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Arctic Sea Ice (1 Viewer)


Moody, AL
So I found something today in regards to Arctic sea ice volume that I thought would make for an interesting piece of discussion, and could potentially be a good research topic.

Disclaimer: I am not creating this to create discussion on climate change and how that affects arctic sea ice, or any of the politics related to it. Granted the discussion on climate change is what caused me to originally follow arctic sea ice, but this isn't meant to get into any of that.

With that said, I was looking at the daily sea ice volume plot from DMI this morning, and I noticed that the distribution of the sea ice, where it was thickest, thinnest, etc. looked familiar to another year that I'd seen before. I started looking back, and the year that the current sea ice volume resembles is 2012. Here's a gif comparing those two years.

As you can tell, they are hardly identical, but there's enough similarities there that I started poking around at some other years to see if any others correlated. Naturally I started with 2018 because the distribution of the ice was pretty significantly different this time last year. I started looking back, and the first year I came to that looked quite similar was 2011. Here's the gif for those two

Hmm, 2019/2012 and 2018/2011. Both pairs resemble each other decently well. So I checked out 2017/2010. There was a good bit of difference in overall volume those two years at this time, but again, the pattern of how the ice was distributed was the same.

I felt like after those three years there might be some pattern emerging, but the next two sets convinced me there is likely something more to it. 2016/2009 and 2015/2008 are shown below

2014/2007 probably have the weakest correlation, but 2013/2006 is pretty strong.

Unfortunately, DMI data on their site only goes back to 2004, so I'm limited in how far back I can compare. I added on 2005 to 2019/2012, and 2004 to 2018/2011. Again, a pretty good correlation.

That many pairs with a pretty good correlation is extremely unlikely to be a coincidence. There appears to be a 7 year repeating pattern (to some extent) of sea ice volume distribution. Unfortunately I don't have any conclusions to draw, as I only noticed this pattern today and have no idea what might be driving this to repeat like this.

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