2013 started the year with ONE TRILLION tonnes (1,058km³) less ice than last year - this is a third of the amount of ice remaining at 2012's record minimum. The rate of ice loss in the Arctic is staggering. Since 1979, the volume of Summer Arctic Sea Ice has declined by 80% and is accelerating faster than scientists believed it would, or even could melt. The first ice-free summer in the Arctic Ocean is expected to happen between 2016 and 2022.
About the data: Sea Ice Volume is calculated using the Pan-Arctic Ice Ocean Modeling and Assimilation System (PIOMAS, Zhang and Rothrock, 2003) developed at APL/PSC. Source data for this graph is available from http://psc.apl.washington.edu/wordpre...
I produced the animation using hand-written perl and php code to create povray scripts, and scheduling task distribution using MySQL between 6 linux servers working in parallel to render 795 HD1080p frames. The "farm" renders 20 frames simultaneously taking around 30 minutes per frame. On completion, I used ffmpeg to reduce the frames into mp4 720p with my music for the final result ready for upload.
The process is now automated so I can provide yearly or half-yearly updates with minimum fuss, but I don't want to fill up my channel with hundreds of versions showing little change!