The latest Arctic sea ice update from the NSIDC:
Following a record rate of ice loss through the month of August, Arctic sea ice extent already stands as the second-lowest on record, further reinforcing conclusions that the Arctic sea ice cover is in a long-term state of decline. With approximately two weeks left in the melt season, the possibility of setting a new record annual minimum in September remains open.
Conditions in context
In a typical year, the daily rate of ice loss starts to slow in August as the Arctic begins to cool. By contrast, in August 2008, the daily decline rate remained steadily downward and strong.
The average daily ice loss rate for August 2008 was 78,000 square kilometers per day (30,000 square miles per day). This is the fastest rate of daily ice loss that scientists have ever observed during a single August. Losses were 15,000 square kilometers per day (5,800 square miles per day) faster than in August 2007, and 27,000 square kilometers per day (10,000 square miles per day) faster than average.
This August’s rapid ice loss reflects a thin sea ice cover that needed very little additional energy to melt out.
It’s worth taking a look at the figures accompanying the report – the ongoing downward slope is a cause for concern, as (naturally) next year much of the ice is going to be even newer and thinner.
Arctic sea ice seems to have dropped off the agenda for many of the denialist sites, but Tim Lambert finds that some can still manage to look at this particular glass as half-full:
Data from the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) has indicated a dramatic increase in sea ice extent in the Arctic regions. The growth over the past year covers an area of 700,000 square kilometers: an amount twice the size the nation of Germany.