Sea ice in the Arctic Ocean is likely to shrink to a record small size sometime next week, and
then keep on melting, a scientist at the US National Snow and Ice Data Center.
“A new daily record would be likely by the end of August,” said Ted Scambos, lead scientist at
the data center, which monitors ice in the Arctic and elsewhere. “Chances are it will cross the
previous record while we’re still in sea ice retreat.”
The amount of sea ice in the Arctic is important because this region is a potent global weather-
maker, sometimes characterized as the world’s air conditioner. As parts of the Arctic melted,
2012 also set records for heat and drought in much of the Northern Hemisphere temperate
zone, especially the continental United States.
Last year, Arctic sea ice extended over the second-smallest area on record, but that was
considered to be closer to a “new normal” rather than the extreme conditions of 2007, NSIDC
This year is similar to 2011, Scambos said by telephone from Colorado. The melt season started
between 10 days to two weeks earlier than usual in some critical areas including northern
Europe and Siberia.
Typically, the melting of Arctic sea ice slows down in August as the Northern Hemisphere moves
toward fall, but this year, it has speeded up, Scambos said. “I doubt there’s been another year
that had as rapid an early August retreat,” he said.
“Everything About these points in the same direction: we’ve made the Earth warmer,” he said.
The change is apparent from an NSIDC graphic showing current Arctic ice cover compared with
the 1979-2000 average, Scambos said.
Data Center Talk updates its resources everyday. Visit us to know of the latest technology and standards from the data center world.
Please leave your views and comments on DCT Forum