Friday Deep-Sea Picture (03/27/08) : Arctic ice cover


Isn’t it ironic that the International Polar Year falls on the year with the least Arctic ice cover? The North Pole is now literally on thin ice. Scientists are predicting a seasonally ice free Arctic by 2030. The image above illustrates the changing extent of Arctic sea ice over the last fifty years, from 1953 to 2005. Median Arctic ice cover has dropped from 8 million sq km to less than 6 million sq km over the last 20 years, down to nearly 4 million sq km since 2004.

The graphic is lifted from an article by J. Stroeve et al called “Arctic sea ice plummets in 2007” in the weekly newsletter Earth and Ocean Science (EOS) Transactions from the American Geophysical Union. The article is summarized above in the post above called “Ice Free Arctic by year 2030.” As I’ve said before, AGU membership is one of the best deals in ocean sciences. A student membership costs ~$25, and gets you a weekly newsletter full of interesting Earth stories like these.

Dr. M (1729 Posts)

Craig McClain is the Assistant Director of Science for the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center, a National Science Foundation supported initiative. He has conducted deep-sea research for 20 years and published over 50 papers in the area. He has participated in and led dozens of oceanographic expeditions taken him to the Antarctic and the most remote regions of the Pacific and Atlantic. Craig’s research focuses on how energy drives the biology of marine invertebrates from individuals to ecosystems, specifically, seeking to uncover how organisms are adapted to different levels of carbon availability, i.e. food, and how this determines the kinds and number of species in different parts of the oceans. Craig’s research has been featured on National Public Radio, Discovery Channel, Fox News, National Geographic and ABC News. In addition to his scientific research, Craig also advocates the need for scientists to connect with the public and is the founder and chief editor of the acclaimed Deep-Sea News (, a popular ocean-themed blog that has won numerous awards. His writing has been featured in Cosmos, Science Illustrated, American Scientist, Wired, Mental Floss, and the Open Lab: The Best Science Writing on the Web. His forthcoming book, Science of the South (, connects cultural icons of South such as pecan pie with the science behind them.

3 comments on “Friday Deep-Sea Picture (03/27/08) : Arctic ice cover
  1. What are the odds in Las Vegas? I guess it’s a partly question of how we define “anomolous” atmospheric conditions.

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