Many sea-ice extent records begin with the satellite record in 1979. Efforts have been made, however, to use proxy data to extend a sea ice record into the more distant past. For example, recent work by Kinard et al. (2011) suggests that the recent decline may be unprecedented in at least the past 1,450 years (see red line, with 95% confidence interval indicated with shading).
|Source: Kinnard et al. (2011)|
Perhaps we'll have a short-term rebound in the next year or two as happened after 2007, but in the long run, declines are expected to continue as a consequence of anthropogenic global warming. We will discuss possible implications of this sea-ice loss for weather in the midlatitudes in a future post.