Arctic ice cap at record low & forecast to continue
Arctic ice cap at record low and forecast to continue diminishing
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 28 August, 2012 : - - The Arctic ice cap has shrunk to a new low, surpassing a record set only five years ago, and is expected to keep retreating for a few more weeks, according to data released on Monday. The Arctic sea ice fell to 1.58 million square miles, or 4.10 million square kilometers, down 27,000 square miles from 2007, the lowest since satellites began measuring the ice in 1979, according to the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center.
The ice is expected to dwindle until mid- to late-September when the summer melting usually ends. Shrinking of the Arctic ices alarms scientists and environmentalists because the Arctic acts as the world's air conditioner, helping to moderate the globe's climate. As parts of the Arctic melted, this year has been marked by record heat in much of the Northern Hemisphere, especially across the continental United States.
Image: Scientific Visualization Studio, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
This visualization above shows the extent of Arctic sea ice on Aug. 26, 2012, the day the sea ice dipped to its smallest extent ever recorded in more than three decades of satellite measurements, according to scientists from NASA and the National Snow and Ice Data Center.
The data is from the U.S. Defense Meteorological Satellite Program’s Special Sensor Microwave/Imager. The line on the image shows the average minimum extent from the period covering 1979-2010, as measured by satellites.
Every summer the Arctic ice cap melts down to what scientists call its “minimum” before colder weather builds the ice cover back up. The size of this minimum remains in a long-term decline. The extent on Aug. 26. 2012 broke the previous record set on Sept. 18, 2007. But the 2012 melt season could still continue for several weeks.
Most scientists blame global warming for the retreat of the Arctic ice and there is concern that the growing amounts of open water means the Arctic will not be as effective moderating the planet's climate.
Authors: The Editors
Tags; Arctic Ice Melt