Providing more data on how climate change is impacting the Arctic, the maximum extent of sea ice this year was tied with 2006 for the lowest on record. Maximum sea ice simply means the territory the sea ice covers at its greatest point before the seasonal melt begins.
According to the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), the maximum extent of sea ice hit 5.65 million square miles (14.64 million square kilometers) this month before beginning its retreat. This is nearly half a million square miles (1.2 million square kilometers) below the average sea ice extent from 1979 to 2000. The result is not a surprise: sea ice extents have been dramatically low all season.
Researchers say that it is still possible that the sea ice could rebound some before the month is out. However, as of March 22nd, sea ice had been in decline for 5 days straight a likely indicator that the full extent had been reached.
Average temperatures in the Arctic are rising around twice as fast as global temperatures, making the region especially sensitive to climate change.
(02/08/2011) The extent of ice cover in the Arctic for January was the lowest on record, following another record-low in December for that month, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC).
(12/22/2010) The melting of the Artic Ocean may result in a loss of marine mammal biodiversity, reports a new study published in the journal BNature and conducted jointly by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA), the University of Alaska, and the University of Massachusetts. The study is the first to project what might happen if species pushed into new habitats because of ice loss hybridize with one another, resulting in such crossbreeds as “narlugas” and “grolar bears”.
(08/31/2009) If current melting trends continue, the Arctic Ocean is likely to be free of summer sea ice by 2015, according to research presented at a conference organized by the National Space Institute at Technical University of Denmark, the Danish Meteorological Institute and the Greenland Climate Center.