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Oceans

Arctic Sea Ice Minimum Extent Imagery and Video

As reported yesterday the University of Colorado at Boulder’s National Snow and Ice Data Center announced that the Arctic sea ice minimum extent would come in as second lowest since recording began back in 1979. Now, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center has provided their own series of images and videos to back up that report, showing the extent of Arctic sea ice for September 9, 2011.

The visualizations are part of the Goddard Space Flight Center’s Scientific Visualization Studio which is based on data provided by MSR-E instrument on NASA’s Aqua satellite.

You can clearly see towards the bottom the open Northwest Passage above northern Canada, which allows for passage from the North Pacific through the Bering Strait, through the Arctic corridor and out into the North Atlantic.

Here you can see the differences between the current sea ice minimum extent and the maximum extent which was recorded on March 7, 2011.

But however white the maximum looks, it is still much lower than it should be at that time of year, as the thickest and therefore longest-living ice in the Arctic has been declining by a rate of approximately 15 percent per decade, according to NASA sea ice scientist Josefino Comiso in a paper published in August in the Journal of Climate.

Arctic Sea Ice 2011 Minimum [hd video]

Finally is a video of the change from sea ice maximum to sea ice minimum, from winter through summer.

Source: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center




2 comments
  1. Joey Foxcroft

    This is typical global warming/climate change hype. The article points out the northwest passage is beginning to open up and in the same breath states ice levels are much to low for this time of year. Hello….the NW passage used to exist, meaning ice levels at one time were much lower. But lets all listen to Al Gore and pay the Rockefellers a tax for emitting the dangerous gas carbon dioxide….the very gas plants require to live so they can exhale oxygen. We all should really be scared because current levels of C02 are actually very low. 0.036 percent. It was at 14% 2000 years ago.

    1. Zachary Shahan

      Joey, you’re off your rocker, it’s not about what levels were in the past, it’s about how FAST they are changing now, and the fact that we are already seeing increased extreme weather events as a result (flooding, strong storms and hurricanes, drought, and more).

      I’m sorry it’s inconvenient — nobody wants this to be happening. But ignoring the problem is only going to make it worse — you just have to man up and accept that.

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