Tuesday, June 03, 2008

ice watching

Anyone who is interested can observe the day to day measurements of sea ice in the Arctic on the National Snow and Ice Data Center's page Arctic Sea Ice News and Analysis. This is today's updated graphic. The gray line at the top is the average (1979 to 2000)extent of ice for each date, the dotted green line is the actual extent of sea ice on each date in 2007 (the minimum extent recorded so far), and the blue line is this year's (2008) current measurements. As you can see, this year has, until recently exceeded the 2007 minimum, but fallen below the twenty year average.

Many scientists, however, expect that because a much larger extent of the sea ice is thinner one year ice (because of the previous years minimum extent), that melting will accelerate and drop below even the 2007 minimum.

Blogger punkinsmom on Idle Musings noted today, that the "the temperature of the water in the Oslo Fjord was rapidly rising. It's often still below 10C (50F) in early June, but Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) reported water temperatures at some Oslo-area beaches of 18C (nearly 70F) on Tuesday morning."

Greater warming in the Arctic and its environs than in temperate and tropical regions has both been measured to date, and projected for the future. The Met Office Hadley Centre, British Antarctic Survey and UK Government have harnessed Google Earth technology to present you with an interactive animation showing how climate change and global temperature rises could affect our world over the next 100 years. (You can download Google Earth for free to run the animation -- it's really worth having!).

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