August trend shows decline of 10 percent per decade
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.
Satellite data show potential for rapid melt of thicker, multiyear ice
FRISCO — After an average start to the Arctic sea ice melt season, the pace of melting picked up in July. By the end of the month, the sea ice extent was within 212,000 square miles of the extent recorded on the same date in 2012, and is now tracking below 2013 and 2014, federal ice trackers with the National Snow & Ice Data Center said in their latest monthly update.
The main reason the sea ice extent remained higher than in 2012 — the lowest year on record — was because of solid ice cover in Baffin and Hudson bays. In the Beaufort Sea, by contrast, the ice has now thinned considerably, with many large broken ice floes surrounded by open water. Continue reading “Climate: Arctic sea ice melt speeds up in July”→
Northern hemisphere snow cover below average for the month
FRISCO — Arctic sea ice extent continued to hover near a record-low level in February, federal ice trackers said in their latest monthly update, adding that this year’s maximum extent, expected sometime in mid-March, may be the smallest on record.
Regionally, Arctic ice extent is especially low in the Sea of Okhotsk and the Bering Sea, but the bulletin from the National Snow and Ice Data Center explains that ice is “missing” all around the margins of the Arctic. The only area with above-average sea ice extent is around Newfoundland and the Canadian Maritime Provinces. Continue reading “Climate: Arctic sea ice near record low in February”→
Average temps over parts of the Arctic Sea ranged from 7 to 11 degrees Fahrenheit above average
FRISCO — Arctic sea ice extent for January was the third-lowest on record, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center, which reported an average sea ice extent of about 5.26 million square miles for the month. That’s 351,000 square miles below the 1981 to 2010 long-term average, and 19,000 square miles above the record low for the month observed in 2011.
New study a first step in understanding long-term impacts to walrus populations
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey say walruses in the Arctic are responding to shrinking summer sea ice by arriving earlier at their northern feeding grounds on the broad continental shelf of the Chukchi Sea.
When the sea ice over the continental shelf melts completely in the fall, they “hauled out” onshore in large aggregations and foraged for food closer to shore. Hauling out refers to the behavior associated with seals and walruses of temporarily leaving the water for sites on land or ice, according to the study published in the journal Marine Ecology.
August extent just half of the average levels recorded in the 1980s and 1990s
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT VOICE — For the first time in the modern satellite record, Arctic sea ice extent has dropped below 4 million square kilometers, marking a 45 percent reduction from the levels recorded in the 1980s and 1990s.
The National Snow and Ice Data Center said the ice extent may shrink for another week or so before the Arctic region starts to cool off, leading to a renewed cycle of freezing.