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Tagged : national-snow-and-ice-data-center

Why Arctic sea ice was lower than ever in 2010

October 25th, 2010

There has been a lot of important climate news in recent weeks and months. In addition to record warmth, an unusually active Atlantic hurricane season, and a devastating string of extreme weather events in the U.S. and around the world, Arctic sea ice has reached a new low in its total volume.

The ice covering the Arctic Ocean goes through a seasonal cycle in which it expands during the winter, reaching its maximum extent in March, and shrinks during the summer, reaching its minimum extent in September. Satellites have been observing the daily coverage of sea ice since 1979, during which time the summer minimum has declined rapidly over the decades. In 2007, the summer minimum dropped by a startling amount compared to previous summers, generating an iconic graph that was splashed across blogs and newspapers around the world (Figure 1). This record still holds, although every year since 2007 has seen below-average summer minima.

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Google Earth heads to sea

February 4th, 2009

By John DeFore
Green Right Now

Google has a way of attracting attention, whether it’s by upending cell phone paradigms with an open-source platform or frightening publishers with its quest to digitize every book ever written. Now environmental groups have reason to hope one of the search giant’s projects will raise eco-consciousness among people who spend more time playing with the latest techie fad than they do reading conservationist pamphlets.

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Arctic Sea ice reaches second lowest recorded level

September 19th, 2008

By Kelly Rondeau

The numbers are in from the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) and declining ice thickness is at a hazardous level; observed to be the second-lowest coverage on record, scientists said this week.

According to the NSIDC, on September 12, 2008, the sea ice extent dropped to 1.74 million square miles (4.52 million square kilometers) — or a little less than half the area of the United States. This appears to have been the lowest point of the year, as sea ice has now begun its annual cycle of growth in response to autumn cooling.

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Vanishing Sea Ice

August 30th, 2008

By Barbara Kessler

Satellite pictures of the Arctic suggest that this year’s summer melt likely will be worse than last year’s, providing a dramatic demonstration of how global warming can snowball — no pun intended.

As the ice melts back farther and farther each summer, it loses its ability to reflect heat from the earth, becoming a contributor to, as well as a victim of, global warming. In addition, as the permafrost of the Arctic regions warms, it releases stored carbon, adding to greenhouse gases, and furthering the escalation of warming temperatures, scientists say. All this bad news, unfortunately doesn’t have any quick fixes, but will continue escalating until and unless global warming is stalled or reduced.

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