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Arctic Sea Ice At Record Lows - Mainland Arctic 3.5C Above 30-Year Average

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hatrack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 01:12 PM
Original message
Arctic Sea Ice At Record Lows - Mainland Arctic 3.5C Above 30-Year Average
EDIT

In 2005, temperatures soared so high that scientists declared it the warmest year in recorded history. But last year's heat has been followed by even higher temperatures, and the Arctic is again hurtling toward a record-shattering year, as an unusually mild spring melted into a hot summer that arrived in many northern hamlets a full month early.

"When you look at the Arctic, it was the warmest winter on record," said David Phillips, senior climatologist for Environment Canada. "I mean, you had rain in Iqaluit in February -- they've never had that before. And they were anywhere from four to seven degrees warmer than normal. There was no winter in the North. "We used to be the Great White North, but that reputation is being sullied a bit. Maybe we have to rethink what we are."

The trend was felt across the country, which averaged 2.9 C above normal this January to July -- a new record. But it was most pronounced in the Arctic, where mainland temperatures in the first seven months of 2006 soared 3.5 C above a 30-year average -- the highest ever for that time of year. As a result, satellite images show less Arctic sea ice in July than ever. Normally, the Arctic is covered in 10.1 million square kilometres of sea ice in July. This year, it was down to 8.7 million square kilometres -- a loss of an area larger than Peru.

"Right now, things are not looking good as far as the sea ice is concerned," said Mark Serreze, a research scientist for the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center. "From January 2005 to July of 2006, the sea ice has been essentially at a record minimum. "Will it get to a new record? We don't know. If it doesn't, it's going to be darn close. But if the warm that we see continues, we could easily set a new September record."

September is the month when the Arctic usually experiences its lowest annual ice level. This year, public interest in the disappearance of the ice has grown to the point where Serreze's office will launch a website on August 20 with daily reports and analysis on the Arctic melt. Ed. - emphasis added.

EDIT

http://www.canada.com/edmontonjournal/news/story.html?i...
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Jack Rabbit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 01:49 PM
Response to Original message
1. About 1.54 degrees Fahreheit
If my conversion serves me right.
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phantom power Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 01:51 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Other way. More like 8F
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Jack Rabbit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 01:56 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. Oh, my. You're right.
Edited on Thu Aug-10-06 01:58 PM by Jack Rabbit
Celsius and Fahrenheit Conversion

Tf = (9/5)*Tc+32

It's 6.3F

1.54F should be a matter of concern; but 6.3F is alarming.
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hatrack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 01:58 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. Yeah, that's one big chunk of energy nt.
.
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hatrack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 01:53 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. Actually, I think 3.5C = about 6.3 degrees Fahrenheit
1 degree Celsius = 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit.
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Jack Rabbit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 01:58 PM
Response to Reply #3
6. Thank you. I am corrected.
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Dogmudgeon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 01:08 PM
Response to Original message
7. That's about a 1F per year increase
That's according to Phillips, using the difference between temperature anomalies of 2.9C (last year) and 3.5C (this year). I also think that might be a conservative estimate. I was reading about 6F-8F temperature increases last year, though that may have been local to Alaska, where they were having thermokarsting (land sinking) problems.

Thirty to fifty years, and the Arctic will be like the Hyperborea of ancient legends -- a land of eternal darkness (in the winter), ice (from melting ice floes), fire (from burning peat bogs with high methane levels), stench (from putrefactive bacteria), inhabited by demons (tourists at the end of the world).

--p!
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