New Arctic ice minimum set three weeks early

Posted on August 27, 2012

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According to the National Snow and Ice Data Center, (NSDIC) “Arctic sea ice appears to have broken the 2007 record daily extent and is now the lowest in the satellite era.” This announcement was made earlier today, on August 27. The joint International Arctic Research Center/Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency team out of Fairbanks, Alaska announced that Arctic ice area had reached a record low according to their measurements on August 20.

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The NSIDC also had this to say: “Including this year, the six lowest ice extents in the satellite record have occurred in the last six years (2007 to 2012).”

While at least one powerful storm over the Arctic Ocean this summer was partly responsible for enabling the unusually fast rate of ice, the storm could not have had so great an impact without the influence of industrial climate disruption. The Arctic ice cap has been thinning due to warmer ocean and air temperatures for years now, and where thick multi-year ice can withstand storms like what happened this summer, thin single-year ice cannot. Weather made the ice easier to melt, but without the heating effects of greenhouse gas emissions, the weather couldn’t have had such a significant impact in the first place.


Click image for an animated GIF version

Image Credits:
National Snow and Ice Data Center
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