Meltdown Of Arctic Ice At An All-Time High

Posted: Sep 16 2015, 9:03pm CDT | by , in News | Latest Science News


Arctic Ocean Ice Hits Fourth Lowest on Record
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  • The Meltdown of Arctic Ice at an All-Time High.

The meltdown rates of Arctic ice is at an all-time high. 2015 Arctic sea ice minimum extent is the fourth lowest on record since observations from space began.

This summer Arctic sea ice melted to the point where it is at its fourth lowest record level. The optimists are having a hard time convincing the pessimists that things will be alright in the end.

Without an iota of doubt, all chances of going back to the pristine and balanced times of the past are gone with the wind. The Arctic hit a record low with just 1.7 million square miles of sea ice left behind. This is a big contrast from the way things were last year.  

“This year is the fourth lowest, and yet we haven’t seen any major weather event or persistent weather pattern in the Arctic this summer that helped push the extent lower as often happens,” said Walt Meier, a sea ice scientist with NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.

“It was a bit warmer in some areas than last year, but it was cooler in other places, too.”

The amount of Arctic sea ice that has been lost due to global warming is roughly equal to an area which is the size of California, New York and Maryland combined. The levels of ice floes in the sea are decreasing at an alarming rate.

This is to be expected with the temperatures around the planet increasing with each passing decade. The measurements began being recorded in 1979. It peaked in 1980. A low point was noted three years ago. However, since then it has only gone up. 

The changes in the climatic conditions means that Arctic sea ice will drift and shift shape accordingly, but the overall figures are dismal. They show that no recovery has been made when you see the average trend.

“The ice cover becomes less and less resilient, and it doesn’t take as much to melt it as it used to,” Meier said.

“The sea ice cap, which used to be a solid sheet of ice, now is fragmented into smaller floes that are more exposed to warm ocean waters. In the past, Arctic sea ice was like a fortress. The ocean could only attack it from the sides. Now it’s like the invaders have tunneled in from underneath and the ice pack melts from within.”

The 2015 Arctic sea ice summertime minimum is 699,000 square miles below the 1981-2010 average, shown here as a gold line. Credits: NASA/Goddard Scientific Visualization Studio

Despite efforts by environmentalists to spread the message of fighting pollution, mankind has continued wreaking havoc on the habitat and the results are evident. Global temperatures are easily the hottest this year and nothing can be said about 2016.

They might get even worse than before. NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have been tallying the numbers and what they see is not good. The trends point in the direction of a wild and wayward climate that won’t be the least bit predictable.  

“Historically, the Arctic had a thicker, more rigid sea ice that covered more of the Arctic basin, so it was difficult to tell whether El Niño had any effect on it,” said Richard Cullather, a climate modeler at Goddard.

“Although we haven’t been able to detect a strong El Niño impact on Arctic sea ice yet, now that the ice is thinner and more mobile, we should begin to see a larger response to atmospheric events from lower latitudes.”

The El Nino weather phenomenon has created rising heat in many areas, but it is a relief that it does not cause such a temperature in northern regions. If the present conditions are projected for the next 25 years, by 2040 most of the Arctic sea ice will have melted off for good.

The graph is going down and nothing can be done about it. This is sad and it shows us the mirror. Had we chosen a more eco-friendly design, as far as our science and technology is concerned, the results would have probably not been so pathetic.   

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The Author

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
Sumayah Aamir (Google+) has deep experience in analyzing the latest trends.




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