Update On Global Sea Ice – A Return (For Now At Least) To Its Long Term Average

While this is just a short term excursion (so far), the global sea ice areal coverage has returned to close to long term average.  In addition, since the albedo feedback of sea ice is significant only when the Sun is visible to the surface (i.e. primarily a spring and summer effect), as we discuss in our papers

Pielke Sr., R.A., G.E. Liston, and A. Robock, 2000: Insolation-weighted  assessment of Northern Hemisphere snow-cover and sea-ice variability.  J. Geophys. Res. Lett., 27, 3061-3064

and

Pielke Sr., R.A., G.E. Liston, W.L. Chapman, and D.A. Robinson, 2004:  Actual and insolation-weighted Northern Hemisphere snow cover and sea  ice — 1974-2002. Climate Dynamics, 22, 591-595 DOI10.1007/s00382-004-0401-5

the current global areal coverage indicates the current feedback is a negative radiative effect.

The website Cryosphere Today has particularly clear images of the current and past values of this areal coverage, as reproduced below.

The global areal average could certainly return to below average, but it is nonetheless an interesting development which we will follow.

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