In 2002, I said the Artic Sea ice would be seasonally/ functionally gone in 2014. Ice area goes up and down, ice volume has shown a more consistent trend.
I didn't want to vote for normal, because it wasn't defined. I personally expect it to be around 2009. Which is below the long term average, but above the three-year average. Winter ice seems about normal. I'd allow at least a half million sq km error for fluctuations in ocean currents and prevailing winds.
However, Al Gore needs a consistent drop of about a million sq km per year to reach his ice-free target and I think he'll be greatly disappointed in 2010.
Interesting. I fear that the warmer-than-usual Arctic winter will result in less winter ice build-up, which could lead to another dramatic 2007-style breakup in summer. But the winter drift had not occurred to me. Time will tell. More or less sea-ice in any given season does not support either side of the AGW argument (but you can bet that some will try to use the sea-ice extent to support their views).
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