I should wait for another week before saying this (because it could change) but, dang-it, I’m fed up with being patient, I want to see something really catastrophic this year – we deserve it.
What am I getting excited about? Well, if you examine the latest Charctic Interactive Sea Ice Graph, which you won’t, I know – so I’ll tell you. This year, it looks like (and is unlikely now to change, though it could) the peak of the Arctic sea ice build-up in the northern winter has already occurred, and it did that in the last week in February. If it stays that way (and it will, I’m sure – even with my impatience) that is something which has never happened before. And it happened on February 25. What a day that was. The first full day of conflict that will see the end of the west – or at least their military and economic hegemony, and the latest in what is potentially one of the greatest Arctic sea ice events (Ok, I’m reaching a bit there, but I’ve got my fingers crossed in anticipation). There is, of course, no cross-causality there.
Note that I said this is the earliest peak, not the highest. But the amount of winter ice (and we are talking only ‘extent’ here, not ‘volume’), does not tend to matter too much – since it is all within a relatively narrow band of results across the winter months and especially through the Spring melt – as can be seen from the graph. The critical time is from mid-July to September. And for that we have no choice but to wait.
The previous earliest peak ice build event for any given year was 2020 (which resulted in the second most disastrous summer ice-melt season on record), and that ice-build peak occurred on March 5, 2020. Ok, I know a whole lot has to happen between now and mid-september but we need to be looking out for potential catastrophic conditions. Especially since the general trend is, and since records began always has been, towards greater ice-melts when averaged over successive decades. That can easily be seen if you display only the four lines representing decadal spans in the NSIDC Arctic Sea Ice charts – but that is for you to examine, if interested.
I have shown only the lines for the past 10 years in the image below, as well as the all-time recorded averages and other statistical variances, so that you can see what I am saying is true. The line for 2022 is the mid-blue one at the top of the pack from the start of the year and now working its way down to fifth or perhaps sixth lowest in the group.
It is a long time to wait until September to see where we will be then as far as ice melt goes, especially after last year’s less than average melt season (which promised so much, early). And it is a long time to wait until the end of next week if you are following the conflict in Ukraine with a view that is not blinkered by government and media trash-talk (and that has already lived up to its own early promises, with Ukraine military forces in complete disarray – destroyed, surrendering, or now (nazis) trying to sneak away through humanitarian corridors).