Arctic ice hits all-time low
Fri, 21 Sep 2012 6:32a.m.
By Seth Borenstein
In a critical climate indicator showing an ever warming world, the amount of ice in the Arctic Ocean shrank to an all-time low this year, obliterating old records.
The ice cap at the North Pole measured 3.42 million square kilometres on Sunday. That's 18 percent smaller than the previous record of 4.16 million square kilometres set in 2007, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colorado. Records go back to 1979 based on satellite tracking.
"On top of that, we're smashing a record that smashed a record," said data centre scientist Walt Meier. Sea ice shrank in 2007 to levels 22 percent below the previous record of 2005.
Ice in the Arctic melts in summer and grows in winter, and it started growing again on Monday. In the 1980s, Meier said, summer sea ice would cover an area slightly smaller than the Lower 48 states of the US. Now it is about half that.
Man-made global warming has melted more sea ice and made it thinner over the last couple decades with it getting much more extreme this year, surprisingly so, said snow and ice data centre director Mark Serreze.
"Recently the loss of summer ice has accelerated and the six lowest September ice extents have all been in the past six years," Serreze said. "I think that's quite remarkable."
Serreze said except for one strong storm that contributed to the ice loss, this summer melt was more from the steady effects of day-to-day global warming. But he and others say the polar regions are where the globe first sees the signs of climate change.
"Arctic sea ice is one of the most sensitive of nature's thermometers," said Jason Box, an Ohio State University polar researcher.
What happens in the Arctic changes climate all over the rest of the world, scientists have reported in studies.
The ice in the Arctic "essentially acts like an air conditioner by keeping things cooler", Meier said. And when sea ice melts more, it's like the air conditioner isn't running efficiently, he said.
Sea ice reflects more than 90 percent of the sun's heat off the Earth, but when it is replaced by the darker open ocean, more than half of the heat is absorbed into the water, Meier said.
Scientists at the snow and ice data centre said their computer models show an Arctic that would be essentially free of ice in the summer by 2050, but they add that current trends show ice melting faster than the computers are predicting.
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2/10/2012 8:56:32 a.m.
Note that they only have data for the last 33 years. Anecdotal data from the 1920s and 1930s (Before evil anthropogenic CO2 came into play) suggests that the arctic ice extend was far lower than it is now.
Check the NOAA archives……
And how is the Sea Ice in Antarctic doing?
According to the National Snow & Ice Data Center (NSIDC), it is still trending above the 1979-200 average.
23/09/2012 4:46:50 a.m.
Me 4 World PM wrote:
james, since mike couldn't be bothered (or doesn't know/can't remember) where he got the info from about satelite technology, Me will give you a hint. Look up the NASA website. All sorts of astonishing stuff.Past missions, current missions, planned missions for the future. Even their failed missions are recorded there - how many Govt websites discuss failed policies, Mike etc? I've just been studying the Voyager mission, where a craft has left the solar system we humans inhabit. You see:- I have a short term goal, a mid-term goal, and a long term goal of what I want to achieve.Short Term = Prime Minister of NZMid-Term = World Prime MinisterLong Term = Prime Minister of the Galaxy.Not that I ever intend to rule the entire universe. I'll leave that to Allah or God or Zeus - or just whoever did start this shebang off.
22/09/2012 8:06:58 a.m.
"All time" I did not know time started in 1979!
21/09/2012 7:14:33 p.m.
What does it mean wrote:
Well one could suggest that the seasons caused by the Orbit of the earth around the SUN and the Milankovitch theory which describes climate changes due to the earths various orbital, Axial wobbles combine to form a Historic record of Warming and Cooling climate changes seen in our geologic and historic records.
The fact that at the moment its Summer time in the North and winter in the South explains why Antarctic Ice Area Sets Record High for 33 years and the Arctic Ice lows, But we all know that this has happened before in the past and No one was driving SUV's. QED.
21/09/2012 5:56:05 p.m.
Arh ok do you have the links to where you have gotten your facts from MIKE?
21/09/2012 12:45:30 p.m.
Well if it is carbon emissions, then the worst carbon polluters just happen to be near the artic than antartica - like Germany. Maybe we should target the worst polluters witht the worse carbon emissions per sq km?We also have an increase in ice in antartica.The data they are using is very small, only a couple of decades long. They now use satelite mapping for the area, which is accurate. They could give a measure not in sq km, but in volume as the satelite mapping allows that too.Artic ice is not old. Typically Artic ice has water from above in the form of snow etc, which allows some buildup. while the sea water from below can erode where warmer water slowly melts from below. If the water gets cold enough, can even have the sea freeze and add ice from below, pushing the artic up. Artic gets much more snow etc than many parts of Antartica which are the driest on earth.The problems with the current model is they dont know and the predictions are wild because they dont understand the situation. Over time we will get better modelling. But its like weather, we still with the best modelling in the world can't predict the weather even better than a few days in advance unless we make such general predictions that the predictions have no real meaning.The Artic has had less ice in the past, but because we didn't have satelites back then, and weren't recording, the gloabl warming claimants claim it never happened. The sat imaging has shown wooden wreckage like ships, well preserved, and inland of the current edge of the artic, which is highly suggestive its been much, much, smaller in the past. It has also been much larger, reaching almost to the equator. The global warming model still has a 40% WTF factor, ie we need much more improvement to understand temperatures and the carbon cycle is one of the smallest contributors today or historically.
21/09/2012 8:37:24 a.m.
Surely this is wrong MIKE. CHRIS? Tell us what the truth realy is! or are you staying inside your squares today?
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