As with recent summers past, the Arctic is continuing to warm and it looks like the cycle is repeating itself again this summer with huge losses of ice coming up and maybe even nearing the record loss of ice in the 2007 season when we made our transit of the NW Passage from east to west on Cloud Nine.
The National Snow and Ice Center is one of the foremost "legitimate" data collectors in
the ice business and here is their most recent report as of today:
Early sea ice melt onset, snow cover retreat indicates rapid 2011 summer decline. NSIDC
Arctic sea ice extent declined at a rapid pace through the first half of July, and is now tracking below the year 2007, which saw the record minimum September extent. The rapid decline in the past few weeks is related to persistent above-average temperatures and an early start to melt. Snow cover over Northern Eurasia was especially low in May and June, continuing the pattern seen in April.
This will be an interesting summer and early fall to track and I will keep you posted here. No doubt there will be a record number of small boats again trying for the "ice-free" Northwest Passage.