Tag Archives: global melting

Keeling Curve

Keeling Curve


On September 16, Arctic sea ice appeared to have reached its minimum extent for the year of 3.41 million square kilometers (1.32 million square miles). This is the lowest seasonal minimum extent in the satellite record since 1979 and reinforces the long-term downward trend in Arctic ice extent. The sea ice extent will now begin its seasonal increase through autumn and winter.

Source: The National Snow and Ice Data Center

Arctic sea ice extent

Figure 1. Arctic sea ice extent for September 16, 2012 was 3.41 million square kilometers (1.32 million square miles). The orange line shows the 1979 to 2000 median extent for that day. The black cross indicates the geographic North Pole. Sea Ice Index data.

Bremerhaven, 8 June 2012, The North-East Passage, the sea route along the North coast of Russia, is expected to be free of ice early again this summer. The forecast was made by sea ice physicists of the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in the Helmholtz Association based on a series of measurement flights over the Laptev Sea, a marginal sea of the Arctic Ocean. Amongs experts the shelf sea is known as an “ice factory” of Arctic sea ice. At the end of last winter the researchers discovered large areas of thin ice not being thick enough to withstand the summer melt.

You don’t have to know German or be an expert to understand that arctic sea ice melting is a bad thing…

Most climate scientists and oceanographers agree that the arctic sea ice could disappear as early as 2020.  These startling changes have already been taking place as satellite and fly over photography of arctic ice cover can prove.  Although many scientists agree that the earth, on a geological timescale, is headed for an ice age, our planet is currently undergoing rapid anthropogenic warming.  There will always be a small minority of climate change deniers (like one tenured University of Alabama professor), but the scientific community as a whole has formed a consensus — Global Warming and Global Climate Change are the reality.  I think it should really be called Global Melting though, check out the imagery yourself:

Artic Sea Ice

Image of the current boundary and extent of arctic sea ice, with an overlay in red of the past boundary and extent of the sea ice. Source: NRDC / NASA