Saturday, September 8, 2012

Arctic ice melting at alarming speed

Recent data on the rate of Arctic Sea Ice melt is profoundly troubling. Scientists describe it as unprecedented and astounding.

The National Snow and Ice Data Center illustrates the melt since 1979 in the graph below, showing a decline in the ice extent at 10.2% per decade:

This report is from Common Dreams:
  "It is a greater change than we could even imagine 20 years ago, even 10 years ago," Dr. Kim Holmen, international director of the Norwegian Polar Institute told the BBC. "And it has taken us by surprise and we must adjust our understanding of the system and we must adjust our science and we must adjust our feelings for the nature around us."

"This year's melting season is a Goliath," also notes geophysicist Marco Tedesco, director of the Cryospheric Processes Laboratory at City University of New York, the Wall Street Journal reports. "The ice is being lost at a very strong pace."

Weather Underground co-founder Dr. Jeff Masters writes that "Every major scientific institution that tracks Arctic sea ice agrees that new records for low ice area, extent, and volume have been set. These organizations include the University of Washington Polar Science Center (a new record for low ice volume), the Nansen Environmental & Remote Sensing Center in Norway, and the University of Illinois Cryosphere Today."

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