Arctic sea ice is set to reach its lowest ever recorded extent as early as this weekend, in â€œdramatic changesâ€? signalling that man-made global warming is having a major impact on the polar region.
Frost Bite Magazine
By John Vidal
Dramatic melting of sea ice due to global warming is having a major impact on the polar region...
Bremen, whose data does not take into account ice along a 30km coastal zone, says it sees ice extent below the all-time record low of 4.33m sq km recorded in September 2007.Ice volume in theArctic has declined dramatically over the past decade. The 2011 minimum was more than 50% below that of 2005. According to the Polar Science Centre at the University of Washington it now stands at around 5,770 cubic kilometres, compared with 12,433 cu km during the 2000s and 6,494 cu km in 2011. The ice volume for 31 July 2012 was roughly 10% below the value for the same day in 2011. A new study by UK scientists suggests that 900 cu km of summer sea ice has disappeared from the Arctic Ocean over the past year. The consequences of losing the Arctic’s ice coverage for the summer months are expected to be immense. If the white sea ice no longer reflects sunlight back into space, the region can be expected to heat up even more than at present. This could lead to an increase in ocean temperatures with unknown effects on weather systems in northern latitudes.In a statement, a Greenpeace spokesman said: “The
Images showing depletion of the Arctic.
disappearing Arctic still serves as a stark warning to us all. Data shows us that the frozen north is teetering on the brink. The level of ice ‘has remained far below average’ and appears to be getting thinner, leaving it more vulnerable to future melting. Theconsequences of further rapid ice loss at the top of the world are of profound importance to the whole planet. This is not a warning we can afford to ignore.” Longer ice-free summers are expected to open up the
Frost Bite Magazine
Unless something really unusual happens we will see the record broken in the next few days.
the melt happening at an unprecedented rate of more than 100,000 sq km a day, and at least a week of further melt expected before ice begins to reform ahead of the northern winter, satellites are expected to confirm the record – currently set in 2007 – within days.“Unless something really unusual happens we will see the record broken the nine daily sea ice extent and area in the next few days. It might happen graphs kept by scientists in the US, this weekend, almost certainly next Europe and Asia suggest that records week,” Julienne Stroeve, a scientist at have already been broken. the US National Snow and Ice Data “The whole energy balance of the Centre (NSIDC) in Boulder, Colorado, Arctic is changing. There’s more heat told the Guardian.“In the last few days up there. There’s been a change of it has beenlosing 100,000 sq km a day, climate and we are losing more a record in itself for August. A storm seasonal ice. The rate of ice loss is has spread the ice pack out, opening faster than the models can capture but up water, bringing up warmer water. we can expect the Arctic to be ice-free Things are definitely changing quickly.” in summer by 2050,” said Stroeve. Because ice thickness, volume, “Only 15 years ago I didn’t expect to extent and area are all measured see such dramatic changes – no one differently, it may be a week before did. The ice-free season is far longer there is unanimous agreement among now. Twenty years ago it was about a the world’s cryologists (ice experts) month. Now it’s three months. that 2012 is a record year. Four out of Temperatures last week in the Arctic were 14C, which is pretty warm.” Scientists at the Danish Meteorological Institute, the Arctic Regional Ocean Observing System in Norway and others in Japan have said the ice is very close to its minimum recorded in 2007. University of