Arctic meltdown above average again
By RANDY BOSWELL, Canwest News ServiceSeptember 10, 2009 4:06 AM
The Arctic sea ice has retreated to the third-lowest level in recorded history - the fourth time in the past five years that the annual summer meltdown has been far greater than average.
Since satellite measurements began in 1979, the summer thaw has left an average of about 7 million square kilometres of the polar ice cover by mid-September.
But the ice has already diminished this year to less than 5.3 million square kilometres, with a week or two of melting left to go.
"While this year's minimum ice extent will probably not reach the record low of 2007, it remains well below normal," the Colorado-based National Snow and Ice Data Centre reports in its latest summary of Arctic ice conditions.
The all-time biggest retreat was recorded in 2007 at 4.13 million square kilometres, and the 2008 retreat fell just short of that record.
The disappearing Arctic ice was named the No. 1 weather story of 2007 by Environment Canada, and ranked No. 2 last year.
The consistently severe retreats in recent years have prompted dire warnings from some scientists, who say ice-free Arctic summers may be just years away. That phenomenon, they say, would accelerate global warming and threaten the survival of polar bears.
© Copyright (c) The Montreal Gazette
Note that yesterday the area of ice in the arctic was 605,000 square kilometers greater than the same day in 2008. It was 913,282 square kilometers greater than 2007. It would appear that there is a MAJOR trend developing for MORE ice, not LESS.