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Archive for the ‘Arctic’ Category

The Balding Arctic Sea

Posted by feww on October 6, 2010

Image of the Day

Arctic Sea Ice Minimum for 2010: Third-lowest extent

The 2010 sea ice melt season ended in the Arctic, with the ice extent reaching its low for the year at 4.60 million km² (1.78 million sq. miles) on September 19, the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) reported, adding that 2010 Arctic sea ice extent was the third-lowest on the satellite record. (The record low of 4.13 million km² was set in 2007). Both the Northwest Passage and the Northern Sea Route were open for a period during September.

Arctic sea ice extent for September 2010 was 4.90 million square kilometers (1.89 million square miles), the third-lowest in the satellite record. The magenta line shows the median ice extent for September from 1979 to 2000. Sea Ice Index data. Click images to enlarge.
—Credit: National Snow and Ice Data Center

The updated time series plot puts this summer’s sea ice extent in context with other years. The solid light blue line indicates 2010; dark blue shows 2009, purple shows 2008; dashed green shows 2007; light green shows 2005; and solid gray indicates average extent from 1979 to 2000. —Credit: National Snow and Ice Data Center

September ice extent from 1979 to 2009 shows a continued decline. The September rate of sea ice decline since 1979 has now increased to 11.2 percent per decade. —Credit: National Snow and Ice Data Center

A time series of images shows the decline in September sea ice extent over the thirty-year satellite record. Click on the image to open the animated time series in a new window. The animated time series shows ice extent for each of the past thirty-one Septembers, 1979 to 2010. Ice extent this fall was the third-lowest in the satellite record.  —Credit: National Snow and Ice Data Center/NASA E-O

Arctic sea ice extent on September 19, 2010.This image was made from sea ice observations collected by the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer (AMSR-E) Instrument on NASA’s Aqua Source: NASA/EO. Click image to enlarge.

Arctic sea ice total area graph. Source: NASA/EO. Click image to enlarge.

See also: October post on Arctic Sea Ice News & Analysis Web site (

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Posted in Arctic, Arctic sea ice extent, Arctic Temperature Trend, arctic temps, Arctic thaw | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Tipping Point: Here and Now!

Posted by feww on April 30, 2008

Our thanks to Lisa G. for forwarding the link to the following (Source)

We are at the tipping point because the climate state includes large, ready positive feedbacks provided by the Arctic sea ice, the West Antarctic ice sheet, and much of Greenland’s ice. James Hansen


An Excerpt from Hansen’s report:
Our home planet is dangerously near a tipping point at which human-made greenhouse gases reach a level where major climate changes can proceed mostly under their own momentum. Warming will shift climatic zones by intensifying the hydrologic cycle, affecting freshwater availability and human health.

[James Hansen is director of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Goddard Institute for Space Studies and an Adjunct Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Columbia University’s Earth Institute.]

The ice in the Arctic is much younger than normal, with vast regions now covered by first-year ice and much less area covered by multiyear ice. Left: February distribution of ice by its age during normal Arctic conditions (1985-2000 average). Right: February 2008 Arctic ice age distribution. Credit: NSIDC [Caption: NASA]

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Posted in Arctic, atmosphere, big oil, biofuels, biosphere, Climate Change, environment, food, greenhouse gases, Greenland’s ice, health, politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Stop the Arctic Madness!

Posted by feww on January 22, 2008

Increased Arctic Oil Activity will end in Eco-Disaster

A report prepared by the eight-nation Arctic Council released on Monday said, the rising global demand for oil and gas is increasing the activity in the Arctic. The increased activity will enhance the risk of oil spills in the region.

“Oil spills can kill large numbers of animals by covering them in oil, and create long-term contamination that can affect populations and ecosystems for decades”.

“The Arctic is generally considered to be vulnerable to oil spills due to slow recovery of cold, highly seasonal ecosystems, and the difficulty of clean up in remote, cold regions, especially in waters where sea ice is present”.

Arctic Oil and Gas 2007 was prepared by about 100 scientists who have been working on the report since 2002. The release of the report scheduled for 2007 was reportedly delayed because the United States and Sweden had reportedly blocked publication of policy recommendations.

The report discusses:

  • The significance of levels of petroleum hydrocarbons in the Arctic and significance of cold on toxicological effect
  • The toxicological impact of hydrocarbons on people
  • Impacts of oil spills on land including an account of 1994 commuter public pipeline ruptured that contaminated a large area
  • Effects of marine spills including subarctic spills such as the Exxon Valdez
  • Potential of impacts from arctic spills (and some of the consequences)
  • Physical disturbance including impacts of infrastructure and activity on land surface and habitats
  • Effects of offshore activity through noise an offshore construction
  • Significance of further habitat fragmentation and disruption to wildlife
  • Social impact on the indigenous population
  • Implication for health care and social services

For more information and a copy of report visit Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program.

Posted in Arctic, energy, environment, health, indigenous people, ndindigenous people, toxicological impact | Leave a Comment »