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 (1714 Posts)

Craig McClain is the Assistant Director of Science for the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center, created to facilitate research to address fundamental questions in evolutionary science. He has conducted deep-sea research for 11 years and published over 40 papers in the area. He has participated in dozens of expeditions taking him to the Antarctic and the most remote regions of the Pacific and Atlantic. Craig’s research focuses mainly on marine systems and particularly the biology of body size, biodiversity, and energy flow. He focuses often on deep-sea systems as a natural test of the consequences of energy limitation on biological systems. He is the author and chief editor of Deep-Sea News, a popular deep-sea themed blog, rated the number one ocean blog on the web and winner of numerous awards. Craig’s popular writing has been featured in Cosmos, Science Illustrated, American Scientist, Wired, Mental Floss, and the Open Lab: The Best Science Writing on the Web.

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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