Dave C,

Currently we have January volume - Ok let's work with that. If I take the volume for 31/1/XX I can work out the difference between 31 Jan and the following minimum I can work out the range from January. Indeed as expected this shows the plateau behaviour you are talking about. So I take the post 2007 years and subtract from these the current volume on 31/1/2013.

Jan Vol/Jan to Min/Projection

19.584, 13.126, 3.717

20.21, 13.138, 3.705

20.389, 13.496, 3.347

18.861, 14.433, 2.41

17.565, 13.548, 3.295

17.594, 14.333, 2.51

Note the years in order are 2007 down to 2012.

These naïve projections support what you're saying. Last year's record was 3.261k km^3, only two out of six projections give a new record, the other 4 are rebounds. Therefore the probability of a new record this year is 1/3 right? No, wrong.

I said this is a naïve method, that's not meant in an insulting manner, it's the common term used in the literature for a simple unphysical method. Essentially the problem with the above method is that it is unphysical.

You'll note from the above sequence of projections that the lowest are from 2010 onwards. Why is this? Further up thread I provided you with a graph of anomalies for PIOMAS volume, this shows that since 2010 there has been a pronounced and massive spring melt within the model. This **will** happen again this year. It's initiation coincides with a massive loss of volume in 2010, mainly a loss of thick multi year ice (off the CAA). I'll be posting another blog post about this spring volume loss in the next few weeks - I think I'm closer to understanding exactly what's going on.

This year we have something similar. I've linked to a blog post showing PIOMAS DAM and ASCAT with links to longer term data. The state of the ice now is the thinnest it has been in the satellite record, this **will** have physical effects during the melt season. Because there is now more first year ice than at any other time, the albedo of the ice **will** be lower and therefore the energy gain higher. This isn't a matter of conjecture - it is physics, both theoretical and empirical.