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Environment

Time to Start Watching Arctic Sea Ice

The IntersectionBy Chris MooneyJuly 27, 2011 9:42 PM

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I haven't done many pure science items lately, so my latest piece at DeSmog is about Arctic sea ice extent, which is even lower right now than it was at the same time during the record year of 2007. An excerpt:

The extent of ice covering the Arctic has been declining for decades, and reached a record low in September of 2007, nearly 40 percent below its long term average. This wasn’t solely the product of global warming—weather patterns also have a lot to do with ice extent, and they contributed to the 2007 record. Nevertheless, much like the worsening of heat waves, Arctic ice decline is one of the most obvious impacts of global warming—and this year, it’s possible that Arctic ice extent might reach a minimum even lower than it did in 2007. The annual Arctic sea ice minimum occurs sometime in September—that’s when the ice cover has received the most summer heat and shrunken accordingly, before beginning to build again as winter sets in. There’s a natural cycle of melt and freeze, but global warming is perturbing that cycle....

You can read the full piece here.

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