Fire Earth

Earth is fighting to stay alive. Mass dieoffs, triggered by anthropogenic assault and fallout of planetary defense systems offsetting the impact, could begin anytime!

Critically Endangered Species: Arctic Sea Ice

Posted by feww on September 10, 2008

Hell Hath No Fury Like Oceans Warming!

Record Arctic ice loss in August

Previously you read on this blog that the Arctic ice cover was the second-lowest on record. The National Snow and Ice Data Center has since reported that the rate of ice loss through the month of August set a new record, reinforcing conclusions that the Arctic sea ice cover is in a long-term state of decline. With more than a week left to the end of the melt season, the Arctic shrink could still hit a new record annual low in September.

See below for the stats:

  • Arctic sea ice extent on September 3, 2008 was 4.85 million square kilometers.
  • Extent decline since the beginning of August was 2.47 million square kilometers.
  • Extent is now within 370,000 square kilometers of 2007 value on the same date (about 2.08 million square kilometers below the 1979 to 2000 average).
  • The average daily ice loss rate for August 2008 was 78,000 square kilometers per day (the fastest rate of daily ice loss ever recorded for a month of August).
  • The average daily ice loss rate for August 2007 was 63,000 square kilometers per day.
  • The average daily ice loss rate for the month of August was 51,000 square kilometers per day.

It takes very little additional energy to melt what remains of a very thinned sea ice cover!


Monthly August ice extent for 1979 to 2008 shows 2008 as the second-lowest August on record. —Credit: National Snow and Ice Data Center  – High-resolution image


The graph above shows daily sea ice extent.The solid light blue line indicates 2008; the dashed green line shows extent for 2007; the gray line indicates average extent from 1979 to 2000. Sea Ice Index data. —Credit: National Snow and Ice Data Center – High-resolution image


Sea surface temperature anomalies for August 2008, expressed with respect to 1982 to 2006 mean, correspond closely with ice retreat. Blue line indicates ice edge; warm colors indicate positive sea surface temperature anomalies. —Credit: National Snow and Ice Data Center courtesy Mike Steele and Wendy Ermold: Polar Science Center/Applied Physics Laboratory/University of Washington.

High-resolution image

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