Here's a blog post that Kevin 'Doc Snow' McKinney published today over at HubPages, wherein he discusses last year's melting season, mentions some of the interesting science that has popped up since then, and ends with a look forward. The image below is commenter A-Team's improvement on art, depicting Caravaggio's Narcissus. In this version Narcissus' reflection is distorted by cracks in the mirror/ice. I'm sure you'll appreciate the metaphor.
Arctic Sea Ice Melt 2013:
Looking Forward, Looking Back
The spring equinox has now come and
gone, opening the latest 'melt season'
in the annual cycle of the Arctic sea ice.
But this spring is different from the thousands of springs that have come and gone as humans began to settle in cities, grow crops in the country and create kingdoms and complex religious establishments. This spring follows a remarkably low fall minimum--one that has observers of the ice paying very close attention indeed. What will the
The Records--How Bad Was It?
First, just how bad was the sea-ice in 2012? Approaching the annual September minimum, we knew that, compared with the beginning of the era of satellite observation in 1979:
- The sea ice extent was down about 32%;
- The sea ice area had declined around 39%;
- The sea ice volume, shockingly, was down roughly 76%.
But, as we now know, previous records were thoroughly eclipsed this September. An increasing number of organizations have begun to provide data on the sea ice. They include the Arctic ROOS, a European consortium; the American National Snow and Ice Data Center; the Danish Meteorological Institute; IJIS, a Japanese-American collaboration; IMS, from the US National Ice Center; MASIE, also from NSIDC; Cryosphere Today, at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; and PIOMAS, at the University of Washington.
For MASIE, CT and PIOMAS, the previous record came from 2011; in all other cases, the record was from the 'death spiral' year of 2007.
Here is a summary of 10 different measures, their previous and new records, and the percentage change the new record represents.
Read the rest of this excellent article over at HubPages.