3-in-5 chance of record low Arctic sea ice in 2008 forecastedMay 1st, 2008 - 2:05 pm ICT by admin
Washington, May 1 (ANI): New calculations by researchers at University of Colorado at Boulder, US, has lead them to forecast a three-in-five chance of record low Arctic sea ice in 2008, because of continued warming temperatures and a preponderance of younger, thinner ice.
The forecast by the researchers is based on satellite data and temperature records, indicating there is a 59 percent chance that the annual minimum sea ice record will be broken this fall for the third time in five years.
Arctic sea ice declined by roughly 10 percent in the past decade, culminating in a record 2007 minimum ice cover of 1.59 million square miles. That broke the 2005 record by 460,000 miles.
The current Arctic ice cover is thinner and younger than at any previous time in our recorded history, and this sets the stage for rapid melt and a new record low, said Research Associate Sheldon Drobot.
According to Drobot, overall, 63 percent of the Arctic ice cover is younger than average, and only 2 percent is older than average.
Changes in Arctic sea ice - defined as the area of an ocean covered by at least 15 percent ice - is one of the more compelling and obvious signs of climate change, he said.
Continued Arctic sea ice declines likely will have negative effects on various types of wildlife, including polar bears, walruses and seals, he added.
For humans, larger ice-free zones in the Arctic region for longer periods offer potential for cheaper and faster merchant shipping between North America and Europe, said Drobot.
The declining ice may well open up the Northwest Passage, for example, which runs through the Bering Strait, the Chukchi Sea, the Beaufort Sea and through the Canadian Archipelago to the Atlantic Ocean.
According to aerospace engineering Research Professor Jim Maslanik, based on the current sea ice conditions, the Northern Sea Route - the shipping lane from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean along the Russian coastline - might also open up this summer.
It also is quite possible that extensive ice-free conditions could develop at or near the North Pole, he said. (ANI)
- Arctic's sea ice melt hits second-lowest level - Oct 07, 2011
- Arctic sea ice level reaches second-lowest in history - Oct 06, 2011
- Arctic sea ice hits second-lowest level - Oct 05, 2011
- NASA: Arctic's thickest ice diminishing faster than thin ice - Mar 01, 2012
- Thickest Arctic Sea ice melting much faster - Mar 01, 2012
- Arctic sea ice shrinks to smallest ever - Aug 28, 2012
- NASA's ICESCAPE to study impacts of climate change on Arctic - Jun 09, 2010
- Arctic Sea could become iceless by century-end - Oct 12, 2011
- Melting sea ice stirs up Arctic Ocean - Jan 04, 2010
- NASA to undertake new mission to study arctic climate change - Jun 09, 2010
- Arctic Ocean water is 'warmest it's been for more than 2,000 years' - Feb 01, 2011
- 'Within decade, Arctic Ocean will be ice-free each summer' - Oct 15, 2009
- Water flowing into Arctic warmest in 2,000 years - Feb 01, 2011
- NASA aircraft studies receding Arctic sea ice to improve understanding of its life cycle - Jul 18, 2009
- Russia's floating university traces Gulf Stream - Jul 17, 2012
Tags: aerospace engineering, arctic ice, arctic region, arctic sea ice, beaufort sea, bering strait, canadian archipelago, chukchi sea, climate change, colorado at boulder, merchant shipping, northern sea route, northwest passage, polar bears, professor jim, sea ice conditions, shipping lane, temperature records, university of colorado at boulder, walruses