Arctic ice pack at third lowest extent since 1979: US

Sep 18, 2009
Handout picture captured in 2007 by the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer (AMSR-E) Instrument on NASA?s Aqua satellite overlaid on the NASA Blue Marble captures ice conditions at the end of the melt season in the Arctic. The Arctic sea ice pack thawed to its third smallest size on record during the northern hemisphere summer of 2009, US government scientists said, citing satellite images.

The Arctic sea ice pack thawed to its third smallest size on record during the northern hemisphere summer of 2009, US government scientists said, citing satellite images.

While the sea ice pack at its lowest 2009 point was slightly larger than both the record-low ice pack measured in 2007 and the summer 2008 ice pack, the data confirms a shrinkage trend seen over the past 30 years, the US National Snow and Ice Data Center said in a statement late Thursday.

The ice pack size has fallen sharply since 1979, especially during the summer months, the center said.

As of September 12, the surface of the Arctic sea ice pack was 5.1 million square kilometers (1.97 million square miles), its smallest point of the year.

At the peak of the summer 2007 melt the Arctic pack measured 4.1 million square kilometers -- a record low -- while the following year at the lowest point it measured 4.5 million square kilometers.

The summer 2009 low point however was still 1.61 million square kilometers (620,000 square miles) less than the annual 1979 to 2000 average ice pack size, the NSIDC said.

The center's glaciologists attributed the difference in the size of the 2009 ice pack compared to the previous two years to prevailing winds blowing in a different direction.

(c) 2009 AFP

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ricarguy
3.2 / 5 (9) Sep 18, 2009
If there is clear reversal in the size reduction of the ice sheet over two prior years, why the pessimism? After two years from the all time low, we are just shy of half way back to the 30 year average, in terms of square miles. Yet some guy at NASA concludes "...the data confirms a shrinkage trend..." It does nothing of the sort. And why recycle the OLD picture of the all time low? Show me the image from THIS year!

Meanwhile, looking at the state of the economy, the rate of loss of jobs is less, meaning people are still losing jobs, and they call it signs of a recovery. What the spin doctors at NASA, other branches of the gov't, and elsewhere try to get away with, never ceases to amaze. Then they all wonder why there are so many skeptics out there. Skepticism is simply the most sensible reaction when preconceived conclusions are being applied to reality.
deatopmg
Sep 18, 2009
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
GrayMouser
3 / 5 (4) Sep 18, 2009
And it still isn't as small as it was in the mid-1930s when it was really hot and cargo ships used the northwest passage in the summer.
GrayMouser
Sep 18, 2009
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
dachpyarvile
3.7 / 5 (3) Sep 19, 2009
Ok. I, too, am annoyed by the use of a picture from 2007 without the concurrent use of one from 2009. This article also seems to fail to take into consideration other historical data that have been out there for quite some time.
Velanarris
5 / 5 (1) Sep 19, 2009
They need to stop using the term size and start using the term area.

Size is not indicative of area as it connotates volume, which is the real measure of frozen water and packed precipitation.
dachpyarvile
4 / 5 (4) Sep 19, 2009
Agreed. Here is the 2007 NSIDC data overlapped with the 2009 NSIDC data.

http://nsidc.org/...ure3.png

As can be seen, there was more ice this year at the end of the melt season than there was in 2007.
Velanarris
5 / 5 (2) Sep 20, 2009
The NSIDC and NCDC stats have something toxic to them. NCDC was reporting this was the warmest ever summer of the Northeast. If you're from the Northeast you know that was complete bunk.
zevkirsh
Sep 20, 2009
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
dachpyarvile
4 / 5 (4) Sep 20, 2009
...NCDC was reporting this was the warmest ever summer of the Northeast. If you're from the Northeast you know that was complete bunk.


Even where I live it would be complete bunk. I tracked temperatures in my region and found that overall, the summer was much milder than the last, with early fall temperatures occurring in the midst of summer!
GrayMouser
3 / 5 (2) Sep 22, 2009
How about: "2009 Arctic Sea Ice Extent exceeds 2005 for this date"?
http://wattsupwit...is-date/
Snowhare
not rated yet Oct 11, 2009
And it still isn't as small as it was in the mid-1930s when it was really hot and cargo ships used the northwest passage in the summer.


Reference? I can't find any record of this.