Arctic Ice Hits Drastic New Low
Melt ends with ice 293K square miles below 2007 record
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted Sep 20, 2012 2:50 AM CDT
This NASA image shows the amount of summer sea ice in the Arctic on Sunday, Sept. 16, 2012, at center in white, and the 1979 to 2000 average extent for the day shown, with the yellow line.    (AP Photo/U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center)

(Newser) – Sea ice in the Arctic shrank to a record low on August 27—and kept shrinking for 20 days. The sea has finally begun to refreeze after bottoming out on September 16 at 1.32 million square miles, almost 300,000 square miles less than the record set at the end of the melting season in 2007, reports the Washington Post. The ice retreated much faster than experts had predicted, shrinking at a record 35,400 square miles per day in August.

"We are now in uncharted territory," says the director of the National Snow and Ice Data Center. "While we’ve long known that as the planet warms up, changes would be seen first and be most pronounced in the Arctic, few of us were prepared for how rapidly the changes would actually occur." The ice is also losing thickness, making it even more vulnerable to melting. Experts believe the record Arctic melt could change weather patterns enough to cause a harsh winter in the US this year.

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Showing 3 of 48 comments
right2dave
Sep 22, 2012 7:18 AM CDT
Hoefully Canada will freeze over.
gomer99
Sep 20, 2012 12:37 PM CDT
Sounds good to me. The northwest passage will save trillions in transportation costs between the orient and Europe. New fishing grounds are opening up. And, contrary to the third grade teachers scaring the shit out of their students, polar bear populations are INCREASING. ...win-win... What's all the whining about ?
BCS
Sep 20, 2012 12:10 PM CDT
Arctic sea ice is at an all time low Antarctic sea ice is at an all time high Keep in mind that all time, means 33 years of satellite records. Though the limited history told through expeditions to the arctic do indicate that sea ice has not recently been this low. Multi year ice is now hard to find and it's very possible that we may see a nearly ice free arctic every summer for about 3 weeks. Sea ice melt affects air pressure but does not raise water levels. It's the Greenland ice sheets that have to be watched, and at last check they are holding steady. It will be interesting to see what kind of weather we have this winter. Blame geoengineering of weather on climate change. There is a much larger scale of it occurring than being let on. The US, Russia, China, India, and other western countries are taking part in this, most of them openly. Whatever effect CO2 does have is largely something that is up to massive corporations to change. Forget turning your drier to delicate, or buying a hybrid and expecting to make a difference. The military industrial complex puts out more CO2 then we ever could, and elite idiots like prince charles, who tell people to cut back while owning a fleet of jets, boats, and mansions, need to shut up and walk the walk. He could start by renouncing his fake throne and downsizing to a bungalow and a scooter. Sorry for the long winded thoughts, thanks for reading.