic Conference on Tuesday 17th September. There will also be an open blog post here on Monday 16th September, with the same question but for 2014!


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