Tag: National Snow and Ice Data Center

Arctic sea ice maxes out at record low extent

‘The Arctic is in crisis’

This NASA Blue Marble image shows Arctic sea ice extent on March 24, 2016, which averaged 14.52 million square kilometers (5.607 million square miles) on March 24, beating last year’s record low of 14.54 million square kilometers (5.612 million square miles) on February 25. Credit: National Snow and Ice Data Center/NASA Earth Observatory.
This NASA Blue Marble image shows Arctic sea ice extent on March 24, 2016.  Credit: National Snow and Ice Data Center/NASA Earth Observatory.

Staff Report

After a winter that saw average temperatures across most of the Arctic hover between 4 to 11 degrees Fahrenheit above average, sea ice in the region peaked at a record low extent for the second year in a row.

“I’ve never seen such a warm, crazy winter in the Arctic,” National Snow and Ice Data Center director Mark Serreze said in a press release that also explained how this year’s maximum sea ice extent came much later than average. See the full NSIDC report here.

“The Arctic is in crisis. Year by year, it’s slipping into a new state, and it’s hard to see how that won’t have an effect on weather throughout the Northern Hemisphere,” said Ted Scambos, NSIDC lead scientist. Continue reading “Arctic sea ice maxes out at record low extent”

Climate: One more thing to worry about?

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Ongoing studies are detailing how melting ice sheets will affect sea level.

Eastern Greenland changes could threaten critical ocean current

By Bob Berwyn

The global climate agreement reached late last year in Paris isn’t going to stop the Greenland Ice Sheet from melting anytime soon. Even with an immediate halt to greenhouse gas emissions. there may be centuries more melting ahead, according to climate scientists.

And the meltdown could be more widespread than previously thought, according to National Snow and Ice Data Center scientist Lora Koenig, who gave an update on the latest research during this week’s Glen Gerberg Weather and Climate Summit in Breckenridge. Continue reading “Climate: One more thing to worry about?”

Climate: ‘We are headed for a seasonally ice-free ocean’

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Sparse ice along the east coast of Greenland during the peak of the summer melt season. @bberwyn photo.

Arctic once again loses thick multiyear ice

Staff Report

At the end of its melt season, the Arctic’s ice cover fell to the fourth lowest extent in the satellite record, both in the daily and monthly average, according to scientists at the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC). Sea ice extent hit 4.41 million square kilometers (1.70 million square miles) on September 11 and averaged 4.63 million square kilometers (1.79 million square miles) for the month of September.

This year edged out 2008 as the fourth lowest extent since satellites started regularly monitoring sea ice in 1979. The lowest Arctic extent on record occurred in 2012, when sea ice measured 3.62 million square kilometers (1.40 million square miles). Continue reading “Climate: ‘We are headed for a seasonally ice-free ocean’”

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. Continue reading “Arctic sea ice set to bottom out at 4th-lowest extent”

Climate: Arctic sea ice extent lowest ever for March

Funky jet stream pattern blamed for western snow drought

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This map shows the rank of snow water equivalent measured at SNOTEL sites across the western U.S. A rank of 1 (black dots) corresponds to the lowest SWE in the SNOTEL record; a rank of 31 (magenta dots) is the highest. Credit: Andrew Slater, NSIDC

Staff Report

FRISCO — After peaking at a record-low extent in late February, Arctic sea ice extent wavered for a bit but stayed low. That resulted in the lowest average sea ice extent on record for March, at 5.56 million square miles, according to the latest monthly update from the National Snow and Ice Data Center.

That’s about half a million square miles below the 1981 to 2010 long-term average and about 23,000 square miles below the previous record low, set in March 2006. Looking back several decades, March sea ice extent is declining at the rate of about 2.6 percent per decade. Continue reading “Climate: Arctic sea ice extent lowest ever for March”

Climate: New book details global glacier losses

Most of the world’s ice rivers are shrinking into oblivion

The Dachstein Glacier in Austria has visibly and dramatically decreased in size in just a couple of decades. bberwyn photo.
The Dachstein Glacier in Austria has visibly and dramatically decreased in size in just a couple of decades. bberwyn photo.

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — For mountain dwellers around the world, shrinking glaciers are one of the most vivid symptoms of Earth’s rising fever. Those gleaming mantles of ice have already disappeared from iconic landscapes like Glacier National Park.

Globally, millions of people rely on glacier-regulated stream flows for water supplies, so communities need to prepare for disruptions in the hydrological cycle because it’s becoming increasingly apparent that the meltdown is not going to stop. Continue reading “Climate: New book details global glacier losses”

Climate: July warmup brings quick Arctic meltdown

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Arctic sea ice extent dipping near last year’s record low.

Ice melt in early July was 61 percent faster than average rate

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — After an up and down start to the Arctic ice melt season, the Arctic summer started to take its toll on sea ice in early July.

With a shift in the large-scale weather pattern bringing warm southerly winds to the region, sea ice melted at a rate of 51,000 square miles per day during the first half of the month. That’s about 61 percent faster than the average rate of decline between 1981 and 2010, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center’s mid-month update. Continue reading “Climate: July warmup brings quick Arctic meltdown”