Arctic sea ice set to bottom out at 4th-lowest extent

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Arctic sea will soon reach its seasonal minimum. Map courtesy NSIDC.

August trend shows decline of 10 percent per decade

Staff Report

FRISCO — Scientists with the National Snow and Ice Data Center say they expect this year’s minimum Arctic sea ice extent to be one of the lowest on record in the satellite area. Through 2015, the linear rate of decline for August extent is 10.3 percent per decade, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center.

The ice dwindled at a steady pace throughout the month of August at a rate of about 29,000 square miles per day, faster than the long-term average rate of 22,100 square miles per day, but slower than in 2012, when the Arctic ice pack reached a record low extent.

Sea ice reaches its minimum each year around mid-September. For 2015, the ice trackers are now projecting that the ice will bottom out at the third of fourth lowest extent on record. According to the latest update from the NSIDC, sea ice extent is below average across the Arctic with the exception of Baffin Bay and Hudson Bay, where some ice persists in sheltered coastal areas.

The update also highlights extensive areas of low-concentration ice (less than 70 percent ice cover) in the Beaufort Sea. A few patches of multi-year sea ice surrounded by open water remain in the central Beaufort Sea.

 

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