Originally published on

by noreply@blogger.com (Sam Carana) at Arctic News

Above image, from the National Institute of Polar Research in Japan, shows Arctic sea ice extent at a record low for the time of year, on July 4, 2021, at 8.4 million km².

Subsequently, the NSIDC also indicated that Arctic sea ice was at record low extent for the time of year, on July 5, 2021, at 8.867 million km² (image above). 

Arctic sea ice is getting very thin rapidly, threatening the latent heat tipping point to get crossed soon. 
     
The U.S. Navy animation on the right shows Arctic sea ice thickness (in m) for the 30 days up to July 4, 2021, with eight days of forecasts included.

This situation is the more remarkable given that we’re in a La Niña period, as illustrated by the NOAA image on the right showing a forecast issued July 5, 2021, and indicating that La Niña is expected to reach a new low by the end of 2021. 

El Niño events, according to NASA, occur roughly every two to seven years. As temperatures keep rising, ever more frequent strong El Niño events are likely to occur. NOAA anticipates the current La Niña to continue for a while, so it’s likely that a strong El Niño will occur between 2023 and 2025.

Sunspots are rising. We’re currently at a low point in the sunspot cycle. As the image on the right shows, the number of sunspots can be expected to rise as we head toward 2026, and temperatures can be expected to rise accordingly. According to James Hansen et al., the variation of solar irradiance from solar minimum to solar maximum is of the order of 0.25 W/m⁻².

Links

National Institute of Polar Research (NIPR) in Japan
https://ads.nipr.ac.jp/vishop

The National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) at the University of Colorado Boulder
https://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/charctic-interactive-sea-ice-graph

NOAA ENSO Evolution
https://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/lanina/enso_evolution-status-fcsts-web.pdf

Naval Research Laboratory of the U.S. Navy
https://www7320.nrlssc.navy.mil/GLBhycomcice1-12/arctic.html