Looking at data provided by Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (CSV), and interesting graph emerges:
Of course, it is always perilous to visually extrapolate a graph into the future, but given that the rate of decrease in the extent of Arctic sea ice during this summer has slowed down to 0.05%, it looks like it may already be close to its minimum point for this year.
Last September 21, as the Northern Hemisphere tilted away from the sun, scientists reported with unprecedented distress that the North Polar ice cap is "falling off a cliff." One study estimated that it could be completely gone during summer in less than 22 years. Another new study, to be presented by U.S. Navy researchers later this week, warns it could happen in as little as 7 years.
Seven years from now.
Yes, Al Gore said this seven years ago.
Today, we are very close to the minimum of summer ice cover around the North Pole. And, there are 5,215,532 square kilometers of ice there (approximately two million square miles).
Yet, on the say so of people whose predictions have been regularly off the mark, we must make it more expensive to fly. We must make it more expensive to heat our homes. We must make it more expensive to eat well.