Arctic sea ice, used by many climatologists (and others) as a barometer of climate change, is once again running below the 1979-2000 average this summer. However, it remains well above the record minimum summer melt seen in 2007. In 2007, the ice coverage was approx. 5.2 million square km; this year for the same date (August 17) it is approx. 6.1 million sq. km.
Thus, it is about 22% below the 1979-2000 average whereas the 2007 reading was 32% below the norm; this represents an area about the size of Alaska in difference...
Meaningless in any context you care to mention, when the ice shelves and multi-year ice return let us know.....a skim of 1st year ice after a double La Nina...denidiot fodder...nothing more..
The glaciers tell the tale....net mass loss accelerating.....
Pine Island Glacier is in the Amundsen Sea, part of the Southern Ocean bordering ... would raise global sea level by five meters (16 feet). ...
Antarctic Glacier Thinning At Alarming Rate
ScienceDaily (Aug. 15, 2009) — The thinning of a gigantic glacier in Antarctica is accelerating, scientists report. The Pine Island Glacier in West Antarctica, which is around twice the size of Scotland, is losing ice four times as fast as it was a decade years ago.
The research, published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, also reveals that ice thinning is now occurring much further inland. At this rate scientists estimate that the main section of the glacier will have disappeared in just 100 years, six times sooner than was previously thought.
The Pine Island Glacier is located within the most inaccessible area of Antarctica – over 1000 km from the nearest research base – and was for many years overlooked. Now, scientists have been able to track the glacier's development using continuous satellite measurements over the past 15 years.
"Accelerated thinning of the Pine Island Glacier represents perhaps the greatest imbalance in the cryosphere today, and yet we would not have known about it if it weren't for a succession of satellite instruments," says Professor Andrew Shepherd, a co-author of the research from the School of Earth and Environment at the University of Leeds.
"Being able to assemble a continuous record of measurements over the past 15 years has provided us with the remarkable ability to identify both subtle and dramatic changes in ice that were previously hidden," he adds.
Scientists believe that the retreat of glaciers in this sector of Antarctica is caused by warming of the surrounding oceans, though it is too early to link such a trend to global warming.
The 5,400 km squared region of the Pine Island Glacier affected today is big enough to impact the rate at which sea level rise around the world.
"Because the Pine Island Glacier contains enough ice to almost double the IPCC's best estimate of 21st century sea level rise, the manner in which the glacier will respond to the accelerated thinning is a matter of great concern," says Professor Shepherd.
The research was led by Professor Duncan Wingham at University College London, and was funded by the UK Natural Environment Research Council.
Sure - it's the hot air from the denidiots.....what the hell do you think is causing net glacial mass loss worldwide....
Lets put the the Arctic in context
Conditions in context
The average pace of ice loss during July 2009 was nearly identical to that of July 2007. Ice loss sped up during the third week of July, and slowed again during the last few days of the month.
Averaged for the month, July 2009 saw a decline rate in ice extent of 106,000 square kilometers (41,000 square miles) per day. For comparison, the rate of decline for July 2007 was 107,000 square kilometers (41,000 square miles) per day and the July 2008 rate of decline was 94,000 square kilometers (36,000 square miles) per day. The Arctic Ocean lost a total of 3.19 million square kilometers (1.23 million square miles) of ice during July 2009, and dropped below ice extent at this time in 2008. average monthly data from 1979-2009 for July Figure 3. Monthly July ice extent for 1979 to 2009 shows a decline of 6.1% per decade.
—Credit: National Snow and Ice Data Center
Ice extent averaged for July 2009 was the third lowest in the satellite record for the month of July. The long-term trend indicates a decline of 6.1% per decade in July ice extent since 1979, relative to the 1979 to 2000 average, an average of 62,000 square kilometers (24,000 square miles) of ice per year.
Net Mass loss is what counts..
.and loss of ice shelves.....the Arctic has just about zero left now
Massive Canadian Arctic ice shelf breaks away
14:57 03 September 2008 by New Scientist staff and Reuters
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A huge 55-square-kilometre ice shelf in Canada's northern Arctic broke away last month and the remaining shelves have shrunk at a "massive and disturbing" rate. These are the latest signs of accelerating climate change in the remote region, scientists said on Tuesday.
They said the Markham Ice Shelf, one of just five remaining ice shelves in the Canadian Arctic, split away from Ellesmere Island in early August. They also said two large chunks totalling 120 square km had broken off the nearby Serson Ice Shelf, reducing it in size by 60%.
"The changes ... were massive and disturbing," says Warwick Vincent, director of the Centre for Northern Studies at Laval University in Quebec.
Temperatures in large parts of the Arctic have risen far faster than the global average in recent decades, a development that experts say is linked to global warming.
"These substantial calving events underscore the rapidity of changes taking place in the Arctic," says Derek Mueller, an Arctic ice shelf specialist at Trent University in Ontario.
End of an era
"These changes are irreversible under the present climate and indicate that the environmental conditions that have kept these ice shelves in balance for thousands of years are no longer present," he said.
Mueller said the total amount of ice lost from the shelves along Ellesmere Island this summer totalled 215 square km - more than three times the area of New York's Manhattan island.
The figure is more than 10 times the amount of ice shelf cover that scientists estimated on 30 July would vanish from around the island this summer.
Reduced sea ice conditions and unusually high air temperatures have facilitated the ice shelf losses," says Luke Copland of the University of Ottawa.
"Extensive new cracks across remaining parts of the largest remaining ice shelf, the Ward Hunt, mean that it will continue to disintegrate in the coming years," he said.
The first sign of serious recent erosion in the five shelves came in late July, when sheets of ice totalling almost 21 square km broke off the Ward Hunt shelf. Since then the shelf has lost another 22 square km.
Ellesmere Island was once home to a single enormous ice shelf of around 9000 square km. All that is left of that shelf today are the four much smaller shelves that together cover only about 800 square km.
How so? An honest question, not meant to be provocative.
I did not take it that way. I simply mean that Ma Nature continues to defy science every time they think they have it figured out, so logically the next question becomes, how much of the science on global warming is flawed? Simple as that. Either that or you accept that science is always correct. I don't subscribe to that theory at all.