NASA: Summer Arctic Sea Ice Retreat 2013
Summer Arctic Sea Ice Retreat: May – August 2013
From NASA: “The melting of sea ice in the Arctic is well on its way toward its annual “minimum,” that time when the floating ice cap covers less of the Arctic Ocean than at any other period during the year. 2013’s melt rates are in line with the sustained decline of the Arctic ice cover observed by NASA and other satellites over the last several decades. In this animation, the daily Arctic sea ice and seasonal land cover change progress through time, from May 16, 2013, through Aug. 15, 2013.” More here.
Tidbits and factoids From NASA
- This year’s melting season included a fast retreat of the sea ice during the first half of July. But low atmospheric pressures and clouds over the central Arctic kept temperatures up north cooler than average, slowing down the plunge.
- With about three weeks of melting left, the summer minimum in 2013 is unlikely to be a record low.
- The Arctic sea ice cap has significantly thinned over the past decade and is now very vulnerable to melt. The multiyear ice cover, consisting of thicker sea ice that has survived at least two summers, has declined at an even faster rate than younger, thinner ice.
- Recordkeeping, which began in November 1978, shows an overall downward trend of 14.1 percent per decade in the size of the minimum summer extent, a decline that accelerated after 2007.