Julienne Stroeve from NSIDC graciously agreed to answer some queries about ice thickness. My questions and her responses are below.
1. Ice extent in 2010 is higher than 2008. What about thickness though? Is the remaining ice thicker or thinner than 2008?
We won’t know that until we get some data from Icebridge or Cryosat2 processed. I’m sure Dr. Giles in the UK will also be looking at the ERS1/2 data but at this point I don’t have any of the thickness data collected.
2. Is the remaining ice older or younger than 2008?
Through the end of August, today the Arctic has the least amount of ice ages 4+ than we’ve seen in the satellite data record. There is more 2nd and 3rd year ice though than 2008, quite a bit more.
3. 2007 saw a record minimum extent. Was the ice thinner or thicker in 2007 relative to 2008 and 2010?
Ice was thicker in spring 2007 than in spring 2008 (based on ICESat and ERS1/2 data). In the ERS1/2 data, 2010 had thicker ice than spring 2008 but I’m not sure about spring 2007 as I don’t quite remember the values for 2007 from the plot showed by Dr. Giles showed at a recent meeting.