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.
Winter brings extraordinary ‘heatwave’ to the far north
Arctic sea ice was at a record low extent for the second month in a row in February, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center. Ice researchers said sea ice grew hardly at all during the first three weeks of the month during a time of year when the sea is extent is usually nearing its peak.
Arctic sea ice extent in December ended up as the fourth-lowest on record, and is still hovering near a record low in mid-January, according to the latest monthly update from the National Snow and Ice Data Center.
Through 2015, the linear rate of decline for December sea ice extent is 3.4 percent per decade (about 17,000 miles) per year.
For the month, the sea ice extent averaged 4.74 million square miles, about 301,000 square miles below the 1981 to 2010 average for the month. The rate of sea ice growth slowed slightly throughout December and nearly stopped early in January, federal ice trackers said, suspecting that a period of unusually warm temperatures in the Arctic caused the slowdown. Continue reading “Climate: Arctic sea ice near record-low extent”→
Autumn freeze coming 11 days later in some regions
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — Averaged across the Arctic, the melt season is lengthening by five days each decade, with much of the change coming in the fall, when a warmer ocean simply takes longer to freeze than in the past.
“The extent of sea ice in the Arctic has been declining for the last four decades,” said University College London researcher Julienne Stroeve, part of a research team that studied satellite data to track sea ice trends in the age of global warming.
Super storm churned up sun-warmed water to speed melting
By Summit Voice (Adapted from a University of Washington press release)
FRISCO — A huge Arctic cyclone last August was a factor in the record-low sea ice level last summer, but the ice would have melted to almost the same extent even without the storm, according to University of Washington scientists who studied the effects of the unusual storm over the high latitudes of the far north.
Top U.S. and Canadian scientists taking hard look at the implications of shrinking sea ice
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Top U.S. and Canadian researchers are trying to develop a systematic way of studying the ongoing and impending changes in the Arctic. This week, the Navy’s chief of naval research, Rear Adm. Matthew Klunder, met with leaders from U.S. and Canadian government agencies to address research efforts in the Arctic, in response to dramatic and accelerating changes in summer sea ice coverage.
“We are surely on the verge of seeing a new Arctic,” said Arctic science expert Dr. Martin Jeffries. “And, since the Arctic is not isolated from the global environmental system … we can expect to see Arctic change have global environmental and socio-economic consequences.” Continue reading “Climate: ‘On the verge of a new Arctic’”→
Thin ice formed in late season expected to melt quickly; thick, multi-year ice continues to decline
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Arctic sea ice extent peaked in late March, reaching its highest level in the past 10 years, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center’s monthly update.While sea ice extent in March was higher than in recent years, most of the ice that formed late in the season is very thin and expected to melt rapidly.